Staffordshire at Sea


Letter from Sir George Pocock (top left)
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El Morro Fortress plan (bottom)
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Map of Havana (top right)
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© Staffordshire Record Office: D615/P(S)/1/10/41a,b and c



Letter from Sir George Pocock to Anson enclosing plans of proposed attack on the fort of El Morro, Havana, 17 July 1762.

In January 1762 Britain declared war against Spain and two days later the Cabinet decided to attack Havana.

Anson was responsible for formulating a plan in which the squadron would travel up the Old Bahama Passage. The expedition was led by Sir George Pocock and Lieutenant-General the Earl of Albemarle.

It was Pocock’s responsibility to collect, escort and land forces drawn from England, several Caribbean islands and North America. The fleet arrived off Havana on 6 th June, taking the Spaniards by surprise.

The Earl of Albemarle was responsible for the military operations and he decided to attack the fortress of El Morro. Finally on 30 July the fortress was taken and Havana city surrendered on 31 August.

Anson died in June 1762, never learning about the success of the operation.

The letter reads:

Namur, Chorera, River near the Havana
17th July 1762

My Lord

Inclosed are such sketches as I could procure to give an Idea of our Situation and Attack of the Moro Fort –

I am
Your Lordships most Obedient Servant
G. Pocock

The Governor of the Havana is Don Juan de Prados Marischales de Campo and stiles himself, Captain General of the Island of Cuba –

Admiral George Anson (1697-1762) Sir John Leveson (1555-1615) George Legge, Baron Dartmouth (c1647-1691) Richard Drakeford (c1709-1757) John Jervis, Earl St. Vincent (1735-1823)