In 1588, King Philip II of Spain, husband of the late Queen Mary I, sent a large fleet of ships, laden with cannon and crammed with soldiers, to invade England. Had he been victorious, England would have become part of his dream of a United States of Europe.
KING Philip II of Spain was a Catholic, and the husband of Queen Elizabeth I’s half-sister Queen Mary I.
He did not approve of Elizabeth’s Protestant beliefs, and thought she had no right to sit on his late wife’s throne.
He was angry that she interfered in his government of the Spanish Netherlands, by aiding Dutch Protestants who had rebelled against Philip’s repressive regime.
And to cap it all, Elizabeth was hiring English ‘privateers’ to harass Spanish trading ships sailing to America.
Yet the ‘Invincible Armada’ of a hundred and thirty ships Philip proudly sent to invade England, fitted with 2,500 guns and carrying 18,000 soldiers, proved anything but invincible.
On the 29th of July 1588, an English fleet commanded by Sir Francis Drake and Lord Charles Howard chased the Spanish out of the Channel, and ensured that England remained a sovereign nation.