George Augustus Eliott, 1st Baron Heathfield
George Augustus Eliott, 1st Baron Heathfield, PC, KB was a British Army officer who served in three major wars during the eighteenth century. He rose to distinction during the Seven Years' War when he fought in Germany and participated in the British attacks on Belle Île and Cuba. Eliott is most notable for his command of the Gibraltar garrison during the Great Siege of Gibraltar, which lasted from 1779 and 1783, during the American War of Independence, he was celebrated for his successful defence of the fortress. Eliott was born at Wells House, near Stobs Castle, the 10th son of Sir Gilbert Eliott, 3rd Baronet, of Stobs, by his distant cousin Eleanor Elliot of Brugh and Wells in Roxburghshire. Eleanor's brother was courtier William Elliot of Wells. One of his Eleanor's sisters, had married Roger Elliott, another Governor of Gibraltar. Eliott was educated at the University of Leiden in the Dutch Republic and studied artillery and other military subjects at the école militaire of La Fère in France.
He served with the Prussian Army between 1735 and 1736. In 1741 he transferred to the Engineers and joined the 2nd Troop of Horse Grenadier Guards, of which his maternal uncle, William Elliot of Wells, was Lieutenant-Colonel, of which Eliott was afterwards Lieutenant-Colonel, he served throughout the War of Austrian Succession between 1742 and 1748, fighting at the Battle of Dettingen, where he was wounded, again at the Battle of Fontenoy. He became an Engineer Extraordinary in 1744 and Engineer Ordinary in 1747 when he was stationed at Sheerness. Eliott resigned from the Engineers in 1757. Eliott served as ADC to King George II between 1756 and 1759 during which time he was raised to Colonel. Appointed Brigadier for the 1758 expedition to France, where he was placed in command of the Brigade of Light Cavalry, He was tasked to raise and was appointed colonel of the 1st Light Horse. Eliott distinguished himself in the German campaign during the Battle of Minden in 1759 when he was promoted to Major-General and the 1760 Battle of Emsdorf.
He took part in the Capture of Belle Île in 1761. He was 2nd-in-charge at the capture of Havana during the 1762 British expedition against Cuba for which he received a significant amount of prize money, he was promoted Lieutenant-General in 1765. On 6 March 1775 he was made a Privy Counsellor and temporarily appointed commander of Forces in Ireland. On 25 May 1777 Eliott was appointed Governor of Gibraltar, taking over from the acting Governor, Robert Boyd. Eliott was promoted to General in 1778. In July 1779, Gibraltar was besieged by the Spanish. Eliott using his engineering skills to good effect in improving the fortifications. By August, it was apparent that the Spanish intended to starve the garrison; the Great Siege of Gibraltar would last from 1779 to 1783. A notable letter from Eliott to the Misses Fuller survives, dated 21 September 1779 and delivered on 4 October, it said "Nothing new. G. A. E." Eliott was an abstemious man, his diet comprising vegetables and water. He rarely slept for more than four hours at a time.
On 13 September 1782, the French and Spanish initiated a grand attack, involving 100,000 men, 48 ships and 450 cannon. Under great duress, the Garrison held its position and, by 1783, the siege was finishing. On 8 January 1783, the British Parliament sent their official thanks to Eliott and he was nominated a Knight of the Bath. By 6 February 1783, the siege was over. Eliott was invested with his honour at Gibraltar on 23 April. A portrait from 1784, "The Siege of Gibraltar" by George Carter survives in the National Portrait Gallery. Eliott returned to England in 1787, he was created Lord Heathfield, Baron Heathfield of Gibraltar on 6 July 1787 and in addition many statues and coins were produced in his honour. A will exists dated 27 February 1788. On 19 May 1788 Eliott was formally installed as Knight of the Bath, and, in June 1788, a portrait "The Installation Supper" was painted by James Gillray and resides in the National Portrait Gallery. About this time, Eliott was making his way overland back to Gibraltar.
However, he stayed in the Aachen area to recuperate. During 1790, he stayed at: Grossen Hotel, Dubigk. In June 1790 he rented the Schloss Kalkofen, moved in his furniture but did not live long to enjoy the facilities. On 6 July 1790, Eliott died at the Schloss Kalkofen, Aachen, of palsy / stroke brought on by drinking too much of the local mineral water, was buried in the grounds of the Schloss, his personal estate was probated by 27 July and his furniture sold off by his heirs. In 1790, his body was reburied at Heathfield, East Sussex. Still, his body was again disinterred and reburied at St Andrew's Church, Buckland Monachorum, Devon in the church associated with his wife's Drake ancestry. On 8 September 1748 at St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, George Augustus Eliott married Anne Pollexfen Drake, a collateral descendant of Sir Francis Drake, they had two children: Francis Augustus Eliott, 2nd and last Baron Heathfield Anne Pollexfen Eliott, who married John Trayton Fuller on 21 May 1777 General Eliott has been commemorated on a Gibraltar pound banknote.
In August and September 1787, George's portrait was painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds and now resides in the National Gallery. A painting entitled The Defeat of the Floating
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
Death on the Rock
"Death on the Rock" is a controversial television documentary, an episode of Thames Television's current affairs series This Week, broadcast in the United Kingdom on ITV on 28 April 1988. The programme examined the deaths of three Provisional Irish Republican Army members in Gibraltar on 6 March 1988 at the hands of the British Special Air Service. "Death on the Rock" presented evidence that the IRA members were shot without warning or while attempting to surrender. It was condemned by the British government. "Death on the Rock" subsequently became the first individual documentary to be the subject of an independent inquiry, in which it was vindicated. The project began after it emerged that the three IRA members shot in Gibraltar were found to be unarmed and not in possession of a bomb; the series' editor, Roger Bolton, dispatched journalists to Gibraltar and Spain, where they interviewed several people who witnessed the shootings as well as Spanish police officers, involved in surveillance of the IRA team.
The journalists filmed the funerals of the IRA members in Belfast. Satisfied by the journalists' findings, Bolton sought a conclusion to the programme; the documentary was broadcast on 28 April 1988, despite two attempts by Foreign Secretary Sir Geoffrey Howe to have the Independent Broadcasting Authority postpone the broadcast. Using the eyewitness statements, the documentary questioned the government's version of events, suggested that the three IRA members may have been unlawfully killed. Reporter Julian Manyon summed up the programme's findings: none of the witnesses interviewed for the programme heard the soldiers challenge the trio before opening fire, but variously believed they had seen the IRA members shot in the back, with their hands up, or after falling to the ground; the final contributor was the lawyer recruited by Bolton, who suggested that a judicial inquiry was necessary to resolve the conflicts. The morning after the broadcast, several tabloid newspapers attacked the documentary, accusing it of sensationalism and "trial by television".
In the following days, they mounted a campaign against Carmen Proetta, one of the documentary's main witnesses, accusing her of being a former prostitute and of being anti-British. Other newspapers accused "Death on the Rock" of misrepresenting the eyewitnesses' statements and criticised the IBA for allowing the documentary to be broadcast; the eyewitnesses interviewed for "Death on the Rock" gave evidence at the inquest into the shootings. As a result of the retraction, Thames commissioned an independent inquiry into the making of "Death on the Rock"—the first time an inquiry had been commissioned into the making of an individual documentary; the Windlesham–Rampton report found that the programme's tendency was to present evidence that the IRA members had been unlawfully killed, but that it sought to raise questions rather than to reach a conclusion. The authors made several criticisms of the documentary, but overall found it a "trenchant" work of journalism, made in "good faith and without ulterior motives".
Thames lost its franchise and the IBA was abolished as a result of the Broadcasting Act 1990—decisions which several involved parties believed were influenced by the government's anger at "Death on the Rock". This Week was a current affairs television series that began in 1956. In 1978, it was renamed TV Eye and took on a lighter format; the programme was broadcast across the ITV regions and became a mainstay of ITV's current affairs programming. By 1988, the programme had interviewed several prime ministers and leaders of the opposition, including Margaret Thatcher, interviewed for three full episodes. On 6 March 1988, three members of an IRA Active Service Unit—Daniel McCann, Mairead Farrell, Sean Savage—were witnessed parking a car in a car park in Gibraltar; the three were suspected by the British authorities of being part of a plot to detonate a car bomb in the car park while it was full of soldiers preparing for the ceremony. In the immediate aftermath of the shootings, the British government released a statement to the effect that a large car bomb had been found in Gibraltar, that three suspected terrorists had been shot dead by the Gibraltar Police.
That evening, British television news reported the finding of the alleged car bomb, added that the IRA members had been involved in a "shootout" with authorities. All of Britain's daily newspapers covered the shootings the following morning, several of which cited the size of the alleged car bomb as 500 pounds and claimed that it was "packed with shrapnel"; the same morning, Ian Stewart, Minister of State for the Armed Forces, told BBC Radio 4 that "military personnel were involved" in the shootings, that "a car bomb was found, defused". The following day, Sir Geoffrey H
Windmill Hill (Gibraltar)
Windmill Hill or Windmill Hill Flats is one of a pair of plateaux, known collectively as the Southern Plateaux, at the southern end of the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. It is located just to the south of the Rock of Gibraltar. Windmill Hill slopes down to the south with a height varying from 120 metres at the north end to 90 metres at the south end, it covers an area of about 19 hectares. The plateau is ringed to the south and east with a line of cliffs which descend to the second of the Southern Plateaux, Europa Flats, itself ringed by sea cliffs. Both plateaux are the product of marine erosion during the Quaternary period and subsequent tectonic uplift. Windmill Hill was on the shoreline and its cliffs were cut by the action of waves, before the ground was uplifted and the shoreline moved further out to the edge of what is now Europa Flats; the plateau has had military importance throughout the period of British rule over Gibraltar. It was fortified in the 1770s as part of the improvement schemes of Chief Engineer Colonel William Green prior to the Great Siege of Gibraltar.
John Drinkwater, who served in Gibraltar during the siege, commented in his History of the Late Siege of Gibraltar that "the retired and inaccessible lines of Windmill Hill have great command, being situated within musket-shot of the sea, are formidable, of great consequence in that quarter."A series of artillery batteries was constructed there during the 19th century to support the lower-level defences on Europa Flats and to enfilade any potential attackers landing in the area. The batteries included Buffadero Battery, Edward VII Battery, Jews' Cemetery Battery, Levant Battery and Windmill Hill Batteries; the flat terrain of the plateau lent itself well to accommodating mobile gun sites, between which guns could be moved as required. At the head of the plateau, the Retrenched Barracks provided garrison accommodation and served as a small fortress that could be used to block an enemy's attempt to gain access to the heights of the Rock; the plateau is the site of Lathbury Barracks, constructed in the early 1960s and used until 1991 by the British Army.
A NATO communications centre was built there in the 1970s. The Royal Gibraltar Regiment's Buffadero Training Centre is situated near the barracks and is used by British Army units for a variety of training purposes, including practicing fighting in built-up areas in a mock-up village; the terrain in the vicinity is similar to that of parts of Afghanistan, consisting of rocky ground covered with thickets of vegetation and shrubbery. This similarity has been used for exercises to prepare British troops for deployment in support of the British war effort in Afghanistan. Windmill Hill lies some way from the main area of settlement in Gibraltar, though in the late 18th century the ruins of Moorish buildings – which would have been at least 350 years old by that time – were still visible on the plateau; the Jewish community of Gibraltar established a cemetery there, known as the Jews' Gate Cemetery, in a "very airy and elevated situation."In 2010, the Government of Gibraltar established a prison there called HM Prison Windmill Hill.
The construction of a civil prison on Windmill Hill had been proposed as long ago as 1854, when prisoners were being incarcerated in the Moorish Castle – a situation, described as "defective in many points" in an 1867 report but persisted until 2010. The Detention Barracks, a military prison, stood on Windmill Hill for many years and was described by the English traveller Reginald Fowler as "clean, admirably arranged, the discipline strict" when he saw it in 1854, it was demolished in 1962. The government proposed in 2009 to build a new power station for Gibraltar on the site of the former barracks' parade ground; this raised concerns about the impact on the area's rich variety of wildlife. In March 2012 the newly elected Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party/Liberal alliance government announced that it would not be proceeding with the power station plans on this site; the Windmill Hill area is one of the most important wildlife habitats in Gibraltar and is a Site of Community Importance under the European Union Habitats Directive.
Although the environment is at first sight rather hostile, with only a thin layer of poor-quality soil overlaying rocks, it supports a wide variety of flora including species which are not found elsewhere in Gibraltar. These include, among Salvia verbenaca; the central area of Windmill Hill is open with sparse ground cover, while peripheral areas are covered in low scrub which stands about 0.75 metres high on average, rising to a height of up to 2 metres. Because of its prominence as the only vegetated area of the southern tip of Gibraltar, Windmill Hill attracts many species of migrating birds which may see it as a focal point on trans-Saharan journeys, it is home to Gibraltar's national bird, the Barbary partridge, which nests in the plateau's open habitat. It is an important waypoint on the route that songbirds take in migrating between Europe and Africa, is their first European landfall on crossing the Strait of Gibraltar. Bats hunt there, feeding on insects. A number of Gibraltar's caves are located under the hill.
The Genista Caves came to light in
Geology of the Iberian Peninsula
The geology of the Iberian Peninsula consists of the study of the rock formations on the Iberian Peninsula, which includes Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar. The peninsula contains rocks from every geological period from Ediacaran to Holocene, many types of rock are represented. World-class mineral deposits are found there; the core of the Iberian Peninsula consists of a Hercynian cratonic block known as the Iberian Massif. On the northeast this is bounded by The Pyrenean fold belt, on the southeast it is bounded by the Betic Foldchain; these twofold chains are part of the Alpine belt. To the west, the peninsula is delimited by the continental boundary formed by the opening of the Atlantic Ocean; the Hercynian Foldbelt is buried by Mesozoic and Cenozoic cover rocks to the east, but outcrops through the Iberian Chain and the Catalan Coastal Ranges. The Iberian Massif consists of rocks from the Paleozoic Era, it was assembled about 310 Ma. Several zones occur in the Iberian Massif; these were the pieces.
On the north coast of Spain occurs the Cantabrian Zone. To the west and in the Iberian Chain and Catalan Coastal Ranges is the West Asturian-Leonese Zone; the Central Iberian Zone appears near A Coruña, through the north of Portugal, through the middle of Spain, including the Montes de Toledo. The Ossa-Morena Zone outcrops out to the east of Lisbon; this includes some Precambrian rocks. The furthest south part is the South-Portuguese Zone; the Variscan Orogeny occurred as the European Hunic Terrane and Laurentia-Baltica continents collided. In Iberia this occurred in pre-Stephanian Carboniferous; the external part of the orogeny was the Cantabrian Zone. This was deformed in the upper crustal layers; the West Asturian Leonese Zone and Central Iberian Zone are the external parts of the orogeny and are more deformed and metamorphosed, intruded. These three zones are part of one terrane; the Ossa-Morena Zone and South Portuguese Zone are two different terranes. In the Mesozoic this was covered with other sediments, which have since eroded.
The Cantabrian Zone consists of older Paleozoic unmetamorphosed rocks. It is bounded on the west and south-west sides by a concave arc of Precambrian rocks called the Narcea window, the Villabandin window in the Narcea antiform; the Herreria Formation from the Lower Cambrian consists of shale and feldspathic sandstone alternating, with some conglomerate. These have a thickness of 1 to 1.5 km. The Lancara Formation consists of a couple of hundred metres of limestone; the lower part was formed in peritidal zones in the Lower Cambrian, the upper member from the Middle Cambrian contains fossils and is red or green glauconictic and nodular limestone. The Oville Formation from Middle to Upper Cambrian contains alternating sandstone. Trilobite fossils are common in the shale; the Barrios Formation is Arenigian and up to 500 metres thick. It consists of a white massive quartzite; the Penas and Vidrias area, close to the western boundary of the Cantabrian zone has a complete succession of Ordovician deposits.
Black shales from Llanvirnian times are found in the Central Coal Basin eastern side. But in the Ordovician Period, this zone was above water and eroding; the Formigoso Formation dates from Middle Llandovery time in the Silurian. It is up to 150 m thick; the San Pedro and Furada Formations are up to 300 metres thick and consists of shale and iron bearing sandstone interbedded, These are from Wenlock Ludlow and Lower Gedinian times. In the Devonian Period deposition occurred on the western side, with dolomite, argillaceous limestone and shale from the Raneces Complex or La Vid Formation, it is 600 metres thick and Gedinian to Emsian in age. The Santa Lucia Formation is of limestone, it contains coral near the Narcea Antiform in the west and has peritidal facies in the east near the Central Coal Basin. The Huergas Formation alternates between red sandstone and shale and is of Couvinian to Givetian age; the Portilla formation is of coralline limestone of Givetian to Frasnian age. This is topped off by sandstone layers up to 500 m thick from the Frasnian to Fammenian age.
Devonian sediments are not found to the east of the central coal basin, are thickest in the west. A pelagic facies comes from the Pisuerga-Carrion province. In Carboniferous times deposition started with black shales and cherts from the Tournaisian age, red limestone, red shale and radiolarites were formed in the Visean age. Mountain Limestone is a thick black lifeless limestone of Serpukhovian age. Turbidites with olistoliths appear in the Serpukhovian, indicating the first sign of the Hercynian tectonic events; these first events happened in the Pisuerga-Carrion province. Variscan compression lifted the west side. Over time the compressed zone moved towards the east. In the Namurian A stage, the Olleros formation was byukt from turbidites in a trough in front of the orgen, the Barcallente formation was a carbonate platform further off shore. In the Namurian B stage the trough was forming San Emillano Formation, the Valdeteja Formation was offshore, but in deeper marine conditions. During Westphalian A time the trough was filled and deposits of terrestrial material formed the San Emiliano Formation and Sama Group and the Lena group being thickest in the Central Coal Basin Unit.
Further east in the Picos de Europa it remained covered in shallow water with continuous formation of a carbonate platform. The Westphalian age is represented by 5000 m of the Central Coal Basin, which as the name su
The real was the official currency of Gibraltar until 1825 and continued to circulate alongside other Spanish and British currencies until 1898. After the Anglo-Dutch occupied Gibraltar in 1704, the Spanish real continued to circulate in the town. However, no distinction was made between the silver and billon reales issued by the Spanish, providing a substantial profit for the army officers making payments to troops. In 1741, the following rates of exchange were established: 2 blancas = 1 maravedi, 4 maravedíes = 1 quarto or quart, 16 quartos = 1 real de vellón, 8 reales de vellón = 1 peso sencillo, 10 reales de vellón = 1 peso fuerte; these doubled the value of the real de vellón relative to its value in Spain. Much of the currency in circulation was in the form of copper coins, since the low value of silver coins relative to billon lead to most silver being exported from Gibraltar to Spain. Copper merchants' tokens denominated in quarts were issued between 1802 and 1820. In 1825, the relative values of the various circulating coins were revised and pegged to the British pound.
The real de plata was subdivided into 24 quarts, valuing the real de plata at 96 maravedíes compared to 85 in Spain. The Spanish dollar was valued at 4 shillings and 4 pence and British silver coins were imported. However, because this rating of the dollar was too high, British silver coins could not circulate, although British coppers did, with an informal valuation of 1 quart = 1 farthing; this discrepancy was exploited to the profit of army officers making payments to troops. In 1842, coins were issued in 1 and 2 quarts denominations. A total of 387,072 quarts worth of coins were issued, allowing soldiers wages to be paid in quarts rather than pence. Other coins continued to circulate, until 1872. In that year, the Spanish currency became the sole legal tender in Gibraltar. In 1898, the Spanish–American War made the Spanish peseta drop alarmingly and the pound was introduced as the sole currency of Gibraltar in the form of British coins and banknotes. Traders' currency tokens were issued in Gibraltar between 1802 and 1820 by Robert Keeling, Richard Cattons, James Spittles.
There were two denominations - 2 quarts. Note that proofs of these coins were issued in 1860 and 1861. Gibraltar pound