Coordinates: 37°1'30"N 8°59'40"W
The Battle of Cape St. Vincent was an historic opening battle of the Anglo-Spanish War, part of the French Revolutionary War. It was a victory of the British Fleet, Admiral Sir John Jervis commanding, over the larger Spanish Fleet, Admiral Don José de Córdoba y Ramos commanding, fought on 14 February 1797.
Spain declares war on Britain and Portugal. Then the British Navy begins to blockade Spain in 1797 after the Treaty of San Ildefonso in 1796 creating an alliance between Spanish and French forces. Britain evacuates Corsica and Elba due to the presence of 38 French and Spanish ships of the line in the Mediterrean fleet.
Don José de Córdoba commanding a Spanish fleet of 27 ships of the line leave Cartagena on 1 February 1797 bound for Cádiz but was delayed in the Atlantic by a fierce Levanter, an easterly wind blowing between Gibraltar and Cádiz. After the winds died down, they backing working it way to Cádiz.
Meanwhile, the British Mediterrean Fleet, under Admiral Sir John Jervis' flag, had sailed from Tagus with ten ships of the line to intercept. On 6 February, he was joined by five more ships of the line from the Channel Fleet under the flag of Rear-Admiral William Parker, then later by Commodore Horatio Nelson in command of the frigate Captain.
The battle rages for most of the day resulting in the capture of four Spanish ships, the remainder escaping to return to Spain. 73 British were killed and about 320 were wounded . Spanish casualties included 144 killed, and about 850 wounded.
Jervis was made Baron Jervis and Earl St Vincent. Nelson was knighted as member of the Order of the Bath.
Hornblower and the Widow McCool (short story)(mentioned only)
Battle of Cape St. Vincent at Wikipedia.
Anglo-Spanish War at Wikipedia.
Admiral Sir John Jervis at Wikipedia.
Admiral Don José de Códoba y Ramos at Wikipedia.
French Revolutionary Wars at Wikipedia.