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Monstrous AdversaryThe Life of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford$
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Alan H. Nelson

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780853236788

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846313592

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Rid of my Lord Oxford

Rid of my Lord Oxford

61 Rid of my Lord Oxford
Monstrous Adversary
Liverpool University Press

On 19 July 1588, about four weeks after Anne's interment, Spanish ships appeared off the coast of Cornwall and Devon. This chapter considers evidence of Oxford's role in the battle of the Armada. These suggest that Oxford positively refused a post in the Armada campaign. His motivation was pique — as in the 1585 campaign in the Low Countries — rather than cowardice or subversion; but pique cannot excuse a refusal to obey a superior officer in time of war. Supervision of the coastal defences of Essex was a hereditary obligation, accepted by Oxford's father over virtually the whole of his tenure as 16th Earl. The 17th Earl, by contrast, was so indifferent to his military responsibilities that the defence of Essex had long been left to others.

Keywords:   Spain, Spanish Armada, Essex, defence

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