DRAKE’S MEN PLUNDER THE PORT OF VALPARAISO
[ 5 December 1578 ]
On 5 December 1578, during a three year rampage around the world, Francis Drake led his men into the Spanish port of Valparaiso in what is today Chile. His English sailors first pounced on a merchant ship in the harbour, easily overpowering its eight man crew, although one of them escaped, swimming ashore, raising the alarm and allowing the terrified inhabitants vital minutes to escape to the surrounding hills. Drake promptly ordered his men to plunder the ship and the town.1 The booty included gold, wine, fresh meat and ecclesiastical silverware from the church. On the English seadog’s return to England in 1580, the loot from Valparaiso and elsewhere was so valuable, that Queen Elizabeth’s fifty percent share exceeded her income from all other sources that year and Drake received a knighthood from a grateful monarch.
THE MUTILATED CORPSES OF TWO IRISH NATIONALISTS FOUND DUMPED IN A POND.
[ 5 December 1920 ]
On 5 December 1920, three Irish boys discovered the mutilated bodies of two Irish brothers, Pat and Harry Loughnane, 29 and 22 years old. They had been tortured and killed by British auxiliary forces known as the Black and Tans.
THEATRE FORCED TO CHANGE PLAY TO AVOID INSULTING HITLER
[ 5 December 1935 ]
Today in 1935, the German Embassy complained to Sir George Crichton, the Lord Chamberlain, about a play at the Garrick Theatre in London’s West End. Sir George immediately instructed Dodson Noon, the theatre’s manager, to remove some lines in the play which had been deemed to be insulting to Hitler.
LORD HALIFAX ON HITLER’S NAZI REGIME – ‘ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC’
[ 5 December 1937 ]
On 5 December 1937, the Conservative MP Sir Henry Channon noted in his diary that he had ‘a long conversation with Lord Halifax,’ who had recently visited Hitler and other Nazi leaders in Germany, as a trusted informal ambassador acting on the prime minister Neville Chamberlain’s behalf.
- Ernle Bradford, Drake: England’s Greatest Seafarer, Endeavour Media Limited, London, 2018.
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