1765:  First British Invasion to the Malvinas Islands

(January 1765- June 1774)

In 1765, the Malvinas Islands were part of the territory of the Virreinato of Peru, and later of the Virreinato of Río de la Plata, while in the world the news of the invasion of the islands by the French knew, founding a village in the bay of Anunciacion on the Soledad Island

Once again Britain was about to do foot on Spanish territories in the South Atlantic, in this case by conquering the Malvinas Islands. In June 1764 british Commodore John Byron departed from England to occupy the Malvinas. Reached the island of Trinidad on January 23, 1765, he landed with all his officers and planted a Mast with the British flag.

Also stated that he took possession of all the islands under the name of Malvinas Islands. He founded Port Egmont and toured part of the islands putting names to some bays and straits, without recognizing the Spanish sovereignty or the French presence in the islands.

In Light of these events, Spain reacts through a Royal Decree, including the archipelago in the jurisdiction of the Government of Buenos Aires. The British recognize Spanish sovereignty, after repeated demands, but did not withdraw their troops, so there was an armed confrontation favorable to Spain.

The Spanish Captain Sq. Ignacio de Madariaga, on orders of the virrey _ sailing from Buenos Aires, with his forces attacked the British settlement at Port Egmont, and the British shot the called "cannon of honor" and surrendered, although among secret agreements and promises, only in 1774 Anglais definitively withdraw from Puerto Egmon in Malvinas.

British Invader Forces:

Commanding Officer: Commodore John Byron

Brigantine HMS “Dolphin” 24 Pieces of artillery

Sloop HMS “Tamar” 16 Pieces

Crew and Assault Troops: 195 Sailors and Soldiers.

Captain John Macbride

Frigate HMS “Jason” 30 pieces

Sloop HMS “Carcass” 18 pieces

Sloop HMS “Experiment” 12 pieces

Crew and Assault Troops: 245 Sailors and Soldiers.



Recovery Spanish Forces:

Commanding Officer: Captain Ignacio de Madariaga Sq.

Four Frigates, one modified Frigate under the command of the Commander Domingo Perler, and one Sloop.

Total Pieces of Artillery: 140.

Background of the First English invasion:

It was almost contemporaneous with the 1st British invasion of Colonia del sacramento in 1763, but only carried out by England, in our South Atlantic. The southern part of our territory began to be sought after by French and British from the early seventeenth century.

The Treaty of Tordesillas, which set the boundaries of the Spain and Portugal empires in America, was not respected by France, nor England in the North Atlantic, almost since its enactment on June 7, 1494.

The attitude of Francis I of Portugal clearly explains his thinking when he exclaims: "I want to see Adam's will." He was referring to the distribution made by Pope Alexander VI and perfected in the Treaty of Tordesillas.

Despite the frequent violations of the famous treatise in the North, the South Atlantic was a Spanish sea and so did the Pacific Ocean to the American side. It was from the late seventeenth century when pirates started visiting the Malvinas Islands, they were British, French and Dutch, although the latter only prowl the islands, but they were transiting to the Pacific.

The English visited our seas from 1683, with the adventurous William Dampier, John Cook and Ambrose Cowley, all of them on aa ship. In 1690 John Strong visited the Malvinas and named  Falkland Sound the strait that separates the two largest islands. Finally, in 1708 the islands were sighted by the English corsair Woodes Rogers.

In 1711 a memorial was published over twenty years later in London, with the suggestive title "- written in 1711 by a person of distinction A proposal for humbling Spain" In it was proposed to send an expedition to take Buenos Aires with 2,500 men and provided details of the country's wealth and productions intended. The expedition of Admiral Anson, meanwhile, in 1739/44 drew attention to the need to occupy the Malvinas Islands and other parts of Patagonia.

Whaling and seals that inhabited the islands: then there were great possibilities for action in the British Isles, and adding to the geopolitical and strategic interest added an economic incentive.

The English whalers and wolves hunters began an intense action of predation from the mid-seventeenth century in the Falklands began and continued in the Patagonian coast to Cape Horn, De los Estados Island, Antarctic Islands, etc..

As for French sailors, let's say, especiall from  Britain and particularly from Saint Malo, came numerous ships, crossing the Pacific for trade. From 1648-1716 more than 100 trips to our southern seas and more than a dozen of them touched or sighted Malvinas, which explored and which were the first to give a mapping were recorded. The Islands were called "Nouvelles", although the name of Malvinas, derived from Saint Malo was imposed.

Were also the French, the first to colonize the Malvinas they did it through Louis Antoine of Bougainville, outstanding diplomat, military, marine scientific and French. With "L'Aigle" and corvette "Le Sphinx", sailed from Saint Malo on September 8, 1763 and February 2, 1764 he entered the bay they called French, or East, which is in Spanish Anunciación and "Berkeley Sound" for the English.

Shortly after the cannons were disembarked and founded a stronghold, since May 2, 1764 and was named "Fort Du Roi" or "Fort Royal". The port was named "Saint Louis". Bougainville had founded a fort at the Malvinas Islands belong to Spain, and named  this would lead to logical claims to France, his close ally.

Meanwhile, England, since 1749, and under the strategic thrusts from Lord Anson, Lord of the Admiralty, attempted an exploration of the Falklands, for which he requested permission from Spain, in a clear demonstration of Hispanic recognition. Permission was denied by the Spanish Minister Carvajal, and this prohibition was respected by the British.

A few years later and barely produced the French colonization, the idea of filling the Malvinas because of its strategic position and watery station and groceries to move to the Pacific was held at the expense, against the, interests of the; Spanish

The doctor Ricardo Caillet Bois, has meant that this action was taken to bring the Spanish promised payment for the return of Manila, in the Philippines, which had not yet been finalized. We believe, however, that these expeditions, to occupy the Malvinas are the continuation of a strong British policy of usurpation and conquest of the Spanish American empire positions, which coincided with the problem of Manila.

On June 21, 1764 left England a naval division under Commodore John Byron, with brigantine HMS "Dolphin" of 24 the cannons were, and named  the sloop HMS "Tamar", from 16 guns. it should Survey the Pepys and the Falkland Islands and find a suitable place to establish a colony. Even the existence of the imagined ghost island called "Pepys" by Ambrose Cowley thought possible.

We will not relate the  trip Byron did, experienced sailor, officer in the expedition of  Anson and illustrious ancestor of the English romantic poet; just say that the January 4, 1765 came and went strait to the Malvinas the 15th was in a beautiful harbor, located between the island of Trinidad (Saunders for the English), Vigia (Keppel) and an irregular protrusion of Gran Malvina, in the northwest of it.

Port Byron called as "Egmont" in honor from John Percevel, First Lord of the Admiralty and second Count of Egmont. On 23rd, the Commodore and staff disembarked on  Trinidad Island and took possession of the port and neighboring islands, with the name of Falkland Islands, to King George I of England. The French and a year ago they had taken possession in the name of Louis XV and both were intruders in Spanish territory.

After Byron returned to England it's was decided to take formal possession of Port Egrnont and to comply with the commission set sail Captain John Macbride, with the frigate HMS "Jason" of 30 cannons, the sloop HMS "Carcass" and Sloop HMS 'Experiment ".

Captain Macbride arrived at Port Egmont on January 8, 1776 and began to build a fort called Fort George.

The Spaniards, who had knowledge of the French occupation, complained to his ally and after arduous negotiations got the French recognition of its sovereignty in the Malvinas. Port San Luis would be delivered to them prior financial compensation to Captain Luis Antonio de Bougainville.

Thus solemnly fulfilled on April 2, 1767, remaining the fort, soon named  Nuestra Señora de la Soledad , by the Spanish governor of the islands, Captain Sq. Felipe Ruiz Puente. It was an important international recognition.

With regard to the British occupation, the Spanish first sought the situation of Port Egmont and then pressured diplomatically to achieve its return or come to war with the support of their French allies. The latter could not be achieved by defection of the French King and, consequently, Spain decided to make an attack to retake the islands.

The Royal Order of February 25, 1768 ordered the governor of Buenos Aires, Don Francisco de Paula Buccarelli, to expel the English from the domains of His Catholic Majesty. To do this they had assembled in the Rio de la Plata a powerful division four frigates under the command of captain Ignacio de Madariaga, who was Major General of the Royal Navy, that is, something like the Chief of Staff.

In this brief summary say that the governor gave orders to Madariaga, the March 26, 1770, to proceed to to expel the English, and he enlisted his forces, then composed of four frigates from 20 to 28 cannons a Moddified Frigate and a brigantine. The rank and file onboard was 260-294 men and the total men, including sailors and soldiers, amounted to 1,400 and 140 cannons.

This expedition was preceded by a division composed of the frigate "Santa Catalina" and two small vessels that had visited Port Egmont. They found that the British had only  a frigate and the artillery of the fort was very weak.

Madariaga his forces attacked Port Egmont, and the British fired the "gun of honor" and surrendered. This occurred on June 10, 1770.

When the news reached England of the occupation of Port Egmont on the part of the Spaniards, the government prepared for war and demanded the wounded national honor _ repaired. Spain requested alliance of France, but this nation disowned the issue, arguing to be unprepared enough. Carlos III had to give in and be referred back ordered Port Egmont, but leaving intact the Spanish sovereignty over the islands in an express declaration.

In these negotiations Britain pledged to return the islands, once a reasonable time has elapsed. This is what has been called the "secret promise". Port Egmont was returned to England on September 16, 1771.

Starting from that date, the British continued in Port Egmont and Spanish in Port Soledad, while diplomats Carlos III claimed the fulfillment of the "secret promise".

Only on May 20, 1774 the British abandoned the islands, evacuating Port Egmont, which was later destroyed by the Spaniards.

Met the English Their "secret promise"?, although late, or any other reasons, advised the evacuation? Maybe they realized the weakness of the position in a foreseeable probable war, or were very concerned about the insurrection of his great American colony, which was in direct opposition to the metropolis.

The second British invasion thus lasted from 1765 to 1774, with a short break in which Port Egmont was taken by the Spaniards. Anyway, before and after, british whalers and sealers continued preying . Since shortly before the evacuation of Port Egmont, American sealers were also added.

The Spaniards continue to rule in the Malvinas until 1811.