Francisco de Cuellar


Francisco de Cuéllar; Armada sailor, striped of his own command; washed ashore in Sligo when the Lavia was shipwrecked with great loss of life off Streedagh Strand, Sept. 1588; escaped murderous bands on fore-shore, though badly injured; robbed of clothes and possessions, incl. religious effects taken by an Irish girl (hermossisma por todo estremo/beautiful in the extreme); made himself a covering of ferns and straw;
was sheltered by the O’Rourke, who was subsequently beheaded at the Tower for subsequently dragging a Queen's sherriff to his death by the heels; travelled from Donegal to Antrim; defended the MacClancy fort against English army; sent epistolary account of his experiences to a Spanish patron, Oct. 1589 - though not to King Ferdinand as Henry Sedgewick believe; MS deposited in naval archives, Madrid, and later published.


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  • C. Fernández Duro, ed., La Armada Invencible por el Capitan de Navío de la Real Academia de la Historia, Est. Tipográfico ‘Sucesores de Rivadeneyra’, 2 vols. (Madrid 1884-85) [online at CELT].
  • J. P. O‘’Reilly, ‘Remarks on certain passages in Captain Cuellar’s narrative on his adventures in Ireland after the wreck of the Spanish Armada in 1588-89, followed by a literal translation of that narrative’, in Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Sect. C (Dublin 1893), pp.175-217.
  • H. D. Sedgwick, A Letter to His Majesty King Philip II of Spain (NY 1895).
  • Hugh Allingham, Captain Cuellar's adventures in Connacht and Ulster, 1588 AD, to which is added an Introduction and complete translation of Captain Cuellar's narrative of the Spanish Armada, by Robert Crawford (London: Stock 1897), 70pp., ill.
  • Hugh Allingham & R. Crawford, ed. & trans., Captain Cuellar’s adventures in Connacht and Ulster: a picture of the times drawn from contemporary sources, reprinted to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the wrecking of three vessels on Streedagh Strand (Sligo 1988).
  • Brendan Clifford, ed., A story of the Spanish Armada by Captain Francisco de Cuellar, with additional material by various authors (Belfast 1988).
  • P. Gallagher & D. W. Cruickshan, eds., God’s Obvious Design: Papers for the Spanish Armada Symposium, Sligo 1988, with an edition and translation of the account of Francisco de Cuellar (London 1990).
The Spanish text is held as Carta de uno que fué en la Armada de Ingalaterra y cuenta la jornada at CELT (Dublin) as T108200 [online]. The MS sources being part of La Real Academia de la Historia. Colección Salazar, número. 7, fólio. 58)

Hugh Allingham, ed. & intro., Captain Cuellar’s Adventures in Connacht and Ulster, AD 1588, to which is added, an introduction and complete translation of Capt. Cuellar’s narrative of the Spanish Armada by Robert Crawford (London: Stock 1897); Hiram Morgan, ‘Spanish Armadas and Ireland, 1588-1602’, in The Sea in European History, ed. Luc François & Ann Katherine Isaacs (Pisa 2001) [q.pp.] See also Ken Douglas, The Downfall of the Spanish Armada in Ireland (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 2009), 320pp.

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