Action of 30 October 1762
|Action of 30 October 1762|
|Part of the Anglo-Spanish War (1762–1763)|
|Commanders and leaders|
1 ship of the line|
|Casualties and losses|
1 galleon captured|
The Action of 30 October 1762 was a minor naval battle that was fought in the San Bernardino Strait off the coast off British occupied Manila in the Philippines between two Royal naval ships; the 60 gun ship of the line HMS Panther under Captain Hyde Parker and the frigate HMS Argo under Richard King. They fought for the capture of the heavily armed Spanish treasure galleon, Santisima Trinidad.
The Santisima Trinidad was a large ship constructed in 1750 at Manila of 60 guns and at the time the largest Manila galleon ever built. It was built for trade in the Pacific between the Spanish colonies. On 3 September 1762 the Trinidad departed the port of Cavite in the Spanish Philippines for Acapulco in Spanish Mexico with a cargo of valuables. However, due to contrary winds she never left the San Bernardino Strait until late September. On the night of 2–3 October a storm, possibly the tail end of a Typhoon, brought down the fore and mainmasts and it was decided to turn back to Cavite under a jury rig. Unbeknown to the ships company Spain and Great Britain were at war as Spain had joined on the side of the French. As a result, a British and East Indian Company task force from India had thus seized Manila just as the Trinidad had left port.
As the Trinidad passed through the San Bernardino Strait HMS Panther and HMS Argo soon discovered her, and caught up with the Spanish ship. An action followed with Argo and Panther concentrating their fire on the masts and rigging. To Parker's amazement the shots from Panther made very little impression on the galleon's hardwood. However Trinidad was soon disabled and unable to manoeuvre was left a dismasted wreck. Despite this Trinidad managed to put up stout resistance and continued for a total of 2 hours but the ship was overcrowded for its size of nearly 800 crew, marines, civilians and its large cargo. It had in fact less than half the guns required to fight. Soon the Spanish commander realised that any further resistance was futile and surrendered soon after. The cost for the Spanish was 18 killed and 10 wounded and 750 captured while British casualties were 35 killed and 37 wounded.
The Manila ransom which was supposed to be paid by Spain in return for Manila never happened. The capture of the Santisima Trinidad however made the expedition and the occupation more rewarding to the British rather than the East India Company.