On This Day

What Happened in February 1797

Historical Events

  • Feb 4 Earthquake in Quito, Ecuador kills 41,000
  • Feb 12 Haydn's song "Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser" premieres in Vienna

Victory in battleVictory 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.

British Admiral Horatio Nelson
British Admiral
Horatio Nelson
  • Feb 18 Trinidad is surrendered to a British fleet under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby
  • Feb 19 One third of papal domain ceded to France
  • Feb 21 Trinidad, West Indies, surrenders to British

Battle of InterestLast Invasion of Britain

Feb 22 The Last Invasion of Britain, launched by the French during the Revolutionary Wars, begins near Fishguard, Wales
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French troops surrendering to British forces at Goodwick Sands near Fishguard in Wales. Drawing by James Baker.
French troops surrendering to British forces at Goodwick Sands near Fishguard in Wales. Drawing by James Baker.
  • 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, Berlin, King of Prussia (1861-88)/German Emperor (1871-88)
  • 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 Karl Friedrich Hieronymus Freiherr von Münchhausen, German officer and adventurer (b. 1720)
  • Feb 27 Benvenuto Robbio San Raffaele, Italian composer, dies at 61