On this day, his fourteenth birthday, Robin Dudley knew he was finally a man in the eyes of his father.
When Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, Lieutenant and Captain-General of the Queen's Armies and Companies, had given his base-born son permission to join him at the Tilbury encampment, Robin had at first been thrilled. He'd spent the entire trip from Oxford imagining the stories of heroism and valor he would be able tell his friends after he helped Leicester repulse the Spanish invasion. He would fight bravely, of course, and Queen Elizabeth would reward him with lands and riches and titles, just as Queen Mary and King Philip had rewarded Leicester after the Battle of Saint Quentin. He could hardly wait.
Robin had only begun to understand the danger when he arrived at Tilbury and saw the old, D-shaped blockhouse had been reinforced by new earthworks and a wooden palisade, all of which stood guard over a boom of chains and ships' masts that now stretched across the Thames to...
The author has set this story to be visible to logged-in users only. Log in to read the rest of this story.