16th Century English Propaganda – so good even I (!) knew nothing of this event


Watching Lucy Worsley last night, I was shocked, deeply, to hear of the disastrous Counter Armada of 1599 when more than 20 000 lost their lives, twice the Spanish losses the previous year.

Why shocked? I’ve been reading and watching accounts of the history, of most parts of the globe, for more than 50 years, on a daily basis. Why had I never seen even a mention of this event despite hearing on a yearly basis of the prior Spanish Armada and England’s heroic victory?

I asked friends, some even more history buffs, and none knew of it.

I tried a wee twitter survey. Two out of 41 respondents had. I await detail of from whom, where when?

Dear TuSerati, had you? If so, from whence squire?

For more:


Is Boris currently reading of this with a view to covering his tracks?


11 thoughts on “16th Century English Propaganda – so good even I (!) knew nothing of this event

  1. Never ever believe the Victor,s records of any conflict
    As always there are 2 sides of every story
    And when you trouble yourself to do so a bright light is shone upon the Victor,s Twisting of Facts

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was aware of it, but only because I stumbled across it when reading about something else. Probably Phillip II and either a hyperlink caught my eye, or it was one of the three options below a Wikipedia article.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Drew
          Thought so
          But to add British military adventures are more often than not a litany of terrible
          Mistakes,often turned into
          Glorious affairs
          To name but a few and without going into detail
          Fall of Singapore
          Loss of HMS Prince of Wales & Repulse sunk with
          Mitsibushi Zero,s and their state of the art Torpedos
          3 ignominious defeats in Afghanistan ( exc.recent withdrawal )
          Charge of the Light Brigade
          Blowing up of scarce and desperately needed Hurricanes & Spitfires
          In France during the retreat to Dunkirk and all due to lack of fuel
          Few have no idea just how lucky UK was in Falkands
          Troop ship Canberra was a sitting duck, But Argentian
          Air Force Tactics pathetic
          I could fill a book pertaining to what many portrayed as ” The best armed forces in the World “

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I had not heard of the English Armada, but we heard often and approvingly of Drake and the defeat of the Spanish Armada, when at primary school. This was presented as a ‘good thing’ and an example of Britannia ruling the waves. Nor were we told until later at primary school that it was an English war and that Scotland had no role in it. It was many years later in Vigo I read of how the English PIRATE (sic), Drake, used to hide his ships amongst a chain of islands off the Galician coast to sally forth against Spanish cargo ships. Undoubtedly, history at school in the 1950s and 60s was substantially British/English propaganda.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. We all knew that Britain always defended the independence of little countries eg 1914 “Gallant Little Belgium”. But how many of us were informed that little Iceland was invaded and occupied in 1940 by “Gallant Great Britain.”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I was on a Royal Navy ship in Reykjavik in 1967. Talking to locals, friendly toward a Scot, about mutual interests.
      They explained it was a sore point that Iceland had a policy of strict neutrality, but the UK and US “insisted” on them “joining” the Allied side.
      Apart from touristy stuff, we visited the huge US Keflavik air base several times, which was supposed to have been removed in 1945 but never was.
      I always thought the “cod war” had its roots in the UK invasion of Iceland.


  4. Interesting that the peace Treaty with Spain was signed the Year after James of Scotland planted his backside on the English throne, also note that had James had his way and the crowns of Scotland and England been truly United in 1603 the Treaty would have been signed by Scotland, England having been absorbed into a greater Scotland as was the way at that time. I’m guessing, not having watched the program and I apologise if I’m wrong, that this little detail wasn’t mentioned.


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