By 1590, the English had subjugated all Gaelic and Anglo-Norman leaders, except Hugh O'Neill and Hugh O'Donnell. They looked to England's enemy, King Philip III of Spain for help in driving the British out of Ireland.
Instead of meeting their Irish allies in the north and joining forces, the Spanish landed in the south at Kinsale. Here, they were met by the British.
O'Neill and O'Donnell marched their armies 250 miles to Kinsale. They were able to surround the British, but instead of waiting and starving them into surrender, they attacked. In the Battle of Kinsale that followed, the Irish lost 1,200 and the English 200.