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de C˙ellar

Francisco de C˙ellar

Francisco de Cúellar was a captain of the galleon San Pedro of the squadron of Castille, one of the front line squadrons of the Spanish Armada. Following the battles with the English fleet in the Channel, de Cúellar was accused and convicted of breaking fleet sailing orders.

Condemned to death, he argued his case sufficiently well, to obtain a reprieve. Conditional to that reprieve was that he remain on board the Levanter La Lavia under the supervision of the Judge Advocate, Martin de Aranda.

This then was how he came to be aboard La Lavia, when she in company with La Juliana and Santa Maria de Vision also from the squadron of Levant, became trapped off the Sligo coast at Streedagh. These three ships remained stormbound here for four days, on the fifth day the weather worsened, as the storm increased, all three were driven ashore foundering on Streedagh Strand.

Francisco de C˙ellar survived this disaster and set out to reach safety, first here in Ireland, travelling from Sligo to the Causeway Coast, from there to Scotland, and from Scotland to Spanish held Antwerp.

From Antwerp he wrote a long letter detailing his adventures in Connaught and Ulster, that led to his subsequent escape.

It is this letter discovered in Spanish archives in the 19th Century, which forms the basis for the De C˙ellar trail, this website and accompanying brochure and book.