United Kingdom

Rare maps charting England's defeat of the Spanish Armada will remain in the UK

Rare maps giving a detailed account of England's defeat of the Spanish Armada have been saved for the nation after the public helped raise the funds to buy them.

The set of ten, dating back to 1589, are thought to be the earliest surviving representations of the battle and have not left the UK since they were drawn.

They were sold abroad in July, but a Government export ban prevented them leaving the country and gave the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth time to raise the £600,000 to buy them back.

Chart 1 - The sighting of the Armada off the Lizard, Friday July 29

Chart 2 – The first engagement, near Plymouth, July 30 - 9am 31st July

Chart 3 – The skirmish off Plymouth and the aftermath, Sunday July 31

Left: A portrait of Sir Francis Drake, 1591, by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger. Right: Armada Ark Royal

The hand-drawn ink and watercolour maps depicting the 1588 battle were completed by an unknown draughtsman, possibly from the Netherlands, who is thought to have based them on a set of engravings by the Elizabethan cartographer Robert Adams.

The Armada had sailed for England after decades of hostility between Spain's Catholic King Philip II and the protestant Queen Elizabeth I.

In one of the greatest naval battles in history, 66 English ships – including the flagship Ark Royal – beat a Spanish fleet twice the size by sending fireships into it while anchored off Calais.

Chart 4 - Drake's capture of the Rosario, Armada pursued by Howard east of Plymouth, night of Sunday July 31 – Monday August 1

Chart 5 – The Fleet off Berry Head, Capture of the San Salvador, and the engagement near Portland Bill, Mon 1st August – Tue 2nd August

Chart 6 - Engagement of the fleets between Portland Bill and the Isle of Wight, Tuesday August 2 – Wednesday August 3

The museum raised the £600,000 in eight weeks from public donations and grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and Art Fund.

Professor Dominic Tweddle, its director general, said the public 'dug deep in extremely difficult times', adding: 'I am incredibly proud that we made sure the Armada maps have been saved for generations to come.'

A museum spokesman said: 'They depict in real time a navy defending England against invasion by the 16th century's imperial superpower of Spain.'

Chart 7 - The Battle off the Isle of Wight, Thursday August 4

Chart 8 - The Pursuit to Calais, Friday August 5 – Saturday August 6

Chart 9 - The fireship attack, Sunday August 7

Chart 10 – The Battle of Gravelines, Monday August 8

Football news:

Cavani has returned to training and is likely to play against Crystal Palace
Fabio Capello, Juventus played Rugby against the Port. Only Ronaldo and Chiesa can make a difference in this squad
Neymar: I posted how I was recovering from my injury, and I didn't get any messages saying, Wow, what a professional. No
Ole Gunnar Solscher: The work of the judges is very difficult and without additional pressure. We have to make their decisions
Joan Laporta: I'm sure Messi won't stay at Barca if I don't win the election. He gives the club 30% of revenue
Trent had idolized Gerrard since he was a kid, and he was in a fairy tale: he got Steven's care and the captain's armband. The story of a great relationship
Hazard's recovery from the injury is delayed. He probably won't play against Atletico on March 7