In this episode, we cover the first two voyages on John Hawkins to the Spanish Indies. Hawkins’s voyages were groundbreaking in that they were the first well-organized English trading ventures to the Caribbean, and what was more, Queen Elizabeth herself was one of the investors. However, the Spanish were most displeased with this English slave-smuggler, and though he thought his position was fairly safe, in next episode Hawkins will be rudely reminded who’s boss in the King of Spain’s dominions.
In this episode, we examine the English commercial explosion during the reigns of King Edward IV and Mary I. We also look at the Muscovy Company and the search for a ‘Northeastern Passage’ to the Indies. We end off with Queen Mary’s death and the accession of her sister Elizabeth. Elizabeth will take this growing commercial might and use it to great effect as a weapon against Philip II’s overseas empire.
This episode is a very “broad strokes” episode, where we cover some key events of the French Wars of Religion and basically just get a better idea of how that played into their new world activities. Or, to be more precise, how the civil wars curtailed their activities, most notably with the murder of Coligny during the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre (1572). This episode wraps up our treatment of the French for a really long time, and from here on in, it’s all England and her colonies, all the time (with a few Spanish interludes).
In short, we talk a bit more about Menendez and then he goes on to kill just about everybody in Fort Caroline, including Jean Ribault (although his son Jacques and Laudonierre escaped). The French were so thoroughly thrashed that it would be a century before they showed up in these parts again.