Journal of Manuel Rojo

23rd of September, 1762

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 Britannic 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.”

As soon as they had received the answer, the entire squadron began to move about six o’clock on the evening of the twenty-third. They approached as near as possible to the south shore of the city, opposite the reduct called San Antonio Abad, which was used as a casemate, and which was one good half- league distant from the city. That same night, and until daybreak, the people busied themselves in taking all the gunpowder from that post But it was necessary to abandon the said post with some effects and a goodly quantity of saltpetre, for the enemy landed at that same place, under support from the artillery of their ships. They took possession of the reduct as well as of the churches of Malate,^* Nuestra Sefiora de Guia, and Santiago, of the suburbs and shops along the seashore, between the church of San Juan de Bagumbayan, which was eighty-five toises from the city, and the reduct. That same night two pickets of musketeers were detached from the garrison, commanded by , with orders to attack the enemy, to dislodge them if possible, and to prevent at the same time, the disembarking which was being continued along various places on the shore. The pickets suffered a very severe fire from the musketry of the enemy, who were stationed in the church of Santiago, and the neighboring houses, so that they retired in disorder.

 

^^ This was Lieutenant Fernando Arcaya. See Sitio y conquista de Manila, p. 36.

1759-1765] ROJO’S JOURNAL I 1 1

^^Ferrando (Historia de los PP. dominicosy Madrid, 1871, iv, p. 621), says that the first summons for surrender from Cornish and Draper demanded the immediate delivery of eight million escudos, the equivalent of four million pesos.

^^ “After consulting the royal assembly of these islands the governor replied : *Gran Bretana must know already that fear and threats are not the securest method nor the most fitting means to celebrate treaties with the noble servants of the Spanish sovereign. History has shown the world that Spaniards know how to die like good men for their God, for their king, and for their fatherland, but never to yield in the face of danger, much less to be intimidated by arrogant threats. Go, then, and bear this message to your chiefs; and tell them that we here are ready in any event to sell our lives dear/ ” See Ferrando, iv, p. 621. 112 THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS [Vol. 49