26th of September, 1762

To it was joined a fusillade which produced a good effect, for on the day of the twenty-sixth,[60] several corpses were to be seen from the place scattered between the glacis and the hostile trenches. Some muskets that had been left by those killed were picked up. Since the enemy did not take them away, their bodies were buried in the bellies of hungry foxes and dogs which were very numerous there, and which devoured them in a short time in the sight of our men who manned the walls.

At eight in the morning, some Indian and mestizo spearmen presented themselves before the enemy’s trenches, without that movement on their part having been preceded by any order. On approaching the advanced outposts who were occupying the sacristies of the church of San Juan de Bagumbayan, the bakery, and other neighboring houses, those Indians (although few in number), threw themselves on the enemy with such fury that they gained possession of the posts which have just been mentioned. They drove out the hostile musketeers, wounding and killing all that they met. But the English were promptly succored by a reinforcement of three hundred fusileers, who regained the posts that they had lost, and caused the Indians to retreat, to whom a signal was made from the bastion of San Andres to leave a clear field so that the fire of our artillery could have free play. The artillery did, by this means, great harm to the enemy.

During the progress of this bloody action, an offjcer of the camp was perceived, who was carrying a white flag. He was followed and accompanied by a young man clad in black, and by a drummer beating the chamade. The fire of our artillery was suspended, but the fusillade of the enemy continued with unequaled obstinacy, against the Indian spearmen who always sustained that fire. Consequently, the Indians attacked the English officer, killed him, and gave seven mortal wounds to the young man who accompanied him. The drummer was also killed, and another person who appeared to be the servant of the officer. The Indians cut off the head of the latter, but not being longer able to endure the hostile fire they retired to the covered way of the royal gate, which was opened for them so that they could re-enter. Following are the facts of the case. The nephew of the archbishop, Don Antonio Sierra de Tagle, having been made prisoner on board the little galley and conducted aboard the flagship, of which we have spoken above, the English commander-in-chief had offered in advance to grant him his liberty, and the English officer was conducting him for that purpose. That young man died of his wounds.[61]

During the whole of this day, the bombardment continued with fury, the enemy having increased their batteries of the church of Santiago by three mortars. After dinner an officer was despatched to the camp of the enemy to agree upon a truce, so that they could take away the body of their officer who had been killed. They did so, but many other dead bodies were left. On our side also, some who had been wounded were brought in.

25th of September, 1762

The following night it was resolved to make a vigorous sortie in order to discomfit the enemy who were fortifying themselves with all haste in the churches of which we have just spoken, namely, Nuestra Senora de Guia, Malate, and Santiago. Two four-pounders were detached, with the necessary artillerymen and the men needed to manage those cannons, fifty musketeers of the regular troops, some militiamen, and eight hundred Indian natives with their spears. In charge of this expedition was Monsieur Fayette (a Frenchman in the service of Manila). He attacked the enemy at their posts.[57]

The action lasted the greater part of the night, with a sharp fire on both sides; but Monsieur Fayette having recognized the invincible strength of the corps opposed to ours, and that fresh forces were continually coming to the enemy, ordered our men to retire a bit, and take position before the church of San Juan de Bagumbayan, where he kept his post all night, firing on the church of Santiago until nine o’clock of the morning of the twenty-fifth, when all the troops came back under protection of a new force which was sent them from the city.“ From that time until three o’clock in the afternoon, firing was suspended, because an officer of the hostile camp was received in the place, who was charged with a special mission.[58]

The bombardment continued without cessation. It did much damage to the buildings and killed some persons. The bombs that were picked up entire, were eighteen inches in diameter. They were kept to send back to the enemy in two mortars which were found in the royal magazines. That same night, some cannons loaded with grape were discharged on the enemy.

[57] The Marquis de Ayerbe (Sitio y conquista) gives this force as consisting of two companies of fifty Spaniards, and more than two hundred Indians and mestizos with spears, muskets, and two eight-pounders. He was seconded by Jose del Busto.

[58] Of this sortie, Le Gentil says (ii, p. 243): “This sortie was only a kind of boast and bravado, for how could one flatter himself, with at the most sixty men for I do not take an account of the two or three citadels, which it would really have been necessary to have besieged in order to try to dislodge them; for the walls of all these churches are made of cut stone, and are as thick as the walls of the royal observatory, namely, five or six feet thick, and are octagonal.” The reinforcements sent to Fayette consisted of two Spanish companies and 1,500 Indians, commanded by Pedro lriarte; and later one other company commanded by Fernando de Araya.


24th of September, 1762

On the twenty-fourth, about eight o’clock in the morning, they began to salute the enemy with artillery from the boulevards of the foundry and from San Andres, but with little effect, because the enemy were behind the churches which protected them.[55]

At nine in the morning, a small galley entered the bay, coming from the Embocadero of San Bernardino, with the news that the galleon “Philippino” had anchored in Palapa, on its return from Nueva España. The hostile squadron detached a swift frigate and four armed chaloupes, which gave chase to the galley. Having fired some shots at it, the galley made shore at Tambobo. At the same time the majority of the people on that galley, soldiers and passengers leaped into the water. Two chaloupes captured it. The captain, a subaltern, who was in charge of the galley, and some persons who had stayed aboard, were made prisoners of war. The chaloupes tried to tow the galley, but not being able to succeed in it, they took all that they could out of it,[55] except two six-pounder cannons which they were unable to move; and thereupon abandoned the galley and went back to their squadron. The captain-general had that galley set afire, after the two cannons had been taken out of it.


[55] “These were the two churches that Arandia desired to have demolished one year before his death, and for which the friars tried to excommunicate him. It is quite certain that these two citadels which were only eighty toises from the body of the city, hastened and furthered the capture of the city. By favor of these churches, the English raised and formed their batteries of cannons and mortars with the greatest (‘itS(‘. . . I have seen the ruins of one of these churches, whose walls were yet high enough to make excellent retrenchments with very little labor.” See Le Gentil, ii, pp. 239, 240.

[56] In this boat were captured money amounting to 30,000 pesos, and other objects of value. See Sitio y conquista, p. 42.


23rd of September, 1762

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 Señora 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.

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.


1st-21st of September, 1762

Before commencing this journal, it is fitting to give a brief description of the location of Manila, and of the destitute condition in which the enemy found its fortifications and defenses, in order that we may present a clear idea of the vigorous resistance that was made even to the last extremity.

The city of Manila, according to the map of Father Murillo, is located in 14° 40′ of north latitude, and 158° 35′ east longitude, on a tongue of land which terminates in a point, and forming the figure of a jug or flagon, whose extremity or neck is formed by the above point itself and contains the royal fort of Santiago. At the west it is terminated by a large bay, at the north by the Pasig River, which bathes its walls. On the land side from south to east, it is defended by four flat bastions with their casemates, and right flanks covered with orillons, and with ditches, covered way, and glacis. Along the sea, the city is fortified by a long curtain with five little flat bastions, a reduct located at a great distance from the wall. The lines of defense have such disproportion from one another, that those bastions cannot be defended reciprocally. It is impossible, further, to prevent the approach by the curtain, because there is neither ditch nor terreplein. Then too, the parapets are only one foot wide, and the curtain six.

The curtain embracing the north side, bathed by the river, and which has a kind of curvature where it forms two reentrant angles, is in the same condition of weakness as that of the sea, and is defended by two small bastions, which present the same defect noted above in their lines of defense.

From the bastion of San Gabriel to the gate of the Parian on the east of the city, is located a false screen or barbacan with its parapet and banquette. It is defective, for it is fallen, and has no gate for the retreat of the soldiers. The gate of the Parian is covered and defended by a small outer work in the form of a crown, and the royal gate by a ravelin so poorly placed and so poorly ordered, that it cannot defend the faces of the collateral bastions of San Andres and of the foundry. The flanks of the two latter bastions are not any more capable of defending the faces of the ravelin. It must be added to the above that all those fortifications are very old and defective : the walls ; the chemise, or revetement, three feet thick at the cordon, without counterfort; the escarp and counter-escarp fallen in part; and almost everything useless.

The covered way is very short and filled with thickets and bushes. Its parapet is in ruins and it has no stockade or palisade. It is so low, that it leaves the most essential parts of the bastions and curtains open clear to the foot. The embrasures are poorly placed. The gates on the sea side, are pierced through, and so old and so used up, that they cannot offer any resistance at all. The esplanades of the boulevards are so irregular and so rough, that it is impossible to maneuver with the artillery, which, besides, was mounted on ship^s carriages so old that they could not be fired without danger of being dismounted.

The royal fort of Santiago is composed of two demi-bastions which dominate the city, and of a third one which points outward and prevents the approach of the enemy. It has two circular platforms, and several flanks intended for the same use. The curtains which unite these bastions have no terreplein, and the places from which to fire are distributed without any measure or proportion.

The garrison of this place consisted of the royal regiment, which has been composed, since its creation, of twenty companies of one hundred men apiece, under the command of captains, lieutenants, and ensigns. These companies have never been full, and have never amounted to fifteen hundred men. When the enemy arrived, this regiment was diminished to such an extent both by the mortality and desertion of some men, and by the different detachments which were told off for the galleons and for other posts, that there were not more than five hundred and fifty-six soldiers. There were only eighty cannoneers, and those even were native Indians, who were but little skilled in the management of artillery. At the arrival of the enemy, four militia companies were formed, of sixty men each, and called commercial troops.^^

Manila never thought that it would be attacked by European nations. It supported the security in which it existed on the distance and remoteness of its position, in relation with Europe, and on the fact that such an example had never happened, although the two crowns had often been at war. In such confidence, they had been satisfied with putting the place in a state of defense against the Moros and neighboring nations who were little skilled in the art of war, the management of large artillery, muskets, and in the terrible artifice of throwing bombs, grenades, shells, etc. For in order that Manila might be defended against European nations, it would have needed four thousand well drilled men and all the corresponding equipment, things which this city has lacked even to the present.