In August 1557, 3000 Orcadians fought off the English Navy, who had landed in Kirkwall with the goal of seizing the Bishop’s Palace. This was a bid to secure access to Scottish fishing grounds. The fleet of 13 ships was commanded by Vice Admiral Sir John Clere. Unfortunately for him, Kirkwall Castle (now long gone) was one of the strongest in Scotland, and the weather was as hostile as the locals. Sir John Clere drowned when his boat capsized amid a chaotic rout.