The galleon (Spanish: galeón, French: galion) was a type of sailing ship used for both cargo carrying and as a warship. Galleons dominated the seas in the second half of the 16th century, and with their lower superstructures, they were much more manoeuvrable and seaworthy than previous ship types like the carrack.

More about: Galleon


  • c. 1530
    The first Spanish galleons come into operation.
  • 1565 - 1815
    The Manila galleons each year take eastern trade goods from Manila to Acapulco (and return with American silver).
  • 1577 - 1580
    Francis Drake circumnavigates the world in his ship the Golden Hind.
  • Jul 1588 - Aug 1588
    The Spanish Armada of Philip II of Spain is defeated in its attempt to invade England.
  • 9 Sep 1591 - 10 Sep 1591
    Richard Grenville commands the galleon Revenge in a heroic but losing battle against a large Spanish fleet in the Azores.
  • 1 Jan 1710
    The English privateer Woodes Rogers captures the Manila galleon Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación Disengaño.
  • 1743
    The Manila galleon Covadonga is captured by a Brtiish naval fleet near Manila.
  • 1762
    A British fleet commanded by Admiral Cornish captures the Spanish Manila galleon Santísima Trinidad.
  • 1815
    The last Manila galleon, the San Fernando, arrives in Acapulco.