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Tudor Minute August 2: Anniversary of the Battle of Cornwall

Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for August 2.

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Cornwall, in 1595. This was part of the ongoing war with Spain that saw the invasion attempt of the Spanish Armada in 1588. Seven years later, Spanish troops would set foot in England. Under the control of Carlos de Amesquita, three companies totaling about 400 men in four galleys sailed from Brittany at the end of July. They sank a French ship manned by an English crew with cargo headed for England, and then landed in Cornwall.

Amesquita had with him an English Catholic, Richard Burley of Weymouth. The local militias fled, and only the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall along with 12 soldiers put up any kind of resistance. In two days, the Spanish burned Penzance, and three other villages, and took cannons from forts in the area to remount on their fleet.

Then they said a traditional Catholic mass (because of course you pray after burning villages), and then left. The Spanish commander promised to come back and build a Catholic church on the site once he conquered England, then left his prisoners ashore and managed to escape a fleet sent after him under Francis Drake and john Hawkins. Later Amesquita would meet 46 Dutch ships and sink two of them, stopped for repairs, and went back to Brittany. It had been a successful few weeks for him.

That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com