Singeing the King of Spain’s Beard – April 1587

Posted By claire on April 19, 2011

Francis DrakeOn the 19th April 1587 Sir Francis Drake entered the harbour of Cadiz on the Spanish coast and led a pre-emptive strike on the Spanish fleet, destroying a number of ships (20-30) and their supplies, and causing the planned Spanish attack on England to be postponed for over a year. Drake referred to this successful attack as “Singeing the King of Spain’s beard”.

You can find out more about Sir Francis Drake in my Sir Francis Drake article and you can read more about The Spanish Armada in the following articles:-


7 Responses to “Singeing the King of Spain’s Beard – April 1587”

  1. Lisa Davis says:

    I would have liked to have seen the look on the king’s face when he first heard the news about losing all those ships.

  2. Neil Kemp says:

    I’ve looked at a number of scources for this one and they state the attack took place on April 29th, is this a case of the timeline differences between our Julian callender and spain’s Gregorian, which I believe would have been out by 10 days at this time.

  3. Claire says:

    Yes, some sources say 19th and others the 29th and I believe this is due to the Old Style and New Style calendars as there is a difference of 10 days.

  4. Neil Kemp says:

    Less haste, more speed, please excuse the spelling of calendar and sources in my first comment (teach me to do things in a rush!), but you get my drift.

  5. Claire says:

    Don’t worry, you ought to see some of the mistakes I make in my articles sometimes!

  6. Jonathon says:

    Could either of you suggest where I can find sources for this event please. I am about to write an essay on it! Thanks

  7. Claire says:

    There is a long list of references at the bottom of a wikipedia article on it – see's_Beard. Although wikipedia articles are renowned for inaccuracy, the references are often very helpful. is a very good source.

Leave a Reply

Please note: Comment moderation is currently enabled so there will be a delay between when you post your comment and when it shows up. Patience is a virtue; there is no need to re-submit your comment.