Anglo-Spanish War (1762–1763)

For other conflicts, see Anglo-Spanish War.
Anglo–Spanish War (1762–1763)
Part of the Seven Years' War

The Capture of Havana, 1762 with the storming of Morro Castle, 30 July 1762
LocationCuba, Portugal, Philippines, New Spain
Result British victory
Spain cedes Florida to Britain in exchange for return of Havana. Spain received Louisiana from France.
 Great Britain
Filipino rebels
Spain Spain
Commanders and leaders

Kingdom of Great Britain Earl of Loudoun
Kingdom of Great Britain George Townshend
Kingdom of Great Britain John Burgoyne
Kingdom of Great Britain Earl of Albemarle
Kingdom of Great Britain George Pocock
Kingdom of Great Britain George Augustus Eliott
Kingdom of Great Britain William Draper
Kingdom of Great Britain Admiral Samuel Cornish
Count of Lippe

Diego and Gabriela Silang

Spain Marquis of Sarria
Spain Count of Aranda
Spain Archbishop Manuel Rojo

Spain Juan de Prado

The Anglo–Spanish War (Spanish: Guerra Anglo-Española) was a military conflict fought between Britain and Spain as part of the Seven Years' War. It lasted from January 1762 until February 1763 when the Treaty of Paris brought it to an end.


When war was declared between France and Great Britain in 1756, Spain remained neutral. King Ferdinand VI of Spain's prime minister Ricardo Wall effectively opposed the French party who wanted to enter the war on the side of France. Britain made an attempt to persuade Spain to join the war on their side, by offering Gibraltar in exchange for Spanish help in regaining Minorca, but this was rejected by Madrid.

Everything changed when Ferdinand VI died in 1759 and was succeeded by his younger brother Charles III of Spain. Charles was more ambitious than his melancholy brother. One of the main objects of Charles's policy was the survival of Spain as a colonial power and, therefore, as a power to be reckoned with in Europe.

By 1761 France looked like losing the war against Great Britain. Furthermore, Spain suffered from attacks by English privateers in Spanish waters, and claimed compensation.

Fearing that a British victory over France in the Seven Years' War would upset the balance of colonial power, he signed the Family Compact with France (both countries were ruled by branches of the Bourbon family) in August 1761.

This brought war with Great Britain in January 1762.

The war

Spain agreed with France to attack Portugal which remained neutral but which was an important strategic ally of Great Britain. France hoped that this new front would draw away British forces, now directed against France. On May 9 Spain invaded Portugal, capturing Almeida, and made Great Britain send a force of 8,000 men to Portugal, but little more was achieved. Three major Franco-Spanish invasions of Portugal were defeated by the Portuguese with British assistance, as a campaign of guerrilla warfare in the mountainous country and a scorched earth policy carried out by peasants weakened the Franco-Spanish invaders by cutting off food and supplies.

In anticipation of the Spanish entering the war, the British attacked Spanish colonies. A British expedition against Cuba took Havana and western Cuba in August 1762, along with fourteen ships of the line, the bulk of Spain's Caribbean fleet. One and a half months later, the British seized Manila as a base for an unsuccessful campaign to conquer the Philippines. The loss of both the capitals of the Spanish West Indies and the Spanish East Indies was a blow to Spanish prestige. However, when news of the failure of British forces to secure the Philippines and the plundering of Manila reached Europe, the Spanish refused to complete the payments agreed to in the peace settlement.

The British lost 26 ships and their cargoes when the Cavallos expedition took the South American Portuguese colony of Colónia do Sacramento. A British-Portuguese attempt to recapture the colony was defeated when the British East India Company warship Lord Clive was sunk by Spanish coastal fire.

By the Treaty of Paris (1763) Spain handed over Florida and Minorca to Britain and returned territories in Portugal and Brazil to Portugal in exchange for British withdrawal from Cuba.

As compensation for their ally's losses, the French ceded Louisiana to Spain by the Treaty of Fontainebleau (1762).


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