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SIR ANDREW BARTON. 55
SIR ANDREW BARTON.
From Percy's Reliques, ii. 193.
" The transactions which did the greatest honour to the Earl of Surrey and his family at this time [a. d. 1511], was their behaviour in the case of Barton, a Scotch sea-officer. This gentleman's father having suffered by sea from the Portuguese, he had obtained letters of marque for his two sons to make reprisals upon the subjects of Portugal. It is extremely probable, that the court of Scotland granted these letters with no very honest intention. The council-board of England, at which the Earl of Surrey held the chief place, was daily pestered with complaints from the sailors and merchants, that Barton, who was called Sir Andrew Barton, under pretence of searching for Portuguese goods, interrupted the English navigation. Henry's situation at that time rendered him backward from breaking with Scotland, so that their complaints were but coldly received. The Earl of Surrey, however, could not smother his indignation, but gallantly declared at the council-board, that while he had an estate that could furnish out a ship, or a son that was capable of commanding one, the narrow seas should not be infested.
" Sir Andrew Barton, who commanded the two Scotch ships, had the reputation of being one of the ablest sea officers of his time. By his depredations,