The Spanish Armada 5 – The Protestant Wind

| July 30, 2010

On the 30th July 1588 the wind changed and the remaining ships of the Spanish Armada were forced northwards and scattered. It really did seem that the elements, particularly the wind, were on England’s side! Alison Weir quotes Sir Francis Drake as writing:- “There was never anything pleased me better than seeing the enemy flying […]

Elizabeth I and Somerset House

| July 30, 2010

On this day in history, the 30th July 1553, Princess Elizabeth left her new home, Somerset House, to ride to Wanstead and greet her half-sister, Mary, England’s new queen. Princess Elizabeth had moved into Somerset House, a house just off The Strand, on the north bank of the River Thames, just the previous day. Mary […]

Mary Queen of Scots Marries Lord Darnley

| July 29, 2010

On this day in history, the 29th July 1565, Elizabeth I’s nemesis, Mary Queen of Scots, married Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, at Holyrood Palace (the Palace of Holyroodhouse), Edinburgh. Let’s celebrate their union by giving some facts about the happy couple:- The Bride – Mary Queen of Scots Birth: Mary, Queen of Scots, also known […]

The Spanish Armada 4: The Battle of Gravelines

| July 29, 2010

The day after the English had wrecked the crescent formation of the Spanish Armada and caused havoc, they attacked the Spanish fleet. This battle is known as the Battle of Gravelines because it took place just off the port of Gravelines, a Spanish stronghold in Flanders, part of the Spanish Netherlands, but near the border […]

The Spanish Armada 3: The Hell-burners

| July 28, 2010

At midnight on this day in history, the 28th July 1588, five hell-burners were ordered to be sent amongst the galleons of the Spanish Armada at Calais. Hell-burners were fire-ships, ships that were packed with wood and pitch and set alight. The high winds at Calais caused an inferno which resulted in complete chaos and […]

The Spanish Armada 2 – Leicester Invites Elizabeth to Tilbury

| July 27, 2010

On this day in history, the 27th July 1588, Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester and the Lieutenant and Captain General of the Queen’s Armies and Companies, invited Elizabeth I to visit Tilbury, where he was busy assembling troops. The reason for his invitation was to stop his beloved Queen and childhood friend from doing […]

The Spanish Armada 1: The Assembling of Troops at Tilbury Fort

| July 26, 2010

On this day in history, the 26th July 1588, 4,000 men assembled at Tilbury Fort, the fort built on the Thames estuary in Essex by Elizabeth’s father, Henry VIII, to guard the eastern approach to London from the expected invasion by the Spanish Armada. The Armada had first been spotted off English shores on the […]

Happy Wedding Anniversary Mary I and Philip of Spain!

| July 25, 2010

On this day in history, 25th July 1554, the feast day of St James, Mary I married Philip of Spain (later Philip II), son of Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor. The Wedding The couple married on a rainy day in Winchester Cathedral, the bishopric of Stephen Gardiner, Mary’s chancellor. Gardiner performed the ceremony, which […]

The Myth of Bloody Mary

| July 20, 2010

Apologies for the rather inflammatory headline but I do like to be controversial! I’ve purposely used the misleading nickname that history has given Mary I, daughter of Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, a title that is still being used today in the new London Dungeon’s Exhibition “Bloody Mary: Killer Queen”. On […]

Elizabeth I’s Visit to Kenilworth Castle

| July 19, 2010

From the 9th to the 27th July 1575 Elizabeth I stayed at Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire, home of her great friend Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. She had visited Kenilworth three times before but this was a special visit in that it lasted 19 days and was the longest stay at a courtier’s house in […]