The Tudor Society
  • Expert talk – Julian Humphrys – the Crusaders’ Last Stand: the Great Siege of Malta, 1565

    While Mary Queen of Scots was marrying Lord Darnley in 1565 and Elizabeth's Privy Council was debating the antics of the Border Reivers, the forces of Christian Europe ( well some of them) were involved in a desperate struggle with the Ottomans on the Mediterranean island of Malta. The Great Siege, as it became known, is a fantastic story, and battlefield historian has actually recently been over in Malta and so was inspired to do a talk for us.

  • ISIS v The West 1565 – Part 2: Dark Days – The Great Siege Begins by Derek Wilson

    The waters of the bay were littered with floating wooden crosses. To each was nailed the decapitated corpse of a warrior who had died trying to defend the island. This was the gruesome sight which presented itself to Malta’s citizens in the last days of June 1565. After a month-long siege the fortress of St. Elmo had been obliterated by Muslim artillery and its 1,500 surviving inhabitants had been butchered. The incident has a horribly familiar ring to it. We recognise the fanatical nihilism of terrorists who justify their own most inhuman impulses by reference to the creation of a worldwide Islamic state from which everything not in accord with Sharia law would have been purged.

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  • ISIS v The West – Showdown 1565: Part 1 The Threat by Derek Wilson

    At dawn on 18 May 1565, exactly 450 years ago, watchmen manning Malta’s coastal defences saw an awesome and terrifying sight. Between them and the orb of the rising sun the sea was black with a mighty battle fleet.

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