This Day in History: 1386-07-25

On 25th July 1386, John of Gaunt’s (lord of Pontefract) fleet carrying 7,000 men arrived at Corunna in Galicia, north-west Spain, on his mission to claim Castile. Cleverly picking the Galicians’ celebration of the feast of St James, the English forces met with little, if any, resistance and the holy day was cited as significant in underpinning Gaunt’s claim as Castile’s rightful King. A short stay at Corunna before taking the sacred town of Santiago de Compostela, reinforced, in Gaunt’s eyes, his legitimate claim to Castile.