Gorham's Cave is mistaken for a natural sea cave, but is in fact a sea level cave, in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. It is considered to be one of the last known habitations of the Neanderthals in Europe, it gives its name to the Gorham's Cave complex, a combination of four distinct caves of such importance that they are combined into a UNESCO World Heritage site, the only one in Gibraltar. The three other caves are Vanguard Cave, Hyaena Cave, Bennett's Cave, it is located on the southeastern face of the Rock of Gibraltar. When first inhabited some 55,000 years ago, it would have been 5 kilometres from the shore, due to changes in sea level, it is now only a few metres from the Mediterranean Sea; the cave is named after Captain A. Gorham of the 2nd Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers who discovered it in 1907, when opening a fissure at the rear of a sea cavern. Gorham inscribed his name and the date of his discovery in lamp-black on the wall of the cave, which has borne his name since.
After this initial discovery, it seems the cave was forgotten—at least at an official level—as Gibraltarian historian and potholer George Palao recalls an inscription on the cave wall that read J. J. Davies 1943. Gorham's Cave is a sea cave. Total length of this cave is 100 m and at the entrance it is 35 m high. Further inside the cave becomes narrower and turns per 90 degrees. From the entrance of cave opens a view on the Alboran Sea, it is possible. Gorham's Cave has been a site of archaeological interest; the beach below the cave had been inaccessible from the cliffs above. Royal Engineers Keighley and Ward were the first to report artefacts of archaeological interest in the cave via the Gibraltar newspapers, they had found stone tools. Moreover, they reported that animal remains had been discovered in Gorham's cave. Rev. F. E. Brown of the Gibraltar Society reported these findings to the governor of Gibraltar who requested further investigations after a site visit; these investigations were reported to the British Museum for their deliberation.
Lieutenant George Baker Alexander, Royal Engineer and a graduate geologist from the University of Cambridge, arrived in Gibraltar in 1945. He decided to make a geological survey of Gibraltar. Alexander was the first to excavate Gorham’s Cave, before his departure from Gibraltar in 1948 after the Gibraltar Museum challenged his methods. There are no preserved materials about these excavations. In 1945, the governor wrote to the British Museum requesting that they continue further explorations of the cave; the museum had no resources, however, so they forwarded his enquiry to Professor Dorothy Garrod at Cambridge, who had found a Neanderthal skull at Devil's Tower Cave during her earlier work in Gibraltar in the 1920s. Garrod sought the assistance of Dr. John d'Arcy Waechter, a fellow of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara. Waechter arrived in September 1948 and spent two months digging test pits to see if further excavation would be justified. Waechter's success resulted in his return in June 1950.
He went back to England in 1951, without concluding the work and returned from February to July 1952. During a final visit in 1954 he requested financial assistance from the local government to complete his work. Excavation of this site has resulted in the discovery of four layers of stratigraphy. Level I has produced evidence for eighth to third centuries BC use by Phoenicians. Below that, level II produced evidence for brief Neolithic use. Level III has yielded at least 240 Upper Paleolithic artefacts of Solutrean origin. Level IV has produced 103 items, including spear-points and scraping devices that are identified as Mousterian, shows repeated use over thousands of years. Accelerator mass spectrometry dating gives dates for level IV of between 33 and 23 thousand years before the present —the researchers felt that the uncertainties at this time depth made calibration impractical, they suggest occupation until at least 28 kyr BP and 24 kyr BP. No fossil remains have been found that would allow identification pointing to either Neanderthal or anatomically modern human inhabitants, nor associated with findings of a modern human in a site at nearby Abrigo do Lagar Velho, Portugal of 24,500 years ago who may have featured Neanderthal genetic admixtures, although Mousterian culture is identified with Neanderthals in Europe.
The floor of the cave was found to be scratched in July 2012. Researchers uncovered a series of criss-crossing lines over ~1 m2, cut into the surface of a ledge about 100 metres from its entrance; the scratches consist of eight lines arranged in two groups of three long lines and intersected by two shorter ones, used to suggest it is a symbol. The scratches are thought to be at least 39,000 years old, because they were found below a layer of undisturbed sediment of that age in which hundreds of Neanderthal stone tools were discovered; the attribution of the scratches to Neanderthals is disputed. Matt Pope of University College London cautions that "linking them directly to Neanderthal populations, or proving Neanderthals made them without any contact with modern humans is harder; the dates were indirectly obtained and refer to the material from within sediments covering the scratches and not the marks themselves. Given the dates span a period when we know modern humans have reached
Thirteenth Siege of Gibraltar
The Siege of Gibraltar of 1727 saw Spanish forces besiege the British garrison of Gibraltar as part of the Anglo-Spanish War. Depending on the sources, Spanish troops numbered between 12,000 and 25,000. British defenders were 1,500 at the beginning of the siege, increasing up to about 5,000. After a five-month siege with several unsuccessful and costly assaults, Spanish troops gave up and withdrew. Following the failure the war drew to a close, opening the way for the 1728 Treaty of El Pardo and the Treaty of Seville signed in 1729. On 1 January 1727 the Marquis of Pozobueno, Spanish ambassador to the Court of St. James's, sent a letter to the Duke of Newcastle explaining why the Spanish Crown believed that Article X of the Treaty of Utrecht had been nullified by infractions by the British: The cession which his Majesty made precedently of that Place is become null, because of the infractions made in the conditions on which it was permitted that the English garrison should remain in the possession of Gibraltar.
The letter was tantamount to a declaration of war. Spain, was not in a advantageous position to capture Gibraltar in 1727. At the last attempt to retake Gibraltar in 1704, Spain had a strong Navy and the additional assistance of French warships. However, following their defeat at the battle of Cape Passaro and the capture of Vigo and Pasajes, the Spanish Navy was weakened; the Royal Navy had complete naval supremacy in the Straits, ruling out a Spanish landing in the south, ensuring that the British garrison would be well supplied through a siege. Any attempt to scale the Rock from the east was now impossible as the British had destroyed the path; the only option of attack open to the Spanish was along a narrow funnel that ran between the sea and the western side of the North Face of the Rock. This narrow strip of land would come under fire from three sides: Willis's battery to the east, the Grand Battery to the south, the Devil's Tongue Battery on the Old Mole to the west. A number of Philip V's senior military advisers warned the King that the recapture of Gibraltar was, at the present, near impossible.
The Marquis of Villadarias had warned that it would be impossible to take the Rock without naval support. The senior Flemish engineer, George Prosper Verboom, agreed with this opinion, and'gave it as his considered opinion that the only plan with any possibility of success was of a seaborne attack from the south.' However, the King was impressed by the Count de las Torres de Alcorrín, Viceroy of Navarre, who vowed that he could:'in six weeks deliver Spain from this noxious settlement of foreigners and heretics'. The disagreement between Verboom and de las Torres was to continue throughout the siege, indeed, so noticeably that when the siege was underway, a diarist within Gibraltar wrote that a Spanish deserter had reported:'that a dispute hath happen'd betwixt two Generals about storming us, upon which the one... is going to Madrid to complain to the King." Despite Verboom's doubts, the King gave. The count began to muster the besieging troops at San Roque at the start of 1727, in total thirty infantry battalions, six squadrons of horse, seventy-two mortars and ninety-two guns.
Large parts of the army were not themselves Spanish. Of the thirty infantry battalions nineteen were foreign mercenaries: three battalions of Walloons, three French Belgian, four Irish, two Savoyard, two Neapolitan, one Swiss, one Corsican, one Sicilian. Serving alongside the Jacobite Irish was the infamous Duke of Wharton. A notorious libertine and founder of the original Hellfire Club, Wharton had fled England and joined the cause of the Old Pretender, he attained permission from Philip V to serve as volunteer aide-de-camp to the Count de las Torres, was something of an embarrassment to both sides.'The Duke of Wharton never comes into the trenches but when he is Drunk, that and only he is mightily valiant.' He was to be badly injured in the leg during the siege and he was declared an outlaw by the British Government. Both the Governor of Gibraltar and the Lieutenant Governor were in England when the Spanish began to amass their forces. Colonel Richard Kane, the British commander of Menorca, was in temporary command of the sparsely defended British garrison of 1,200 men from the 5th Regiment, the 13th, the 20th and the 30th.
Kane expelled the 400 Spanish residents of Gibraltar and continued to improv
Barbary macaques in Gibraltar
From the Atlas Mountains and the Rif Mountains of Morocco, the Barbary macaque population in Gibraltar is the only wild monkey population on the European continent. Although most populations in Africa are experiencing declining populations due to hunting and deforestation, the population of Barbary monkeys in Gibraltar is increasing; some 300 animals in five troops occupy the Upper Rock area of the Gibraltar Nature Reserve, though they make occasional forays into the town. As they are a tailless species, they are known locally as Barbary apes or rock apes, despite being monkeys; the local people refer to them as monos when conversing in Spanish or Llanito. The name Barbary refers to the Berber People of Morocco who since the beginning of history had ties with the animals surrounding their region, as the Barbary macaques; the macaque population had been present on the Rock of Gibraltar long before Gibraltar was captured by the British in 1704 and according to records, since prior to reconquest of Gibraltar from the Muslims.
It was during the Islamic period. In his work Historia de la Muy Noble y Más Leal Ciudad de Gibraltar, written between 1605 and 1610, Alonso Hernández del Portillo, the first chronicler of Gibraltar, wrote: "But now let us speak of other and living producers which in spite of the asperity of the rock still maintain themselves in the mountain, there are monkeys, who may be called the true owners, with possession from time immemorial, always tenacious of the dominion, living for the most part on the eastern side in high and inaccessible chasms." In his History of Gibraltar, Ignacio López de Ayala, a Spanish historian like Portillo, wrote of the monkeys: "Neither the incursions of Moor, the Spaniards nor the English, nor cannon nor bomb of either have been able to dislodge them." Repeated introduction of animals and the lack of reliable data concerning founders of the Gibraltar macaque population has obscured their origin. The fact that all extant Gibraltarian mtDNA haplotypes were found in North Africa, combined with the lack of fossil evidence of M. sylvanus in Gibraltar at the end of the last glaciation diminishes the possibility that the Gibraltar macaques represent or include any remnant of the original European population, a possibility which can not be excluded.
Indeed, it had been earlier suggested that the original Gibraltar macaques were a remnant of populations that had spread throughout Southern Europe during the Pliocene, up to 5.5 million years ago. The Macaca sylvanus species is declining. About 75% of the total population is found in the Middle Atlas Mountains. During the Pleistocene, this species inhabited the Mediterranean coasts and Europe, reaching as far north as Germany and the British Isles; the species decreased with the arrival of the Ice Age, to extinction in the Iberian Peninsula 30,000 years ago. The Gibraltar Barbary macaques are considered by many to be the top tourist attraction in Gibraltar; the most popular troop is that of Queen's Gate at the Ape's Den, where people can get close to the monkeys. They will approach and sometimes climb onto people, as they are used to human interaction, they are still wild animals and will bite if frightened or annoyed. The macaques' contact with large numbers of tourists was causing the integrity of their social groups to break down, as they began to become dependent on humans.
This induced the monkeys to forage in the town, resulting in damage to buildings and vehicles. Close contact with humans has led to the macaques learning how to open pockets and unzip handbags and rucksacks in order to steal food from humans. For these reasons, deliberately feeding the macaques in Gibraltar is now an offence punishable by law. Anyone caught feeding the monkeys is liable to be fined up to £4,000. Gibraltar's Barbary macaque population was under the care of the British Army and the Gibraltar Regiment from 1915 to 1991, who controlled a population that consisted of a single troop. The'Keeper of the Apes' would keep the official records, maintaining an up-to-date register for each ape, listing their births and names and supervising their diet, which they drew every week; the food allowance of fruit and nuts was included in the budget, set by the War Office at £4 a month in 1944. They would humorously announce births in the'Gibraltar Chronicle':— "Rock Apes. Births: To Phyllis, wife of Tony, at the Upper Rock, on 30th June 1942— a child.
Both doing well." Much to the delight of readers. They were named after governors and high-ranking officers. Any ill or injured monkey needing surgery or any other form of medical attention was taken to Royal Naval Hospital Gibraltar and received the same treatment as would an enlisted service man; when UK-based infantry units were withdrawn and garrison duty was left to the Gibraltar Regiment, the Government of Gibraltar took over responsibility for the monkeys. Lt Bill Parker of the Royal Artillery Major W O Skelton of the Royal Artillery Gunner Wilfred Portlock of the Royal Artillery Regiment Sgt Alfred Holmes of the Gibraltar Regiment Cpl. Ernest Asquez of the Gibraltar Regiment On 11th May 1954, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the ape packs while on a visit to Gibraltar. A photograph captured the Queen feeding a Barbary ape while the Duke of Edinburgh stood next to battle-dressed ape-keeper Gunner Wilfred Portlock; the monkeys are managed by the Gibraltar Orni
British Overseas Territories
The British Overseas Territories or United Kingdom Overseas Territories are 14 territories under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the United Kingdom. They are remnants of the British Empire that have not been granted independence or have voted to remain British territories; these territories do not form part of the United Kingdom and, with the exception of Gibraltar, are not part of the European Union. Most of the permanently inhabited territories are internally self-governing, with the UK retaining responsibility for defence and foreign relations. Three are inhabited only by a transitory population of scientific personnel, they all share the British monarch as head of state. As of April 2018 the Minister responsible for the Territories excluding the Falkland Islands and the Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus, is the Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN; the other three territories are the responsibility of the Minister of State for Europe and the Americas. The fourteen British Overseas Territories are: The term "British Overseas Territory" was introduced by the British Overseas Territories Act 2002, replacing the term British Dependent Territory, introduced by the British Nationality Act 1981.
Prior to 1 January 1983, the territories were referred to as British Crown Colonies. Although the Crown dependencies of Jersey and the Isle of Man are under the sovereignty of the British monarch, they are in a different constitutional relationship with the United Kingdom; the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies are themselves distinct from the Commonwealth realms, a group of 16 independent countries each having Elizabeth II as their reigning monarch, from the Commonwealth of Nations, a voluntary association of 53 countries with historic links to the British Empire. With the exceptions of the British Antarctic Territory and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and the British Indian Ocean Territory, the Territories retain permanent civilian populations. Permanent residency for the 7,000 civilians living in the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia is limited to citizens of the Republic of Cyprus. Collectively, the Territories encompass a population of about 250,000 people and a land area of about 1,727,570 square kilometres.
The vast majority of this land area, 1,700,000 square kilometres, constitutes the uninhabited British Antarctic Territory, while the largest territory by population, accounts for a quarter of the total BOT population. At the other end of the scale, three territories have no civilian population. Pitcairn Islands, settled by the survivors of the Mutiny on the Bounty, is the smallest settled territory with 49 inhabitants, while the smallest by land area is Gibraltar on the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula; the United Kingdom participates in the Antarctic Treaty System and, as part of a mutual agreement, the British Antarctic Territory is recognised by four of the six other sovereign nations making claims to Antarctic territory. Early colonies, in the sense of English subjects residing in lands hitherto outside the control of the English government, were known as "Plantations"; the first, colony was Newfoundland, where English fishermen set up seasonal camps in the 16th century. It is now a province of Canada known as Labrador.
It retains strong cultural ties with Britain. English colonisation of North America began in 1607 with the settlement of Jamestown, the first successful permanent colony in Virginia, its offshoot, was settled inadvertently after the wrecking of the Virginia company's flagship there in 1609, with the Virginia Company's charter extended to include the archipelago in 1612. St. George's town, founded in Bermuda in that year, remains the oldest continuously inhabited British settlement in the New World. Bermuda and Bermudians have played important, sometimes pivotal, but underestimated or unacknowledged roles in the shaping of the English and British trans-Atlantic Empires; these include maritime commerce, settlement of the continent and of the West Indies, the projection of naval power via the colony's privateers, among other areas. The growth of the British Empire in the 19th century, to its territorial peak in the 1920s, saw Britain acquire nearly one quarter of the world's land mass, including territories with large indigenous populations in Asia and Africa.
From the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century, the larger settler colonies – in Canada, New Zealand and South Africa – first became self-governing colonies and achieved independence in all matters except foreign policy and trade. Separate self-governing colonies federated to become Canada, South Africa, Rhodesia; these and other large self-governing colonies had become known as Dominions by the 1920s. The Dominions achieved full independence with the Statute of Westminster. Through a process of decolonisation following the Second World War, most of the British colonies in Africa and the Caribbean gained independence; some colonies becam
Operation Flavius was a military operation in which three members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army were shot dead by the British Special Air Service in Gibraltar on 6 March 1988. The three—Seán Savage, Daniel McCann, Mairéad Farrell —were believed to be mounting a car bomb attack on British military personnel in Gibraltar. Plain-clothed SAS soldiers approached them in the forecourt of a petrol station opened fire, killing them. All three were found to be unarmed, no bomb was discovered in Savage's car, leading to accusations that the British government had conspired to murder them. An inquest in Gibraltar ruled that the SAS had acted lawfully, while the European Court of Human Rights held that, although there had been no conspiracy, the planning and control of the operation was so flawed as to make the use of lethal force inevitable; the deaths were the first in a chain of violent events in a fourteen-day period. On 16 March, the funeral of the three IRA members was attacked by a loyalist wielding pistols and grenades, leaving three mourners dead.
At the funeral of one of the mourners, the IRA shot two undercover British soldiers who had driven into the procession. From late 1987, the British authorities were aware that the IRA was planning to detonate a bomb at the changing of the guard ceremony outside the governor's residence in the British Dependent Territory of Gibraltar; when Savage, McCann and Farrell travelled to Spain in preparation for the attack, they were tracked at the request of the British government. On the day of the shootings, Savage was seen parking a white Renault in the car park used as the assembly area for the parade. After a military bomb disposal officer reported that Savage's car should be treated as a suspected bomb, the police handed over control of the operation to the SAS; as soldiers were moving into position to intercept the trio, Savage split from McCann and Farrell and began running south. Two soldiers pursued Savage while two approached Farrell; as soldiers caught up with Savage, he was alleged to have turned around to face them while reaching into his jacket.
All three were subsequently found to be unarmed, Savage's car was found to contain no explosives. Two months after the shootings, the documentary "Death on the Rock" was broadcast on British television. Using reconstructions and eyewitness accounts, it presented the possibility that the three IRA members had been unlawfully killed; the documentary proved controversial. The inquest into the deaths began in September 1988, it heard from British and Gibraltar authorities that the IRA team had been tracked to Málaga Airport, where they were lost by the Spanish police, that the three did not re-emerge until Savage was sighted parking his car in Gibraltar. The soldiers each testified that they had opened fire in the belief that the suspected bombers were reaching for weapons or a remote detonator. Among the civilians who gave evidence were the eyewitnesses discovered by "Death on the Rock", who gave accounts of seeing the three shot without warning, with their hands up, or while they were on the ground.
Kenneth Asquez, who told the documentary that he had seen a soldier fire at Savage while the latter was on the ground, retracted his statement at the inquest, claiming that he had been pressured into giving it. On 30 September, the inquest jury returned a verdict of "lawful killing". Dissatisfied, the families took the case to the European Court of Human Rights. Delivering its judgement in 1995, the court found that the operation had been in violation of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights as the authorities' failure to arrest the suspects at the border, combined with the information given to the soldiers, rendered the use of lethal force inevitable; the decision is cited as a landmark case in the use of force by the state. The Provisional Irish Republican Army aimed to establish a united Ireland and end the British administration of Northern Ireland through the use of force; the organisation was the result of a 1969 split in the Irish Republican Army. The IRA killed civilians, members of the armed forces, police and prison service, including off-duty and retired members, bombed businesses and military targets in both Northern Ireland and England, with the aim of making Northern Ireland ungovernable.
Daniel McCann, Seán Savage, Mairéad Farrell were, according to journalist Brendan O'Brien, "three of the IRA's most senior activists". Savage was an explosives expert and McCann was "a high-ranking intelligence operative"; the Special Air Service is a regiment of the British Army and part of the United Kingdom's special forces. The SAS was first assigned to operations in Northern Ireland in the early stages of the British Army's deployment there, but were confined to South Armagh; the first large-scale deployment of SAS soldiers there was in 1976, when the regiment's D Squadron was committed. The SAS specialised in covert, intelligence-based operations against the IRA, using more aggressive tactics than regular army and police units operating in Northern Ireland. From late 1987, the British authorities we
Catalan Bay is a small bay and fishing village in Gibraltar, on the eastern side of The Rock away from the main city. Although the origin of Catalan Bay's name is documented, a couple of theories co-exist. Documentary evidence suggests that the bay is named after a group of around 350 Catalan servicemen believed to have settled there after having assisted the Anglo-Dutch forces who captured Gibraltar during the War of Spanish Succession on 4 August 1704. Evidence supports the theory that Catalans settled in Catalan Bay giving rise to the above etymological definition; the name La Caleta pre-dates that of Catalan Bay. The fishing villages of La Atunara and La Caleta are mentioned in a Royal Dispatch of 6 March 1634, being under the jurisdiction of the "Tercio del Mar de Marbella y Estepona" in the Kingdom of Granada. Since it has been called La Caleta for much longer than it has been called Catalan Bay; the first mention of Catalan Bay was at least, in the mid-eighteenth century, between the second and third siege of Gibraltar.
It appeared on William Faden's map, or in John Cheevers's map. Before that, it was named "Catalan Battery", "Catalan Beach" or "Playa de los Catalanes". In 1704, during the capture of Gibraltar by an Anglo-Dutch combined operation, an expedition landed there of around 350 Catalans followers of Charles of Austria and commanded by Prince Georg von Hessen Darmstadt and general Joan Baptista Basset, they most came to Gibraltar in at least five ships, as among the lists of Catalan expeditionaries there are five vessel owners. The Catalans formed two companies, an artillery company and an infantry company of mountain fusiliers. Both protected the isthmus of Gibraltar and attacked mountain areas of the Rock against Spanish grenadiers; some of the surnames of the Catalans who participated in the conquest are: Andreu, Auger, Bertran, Boix, Bosch, Canovas, Carreras, Castells, Clavell, Corrons, Cortès, Estanyol, Esteve, Ferrer, Fonollós, Freixes, Frutó, Goy, Llopis, Martí, Matalonga, Navarro, Oliver, Pausà, Pi, Pujol, Ribas, Rossell, Rovira, Salvat, Sanromà, Siurana, Trebó, Trullàs, Virolà, Viudes.
Subsequently, the conquest, some of these Catalan soldiers settled in Gibraltar, after the departure of the majority of troops used in the conquest, helped establish the first military checkpoint of Gibraltar. The Catalan Alfons de la Capella, lawyer of the Royal Council of Catalonia, became a judge in Gibraltar; the Catalan Josep Corrons was appointed Alcaide of the Sea and was appointed Sergeant Major of Gibraltar. The Catalan Andreu Martí was responsible for directing the work of the prisoners after the conquest; the Catalan Jeroni Fàbregas was responsible for the distribution of ammunition. In the 1705 siege, the Catalan soldiers fought again in defence of Gibraltar in an area called "Catalan Guard" or "Catalan Post" in Wolf's Leap. In 1709, Catalan Josep Valls, a Gibraltar resident, collaborating with Catalan traders Salvador Feliu de la Penya, Joan Verivol, Josep Grasses, Josep Boigues, created a commercial company called "Companyia Nova de Gibraltar", in order to replace the monopoly of Cádiz in ocean trade, that would endure until 1723.
Another theory suggests that the latter could be an English mispronunciation of Caleta. Catalan Bay had been populated by Genoese fishermen who were part of a much larger settlement pattern along the eastern coast of The Rock during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In the eighteenth century Genoese was so spoken in Gibraltar that government notices were published in this language. Genoese was spoken in La Caleta well into the nineteenth century, dying out in the early decades of the twentieth. There has been some discussion about the possibility that the British may have mixed up Catalans with Genoese but, according to some opinions, it is by no means clear why they would suffer such a confusion since there is other evidence which demonstrates that the British were aware that the residents of La Caleta were Genoese: the orders for the siege of 1727 refer to this bay as the Genoese Cove and the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century censuses record large numbers of people born in Genoa, not in Catalonia.
However, the seventeenth-century French map "Plan de Catalan Bay ou la Caleta", which showed houses and lists of the inhabitants living in Catalan Bay before the village was built, shows various Catalan surnames among its inhabitants though they were not a majority compared to Genoese surnames. Therefore, there is documentary evidence that among the first inhabitants of Catalan Bay there were Catalans, despite the fact that they were few in number compared to the Genoese. There is considerable evidence that during the seventeenth century Catalan fishermen tra
Admiral of the Fleet Sir George Rooke was an English naval officer. As a junior officer he saw action at the Battle of Solebay and again at the Battle of Schooneveld during the Third Anglo-Dutch War; as a captain, he conveyed Prince William of Orange to England and took part in the Battle of Bantry Bay during the Williamite War in Ireland. As a flag officer, Rooke commanded a division of the Royal Navy during their defeat at the Battle of Beachy Head, he commanded a division at the Battle of Barfleur and distinguished himself at the Battle of La Hogue. He was defeated while escorting a convoy at the Battle of Lagos. Rooke commanded the unsuccessful allied expedition against Cádiz but on the passage home he destroyed the Spanish treasure fleet at the Battle of Vigo Bay in the opening stages of the War of the Spanish Succession, he commanded the allied naval forces at the capture of Gibraltar and attacked the French fleet at the Battle of Málaga. Born the son of Colonel Sir William Rooke and Jane Rooke, Rooke joined the Royal Navy as a volunteer in 1672.
Promoted to lieutenant in the year, he was appointed to the first-rate HMS London, flagship of Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Spragge, saw action when a combined British and French fleet was surprised and attacked by the Dutch, led by Admiral Michiel de Ruyter, at the Battle of Solebay off the Suffolk coast in May 1672 during the Third Anglo-Dutch War. He transferred to the first-rate HMS Royal Prince, flagship of the Duke of York, in 1673 and saw action again at the Battle of Schooneveld in June 1673. Promoted to captain on 13 November 1673, Rooke was given command of the sixth-rate HMS Holmes and was deployed on convoy duties. After a period of service in the Army, Rooke transferred to the command of the fifth-rate HMS Nonsuch in April 1677 and conveyed Prince William of Orange to England in October 1677, he transferred to the fourth-rate HMS Hampshire in the Mediterranean in July 1680 to the fourth-rate HMS St David in the English Channel April 1683 and to the fourth-rate HMS Deptford in the Mediterranean in April 1688.
In Deptford he saw action at the Battle of Bantry Bay in May 1689 when a French fleet tried to land troops in Southern Ireland to fight against Prince William during the Williamite War in Ireland. In August the same year he cleared Belfast Lough of French shipping, allowing Marshal Schomberg's force to land in Ulster where they laid siege to Carrickfergus and advanced south to Dundalk Camp. Promoted to rear admiral in early 1690, Rooke hoisted his flag in the second-rate HMS Duchess and commanded the rear division of the centre squadron during the French victory at the Battle of Beachy Head in July 1690 during the Nine Years' War, his tactics during the battle were subsequently criticised at the inquiry but he was cleared of blame. Promoted to vice-admiral on 20 January 1692, he hoisted his flag in the second-rate HMS Neptune and served under Admiral Edward Russell commanding the vanguard division of the rear squadron at the Battle of Barfleur in May 1692. After temporarily transferring his flag to the third-rate HMS Eagle, he distinguished himself in a night attack on the French fleet at Battle of La Hogue when he succeeded in burning twelve of the enemy's ships.
Knighted on 20 February 1693, he commanded the escort for Smyrna convoy, scattered and captured by the French Admiral Anne Hilarion de Tourville near Lagos, Portugal, in June 1693. He was promoted to full admiral in July 1693. Rooke joined the Board of Admiralty led by Admiral Edward Russell in May 1694, he became commander-in-chief of the Mediterranean Fleet in August 1695 and returned to England in April 1696. Promoted to Admiral of the Fleet shortly afterwards, he was given command the Channel Fleet but was unable to stop the French squadron which sailed from Toulon from reaching Brest and was criticised at the subsequent inquiry, he was elected Tory Member of Parliament for Portsmouth in Autumn 1698 and played an active part as spokesman for the Admiralty presenting, for example, an estimate of the navy debt to the House in April 1699. He was advanced to Senior Naval Lord on the Admiralty Board in May 1699. Rooke hoisted his flag in the second-rate HMS Shrewsbury in Spring 1700 and took command of an Anglo-Dutch Squadron, which while working in co-operation with a Swedish fleet under Admiral-General Hans Wachtmeister, attacked Copenhagen so facilitating the landing of King Charles XII of Sweden and his army in Denmark in August 1700 in the opening phase of the Great Northern War.
When the Admiralty was reconstituted under a council headed by the Lord High Admiral, Rooke was appointed a member of the council of the Lord High Admiral in January 1702. He was appointed Vice-Admiral of England that year; the Allies resolved upon an expedition, led by Rooke, to capture the southern Spanish port of Cádiz, at a stroke cut off Spain's transatlantic trade. However, on arrival in August 1702 the Allies made no progress in the assault on Cádiz. Fort Matagorda held out, after several days Rooke declared that if the fort was taken, another stronghold guarding the entrance to the Puntales would prevent the fleet from navigating the narrow passage: and so the mission was abandoned; however the English Government had become aware that a Spanish treasure fleet was sitting in Vigo Bay and instructed Rooke to intercept it in October 1702. The third-rate HMS Torbay, commanded by Thomas Hopsonn, led the assault on the boom across the bay and, once it was breached, there was not a single French or Spanish vessel that had not been either captured or destroyed at the Battle of Vigo Bay.
Rooke received the thanks of Parliament i