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Battle of San Juan (1595)

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22 November 1595

Spanish victory

Battle of San Juan (1595) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

5 frigates, 750 soldiers and sailors, 70 guns
27 ships, 2,500 soldiers and sailors

1 frigate burnt, 40 killed
8–10 ships sunk, 400 killed

Castillo San Felipe del Morro, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Spanish Empire, Kingdom of England

Battle of San Juan, Battle of Pinos, Siege of Mons, Spanish conquest of Chiapas, Battle of Gembloux

The Battle of San Juan (1595) was a Spanish victory during the Anglo–Spanish War. This war broke out in 1585 and was fought not only in the European theatre but in Spain's American colonies.



After emerging from six years of disgrace following the resounding defeat of the English Armada at Lisbon in 1589, Francis Drake embarked on a long and disastrous campaign against Hispanic America, suffering several consecutive defeats there. On 22 November 1595 Drake and John Hawkins tried to invade San Juan with 27 ships and 2,500 men. After failing to be able to land at the Ensenada del Escambron on the eastern end of San Juan Islet, he attempted to sail into San Juan Bay with the intention of sacking the city.

Unable to capture the island, following the death of his comrade, John Hawkins, Drake abandoned San Juan, and set sail for Panama where he died from disease and received a burial at sea after failing to establish an English settlement in America.


This defeat and the defeat at Pinos ended English hopes of establishing a presence in the Caribbean Sea.

In the first days 1596 Drake was diagnosed with dysentery and eventually died on 28 January. He became ill most likely during the Puerto Rico campaign, since during the second attack on Puerto Rico an outbreak of that disease killed 400 English soldiers, forcing George Clifford to abandon plans to make San Juan a permanent English base in the Antilles.

In art

The battle is mentioned in Lope de Vega's epic poem La Dragontea


Battle of San Juan (1595) Wikipedia

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