Coruña Bay, Ferrol Bay, Spain


This English manuscript double chart, in pen and water colors, on vellum, shows the harbors of La Coruña and El Ferrol in Spain. The date, localities depicted, and provenance of the charts indicate that they were prepared for use in the Drake-Norris expedition of 1589. After the Spanish Armada was defeated in 1588 by the English fleet and failed in its attempt to invade England and overthrow Queen Elizabeth I, the English organized a counter-expedition aimed at destroying the remaining ships of the Armada. These ships had taken refuge in the northern Spanish ports of Santander and La Coruña-El Ferrol. The expedition, which ultimately was unsuccessful, was commanded by Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Norreys (Norris). In all probability, these maps were used in the expedition and depicted places that were to be attacked. The inscriptions below the scales at the tops of the maps read: "This Scale Containeth. 4. Leagus in Length Every Broad space Being an English Myle Itt Hyes in the Groine [La Coruña] in Spring Tydes. 12 Foot water."

Date Created

Subject Date


Title in Original Language

La Coruña. El Ferrol, Spain


Type of Item

Physical Description

2 manuscript maps on 1 sheet : color, vellum ; 50 x 35 centimeters and 50 x 34 centimeters, on sheet 52 x 71 centimeters

Last updated: July 3, 2013