Duke of Argyll’s divers will search for Spanish gold in sunken galleon

A mission has been launched to recover the treasure of a Spanish galleon

By David Scott - Scotish Express

Divers will next week begin to sift through the silt of Tobermory Bay in an attempt to find the £30million cargo, reputed to have been funding for the ill-fated Spanish invasion of England in 1588.

It is the fourth time that Sir Torquhil Ian Campbell, the 13th Duke of Argyll, has mounted a search for the battle-scarred treasure ship.

His family was given the rights to the wreck by Charles I, and has made 60 attempts to retrieve the lost fortune over the centuries.

Following the armada’s defeat at the hands of Sir Francis Drake, many Spanish ships fled north, only to become caught up in violent storms.

Exactly how the Almirante di Florencia or the San Juan de Sicilia – the vessel’s exact identity has never been established – foundered in Tobermory Bay is unknown.

Legend has it that the ship was blown up after the Spaniards stocked up for their onward journey and tried to leave on November 5, 1588, without paying for their supplies. 

It is said Donald Maclean of Duart boarded it and ignited its powder magazine, sending 350 Spaniards and the bullion to the bottom of the sea.

The latest two-month search for the treasure ship will be undertaken by a 10 strong team from The Poop Company in Somerset.

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