The Tudor Society

April 19 – Sir Francis Drake singes the King of Spain’s beard

On this day in Tudor history, 19th April 1587, Sir Francis Drake "singed the King of Spain's beard", as he called it, by attacking the Spanish fleet in the harbour of Cadiz.

Drake's actions on that day and the following few days meant that King Philip had to postpone his plans for the Spanish Armada to attack England - phew!

Also on this day in history:

  • 1558 – Mary, Queen of Scots and Francis, the Dauphin, were formally betrothed at the Louvre.
  • 1568 – Funeral of Sir Ambrose Cave, Knight of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem and administrator, at the Savoy Chapel. He was buried at Stanford, Northamptonshire. Sir Francis Knollys was his chief mourner.
  • 1601 – Hanging of James Duckett, bookseller and Catholic martyr, at Tyburn, after Roman Catholic books were found in his possession.
  • 1608 – Sudden death of Thomas Sackville, 1st Baron Buckhurst and 1st Earl of Dorset, poet, member of Parliament and administrator, at Whitehall from a stroke suffered at the council table. Sackville's offices in Elizabeth I's reign included ambassador, Chancellor of the University of Oxford and Lord Treasurer. His literary works included the 1561 drama “Gorboduc”, written with Thomas Norton, the poem “Complaint of Henry, Duke of Buckingham” and the allegorical poem “Induction”.
  • 1615 – Death of Laurence Bodley, Church of England clergyman and brother of Thomas Bodley, founder of the Bodleian Library. He died at the age of sixty-seven and was buried in Exeter Cathedral.

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April 19 – Sir Francis Drake singes the King of Spain’s beard