Vigo Bay, battle of

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Vigo Bay, battle of, 1702. In August 1702, at the outset of the War of the Spanish Succession, Sir George Rooke and the duke of Ormond led an abortive expedition against Cadiz. On the way back they received news that a large Spanish treasure fleet and its escort was harboured in Vigo Bay, protected by a heavy boom. On 12 October they breached the boom and annihilated the enemy, sinking 11 men-of-war and taking 10 war vessels and 11 galleons. Though most of the treasure had been landed, the gains were enormous.

J. A. Cannon


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Vigo Seaport city on Vigo Bay, Galicia, nw Spain, near the Portuguese border. It was the scene of a naval battle in 1702, when an Anglo-Dutch fleet attacked Spanish galleons carrying a cargo of gold from the New World. Industries: fishing, fish processing and canning, boat-building. Pop. (2000) 285,526.