Port Egmont

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Location of Port Egmont, Falkland Islands

Port Egmont (Spanish: Puerto de la Cruzada; French: Poil de la Croisade) was the first British settlement in the Falkland Islands, on Saunders Island and is named after the Earl of Egmont.


Spanish map of Port Egmont in 1780.

Port Egmont was established in on 25 January 1765, by an expedition led by Commodore John Byron consisting of the boats HMS Dolphin, HMS Tamar and HMS Florida. The expedition left a watering place and a vegetable garden.

Another expedition arrived around a year later in January 1766, led by Captain John MacBride, with the ships HMS Jason, HMS Carcass and HMS Experiment after which Carcass Island and the Jason Islands are named. This was to secure possession, and McBride ordered one of the ships to stay at Port Egmont, and develop the settlement, resulting in several permanent buildings and a garrison.

The next few years resulted in conflicting claims with the French and Spanish, with the British using Port Egmont as a basis for their claim. In early 1770 Spanish commander Don Juan Ignacio de Madariaga briefly visited Port Egmont. He returned from Argentina on 10 June with five armed ships and a 1400 soldiers forcing the British to leave Port Egmont.

In 1771, after threats of war with Spain, the colony was re-established by Captain John Stott with the ships HMS Juno, HMS Hound and HMS Florida, the latter being at the founding of the original settlement. The port became an important stop for ships going around Cape Horn

In 1774, Britain abandoned many of its overseas garrisons for economic reasons and Port Egmont was no exception, and in 1776, the British forces left. In the next few years, the colony was taken over by sealers, until in 1780 it was finally destroyed under orders from Spanish authorities.

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Coordinates: 51°21′13.44″S 60°3′50.57″W / 51.3537333°S 60.0640472°W / -51.3537333; -60.0640472