Grenville, Sir Richard

Grenville, Sir Richard

▪ English naval commander
born June 15, 1542
died September 1591

      colourful and daring English naval commander who fought heroically, against overwhelming odds, in a celebrated encounter with a Spanish fleet off Flores Island in the Azores.

      He fought with the imperial army against the Turks in Hungary (1566–68). Next he helped to suppress an uprising in Munster, Ireland, in 1568–69, and between 1573 and 1575 he made preparations for a voyage of discovery to the South Pacific, hoping to locate a northwest passage from England to China. For political reasons the expedition was never made, but Sir Francis Drake (Drake, Sir Francis) adopted the plan for his circumnavigation voyage of 1577–80.

      In 1585 Grenville commanded the fleet that carried 100 English colonists to Roanoke Island in present-day North Carolina, and in 1589–91 he worked to establish a plantation in the Irish province of Munster (modern counties of Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, and Waterford).

      Recalled to England in 1591, Grenville was made second in command (under Lord Thomas Howard) of a squadron of about 15 vessels sent to intercept a Spanish treasure fleet off the Azores. When 53 Spanish vessels approached to protect their treasure ships, the English retreated, but Grenville was delayed and cut off. Undaunted, he attempted to run his ship, the Revenge, through the Spanish line. After 15 hours of hand-to-hand combat against 15 Spanish galleons and a force of 5,000 men, the Revenge with her 190-man crew was captured (Sept. 9/10, 1591). A few days later the wounded Grenville died on board the Spanish flagship. His exploit is commemorated in Tennyson's poem “The Revenge.”

Additional Reading
A.L. Rowse, Sir Richard Grenville of the Revenge (1937, reissued 1962), recounts his career.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Grenville,Sir Richard — Grenville, Sir Richard. 1542? 1591. English naval officer who commanded the fleet carrying the first colonists to Virginia (1585) and organized the English defense against the Spanish Armada (1588). He was killed in a battle that pitted his ship… …   Universalium

  • GRENVILLE, SIR RICHARD —    a gallant seaman of Queen Elizabeth s time; already a knight, commanded the first expedition sent by Raleigh to colonise Virginia; took part in the defeat of the Armada, and in 1591, while commanding the Revenge in Lord Howard s squadron,… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Sir Richard Grenville, 1st Baronet — (or Granville) (1600 ndash; 1658) was a Cornish Royalist leader during the English Civil War.He was the third son of Sir Bernard Grenville (1559 1636), and a grandson of the famous seaman, Sir Richard Grenville. Having served in France, Germany… …   Wikipedia

  • Grenville (Greynvile), Sir Richard — (1542 1591)    The son of Sir Roger Greynvile, who commanded the Mary Rose and was lost when it sank in 1545. Sir Richard s single poem In Praise of Seafaring Men, in Hopes (or hope) of Good Fortune inspired Alfred, Lord Tennyson (see entry) to… …   British and Irish poets

  • Greynvile, Sir Richard —    See Grenville, Sir Richard …   British and Irish poets

  • Richard Grenville — Sir Richard Grenville (* 6. Juni 1542 in Clifton House in Devonshire; † 10. September 1591 auf hoher See bei den Azoren) war ein englischer Seemann, Entdeckungsreisender und Soldat der Elizabethanischen Zeit, bekannt durch sein draufgängerisches… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Richard Grenville — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Grenville. Richard Grenville Sir Richard Grenville (avec diverses transcriptions, parmi lesquelles Greynvile, Greeneville, Greenfield, etc. ; …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Richard Grenville — Sir Richard Grenville (June 6, 1542 ndash; September 10, 1591) (sp. var: Greynvile , Greeneville , Greenfield , etc.) was an Elizabethan sailor, explorer, and soldier. He was the grandfather of Sir Richard Grenville, of English Civil War… …   Wikipedia

  • Grenville — may refer to: People* Bevil ** Bevil Grenville (1596–1643), Cornish Royalist military leader in the Civil War* George ** George Grenville (1712 1770), Whig, Prime Minister of Great Britain ** George Nugent Temple Grenville, 1st Marquess of… …   Wikipedia

  • Richard Grenville (disambiguation) — Richard Grenville may refer to: *Sir Richard Grenville, English sailor and soldier, d.1591 *Sir Richard Grenville, 1st Baronet, d. 1658, Royalist leader in the English Civil War * Richard Grenville Verney, 19th Baron Willoughby de Broke, d.1923… …   Wikipedia

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