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Elizabethan War

Queen Elizabeth Ist

"Queen Elizabeth Ist"

The Elizabethan Age - Elizabethan War
The Elizabethan Age saw three main Elizabethan Wars:

  • The English War with Spain from 1585 - 1603
    • The Spanish Armada was defeated in in 1588

    • The Wars in Ireland
      • The Irish War also known as the Desmond Rebellions - A series of Rebellions regarding control over the province of Munster over three decades 1560's, 1570's and 1580's
        • The Irish family of the Earl of Desmond fighting for the control of Munster from the English
        • Religious reasons - Catholics in Ireland against the Protestant England
        • Catholic Spain supported the Desmond rebellion
      • The Tyrone Rebellion, also known as the Nine Years War from 1594 - 1603
        • The Catholic Irish Earl of Tyrone fighting against the Protestant England's control of Ireland
        • The Nine Years War was centered in the North of Ireland but spread right across the country
        • Religious reasons - Catholics in Ireland against the Protestant England
        • Catholic Spain supported the Tyrone rebellion

The Elizabethan War with Spain from 1585 - 1603
The reasons for the Elizabethan War with Spain from 1585 - 1603 exploded due to various conflicts surrounding the wealth and power to be gained from trade from the New World. And the differences in Religion. Under Elizabeth I England became a Protestant country. Elizabeth was excommunicated by the Pope The fanatical Catholics in Spain saw a war and the conquest of England as a religious crusade. The escapades of the Elizabethan seamen, or pirates, included attacking Spanish vessels and taking any gold and silver. Not surprisingly Elizabeth made no real effort to chastise these escapades. Drake, Hawkins, Raleigh and Frobisher hated the Spanish and the Catholic religion. The religious differences had been boiling over many years. The following dates and events played an important part in the Elizabethan War with Spain, which lasted for nineteen years.

  • The notorious Spanish Inquisition was established in 1542.
  • During the reign of Mary Tudor 1555 - 1558 Protestants were persecuted and 300 burnt at the stake (in later times this leads to Queen Mary I being called Bloody Mary)
  • 1569 The Nevilles of Durham and Percys of Northumberland plot to overthrow Elizabeth I and reinstate Roman Catholicism in “The Rising of the North”. Pope Pius V heard of the revolt and decided to help the rebels by deposing Elizabeth. The rebellion failed but the Pope's action increased her distrust of Catholics
  • 1570 The excommunication of Elizabeth I by the Catholic Church
  • 1572 August 24, St Bartholomew's Day massacre where French Protestants were massacred by French Catholics in Paris which was witnessed by Sir Philip Sidney, Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Francis
    Walsingham. Similar atrocities elsewhere in France result in thousands of deaths, and caused panic in England with fears of a Catholic invasion
  • 1584 William of Orange was murdered and England sends aid to the Netherlands
  • August 14, 1585 - Queen Elizabeth issues a declaration taking the Netherlands under her protection
  • December 8, 1585 - Robert Dudley leads the English army to fight the Spanish forces who are occupying the Netherlands
  • Oct. 25 1586 - The Catholic Mary Queen of Scots is convicted of involvement in the Babbington plot  to assassinate Queen Elizabeth and replace her with the Catholic Queen
  • April 19, 1587 - Drake destroys the Spanish fleet at Cadiz
  • August 8, 1588 - The Spanish Armada of 132 ships is defeated by the English fleet of 34 ships and 163 armed merchant vessels under Lord Howard of Effingham, Sir Francis Drake, and Sir John Hawkins
  • April 17, 1591 - Queen Elizabeth sends to aid King Henry IV of France lead by Sir John Norris with 3000 men
  • 1595 Spanish forces land in Cornwall, England and burn the town of Penzance
  • 1597 King Philip II sends a second armada against England but a storm scatters his ships
  • 24 March 1603 - Queen Elizabeth I dies and James I of England, James VI of Scotland, (great-great-grandson of Henry VII) is proclaimed King

The outcome of the Elizabethan War with Spain from 1585 - 1604 was:

  • In 1603 the war with Spain officially ended. King James I issued a decree that all acts of piracy must cease

The Elizabethan Irish War also referred to as the Desmond Rebellions
The reasons for the Elizabethan War in Ireland ( Desmond Rebellions ) were:

  • The War in Ireland (Desmond Rebellion) sought to control Munster which was instigated by the Catholic Earl of Desmond dynasty - the Fitzgerald family of Desmond
  • The Protestant English government wanted to establish English military governors who would replace the local Irish Lords
  • Henry Sidney was appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland
  • The power, influence and religion of the Catholic Irish Lords was challenged by the English
  • The Catholic James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald, leader of the Desmond dynasty, instigated a rebellion and was joined by other Irish Lords
  • The first rebellion started in 1569 and lasted until 1573 when hundreds of Irish rebels were executed by Drury, the new Lord President of Munster
  • Many Irish Lords fled to Europe
  • Strict English Laws were imposed banning private armies
  • Irish customs were outlawed in an attempt to eradicate the Irish culture
  • James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald, one of the exiled Lords launched an invasion of Munster in 1579
  • Following the excommunication of Queen Elizabeth I in 1570 the Pope had ruled that Irish Catholics did not owe allegiance to Protestant England
  • The Pope and backed the Irish War with Papal money and troops. It was also planned that King Philip of Spain would take over the monarchy of Ireland
  • The 600 Papal troops were beaten by the English. As were the Irish Lords and rebels
  • The English adopted the policy of burning the crops in Ireland resulting in famine and submission
  • The Earl of Desmond was betrayed by the O'Moriartys who received 1000 pounds of silver from the English government

The outcome of the Irish War and the Desmond Rebellions were:

  • Terrible famine in Munster
  • The Desmond clan was defeated
  • The vast Desmond estates were allocated to the English who had fought in the war

The Elizabethan War against the Tyrone Rebellion ( Nine Years War ) from 1594 - 1603
The reasons for the Tyrone Rebellion ( Nine Years War ) were:

  • The Nine Years war was led by Hugh O’Neill, the Earl of Tyrone
  • The reasons were the increased power of the English who had settled in Ireland and their threat to Ulster
  • The Irish Catholics abhorred the Protestant religion
  • The Irish believed that Queen Elizabeth and all Protestants were heretics
  • The Irish received aid from King Philip of Spain
  • The English army suffered a massive defeat in Ireland at the battle of the Yellow Ford in 1598 and more Irish joined the rebellion
  • In 1599 the Earl of Essex travelled to Ireland with over 17,000 English troops
  • Many of the English troops died of various diseases and the Earl of Essex agreed an unauthorised truce with O'Neill
  • In 1601 Essex returned to England and mounted his own rebellion against Queen Elizabeth. On 25th February 1601 Robert Devereux the Earl of Essex was executed on Tower Green
  • Essex was replaced by Lord Mountjoy. George Carew was given the command in Munster. Arthur Chichester was given the command in Ulster
  • King Philip sent 3500 Spanish soldiers to Ireland to support the Irish but they were outnumbered by English troops
  • The O’Neill and O’Donnell soldiers were defeated at the Battle of Kinsale
  • 24 March 1603 - Queen Elizabeth I dies and James I of England, James VI of Scotlandis proclaimed King
  • The Irish surrendered, on good terms, to the new English monarch just one week after the death of Queen Elizabeth

The Elizabethan Age - Elizabethan War
For details of Elizabethan Times and War please access the following sections of this website:

Elizabethan Weapons
Elizabethan Navy
The Spanish Armada
Elizabethan Age
Elizabethan Era Index

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