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19-06-2018  (1495 lectures) Categoria: Catalan navy

Hug of Montcada i Gralla

Hug de Montcada i Gralla was a Barcelona military man who commanded the gates of Naples in the so-called Invincible Army. He was the second son of Francesc I de Montcada , first Marquess of Aitona and Count of Osona , and his wife, Lucrècia Gralla.

Belonging to the noble family of Montcada, his brother Gastó de Montcada and de Gralla (first-born of 17 children) inherited the immense family fortune. His other brother was Joan de Montcada i Gralla , Archbishop of Tarragona ( 1613 - 1622 ) and Bishop of Barcelona ( 1610-1612 ).

Participation in the Invincible Navy


Hug de Montcada was appointed commander of the stolen town of Naples. The flagship was the San Lorenzo gale. The gallant-galley La Girona was part of that stolen. The four galls were:

  • The San Lorenzo (captain of the stolen)
    • The captain of the ship was Joan SetantĂ­. [1]
  • La Zúñiga (patron of the stolen)
    • Captain Pere Centelles
  • The Girona
    • Captain Fabrizio SpĂ­nola, Genoese. [2]
  • The Napolitana [3]
    • Captain Perrucchio Morán

Galiassa San Lorenzo

Galiassa de Malta with apparatus.

This ship had 124 sailors, 50 artillery units, 300 sailors and 270 soldiers. [4] [5] [6] It was built in Naples. [7] It displaced 762 tonnes and was the largest ship and, according to some, the most splendid of the entire army.

Nautical Difficulties

One of the most difficult variables that made navigating the Channel of the Manguera dangerous were (and still are) the currents caused by the tides. Local pilots were greedy in those currents. [8]

Battle actions

  • According to various testimonials (documentaries and film documentaries), the San Lorenzo galaxy could not progress paddling against the tide caused by the tide.
  • The Duke of Medina Sidonia denied Hug de Montcada that he attacked the Ark Royal ship, when he was within reach in conditions of superiority. [9]
  • San Lorenzo was the first ship that warned with a pipe of the danger of the eight violins sent by Drake against the Spanish navy anchored.
  • The order of the Duke of Medina Sidonia, to cut the calabrots of the anchors of all the ships of the army, caused chaos and many approaches.

Final disaster

The references to the fact are numerous and not always coincident. [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19]

In the confusion brought about by the brulots, an approach rendered unusable the rudder of San Lorenzo. The maneuver with the oars was not sufficiently agile to fight the marigold and the attack of the enemies (from the Ark Royal in particular). Hug de Montcada decided to go to refuge in the port of Calais (under French control and, in theory, neutral). He did not get it Progressing with the ratchet sailing and the oars, the galiassa tried to enter the port of Calais but shook near the plate. Being half lying sideways. The soldiers (probably terrified by the storm and incident) deserted the ship, jumping to the water. They were very much drowned. Only a few faithful remained aboard.

The English, sent a few bots with soldiers to seize the galiassa. Finally Howard sent a reinforcement with the Ark Royal's Panescalm boat and could reduce the last resistance. Hug de Montcada was shot down with an arcabuz shot in the head and Joan Setantí and other Catalans defenders also died.

News of the defeat and commentary on the Dietari of the Generalitat de Catalunya

« Tuesday, October 4, 1588, Saint Francis's Day: On this day came and published again as the army that his magistrate had done and sent to England also returned in Spain split by bad weather part in La Coruña and part in Laredo and Santander, it was very badly marinated due to bad weather and lack of provisions in the way if many people died, and among others lost a galease of which was captain Don Hugo de Moncada son of the account of Aytona which is stuck and the opposites fight With them, and Mr. Hugo and Joan Setanti and other cathalans, dying and fighting arms and hands like brave knights, are killed, so that they only fight and die in a cathalan fight and not another nation, God is all served and hated. »
- Manual of novice ardits: commonly called Diario del antich consell Barcelona.

Tribute poem

A "romance" tribute to Hug de Montcada was published by the "bachelor of Borja" Pedro de Moncayo. [20]

The first verses summarize quite well the cause of the unnecessary defeat.

« Broken the broken cape and mast,

overgrown the galley,
Useless your artillery
and that of the brave opponent.
Leaving your soldiers
They spit out on the water
at the sight of the French
They are defending the beach ...

- Romance , Pedro de Moncayo.

Important testimonial

According to the work Armada Invencible , by Cesáreo Fernández Duro, there is a description of the final attack and the death of Hug de Montcada according to the statements of a slave of the Marquis de Santa Cruz (Volume I, page 118 , document K.1467, item 18). [21]


  1. Cayetano Rosell. Historians of private events . M. Rivadeneyra, 1863, p. 8-.
  2. Anar↑ Victor San Juan. Brief history of the Invincible Navy . Ediciones Nowtilus, March 5, 2017, p. 172-. ISBN 978-84-9967-849-8 .
  3. Anar↑ Cordero, Javier; Hernández, Ricardo J. Gran Armada Operation: The invincible logistics . Ediciones Díaz de Santos, January 1, 2011, p. 166-. ISBN 978-84-9969-965-3 .
  4. Anar↑ Victor San Juan. Brief history of the Invincible Navy . Ediciones Nowtilus, March 5, 2017, p. 163-. ISBN 978-84-9967-849-8 .
  5. Geoffrey Parker. History of war Ediciones AKAL, October 7, 2014, p. 125-.ISBN 978-84-460-3983-9 .
  6. Saturnino Ruiz de Loizaga; Saturnino Ullivarri Pirates and privateers in Cuba . Editorial Renaissance, 2004, p. 32-. ISBN 978-84-8472-127-7 .
  7. Luis Cabrera de CĂłrdoba. Filipe Segundo, king of Spain ... [By] Luis Cabrera de CĂłrdoba .... Impr., Stereotypic and electroplating of Aribau, 1877, p. 299-.
  8. Video: Tide currents in the Channel of the Hose.
  9. Jacques-Auguste de Thou; Nicolas Rigault Histoire universelle de Jacques-Auguste de Thou: depuis 1543. jusqu'en 1607 , 1734, p. 181-.
  10. Anar↑ Reign of Elizabeth; Volume VI. , 1870, p. 477-.
  11. Jacques-Auguste de Thou; Nicolas Rigault Histoire universelle de Jacques-Auguste de Thou: depuis 1543. jusqu'en 1607 , 1734, p. 186-.
  12. Juan de Ferreras. Historical chronological synopsis of Spain . in the Printing of Don Antonio PĂ©rez de Soto, 1775, p. 336-.
  13. John Lothrop Motley. History of the United Netherlands from the death of William the silent to the Synod of Dort, with a full view of the English-Dutch struggle against Spain, and of the origin and destruction of the armed Spanish . John Murray, 1860, p. 493-.
  14. Luis Gorrochategui Santos. The English Armada: The Greatest Naval Disaster in English History . Bloomsbury Publishing, February 22, 2018, p. 25-. ISBN 978-1-350-01699-6 .
  15. The Field of Mars: Being an Alphabetical Digestion of the Principal Naval and Military Engagements, in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, Particularly of Great Britain and Her Allies, from the Ninth Century to the Present Period ... Selected from the Best Historians and Journalists, and Adjusted from the Greatest Authority ... To which is Prefixed an Essay on the Art of War, and a Comprehensive System of Military and Naval Discipline .... J. Macgowan, 1801, p. 72-.
  16. Anar↑ The Christian Observer . Whiting & Watson., 1803, p. 476-.
  17. Anar↑ Andre Du Chesne. Histoire d'Angleterre, d'Escosse, et d'Irlande, containing the most worthy of memories ... Nouv. ed., rev. you run you count ... for Du Verdier .Lovys Billaine, 1666, p. 2-.
  18. Anar↑ The Athenæum: A Journal of Literature, Science, the Fine Arts, Music, and the Drama . British Periodicals Limited, 1860, p. 823-.
  19. Carlos Coloma. The Wars of the Bahamian States from the year of one thousand five hundred and eighty-eight, to the one thousand one hundred and ninety-nine. Compiled by do. Carlos Coloma Cauallero del Habito de Santiago ... at the expense of Miguel Manescal merchant of books, 1627, p. 7-.
  20. Pedro: from Moncayo. Flower of several new romances. First, and second part, of the bachelor Pedro de Moncayo, ... in the press of Iayme Cendrat, 1591, p. 133-.
  21. Anar↑ Arm