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Raid on Nassau (1720)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Raid on Nassau (1720)
Part of War of the Quadruple Alliance
DateFebruary 1720
Settlement of Nassau, British West Indies (present-day Bahamas)


  • Nassau is shattered and sacked by the Spanish.

Spain Spain

Kingdom of Great Britain Great Britain
Commanders and leaders
Spain Francisco Cornejo
Spain José Cordero
Kingdom of Great Britain Woodes Rogers
3 frigates
9 brigantines & sloops
1,000–1,300 militiamen
2 frigates
500 militiamen

The Raid on Nassau was a Spanish military expedition that took place in February 1720 during the War of the Quadruple Alliance. Spanish forces assaulted the British settlement of Nassau.



In 1718, the British sought to regain control of the Bahamas, dominated by pirates, and appointed Captain Woodes Rogers as royal governor. He successfully suppressed pirates, reformed the civil administration and restored trade. Rogers cleaned settlement of Nassau and began the reconstruction work of the Fort Nassau.

By then, in the Caribbean there were armed aggressions between the British and Spanish, due to the clandestine trade of the former.[1][2] This increased with the outbreak of the War of the Quadruple Alliance. The governor of Cuba, Gregorio Guazo, seeing how Rogers continued to colonize the Bahamas, organized a military force to attack Nassau.[3] Guazo for this attack took advantage of the stay in Havana of the three frigates of the Armada de Barlovento, under Commander Francisco Cornejo, increasing his forces with nine privateer brigantines and sloops, and between 1,000 or more[A] militiamen, almost all volunteers.[3] As second of Cornejo, José Cordero assumed.


British and Spanish sources differ in the details of the raid on Nassau in February 1720. British history says that when the Spaniards appeared in Nassau by surprise, they did not directly attack the port due to the presence inside the Rogers flagship, Delicia and the 24-gun frigate HMS Flamborough, so the Spaniards landed three more columns to the east and then caused considerable material damage to the place until they are rejected by the 500 militiamen of Rogers.[4] Spanish history does not mention the presence of British ships in the area and says that Cornejo attacked the fort with the fleet, while Cordero, with several companies, occupied Nassau,[B] and that the men of the fort surrendered after three days.[3] Spanish history also states that Rogers had traveled to Bermuda when Cornejo appeared in Nassau.[3]


British history says that after the Spaniards were rejected by Rogers, they remained on the high seas and eventually fled with a hundred slaves and a considerable booty.[4] For its part, Spanish history says that after the surrender of the fort, 200 men were evacuated with the condition of being transferred to Bermuda.[5] He also says that while the Spanish assault was a success, since the British are defeated and the artillery of the fort, 100 slaves and other things were captured, that did not offset the raid expenses.[6]


  1. ^ According to David Marley, they were a total of 1,200 to 1,300 militiamen.[4]
  2. ^ According to the Spaniards, there were more than 400 settlers and soldiers in Nassau.[3]


  1. ^ Fernández Duro 1900, p. 181–182.
  2. ^ Fernández Duro 1900, p. 183.
  3. ^ a b c d e Pezuela 1868, p. 321.
  4. ^ a b c Marley 1998, p. 370.
  5. ^ Pezuela 1868, p. 321–322.
  6. ^ Pezuela 1868, p. 322.


  • Marley, David (1998). Wars of the Americas: A Chronology of Armed Conflict in the New World, 1492 to the Present. Santa Barbara, USA: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 0-87436-837-5.
  • Pezuela, Jacobo (1868). Historia de la isla de Cuba (in Spanish). II. Madrid, España: C. Bailly-Baillière.
  • Fernández Duro, Cesáreo (1900). Armada Española desde la unión de los reinos de Castilla y Aragón (in Spanish). VI. Madrid, España: Instituto de Historia y Cultura Naval.

Coordinates: 25°03′36″N 77°20′42″W / 25.06°N 77.345°W / 25.06; -77.345

This page was last edited on 11 April 2020, at 07:31
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