On 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:-
- The Spanish Armada 1: The Assembling of the Troops at Tilbury
- The Spanish Armada 2: Leicester Invites Elizabeth to Tilbury
- The Spanish Armada 3: The Hell-burners
- The Spanish Armada 4: The Battle of Gravelines
- The Spanish Armada 5: The Protestant Wind
- The Spanish Armada 6: The Spanish Fleet Homeward Bound
- The Spanish Armada 7: Elizabeth I Visits Tilbury
- The Spanish Armada 8: Elizabeth’s Tilbury Speech
- The Spanish Armada 9: God Blew and They Were Scattered
7 thoughts on “Singeing the King of Spain’s Beard – April 1587”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Don’t worry, you ought to see some of the mistakes I make in my articles sometimes!
Could either of you suggest where I can find sources for this event please. I am about to write an essay on it! Thanks
There is a long list of references at the bottom of a wikipedia article on it – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singeing_the_King_of_Spain's_Beard. Although wikipedia articles are renowned for inaccuracy, the references are often very helpful. http://www.loc.gov/rr/rarebook/catalog/drake/drake-7-cadizraid.html is a very good source.