English Armada

The English Armada, also known as the Counter Armada or the Drake-Norris Expedition, was a fleet of warships sent to Spain by Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1589, during the undeclared Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604) and the Eighty Years' War. It was led by Sir Francis Drake as admiral and Sir John Norreys as general, and failed to drive home the advantage England had won upon the destruction of the Spanish Armada in the previous year. The Spanish victory marked a revival of Philip II's naval power through the next decade.[2]

Aims and planning

Queen Elizabeth I's intentions were to capitalise upon Spain's temporary weakness at sea after the successful repulse of the Spanish Armada and to compel Philip II to sue for peace. The expedition had three objectives: to burn the Spanish Atlantic fleet, to make a landing at Lisbon and raise a revolt there against Philip II (Philip I of Portugal), and then to continue west and establish a permanent base in the Azores. A further aim was to seize the Spanish treasure fleet as it returned from America to Cádiz, although this depended largely on the success of the Azores campaign.

The strategic objective of the military expedition was to break the trade embargo imposed across the Portuguese empire, which included Brazil and the East Indies, among other areas, and trading posts in India and China. By securing an alliance with the Portuguese crown, Elizabeth hoped to curb Spanish Habsburg power in Europe and to free up the trade routes to these possessions. This was a difficult proposition, because Philip had been accepted as king by the aristocracy and clergy of Portugal in 1581 at the Cortes of Tomar. The pretender to the throne, António, Prior of Crato — the last surviving heir of the House of Aviz — failed to establish an effective government in exile in the Azores, and turned to the English for support. But he was not a charismatic figure, and with his cause compromised by his illegitimacy, he faced an opponent with a relatively strong claim to the throne in the eyes of the Portuguese nobles of the Cortes, Duchess Catherine of Braganza.

The complex politics were not the only obstacle for the enterprise. Like its Spanish predecessor, the English expedition suffered from unduly optimistic planning, based on hopes of repeating Drake's successful raid on Cadiz in 1587. There was a contradiction between the separate plans, each of which was ambitious in its own right, but the most pressing need was the destruction of the Spanish Atlantic fleet lying at port in Corunna, San Sebastián and Santander along the northern coast of Spain, as directly ordered by the Queen.

The expedition was floated as a joint stock company, with capital of about £80,000 — one quarter to come from the Queen, and one eighth from the Dutch, the balance to be made up by various noblemen, merchants and guilds. Concerns over logistics and adverse weather delayed the departure of the fleet, and confusion grew as it waited in port. The Dutch failed to supply their promised warships, a third of the victuals had already been consumed, and the number of veteran soldiers was only 1,800 while the ranks of volunteers had increased the planned contingent of troops from 10,000 to 19,000. Unlike the Spanish Armada expedition of the previous year, the English fleet also lacked siege guns and cavalry, which could compromise its intended aims.


When the fleet sailed it was made up of six royal galleons, 60 English armed merchantmen, 60 Dutch flyboats and about 20 pinnaces. In addition to the troops, there were 4,000 sailors and 1,500 officers and gentlemen adventurers. Drake assigned his vessels to five squadrons, led respectively by himself in the Revenge, Sir John Norreys in the Nonpareil, Norreys' brother Edward in the Foresight, Thomas Fenner in the Dreadnought, and Roger Williams in the Swiftsure. Also sailing with them — against the Queen's express orders — was the Earl of Essex.

Most of the ships lost in Philip II's expedition of 1588 had been armed merchantmen, while the core of the Armada — the galleons of the Spanish navy's Atlantic fleet — survived their voyage home and docked in Spain's Atlantic ports for a refit, where they lay for months, vulnerable to attack.


Unforeseen delays, many of them related to Drake's own fear of becoming embayed in the Bay of Biscay, led Drake to bypass Santander, where most of this refitting was under way. He alleged unfavourable winds and turned to attack Corunna in Galicia. It is not fully clear why, but he may have been motivated by a false contemporary legend that a tower in Corunna held a fabulous treasure of gold coins, or he may have just been looking for supplies.

1590 or later Marcus Gheeraerts, Sir Francis Drake Buckland Abbey, Devon
Admiral Sir Francis Drake, commander of the English Armada

Corunna was almost defenceless at the time of the attack. To face the English Armada's 150 ships plus boats, and the soldiers in them, Corunna had one galleon (San Juan, with 50 cannons), two galleys (Diana and Princesa, with 20 cannons each), and two other smaller ships (nao San Bartolomé with 20 cannons, and urca Sansón and the galeoncete (small galleon) San Bernardo with none). A combination of militia, hidalgos and the few available soldiers totaled 1,500 soldiers, most of them with little military training, except for seven companies of old tercios who happened to be resting in the city after their return from war. It also had the medieval city walls, built in the 13th century.[10]

Norreys took the lower town, inflicted 500 casualties, and plundered the wine cellars there, whilst Drake destroyed thirteen merchant ships in the harbour. For the next two weeks the wind blew westerly, and while waiting for a change the English occupied themselves in a siege of Corunna's fortified upper town. They launched three major assaults against the walls of the upper town, and tried to breach them with mines, but the vigorous defence by the regular Spanish troops, militia, and women of the city including Maria Pita and Inés de Ben[11] forced the English back with severe losses.[12]

The Princesa and the Diana managed to avoid capture and slip past the English fleet repeatedly to resupply the defenders. After 14 days of siege and attempted assaults, on the 18th, the English heard news about Spanish reinforcements on their way to Corunna, and at length, with a favourable wind returning and painfully low morale, the English abandoned the siege and retreated to their ships, having lost four captains, three large ships[13], various boats[14] and more than 1,500 men in the fighting alone, along with 3,000 other personnel in 24 of the transports. This included many of the Dutch who found reasons to return to England or put into La Rochelle.[15]

The next step in Elizabeth's plan was to stir a Portuguese uprising against King Philip. The Portuguese aristocracy had recognised him as King of Portugal in 1580, adding the Kingdom of Portugal to the Hispanic Monarchy. The pretender to the throne that England supported, the Prior of Crato, was not an ideal candidate. He did not have enough support even to establish a government in exile, nor much charisma to back his already dubious claim. Elizabeth had agreed to help him in hopes of diminishing the power of the Spanish Empire in Europe, and in exchange for a permanent military base in the strategic Azores Islands from which to attack merchant ships and ultimately obtain control of the commercial routes to the New World.


On May 6, Drake arrived at Peniche, in Portugal, which was handed to them by supporters of Crato. After that, they headed towards Lisbon, 11,000 men and 110 ships at this point. Owing partially to poor organisation and lack of coordination (they had very few siege guns) the invading force failed to take Lisbon from the garrison of 7,000 Portuguese and Spanish soldiers and 40 ships guarding it. The expected uprising by the Portuguese loyal to Crato never materialised.[16]

English galleon Ark Royal from 1587

Lisbon was rumoured to be guarded by a disaffected garrison, but whilst the English were fruitlessly besieging Corunna, the Spanish had spent a fortnight shoring up Portugal's military defences. When Norreys invaded Lisbon, the expected uprising was not forthcoming and little was achieved. Drake did take the opportunity on 30 June of seizing a fleet of 20 French and 60 Hanseatic ships which had broken the English blockade on trade with Spain by sailing all around the north of Scotland, only to fetch up before the English cannon in the mouth of the Tagus. This seizure, notes R. B. Wernham, 'dealt a useful blow to Spanish preparations',[17] but later required a publicly printed justification, a Declaration of Causes, from the Queen's own printer, as, without booty, she and her fellow English investors faced considerable losses.

The English dealt a further blow to Spanish naval preparations and food supplies by destroying the Lisbon granaries but, despite the bravado of Essex, who thrust a sword in at the gates of the city with a challenge to the defenders, the English could not take the city without artillery. Neither did they receive substantial support from the Portuguese.[18] The expected uprising failed to occur, in part because of the absence of Drake, the land and naval forces having divided and being out of contact after the landing at Peniche, and the defenders would not risk battle.[19]

Essex received orders from Elizabeth to return to court, along with a refusal to send reinforcements or a siege train, the queen having no desire to carry the main burden of a land war in Portugal. It was therefore decided to concentrate on the third aim of the expedition: the establishment of a permanent military base in the Azores. However, by this point the campaign had taken its toll. Drake's forces had initially caught the Spanish authorities off guard, but Spain had now marshalled her defences, and the English expedition's strength was wearing down, and suffering increasingly from disease. Two armed merchantmen were caught off Lisbon by nine Spanish galleys, commanded by Alonso de Bazán. One of them, the William, was saved by Revenge after being abandoned by her crew, but the ship did not have enough manpower aboard to sail away after the battle and had to be scuttled to prevent her falling into the hands of the Spanish again. The other vessel was engulfed in flames after a fight, and sunk, her commander Captain Minshaw being lost with the ship. Further damage was sustained when one of three boats carrying William's complement was lost with all hands after being attacked by the Spanish warships.[20]

With the attack on the Azores becoming out of the question, Drake made a final attempt to retrieve the mission. At this point, most of his men were out of action, with only 2,000 still fit to be mustered. Stormy weather had also damaged a number of the ships. Whilst Norreys sailed for home with the sick and wounded, Drake took his pick of what was left and set out with 20 ships to hunt for the Spanish treasure fleet. Whilst lying in wait for it his naval force was struck by another heavy storm which left him unable to continue, and whilst raiding and plundering Porto Santo in Madeira in compensation. his flagship the Revenge sprang a leak due to storm damage and almost foundered as she led the remainder of the fleet home to Plymouth.


The English fleet lost about 40 ships, plus the 18 launches destroyed or captured at Corunna and Lisbon. Fourteen of the ships were lost directly to the actions of Spanish naval forces: three at Corunna; six were lost to actions led by Padilla, three to Bazán and two to Aramburu. The rest were lost to a stormy sea as the fleet made its return voyage to England. The outbreak of disease on board the vessels was also transmitted to the port town populations in England on its return. None of the campaign's aims had been accomplished, and for a number of years this expedition's results discouraged further joint-stock adventures on such a scale.[21][22] The English expeditionary force had sustained a heavy loss of ships, troops and resources, but only brought back 150 captured cannon and £30,000 of plunder, and had not inflicted decisive damage on the Spanish forces. Another indirect minor strategic benefit was, perhaps, a temporary disruption to Spanish military shipping activity, and the diversion of Spanish imperial resources that might have contributed to a mutiny by troops under the command of Parma in Flanders that August.

The most detailed account (in English), written in the form of a letter by an anonymous participant, was published in 1589: A true Coppie of a Discourse written by a Gentleman, employed in the late Voyage of Spain and Portingale... which set out openly to restore the credit of the participants. However, this English narrative has been shown to have been a highly effective means to bury the magnitude of the disaster.[23]

With the opportunity to strike a decisive blow against the weakened Spanish navy lost, the failure of the expedition depleted the financial resources of England's treasury, which had been carefully restored during the long reign of Elizabeth I. The war was financially costly to both of its protagonists, and the Spanish Empire—which was fighting France and the United Provinces at the same time—would be compelled in financial distress to default on its debt repayments in 1596 following another raid by the English on Cadiz. In 1595 the Spanish counter-attacked the English mainland in the Battle of Cornwall. Two more armadas in 1596 and 1597, substantially weaker than the great one she had issued in 1588, were sent by Spain against England, but both were scattered by storms en route.[24] However the failure of the English expedition of 1589 marked an ebbing point in the Anglo-Spanish war, and the conflict wound down with diminishing military actions, until a peace was agreed between the two powers at the signing of the Treaty of London in 1604.

See also


  1. ^ Philip's spies in England reported losses exceeding 18,000 men.[25] French and Italian reports never put the number lower than 15,000 dead.[25]
  1. ^ Oliveira Martins, (1972) História de Portugal p,442
  2. ^ a b c d Elliott p.333
  3. ^ a b Morris, Terence Alan (1998). Europe and England in the sixteenth century. Routledge, p. 335. ISBN 0-415-15041-8
  4. ^ Hannay, David McDowall (1911). "Antonio, Prior of Crato". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHannay, David McDowall (1911). "Antonio, Prior of Crato" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  5. ^ Rowse, A. L. (1969). Tudor Cornwall: portrait of a society. C. Scribner, p. 400
  6. ^ "One decisive action might have forced Philip II to the negotiating table and avoided fourteen years of continuing warfare. Instead the King was able to use the brief respite to rebuild his naval forces and by the end of 1589 Spain once again had an Atlantic fleet strong enough to escort the American treasure ships home." The Mariner's mirror, Volumes 76-77. Society for Nautical Research., 1990
  7. ^ Bucholz/Key p.145
  8. ^ Hampden p.254
  9. ^ a b Duro p.51
  10. ^ Gorrochategui Santos, Luis (2011). The English Armada: The Greatest Naval Disaster in English History. Oxford: Bloomsbury
  11. ^ Valcarcel, Isabel. Mujeres De Armas Tomar(Women-At-Arms). Madrid: Algaba, 2004.
  12. ^ Luis Gorrochategui Santos, The English Armada: The greatest naval disaster in English History (London, 2018), pp 77-97
  13. ^ Rodríguez González, Agustín Ramón (2006). Victorias por mar de los españoles. Madrid: Biblioteca de Historia, Grafite Ediciones
  14. ^ Rodríguez González, Agustín Ramón (2006). Victorias por mar de los españoles. Madrid: Biblioteca de Historia, Grafite Ediciones
  15. ^ Luis Gorrochategui Santos, The English Armada: The greatest naval disaster in English History (London, 2018), pp 77-97
  16. ^ R. B. Wernham, 'Queen Elizabeth and the Portugal Expedition of 1589: Part II', English Historical Review, 66/259 (April 1951), pp. 204 - 14
  17. ^ R. B. Wernham, 'Queen Elizabeth and the Portugal Expedition of 1589: Part II', English Historical Review, 66/259 (April 1951), p. 204.
  18. ^ Wernham, 'Part II', 214, 210–11.
  19. ^ Wernham, 'Part II', 210–11.
  20. ^ Cummins, John (1997). Francis Drake: Lives of a Hero. Palgrave Macmillan, p. 217. ISBN 0312163657
  21. ^ Wernham, 'Part II', 214.
  22. ^ John A. Wagner, Historical Dictionary of the Elizabethan World: Britain, Ireland, Europe, and America (New York: Checkmark Books, 2002), p. 242.
  23. ^ Luis Gorrochategui Santos, The English Armada: The greatest naval disaster in English History (London, 2018), p. 224
  24. ^ Tenace 2003, pp. 855–882.
  25. ^ a b Santos, Luis Gorrochategui (2018). The English Armada: The Greatest Naval Disaster in English History. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 245.


  • Luis Gorrochategui Santos, The English Armada: The greatest naval disaster in English History (London, 2018)
  • J. H. Elliott La Europa dividida (1559–1598) (Editorial Critica, 2002). ISBN 978-84-8432-669-4
  • R. O. Bucholz, Newton Key Early modern England 1485-1714: a narrative history (John Wiley and Sons, 2009). ISBN 978-1-4051-6275-3
  • John Hampden Francis Drake, privateer: contemporary narratives and documents (Taylor & Francis, 1972). ISBN 978-0-8173-5703-0
  • Fernández Duro, Cesáreo (1972). Armada Española desde la Unión de los Reinos de Castilla y Aragón. Museo Naval de Madrid, Instituto de Historia y Cultura Naval, Tomo III, Capítulo III. Madrid.
  • Winston Graham The Spanish Armadas (reprint, 2001) pp. 166ff. ISBN 0-14-139020-4
  • Parker, Geoffrey (1996). "The Dreadnought Revolution of Tudor England". The Mariner's Mirror. 82: 269–300. doi:10.1080/00253359.1996.10656603.
  • J. H. Parry, 'Colonial Development and International Rivalries Outside Europe, 1: America', in R. B. Wernham (ed.), The New Cambridge Modern History, Vol. III: 'The Counter-Reformation and Price Revolution 1559–1610' (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971): 507–31.
  • Helmut Pemsel, Atlas of Naval Warfare: An Atlas and Chronology of Conflict at Sea from Earliest Times to the Present Day, translated by D. G. Smith (London: Arms and Armour Press, 1977).
  • Mattingly, Garrett, The Armada (Mariner Books, New York 2005). ISBN 0-618-56591-4
  • John A. Wagner, Historical Dictionary of the Elizabethan World: Britain, Ireland, Europe, and America (New York: Checkmark Books, 2002).
  • R. B. Wernham, "Queen Elizabeth and the Portugal Expedition of 1589: Part I" The English Historical Review 66.258 (January 1951), pp. 1–26; "Part II" The English Historical Review 66.259 (April 1951), pp. 194–218. Wernham's articles are based on his work editing Calendar State Papers Foreign: eliz. xxiii (January–June 1589).

External links

Coordinates: 38°42′00″N 9°11′00″W / 38.7000°N 9.1833°W



was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar, the 1589th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 589th year of the 2nd millennium, the 89th year of the 16th century, and the 10th and last year of the 1580s decade. As of the start of 1589, the Gregorian calendar was

10 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.

Admiralty in the 16th century

The Admiralty and Marine Affairs Office (1546-1707) originally known as the Admiralty Office (1414-1546) was a government office of the Kingdom of England and the English Navy's central command. It was first established in 1414 when the remaining regional admiralties, the Northern and Western were abolished and their functions were unified under a single centralized command. It was administered by the Office of the High Admiral of England, Ireland and Aquitaine later called the Lord Admiral of England. During the sixteenth century it oversaw the creation of standing "Navy Royal", with its own secretariat, dockyards and a permanent core of purpose-built warships, originated in the early 16th century during the reign of Henry VIII. Under Elizabeth I England became involved in a war with Spain, which saw privately owned ships combining with the Royal Navy in highly profitable raids against Spanish commerce and colonies.

In 1588, Philip II of Spain sent the Spanish Armada against England to end English support for Dutch rebels, to stop English corsair activity and to depose the Protestant Elizabeth I and restore Catholicism to England. The Spaniards sailed from Lisbon, planning to escort an invasion force from the Spanish Netherlands but the scheme failed due to poor planning, English harrying, blocking action by the Dutch, and severe storms. A Counter Armada, known as the English Armada, was dispatched to the Iberian coast in 1589, but failed to drive home the advantage England had won upon the dispersal of the Spanish Armada in the previous year. The Admiralty of England existed until 1707 when Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland united to form the single Kingdom of Great Britain when it then became known as the Admiralty Department or Admiralty of Great Britain.

Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604)

The Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604) was an intermittent conflict between the kingdoms of Spain and England that was never formally declared. The war was punctuated by widely separated battles, and began with England's military expedition in 1585 to what was then the Spanish Netherlands under the command of the Earl of Leicester in support of the resistance of the States General to Spanish Habsburg rule.

The English enjoyed some victories at Cádiz in 1587, and saw the Spanish Armada retreat in 1588, but then suffered severe defeats of the English Armada in 1589 and the Drake–Hawkins and Essex–Raleigh expeditions in 1595 and 1597 respectively. Two further Spanish armadas were sent in 1596 and 1597 but were frustrated in their objectives mainly because of adverse weather and poor planning.

The war became deadlocked around the turn of the 17th century during campaigns in the Netherlands, France and Ireland. It was brought to an end with the Treaty of London, negotiated in 1604 between representatives of the new King of Spain, Philip III, and the new King of England, James I. England and Spain agreed to cease their military interventions in the Spanish Netherlands and Ireland, respectively, and the English ended high seas privateering.

Anthony Chute

Anthony Chute (fl. 1590s – 1595) was an Elizabethan poet and pamphleteer. Very little is known about him.

Battle of Bayona Islands (1590)

The Battle of Bayona Islands, also known as the Battle of Bayona Bay, was a naval engagement that took place in early of 1590, off Bayona Islands (present-day Cíes Islands), near Bayona (or Baiona) and Vigo, Spain, between a small Spanish naval force commanded by Captain Don Pedro de Zubiaur, and an Anglo-Dutch flotilla of 14 ships, during the Eighty Years' War, and in the context of the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604) and the French Wars of Religion. After several hours of hard combat, the Spanish naval force composed by three flyboats, achieved a great success, and the Anglo-Dutch fleet was totally defeated. The flagship of the Dutch was boarded and captured, including another six ships more. Finally, the rest of the Dutch fleet was forced to surrender. Shortly after, Pedro de Zubiaur arriving at Ferrol, along with the captured ships, with great surprise for the Spanish authorities of the port.

Battle of San Juan (1595)

The Battle of San Juan (1595) was a Spanish victory during the Anglo–Spanish War. This war broke out in 1585 and was fought not only in the European theatre but in Spain's American colonies.

After emerging from six years of disgrace following the resounding defeat of the English Armada at Lisbon in 1589, Francis Drake embarked on a long and disastrous campaign against Hispanic America, suffering several consecutive defeats there. On 22 November 1595 Drake and John Hawkins tried to invade San Juan with 27 ships and 2,500 men. After failing to be able to land at the Ensenada del Escambron on the eastern end of San Juan Islet, he attempted to sail into San Juan Bay with the intention of sacking the city. Unable to capture the island, following the death of his comrade, John Hawkins, Drake abandoned San Juan, and set sail for Panama where he died from disease and received a burial at sea after failing to establish an English settlement in America.

Cartagena, Colombia

The city of Cartagena, known in the colonial era as Cartagena de Indias (Spanish: Cartagena de Indias [kaɾtaˈxena ðe ˈindjas] (listen)), is a major port founded in 1533, located on the northern coast of Colombia in the Caribbean Coast Region. It was strategically located between the Magdalena and Sinú rivers and became the main port for trade between Spain and its overseas empire, establishing its importance by the early 1540s. During the colonial era it was a key port for the export of Peruvian silver to Spain and for the import of enslaved Africans under the asiento system. It was defensible against pirate attacks in the Caribbean. It is the capital of the Bolívar Department, and had a population 971,592 as of 2016. It is the fifth-largest city in Colombia and the second largest in the region, after Barranquilla. The urban area of Cartagena is also the fifth-largest urban area in the country. Economic activities include the maritime and petrochemicals industries, as well as tourism.

The city was founded on June 1, 1533, and named after Cartagena, Spain, settlement in the region around Cartagena Bay by various indigenous people dates back to 4000 BC. During the Spanish colonial period Cartagena served a key role in administration and expansion of the Spanish empire. It was a center of political, ecclesiastical, and economic activity. In 1984, Cartagena's colonial walled city and fortress were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Edward Unton (captain)

Edward Unton (c. 1556 – 1589) was an English landowner and MP.

He was the eldest son of Sir Edward Unton of Wadley House at Faringdon in Berkshire (now Oxfordshire) and Anne, the daughter of Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset and widow of John Dudley, 2nd Earl of Warwick. His younger brother was the diplomat, Sir Henry Unton.

He married firstly Dorothy, daughter of Sir Richard Knightley of Fawsley in Northamptonshire and, secondly, Catherine, the daughter of George Hastings, 4th Earl of Huntingdon. He had no children. In 1582 he inherited his father's estate.

In 1583 he travelled in Italy and was arrested by the Inquisition. His brother Henry paid a ransom of 10,000 crowns to secure his return to England, where Edward was obliged to sell part of his inheritance to repay his brother.

In 1584 he was elected knight of the shire for Berkshire and again in 1586.

In 1587 he went as a colonist to Munster but was recalled due to the imminent threat of the Spanish Armada. Afterwards he went as a captain on the Portuguese expedition (the English Armada) led by Sir John Norreys, but returned in bad health to die in 1589. He was succeeded by his brother Henry. His widow married Sir Walter Chetwynd of Ingestre in Staffordshire.

Elizabeth I of England

Elizabeth I (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death on 24 March 1603. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the last of the five monarchs of the House of Tudor.

Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, his second wife, who was executed two-and-a-half years after Elizabeth's birth. Anne's marriage to Henry VIII was annulled, and Elizabeth was declared illegitimate. Her half-brother, Edward VI, ruled until his death in 1553, bequeathing the crown to Lady Jane Grey and ignoring the claims of his two half-sisters, Elizabeth and the Roman Catholic Mary, in spite of statute law to the contrary. Edward's will was set aside and Mary became queen, deposing Lady Jane Grey. During Mary's reign, Elizabeth was imprisoned for nearly a year on suspicion of supporting Protestant rebels.

In 1558 upon Mary's death, Elizabeth succeeded her half-sister to the throne and set out to rule by good counsel. She depended heavily on a group of trusted advisers, led by William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley. One of her first actions as queen was the establishment of an English Protestant church, of which she became the Supreme Governor. This Elizabethan Religious Settlement was to evolve into the Church of England. It was expected that Elizabeth would marry and produce an heir; however, despite numerous courtships, she never did. She was eventually succeeded by her first cousin twice removed, James VI of Scotland. She had earlier been responsible for the imprisonment and execution of James's mother, Mary, Queen of Scots.

In government, Elizabeth was more moderate than her father and half-siblings had been. One of her mottoes was "video et taceo" ("I see but say nothing"). In religion, she was relatively tolerant and avoided systematic persecution. After the pope declared her illegitimate in 1570 and released her subjects from obedience to her, several conspiracies threatened her life, all of which were defeated with the help of her ministers' secret service. Elizabeth was cautious in foreign affairs, manoeuvring between the major powers of France and Spain. She only half-heartedly supported a number of ineffective, poorly resourced military campaigns in the Netherlands, France, and Ireland. By the mid-1580s, England could no longer avoid war with Spain. England's defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 associated Elizabeth with one of the greatest military victories in English history.

As she grew older, Elizabeth became celebrated for her virginity. A cult grew around her which was celebrated in the portraits, pageants, and literature of the day. Elizabeth's reign became known as the Elizabethan era. The period is famous for the flourishing of English drama, led by playwrights such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, and for the seafaring prowess of English adventurers such as Francis Drake. Some historians depict Elizabeth as a short-tempered, sometimes indecisive ruler, who enjoyed more than her share of luck. Towards the end of her reign, a series of economic and military problems weakened her popularity. Elizabeth is acknowledged as a charismatic performer and a dogged survivor in an era when government was ramshackle and limited, and when monarchs in neighbouring countries faced internal problems that jeopardised their thrones. After the short reigns of her half-siblings, her 44 years on the throne provided welcome stability for the kingdom and helped forge a sense of national identity.

John Norris (soldier)

Sir John Norris or Norreys (ca. 1547 – 3 July 1597), was an English soldier of a Berkshire family, the son of Henry Norris, 1st Baron Norreys, a lifelong friend of Queen Elizabeth.

The most acclaimed English soldier of his day, Norreys participated in every Elizabethan theatre of war: in the Wars of Religion in France, in Flanders during the Eighty Years' War of Dutch liberation from Spain, in the Anglo-Spanish War, and above all in the Tudor conquest of Ireland.

List of maritime disasters

The list of maritime disasters is a link page for maritime disasters by century.

For a unified list by death toll, see List of accidents and disasters by death toll § Maritime.

Military Forces of Colombia

The Military Forces of Colombia (Spanish: Fuerzas Militares de Colombia) are the unified armed forces of the Republic of Colombia. They consist of the Colombian Army, the Colombian Navy and the Colombian Air Force. The National Police of Colombia, although technically not part of the military, is controlled and administered by the Ministry of National Defence, and national conscription also includes service in the National Police, thus making it a de facto gendarmerie and a branch of the military. The President of Colombia is the military's commander in chief, and helps formulate defense policy through the Ministry of National Defence, which is in charge of day-to-day operations.

The Military Forces of Colombia have their roots in the Army of the Commoners (Ejército de los Comuneros), which was formed on 7 August 1819 – before the establishment of the present day Colombia – to meet the demands of the Revolutionary War against the Spanish Empire. After their triumph in the war, the Army of the Commoners disbanded, and the Congress of Angostura created the Gran Colombian Army to replace it, thus establishing the first military service branch of the country.

The Colombian military was operationally involved in World War II and was the only Latin American country to send troops to the Korean War. Ever since the advent of the Colombian Conflict, the Colombian military has been involved in combat, pacification, counter-insurgency, and drug interdiction operations all over the country's national territory. Recently it has participated in counter-piracy efforts in the Horn of Africa under Operation Ocean Shield and Operation Atlanta.

The military of Colombia is the third largest in the Western Hemisphere in terms of active personnel and has the third largest expenditure in the Americas, behind the United States Armed Forces and Brazilian Armed Forces respectively..

Quito School

The Quito School (Escuela Quiteña) is a Latin American artistic tradition that constitutes essentially the whole of the professional artistic output developed in the territory of the Royal Audience of Quito — from Pasto and Popayán in the north to Piura and Cajamarca in the south — during the Spanish colonial period (1542-1824). It is especially associated with the 17th and 18th centuries and was almost exclusively focused on the religious art of the Catholic Church in the country. Characterized by a mastery of the realistic and by the degree to which indigenous beliefs and artistic traditions are evident, these productions were among of the most important activities in the economy of the Royal Audience of Quito. Such was the prestige of the movement even in Europe that it was said that King Carlos III of Spain (1716–1788), referring to one of its sculptors in particular, opined: "I am not concerned that Italy has Michelangelo; in my colonies of America I have the master Caspicara".

Raid on Puerto Caballos (1594)

The Raid on Puerto Caballos was a military event that took place during the Anglo–Spanish War where a small expedition of ships funded and raised by the Earl of Cumberland was sent to the Caribbean under command of Captain James Langton. At Puerto Caballos on the coast of the Royal Audiencia of Guatemala in the New World empire of Spain on 16 March 1594, Langton raided the place and after a three-day battle won possession of seven ships under command of Diego Ramirez along with much booty.

Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex

Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, KG, PC (; 10 November 1565 – 25 February 1601), was an English nobleman and a favourite of Elizabeth I. Politically ambitious, and a committed general, he was placed under house arrest following a poor campaign in Ireland during the Nine Years' War in 1599. In 1601, he led an abortive coup d'état against the government and was executed for treason.

Spanish Armada

The Spanish Armada (Spanish: Grande y Felicísima Armada, lit. 'Great and Most Fortunate Navy') was a Habsburg Spanish fleet of 130 ships that sailed from Corunna in late May 1588, under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia, with the purpose of escorting an army from Flanders to invade England. Medina Sidonia was an aristocrat without naval command experience but was made commander by King Philip II. The aim was to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I and her establishment of Protestantism in England, to stop English interference in the Spanish Netherlands and to stop the harm caused by English and Dutch privateering ships that interfered with Spanish interests in America.

English ships sailed from Plymouth to attack the Armada and were faster and more manoeuvrable than the larger Spanish Galleons, enabling them to fire on the Armada without loss as it sailed east off the south coast of England. Armada could have anchored in the Solent between the Isle of Wight and the English mainland and occupied the Isle of Wight, but Medina Sidonia was under orders from King Philip II to meet up with the Duke of Parma's forces in The Netherlands so England could be invaded by Parma's soldiers and other soldiers carried in ships of the Armada. English guns damaged the Armada and a Spanish ship was captured by Sir Francis Drake in the English Channel.

The Armada anchored off Calais. While awaiting communications from Duke of Parma, the Armada was scattered by an English fireship night attack and abandoned its rendezvous with Parma's army, that was blockaded in harbour by Dutch flyboats. In the ensuing Battle of Gravelines, the Spanish fleet was further damaged and was in risk of running aground on the Dutch coast when the wind changed. The Armada, driven by southwest winds, withdrew north, with the English fleet harrying it up the east coast of England. On return to Spain round the north of Scotland and south around Ireland, the Armada was disrupted further by storms. A large number of ships were wrecked on the coasts of Scotland and Ireland and more than a third of the initial 130 ships failed to return. As Martin and Parker explain, "Philip II attempted to invade England, but his plans miscarried. This was due to his own mismanagement, including appointing an aristocrat without naval experience as commander of the Armada, unfortunate weather, and the opposition of the English and their Dutch allies including the use of fire-ships sailed into the anchored Armada.".

The expedition was the largest engagement of the undeclared Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604). The following year, England organised a similar large-scale campaign against Spain, the English Armada, sometimes called the "counter-Armada of 1589".

The Battle of Alcazar

The Battle of Alcazar is a play attributed to George Peele, perhaps written no later than late 1591 if the play "Muly Molucco" mentioned in Henslowe's diary is this play (see below), and published anonymously in 1594, that tells the story of the battle of Alcácer Quibir in 1578.

Likely allusions to the Spanish Armada in the play appear to limit its earliest possible date. The primary historical source for the play, John Polemom's The Second Part of the Book of Battles, Fought in Our Age, was published in 1587. The play may also have been an attempt to capitalise on popular interest in the Drake-Norris Expedition, the so-called English Armada, of 1589, in which Peele was interested (see below).

The Siege of Coruña

The Siege of Coruña, also known as the defense of Corunna, was a series of military encounters between the English Armada, also known as the Counter Armada or the Drake-Norris Expedition, a revenge English expedition within the Anglo-Spanish war, and the defenders of the fishermen's city of Corunna in Galicia. It represented the first interaction between the Drake-Norris Expedition and the Spanish troops and set the tone for the rest of the campaign.

Drake and Norreys had orders to attack Santander, where most of the surviving galleons from the Spanish Armada were being kept, and destroy the Spanish fleet. Drake chose to ignore them, alleging unfavorable winds and too much risk of becoming embayed by the Spaniards in the Bay of Biscay. He headed in a different direction and attacked Corunna instead. It is not completely clear why he did this, even though the winds seem like a poor excuse. His behavior suggests that his goal in taking the city was either getting a base or loot. He might have been gathering supplies for a long struggle in Santander. He might also have been another one of the pirates that confused the Tower of Hercules, a roman ligthouse by the city of Coruña, with a tower either made of gold or filled with gold. In the Middle Ages famous Viking Bjorn Ragnarsson reportedly disembarked in the little village of Coruña-then Faro- in a state of great joy and excitement because he thought he had seen a tower made of gold from his ship. In the XVI there were various (completely false) rumours circulating along the Atlantic coast of Europe about a tower in Corunna all filled with American gold, probably based on the accounts of travelers who saw the Tower of Hercules lighthouse and made the same mistake than (is said) Ragnarsson made.

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