Tag Archives: fleet

Article: The British Fleet Review of 1912


The link below is to an article about the last British Fleet Review from the 7th May to the 11th May 1912, in the lead up to World War I.

For more, visit:
http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/125869

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Today in History – 24 April 1731


England: Daniel Defoe Died

On this day in 1731, English author Daniel Defoe died. He is best known for his novel ‘Robinson Crusoe.’ Defoe is recognized as one of the earliest authors of English novels and wrote over 500 books, pamphlets and journals. He was also recognized as something of a financial journalist.

Daniel Defoe was born some time between 1659 and 1661 – the exact date of his birth being unknown. He was born Daniel Foe (the ‘De’ being added later).

In his youth his family survived the Great Fire of London (1666), which left only his family’s home, and two others standing, in their part of London. A year later he survived a Dutch fleet that sailed up the Thames and attacked Chatham.

Defoe was a Christian and a Dissenter. At one time he was jailed for his views and in an earlier time was also a bankrupt. It is thought that he may have died while in hiding from those seeking him out because of unpaid debts. Defoe died  on the 24th April 1731 and is buried in Bunhill Fields, London.

Among Defoe’s many works are ‘Robinson Crusoe’ and ‘Moll Flanders.’

A biography of Daniel Defoe by William Minto can be found at the Internet Archive:
http://www.archive.org/details/daniel00defoemintrich

The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe:
http://www.archive.org/details/lifeadventuresof00defouoft

Moll Flanders, by Daniel Defoe:
http://www.archive.org/details/fortunesandmisfo00defouoft

 


Today in History – 19 April 1587


Sir Francis Drake Destroys the Spanish Fleet in Cadiz, Spain

War had broken out (Anglo-Spanish War of 1585 to 1604) between the Spanish and English – between Roman Catholic Spain and Protestant England. But it was more than just a religious war, for there were also political and economic agitations. English privateers were having a major impact on Spanish shipping. English support for the Netherlands in their fight for independence against Spain and also their support for an alternative Portuguese ruler (Portugal were in league with Spain) were a constant annoyance to the Spanish Empire. England saw Spain as a major threat to their security. Soon it was war, with Spain determined to invade England and crush Protestantism in its infancy.

Sir Francis Drake had been one of the thorns in Spain’s side, acting as a privateer in the Spanish Indies and taking many a Spanish ship as a prize. He was given command of an English fleet and set out to attack the Spanish on the 12th April 1587. On the 19th April 1587, Sir Francis Drake carried out what he described as having ‘singed the beard of the King of Spain,’ by sinking the Spanish fleet at harbor in the Bay of Cadiz, Spain. Up to 33 ships were destroyed and four were captured. This occurred the year prior to the sinking of the Spanish Armada during the attempted invasion of England.

When the fleet returned to England on the 6th of July, they had sunk over 100 enemy vessels and suceeded in setting back the planned Spanish invasion of England by a year. Drake had already sealed his place in history as one of England’s heroes, but his work had only just begun.

 


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