The Battle of Cape Passaro

The Quadruple Alliance turned on the Spanish in 1718. The Battle of Cape Passaro was actually one of the largest naval battles of the 18th Century. In this picture Byng's flagship the 'Barfleur', 90 guns, is depicted firing her starboard broadside, in starboard-bow view left of centre, into the 60 gun 'San Luis'. On the right, the principal Spanish flagship, the 'Real San Felipe', 74 guns, is shown in starboard-broadside view being raked from the stern by the 'Superbe', 60 guns, and hauling down her flag. This fire is being returned by a Spanish rear-admiral in port-quarter view, and by another Spanish ship which is seen in port-bow view on the 'Barfleur's' quarter, almost obscured by smoke. To the left of this group a Spanish ship lies in starboard-quarter and broadside view, with her colours struck. To the left of her are the bows of an English ship beside a further prize. On the right of the painting, in the distance, another Spanish Rear-Admiral is sailing out of the picture, hotly engaged on both sides. Of the Spanish fleet, 16 were taken and seven burnt.

Timelines | 18th Century Timeline


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by Stephen Luscombe