On This Day

What Happened in February 1797

Historical Events

  • Feb 4 Earthquake in Quito, Ecuador kills 41,000
  • Feb 12 Joseph Haydn's song "Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser" (God Save Emperor Francis) premieres in Vienna

Victory in Battle

Feb 14 The Battle of Cape St Vincent: British fleet under Admiral Sir John Jervis defeats larger Spanish fleet under Admiral Don José de Córdoba y Ramos near Cape St. Vincent, Portugal. Captain Horatio Nelson distinguishes himself.

  • Feb 18 Trinidad is surrendered to a British fleet under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby

Historic Event

Feb 19 The Peace of Tolentino : Pope Pius VI cedes Papal territories of Avignon, Venaissin, Ferrara, Bologna, and the Romagna to France

  • Feb 21 Trinidad, West Indies, a Spanish colony, surrenders to the British

Last Invasion of Britain

Feb 22 The Last Invasion of Britain, launched by the French during the Revolutionary Wars, begins near Fishguard, Wales

  • Feb 24 Colonel William Tate and his force of 1,000-1,500 soldiers surrender after the Last Invasion of Britain (according to legend, to Welsh women in tall black hats, mistaken for elite guards regiment)
  • Feb 26 Bank of England issues first £1 note

Famous Birthdays

  • Feb 6 Joseph Maria von Radowitz, German diplomat, born in Frankfurt, Germany (d. 1912)
  • Feb 15 Heinrich [Henry] Engelhard Steinway, German American piano maker (Steinway & Sons), born in Wolfshagen im Harz, Duchy of Brunswick (d. 1871)
  • Feb 22 William I, King of Prussia (1861-88) and the 1st German Emperor (1871-88), born in Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia, Holy Roman Empire (d. 1888)
  • Feb 24 Samuel Lover, composer
  • Feb 28 Mary Lyon, American educator (Mt Holyoke) (Hall of Fame)
  • Feb 28 Frederick, prince of Netherlands, general and admiral (10 day campaign), born in Berlin (d. 1881)

Famous Deaths

  • Feb 8 Johann Friedrich Doles, German composer, pupil of J. S. Bach, dies at 81
  • Feb 11 Antoine Dauvergne, French composer, dies at 83
  • Feb 22 Baron Münchhausen, German adventurer, soldier and storyteller (The Adventures of Baron Munchausen), dies at 76
  • Feb 27 Benvenuto Robbio San Raffaele, Italian composer, dies at 61