Coutts and Co. is a private bank and wealth manager, founded in 1692. It is the seventh oldest bank in the world. Today, Coutts forms part of RBS Group's wealth management division; the bank, to become Coutts & Co, was a goldsmith-banker's shop. It was formed in 1692 by John Campbell of Lundie, Scotland, he set up business in the Strand, under a sign of the Three Crowns, as was customary in the days before street numbers. Today, the Coutts logo still has the three crowns, its headquarters is still on the Strand. Campbell died in 1712; the dominant force was Campbell's son in law, George Middleton, who had become Campbell's partner in 1708. During Middleton's stewardship, the bank was buffeted by one crisis after another; the Jacobite rising of 1715 threatened the stability of the banking system, John Law, the Comptroller of France's finances, owed a great deal of money to the bank when the Mississippi Company bubble burst in 1720 and the English stock market collapsed in the same year. Stability for the bank did not return until 1735.
John's son, George Campbell was a partner, became the sole partner after the death of Middleton in 1747, after which the bank was renamed the "Bankers of 59 Strand". In 1755, John Campbell's granddaughter, married a merchant and banker, James Coutts. Polly was George Campbell's niece and George made James a partner; the bank became known as Campbell & Coutts, with James running the business and becoming sole partner following Polly's and George's deaths in 1760. George bequeathed most of his fortune, the bank, to James. In 1761 James took his brother Thomas Coutts into the business, now named James and Thomas Coutts. James and Thomas did not always get on and James drifted into politics, leaving the running of the bank to Thomas. James retired from the bank in 1775 due to ill health; the bank in the Strand became known as Thomas Coutts & Co. Thomas Coutts married twice, his first wife, a servant named Susannah Starkie, gave him three beautiful daughters nicknamed "The Three Graces" who married leading figures in British society: the Earl of Guilford, the Marquess of Bute and Sir Francis Burdett.
Thomas had four sons who died in infancy. When Susannah died, he remarried just four days after the funeral. Thomas Coutts was 80 years old, his new wife, Harriot Mellon, was 40 years younger and an actress, which stirred considerable comment. On Thomas' death in 1822 the bank was renamed "Coutts & Co." Thomas' widow, inherited £900,000 from Thomas along with a 50% share in the bank. Although she did not get on with her stepdaughters, she wanted to keep the bank in the Coutts family. Harriot died in 1837. In her will, the Coutts fortune was passed on to Thomas's granddaughter, Angela Burdett, the daughter of Sophia Coutts and Sir Francis Burdett; the will contained three conditions: firstly, Angela's 50% share in the bank must be held in trust. Upon receipt of her inheritance, Angela Burdett-Coutts became the wealthiest woman in Britain, she devoted her life to philanthropy, giving away an estimated amount of between £3 million and £4 million. Her charity ranged widely: she supported the Church of England and its Anglican offshoots overseas, as well as the arts, but the main thrust of her charity was directed toward improving the lives of the poor.
A sewing school in Spitalfields, cotton gins in what is now Nigeria and nets for the Irish fishing industry, ragged schools in the poorest sections of cities were but a few of her projects. Gladstone, the Prime Minister, Queen Victoria resolved to acknowledge her philanthropic spirit formally. In 1871, she was granted a peerage in her own right as Baroness Burdett-Coutts of Highgate and Brookfield in the County of Middlesex. In 1880, it became known that the baroness wished to marry her young American secretary William Ashmead-Bartlett, her junior by thirty-seven years; the partners of the bank were aghast at the prospect of such a marriage. Archibald Tait, the Archbishop of Canterbury, attempted to forestall such a marriage from occurring, while Queen Victoria herself, with whom the Baroness had dined, tried to prevent what she called the "mad marriage". In a letter, the Queen wrote to Lord Harrowby stating that it would grieve her much "if Lady Burdett-Coutts were to sacrifice her high reputation and her happiness by such an unsuitable marriage".
This letter was passed on to Lady Burdett-Coutts, who asked Lord Harrowby to reply that he had no knowledge of the subject alluded to—quite a snub to the Queen. One potential stumbling block to the marriage was her step-grandmother's will which forbade marriage to an alien; as Bartlett was an American, the marriage would cause her to be disinherited. If this eventuality occurred, her younger sister, Clara, as next in line, was set to inherit. Angela Burdett-Coutts managed to get Clara to waive her rights. Clara's son Francis was not, however, so dissuaded, consulted his lawyers thinking to forestall the marriage by standing on their rights. Bartlett himself, in the face of immense pressure from society, offered to release the Baroness from his offer of marriage. She, remained determined, refusing to release Bartlett from his promise, in spite of various scandalous accusations being made against him involving another woman, his fathering of an illegitimate child. In February 1881, at the age of 67, Angela Burdett-Coutts broke the terms of the will by marrying Bartlett in Ch
The pound sterling known as the pound and less referred to as sterling, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, the British Antarctic Territory, Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence. A number of nations that do not use sterling have currencies called the pound. Sterling is the third most-traded currency in the foreign exchange market, after the United States dollar, the euro. Together with those two currencies and the Chinese yuan, it forms the basket of currencies which calculate the value of IMF special drawing rights. Sterling is the third most-held reserve currency in global reserves; the British Crown dependencies of Guernsey and the Isle of Man produce their own local issues of sterling which are considered equivalent to UK sterling in their respective regions. The pound sterling is used in Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands, Saint Helena and Ascension Island in Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha; the Bank of England is the central bank for the pound sterling, issuing its own coins and banknotes, regulating issuance of banknotes by private banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Banknotes issued by other jurisdictions are not regulated by the Bank of England. The full official name pound sterling, is used in formal contexts and when it is necessary to distinguish the United Kingdom currency from other currencies with the same name. Otherwise the term pound is used; the currency name is sometimes abbreviated to just sterling in the wholesale financial markets, but not when referring to specific amounts. The abbreviations "ster." and "stg." are sometimes used. The term "British pound" is sometimes incorrectly used in less formal contexts, it is not an official name of the currency; the exchange rate of the pound sterling against the US dollar is referred to as "cable" in the wholesale foreign exchange markets. The origins of this term are attributed to the fact that in the 1800s, the GBP/USD exchange rate was transmitted via transatlantic cable. Forex traders of GBP/USD are sometimes referred to as "cable dealers". GBP/USD is now the only currency pair with its own name in the foreign exchange markets, after IEP/USD, known as "wire" in the forward FX markets, no longer exists after the Irish Pound was replaced by the euro in 1999.
There is apparent convergence of opinion regarding the origin of the term "pound sterling", toward its derivation from the name of a small Norman silver coin, away from its association with Easterlings or other etymologies. Hence, the Oxford English Dictionary state that the "most plausible" etymology is derivation from the Old English steorra for "star" with the added diminutive suffix "-ling", to mean "little star" and to refer to a silver penny of the English Normans; as another established source notes, the compound expression was derived: However, the perceived narrow window of the issuance of this coin, the fact that coin designs changed in the period in question, led Philip Grierson to reject this in favour of a more complex theory. Another argument that the Hanseatic League was the origin for both the origin of its definition and manufacture, in its name is that the German name for the Baltic is "Ost See", or "East Sea", from this the Baltic merchants were called "Osterlings", or "Easterlings".
In 1260, Henry III granted them a charter of protection and land for their Kontor, the Steelyard of London, which by the 1340s was called "Easterlings Hall", or Esterlingeshalle. Because the League's money was not debased like that of England, English traders stipulated to be paid in pounds of the "Easterlings", contracted to "'sterling". For further discussion of the etymology of "sterling", see sterling silver; the currency sign for the pound is £, written with a single cross-bar, though a version with a double cross-bar is sometimes seen. This symbol derives from medieval Latin documents; the ISO 4217 currency code is GBP, formed from "GB", the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code for the United Kingdom, the first letter of "pound". It does not stand for "Great Britain Pound" or "Great British Pound"; the abbreviation "UKP" is used but this is non-standard because the ISO 3166 country code for the United Kingdom is GB. The Crown dependencies use their own codes: GGP, JEP and IMP. Stocks are traded in pence, so traders may refer to pence sterling, GBX, when listing stock prices.
A common slang term for the pound sterling or pound is quid, singular and plural, except in the common phrase "quids in!". The term may have come via Italian immigrants from "scudo", the name for a number of coins used in Italy until the 19th century.
HSBC Holdings plc is a British multinational banking and financial services holding company. It is the 7th largest bank in the world, the largest in Europe, with total assets of US$2.558 trillion. HSBC traces its origin to a hong in Hong Kong, its present form was established in London by the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation to act as a new group holding company in 1991; the origins of the bank lie in Hong Kong and to a lesser extent in Shanghai, where branches were first opened in 1865. The HSBC name is derived from the initials of the Shanghai Banking Corporation; the company was first formally incorporated in 1866. The company continues to see both the United Kingdom and Hong Kong as its "home markets". HSBC has around 3,900 offices in 67 countries and territories across Africa, Oceania, North America, South America, around 38 million customers; as of 2014, it was the world's sixth-largest public company, according to a composite measure by Forbes magazine. HSBC is organised within four business groups: Commercial Banking, Global Banking and Markets, Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Global Private Banking.
HSBC has a dual primary listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the Hang Seng Index and the FTSE 100 Index. As of 6 July 2012, it had a market capitalisation of £102.7 billion, the second-largest company listed on the London Stock Exchange, after Royal Dutch Shell. It has secondary listings on the New York Stock Exchange, Euronext Paris, the Bermuda Stock Exchange. In February 2015, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists released information about the business conduct of HSBC under the title Swiss Leaks; the ICIJ alleges that the bank profited from doing business with other clients. The BBC reported that HSBC had put pressure on media not to report about the controversy, with British newspaper The Guardian claiming HSBC advertising had been put "on pause" after The Guardian's coverage of the matter. Peter Oborne, chief political commentator at The Daily Telegraph, resigned from the paper. In 2016, HSBC was sued by Mexican families involved in deaths by organized-crime gangs for processing funds for the Sinaloa cartel.
The Hongkong and Shanghai Bank was founded by Scotsman Thomas Sutherland in the then-British colony of Hong Kong on 3 March 1865, in Shanghai a month benefiting from the start of trading into China, including opium trading. It was formally incorporated as The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation by an Ordinance of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong on 14 August 1866. In 1980, HSBC acquired a 51% shareholding in US-based Marine Midland Bank, which it extended to full ownership in 1987. On 6 October 1989, it was renamed by the Legislative Council, by an amendment to its governing ordinance made in 1929, to The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, became registered as a regulated bank with the Banking Commissioner of the Government of Hong Kong. HSBC Holdings plc incorporated in England and Wales, in the United Kingdom, as Vernat Trading Company Limited on 1 January 1959 and renamed Vernat Eastern Agencies Limited in the same year, was by a non-trading, dormant shelf company under a different, nominal name, when it completed its transformation on 25 March 1991 into the parent holding company to the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited now as a subsidiary, in preparation for its purchase of the UK-based Midland Bank and the impending transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong to China.
HSBC Holdings' acquisition of Midland Bank was completed in 1992 and gave HSBC a substantial market presence in the United Kingdom. As part of the takeover conditions for the acquisition, HSBC Holdings plc was required to relocate its world headquarters from Hong Kong to London in 1993. Major acquisitions in South America started with the purchase of the Banco Bamerindus of Brazil for $1 billion in March 1997 and the acquisition of Roberts SA de Inversiones of Argentina for $600 million in May 1997. In May 1999, HSBC expanded its presence in the United States with the purchase of Republic National Bank of New York for $10.3 billion. Expansion into Continental Europe took place in April 2000 with the acquisition of Crédit Commercial de France, a large French bank for £6.6 billion. In July 2001 HSBC bought an insolvent Turkish bank. In July 2002, Arthur Andersen announced that HSBC USA, Inc. through a new subsidiary and Tax Advisory Services USA Inc. would purchase a portion of Andersen's tax practice.
The new HSBC Private Client Services Group would serve the wealth and tax advisory needs of high-net-worth individuals. In August 2002 HSBC acquired Grupo Financiero Bital, SA de CV, Mexico's third largest retail bank for $1.1 billion. In November 2002, HSBC expanded further in the United States. Under the chairmanship of John Bond, it spent £9 billion to acquire Household Finance Corporation, a US credit card issuer and subprime lender. In a 2003 cover story, The Banker noted "when banking historians look back, they may conclude, the deal of the first decade of the 21st century". Under the new name of HSBC Finance, the division was the second largest subprime lender in the United States; the new headquarters of HSBC Holdings at 8 Canada Square, London opened in April 2003. In September 2003 HSBC bought Polski Kredyt Bank SA of Poland for $7.8 million. In June 2004 HSBC expanded into China buying 19.9% of the Bank of Communications of Shanghai. In the United Kingdom HSBC acquired
Spanish Armada in Ireland
The Spanish Armada in Ireland refers to the landfall made upon the coast of Ireland in September 1588 of a large portion of the 130-strong fleet sent by Philip II to invade England. Following its defeat at the naval battle of Gravelines the Armada had attempted to return home through the North Atlantic, when it was driven from its course by violent storms, toward the west coast of Ireland; the prospect of a Spanish landing alarmed the Dublin government of Queen Elizabeth I, which prescribed harsh measures for the Spanish invaders and any Irish who might assist them. Up to 24 ships of the Armada were wrecked on a rocky coastline spanning 500 km, from Antrim in the north to Kerry in the south, the threat to Crown authority was defeated. Many of the survivors of the multiple wrecks were put to death, the remainder fled across the sea to Scotland, it is estimated that some 6,000 members of the fleet perished off its coasts. The Spanish Armada was a fleet of 130 ships that sailed from A Coruña in August 1588 under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia with the purpose of escorting an army from Flanders to invade England.
It met with armed resistance in the English Channel, when a fireship attack off Calais broke its formation, was driven into the North Sea after the Battle of Gravelines. When the fleet entered the North Sea, 110 ships remained under Medina Sidonia's command. Many were damaged by gunfire or were running low on supplies, making them unfit for service in the Atlantic Ocean; some had cut their anchors in the flight from the fireships, which diminished their ability to navigate close to shore. The Armada commanders made a large navigational error that brought the fleet too close to the dangerous Atlantic coasts of Scotland and Ireland. After Gravelines the commanders of the Armada held a conference on Sidonia's flagship; some proposed a course for others for Ireland. The admiral made his choice, orders were issued to the fleet: The course, first to be held is to the north/north-east until you be found under 61 degrees and a half. Parting from those islands and doubling the Cape in 61 degrees and a half, you shall run west/south-west until you be found under 58 degrees.
The fleet was to approach the coast of Norway, before steering to the meridian of the Shetland Islands and on to Rockall. This allowed passage outside the northern tip of Shetland, clearing the coast of Scotland at a distance of 160 km. Once out in the broad Atlantic, the ships were to steer to a point 645 km beyond the Shannon estuary on the west coast of Ireland, giving themselves a clear run to northern Spain; the Armada's sailing orders were impossible to follow. The weather was difficult. Many of the ships and their crew members were in great distress; the navigators' charts were primitive, their best training and experience in the techniques of dead reckoning and latitude sailing fell far short of what was needed to bring the fleet safely home. The Armada failed to keep its course around the north of Shetland at 611⁄2'N. Instead, on 20 August, it passed safely to the south, between Orkney and Fair Isle, was carried into the Atlantic at about 591⁄2'N. From there it was due to sail from North Uist in the Hebrides Islands until it caught sight of the distant islet of Rockall, but failed again.
Southerly winds blew from 21 August to 3 September, stirred up by an anticyclone over Scandinavia, which prevented the fleet from running west-south-west as ordered. One report reflects the frustration of the navigators: "We sailed without knowing whither through constant fogs and squalls"; the sailing orders were rendered useless by the weather, but the miscalculation of the Armada's position contributed to its destruction. The navigators were unaware of the effect of the eastward flowing Gulf Stream, which must have hindered the fleet's progress - by as much as 30 km a day; the paymaster of the San Juan Bautista, Marcos de Aramburu, recorded a log of his progress from late August onwards, when the rest of the fleet was within sight. The inference from his observations is that his ship's estimated position as it turned for home was wrong, some 480 km to the west: its real position lay in the east, perilously close to the coasts of Scotland and Ireland; this single deficiency "made the difference between safety and disaster".
After seven weeks at sea the opportunity to make landfall and take on supplies and effect repairs must have been welcome, but navigation in these waters demanded intimate knowledge. The experience of Spanish mariners in the intricacies of north Atlantic conditions was confined to trading voyages to the south and south-west of Ireland, it is that the fleet's pilots preferred to maintain Sidonia's course, despite the hardships on board their ships. Most of the fleet – 84 ships – avoided land, most of those made it home, although in varying degrees of distress; the remainder were forced toward the coast of Ireland - 28 - and included several galleons and many merchantmen. The latter had been converted for battle and were leaking making sail with damaged masts and rigging, with most of their anchors missing; the ships seem to have maintained contact until the beginning of September, when they were scattered by a south-west gale (described in the contemporary account of an Irish government official as one "the like whereof hath not been seen or heard for a long ti
First Direct is a telephone and internet based retail bank in the United Kingdom, a division of HSBC Bank plc. First Direct has headquarters in Leeds, West Yorkshire and has 1.35 million customers. It maintains a reputation for superior customer service, awarded Most Trusted Financial Provider by Moneywise, first place in the customer service survey for Which? of August 2015. First Direct has two call centres, in Stourton and Hamilton, Scotland; the Leeds call centre is the main site of the bank, housing all the major departments and being the base for First Direct's head Joe Gordon, the Hamilton call centre shares space with HSBC Direct banking. First Direct was formed on 1 October 1989 by Midland Bank, one of the'big four' banks in the United Kingdom, it became a part of HSBC in June 1992. First Direct took its first call on 12.01am on 1 October 1989. The launch of First Direct in 1989 was advertised twofold. Firstly, there was an advert for Audi, interrupted by a broadcast purportedly back in time from 2010, celebrating the 21st anniversary of the company.
Secondly, there were two different adverts running concurrently on ITV and Channel 4, one offering a negative view showing the aspects of normal banking and the other a positive view of First Direct, with the two crossing over at a key point. By May 1991, the bank had 100,000 customers on its books, by March 1993, it had 250,000, it first achieved break in December 1994. In April 1995, the bank gained its 500,000th customer. In May 1999, it launched text message banking, a service through which the bank alerts customers by SMS if the balance on their current account goes below a certain amount, and, if set, will send weekly mini statements by SMS; the bank began limited trials of internet banking in July 1997, launching the service in August 2000. In July 2001, the bank's Offset Mortgage was launched. In January 2004, the bank launched First Directory, a service whereby additional services were added to current accounts such as free text message banking, annual travel insurance and mobile phone insurance for a fixed monthly charge.
In April 2004, the bank launched Internet Banking Plus, a service whereby account information was taken by third party internet banking from the bank's other accounts with different banks and the information was unified under First Direct's Internet Banking Plus service. In October 2006, the bank launched a first generation mobile phone banking service in partnership with MONILINK, pre dating mobile apps. In February 2007, First Direct became the first bank in the United Kingdom to introduce a fee for basic financial transactions, fuelling concern for the future of fee free banking in the country for personal customers. In May 2013, First Direct secured naming rights until 2018 for the new Leeds Arena, to be known as the First Direct Arena. In March 2017, it was announced that First Direct had extended its naming sponsorship of Leeds arena for a further five years. In September 2016, First Direct introduced voice ID technology to verify customers' identities when calling into the bank, the first bank in the United Kingdom to introduce the technology on such a large scale.
The following year saw the introduction of a new native mobile app, for both Apple and Android platforms. In July 2018, First Direct transferred from being a division of HSBC Bank plc to a division of HSBC UK Bank plc, as part of the bank's ringfencing restructure. Official website
Yorkshire Bank is a bank operating in England as a trading division of Clydesdale Bank plc and is owned by CYBG plc. It operates in the North of England in Yorkshire. In 2006 underlying profit rose 16.7 per cent to £454 million compared with a year earlier, while post-tax earnings climbed 12.8 per cent to £229 million. Total income was up 8.7 per cent at £1,193 million, while net interest income climbed 14.6 per cent to £769 million. The bank was established on 1 May 1859 by Colonel Edward Akroyd of Halifax. Based in Leeds in the West Riding of Yorkshire it was known as the West Riding Penny Savings Bank, it had been planned as a provident society but the status of savings bank was chosen. The bank was registered under the Friendly Societies Act and individual deposits were restricted to £30 per annum, up to a cumulative balance of £150. Within a year, the bank had opened 24 branches, a further 104 in the year after. Sub-branches were opened in schools and church halls; the bank was operated on a non profit making basis and in 1860 it was decided to extend operation to the other Ridings of Yorkshire.
To recognise this the name was changed to the Yorkshire Penny Bank. In 1872, it issued cheque books for the first time for small tradesmen. At that time the bank became the first to create school banks, to encourage the idea of saving at an early age. In 1911 depositors' balances were valued at £18 million although reserves were only £500,000 and that existing guarantees were not enough; the Bank of England organised a takeover by a consortium of banks and the Yorkshire Penny Bank adopted limited liability. After this the bank was able to offer overdrafts for the first time. In its centenary year of 1959, the bank's name changed to Yorkshire Bank Limited. During the 1970s the bank became one of the first to offer fee free banking whilst in credit, a move that took bigger rivals a decade to follow. In 1982, it adopted public limited company status. During the Miners' Strike from 1984 to 1985, the bank offered miners who were mortgage holders a deferment, allowing them to postpone payments for the duration of the dispute.
The strike took place in the bank's heartland and many miners were customers, having been encouraged by the National Coal Board to have their pay mandated to a bank account. In 1990, the National Australia Bank Group acquired the bank from the consortium of owning banks which, after mergers and acquisitions, were the National Westminster Bank, Barclays Bank, Lloyds Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland; the price paid was £1 billion and the bank joined National Australia Bank's other European businesses, Clydesdale Bank and Northern Bank. In May 2005, the National Australia Bank announced its intention to merge the Yorkshire Bank with the Clydesdale under one operating licence, in which the former would be a trading name of the latter. Both operate under separate identities although the Clydesdale brand is the one, used in further expansion into the south of England. At the same time 40 branches were closed, a reduction of a fifth of the Yorkshire Bank network. In April 2012, National Australia Bank completed a strategic review of its businesses in the United Kingdom and decided to scale back operations stopping Commercial Property Investment lending and closing 29 Financial Solutions Centres, with the resultant loss of 1,400 jobs over three years.
In July 2013, Yorkshire Bank forgot to renew its domain name, leading to customers being unable to log onto its website for a number of days. Yorkshire Bank blamed individual ISPs saying. On 2 September 2014 the bank suffered more IT related issues as its systems left customers unable to make or receive payments for a period of time. National Australia Bank confirmed in October 2014 that it planned to exit the United Kingdom, was considering a number of options for Yorkshire and Clydesdale Banks, including a possible stock market listing. In October 2015, NAB announced that it will float Clydesdale Bank, including Yorkshire Bank, on the London Stock Exchange in February 2016 through an initial public offering, with an aim of raising £2 billion. Clydesdale Bank's newly formed holding company CYBG plc began conditional trading on the LSE and the Australian Securities Exchange on 3 February 2016, began trading unconditionally from 8 February 2016. In June 2018, CYBG plc announced it would acquire Virgin Money for £1.7 billion in an all-stock deal.
One in six employees are expected to lose their jobs in the takeover, which will result in retail customers being migrated to the Virgin Money brand over three years. Official website
The Spanish Armada was a Habsburg Spanish fleet of 130 ships that sailed from A Coruña in late May 1588, under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia, with the purpose of escorting an army from Flanders to invade England. Medina Sidonia was an aristocrat without naval command experience but was made commander by King Philip II; the aim was to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I and her establishment of Protestantism in England, to stop English interference in the Spanish Netherlands and to the harm caused to Spanish interests by English and Dutch privateering ships that interfered with Spanish interests in America. English ships sailed from Plymouth to attack the Armada, were faster and more manoeuvrable than the larger Spanish Galleons, enabling them to fire on the Armada without loss as it sailed east off the south coast of England. There was an opportunity for the Armada to anchor in the Solent between the Isle of Wight and the English mainland and to occupy the Isle of Wight, but Medina Sidonia was under orders from King Philip II to meet up with the Duke of Parma's forces in The Netherlands.
This was so that England could be invaded by Parma's soldiers and other soldiers carried in ships of the Armada. Meanwhile, damage to the Armada had been done by English guns and a Spanish ship had been captured by Sir Francis Drake in the English Channel; the Armada anchored off Calais. While awaiting communications from Duke of Parma, the Armada was scattered by an English fireship night attack and abandoned its rendezvous with Parma's army, who were blockaded in harbour by Dutch flyboats. In the ensuing Battle of Gravelines the Spanish fleet was further damaged and were in risk of running aground on the Dutch coast when the wind changed; the Armada, driven by southwest winds, withdrew north, with the English fleet harrying it up the east coast of England. On return to Spain round the north of Scotland and south around Ireland, the Armada was disrupted further by storms. A large number of ships were wrecked on the coasts of Scotland and Ireland and over a third of the initial 130 ships failed to return.
As Martin and Parker explain, "Philip II attempted to invade England. This was due to his own mismanagement including appointing an aristocrat without naval experience as commander of the Armada, unfortunate weather, the opposition of the English and their Dutch allies including the use of fire-ships sailed into the anchored Armada.". The expedition was the largest engagement of the undeclared Anglo-Spanish War; the following year, England organised a similar large-scale campaign against Spain, the English Armada, sometimes called the "counter-Armada of 1589". The word armada is from the Spanish: armada, cognate with English army. From the Latin: armāta, the past participle of armāre,'to arm', used in Romance languages as a noun for armed force, navy, fleet. Armada Española is still the Spanish term for the modern Spanish Navy. Armada was the Portuguese traditional term of the Portuguese Navy. Henry VIII began the English Reformation as a political exercise over his desire to divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.
Over time it became aligned with the Protestant reformation taking place in Europe during the reign of Henry's son, Edward VI. Edward died childless, his half-sister Mary I ascended the throne. A devout Catholic, Mary began to reassert Roman influence over church affairs, her attempts led to over 260 people being burned at the stake, earning her the nickname'Bloody Mary'. Mary's death in 1558 led to Elizabeth I, taking the throne. Unlike Mary, Elizabeth was in the reformist camp, reimplemented many of Edward's reforms. Philip, no longer co-monarch, deemed Elizabeth a illegitimate ruler of England. In the eyes of the Catholic Church, Henry had never divorced Catherine, making Elizabeth illegitimate, it is alleged that Phillip supported plots to have Elizabeth overthrown in favour of her Catholic cousin and heir presumptive, Queen of Scots. Elizabeth retaliated against Philip by supporting the Dutch revolt against Spain, as well as funding privateers to raid Spanish ships across the Atlantic. In retaliation, Philip planned an expedition to invade England in order to overthrow Elizabeth and, if the Armada was not successful, at least negotiate freedom of worship for Catholics and financial compensation for war in the Low Countries.
Through this, it would end the English material support for the United Provinces – the part of the Low Countries that had seceded from Spanish rule – and cut off English attacks on Spanish trade and settlements in the New World. The King was supported by Pope Sixtus V, who treated the invasion as a crusade, with the promise of a subsidy should the Armada make land. A raid on Cádiz, led by Francis Drake in April 1587, had captured or destroyed some thirty ships and great quantities of supplies, setting preparations back by a year. Philip favoured a triple attack, starting with a diversionary raid on Scotland, while the main Armada would capture the Isle of Wight, or Southampton, to establish a safe anchorage in the Solent; the Duke of Parma would follow with a large army from the Low Countries crossing the English Channel. Parma was uneasy about mounting such an invasion without any possibility of surprise, he was alarmed by the costs that would be incurred and advised Philip to postpone or abandon it.
The appointed commander of the Armada wa