The Spanish Armada 5 – The Protestant Wind

The Armada Portrait – the window on the right shows the Armada being scattered by the Protestant Wind

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 with a southerly wind northward.”

Things got worse for the Spaniards as terrible storms began, causing more damage to the Spanish ships. It is little wonder that the wind that helped the English at the Battle of Gravelines and which scattered the Spanish fleet the following day became known as the “Protestant wind” because people believed that God had sent this wind to protect England from the Catholic Spanish Armada. Later, when it was obvious that the Spanish Armada had been defeated, medals were struck to celebrate and these medals were inscribed with “Flavit Jehovah et Dissipati Sunt“, meaning “Jehovah blew with His wind and they were scattered”. The wind certainly helped the English fleet.

Also on this day, Elizabeth I moved from Richmond Palace to St James’s Palace, which was seen as more secure. Lord Hunsdon (Henry Carey), Elizabeth’s cousin, was in charge of the Queen’s safety and the Queen was surrounded by a guard of 200 men. They were not taking any chances with their Queen’s life.

2 thoughts on “The Spanish Armada 5 – The Protestant Wind

  1. A few years ago I was on holiday in Cornwall and I only discovered then that the Spanish stopped off somewhere on the Cornish coast. Apparently the high-ranking people in Cornwall realised that they could not fight the Spanish because they did not have the resources and so they went to meet the Spanish arrivals.

    It seems that the man in charge of Cornwall, the governor (?), was killed by them.

  2. “The Protestant Wind” refers to the easterly winds that finally enabled the invasion fleet of the Dutch Republic under protetant stadholder Wilem III to sail from Hellevoetsluis for England in November 1688 and land his army of twenty thousand troops and twelve thousand horses in Torbay, bringing about the “glorious revolution”, securing protestantism in England which fellt threathened by the Catholicism of King James II. (James fled to France) The invasion fleet of four hundred vessels, (four times the size of the more famous Spanish armada of a hundred years earlier!) had been ready for a month, but was kept in port by what was called :the Catholic Wind”, blowing from the northwest. (Stadholder Willem III was subsequently crowned king William II and his wife Mary (daughter of James II), queen of England

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