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La Anunciada (Possibly): Haddock Sands, Reawick, Atlantic

Galleon (16th Century)

Site Name La Anunciada (Possibly): Haddock Sands, Reawick, Atlantic

Classification Galleon (16th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Meath Shoal; Sandsting; La Anunciada

Canmore ID 240350

Site Number HU34SW 8005

NGR HU 340 439

NGR Description HU c. 340 439

Datum Datum not recorded


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Shetland Islands
  • Parish Maritime - Shetland Islands
  • Former Region Shetland Islands Area
  • Former District Maritime
  • Former County Not Applicable

Archaeology Notes

HU34SW 8005 c. 340 439

N60 10.7 W1 23.2

NLO: Haddock Sands [name centred HU 340 439]

Reawick [name: HU 331 441]

Rea Wick [name centred HU 331 447].

La Anunciada: [max. date] 1588

705 tons, 14 guns, crew of 79 mariners and 196. Crew supposed to have landed on Kirk Holm and began building settlement

Archive Ref: HS; RSB; New Statistical Account of Shetland pp. 109-10

Source: Shetland Archive Service

MS/3025, no. 220.

La Anunciada. This Ragusan ship of the Squadron of Levant of the Spanish Armada is classified as 'missing' (no identifiable remains having been discovered) but is recorded as having been fired and scuttled off Kilrush at the Mouth of the Shannon, Eire. Her guns, stores and men were transferred to other vessels in advance.

No rig is cited but the following details are recorded:

703 tons; 24 guns

Complement: 196 soldiers, 79 mariners

Armament stores: 1200 round shot; 46 quintals powder; 15 quintals lead; 11 quintals match.

C Martin 1975; C Martin and G Parker 1992.

(Classified as 24-gun galleon: date of loss cited as 1588). La Anunciada: this vessel [was wrecked] on [the] Haddock Sands (or Meath Shoal) off Reawick [Raewick]. Registration: Levantine. 705 tons register.

(Location of loss cited as N60 11.0 W1 24.0).

I G Whittaker 1998.

The available accounts of this loss are seriously divergent; neither Whittaker nor Martin and Parker cite specific sources. Meath Sands are not noted as such on the 1998 edition of the OS 1:50,000 map, and the loss of this vessel is not noted by Larn and Larn (1998).

Sandsting is not noted as such on the 1999 edition of the OS 1:50,000 map, but the name apparently applies to an ill-defined area on the West coast of Shetland, around HU 31 51.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 21 March 2003.

C Martin 1975; C Martin and G Parker 1992; I G Whittaker 1998.

The Anunciada is one of several 'mystery' Armada ships for which there are reliable reports of wreckings, but a lack of information about identity. The authoritative source is the Lisbon Muster of 9 May as published by E. Herrera Oria, La Armada Invencible (Valladolid, 1929), pp. 384-435.

An Armada ship is known to have been scuttled by burning in Scattery Roads at the mouth of the Shannon about 12 September (Old Style) 1588, as reported by George Fanning to the Mayor of Waterford on 14 September: 'God be praised, those seven ships are gone, but one ship that they have burned and let her go to the shore' (Calendar of State Papers (Ireland), Elizabeth, August 1588-September 1592, p. 38). It used to be suggested that the most likely candidate was the San Marcos of the squadron of Portugal, but Dr John de Courcy Ireland, who has done a great deal of work in the Ragusan archives (Dubrovnik), believes that the English version of the Shannon ship's captain's name (Doliste de Ivella) is a corruption of a Ragusan shipowner's name, Ohmucevik Iveglia. By linguistic argument this leads to the Anunciada, which was of course of Ragusan origin.

The argument is summarised in Niall Fallon's 'The Armada in Ireland', London 1978, pp. 151-3. He concludes that the evidence is 'reasonably convincing' but reminds us that 'absolute proof is elusive'. What it amounts to is that the hypothesis that Anunciada and the Scattery Roads wreck are one and the same is the best-fit on present evidence. Any wreck or recorded loss on the Haddock Sands should, therefore, be considered of unknown period or origin.

Information from Dr C Martin, 13 May 2003.

I G Whittaker 1998.


Reference (2011)

Whittaker ID : 1584


Latitude : 601100

Longitude : 12400

Registration : LEVANTINE


Tonnage : 705

Tonnage Code : R

Loss Year : 1588

Comment : Haddock sands off Reawick. Or Meath Shoal


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