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The fleet disembarked on Guy Fawkes Day - a day of ill omen for the Stuarts.

Smitten by a severe nosebleed, James dithered, then fled to France.

It was a (relatively) bloodless regime change - the so-called Glorious Revolution.

Elizabeth I came to address her troops on August 8.

By then, the Armada had been forced up the east coast of England, towards its destruction by storm, disease and shortage of food.

Nevertheless, the fear of invasion remained, and the speech that Elizabeth delivered to rally her troops shows why she had star quality.

In what a later generation would think of as Churchillian mode, she was resolved to die rather than surrender: 'I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king - and of a king of England too...' Of the fort as Elizabeth would have known it, nothing remains.

Sir Alexander Fleming's laboratory in St Mary's Hospital, London, survives just as it was when he discovered penicillin in 1928.

Going on holiday, Fleming (above), then a professor of bacteriology, left several Petri dishes containing staphylococci, which he had been studying, on the mahogany workbench of his lab.On returning, he noticed that one of the dishes had gone mouldy.He looked at it closely, and saw that microbes around the mould had been killed.He called the substance that had done the work 'mould juice', later renaming it penicillin.It was developed into a medicine by Howard Florey and his team at Oxford in the late Thirties and early Forties.It would save the lives of many soldiers who had been wounded during the D-Day landings in Normandy, and conquer septicaemia, pneumonia, meningitis and puerperal fever, from which women could die after childbirth.


  1. However, the historical anniversary seems entirely out of touch with some of the more sober realities of life in today’s Lithuania, a nation seized by a political, legal and moral crisis.

  2. Over the course of five days, 'fat' Yvette (pictured left) received 18 messages, 74 likes and 81 visits.

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