In mid July French armed galleons approached St Andrews, and the castle surrendered as soon as artillery was brought to bear on it.
In the old city also are the Plaza Vieja, dating from the middle of the 16th century (with the modern Mercado de Cristina, of 1837 - destroyed 1908), the old stronghold La Fuerza, erected by Hernando de Soto in 1538, once the treasury of the flotas and galleons, and residence of the governors, with its old watch-tower (La Vigia); and the Plaza de Armas, with the palace, the Senate building, a statue of Fernando VII.
Willingly linked to the dying power of Spain, were already decadent, and on the 10th of January 1615 a great Portuguese armada, consisting of six great galleons, three smaller ships, two galleys and sixty rowed barges, was defeated for the second time in Swally roads by Captain Nicholas Downton, in command of four British vessels.
Because of these explorations, and also the long-felt need of a refitting point on the California coast for the galleons from Manila, San Diego was occupied in 1769 and Monterey in 1770 as a result of urgent orders from Charles III.
After considerable difficulties with the Chinese, he sailed again with his one remaining vessel to cruise for one of the richly laden galleons which conducted the trade between Mexico and the Philippines.
The Spanish ships were outnumbered chiefly because the convoy had become scattered by bad management and bad seamanship. The more valuable part of it, consisting of the four galleons, and eleven trading ships in which the king's share of the treasure was being carried, became separated from the rest, and on being chased by the superior force of Heyn endeavoured to take refuge at Matanzas in the island of Cuba, hoping to be able to land the bullion in the bush before the Dutchman could come up with them.
His memory has been preserved by his capture of the Treasure Galleons, which had never been taken so far, but he is also the traditional representative of the Dutch "sea dogs" of the 17th century.