English Painting of the attempted invasion of England, in the Anglo-Spanish war of the late 16th century.
A patache is a type of sailing vessel with two masts, very light and shallow, a sort of cross between a brig and a schooner, which originally was a warship, being intended for surveillance and inspection of the coasts and ports. It was used as a tender to the fleet of vessels of more importance or size, and also for trans-Pacific travel, but later began to be used for trading voyages, carrying cargo burdens of 30 tons or more.
Pataches were used by the Spanish Armada in the 15th–18th centuries mainly for the protection and monitoring of the overseas territories of the Spanish Empire. Because of their lightness and speed of movement privateers favored them in attacking commercial vessels. Fleets of pataches participated in several historical battles:
The attempted Spanish invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in 1579.
Galgo (Greyhound) and The Margarita, belonging to the Royal Navy Guard of the Indies run of the Spanish colonial convoy system, were stranded on the island of Bermuda in 1639.
San Juan and San Pedro (1639), Basque and Flemish pataches, respectively, belonging to Juana Larando, the corsair widow from Donostia-San Sebastian, pillaged ships off the coast of France and in the English Channel.
St. Nicholas, a frigate acquired by the Spanish crown in 1636 from Gabriel Tamaril.
Santa Cruz, part of the Tierra Firme Fleet, built in 1698 in the royal shipyards of Guayaquil, Ecuador; armed with 44 cannons and a crew of 300 sailors under the command of Nicolas de la Rosa Count de Vega Florida.
Nuestra Señora del Carmen (Our Lady of Carmen), commanded by Captain Araoz in 1708.