Port Egmont
Port Egmont was the first British settlement in the Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, located about from the coast of mainland South America. The archipelago consists of East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 lesser islands. The capital, Stanley, is on East Falkland...

, on Saunders Island
Saunders Island (Falkland Islands)
Saunders Island is the fourth largest of the Falkland Islands, lying north west of West Falkland. The island is run as a sheep farm.The island has an area of  square miles and a has a coastline  miles long . It is about 13 miles from east to west and almost that distance...



Port Egmont was established in on 25 January 1765, by an expedition led by Commodore John Byron
John Byron
Vice Admiral The Hon. John Byron, RN was a Royal Navy officer. He was known as Foul-weather Jack because of his frequent bad luck with weather.-Early career:...

 consisting of the boats , and . The expedition left a watering place and a vegetable garden.

Another expedition arrived around a year later in January 1766, led by Captain John MacBride
John MacBride (Royal Navy officer)
John MacBride was an officer of the Royal Navy and a politician who saw service during the Seven Years' War, the American War of Independence and the French Revolutionary Wars, eventually rising to the rank of Admiral of the Blue.MacBride entered the navy after serving on merchant vessels and...

, with the ships , and after which Carcass Island
Carcass Island
Carcass Island is the largest of the West Point Island Group of the Falkland Islands. It lies north west of West Falkland and south east of the Jason Islands...

 and the Jason Islands
Jason Islands
The Jason Islands are an archipelago in the Falkland Islands, lying to the far north-west of West Falkland. Three of the islands, Steeple Jason, Grand Jason and Clarke's Islet are private nature reserves owned by the Wildlife Conservation Society, New York...

 are named. This was to secure possession, and McBride ordered one of the ships to stay at Port Egmont, and develop the settlement, resulting in several permanent buildings and a garrison.

The next few years resulted in conflicting claims with the French and Spanish, with the British using Port Egmont as a basis for their claim. In early 1770 Spanish commander Don Juan Ignacio de Madariaga visited Port Egmont briefly, returning on 14 July, with five warships and a thousand men, evicting the British.

In 1771, after threats of war with Spain, the colony was re-established by Captain John Stott with the ships , and HMS Florida, the latter being at the founding of the original settlement. The port became an important stop for ships going around Cape Horn
Cape Horn
Cape Horn is the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago of southern Chile, and is located on the small Hornos Island...

In 1774, Britain abandoned many of its overseas garrisons for economic reasons and Port Egmont was no exception, and in 1776, the British forces left. In the next few years, the colony was taken over by sealers, until in 1780 it was finally destroyed under orders from Spanish authorities.

See also

  • Port Saint Louis
    Puerto Soledad
    Puerto Soledad was a Spanish military outpost and penal colony on the Falkland Islands, situated at an inner cove of Berkeley Sound .-Port St...

    , the first settlement on the islands (by French colonists)

External links

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