26th of September, 1762

Twenty-sixth. The Admiral sent on shore the battalion of seamen under the command of the Captains Collins of the Weymouth, Pitchford of the America, and George Ourry from the Panther. They were cantoned between the 79th regiment and the marines. The rest of the company’s troops of all sorts were likewise landed, and put under cover. The Spaniards advanced out of the garrison, under the command of the Chevalier Fayett,^^ with four hundred men, and two field-pieces; and from a church, about two hundred yards to the right of that we yesterday took possession of, near the sea, begun a cannonade upon the right flank of our post. Some Seapoys, under Ens. Carty, who behaved very well, were first sent to skirmish with them, supported by three piquets of the 79th regiment, and one hundred seamen, all under the command of Col. Monson, who soon drove the enemy back into the town. In their precipitate flight, one of the field-pieces was left upon the glacis.

The superior skill and bravery of our people were so evident from this affair, that it occasioned a second summons to the Governor; but to no purpose: the answer was much more spirited than their conduct had been.^® Col. Monson had orders to keep possession of this second church, if he found it tenible : for as we had not men enough, or dry ground to make regular approaches, we were forced into these measures, rash as they seem, and contrary to all rules of our profession, by our critical situation. From the top of this post, which we called N** 2, we had a perfect view of the enemy’s works. The front we were obliged to attack, was defended by the bastions of St. Diego and St. Andrew [i.e,, San Diego and San Andres], with orillons and retired flanks, a ravelin which covered the royal gate, a wet ditch, covered way, and glacis. The bastions were in excellent order, lined with a great number of fine brass cannon; but their ravelin was not armed, the covered way out of repair, the glacis by much too low, and the ditch was not produced round the capital of the bastion of St. Diego, which determined us to attack it, and make our dispositions accordingly.^^ The negligence and omission of the enemy to post centries in the covered way, gave us an opportunity of sounding the ditch; which perilous enterprise was effected by a small party of the 79th regiment, under Capt Fletcher, who begged leave to undertake it. The Spaniards fired from their bastion, and killed or wounded three of our people. The depth of the water was only five feet, the breadth about thirty yards. As the great extent of this populous city made it impossible to invest it with our handful of men, two sides were constantly open to the Spaniards, to introduce supplies of men and provisions, and carry out their effects. They availed themselves of our weakness. Their own garrison of eight hundred men of the Royal regiment, under the command of the Marcus of Villa Mediana, brigadier-general, was augmented by a body of ten thousand Indians from the province of Pampanga, a fierce and barbarous people. These disadvantages were not to be remedied, as we could not take possession of Minondo, Tondo, and La vera Cruz, the posts which commanded the river, and communication with the country. The inundations had secured their Parian suburb; but no difficulties could check the ardor of the troops, who labored incessantly in making fascines and gabions, and preparing everything for the construction and opening of our batteries. One for small shells was completed this night, and played upon the bastion of St. Diego. Its position was behind the church, nearest the sea, called N”* i. The officers of the artillery and engineers exerted themselves in a manner, that nothing but their zeal for the public service could have inspired.

 

^^ Called Cesar Pallet in the Spanish accounts, but Le Gentil

gives his name as Fayette. He was a French officer then in the

Spanish service, and was later at Pondicherry, See post, Rojo’s

JournaL Rojo’s account makes the Spanish force larger.

 

^^The council of war called on the twenty-fifth of Septem-

ber (the twenty-sixth, English date) because of the English sum-

mons for surrender, was attended by the following, under the

presidency of the archbishop: Auditors ViUacorta, Galban, and

Anda; the fiscal Francisco Leandro de Viana; the marquis de

Villamediana, master-of-camp and commandant of the garrison;

Martin de Goicocoa, sargento-mayor of the city; the marquis de

Monte-Castro y Liana Hermosa, Leandro Rodriguez Varela, al-

calde-in-ordinary ; Jose Antonio Memije y Quiros, alguacil-mayor ;

Antonio Diaz Conde, provincial alcalde of the Hermandad ; Alber-

to Jacinto Reyes, accountant; and Fernando Carabeo, royal offi-

cial. After Draper’s letter was read, all voted unanimously:

“That inasmuch as this place was in condition to continue its de-

fense, as no especial harm had been seen to have been done by the

enemy, notwithstanding the continual and lively firing from the

23d when the siege commenced until the present, therefore they

are unanimous and in harmony in their opinion that this place

should be defended until the last extremity ; and the enemy should

be informed to the effect that the Spanish arms did not surrender

to any power, for they alone venerated their sovereign, whose royal

sovereignty never deserted his faithful vassals, not even in the

most remote part of this dominion, as were these islands, in which

the love and loyalty of their inhabitants was great, and obliged

them to the defense of this place,” See Montero y Vidal, ii, pp.

16, 17.

^^ Cf. Rojo’s description of the fortifications of Manila, post.


25th September, 1762

The twenty-fifth we seized a fort which the Spaniards had abandoned, named the Polverista,[36] that proved a most excellent place of arms. For Covering the landing of our stores, and securing our communication with the squadron. Col. Monson, who was detached with two hundred men to view the roads and approaches to Manila, occupied the Hermita church, large and commodious, about nine hundred yards from the city. We made the priest’s house the headquarters; sent orders to Maj. More to march up with the 79th regiment to secure and maintain this post, which was of the utmost consequence, both from its strength, and the great cover it afforded us from the rains that had deluged the country, and made it impossible to incamp; for we too soon found, that the monsoon had broke upon us. The surf continued dangerous; the rains increased; the landing of our artillery and stores became very hazardous; our remaining troops were put on shore with much peril, and some loss; Lieut. Hardwick was drowned. But the courage and activity of the seamen surmounted all obstacles; they got on shore part of the Seapoys, some provisions, and such stores as were first wanted, and by signals demanded from the squadron; the officers of which were indefatigable in giving us all possible assistance; and Capt. Jocelyn, who was intrusted with the care of the disimbarkation, did every thing that could he wished or expected from a diligent good officer. We left the marines at our first post, the Malata, to be near the Polverista, to preserve our communications, and guard our stores and park of artillery. The men, from the good conduct and example of their officers, behaved very well, and were of great use upon all occasions. As the rains had forced us to seek the protection of the houses that were under the fire of the bastions, the Spaniards cannonaded our quarters, which were much nearer the walls than the usual rules of war prescribe. They attempted likewise to burn more of their suburbs, but were prevented by the great activity and good conduct of Capt. Fletcher, major of brigade, and Capt. Stevenson and Cotsford, the engineers; who having advanced under cover of the houses to St. Jago’s [i.e., Santiago] church, near the sea, and within three hundred yards of the town, reported its importance so sensibly, that we posted a body of men there, notwithstanding its contiguity to their bastions. The enemy soon fired upon us; but not with perseverance or effect enough to dislodge us. We had some few men killed and wounded.

[36] While the Spaniards were deliberating on the defense of this place, the British captured it. Two companies of fifty men each who had been sent for its defense fled on seeing the British before them, with the exception of twenty-five men, under Captain Baltasar Cosar. See Sitio y conquista de Manila, p. 38.


24th September, 1762

On the morning of the twenty-fourth, we sent an ineffectual summons to the town, and, with the Admiral and other principal officers, examined the coast, in order to fix upon a proper spot for landing the troops, artillery, and stores. We found a most convenient place about two miles to the south of Manila. Accordingly, all the boats were immediately prepared by the proper signals: and three frigates, the Argo, Capt. King; Seahorse, Capt. Grant; and Seaford, Capt. Peighin, were sent in very near the shore to cover the descent. The 79th regiment, the marines, a detachment of artillery, with three field-pieces, and one howitzer, fixed in the long-boats, assembled in three divisions under their sterns; the left, commanded by Col. Morison, quartermaster general; the centre by me, with Lt-Col. Scott the adjutant-general; the right by Maj. More, the eldest field officer. As we had determined to land near a church and village called Malata, that was opposite our left, the other two divisions, which had been separated only to amuse and distract the attention of the enemy, were ordered to join that as soon as possible. About six in the evening we pushed, with an even front, for the shore, under the prudent and skilful management of the Captains Parker of the Grafton, Kempenfelt the Admiral’s captain, and Brereton of the Falmouth, who had the direction of the boats. The frigates kept up a brisk fire to the right and left of us, to protect our flanks, and disperse the enemy, who were beginning to assemble in great numbers both horse and foot, to oppose our descent. This cannonade had the desired effect. They retired, and left us a clear coast. But a violent surf arose, many boats were dashed to pieces, our arms and ammunition much damaged; providentially no lives were lost. We formed upon the beach, marched, and took possession of the Malata, fixed our outposts, and passed the whole night under arms. The Spaniards were employed in burning part of their suburbs.


23rd September, 1762

On the twenty-third of September we anchored in Manila bay; and soon found, that our visit was unexpected; the Spaniards were unprepared.[36] To increase as much as possible the visible confusion and consternation of the enemy, we determined to lose no time in the attack of the port of Cavite, that was at first intended, but proceed directly to the grand object, judging that our conquest there would of course occasion and draw after it the fall of Cavite.

[36] Some Armenian merchants from Madras told the archbishop that a squadron was being prepared there for the capture of Manila. A certain secular priest had a letter which contained the same news; while Father Cuadrado, O.S.A., received another letter which mentioned the declaration of war between England and Spain. On September 14, word was received in Manila from the outposts on the island of Corregidor of the appearance of 3 vessel there the preceding day. A small boat sent ashore from this vessel inquired how many vessels were in the bay, and whether the “Filipino” had entered. This vessel left on the 17th without any salute. This produced no other sensation in Manila than some slight suspicions, and no preparations were taken. Word was, however, despatched to the “Filipino” to make some other port than at Manila. See Le Gentil’s Voyage, ii, pp. 236, 237; Montero y Vidal, ii, pp. 12, I3; and Sitio y conquista de Manila (Zaragoza, 1897), by Marquis de Ayerbe, pp. 33, 34.


1st to 27th of August, 1762

As Maj.-Gen. Lawrence was of opinion, that the  settlements would be in danger if more forces were  drawn from the coast, the two battalions of the company’s troops, all the cavalry, six thousand Seapoys, with the part of Col. Monson’s, and the highlanders, then at Madrass, were left for their security. The Medway, York, and Chatham, that were hourly expected, had orders left for them to remain for the protection of the trade. We sailed, with the Admiral’s division, the first of August. The Seahorse, Capt. Grant, was previously dispatched through the streights of Malacca to the entrance of the China sea, to stop all vessels that might be bound to Manila, or sent from any of our neighbouring settlements to give the Spaniards notice of the design.

Commodore Tyddyman, with the first division of the fleet and troops under Col. Monson, sailed two days before us, that our watering might be more speedily completed at Malacca; where we arrived the nineteenth of August. We there bought up a large quantity of rattans to make gabions, a good number of which was finished on board the several ships. The twenty-seventh we sailed for our second rendezvous, off the island of Timon. The necessary signals and instructions were then given for landing on the coast of Luconia.