On this day in Tudor history, 29th July 1588, the English naval fleet attacked the Spanish Armada in a battle known as the Battle of Gravelines.
England defeated Spain and it was down to the new tactics they'd learned from previous encounters with the Armada and from capturing a Spanish ship, as well as weather conditions.
What were these new and successful tactics and what happened at the Battle of Gravelines?
Find out in today's talk:
And here is my video on the Spanish Armada:
Also on this day in Tudor history, Sunday 29th July 1565, twenty-three-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, queen regnant of Scotland, married her second husband, nineteen-year-old Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, at Holyrood Palace. Find out all about the wedding and how their marriage turned out – spoiler: it wasn’t good – in last year’s video:
Also on this day in history:
- 1504 – Death of Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby, husband of Lady Margaret Beaufort, and stepfather of Henry VII, at Lathom. He was buried at Burscough Priory. It is thought that it was Stanley who placed Richard III's crown on his stepson's head at Bosworth.
- 1509 – Birth of George Neville, son of Richard Neville, 2nd Baron Latimer, and his wife, Anne Stafford. Neville was Archdeacon of Carlisle and Rector of Salkeld, Spofforth and Morland.
- 1573 – Death of John Caius, scholar, Physician to Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I, and founder of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, at his home near St Bartholomew's Hospital.
- 1589 – Hanging of Agnes Waterhouse, one of the Essex Witches, at Chelmsford in Essex.
- 1591 – Death of Edmund Coppinger, puritan and alleged prophet, after a 7-8 day hunger strike. Coppinger was an associate of William Hacket, who had been executed the day before.
On this day in Tudor history, 29th July 1588, the English naval fleet attacked the Spanish Armada in a battle 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 with France.
The English fleet were taking advantage of the damage they’d done the previous night, 28th July 1588, when five hell-burners had been 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 Armada's crescent formation was wrecked as galleons scattered in panic.
The Duke of Medina Sedonia was unable to reform the Spanish fleet at Calais, due to a south-easterly wind, and was forced to regroup at Gravelines, and this is where the English struck.
The English had learned from previous encounters with the Spanish fleet and so used new and more successful tactics. They had learned from capturing the Rosario in the Channel that the Spaniards could not easily reload their guns, so with their smaller and lighter ships the English were able to provoke the Spaniards into firing, but keep out of range and then close in for the kill.
As the Spaniards tried frantically to reload, the English ships took advantage of the situation by getting close to their enemy and firing repeatedly. The Spanish fleet were also adversely affected by the wind, which kept driving them into shallow water.
By around 4pm, both sides had run out of ammunition, although the English had been loading objects like chains into their cannons so that they could continue inflicting damage on the Spanish Armada. Spain was defeated, losing at least five ships and having several others severely damaged. Spain lost 2,000 men compared to England's 50.
I’ll give you a link to my video on the Spanish Armada so you can find out more about it and what happened next - https://youtu.be/OcnS-lmbN00
Also on this day in Tudor history, Sunday 29th July 1565, twenty-three-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, queen regnant of Scotland, married her second husband, nineteen-year-old Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, at Holyrood Palace. Find out all about the wedding and how their marriage turned out – spoiler: it wasn’t good – in last year’s video - https://youtu.be/0ewKrNxNoRQ