The Battle of Cape Passaro, 11 August 1718
A depiction of an action during the war with Spain, 1718-1720. In 1717, to strengthen the Treaty of Utrecht, Britain, France and Austria contemplated ceding Sicily to the Emperor. This arrangement displeased Spain, who wanted to recover the island. Admiral Sir George Byng was accordingly sent to the Mediterranean. Early August found Byng's fleet at anchor in the Bay of Naples. The morning of 11 August found Byng close to his enemy and to windward of him off Cape Passaro, the south-eastern tip of Sicily. Spain and England were not formally at war at this time, since the war did not officially break out until December 1718, but once the Spanish fired on the nearest English ships, this gave Byng his excuse to attack.
- Image reference: BHC0351
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection
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