Diary of Manuel Rojo

22nd of September, 1762

In this state of defense, on the twenty-second of September, 1762, at half-past five in the evening, a powerful fleet of thirteen vessels was seen. Although so unexpected a novelty caused the greatest surprise and the greatest astonishment, since there was no news in Manila of the war, and it was not supposed even that it had been declared, it was suspected nevertheless, that that was a hostile fleet. Consequently, his Excellency, Archbishop Roxo, governor and captain-general, gave on the spot the orders necessary and in accordance with the circumstances, to put the place in a state of defense, without forgetting to send to Cavite the help needed there.

While the preparations for the defense were being made, it was decided that it was necessary to write to the commander of the squadron, in order to tell him that he was to announce his nationality, for what purpose he had come, and the reason why he had entered the bay, without first having announced himself. The following night, an officer was assigned to bear this letter.[61] About eleven o‘clock next morning, a boat which had been sent from the squadron, drew up to the fort. It bore two English officers, and ours who was returning, with a communication signed by Admiral Samuel Cornis, and by Brigadier-general Drapert, commander-in-chief of the land forces of his Britannia Majesty assigned for the present expedition. In their letter they announced that they were coming by order of their sovereign, for the conquest of the islands. Consequently, they urged that the city of Manila, its fortifications, and its territory, be surrendered to them. If that were not done, or indeed if any resistance were made (which they did not expect, unless the authors of the resistance were crazy), they had brought formidable forces to make themselves masters of all the land by force of arms, and they would immediately commence hostilities after hearing the answer.”

The captain-general answered them that the proposition which had just been made could not be accepted by subjects so faithful to their king, and that they were all resolved to sacrifice their lives for the defense of religion and the honor of the arms of their sovereign.“

[61]This was Lieutenant Fernando Arcaya. See Sitio y conquista de Manila, p. 56.

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