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Account of Sir John Norris and Sir Francis Drake's expedition to Portugal

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Account of Sir John Norris and Sir Francis Drake's expedition to Portugal

Author
Date
3 June 1589
Medium
Manuscript

This account titled "Advertisementes frome Castcalles in the Rivier of Lyseborne" describes an attempt by Sir John Norris and Sir Francis Drake to seize Lisbon, Portugal, and to free the country from Spanish control by installing the pretender Dom Antonio on the throne. Norris and Drake's expeditionary force was the English response to the Spanish Armada of 1588. The expedition had sailed for Portugal following an unsuccesful attempt to take Corunna on the Spanish coast. Norris landed the English Army in Portugal at Peniche on 16 May and prepared to march overland. Drake, on the other hand, was to sail with the fleet to the Tagus River where the two forces would reunite for a move against Lisbon (Kelsey, Sir Francis Drake, p. 354). According to this account, Norris's march to Lisbon took six days. His troops suffered greatly from the "excessyve heat and some weakenes beinge newlye Comme frome the sea." Norris's weakened army did not find Drake at Lisbon. The fleet remained anchored at Cascais (MacCaffrey, War and Politics, p. 91). With no prospects of the ranks being swelled by a wave of Portuguese support for Dom Antonio, Norris retreated to Cascais to join Drake. Having failed at great cost, the expedition returned to England to face an angry Elizabeth I.

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