Detailed plan of the town of Paita in Peru, which was sacked by Admiral George Anson in November 1741, during his circumnavigation of the World.
After arriving on the west coast, Anson sent the Gloucester north to hunt outside Paita but to stay sufficiently far out to sea that she could not be seen from land.
The Centurion, Carmelo and the little Tryal waited off Valparaiso. The Tryal took the Arranzazu, an unarmed merchant ship three times her size carrying cargo of little use except for £5,000 in silver. The Tryal had been badly damaged by storms, so her guns were transferred to the prize vessel and she was allowed to sink. The Centurion captured the Santa Teresa de Jesus whose cargo was near worthless but the passengers included three women. The Nuestra Señora de Carmin was then seized and an Irish sailor on board revealed that Gloucester had been sighted by a ship entering Paita, and that the authorities has been alerted.
Anson next decided to attack Paita in the hope of intercepting treasure that was to be shipped to Mexico the next day. With limited forces, Sixty men went ashore at night in the ships' boats and took the town with hardly a shot being fired by the Spaniards. Most of the residents simply fled to a hill overlooking the town. Anson's men remained in the town for three days ferrying the contents of the custom's house out to the ships, along with livestock to feed the crew. On the way out, Anson ordered that the prisoners be sent ashore and that town be burned, with the notable exception of two churches. One Spanish vessel in harbor was towed away and the rest were sunk.