Time Line of Anglo-Portuguese Relations

  • 1587

    Sir Francis Drake raids the Algarve coast and briefly occupies Sagres.

  • 1588

    The great armada to invade England sails from the Tagus commanded by the Marquis of Medina Sidónea.

  • 1589

    Sir Francis Drake heads a fleet with an invasion against King Phillip II of Spain now also king of Portugal. The small army was headed by the pretender to the Portuguese throne, the illegitimate, D. António, Prior do Crato. The army disembarks in Peniche and makes its way to Lisbon but they find the gates closed against “these heretics”. There were confrontations at the gates of Santa Catarina (now the top of the Chiado) and eventually they retired to Cascais where Drake awaited them but not before setting fire and looting this fishing town.

  • 1595

    The English launch an important invasion of the Azores; Portugal was under Spanish domination since 1580. Robert Devreux, 2nd Earl of Essex, commanded the fleet of 100 ships. Among his captains was Sr Walter Raleigh. The poet John Donne was among the army. The invasion did not succeed.

  • 1596

    The Earl of Essex together with Sir Walter Raleigh and Lord Howard of Effingham sacks Faro and takes away the bishop’s (D. Fernando Martins Mascarenhas) library of about 200 books which subsequently (1598) he gave to the Bodleian library in Oxford were they still remain.

  • 1598

    English fleet blocks the Tagus harbour.

  • 1602

    Sir Richard Leveson and Sir William Manson attack Spanish Galleons off Sesimbra south of Lisbon. Portugal between 1580 and 1640 was occupied by the Spaniards.

  • 1603

    A group of English merchants engaged in trade with Spain and Portugal are given a charter and were allowed a consul.

  • 1608

    Sir Francis Tregian, a Cornish recusant was banished from England by James I for his Catholic beliefs and ended up in Lisbon. He was buried in the Jesuit church of S. Roque in Lisbon where on the left of the chancel he is buried standing up with a long description of his sufferings. After his death a cult was established around his name and tomb.

  • 1617

    Creation in Lisbon of the “Free Factory” by British merchants.