Battle of San Juan (1595)

Battle of San Juan (1595)
Part of the Anglo-Spanish War (1585)
Ship entering the bay of San Juan, in front of Fort San Felipe del Morro - view from Isla de Cabras.
Date22 November 1595
LocationCastillo San Felipe del Morro (present-day Puerto Rico)
ResultSpanish victory
Spain SpainEngland Kingdom of England
Commanders and leaders
Gonzalo Méndez de Cancio
Sancho Pardo Donlebún
Pedro Suárez Coronel
Francis Drake
John Hawkins
5 frigates,
750 soldiers and sailors,
70 guns[1]
27 ships,
2,500 soldiers and sailors
Casualties and losses
1 frigate burnt,
40 killed[1]
8–10 ships sunk,
400 killed[1]

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.[2]

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.

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