6th of October, 1762

Sixth. At four o’clock in the morning we filed off from our quarters, in small bodies, to give the less suspicion; and, by degrees, assembled at St. Jago’s church ; observing the utmost silence, and concealing ourselves in the place of arms, and the parallel between the church and the battery. Maj. Barker kept up a brisk fire upon the works, and those places where the enemy might be lodged or intrenched. Our mortars were well applied for the same purpose. At day-break we discerned a large body of Spaniards formed on the bastion of St. Andrew, which gave us reason to imagine they had got some information of our design, and intended to annoy us with their musquetry and gjrape from the retired flank of that bastion, where they had still two cannon placed : but upon the explosion of some shells that fell among them, they went off. We took immediate advantage of this, and by the signal of a general discharge of our artillery and mortars, rushed on to the assault, under cover of a thick smoke that blew directly upon the town. Sixty volunteers of different corps, under Lieut. Russel of the 79th, led the way, supported by the grenadiers of that regiment: the engineers, with the pioneers, and other workmen, to clear and enlarge the breach, and make lodgments, in case the enemy should have been too strongly intrenched in the gorge of the bastion, followed : Col. Monson and Maj. More were at the head of two grand divisions of the 79th : the battalion of seamen advanced next, sustained by the other two divisions of the 79th : the company’s troops closed the rear. They all mounted the breach with amazing spirit and rapidity. The few Spaniards upon the bastion dispersed so suddenly, that it was thought they depended upon their mines. Capt. Stevenson had orders to make a strict search to discover them; but our precautions were needless. We met with little resistance, except at the Royal gate, and from the galleries of the lofty houses which surround the grand square. In the guard-house over the Royal gate one hundred of the Spaniards and Indians, who would not surrender, were put to the sword.*^ Three hundred more, according to the enemy’s account, were drowned in attempting to escape over the river, which was very deep and rapid.”^^ The Governor and principal officers retired to the citadel, and were glad to surrender as prisoners at discretion, as that place was in no good posture of defence.** Capt. Dupont of the 79th, with one hundred men, took possession of it. The Marquis of Villa Mediana, with the rest of the Spanish officers, were admitted as prisoners of war on their paroles of honour; and to conciliate the affections of the natives, all the Indians who fell into our hands were dismissed in safety. Our joy, upon this fortunate event, was greatly clouded by the loss of Maj. More, who was transfixed with an arrow near the Royal gate,*^ and died immediately, universally lamented for his good qualities. Capt. Sleigh of the grenadiers, and some other good officers, were wounded. We had about thirty private men killed or wounded. In consequence of the terms dictated to the Spaniards, the port of Cavite and citadel, with several large ships, and a vast quantity of war- like and naval stores, were surrendered to us. Capt. Champion, with 100 marines, and as many Seapoys, imbarked on board the Seahorse to take possession of it. The Spanish garrison of 300 men, on the approach of our people, mutinied against their officers, plundered some houses, and went off into the country with their arms. As a small acknowledgment of the great services which the whole army had received from Capt.Kempenfelt, the Admiral’s Captain, I begged he would act at Cavite with a commission as governor for his Majesty, being well assured that no one could discharge that trust with more conduct and abilities/’


Spanish officers of note prisoners of war

Don Felix de Eguiluz, Lieutenant-General of Artillery.

The Marquis of Villa Mediana, Brigadier-General, and Colonel of the King’s regiment.

Don Miguel Valdes, Lieutenant-Colonel, and Commandant of the second battalion of ditto.

Don Joseph de Riarte, Lieutenant-Colonel, and Governor of the Cavite.

Don Francisco Rodriguez, Serjeant-Major of ditto.

Don Manuel Fernandes Toribio, Commandant and Serjeant-Major of the citadel of St. J ago.

Don Christoval Ros, Serjeant-Major of Manila.

Don Thomas de Castro,*^ Chief Engineer, and Colonel of the King’s regiment.

14 Captains, 13 Lieutenants, 12 Ensigns, 2 Adjutants, i Physician, i Surgeon, 11 Serjeants, 261 Rank and File.

Of the Marine, 4 Captains, 2 Ensigns.

Of the Artillery, i Captain-Commandant, 2

Lieutenants, i Ensign, i Adjutant, i Commissary.

Of the Irregular Pampangos, i Captain, 2 Lieutenants, I Ensign.

2 Adjutants of the Cavite.

2 Adjutants of the citadel of St Jago.

4 Adjutants of the city of Manila.

I Captain and Engineer of ditto.

Of the Cadet Company . . . . .5

The Governor-General’s life-guard . . 8

Killed and Wounded of the British forces

jgth reg. Killed: Maj. More, Capt Strahan,

Lieut. Fryar, 6 privates. Wounded: Capt. Sleigh

of the grenadiers, Lieuf Hazlewood and Garnons,

Ens. Hog, 45 pr.

Battalion of seamen. Killed: Capt. Peter Porter,

lieutenant of the Norfolk, Mr. White, surgeon’s mate

of ditto, 7 pr. seamen, 5 marines. Wounded: Second-

Lieut. Thomas Spearing, of the marines, of the

Lenox, Mr. Neal, midshipman of ditto, one serjeant,

18 pr.

Company’s troops. Drowned: Lieut. Hardwick,

one Serjeant, 2 pr. Wounded: one serjeant, 5 pr.

Artillery, Killed: one pr. Wounded: one serjeant, 3 pr.

Seapoys. Killed 8. Wounded 31.


*^The Marquis de Ayerbe says {Sitio y conquistCy p. 60) that

forty of these men were killed, among them being several wounded

men, one of whom was the sargento-mayor, Martin de Goycoa



*^ Many of the inhabitants of Manila fled to the Pasig after the assault, and when attempting to swim across, were fired upon by the British, with horrible carnage. See Montero y Vidal, ii, pp. 27, 28.


^^ The captors imposed several contributions on the conquered. They seized a champan and its money and effects that was despatched without a passport by Fernando Calderon to the provinces for purposes of trade. See Sitio y conquista, p. 70.


^^ At the assault of the royal gate, the enemy lost but four men, one of whom was a major, who received an arrow in the face. The commander of the regiment, Miguel Valdes and some men basely fled. See Sitio y conquista, pp. 60, 61.

^^ Published with the following appendices in London Gazette^ 1763; London Chronicle, 1763, pp. 377-379; Gentleman s Magazine, 1763, pp. 171-176; London Magazine, 1763, pp. 214-219; Dublin Magazine, 1763, pp. 248-255; Universal Magazine, 1763, pp. 202-206; and vol. ii of The Field of Mars, 1781.

5th of October, 1762

Fifth. Maj. Barker’s fire was so violent, that the breach appeared practicable. Our cannon from the three-gun battery silenced those of the enemy on the  orillon of St. Andrew. We were in hopes that the Spaniards would be sensible of their danger, and think of giving up the town. But they were obstinate, without bravery, or any generous resolution of defending the breach. In the evening, the design of storming the place was communicated to the principal officers of each department only, and the necessary preparations made.*^*

4th of October, 1762

Fourth. About three hours before day one thousand of the Indians attacked the cantonment of the seamen. They were encouraged to this attempt by the incessant rains in which they flattered themselves our fire-arms would be useless. Their approach was favoured by a great number of thick bushes that grew upon the side of a rivulet, which they passed in the night, and by keeping close, eluded the vigilance of the patroles. Upon the alarm, Col. Monson and Capt. Fletcher, with the piquets, were dispatched to the assistance of the seamen, who very sensibly kept firm in their posts, and were contented to repulse them till day-break; when a fresh piquet of the 79th regiment appearing upon the Indians right flank, they fled, were pursued, and dispersed, with the loss of three hundred men. Had their skill or weapons been equal to their strength and ferocity, it might have cost us dear. Although armed chiefly with bows, arrows, and lances, they advanced up to the very muzzles of our pieces, repeated their assaults, and died like wild beasts, gnawing the bayonets. This attack cost us some few men ; but we lost a most excellent sea officer, Capt. Porter, lieutenant of the Norfolk, sincerely and justly lamented by all. We had scarce finished this affair, when another body of them, with part of the Spanish garrison, again attacked the church N”* 2. forced the Seapoys from their post in it, nearest the town, and took possession of the top, from whence they killed and wounded several of our people, who were entirely exposed to all their weapons. Notwithstanding this disadvantageous situation, the European soldiers maintained their post behind the church with great firmness and patience, and at last dislodged the enemy, with the assistance of some field-pieces, and the good conduct of Maj. Fell, field-officer of the day, Capt. Fletcher, and other brave officers sent to their relief. The Spaniards left seventy dead behind them, in and about the church. On our side, Capt. Strahan, of the 79th regiment, a very good officer, was mortally wounded, and forty private men wounded or killed. This was the enemy’s last effort: all their Indians, excepting one thousand eight hundred, discouraged by their losses, returned home. Our working parties and the fire of our batteries, which had been a little interrupted by these attacks, recommenced with greater spirit than ever. We found likewise the good effects of giving the enemy no time to repair their embrasures or carriages in the night. They opened only an inconsiderable fire from three or four embrasures in the curtain, too oblique to have much effect: before night those defences were ruined.

3rd of October, 1762

Third. The weather became moderate. At daylight the battery was opened against the left face of the bastion of St. Diego, towards the saliant angle. One hundred seamen were appointed to assist the corps of artillery in this service. Our cannon, by the most excellent skill and management of Maj. Barker, and the officers under him, were served with such justness, quickness, and dexterity, that the twelve pieces on that face of the bastion were silenced in a few hours, and the Spaniards drove from them. We had but two men killed. At night we began a battery for three guns, on the left of our place of arms, to silence those that were in barbet upon the orillon of the bastion of St. Andrew, which annoyed our flank. We maintained a brisk fire of grape and musketry all the night, to prevent the enemy from repairing their embrasures and remounting the cannon. The mortars, now augmented to seven, were kept constantly playing upon the gorge of the bastion, and the contiguousdefences.



*^ “In Manila was a Beata who lived on the alms sent her from

Mexico, or those which she collected in Manila. She maintained

and supported a certain number of girls, who consented to retire

with her and to lead the same manner of life – that is to say, a life

of retreat and repentance. They followed the rules of no particu-

lar order. That community did not have the approbation of the

court of Rome, but that did not prevent it from being tolerated,

and even from being in excellent odor. She was called Mother

Paula. The fiscal had much confidence in her, and sent the

greatest part of his possessions to the house of this woman. This

Beata assured him that Manila would not fall; that the English

w^ere all going to become Catholics; and that the fulfilment of

her prediction would speedily be seen. The fiscal believed her.

Completely enthused, he went to find the archbishop. *Sir,’ said

he, on saluting him, ‘we have nothing to fear; I have just left’

Mother Paula; the English are all going to be converted to the

faith ; we shall drink excellent wine at their expense.’ ” See Le

Gentil, ii, pp. 240, 241.

October 1st and 2nd, 1762

October first and second. The weather grew so very tempestuous, that the whole squadron was in danger, and all communication with it entirely cut off. The violence of the storm forced the South-sea castle storeship (which was lately arrived) from her anchors, and drove her on shore: even in this situation the ship was of great use. Capt. Sherwood enfiladed the whole sea-beach to the southward, and kept in awe a large body of Indians, who menaced the Polverista, and our magazines at the Malata. Notwithstanding the deluge of rain which accompanied the wind, by the perseverance of the troops and seamen, we completed the battery for the twenty-four pounders, raised a mortar-battery for the heavy shells of ten and thirteen inches, made a good parallel and communication from the church to the gun-battery, and established a spacious place of arms on the left of it, near the sea. The roaring of the waves prevented the enemy from hearing the noise of our workmen in the night. They gave us no interruption, but seemed to trust entirely to the elements; while the Governor (the Archbishop) gave out, that an angel from the Lord was gone forth to destroy us like the host of Sennacherib. On the afternoon of the 2nd, the seamen, with wonderful activity, brought up and mounted all the guns in the battery; which we masked.

30th of September, 1762

Thirtieth. The engineers traced out Adm. Cornish’s battery for eight twenty-four pounders, on the left of St. Jago’s church; but the violence of the rains retarded our progress; and the absence of two ships, that had on board a considerable quantity of fascines, and many of our working and intrenching tools, put us to some inconveniences. The Admiral’s goodness supplied these defects: all the smiths and carpenters in the fleet were employed in making those instruments; and by their industry and dispatch, we were enabled to proceed. The Elizabeth and Falmouth persevered in their cannonade upon the town, which was returned from the enemy’s sealine without any effect.

29th of September, 1762

Twenty-ninth. The Admiral, at my request, ordered the Elizabeth, Com. Tyddyman, and the Falmouth, Capt. Brereton, to place themselves as near the town as the depth of water would permit, and second our operations, by enfilading the front we intended to attack; but the shallows kept them at too great a distance to answer the purpose effectually, though their shot struck much confusion and terror into the inhabitants. We continued our bombardment day and night.

28th of September, 1762

Twenty-eighth. The Governor’s nephew was landed. My secretary, Lieut. Fryar, was ordered to conduct him into the town with a flag of truce. In the mean time, a large party of the garrison, intermixed with Indians, sallied out to attack our second post, N** 2. by which Lieut. Fryar was advancing to the ravelin-gate. The barbarians, without respecting his character, inhumanly murdered him, mangling his body in a manner too shocking to mention. In their fury they mortally wounded the other gentleman, who had endeavoured to save Mr. Fryar. Our party received their onset with much firmness and bravery, and repulsed them with some loss on their side. As it was evident that the Indians alone were guilty of this horrid piece of barbarity, our soldiers shewed them no mercy.

27th of September, 1762

Twenty-seventh. The Governor sent out a flag of truce, to apologize for some barbarities committed by the savages lately mentioned, who had murdered some straggling seamen; and to request, that a nephew of his, taken in the bay, might be sent on shore. This gentleman had been dispatched from the Philippina galleon, just arrived on the coast from Acapulco, with the first advices of the war. Hostilities ceased till eleven at night, when we recommenced our fire from the mortars, increased them to four, and placed a six-pounder on our left flank, as a further security for our post at St. Jago’s church. As the capture of the galleon, and her treasure, might be well esteemed a national object, Mr. Cornish proposed sending the Panther and Argo from the squadron to intercept her, which was consented to; and the officers of the navy very generously agreed to dur sharing any prizes that might be taken in this cruise, as we had before consented to their sharing with us in any booty that might be taken at land; and the distribution to be made according to the rules his Majesty has fixed for the sea-service. The Admiral likewise sent on shore eight twenty-four pounders ship guns, and two eighteen-pounders, for our battering train ; as, to save time, we brought only the land-carriages and platforms from Madrass.