Even though the remaining ships of the Spanish Armada were homeward bound following the defeat of the fleet at the Battle of Gravelines and their subsequent scattering by strong winds, England was still expecting to be threatened by the troops of the Duke of Parma who could come across the English Channel as soon as the wind was favourable.
On 8th August 1588, Queen Elizabeth I decided to accept Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester’s invitation and visit the troops he had gathered near Tilbury Fort. Leicester had written a letter of invitation to the Queen on the 27th July in an attempt to stop her recklessly riding to the south coast to meet Parma’s troops. He wrote of how she could visit Tilbury and bring comfort to the troops. Against the advice of her Council, who wanted her to remain in the safety of London, Elizabeth travelled from St James’s Palace to Tilbury by state barge on the 8th August.[Read More...]