The Battle of St. Kitts
or St. Cristopher
was a successful Spanish expedition that seized the islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis
The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis , located in the Leeward Islands, is a federal two-island nation in the West Indies. It is the smallest sovereign state in the Americas, in both area and population....
from the English and French during the Anglo-Spanish War (1625-1630).
By the year 1629, the colony had grown sufficiently to be regarded as a threat to the Spanish Indies
The Spanish West Indies was the contemporary name for the Spanish colonies in the Caribbean...
. English settlers had been recruited to the number of nearly 3,000, and guns and ammunition had been sent over. Orders were given to the commander of the outward bound Spanish fleet Armada de Sotavento
In the days of the Spanish New World Empire, the mainland of the American continent enclosing the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico was referred to as the Spanish Main. It included present-day Florida, the east shore of the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, Mexico, Central America and the north coast of...
to clear out the heavily armed English and French colonies.
The Spanish Expedition under the command of Admiral Fadrique de Toledo
′Fadrique Álvarez de Toledo y Mendoza , was a Spanish noble and admiral.He was a Knight of the Order of Santiago, a Spanish Admiral, and Captain General of the Spanish Navy at the age of 37....
dropped anchor at Nevis Island and captured and destroyed several English ships anchored there. Spanish soldiers were then sent ashore to ravage the few buildings the new settlers had just built.
When Nevis was seized by the Spanish forces, the planters were deserted by their servants, who swam out to the Spanish ships to cries of "Liberty, joyfull Liberty," peferring collaboration with the Spaniards to subjection to
tyrannical English masters.
On 7 September 1629, the Spanish Expedition moved on to the sister island, Saint Kitts
Saint Kitts Saint Kitts Saint Kitts (also known more formally as Saint Christopher Island (Saint-Christophe in French) is an island in the West Indies. The west side of the island borders the Caribbean Sea, and the eastern coast faces the Atlantic Ocean...
. The Spaniards burnt the entire settlement and reduced the island to a desert.
By the terms of surrender the Spaniards allotted shipping to carry some 700 of the colonist to England. But other colonists, variously estmiated at from 200 to 400, evaded capture by taking to the hills and woods.
After the Spaniards departed in 1630, returning the island to England by the Treaty of Madrid
Treaty of Madrid may refer to:*Treaty of Madrid , in which France renounced claims in Italy, surrendered Burgundy to Spain, and abandoned sovereignty over Flanders and Artois....
, the fugitives returned to their plantations to form the nucleus of a new phase of colonization.