|Battle of Cartagena de Indias|
|Part of the War of Jenkins' Ear|
Attack at Cartagena de Indias by the English in 1741, oil on canvas, 18th century. The War of Jenkins' Ear was a conflict between Great Britain and Spain that lasted from 1739 to 1748
|Vice-Admiral Edward Vernon|
Major General Thomas Wentworth
|Viceroy Sebastián de Eslava|
Admiral Blas de Lezo †
15,400 Royal Navy sailors
3,000 American colonial marines
5,000 merchant seamen
300 colonial militia
600 American Indians
2 companies free blacks and mulattos
400 soldiers or marines
6 ships of the line
|Casualties and losses|
|18,000 casualties including:|
8,000 -11,000 dead
50 ships lost
|2,000 casualties including:|
6 ships lost
The Battle of Cartagena de Indias was the decisive battle of a massive amphibious expedition by the forces of Britain under Vice-Admiral Edward Vernon against Spain under Admiral Blas de Lezo, taking place at the city of Cartagena de Indias, in present day Colombia, starting in March 1741. Events in March American Red Cross Month Fire Prevention month ( The Philippines) Women's History Month ( United MAY ( also known as: Mei メイ 메이 is a Korean singer well known in South Korea for singing the song "Miracle" Year 1741 ( MDCCXLI) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year Cartagena de Indias (kaɾtaˈhena ð̞e ˈin̪d̪jas in Spanish; the usual English pronunciation is ˌkɑrtəˈheɪnə deɪ ˈɪndiəs is a large city The Viceroyalty of New Granada (Virreinato de la Nueva Granada was the name given on May 27, 1717 to a Spanish colonial jurisdiction in northern South America Colombia (kəˈlʌmbɪə officially the Republic of Colombia () is a country in northwestern South America. The Kingdom of Great Britain, also known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain, was a State in northwest Europe, in existence from 1707 to 1800 Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Vice Admiral is a naval rank equivalent to Lieutenant General in seniority Edward Vernon ( "Old Grog") (12 November 1684 &ndash 30 October 1757 was an English naval officer See also: New Kingdom of Granada Before 1718 and from 1724 to 1740, the Viceroyalty of New Granada was part Sebastián de Eslava y Lazaga (1684 Navarre &mdash June 21, 1759, Madrid) was a Spanish general and colonial official Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks of the highest Naval officers Blas de Lezo y Olavarrieta ( 3 February 1689 &ndash 7 September, 1741) also known as " Patapalo " ( Pegleg) and The Kingdom of Great Britain, also known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain, was a State in northwest Europe, in existence from 1707 to 1800 Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Blas de Lezo y Olavarrieta ( 3 February 1689 &ndash 7 September, 1741) also known as " Patapalo " ( Pegleg) and Cartagena de Indias (kaɾtaˈhena ð̞e ˈin̪d̪jas in Spanish; the usual English pronunciation is ˌkɑrtəˈheɪnə deɪ ˈɪndiəs is a large city Colombia (kəˈlʌmbɪə officially the Republic of Colombia () is a country in northwestern South America. It is the most significant battle in the War of Jenkins' Ear and one of the largest naval campaigns in British history, though it is now largely forgotten by the British, blending into the greater conflict of the War of the Austrian Succession. The War of Jenkins' Ear was a conflict between Great Britain and Spain that lasted from 1739 to 1748 The War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748 involved nearly all the powers of Europe It ended in a major defeat and heavy losses for the British: 50 ships lost and 18,000 casualties. 
The War of Jenkins' Ear was a conflict between Great Britain and Spain that lasted from 1739 to 1748. The Kingdom of Great Britain, also known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain, was a State in northwest Europe, in existence from 1707 to 1800 Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Under the 1729 Treaty of Seville, the British had agreed not to trade with the Spanish colonies except under extreme conditions restricted to the Annual Ship and the Asiento slave trade. The Treaty of Seville was signed on November 9 1729 between Great Britain, France, and Spain, concluding the Anglo-Spanish War In the History of Slavery, asiento (or assiento, meaning " Assent " refers to the permission given by the Spanish government The commercial class in England demanded access to the lucrative Spanish markets of the Caribbean Basin and Spanish colonists desired English goods so a burgeoning Black Market had developed. The Caribbean Basin is generally defined as the area running from Florida westward along the Gulf coast, then south along the Mexican coast through By the terms of the treaty, the Spanish were permitted to board British vessels in Spanish waters. After one such boarding in 1731, Robert Jenkins, captain of the ship Rebecca, claimed that the Spanish coast guard had severed his ear. Robert Jenkins (fl 1730s-40s was an English master mariner, famous as the Protagonist of the "Jenkins's ear" incident which became a contributory Jenkins exhibited his pickled ear to the House of Commons. The House of Commons' is the Lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords This only served to heighten the "war fever" now developing against Spain which was also driven by the desire of commercial and military domination of the Atlantic basin. Hydrologically an oceanic basin may be anywhere on Earth that is covered by Seawater, but geologically ocean basins are large geologic basins To much cheering, the British Prime Minister, Robert Walpole, reluctantly declared war on October 23, 1739. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the political leader of the United Kingdom Robert Walpole 1st Earl of Orford, KG, KB, PC (26 August 1676 &ndash 18 March 1745 known before 1742 as Sir Robert Walpole, was a Events 4004 BC - Creation of the world begins according to the calculations of Archbishop James Ussher 42 BC - Year 1739 ( MDCCXXXIX) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a  Vice-Admiral Vernon was an active and ardent supporter of war against Spain and spoke for offensive action both in Parliament and before the Admiralty. 
The Spanish Caribbean basin trade had a network of four main ports: Vera Cruz, Cartagena, Porto Bello (now Portobelo) and the main port through which all the trade of those three came through, Havana. The Spanish West Indies (also known as " Las Antillas Occidentales " or simply " Las Antillas " in Spanish) was the contemporary The city of Veracruz is a major port city and municipality on the Gulf of Mexico in the Mexican state of Veracruz. Cartagena de Indias (kaɾtaˈhena ð̞e ˈin̪d̪jas in Spanish; the usual English pronunciation is ˌkɑrtəˈheɪnə deɪ ˈɪndiəs is a large city Havana ( IPA: aˈβana officially Ciudad de La Habana, is the Capital city, major port and leading On November 22, 1739 one of the first actions of the War was the British capture of Portobelo which was part of the then New Granada. Events 498 - Kofi Aseidu- After the death of Anastasius II, Symmachus is elected Pope in the Lateran Year 1739 ( MDCCXXXIX) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Portobelo (formerly Puerto Bello, also Porto Belo) is a port city in Colón Province, Panama. The Viceroyalty of New Granada (Virreinato de la Nueva Granada was the name given on May 27, 1717 to a Spanish colonial jurisdiction in northern South America The attack was part of an attempt to damage Spain's finances. The poorly defended port was attacked by six ships of the line under Vice-Admiral Edward Vernon.  The relative ease of this capture, although it was quickly recaptured by the Spanish after Vernon's fleet departed, caused jubilation in England and resulted in Vernon being given command of a very large naval contingent consisting of one fourth of the British Royal Navy in ships and sailors of a major land and sea amphibious expedition under the overall command of Lord Cathcart.  Unfortunately for British hopes Lord Cathcart died en route and it remained unclear who was then in command overall.
The despatch of the large fleet and troop contingent was primarily for political reasons as the government wished to gain credit for Vernon's hoped for future successes by supplying him with an overwhelming force. Vernon, himself, was not convinced that a large-scale attack on a heavily fortified city would be successful as his smaller Portobello assault had been. However, he could not refuse the orders to attack a major port when he had such a large force at his command.
Britain's objective was to capture and permanently retain Spain's four ports of the Caribbean basin and thereby acquire Spain's American empire. However, Britain had no place to build and refit ships in the Caribbean as Spain did with the dockyards at Havana and without a dockyard no fleet could remain in the area for any length of time without breaking down. Quick capture was imperative but England's divided ministry left the course of the campaign up to Vernon and others at a Council of War held in Jamaica. They decided on Cartagena as their initial objective as it was a good port and to windward of Britain's existing Caribbean bases. Dissensions in the British command prevented the necessary coordination needed for this complex operation.
The battle of Cartagena pitched a British invasion force of at least 26,400 in 186 ships including: 29 Ships of the Line; the rest of all types armed with 2,000 canon against a force of 3,000 Spanish and colonial regulars and 600 Indian archers, fighting from six frigates and massive fortifications — under the command of the Viceroy Sebastián de Eslava, Don Melchor de Navarrete, Don Carlos Des Naux, and Don Blas de Lezo. Edward Vernon ( "Old Grog") (12 November 1684 &ndash 30 October 1757 was an English naval officer A ship-of-the-line was a type of naval warship constructed from the 17th century through the mid-19th century to take part in the the naval tactic known as the Line of battle Sebastián de Eslava y Lazaga (1684 Navarre &mdash June 21, 1759, Madrid) was a Spanish general and colonial official Blas de Lezo y Olavarrieta ( 3 February 1689 &ndash 7 September, 1741) also known as " Patapalo " ( Pegleg) and
The expedition arrived off Cartagena on March 4 and after a couple of weeks bombardment the initial attack made by land and sea at Boca Chica, the Little Mouth, on April 5. This channel ran between two narrow peninsulas and was defended on one side by the fort of St. Louis, Boca Chica Castle, with four bastions having some 80 cannons, on the other side of the channel an earthwork battery of 15 cannon all supported by redoubts. A boom stretched from the island of La Bomba to the southern peninsula on which was Fort St. Joseph with 21 cannon. Also supporting the entrance were the 6 Spanish line ships.  The British army forces on land established a battery and made a breach in the main fort while part of the fleet assisted and another part of the fleet engaged the Spanish ships which, ultimately, Lezos tried to scuttle and set on fire. Two Spanish ships partially blocked the channel and one was captured by the British before it could sink. An advance was made on the breach, however the Spanish had already retired to fortifications in the inner harbor on the March 24. The landing force re-embarked and the harbor then entered. The next council of war decided to attempt to isolate Cartagena from the land side by an assault of Fort St. Lazar. The assault failed with a loss of 600 casualties.
Don Blas de Lezo's plan was that, given the overwhelming force against him, he hoped to conduct a fighting withdrawal and delay the British long enough until the start of the rainy season at the end of April. The tropical downpours would effectively end campaigning for another 2 months. Also, the longer the enemy had to remain mostly at sea and in the open the more likely it would become that insufficient supply, discomfort and especially disease would become his allies and the deadly enemies of the British. De Lezo was aided in this by the contempt that Vernon and Wentworth had for each other which prevented any further cooperation after the initial landing. Wentworth was goaded by Vernon into an ill-considered, badly planned assault on Cartagena which Vernon refused to support with the fleet making specious excuses about the depth of the harbor.
An experienced, wily and tenacious Spanish Naval commander, de Lezo, whose previous career was as daring and spectacular as any naval officer of his day, made use of every advantage, strategy and tactic available to him. Cartagena's defensive fortifications had been repaired and improved over the past year. Although De Lezo was pressed to the limit, his plan bore the hoped for fruit. The rains came and the British had to board their ships, where close quarters made disease even more deadly, and by April 25, Vernon resolved to retreat to Jamaica and by mid-May they were gone.
The battle lasted 67 days and ended with the British fleet withdrawing in defeat, having lost 18,000 men, about half of them to disease, and 50 ships.  Most of the American colonists who had volunteered, lured by Vernon's promises of mountains of gold, died of yellow fever, dysentery, and outright starvation, and those who returned home injured, including Lawrence Washington (who renamed his Virginia plantation after Admiral Vernon) had little to show for their efforts. The term colonial history of the United States refers to the history of the land that would become the United States from the start of European settlement to the time of independence Yellow fever (also called yellow jack, black vomit or sometimes American Plague) is an acute viral disease Dysentery (formerly known as flux or the bloody flux) is an infection of the digestive system that results in severe Diarrhea containing mucus and blood Starvation (also called inanition) is a severe reduction in Vitamin, Nutrient, and Energy intake and is the most extreme form of Lawrence Washington (1718-1752 was a soldier and prominent landowner in colonial Virginia. The Commonwealth of Virginia ( is an American state Fundamentally a plantation is usually a large Farm or estate, especially in a tropical or semitropical country on which Cotton, Tobacco
In the middle of the battle, when the Spanish forces had retreated from different defense points to regroup in the larger Fortress of San Felipe de Barajas, the British dispatched a messenger, Captain Laws, to England. He informed the King of their victory on May 17. A special medal was even minted in London to commemorate this "victory" with a drawing of Admiral Vernon looking down upon the "defeated" Spanish admiral, Don Blas de Lezo who appears kneeling down.  A contemporary song was composed by a sailor from the Shrewsbury that prematurely celebrated the victory:
VERNON'S GLORY; OR, THE SPANIARDS DEFEAT.
Being an account of the taking of Carthagena by Vice-Admiral Vernon. . .
". . . and the town surrender[ed]
To Admiral Vernon, the scourge of Spain". 
When the embarrassing news of the outcome reached London some weeks later, the British government removed these medals and prohibited the news from being disclosed and published.  Following the news of the disaster Robert Walpole's government soon collapsed and Spain retained control over its very lucrative colony, and over a strategic port in the Caribbean that helped secure the defense of the Spanish Main. The Spanish Main was the mainland coast of the Spanish Empire around the Caribbean. News of Britain's defeat reached Europe at the end of June, 1741 and had immense repercussions. It caused George II of Great Britain, who had been acting as mediator between Frederick the Great of Prussia and Maria Theresa supporting Austria over Prussian seizure of Silesia in December of 1740, to withdraw its guarantees of armed support for the Pragmatic Sanction. George II (George Augustus 10 November 1683 &ndash 25 October 1760 was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg ( Frederick II (Friedrich II January 24 1712 August 17 1786) was a King of Prussia (1740&ndash1786 from the Prussia ( Latin: Borussia, Prutenia; Prūsija Prūsija Prusy Old Prussian: Prūsa) was most recently a historic state Austria (Österreich ( officially the Republic of Austria (Republik Österreich Etymology One theory claims that the name Silesia is derived from the Silingi, who were most likely a Vandalic (East Germanic people A pragmatic sanction is a sovereign's solemn decree on a matter of primary importance and has the force of fundamental law That encouraged France and Spain, the Bourbon allies, revealed to also be allied with Prussia, to move militarily against a now isolated Austria.  A greater and wider war, The War of the Austrian Succession, was now inevitable.
The failure to take Cartagena caused what was left of the naval forces assigned to Vernon to remain in the Caribbean longer. This resulted in the weakened Mediterranean squadron being unable to prevent the Spanish from twice convoying troops totalling 25,000 to Italy in November and December of 1741. It was not until Commodore Richard Lestock, commander of one of Vernon's divisions at Cartagena, returned to Europe with ships from the Caribbean fleet, that England reinforced its presence in the Mediterranean. Richard Lestock ( 22 February 1679 &ndash 17 December 1746) was an officer in the Royal Navy, eventually rising to the rank of