Skip to content

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.