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After the death of Mary I in 1558, the famous ‘Bloody Mary’ who had restored England to Roman Catholicism, her husband and co-Monarch, Phillip II of Spain (also a devout Roman Catholic) considered her successor, Queen Elizabeth I, a heretic and an illegitimate ruler. Using taxes raised with permission from Pope Sixtus V for a ‘crusade’, Phillip planned to invade England
The ill-fated Spanish invasion of England of 1588 ended in disaster for the Spanish fleet, when they failed to rendezvous at Flanders with the Duke of Parma’s army. They were driven north and, ultimately, around the tip of the British Isles and south back to Spain.
In an effort to escape, many ships endeavoured to sail round the coast of Scotland and Ireland, but sailed further east than planned, unaware of the Gulf Stream currents, and many ships were lost. This was due not only to extreme wear and tear after their long travels and prolonged battles, but also to navigational errors which saw many ships wrecked against the coastline.
The coins pictured were found on The ‘Florida’, a galleon that went down in Tobermory Bay, Isle of Mull in 1588