The story of our family...for my sons

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Spanish Armada and Sir George Beeston

The Spanish Armada (Spanish: Grande y Felicísima Armada, "Great and Most Fortunate Navy") was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia in 1588, with the intention of overthrowing Elizabeth I of England to stop English involvement in the Spanish Netherlands and English privateering in the Atlantic and the Pacific.

Our relative was Sir George Beeston, Admiral of the 200 tonne "Dreadnought". I'm researching to see what the "Dreadnought" actually did, but once again our genes are in the thick of it. The fleet's mission was to sail to Gravelines in Flanders and transport an army under the Duke of Parma across the Channel to England. The Armada achieved its first goal and anchored outside Gravelines but while awaiting communications from Parma's army, it was driven from its anchorage by an English fire ship attack, and in the ensuing naval battle at Gravelines the Spanish were forced to abandon their rendezvous.

The Armada managed to regroup and withdraw north, with the English fleet harrying it for some distance up the east coast of England. A return voyage to Spain was plotted, and the fleet sailed north of Scotland, into the Atlantic and past Ireland, but severe storms disrupted the fleet's course. More than 24 vessels were wrecked on the north and western coasts of Ireland. Of the fleet's initial complement of 130 ships, about fifty failed to make it back to Spain. The expedition was the largest engagement of the undeclared Anglo–Spanish War (1585–1604)

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