This Day in History: 1747-05-03

First Battle of Cape Finisterre. 16 officers and 411 men of the 30th Foot (later 1st East Lancashires) are serving in the 14 – ship fleet of Admiral Sir George Anson which intercepts a 30-ship French treasure fleet in the Atlantic. In a 5-hour running fight, the British capture 4 ships of the line, 2 frigates and 7 merchantmen. Only 3 French vessels escape.  The victors found an immense booty aboard their prizes. A private soldier’s share was £7-5s-4d (at a time when his daily pay was 8d, and equivalent to around £1,500 in today’s money), an ensign’s £33-4s  (about £7,000 today), and a captain’s £293 (£61,255 today), while the more senior commanders made their fortunes.