The Tudor Society
  • 26 July 1588 – 4,000 men assemble at Tilbury Fort

    On this day in history, the 26th July 1588, 4,000 men assembled at Tilbury Fort, the fort built on the Thames estuary in Essex by Elizabeth’s father, Henry VIII, to guard the eastern approach to London from the expected invasion by the Spanish Armada.

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  • 9 August 1588 – Elizabeth I’s Tilbury Speech

    On the 9th August 1588, Elizabeth I appeared before the troops that had gathered at Tilbury Fort in anticipation of a Spanish attack.

    In her article “The Myth of Elizabeth at Tilbury”, Susan Frye, writes that there are no reliable eye-witness accounts regarding Elizabeth I’s appearance on that day, but that tradition places the Queen in armour, giving a rousing speech – an iconic Gloriana.

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  • 29 July 1588 – The Battle of Gravelines

    Defeat of the Spanish Armada at Gravelines, Philipp Jakob Loutherbourg the Younger.

    Defeat of the Spanish Armada at Gravelines, Philipp Jakob Loutherbourg the Younger.

    On 29th July 1588, the day after the English had wrecked the crescent formation of the Spanish Armada at Calais with five hell-burners (fire-ships)and caused havoc, they attacked the Spanish fleet. This battle is 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 Duke of Medina Sedonia had been unable to reform the Spanish fleet at Calais, due to a south-easterly wind, and was forced to regroup at Gravelines.

    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.

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  • Armada: 12 Days to Save England – Sunday 24 May BBC 2

    Just to let those of you with access to the UK’s BBC 2 know that Dan Snow’s three part series “Armada – 12 Days to Save England” starts this Sunday (24 May) at 9pm.

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  • Sir Francis Drake

    ]On the 27th January 1596, Sir Francis Drake, explorer, sea captain and pirate, died of dysentery in Portobelo harbour, Panama. When he realised that death was near, he asked to be dressed in his armour. Although he requested burial on land, Drake was buried at sea in a lead coffin, along with his second cousin, Admiral Sir John Hawkins.

    Here are some facts about Sir Francis Drake, the famous Elizabethan sailor and navigator…

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