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Battle of San Juan (1595)
Part of the Anglo-Spanish War
Ship entering the bay of San Juan, in front of Fort San Felipe del Morro - view from Isla de Cabras
Date 22 November 1595
Location Fort San Felipe del Morro, Puerto Rico.
Result Spanish victory
Flag of New Spain.svg Spanish Empire Flag of England.svg English privateers
Pedro Suárez Coronel Francis Drake
27 ships,
2,500 infantry

The Battle of San Juan (1595) was a Spanish victory during the Anglo–Spanish War. This war broke out in 1585 and was fought not only in the European theatre but in Spain's American colonies.


Having been unable to hold Lisbon, Francis Drake embarked on a long and disastrous campaign against Hispanic America, suffering several consecutive defeats there. On 22 November 1595 Drake and John Hawkins tried to invade the island with 27 ships and 2,500 men, sailing into San Juan bay with the intention of sacking the city[1]. Unable to capture the island, Drake burned San Juan, and in 1596 made another unsuccessful attack on San Juan, in which fire from Spanish cannon mounted in Fort San Felipe del Morro hit the bridge of Drake's ship, though he survived. Shortly afterwards they again attacked San Juan, but were again defeated, unable as they were to dislodge the guns and troops entrenched in the forts.


This and a series of other English defeats facilitated Spanish hegemony in Europe right up to the signing of the 1604 Treaty of London. As for Drake, in mid-January 1596 (aged 56) he was diagnosed with the dystentry that killed him on 28 January that year - this was most likely caught during the Puerto Rico campaign, since during the second attack on Puerto Rico an outbreak of dysentry killed 400 English soldiers, forcing George Clifford to abandon plans to make San Juan a permanent English base in the Antilles.




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