Two cannons from the merchant vessel, La Juliana, marked with a dedication to St Matrona, have been found in the sands off Streedagh, County Sligo. The boat weighed 860 tons, carried 32 guns, 325 soldiers and had a crew of 70. The ship traded between Spain and Italy until King Philip II commandeered it for the Armada fleet of 130 ships to invade England and take Queen Elizabeth I's throne.
Patrolled security safeguards the valuable shipwreck site from treasure hunters. Source: BBC.
Why did Philip want to take Elizabeth's crown?
Relations between Spain and England had began rather well, with Philip proposing marriage to the English Queen. After she declined, he went on to marry her sister, Queen Mary.
England was a small country, with little wealth, few friends, and many enemies.
At the time, Spain was the most powerful country in the world. Philip II ruled vast territories of land, and acquired wealth from the New World. When relations deteriorated with Elizabeth over 30 years, Philip planned to invade England, believing he had a genuine claim to the English throne, both by descent from John of Gaunt, and as Queen Mary I's husband.
Loyal to the crown, men of England and Wales watched the seas day and night, waiting for the first sighting of the great Armada. When the great ships appeared on the horizon, they lit beacons on the hillsides and prepared for battle.
With the wind and rain against them in a great storm that the English believed God had sent to save them, the Spanish fleet were not able to compete with the superior English ships and war tactics. They fled when fire ships were aimed at them. The English had won.
Elizabeth 1st rode home victorious. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana or Good Queen Bess, the childless Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty. She reigned as Queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her demise. Source: The Spanish Armada.
At the time of battle, stormy weather saved the English, and stormy weather once again revealed cannons in the sand. Of one thing we can be sure, nature reigns—not mankind.
History of this sort interests me, especially the study of how people acted long ago. I read a brilliant novel about the background of spies and code-breaking during Queen Elizabeth's reign while the Spanish were trying to infiltrate. The Secret World of Christoval Alvarez (The Chronicles of Christoval Alvarez Book 1)
This is the 5* review I wrote:
A fascinating peek into the life of old London, so well described that I could smell every foul odour, see the dilapidated buildings, and understand the customs of various groups thrown together by chance.
Edge of the seat tension set me worrying about young Kit's secret, especially when she comes to the aid of a worldly man with a harmful glint in his eyes. Throughout the novel, the environment kept me riveted to the era. And, I never knew when the brilliant Kit would be found out in her masquerade as a youth. What an adventure. Any girl would love to have Kit's skill, her knowledge as a doctor, her ability to play instruments, and to decipher codes in one of the most dangerous times in England. This novel has it all.
Are you interested in history?