Towards the end of the Seven Years War, the East India Company (EIC) saw an opportunity, supported by the British government, to seize the Philippines from Spain. An invasion fleet was assembled in Madras and arrived in Manila Bay on 23 September 1762. Within ten days Manila had fallen, and the acting Governor-General, Archbishop Manuel Antonio Rojo, surrendered. The British went on to capture Cavite and the Manila galleon Santísima Trinidad, but faced resistance by a native army under Simón de Anda. Under the terms of the 1763 Treaty of Paris, Manila was returned to Spain on 31 March 1794 by the then Provisional Deputy-Governor, Alexander Dalrymple, who would later become hydrographer to the EIC and (in 1795) the first Hydrographer to the British Admiralty.
Peter will discuss the background to the invasion, the dramatic attack on the fortified citadel, subsequent events, the return of Manila to Spain, and the cartographic consequences of the occupation. To illustrate his talk, he will show maps from the British Library, George III’s Collection of Military Maps held by the Royal Collection Trust, the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center Collection at the Boston Public Library, the Library of Congress, and private collections in Manila.
About the Speaker
Peter Geldart, who retired after a long career in banking and finance spent mostly in Asia, now resides partly in Manila and partly in Hong Kong. A keen map collector, he is a member of the Philippine Map Collectors Society (PHIMCOS) as well as IMCoS. In 2017 he curated and wrote the catalogue for the PHIMCOS exhibition titled ‘Mapping the Philippine Seas’, and is also the editor of the PHIMCOS journal, The Murillo Bulletin. He has assisted the Hong Kong Maritime Museum in cataloguing its map collection, and is an occasional contributor of book and exhibition reviews for the IMCoS Journal.