Battle of Manila (1762)

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Battle of Manila
Part of the Anglo-Spanish War (1761–1763)
The Attack of Manilla, October 1762 WDL213.png
Map depicting where the British landed in Manila with the assault from the south
Date 24 September – 6 October 1762
Location Manila, Philippines
Result British victory
Great Britain occupies Manila.
 Great Britain Spain Spain
Commanders and leaders
Kingdom of Great Britain William Draper
Kingdom of Great Britain Samuel Cornish
Spain Manuel Rojo
Spain Simón de Anda y Salazar
10,300 men[1]
15 ships
565 regular Spanish troops
8,600 Filipino troops
200 French and British deserters[2]
Casualties and losses
147 killed and wounded[3][4] ~100 Spanish killed and wounded
361 Spanish surrendered[4]

The Battle of Manila was fought during the Seven Years' War, from 24 September 1762 to 6 October 1762, between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Spain in and around Manila, the capital of the Philippines, a Spanish colony at that time. The British won, leading to a short British occupation of Manila.


The British Ministry approved Col. Draper's plans for invading the Philippine Isles and the HMS Seahorse (1748), under Capt. Cathcart Grant, was sent to intercept Manila bound vessels. The first portion of the invasion fleet sailed from India on 21 July, under Commodore Teddinson, followed by the remainder under Admiral Sir Samuel Cornish, 1st Baronet, and Col. Draper on 1 Aug. The HMS Norfolk (1757) served as the admiral's flagship.[5]

On 1 August 1762, a British fleet of eight ships of the line, three frigates, and four store ships, sailed away from Madras with a force of 6,839 regulars, sailors and marines. The commander of the expedition was Brigadier-General William Draper. He was assisted by Colonel Monson as Second in Command, Major Scott as Adjutant-General and Captain Fletcher as Brigade-Major of the East India Company. The expeditionary force consisted of:

  • 79th Draper's Regiment of Foot (450 men)
  • composite battalions of sepoys (drawn from all the Madras Sepoy regiments) under Captain DesPlans (2,000 men)
  • French deserters under Lieutenant Martin (200 men)
  • other assorted troops (freed African slaves, native Christian Indians who claimed to have Portuguese descent, Nawab European infantry, ...)

Manila was garrisoned by the Life Guard of the Governor-General of the Philippines, the 2nd Battalion of the King's regiment under Don Miguel de Valdez, Spanish marines, a corps of artillery under Lt. Gen. Don Felix de Eguilux, seconded by Brig. the Marquis de Villa Medina, a company of Pampangos, and a company of cadets.[5]

The battle[edit]

Map of British Conquest of Manila in 1762.[6]

Admiral Cornish's fleet, 14 vessels of which 10 carried more than 50 guns, anchored in Manila Bay on 23 Sept. A landing was planned 2 miles south of the city, covered by HMS Argo (1758), under Capt. King, HMS Seahorse, under Capt. Grant, and HMS Seaford under Capt. Pelghin. The three-pronged landing force of 274 marines was led by Col. Draper, center, Maj. More, right, and Col. Monson, left. The next day, they were joined by 632 seamen under Capt.s Collins, Pitchford and Ouvry. Fort Polverina was captured on 25 Sept.[5]

Further reconnaissance revealed that the fortifications of Manila were not formidable, in fact they were incomplete. "In many places the ditch had never been finished, the covered way was out of repair, the glacis was too low, some of the outworks were without cannon..."[5]

On 30 September, a British storeship arrived with entrenching tools, but was driven ashore by a gale. Fortunately, she had run aground so that she screened the rear of Draper's camp from the Spanish cannon. Her stores were landed with greater speed and safety than would have been possible had she remained afloat for the gale continued for several days and forbade the passage of boats through the surf.

A strong gale started on 1 Oct., cutting off communication with the British fleet. On the morning of 4 Oct., a 1000 Pampangos attacked a cantonment built by the British overnight but was beaten back with 300 Filipinos killed. After this failure, all except 1,800 of the Pamgangos abandoned the city. "The fire from the garrison now became faint, while that of the besiegers was stronger than ever, and ere long a breach became practicable." On 6 Oct., 60 volunteers under Lt. Russell advanced through the breach in the Bastion of St. Andrew. Engineers and pioneers followed, then came Col. Monson and Maj. More with 2 divisions of the 79th, the seamen and then another division of the 79th.[5]

To prevent further slaughter, acting Governor-General Archbishop Manuel Rojo del Rio y Vieyra surrendered to Capt. Dupont. Thus, Manila fell within ten days of the arrival of the British and on 10 October, Manila was placed under the authority of civilian Governor-General Dawsonne Drake.

This map shows the chronological advance of British troops toward parts of Northern Luzon during the British Occupation of Manila.[6]


"The humanity and generosity of the British commanders saved Manila from a general and justly merited pillage. A ransom of four millions of dollars only was demanded for this relaxation of the laws of war. Thus the whole archipelago of the Philippines fell with the wealthy city of Manila."[5]

The British held Manila until it was returned to Spain according to the peace settlement. News that it had been lost did not reach Spain until after the cessation of hostilities between the two powers. During their time in the Philippines, the British found themselves confined to Manila and Cavite in a deteriorating situation, unable to extend British control over the islands and unable to make good their promised support for an uprising led first by Diego Silang and later by his wife Gabriela, which was crushed by Spanish forces.

The four million silver dollars has never been fully paid, but the expedition was rewarding nevertheless after the capture of the treasure ship Santísima Trinidad, as it carried a value of two million dollars on board.

The city remained under British rule for 18 months and was returned to Spain in April 1764 after the Treaty of Paris.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Morga, Antonio (2001). The Philippine Islands, Moluccas, Siam, Cambodia, Japan, and China, at the Close of the Sixteenth Century. Adamant Media Corporation. p. 362. ISBN 978-1-4021-9547-1. 
  2. ^ Fernández Duro, Cesáreo (2007). Sitio y conquista de Manila por los ingleses en 1762. Monografía del Sr. Marqués de Ayerbe. Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes. p. 5. 
  3. ^ Leebrick, Karl Clayton (2007). The English expedition to Manila and the Philippine Islands in the year 1762. University of California, Berkeley. p. 52. 
  4. ^ a b Blair, Emma Helen (2008). The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803. BiblioBazaar. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-559-25329-4. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Grant, James (1873). British Battles On Land and Sea. Cassell & Company, Limited. p. 126-130. 
  6. ^ a b Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office. "THE BRITISH CONQUEST OF MANILA". Presidential Museum and Library. Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 


This article was originally based on material from 1762 - British expedition against Manila, which is licensed under the GFDL.

Coordinates: 14°35′00″N 120°58′00″E / 14.5833°N 120.9667°E / 14.5833; 120.9667