Captain Francisco de Cuéllar
The Armada, Ireland, and the Wars of the Spanish Monarchy, 1578–1606
"Francis Kelly’s book goes beyond this well-known ‘Irish tour’ of Cuéllar: its aim is to place the individual in his time, reviewing his life and professional experience in the age in which he has lived. And here lies, in our opinion, the great value of this book … Along with this book’s broad vision, the author also brilliantly presents some particular episodes in which Cuéllar took part, such as the naval battle between his squadron and a small English fleet off the coast of San Vicente, Brazil, in 1583 ... The book is brilliantly edited, in the high-quality tradition of Four Courts Press. It has high quality maps and illustrations, with a glossary of Spanish words and currencies, and some valuable appendices. The index at the end of the book is also complete and of great help to the reader. Finally, the narration is fast, vivid, and captures the reader at all times. In short, Cuéllar’s famous account as a survivor of the Armada has been re-evaluated, and now Francisco de Cuéllar has also a brilliant biography." Óscar Recio Morales, The English Historical Review
"Captain Francisco de Cuéllar: The Armada, Ireland, and the Wars of the Spanish monarchy, 1578-1606 is a brilliant read capturing the amazing life and career of one of the most enigmatic Captains to have ever served in the Spanish Military ... Prone to controversy, Captain Cuéllar had a tendency to clash with his superiors, which led to multiple arrests, tribunals of inquiry, and court-martial. His triumphs and travails are explored against the backdrop of the major conflicts of the late sixteenth century … Drawing on previously undiscovered documents from Spanish and Belgian archives, this book chronicles, for the first time, Cuéllar's entire military service - from the earliest evidence of him as a soldier in 1578, to our final glimpse of him in 1606 … Besides an in-depth reassessment of his Irish experiences, this study explores the rise and fall of the enigmatic captain in the military profession. The story of Captain Cuéllar's career encapsulates, in vivid detail, the life of a soldier of the late sixteenth century." The Sligo Champion, November 2020.