History : Jul-Aug 2018
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC HISTORY 69 Richmond Palace Southampton Bristol Edinburgh Glasgow Galway Cork Wexford Dublin Oxford Greenwich Palace Tower of London Tilbury London Woodstock Palace Dunkirk Calais North Sea Kingdom of Scotland Kingdom of England Wales Kingdom of France Atlantic Ocean EnglishChannel Irish Sea Spanish Netherlands Ireland SHATTERED Philip’s costly Enterprise of England was driven onto the rocks—literally. Lashed by the “Protestant Wind,” the Spanish Armada was forced north (as the map above shows), where many vessels were wrecked on the rocky coasts of Scotland and Ireland. EOSGIS.COM The Armada Garrett Mattingly, Houghton Mifflin/Sentry, 1959. Reprint edition, Mariner Books, 2005. The Spanish Armada: A History Robert Hutchinson, Thomas Dunne Books, 2014. Learn more GILES TREMLETT IS THE AUTHOR OF SEVERAL ACCLAIMED BOOKS ON SPANISH AND ENGLISH HISTORY, INCLUDING ISABELLA OF CASTILE (BLOOMSBURY, 2017) AND CATHERINE OF ARAGON (WALKER BOOKS, 2010). HE SERVED FOR MANY YEARS AS THE MADRID CORRESPONDENT FOR THE GUARDIAN AND THE ECONOMIST. burning pitch and brimstone (sulphur); then, the weather changed. After the Spanish captains had slipped their anchors to avoid the fireboats, they found themselves unable to turn back due to a violent storm. Using the available winds—they headed home on the only path available: a long, dangerous route around Scotland and Ireland. By the time they limped back to Spain, half of the Armada’s men were dead and more than half of the ships were lost. It appeared that Philip’s God had betrayed him. His enemies taunted him, proclaiming that a“Protestant wind”had driven the Armada away. “God breathed and they were scattered,” boasted the special medal struck by Elizabeth to com- memorate the victory. Spain went into mourn- ing. Was“the greatest disaster to strike Spain in 600 years” (as one contemporary complained) a sign that it had fallen out of favor with God? Spain’s empire was still enormous, but this was a turning point. Over the next decade, the two monarchs continued to send fleets against one another, with Cádiz raided again in 1596. Philip’s wars, meanwhile, bankrupted his coun- try, and he defaulted on his debt. By the time he died in 1598, Spain was suing for peace with many of its enemies. Before her death in 1603, Elizabeth was hailed as Gloriana, who had wed herself not to a man but to her country. Eng- land’s enmity with Spain ended with the deaths of Philip and Elizabeth, when King James I—son of Mary Queen of Scots—signed a peace treaty in 1604 bringing more than 15 years of conflict to a close. July 29, 1588: The Armada is sighted. For 10 days, it engages in skirmishes with English ships (denoted by ). August 9: Its for- mation broken by English attacks, and having failed to pick up Spanish troops from the Netherlands, the Armada is forced to sail north. August to September: Struck by severe storms and gales, the Spanish fleet suffers many wrecks while rounding the coasts of Scotland and Ireland. Dwindling stores and growing hunger and thirst add to Spanish woes. Late September: The Armada limps south to Spain. Of the 130 ships that set sail, only 60 will return.