Battle of Rio Nuevo

Battle of Rio Nuevo
Part of the Anglo-Spanish War (1654–1660)
DateJune 25–27, 1658
LocationNear the Rio Nuevo river, Jamaica
18°24′40″N 77°00′51″W / 18.4112°N 77.0142°W / 18.4112; -77.0142Coordinates: 18°24′40″N 77°00′51″W / 18.4112°N 77.0142°W / 18.4112; -77.0142
Result English victory
 Spain  The Protectorate
Commanders and leaders
Spain Cristóbal Arnaldo Isasi The Protectorate Governor Edward D'Oyley
560 soldiers,
50 Spanish guerrillas
4 transports[1]
700 soldiers & militia
10 ships
Casualties and losses
300 killed or wounded
150 prisoners
4 ships captured
60 casualties[1]
Approximate location of battle.

The Battle of Rio Nuevo occurred on 25 June 1658 on the island of Jamaica between Spanish forces under Cristóbal Arnaldo Isasi and English forces under governor Edward D'Oyley. In the battle lasting over two days the invading Spanish were routed. It is the largest battle to be fought on Jamaica.[2]


In 1655, an English force led by Admiral Sir William Penn, and General Robert Venables seized the island, and successfully held it against two Spanish attempts to retake it. The former Spanish governor of Jamaica, Don Cristóbal Arnaldo Isasi, attempted to recapture the island with forces from Cuba in the summer of 1657, but the attack was repulsed by acting governor Colonel Edward D'Oyley.[3]

On 20 May 1658, Isasi attempted another invasion with more men recruited from New Spain; the Tercios Mexicano (Mexican Regiment). Isasi also had at his disposal four troop transports and a number of armed ships. In total the invasion force consisted of 31 captains, 31 ensigns, 28 sergeants and 467 soldiers. While this force anchored for two days near the mouth of Rio Nuevo, three English coast guard vessels chanced upon the Spanish but were chased away by gunfire.[1] The English scouts however reported back to D'Oyley who mustered all available militia and soldiers who were fit to fight. The Spanish in the meantime fortified their camp and were joined by around 50 tattered Spanish guerrillas.[3]


On 25 June D'Oyley mustered a total of 700 soldiers and militia and ten ships to transport them. The English troops disembarked near the Rio Nuevo. The English then captured the Spanish transports, sealing off any escape for the invaders. The Spanish, seeing this, attempted to make a stand behind their newly fortified redoubt.[2] The English declined to come to grips and fired on the Spanish position with cannon and firelocks for two days.[3] Their superior firepower had a devastating effect and the surviving Spanish attempted to break out; however most were killed or captured. What was left of the invasion force fled into the hills and jungle. They had lost over 300 dead and wounded, mostly killed, and 150 prisoners, as well as eleven flags, six guns, and most of their arms and ammunition. English casualties numbered around sixty. Most of the wounded on both sides did not survive due to tropical diseases.[1]


The victorious English conveyed the Spanish artillery back to 'The Point' and to Fort Cromwell, installing it into their defences. Isasi tried to keep the struggle up until he was finally defeated in 1660, finally having to escape Tower Isle and flee to Cuba by canoe with his remaining supporters.[1] In order to dissuade further Spanish attempts to retake Jamaica, the English under Christopher Myngs launched attacks on Spanish ports such as Santa Marta and Tolu, forcing the Spanish to the defensive.[3]

The battle of Rio Nuevo was the last Spanish attempt to recapture Jamaica. The island would eventually be fully ceded to England by Spain in 1670 under the terms of the Treaty of Madrid.[2]

Battlefield today

The Rio Nuevo Battle Site Heritage Park & Museum was opened in August 2009.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Marley pg. 151
  2. 1 2 3 Black pg. 48–49
  3. 1 2 3 4 Long, Edward (1774). Volume 1 of The History of Jamaica. T. Lowndes. pp. 274–77.


External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/5/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.