Battle of Manila (1762)

The Battle of Manila (Filipino: Labanan sa Maynila, Spanish: Batalla de Manila) was fought during the Seven Years' War, from 24 September 1762 to 6 October 1762, between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Spain in and around Manila, the capital of the Philippines, a Spanish colony at that time. The British won, leading to a twenty-month occupation of Manila.


The British Ministry approved Col. Draper's plans for invading the Philippine Isles and HMS Seahorse, under Capt. Cathcart Grant, was sent to intercept Manila bound vessels. The first portion of the invasion fleet sailed from India on 21 July, under Commodore Teddinson, followed by the remainder under Admiral Sir Samuel Cornish, 1st Baronet, and Col. Draper on 1 August. HMS Norfolk served as the admiral's flagship.[6]

On 1 August 1762, a British fleet of eight ships of the line, three frigates, and four store ships, sailed away from Madras with a force of 6,839 regulars, sailors and marines. The commander of the expedition was Brigadier-General William Draper. He was assisted by Colonel Monson as second in command, Major Scott as adjutant-general and Captain Fletcher as brigade-major of the East India Company. The expeditionary force consisted of:

Manila was garrisoned by the Life Guard of the Governor-General of the Philippines, the 2nd Battalion of the King's regiment under Don Miguel de Valdez, Spanish marines, a corps of artillery under Lt. Gen. Don Felix de Eguilux, seconded by Brig. the Marquis de Villa Medina, a company of Pampangos, and a company of cadets.[6]


Admiral Cornish's fleet, fourteen vessels, of which ten carried more than fifty guns, anchored in Manila Bay on 23 September. A landing was planned two miles south of the city, covered by HMS Argo, under Captain King, HMS Seahorse, under Captain Grant, and HMS Seaford under Captain Pelghin. The three-pronged landing force of 274 marines was led by Colonel Draper, center, Major More, right, and Colonel Monson, left. The next day, they were joined by 632 seamen under Captains Collins, Pitchford and Ouvry.

Fort Polverina was captured on 25 September.[6] Further reconnaissance revealed that the fortifications of Manila were not formidable, in fact they were incomplete. "In many places the ditch had never been finished, the covered way was out of repair, the glacis was too low, some of the outworks were without cannon..."[6]

Map of British Conquest of Manila 1762
Map of the British Conquest of Manila in 1762.[7]

On 30 September, a British storeship arrived with entrenching tools, but was driven ashore by a gale. She had run aground so that she screened the rear of Draper's camp from a large force of Filipinos. Her stores were landed with greater speed and safety than would have been possible had she remained afloat for the gale continued for several days and forbade the passage of boats through the surf.[1]:44

A strong gale started on 1 October, cutting off communication with the British fleet. On the morning of 4 October, a force of 1,000 local Pampangos attacked a cantonment built by the British overnight but was beaten back with 300 Filipinos killed. After this failure, all except 1,800 of the Pamgangos abandoned the city. "The fire from the garrison now became faint, while that of the besiegers was stronger than ever, and ere long a breach became practicable." On 6 October, 60 volunteers under Lieutenant Russell advanced through the breach in the Bastion of St. Andrew. Engineers and pioneers followed, then came Colonel Monson and Major More with two divisions of the 79th, the seamen and then another division of the 79th.[6]

Preventing further slaughter, acting Governor-General Archbishop Manuel Rojo del Rio y Vieyra surrendered both Manila and Cavite to Draper and Cornish.[1]:51–54


"The humanity and generosity of the British commanders saved Manila from a general and justly merited pillage. A ransom of four millions of dollars only was demanded for this relaxation of the laws of war. Thus the whole archipelago of the Philippines fell with the wealthy city of Manila."[6]

The British occupation of Manila lasted until Manila was returned to Spain according to the 1763 Treaty of Paris. News that it had been lost did not reach Spain until after the cessation of hostilities between the two powers. Oidor Don Simon Anda y Salazar had been dispatched to Bulacan in order to organize resistance. There he organized an army of 10,000 Filipinos under the command of Jose Busto.[1]:49,58

Manila was placed under the authority of civilian Deputy Governor Dawsonne Drake, appointed by the East India Company as the leader of the Manila Council. Major Fell commanded the garrison as another member of the council[1]:58,60

During their time in the Philippines, the British found themselves confined to Manila and Cavite in a deteriorating situation, unable to extend British control over the islands and unable to make good their promised support for an uprising led first by Diego Silang[1]:58,87,90 and later by his wife Gabriela, which was crushed by Spanish forces.

The British expedition was rewarded after the capture of the treasure ship Filipina, carrying American silver from Acapulco, and in a battle off Cavite on October 2, 1762 the Spanish ship Santísima Trinidad which carried China goods. However, when Cornish sailed for Madras with the East Indies Squadron in early 1763, he had only collected $516,260 of the $2 million ransom. The balance consisted of bills of exchange, though Spain never did pay the Manila ransom.[1]:76,81,122

The city remained under British rule for 18 months and was returned to Spain in April 1764 after the 1763 Treaty of Paris.[1]:57

Draper and Cornish were thanked by Parliament on 19 April 1763; Cornish was made a Baronet of Great Britain, and Draper eventually received as Knighthood of the Bath.[1]:112

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Tracy, Nicholas (1995). Manila Ransomed. University of Exeter Press. pp. 17, 22–23. ISBN 0859894266.
  2. ^ Morga, Antonio (2001). The Philippine Islands, Moluccas, Siam, Cambodia, Japan, and China, at the Close of the Sixteenth Century. Adamant Media Corporation. p. 362. ISBN 978-1-4021-9547-1.
  3. ^ Fernández Duro, Cesáreo (2007). Sitio y conquista de Manila por los ingleses en 1762. Monografía del Sr. Marqués de Ayerbe. Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes. p. 5.
  4. ^ Leebrick, Karl Clayton (2007). The English expedition to Manila and the Philippine Islands in the year 1762. University of California, Berkeley. p. 52.
  5. ^ a b Blair, Emma Helen (2008). The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803. BiblioBazaar. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-559-25329-4.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Grant, James (1873). British Battles On Land and Sea. Cassell & Company, Limited. pp. 126–130.
  7. ^ Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office. "THE BRITISH CONQUEST OF MANILA". Presidential Museum and Library. Republic of the Philippines. Archived from the original on 20 October 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2014.


This article was originally based on material from 1762 – British expedition against Manila, which is licensed under the GFDL.

Coordinates: 14°35′00″N 120°58′00″E / 14.5833°N 120.9667°E


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