Lope de Vega: La dragontea

Scope and Content

'La Dragontea, Victoria de Espanoles, y miserable muerte de Francisco Draque en la jornada que hizo a la ciudad del nombre de dios siendo su governador y capitan general don Diego Suarez de Amaya', the earliest known manuscript of de Vega's poem on the death of Drake and the defeat of his final expedition, dedicated to Philip II. The document was written by two scribes, and has two stanzas on each page.

Administrative / Biographical History

Felix Lope de Vega Carpio (1562-1635), poet and dramatist, was born in Madrid on 25 November 1562, and educated at the Imperial College in Madrid and the University of Alcala. After completing his studies, he joined the army, and served with the Spanish navy in Azores. In 1588 he took part in the Armada expedition against England. On his return to Spain, de Vega lived in Valencia before moving to Toledo in the service of the Duke of Alba. Thereafter, he lived in Madrid, becoming secretary to the Duke of Sessa. He joined the priesthood in 1614, but continued to write plays. He died in Madrid in August 1635.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Purchased at Sotheby's, 16 June 1970.

Other Finding Aids


Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives, with reference to the entry on the volume in Bibliotheca Phillippica (London, Sotheby & Co., 1970), pp. 123-124.

Custodial History

There is an ownership inscription on the flyleaf of the volume: 'Es de Don Juan Perez Zapatero en esta corte.' The book was part of the Mayans and Heber collections before becoming MS 8370 in the library of Sir Thomas Phillipps.


The first surviving edition of 'La dragontea' was printed in Valencia by Pedro Patricio Mey in 1598.