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'Dangers Averted' gold medal 

Elizabeth I (1558-1603)

Attributed to Nicholas Hilliard (1537-1619)

c. 1588

Gold, cast and chased

weight 100.63 g, width (minimum), 51 mm, height (maximum) 59 mm

 

According to Richard Kelleher, Assistant Keeper in the Department of Coins and Medal, the medal implies that the defeat of the Spanish Armada was symbolic of God's divine intervention on behalf of the Protestant English state over the powerful Spanish Catholic fleet. Although the English won the upper hand at the battle of Gravelines, the real victory happened when a strong wind forced the Spanish fleet to sail north around Scotland and Ireland to get back to Spain. The Spanish boats were battered by storms and at least 60 of their 130 ships were sunk or damaged. The Spanish King Philip II is quoted as saying 'I sent the Armada against men, not God's winds and waves.' 

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