British troops stationed in India were idle since the Fall of Pondicherry and assembling them was not a hard task. Thus, on August 1, 1762, a British fleet of eight ships of the line, three frigates and four store ships, sailed away from Madras, India with a force of 6,839 regulars, sailors and marines. Led by Brigadier General William Draper and Rear Admiral Samuel Cornish, the expeditonary force consisted of:
79th Regiment of Foot,
Composite batallions of sepoys (drawn from all Madras Sepoy regiments) under Captain DesPlans (2,000 men),
French deserters under Lieutenant Martin (200 men),
Other assorted troops (freed African slaves, native Christian Indians who claimed to have Portuguese descent, Nawab European infantry,..).
Draper 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.
On September 24, after much delay due to stormy weather and defective condition of Admiral Cornish's ships, the expedition entered Manila Bay and anchored off at Fort Cavite (Arsenal de Cavite ).
On September 25, Draper landed his troops unopposed through heavy surf, about 2.5 km south of the walls of the city. A substantial number of Royal Marines and sailors were then detached from the fleet. The garrison of Manila consisted of the Royal Regiment (20 companies of 100 men each). These companies were far from being at full strength. Mortality, desertion and various detachments had reduced this regiment to some 565 soldiers. There were only 80 artillerymen, including some Filipinos.
On September 26, Draper seized a detached fort which had been abandoned by the Spaniards within 200 meters of the glacis, and began to construct a battery, while the ships sailed up to draw the fire of the town upon themselves.
On September 30, a British store ship arrived with entrenching tools, but was driven ashore by a gale. Fortunately, she had run aground so that she screened the rear of Draper's camp from the Spanish cannon. 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.
On October 4, the battery and the ships opened fire and in 4 hours silenced the guns of Manila. By October 5, the British cannonade had made a practicable breach in the fortifications of Manila. During the night of October 5 to 6, the Spaniards made a sally upon the British position with 1,000 Filipinos and were driven back with heavy loss.
On October 5, 1762, the Spanish military persuaded the then Acting Governor-General Manuel Rojo del Rio y Vieyra to summon a council of war. Several times the archbishop wished to capitulate, but he was prevented. By very heavy battery fire that day, the British had successfully breached the walls of the bastion San Diego, dried up the ditch, dismounted the cannons of that bastion and the two adjoining bastions, San Andes and San Eugenio, set fire to parts of the town, and drove the Spanish forces from the walls. At dawn of October 6, British forces attacked the breach and took the fortifications meeting with little resistance.
The Spanish defeat was not really surprising. The former Governor-General of the Philippines, Pedro Manuel de Arandia, had died in 1759 and his replacement, Brigadier Francisco de la Torre, had not yet arrived because of the British attack in Cuba. As such, the Spanish Crown appointed the Archbishop of Manila, Manuel Rojo del Rio y Vieyra, as Acting Governor-General. In part, since the garrison was commanded by the Archbishop, instead of a military expert, many mistakes were made the Spanish forces.
During the siege, the Spanish military lost three officers, two sergeants, 50 troops of the line, and 30 civilians of the militia, besides having many left wounded. Among the natives, there were 300 killed and 400 wounded. The besiegers suffered 147 killed and wounded, of whom 16 were officers. The fleet fired upon the city more than 5,000 bombs, and more than 20,000 balls.
After the falling of Manila, the churches and government offices were ransacked by British troops. Valuables, and government and historical documents, such as Augustinian records, the copper plates for the grand 18th-century Murillo Velarde map of the Philippines, the naval stores at the Cavite Naval Yard, the paintings in the Governor General's Palace, the contents of Intramuros churches and the possessions of most wealthy houses were also taken by the troops. Rape, homicide and vandalism also rampaged throughout the city in what is known as the "First Rape of Manila".
To prevent further slaughter, Rojo surrendered the citadel and the port of Cavite as soon as the city fell, promising four million Mexican silver dollars for ransom of the town, lives, and of the property therein as demanded by the British. Manila fell within 10 days of the arrival of the British.
The million dollars has never been fully paid, but the expedition was rewarding nevertheless, especially after the capture of the treasure ship, Santisima Trinidad, with a value of two million dollars on board.
On the 10th of October, Manila was placed under the authority of civilian Drake.
On November 2, 1762, Drake assumed gubernatorial office as the British governor of Manila with assistance from a council of four, namely John L. Smith, Claud Russel, Henry Brooke and Samuel Johnson. When after several attempts, Drake realized that he wasn't getting as many assets that he expected, he formed a War Council that he named Chottry Court, with absolute power to imprison anyone who he wished. Many Spanish, Spanish meztisos, Chinese and Indians were brought into prison for crimes, that as denounced by Captain Thomas Backhouse, were "only known to himself".
MAP OF THE BRITISH ATTACK OF MANILA
Meanwhile, the Royal Audience of Manila had organized a war council and dispatched Oidor Don Simon de Anda y Salazar to the provincial town of Bulacan to organize continued resistance to the British. At the same time, he was also appointed as Lieutenant Governor and Visitor-General. On the night of October 5, 1762, Anda took a substantial amount of the treasury and official records with him, departed Fort Santiago through the postern of Our Lady of Solitude, to a boat on the Pasig River and headed towards the province of Bulacan. He moved his headquarters from Bulacan to Bacolor in the province of Pampanga which is more secure from the British. From there, he quickly obtained the powerful support of the Augustinians.
Eventually, Anda raised an army of over 10,000 combatants, most of which are voluntary natives, that were successful in keeping the British forces confined in Manila even though they lacked enough modern weapons. On October 8, 1762, Anda informed Rojo that he had assumed the position of Governor and Captain-General under the statutes of the Council of the Indies which allowed for the devolution of authority from the Governor to the Audience in cases of riot or invasion by foreign forces. Anda, being the highest member of the Audience not captive by the British, assumed all powers and demanded the royal seal. Rojo declined to surrender it and refused to recognize Anda as Governor-General.
The surrender agreement between Archbishop Rojo and the British military guaranteed the Roman Catholic religion and its episcopal government, secured private property, and granted the citizens of the former Spanish colony the rights of peaceful travel and of trade 'as British subjects'. Under British control, the Philippines would continue to be governed by the Royal Audience, the expenses of which are to be paid by Spain. However, Anda did not recognize any of the agreements signed by rojo as valid, claiming that the Archbishop has been forced to sign them, and therefore, according to the statutes of the Council of Indies, were invalid. He also refused to negotiate with the invaders until he was addressed as the legal Governor-General of the Philippines, returning to the British the letters that were not addressed to that effect. All of these initiatives were later approved by the King of Spain, who rewarded him and other members of the Audience, such as Jose Basco y Vargas, who had fought against the invaders.
The British force in Manila proved inadequate to win any significant lasting control outside the capital and were defeated on every attempt they made to occupy other positions anywhere outside Manila. Severe disagreements between Dawsonne Drake and the military commanders who replaced Draper and Cornish prevented either fruitful negotiations with Anda or effective military action.
The invaders conspired with Diego Silang, a leader from the Ilocos Region, to revolt against Spain. Silang was promised all kinds of military help by the British but such aid never materialized until he was assassinated by his own friends, and the revolt aborted after his wife, who had taken over the leadership, was captured and executed together with the rest of the remaining rebel forces by the Spaniards.
The Seven Years War was ended by the Treaty of Paris on February 10, 1763. At the time of the signing of the treaty, the signatories were not aware that Manila had been taken by the British and consequently it fell under the general provision that all lands not otherwise provided for be returned to the Spanish Crown. After Archbishop Rojo died on January 30, 1764, the British military finally recognized Anda as the legitimate Governor-General of the Philippines, sending him a letter addressed as "Real Audiencia Gobernadora y Capitania General", after which Anda agreed to an armistice on the condition that the British forces were withdrawn form Manil by March. The British ended the occupation by embarking from Manila and Cavite in the first week of April 1764, and sailing out of Manila Bay for Batavia, India and England.
A number of Sepoys deserted the British forces and settled down in Cainta, Rizal which explains the uniquely Indian features of generations of Cainta residents.
Many valuable oil paintings by Spanish artists from the Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros, rare maps, charts, historical manuscripts and official documents, precious books, letters and papers of religious orders, together with bundles of primary source materials about the Philippines during the 17th century, were taken away by Dawsonne Drake and his successor, Alexander Dalrymple.
FLAG OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY
SIR WILLIAM DRAPER
SPANISH ARCHIBISHOP MANUEL ANTONIO ROJO