Battle of Cape St. Vincent (1719)

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Battle of Cape St Vincent
Part of the War of the Quadruple Alliance
Date 21 December 1719
Location Near Cape St. Vincent, Portugal
Result Spanish victory
 Great Britain Spain Kingdom of Spain
Commanders and leaders
Philip Cavendish Rodrigo de Torres
3 ships of line 3 ships of line
Casualties and losses
154 killed or wounded[1] 20 killed,
27 wounded[1]

The Battle of Cape St Vincent was a minor naval engagement of the War of the Quadruple Alliance, fought on 21 December 1719 near Cape St. Vincent between a squadron of three British ships of line under Commodore Philip Cavendish and a squadron of the Spanish ships of line Tolosa, Hermiona and Guadalupe under Don Rodrigo de Torres sent from Santander to Cádiz to avoid its capture by the Anglo-French forces patrolling the Bay of Biscay.

The Spanish squadron, which had captured a British frigate and a sloop few days before the battle, forced the British fleet to withdrew to Gibraltar with high casualties after 5 hours of combat, arriving to Cádiz on 2 January 1720. Pedro Messía de la Cerda, future captain of the ship of line Glorioso during his famous voyage carrying gold from the Spanish Main to Spain and Viceroy of New Granada, took part in the action aboard one of the Spanish ships.[2]


  1. ^ a b Duro p. 172.
  2. ^ Arsenal p. 226.


  • Arsenal, León; Prado, Fernando (2008). Rincones de historia española. Madrid: EDAF. ISBN 978-84-414-2050-2. 
  • Fernández Duro, Cesáreo (1898). Armada española desde la unión de los reinos de Castilla y de León. VI. Madrid: Est. tipográfico "Sucesores de Rivadeneyra".