"I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which rather than any dishonor shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field."

- Queen Elizabeth I of England, promising to personally
lead English forces should the Spanish Armada
succeed at landing troops on English soil, in her
"Speech to the Troops at Tilbury," August 19, 1588

In the year AD 1588...

  • The massive Spanish Armada, consisting of more than 130 ships and 30,000 men, sails from Spain in an attempt to meet up with Spanish forces in Holland for an invasion of England, but is defeated by a smaller but much more nimble English fleet under the command of Lord Howard of Effingham and Sir Francis Drake in four separate engagements. Unable to link up with the invading troops in Holland, the fleet attempts to sail home to Spain by heading north around Scotland, where most of the remaining ships are destroyed by storms. The English victory marks the transition from Spanish to English dominance of the seas, which England would retain for nearly four centuries.
  • The "War of the Three Henrys" continues in France. When Henry de Guise, leader of the powerful Catholic League, arrives in Paris, Parisians revolt and expel King Henry III from the capital in the so-called "Day of the Barricades." De Guise errs, however, in allowing Henry III to keep his life in exchange for political concessions to the League, and is cruelly rewarded for his clemency when the king has him and his brother Louis assassinated. Meanwhile, the revolt leads to rapproachment between King Henry and Henry of Navarre, paving the way for Navarre's asension to the French throne the following year as King Henry IV.
  • In the "Great Sword Hunt," Japanese hegemon Toyotomi Hideyoshi bans peasants from possessing weapons, thus preventing anyone from repeating his own route to power. Weapons owned by peasants are rounded up by local lords and forwarded to Kyoto, where they are melted down to make a gigantic statue of the Buddha.
  • The Marprelate Controversy as Puritan pamphlets satirizing the Church of England begin publication at a secret printing press under the pseudonym Martin Marprelate. The pamphlets provoke a storm of supporting "Martinist" and opposing "Anti-Martinist" literature, as well as efforts by the Church to find and stamp out the press. The true authors are never discovered, but are believed to have included John Udall and John Penry.
  • Timothy Bright publishes a book of symbols for 500-odd words that forms the basis of modern English shorthand.
  • Christopher Marlowe writes his most famous play, The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus.
  • William Morgan publishes the first complete translation of the Bible into Welsh.
  • English author Robert Greene publishes the short romance Pandosto, from which Shakespeare would draw the plot for A Winter's Tale.
  • The Kokubunji temple is founded in what is now a well-known Tokyo suburb of that name.

These people were born in 1588:

These people died in 1588:

1587 - 1588 - 1589

16th century

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