King Philip IV
Bernardino de Meneses
Cristóbal Arnaldo Isasi
Pablo Fernández de Contreras
Marcos del Puerto
Diego de Egüés
Willem Bette †
Juan José de Austria
Louis, Grand Condé
King Louis XIV
Vicomte de Turenne
Spain and the Canary Islands
Philip IV of Spain
The Anglo-Spanish War was a conflict between the English Protectorate
Oliver Cromwell and Spain, between 1654 and 1660. It was caused
by commercial rivalry. Each side attacked the other's commercial and
colonial interests in various ways such as privateering and naval
expeditions. In 1655, an English amphibious expedition invaded Spanish
territory in the Caribbean. The major land actions took place in the
Spanish Netherlands. In 1657, England formed an alliance with France,
merging the Anglo–Spanish war with the larger Franco-Spanish War.
3 European campaigns
5 See also
8 Further reading
First Anglo-Dutch War
First Anglo-Dutch War came to an end, Cromwell turned his
attention to England's traditional enemies, France and Spain. Although
Cromwell believed it to be God's will that the Protestant religion
should prevail in Europe, he pursued a foreign policy that was at once
pragmatic and realistic, allying himself with Catholic France that was
engaged in a major and longstanding war with Superpower Catholic
Spain. In essence, by going to war with
Spain he was seeking a return
to a policy of commercial opportunism pursued in the days of Elizabeth
I and subsequently abandoned by the Stuarts. Cromwell's attack on
Spanish trade and treasure routes immediately recalled the exploits of
Francis Drake and Walter Raleigh; and it is not by accident that
printed accounts of their activities began to circulate in England at
this time. There was, however, one important difference: alongside
silver and gold a new treasure was becoming ever more important –
sugar. This meant occupation of territory, a step beyond the piracy
pursued in Elizabethan days.
During the first year of the Protectorate, Cromwell conducted
negotiations with the French statesman Cardinal Mazarin, resulting in
the drafting of an Anglo-French alliance against
Spain in October
1655. The alliance had an added benefit of keeping the French from
helping the Stuarts to regain the throne of England for a few more
Meanwhile, Cromwell had already launched the Western Design against
Spain's colonies in the Spanish West Indies. The fleet left Portsmouth
in late December 1654 and arrived in the West Indies in January. In
May 1655, an English amphibious expedition led by General at Sea
William Penn, father of the founder of Pennsylvania, and General
Robert Venables invaded Spanish territory in the West Indies with the
objective of capturing Hispaniola. It was one of the strongest ever to
sail from England, with some 3,000 marines under the command of
General Robert Venables, further reinforced in Barbados, Montserrat,
St. Kitts and Nevis.
Although Cromwell had previously been interested in the possible
Hispaniola island, the expedition's commanders were
given the freedom to determine their own priorities in the
circumstances they faced on arrival. Several options were considered,
including a landing on the coast of
Guatemala or on Cuba. Both were
discounted, as Penn and Venables decided to attempt to repeat Drake's
Santo Domingo on Hispaniola. However, the 1655 Siege of
Santo Domingo failed because the Spanish had improved their defences
in the face of Dutch attacks earlier in the century. Cromwell, on the
other hand, saw the
Hispaniola defeat as God's judgement. Despite
various subsequent successes, the defeat made the whole operation
Spanish West Indies
Spanish West Indies a general failure. Venables and Penn
were imprisoned therefore in the
Tower of London
Tower of London on their arrival on
Jamaica was the casus belli that resulted in the actual Anglo-Spanish
War in 1655. Weakened by fever, the English force then sailed west
Colony of Santiago
Colony of Santiago (present day Jamaica), the only Spanish
West Indies island that did not have new defensive works. They landed
in May 1655 at a place called Santiago de la Vega, now Spanish Town.
They came, and they stayed, in the face of prolonged local resistance
that was reinforced by troops sent from
Spain and New
In 1657 the English Governor invited the Buccaneers to base themselves
Port Royal on Santiago, to deter the Spanish from recapturing the
island. For England,
Jamaica was to be the 'dagger pointed at the
heart of the Spanish Empire', although in fact it was a possession of
little value then. Cromwell, despite all difficulties, was
determined that the presence should remain, sending reinforcements and
supplies. New Spanish troops sailing from Cuba, lost the Battle of
Ocho Rios in 1657 and the
Battle of Rio Nuevo
Battle of Rio Nuevo in 1658, failing in
their attempts to retake Jamaica.
In European waters, Blake proceeded to blockade the Spanish port of
Cadiz. A galleon of treasure was captured, and the overall loss to
Spain was estimated at £2,000,000. Little was achieved in the war
until September 1656 when one of Blake's captains, Richard Stayner,
intercepted a Spanish treasure fleet and captured or sank all but two
of its ships, which was a serious blow to the king's finances. Then in
April 1657, in the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Blake completely
destroyed another Spanish merchant convoy—the West Indian
Fleet—that had stopped at Santa Cruz harbour on its return voyage.
Fortunately for Spain, the fleet had landed the bullion before the
battle. The English lost 1,500 to 2,000 merchant ships to Spanish
privateers and instead of using captured English ships to replace
their destroyed convoys, the Spanish government placed the care of
Spanish trade in the hands of neutral Dutch merchantmen.
An Anglo-French alliance against
Spain was established when the Treaty
of Paris was signed in March 1657. Based on the terms of the treaty,
the English would join with France in her continuing war against Spain
in Flanders. France would contribute an army of 20,000 men, England
would contribute both 6,000 troops and the English fleet in a campaign
against the Flemish coastal fortresses of Gravelines,
Mardyck. It was agreed that
Gravelines would be ceded to France,
Mardyck to England. Dunkirk, in particular, was on the
Commonwealth's mind mainly because of the privateers that were causing
damage to the mercantile fleet. For Cromwell and the Commonwealth, the
question of possession of
Dunkirk thus passed from regional diplomatic
possibility to urgent political necessity.
The combined Anglo-French army for the invasion of
commanded by the great French Marshal Turenne. The Spanish Army of
Flanders was commanded by Don Juan-José, an illegitimate son of the
Spanish King Philip. The Spanish army of 15,000 troops was augmented
by a force of 3,000 English Royalists—formed as the nucleus of
potential army for the invasion of England by Charles II, with
Charles's brother James, Duke of York, among its commanders.
The Commonwealth fleet blockaded Flemish ports but, to Cromwell's
annoyance, the military campaign started late in the year and was
subject to many delays. Marshal Turenne spent the summer of 1657
campaigning against the Spanish in
Luxembourg and made no move to
Flanders until September.
Mardyck was captured on 22 September
and garrisoned by Commonwealth troops.
Dunkirk was besieged in May
1658. A Spanish relief force attempted to lift the siege but was
defeated on 4 June at the Battle of the Dunes. The Commonwealth
contingent in Turenne's army fought with distinction and impressed
their French allies with a successful assault up a strongly defended
sandhill 150 feet high during the battle. When
Dunkirk surrendered to
Turenne on 14 June,
Cardinal Mazarin honoured the terms of the treaty
with Cromwell and handed the port over to the Commonwealth, despite
the protests of Louis XIV. The Commonwealth also honoured its
obligations in respecting the rights of the Catholic populations of
Mardyck and Dunkirk. A contingent of Commonwealth troops remained with
Turenne's army and were instrumental in the capture of
other Flemish towns by the French. With the privateering threat of
Dunkirk threat out of the way, England's mercantile fleet suffered far
fewer losses; not only because the
Dunkirkers had lost their largest
base but also because English trade had already been largely lost to
Admiral Robert Blake
The war between France and
Spain ended with the signing of the Peace
of the Pyrenees on 28 October 1659. Cromwell's death in 1658 left
England in political turmoil that would result in the return of the
Stuarts to the throne of England. After the Restoration of Charles II
in England, the Anglo-Spanish War was formally terminated in September
1660. Charles sold
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV of France in November 1662 –
though less than £300,000 of the promised half million was ever paid.
Although the Western Design failed in its primary objective of
capturing the island of Hispaniola, as a first step toward the
conquest of Central America,
Jamaica remained an English colony
despite the exiled king's promise to return it after the
Restoration. The purpose of the Western Design survived the
Protectorate itself, later to be revived in the raids of Henry Morgan
Christopher Myngs under the behest of the Jamaican governor Thomas
Modyford. Modyford's pretexts for licensing the buccaneers was his
Jamaica would never be secure until the Spanish
government acknowledged England's possession of
Jamaica and Cayman
Islands and named it in a treaty.
Spain formally recognised
England's ownership of the islands in 1670 at the treaty of Madrid.
Spain had both suffered heavy economic losses. Spain
suffered, mainly from Blake's blockade of Cadiz. The effect of this,
particularly with the action off
Cadiz and at Santa Cruz, was the
disruption of the Spanish economy, which depended upon silver and gold
from the Americas. This added to the difficulties of Philip's
IV's armies, who for years had been on the defensive in their
campaigns in Italy, the Pyrenees,
Flanders and Portugal. The
Spanish answered with a privateering campaign that all but wiped out
English shipping trade. Consequently, the Dutch enjoyed a
rapid and lasting recovery from the shipping and trade losses they had
suffered during the Anglo-Dutch war, at the expense of the
English.  Nevertheless, with the victory of the first
Anglo-Dutch war and the successes in the war against Spain, England
had done enough to establish itself as one of Europe's leading naval
History of Jamaica
British military history
Lord Wentworth's Regiment served as part of the Spanish Army.
^ Rodger 2005, p. 29.
^ Rodger 2005, p. 24.
^ a b Coward 2002, p. 134.
^ Hart 1922, p. 44.
^ Rodger 2005, p. 28.
^ Gardiner 1901, p. 467.
^ Hutton 2000, p. 468.
^ Rommelse 2006, p. 21
^ "He advocated the capture of
Cuba as a first step,
and after that, the conquest of Central America, which he considered
would be completed in two years" (Taylor 1969, p. 5).
^ "the newly acquired
Caribbean island of
Jamaica would later become
one of the United Kingdom's most valuable possessions for more than
150 years" (Barratt 2006, p. 202).
^ Gardiner 2007, p. 187.
^ a b Barratt 2006, p. 183.
^ Firth 1909, p. 57.
^ Harding 1999, p. 78.
^ "Commerce was depressed because of the armed conflicts and the
burden became too heavy to bear" (Rommelse 2006, p. 21).
^ "The main effect of the war was to disrupt what remained of English
commerce" (Nolan, p. 12).
^ "About 1,000 English ships were lost as against some 400 captured by
the English." (Cooper 1979, p. 236)
^ Rommelse 2006, p. 21.
^ Cooper 1979, p. 237.
Barratt, John (2006). Cromwell's Wars at Sea. Barnsley.
Cooper, J. P. (1979). The New Cambridge Modern History: Volume 4, The
Spain and the Thirty Years War, 1609–48/49. CUP Archive.
Coward, Barry (2002). The Cromwellian Protectorate. Manchester
University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-4317-8.
Firth, Charles (1909). The Last Years of the Protectorate,
1656–1658. 1. Longmans, Green; New York.
Gardiner, Frances Davenport (2007). European Treaties Bearing on the
History of the United States and Its Dependencies to 1648. Kessinger
Publishing. ISBN 978-0-548-56895-8.
Gardiner, Samuel Rawson (1901). History of the Commonwealth and
Protectorate, 1649–1660 (1901). Longmans, Green.
Harding, Richard (1999). Seapower and naval warfare, 1650–1830.
Naval Institute Press.
Hart, Francis Russel (1922). Admirals of the Caribbean. Boston.
Hutton, Ronald (2000). The British Republic 1649–1660, 2nd edition.
Palgrave MacMillan, Basingstoke.
Nolan, Cathal J. (2008). Wars of the age of Louis XIV, 1650–1715: an
encyclopedia of global warfare and civilization. ABC-CLIO.
Rodger, N.A.M. (2005). The Command of the Ocean. New York.
Rommelse, Gijs (2006). The Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665–1667):
raison d'état, mercantilism and maritime strife. Uitgeverij Verloren.
Taylor, Stanley Arthur Goodwin (1969). The Western design: an account
of Cromwell's expedition to the Caribbean. Solstice Productions.
Library resources about
Anglo-Spanish War (1654–1660)
Resources in your library
Resources in other libraries
Fraser, Antonia (1909). Cromwell, Our Chief of Men. Phoenix; New Ed
edition. ISBN 978-0-7538-1331-7.
Israel, Jonathan (1997). Conflicts of empires: Spain, the low
countries and the struggle for world supremacy, 1585–1713. Continuum
International Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-85285-161-3.
Leathes, Stanley (1906). "Chapter XXI Mazarin". In Ward, Adolphus W.
The Thirty Years' War. The Cambridge Modern History, planned by Lord
Acton. 4. Cambridge University Press.
Plant, David. "The Anglo-Spanish War 1655–1660". British Civil Wars,
Commonwealth and Protectorate website. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
Plowden, Alison (2006). In a Free Republic. Sutton Publishing Ltd.
Maland, David (1991). Europe in the Seventeenth Century (Second ed.).
Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-33574-0.
Staff (20 November 2006). "1657: The Rough Guide to Europe". The
Scotsman. Edinburgh. [dead link]