|Part of the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604) and the Eighty Years' War|
|Commanders and leaders|
Earl of Suffolk
Martín de Padilla|
Alonso de Bazán
Juan de Garibay
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 of 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.
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- Jowitt p.121–122
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- Edwards p. 233
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