Expedition to Vigo

21st September 1719 - 11th November 1719
Part of : War of the Quadruple Alliance (1717/08/22 - 1720/02/17)
Previous action : Battle of Cape Passaro 11.8.1718


Great Britain

British Squadron, James Mighells (1667-1733/34)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Ipswich (70) John Cooper (d.1728)Squadron Flagship
Enterprise (42) Mungo Herdman (d.1727/28)
Kinsale (36) Samuel Chadwick (c.1675-1727)
Bideford (24) Edward Gregory (d.1743)

Notes on Action

The object now before Mighells, and the soldiers under Cobham whom he convoyed, was to proceed to Vigo and retaliate for this intended insult. Sailing from St. Helen's on September 21st, 1719, the expedition made Vigo on the 29th without being joined by Johnson. The fleet at once entered the harbour and landed the troops about three miles from the town. On October 1st, the army occupied a strong position under the walls; whereupon the enemy spiked the guns in their batteries and withdrew to the citadel. A bomb ketch was brought up on the 3rd; but as she could do little, owing to the greatness of the range, some forty odd mortars were put ashore; and on the 4th, Fort San Sebastian, which had been occupied, was armed with heavy guns from the fleet. The citadel, upon that, surrendered, its garrison of four hundred and sixty-nine officers and men marching out on the 10th. The town, it was decided, could not be held; but a large quantity of guns, small arms, and ammunition, which had been collected for the invasion of England, was taken and brought home. Seven ships, also, were seized in the harbour, of which three were fitting out for privateers. On the 14th, the ships reduced Ponte Vedra, at the upper end of the harbour. There, too, many guns were found; so that the total number brought home was one hundred and ninety iron and thirty brass heavy guns, with ten thousand stand of small arms, two thousand barrels of powder, and other warlike stores. On November llth, Vice-Admiral Mighells put into Falmouth with the Enterprize, Kinsale, and Biddeford, and with most of the transports. The expedition had been prompt and successful : it had fully attained its object; and by sickness, desertion, and the sword it had lost no more than three hundred men.

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