|Part of the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604) and the Eighty Years' War|
|Commanders and leaders|
| 120–150 ships |
17,000 to 20,000 men
|Casualties and losses|
The Islands Voyage, also known as the Essex-Raleigh Expedition, was an ambitious, but unsuccessful naval campaign sent by Queen Elizabeth I of England, and supported by the United Provinces, against Spain during the Anglo–Spanish War (1585–1604) and the Eighty Years' War.
The campaign took place between June and late August 1597,and the objectives were to destroy the Spanish fleet of the Adelantado of Castile, Martín de Padilla y Manrique, Count of Santa Gadea, at the port of Ferrol, occupy and destroy the Spanish possessions in the Azores Islands, and intercept the Spanish treasure fleet coming from America as it passed through the Azores. The result of the campaign was a great failure for England. It was led by Sir Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, as Admiral and General-in-chief, Sir Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk, as Vice-Admiral, and Sir Walter Raleigh as Rear-Admiral. The Dutch squadron was commanded by Lieutenant-Admiral Jacob van Wassenaer Duivenvoorde. Other notable participants were Sir Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton (who commanded the galleon Garland ), the Baron Jacob Astley of Reading, Sir Edward Michelborne aboard the Moon, Sir Robert Mansell, Roger Manners 5th Earl of Rutland, and the English poet John Donne.
The Anglo-Dutch fleet returned to England with great losses and a war of recriminations between Essex and Raleigh.The Spanish fleets were led by Martín de Padilla, Alonso de Bazán, Diego Brochero and Pedro de Zubiaur. The treasure fleet was commanded by Admiral Juan Gutiérrez de Garibay.
The expedition was the last major naval campaign of Elizabeth I of England.Essex's failure to capture the treasure fleet, and his failure to occupy the Azores Islands, contributed to his decline in the queen's favour.
Sir Francis Drake was an English sea captain, privateer, naval officer, slaver, and explorer. Drake is best known for his circumnavigation of the world in a single expedition, from 1577 to 1580. This included his incursion into the Pacific Ocean, until then an area of exclusive Spanish interest, and his claim to New Albion for England, an area in what is now the American state of California. His expedition inaugurated an era of conflict with the Spanish on the western coast of the Americas, an area that had previously been largely unexplored by Western shipping.
Sir Walter Raleigh , also spelled Ralegh, was an English landed gentleman, writer, poet, soldier, politician, courtier, spy and explorer. He was a cousin of Sir Richard Grenville and younger half-brother of Sir Humphrey Gilbert. He is also well known for popularising tobacco in England. Raleigh was one of the most notable figures of the Elizabethan era.
The 1590s decade ran from January 1, 1590, to December 31, 1599.
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, KG, PC, was an English nobleman and a favourite of Elizabeth I. Politically ambitious, and a committed general, he was placed under house arrest following a poor campaign in Ireland during the Nine Years' War in 1599. In 1601, he led an abortive coup d'état against the government and was executed for treason.
Sir Richard Grenville, also spelt Greynvile, Greeneville, and Greenfield, was an English sailor who, as captain of Revenge, died at the Battle of Flores (1591), fighting against overwhelming odds, and refusing to surrender his ship to the far more numerous Spanish. His ship, Revenge, met 53 Spanish warships near Flores in the Azores. He and his crew fought the fifty three in a three-day running battle. Many Spanish ships were sunk or so badly damaged that they had to retire from the battle. Revenge was boarded three times and each time the boarders were seen off.
Admiral Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk, was a son of Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk by his second wife Margaret Audley, Duchess of Norfolk, the daughter and heiress of the 1st Baron Audley of Walden.
The Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604) was an intermittent conflict between the kingdoms of Spain and England that was never formally declared. The war was punctuated by widely separated battles, and began with England's military expedition in 1585 to what was then the Spanish Netherlands under the command of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, in support of the resistance of the States General to Spanish Habsburg rule.
The English Armada, also known as the Counter Armada or the Drake–Norris Expedition, was an attack fleet sent against Spain by Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1589, during the undeclared Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604) and the Eighty Years' War. It was led by Sir Francis Drake as admiral and Sir John Norreys as general, and failed to drive home the advantage England had won upon the failure of the Spanish Armada in the previous year. The Spanish victory marked a revival of Philip II's naval power through the next decade.
Events from the 1580s in England.
Warspite was a great ship of the English Tudor navy. The vessel was built at Deptford Dockyard by the master shipwright Edward Stevens and launched about 1 March 1596. She carried a crew of 300 when at sea, of whom 190 were classed as "mariners", manning the guns and fighting the ship; 80 as "sailors", working the sails and ancestors of present-day seamen and 30 "gunners", the armament specialists.
Sir Robert Mansell (1573–1656) was an admiral of the English Royal Navy and a Member of Parliament (MP), mostly for Welsh constituencies. His name was sometimes given as Sir Robert Mansfield and Sir Robert Maunsell.
The Capture of Cádiz in 1596 was an event during the Anglo-Spanish War, when English and Dutch troops under Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex and a large Anglo-Dutch fleet under Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Nottingham, with support from the Dutch United Provinces, raided the Spanish city of Cádiz.
Sir Arthur Gorges, was a sea captain, poet, translator and courtier.
The Siege of Calais of 1596, also known as the Spanish conquest of Calais, took place at the strategic port-city of Calais, between April 8–24, 1596, as part of the Franco-Spanish War (1595–1598), in the context of the French Wars of Religion, the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604), and the Eighty Years' War. The siege ended when the city fell into Spanish hands after a short and intense siege by the Spanish Army of Flanders commanded by Archduke Albert of Austria, Governor-General of the Spanish Netherlands. The French troops in the citadel of Calais resisted for a few days more, but finally on April 24, the Spanish troops led by Don Luis de Velasco y Velasco, Count of Salazar, assaulted and captured the fortress, achieving a complete victory. The Spanish success was the first action of the campaign of Archduke Albert of 1596.
Alonso de Bazán, son of Admiral Álvaro de Bazán the Elder, Marquis del Viso, and brother of the better known Admiral Álvaro de Bazán, 1st Marquis of Santa Cruz, was a Spanish naval commander during the Anglo–Spanish War (1585–1604) and the Eighty Years' War.
The Battle of Flores (1592), also known as Cruising Voyage to the Azores of 1592, or the Capture of the Madre de Deus describes a series of naval engagements that took place from 20 May to 19 August 1592, during the Anglo-Spanish War. The battle was part of an expedition by an English fleet initially led by Sir Walter Raleigh, and then by Martin Frobisher and John Burrough. The expedition involved the capture of a number of Portuguese and Spanish ships including the large Portuguese carrack Madre de Deus, after a long naval battle off the island of Flores in the Azores. The expedition, particularly the capture of the great carrack, was a financial and military success. The rich cargo aboard the carrack, which at the time equaled nearly half the size of the Kingdom of England's royal annual revenue, was subject to mass theft when it arrived in Dartmouth, England, followed by quarrels over the shares of the prize. The expedition had formative consequences for the English both financially and on the future of English exploration.
The 2nd Spanish Armada also known as the Spanish Armada of 1596 was a naval operation that took place during the Anglo–Spanish War. Another invasion of England or Ireland was attempted in the autumn of 1596 by King Philip II of Spain. In an attempt at revenge for the English sack of Cadiz in 1596, Philip immediately ordered a counter strike in the hope of assisting the Irish rebels in rebellion against the English crown. The strategy was to open a new front in the war, forcing English troops away from France and the Netherlands, where they were also fighting.
The 3rd Spanish Armada, also known as the Spanish Armada of 1597, was a major naval event that took place between October and November 1597 as part of the Anglo–Spanish War. The armada, which was the third attempt by Spain to invade or raid the British Isles during the war, was ordered by King Philip II of Spain in revenge for the English attack on Cadiz following the failure of the 2nd Spanish Armada the previous year due to a storm. The Armada was executed by the Adelantado, Martín de Padilla, who was hoping to intercept and destroy the English fleet under Robert Devereux the 2nd Earl of Essex as it returned from the failed Azores expedition. When this was achieved, the Armada would go on to capture either the important port of Falmouth or Milford Haven and use those places as a base for invasion.
The Azores Voyage of 1589, also known as Cumberland's Third Voyage, was a series of conflicts in the Azores islands between August and September 1589 by an English military joint stock expedition led by George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland, during the Anglo–Spanish War. All the islands were attacked either for provisions or the attainment of Spanish and Portuguese prizes. A number of Portuguese and Spanish ships were captured and also included a battle at Faial which resulted in the capture of the fort and the main town, which was subsequently sacked and burned. The English were able to return home unmolested with a total of thirteen prizes – the expedition was a success and with a good profit for the investors although many lives were lost to disease and storms.
Sir Edward Michelborne, sometimes written Michelbourn, was an English soldier, adventurer and explorer. After a military career in the 1590s he tried to be appointed 'principal commander' for the first voyage of the East India Company (EIC), but was rebuffed. He subsequently became an interloper with the personal approval of King James I and set out to the far east in December 1604. Indulging in plunder as well as seeking out trade, his activities upset the EIC who complained to the Privy Council about his interloping, following his return to England in 1606.