September 7, 1839|
Ferrol, Galicia, Spain
|Died||September 30, 1917
|Years of service||1855–1899|
Admiral Patricio Montojo y Pasarón (September 7, 1839 – September 30, 1917) was a career Spanish naval officer most known for his defeat at the Battle of Manila Bay (May 1, 1898) by Admiral George Dewey, a decisive battle of the Spanish-American War.
Early life and career
Born in Ferrol, Galicia, Montojo studied at the Naval School in Cadiz, and was assigned as a Midshipman in 1855. By 1860, he had become a Sub-lieutenant and fought against the Moros of Mindanao in the Philippines before returning to Spain in 1864.
Montojo fought in the Battle of Abtao and the Battle of El Callao under Admiral Casto Méndez Núñez against Peru and subsequently assumed a post at the Secretariat of the Admiralty. He was promoted to the rank of Commander in 1873. His new duties included commanding several warships in Havana's naval station as well as those in the Río de la Plata.
Service in the Philippines
Montojo returned to the Philippines again as Rear-Admiral, serving as general commander of all Spanish Philippine naval stations. At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, Montojo was in command of the Spanish Squadron that was destroyed by the U.S. Asiatic Squadron in the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1, 1898. Montojo was wounded during this battle, as was one of his two sons who were participating in this battle. Most of the Spanish vessels sank or were surrendered.
By a September 1898 decree, Montojo was relieved of his duties. Moreover, he was ordered to appear before a Supreme Court-Martial in Madrid. Montojo left Manila in October 1898 and arrived in Madrid on November 11, 1898. In March 1899 he was court-martialed and imprisoned. He was later absolved. Among his defenders was his onetime opponent in battle, Admiral George Dewey. However, Montojo was discharged from the Spanish Navy. He died in Madrid on September 30, 1917.
Admiral Montojo's daughter, Fermina, became the second wife of Jacobo Zobel y Zangoniz. With Don Jacobo she sired Consuelo (married to the American General Adler of Hawaii and benefactress of the Consuelo Foundation), Matilde (who married into the Andres Soriano family), Gloria (who married into the Padilla family and whose children, Georgina Macrohon and Alejandro Padilla of Spain administer the Premio Zobel), and Fernando Zóbel de Ayala y Montojo, the renowned painter whose works hang prominently in Madrid, Barcelona, and Ateneo de Manila University's art galleries.
With this marriage, Fermina Montojo became stepmother to her husband's three young children: Jacobo (father of polo player billionaire Enrique Zobel de Ayala y Olgado), Alfonso (father of photographer billionaire Jaime Zobel de Ayala y Pfitz) and the youngest, Mercedes Zobel de Ayala y Roxas de McMicking (a.k.a. MacMicking) who owned the majority of shares in the Ayala Corporation, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Globe Telecom, Cebu Holdings, Honda Philippines, and was, together with husband Joseph McMicking, developer of the Sotogrande in Spain and the entire Makati central business district, including Forbes Park.
- Battle of Manila Bay, 1 May 1898 from Naval Historical Center
- Profiles of Key Persons in the Spanish American War
- Admiral Patricio Montojo y Pasarón