"[Francis Drake Attacks the Town of Santo Domingo]", Bry, Theodore de
Subject: Santo Domingo, Hispaniola
Period: 1655 (published)
Publication: Newe Welt und Americanische Historien...
Color: Black & White
7.3 x 6.2 inches
18.5 x 15.7 cm
This copper engraving is from a remarkable series of publications, illustrating voyages of discovery and travels of exploration to various parts of the world. The project was begun by Theodore de Bry of Frankfurt, in 1590 and was to continue for another 54 years. They became known collectively as the Grands Voyages (to America and the West Indies) and the Petits Voyages (to the Orient and the East Indies). De Bry died after the first six parts of the Grands Voyages were completed. The project was completed initially by his widow and two sons, Johann Theodore de Bry and Johann Israel de Bry, then by his son-in-law, Matthaus Merian in 1644.
This bird's-eye plan shows the battle of Santo Domingo in Hispaniola and is based on a famous map by Baptista Boazio. Under Spanish control, Santo Domingo was once the capital of Spanish America and the largest settlement in the West Indies. Under orders from Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Drake initiated a preemptive strike on the Spanish New World as part of the recently declared Anglo-Spanish War. On January 1, 1586, Drake sent an army of 800 men under the command of Christopher Carleill to land west of Santo Domingo and approach the city through the jungle from its less fortified side. Drake sent ships to the harbor side of the city as a decoy to distract the Spanish. Drake's jungle ambush succeeded, and the British gained control of Santo Domingo, looting the city and then ransoming it back to the Spanish one month later. This view shows the fleet of English ships in the harbor, with the army of soldiers on land approaching from the west. Adorned with a compass rose and a large crocodile in the waters. On sheet of German text measuring 8.1 x 13.5".
A nice impression on a lightly toned sheet.