The Tudor Society

30 July 1588 – The wind scatters the Armada

The Armada Portrait

The Armada Portrait - the window on the right (as you look at it) shows the Armada being scattered by the Protestant Wind.

On 30th July 1588, the day after the Battle of Gravelines and the defeat of the Spanish Armada, 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. Sir Francis Drake wrote to Sir Francis Walsingham on 30th July 1588, saying "There was never anything pleased me better than seeing the enemy flying with a southerly wind northward. We have the Spaniards before us, and the mind, with the grace of God, to wrestle a pull with them."

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 inscribed with Flavit Jehovah et Dissipati Sunt, meaning "Jehovah blew with His wind and they were scattered", were struck to celebrate the victory. The wind certainly helped the English fleet.

Also on this same day, Elizabeth I moved from Richmond Palace to St James's Palace, which was seen as more secure. Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon, 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.

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30 July 1588 – The wind scatters the Armada