The Most High-Spirited Man on Earth

By Michael Harrington, published November 1950


On the San Bernabe, the English admiral uttered, in Spanish ‘ Here die I, Richard Grenville, with a joyful and quiet mind…having ended my life as a true soldier ought to do, that fought for his country, Queen, religion and honour, whereby my soul most joyfully departeth…’ But those ‘traitors and dogs’ who surrendered must ‘leave a shameful name forever’. ‘The greater the vanquished the more honour to the victor’, was a Hispanic axiom, and, from the admirals down to popular balladists, Spaniards in 1591 not only bore Grenville no ill will for his defiance but respected and acclaimed him.

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Filed under: Atlantic | Tudors | Francis Drake | English Channel | The Armada
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Biography | Manpower & Life at Sea | Navies | Weapons

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