Capture of Gibraltar
The Capture of Gibraltar by Anglo-Dutch forces of the Grand Alliance occurred between 1 and 4 August 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession. Since the beginning of the war the Alliance had been looking for a harbour in the Iberian Peninsula to control the Strait of Gibraltar and facilitate naval operations against the French fleet in the western Mediterranean Sea. An attempt to seize Cádiz had ended in failure in September 1702, but following the Alliance fleet's successful raid in Vigo Bay in October that year, the combined fleets of the'Maritime Powers', the Netherlands and England, had emerged as the dominant naval force in the region; this strength helped persuade King Peter II of Portugal to sever his alliance with France and Bourbon-controlled Spain, ally himself with the Grand Alliance in 1703. Now with access to the Portuguese port of Lisbon the Alliance fleets could campaign in the Mediterranean, conduct operations in support of the Austrian Habsburg candidate to the Spanish throne, the Archduke Charles, known to his supporters as Charles III of Spain.
Prince George of Hesse-Darmstadt represented the Habsburg cause in the region. In May 1704 the Prince and Admiral George Rooke, commander of the main Grand Alliance fleet, failed to take Barcelona in the name of'Charles III'. In order to compensate for their lack of success the Alliance commanders resolved to capture Gibraltar, a small town on the southern Spanish coast. Following a heavy bombardment the town was invaded by Dutch marines and sailors; the governor, Diego de Salinas, agreed to surrender Gibraltar and its small garrison on 4 August. Three days Prince George entered the town with Austrian and Spanish Habsburg troops in the name of Charles III of Spain; the Grand Alliance failed in its objective of replacing Philip V with Charles III as King of Spain, but in the peace negotiations Gibraltar was ceded to Britain. At the start of the War of the Spanish Succession Portugal was nominally an ally of the Bourbons: France under Louis XIV, Spain under his grandson, Philip V. Although not a belligerent, Portugal's harbours were closed to the enemies of the Bourbon powers – principally the vessels of England and the Dutch Republic.
However, following the Anglo-Dutch naval victory at Vigo Bay in 1702 the balance of naval forces had swung in favour of the Grand Alliance. Having now the ability to cut off Portugal's food supplies and trade it was not hard for the Allied diplomats to induce King Peter II to sign the Methuen Treaties of May 1703 and join the Alliance. Once Peter II had committed himself to war the Alliance fleets gained access to Portugal's harbours, in particular the port of Lisbon. In return for his allegiance Peter II had demanded military and financial aid and territorial concessions in Spain. Known to his supporters as Charles III of Spain, the young pretender arrived in Lisbon – via London – with George Rooke's fleet on 7 March 1704, amid great celebrations. Apart from the failed Grand Alliance attempt to take Cádiz in 1702, the subsequent attack on the Spanish treasure fleet in Vigo Bay, the war had thus far been limited to the Low Countries and Italy. With Portugal's change of allegiance, the war moved towards Spain.
In May 1704 the court at Lisbon received news that French and Spanish troops had crossed the frontier into Portugal. This army of 26,000 men under Philip V and the Duke of Berwick scored several victories on the border: Salvaterra fell on 8 May, Penha Garcia on 11 May, Philip V oversaw the fall of Castelo Branco on 23 May, T'Serclaes captured Portalegre on 8 June, but without supply for their forces, the coming summer heat made it impossible for them to continue with the campaign, Philip V returned to Madrid on 16 July to a hero's welcome. However, the heat did not affect the war at sea. Using Lisbon as an improvised forward base Admiral Rooke's Anglo-Dutch fleet ventured into the Mediterranean Sea in May 1704. After seeing the Levant trading fleet safely through the Strait of Gibraltar Rooke headed towards Nice to put himself in touch with Victor Amadeus II, Duke of Savoy; the Grand Alliance had planned for a naval attack upon the French base at Toulon in conjunction with the Savoyard army and the rebels of the Cévennes.
Accompanying Rooke was Prince George of Hesse-Darmstadt who had enjoyed popularity amongst the Catalans as their governor at the end of the Nine Years' War. The Prince was the great exponent of the Barcelona plan. On 30 May, under cover of the ships’ guns, Prince George landed with 1,200 English and 400 Dutch marines. Moreover, the dissidents were incensed by the size of the Alliance force and had expected the personal appearance of'Charles III'. Ultimatums for Velesco to surrender on pain of bombardment were ignored, the plans for an insurrection from within the city's walls failed to materialize. Rooke, fearing an attack from a French squadron, was impatient for departure. Prince George could do little more than order his local followers – a thousand in all – to disperse to
History of the Genoese in Gibraltar
A Genoese community has existed in Gibraltar since the 16th century and became an important part of the population. There is much evidence of a community of emigrants from Genoa, who moved to Gibraltar in the 16th century and that were more than a third of the Gibraltar population in the first half of the 18th century. Although labeled as "Genoese", they were not only from the city of Genoa but from all of Liguria, a northern Italian region, the center of the maritime Republic of Genoa. After the conquest of Gibraltar from Spain in 1704, nearly all the original Spanish population moved away. Among those who stayed there were 30 Genoese families, most of them forming a group resident in Catalan Bay which worked as fishermen, their main activities in the years following the conquest of Gibraltar and its formal transfer to Great Britain were not only related to fishing, but to craftsmanship and commerce. According to the 1725 census, on a total civilian population of 1113 there were 414 Genoese, 400 Spaniards, 137 Jews, 113 Britons and 49 others.
In the 1753 census the Genoese were the biggest group of civilian residents in the Gibraltar and up until 1830 Italian was spoken together with English and Spanish and used in official announcements. Many Genoese in the late 18th century arrived to work for the garrison and went on to form the basis of Gibraltar's civilian police force - the Genoese Guard. "In 1740, English Law was introduced in Gibraltar and in 1753 the first Justices of the Peace were appointed.... During this period the Military Authorities were experiencing great difficulties with Army deserters going into the Kingdom of Spain and thus a group of inhabitants were recruited to act as Frontier Guards; this group became known as the Genoese Guard and in time came to serve as a rudimentary Police Force when they were called upon to support the Military Authorities when dealing with civilians. Sergeants were appointed within the Genoese Guard and their titles "Jews Sergeant" and "Spanish Sergeant" reflected their role within the sectors of the community.
The Genoese Guard were subsequently disbanded sometime after the Seven Year War." After Napoleonic times many Sicilians and some Tuscans migrated to Gibraltar, but the Genoese and Ligurians remained the majority of the Italian group. Indeed, the Genoese dialect was spoken in Catalan Bay well into the 20th century, dying out in the 1970s. Today, the descendants of the Genoese community of Gibraltar consider themselves Gibraltarians and most of them promote the autonomy of Gibraltar, their most renowned representatives are: Joe Bossano, Adolfo Canepa and Kaiane Aldorino. 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 17th and 18th centuries. In the 18th century the Genoese dialect was so spoken in Gibraltar that Government notices were published in Italian. Genoese was spoken by most people in La Caleta well into the 19th century, dying out in the late decades of the 20th century. There has been some discussion that the British may have mixed up Catalans with Genoese but 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 numerous 18th and 19th century census record large numbers of people born in Genoa, not in Catalonia.
It is possible a confusion between the letters of "Calata" and "Catala" in the early English pronunciation of the Bay. During the 19th century only fishermen were permitted to live in Catalan Bay; the families who live in the village today are descendants of these Genoese fishermen and are colloquially known as caleteños. Genoese heritage is evident throughout Gibraltar but in the architecture of the town's older buildings which are influenced by traditional Genoese housing styles featuring internal courtyards; until the 1980s, most Gibraltarians lived densely packed around these communal patios. A prominent feature of Gibraltar's architecture is the traditional Genoese wooden window shutters. Many of the Gibraltarian cuisine's roots lie in Genoa; the most notable dish of Genoese origin is calentita. It is a chickpea flour-based flatbread similar to the Italian farinata; the Gibraltarian panissa, a bread-like dish similar to the calentita, shares its Italian origins: it is a descendant of the Genoese dish with the same name "panissa".
Other important Gibraltarian dishes such as rosto and meat in a tomato sauce, is of Genoese origin. Genoese heritage is present in the upper strata of Gibraltarian society: this class consists of a few families of Genoese origin. While the upper middle class consists of Catholic and Hindu merchants and lawyers, the working class is made up of families of Spanish and Italian origin; the present-day descendants of the Genoese settlers in Gibraltar are integrated as Gibraltarians. Today, Gibraltarians with Genoese surnames make up 20% of the total population; this group is integrated in the Gibraltarian society and there it is no association related to them. The Genoese in Gibraltar have left their presence in the Llanito, the local Gibraltarian dialect used by most of the descendants of these Ligurians
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
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
The flowering plants known as angiosperms, Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta, are the most diverse group of land plants, with 64 orders, 416 families 13,164 known genera and c. 369,000 known species. Like gymnosperms, angiosperms are seed-producing plants. However, they are distinguished from gymnosperms by characteristics including flowers, endosperm within the seeds, the production of fruits that contain the seeds. Etymologically, angiosperm means a plant; the term comes from the Greek words sperma. The ancestors of flowering plants diverged from gymnosperms in the Triassic Period, 245 to 202 million years ago, the first flowering plants are known from 160 mya, they diversified extensively during the Early Cretaceous, became widespread by 120 mya, replaced conifers as the dominant trees from 100 to 60 mya. Angiosperms differ from other seed plants in several ways, described in the table below; these distinguishing characteristics taken together have made the angiosperms the most diverse and numerous land plants and the most commercially important group to humans.
Angiosperm stems are made up of seven layers. The amount and complexity of tissue-formation in flowering plants exceeds that of gymnosperms; the vascular bundles of the stem are arranged such that the phloem form concentric rings. In the dicotyledons, the bundles in the young stem are arranged in an open ring, separating a central pith from an outer cortex. In each bundle, separating the xylem and phloem, is a layer of meristem or active formative tissue known as cambium. By the formation of a layer of cambium between the bundles, a complete ring is formed, a regular periodical increase in thickness results from the development of xylem on the inside and phloem on the outside; the soft phloem becomes crushed, but the hard wood persists and forms the bulk of the stem and branches of the woody perennial. Owing to differences in the character of the elements produced at the beginning and end of the season, the wood is marked out in transverse section into concentric rings, one for each season of growth, called annual rings.
Among the monocotyledons, the bundles are more numerous in the young stem and are scattered through the ground tissue. They once formed the stem increases in diameter only in exceptional cases; the characteristic feature of angiosperms is the flower. Flowers show remarkable variation in form and elaboration, provide the most trustworthy external characteristics for establishing relationships among angiosperm species; the function of the flower is to ensure fertilization of the ovule and development of fruit containing seeds. The floral apparatus may arise terminally from the axil of a leaf; as in violets, a flower arises singly in the axil of an ordinary foliage-leaf. More the flower-bearing portion of the plant is distinguished from the foliage-bearing or vegetative portion, forms a more or less elaborate branch-system called an inflorescence. There are two kinds of reproductive cells produced by flowers. Microspores, which will divide to become pollen grains, are the "male" cells and are borne in the stamens.
The "female" cells called megaspores, which will divide to become the egg cell, are contained in the ovule and enclosed in the carpel. The flower may consist only of these parts, as in willow, where each flower comprises only a few stamens or two carpels. Other structures are present and serve to protect the sporophylls and to form an envelope attractive to pollinators; the individual members of these surrounding structures are known as petals. The outer series is green and leaf-like, functions to protect the rest of the flower the bud; the inner series is, in general, white or brightly colored, is more delicate in structure. It functions to attract bird pollinators. Attraction is effected by color and nectar, which may be secreted in some part of the flower; the characteristics that attract pollinators account for the popularity of flowers and flowering plants among humans. While the majority of flowers are perfect or hermaphrodite, flowering plants have developed numerous morphological and physiological mechanisms to reduce or prevent self-fertilization.
Heteromorphic flowers have short carpels and long stamens, or vice versa, so animal pollinators cannot transfer pollen to the pistil. Homomorphic flowers may employ a biochemical mechanism called self-incompatibility to discriminate between self and non-self pollen grains. In other species, the male and female parts are morphologically separated, developing on different flowers; the botanical term "Angiosperm", from the Ancient Greek αγγείον, angeíon and σπέρμα, was coined in the form Angiospermae by Paul Hermann in 1690, as the name of one of his primary divisions of the plant kingdom. This included flowering plants possessing seeds enclosed in capsules, distinguished from his Gymnospermae, or flowering plants with achenial or schizo-carpic fruits, the whole fruit or each of its pieces being here regarded as a seed and naked; the term and its antonym were maintained by Carl Linnaeus with the same sense, but with restricted application, in the names of the orders of his class Didynamia. Its use with any
Timeline of the history of Gibraltar
The history of Gibraltar portrays how The Rock gained an importance and a reputation far exceeding its size and shaping the people who came to reside here over the centuries. Evidence of hominid inhabitation of the Rock dates back to the Neanderthals. A Neanderthal skull was discovered in Forbes' Quarry in 1848, prior to the "original" discovery in the Neander Valley. In 1926, the skull of a Neanderthal child was found in Devil's Tower. Mousterian deposits found at Gorham's Cave, which are associated with Neanderthals in Europe, have been dated to as as 28,000 to 24,000 BP, leading to suggestions that Gibraltar was one of the last places of Neanderthal habitation. Modern humans visited the Gibraltar area in prehistoric times after the Neanderthal occupancy. While the rest of Europe was cooling, the area around Gibraltar back resembled a European Serengeti. Leopards, lynxes and bears lived among wild cattle, deer, ibexes and rhinos – all surrounded by olive trees and stone pines, with partridges and ducks overhead, tortoises in the underbrush and mussels and other shellfish in the waters.
Clive Finlayson, evolutionary biologist at the Gibraltar Museum said "this natural richness of wildlife and plants in the nearby sandy plains, shrublands, wetlands and coastline helped the Neanderthals to persist." Evidence at the cave shows the Neanderthals of Gibraltar used it as a shelter "for 100,000 years." Cro-Magnon man took over Gibraltar around 24,000 BCE. The Phoenicians are known to have visited the Rock circa 950 BC and named the Rock "Calpe"; the Carthaginians visited. However, neither group appears to have settled permanently. Plato refers to Gibraltar as one of the Pillars of Hercules along with Jebel Musa or Monte Hacho on the other side of the Strait; the Romans visited Gibraltar. Following the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Gibraltar was occupied by the Vandals and the Goths kingdoms; the Vandals did not remain for long although the Visigoths remained on the Iberian peninsula from 414 to 711. The Gibraltar area and the rest of the South Iberian Peninsula was part of the Byzantine Empire during the second part of the 6th century reverting to the Visigoth Kingdom.
711 30 April – The Umayyad general Tariq ibn Ziyad, leading a Berber-dominated army, sailed across the Strait from Ceuta. He first failed. Upon his failure, he landed undetected at the southern point of the Rock from present-day Morocco in his quest for Spain, it was here. Coming from the Arabian words Gabal-Al-Tariq. Little was built during the first four centuries of Moorish control. 1160 – The Almohad Sultan Abd al-Mu'min ordered that a permanent settlement, including a castle, be built. It received the name of Medinat al-Fath. On completion of the works in the town, the Sultan crossed the Strait to inspect the works and stayed in Gibraltar for two months; the Tower of Homage of the castle remains standing today. 1231 – After the collapse of the Almohad Empire, Gibraltar was taken by Ibn Hud, Taifa emir of Murcia. 1237 – Following the death of Ibn Hud, his domains were handed over to Muhammad ibn al-Ahmar, the founder of the Nasrid kingdom of Granada. Therefore, Gibraltar changed hands again. 1274 – The second Nasrid king, Muhammed II al-Faqih, gave Gibraltar over to the Marinids, as payment for their help against the Christian kingdoms.
1309 – While the King Ferdinand IV of Castile laid siege on Algeciras, Alonso Pérez de Guzmán was sent to capture the town. This was the First Siege of Gibraltar; the Castilians took the Upper Rock from. The garrison surrendered after one month. Gibraltar had about 1,500 inhabitants. 1310 31 January – Gibraltar was granted its first Charter by the king Ferdinand IV of Castile. Being considered a high risk town, the charter included incentives to settle there such as the offering of freedom from justice to anyone who lived in Gibraltar for one year and one day; this fact marked the establishment of the Gibraltar council.1316 – Gibraltar was unsuccessfully besieged by the Nasrid caid Yahya. 1333 June – A Marinid army, led by Abd al-Malik, the son of Abul Hassan, the Marinid sultan, recovered Gibraltar, after a five-month siege. King Alfonso XI of Castile attempted to retake Gibraltar aided by the fleet of the Castilian Admiral Alonso Jofre Tenorio. A ditch was dug across the isthmus. While laying the siege, the king was attacked by a Nasrid army from Granada.
Therefore, the siege ended in a truce, allowing the Marinids to keep Gibraltar.1344 March – After the two-year Siege of Algeciras, Algeciras was taken over by the Castilian forces. Therefore, Gibraltar became the main Marinid port in the Iberian Peninsula. During the siege, Gibraltar played a key role as the supply base of the besieged. 1349 – Gibraltar was unsuccessfully besieged by the Castilian forces led by the king Alfonso XI. 1350 – The siege was resumed by Alfonso XI. It was again unsuccessful due to the arrival of the Black Death, which decimated the besiegers, causing the death of the king. 1369 – As the Civil War in Castile came to an end, with the murder of king Peter I by the pretender Henry, the Nasrid king of Granada, Muhammad V, former ally of Peter, took over Algeciras after the 3-day Siege of Algeciras. Ten years the city was razed out to the ground, its harbour made unusable; this fact increased again the importance of Gibraltar, yet in Marinid hands, i
Great Siege of Gibraltar
The Great Siege of Gibraltar was an unsuccessful attempt by Spain and France to capture Gibraltar from the British during the American War of Independence. The British garrison under George Augustus Eliott were blockaded from June 1779 by the Spanish alone, led by Martín Álvarez de Sotomayor; the blockade failed because two relief convoys entered unmolested—the first under Admiral George Rodney in 1780 and the second under Admiral George Darby in 1781—despite the presence of the Spanish fleets. The same year, a major assault was planned by the Spanish, but the Gibraltar garrison sortied in November and destroyed much of the forward batteries. With the siege going nowhere and constant Spanish failures, the besiegers were reinforced by French forces under de Crillon, who took over command in early 1782. After a lull in the siege, during which the allied force gathered more guns and troops, a "Grand Assault" was launched on 18 September 1782; this involved huge numbers—60,000 men, 49 ships of the line and ten specially designed, newly invented floating batteries—against the 5,000 defenders.
The assault was a disastrous failure. The siege settled down again to more of a blockade, but the final defeat for the allies came when a crucial British relief convoy under Admiral Richard Howe slipped through the blockading fleet and arrived at the garrison in October 1782; the siege was lifted on 7 February 1783 and was a decisive victory for the British forces, being a vital factor in the Peace of Paris, negotiated towards the end of the siege. This was the largest action fought during the war in terms of numbers the "Grand Assault". At three years and seven months, it is the longest siege endured by the British Armed Forces and one of the longest sieges in history. In 1738 a dispute between Spain and Great Britain arose over commerce between Europe and the Americas. Both sides intended to sign an agreement at the Spanish Royal Palace of El Pardo, but in January of the following year, the British Parliament rejected the advice of Foreign Minister Robert Walpole, a supporter of the agreement with Spain.
A short time the War of Jenkins' Ear began, both countries declared war on 23 October 1739, each side drawing up plans to establish trenches near Gibraltar. Seeing these first movements, Britain ordered Admiral Vernon to sail from Portobello and strengthen the squadron of Admiral Haddock, stationed in the Bay of Gibraltar; the passage of years failed to break the hostilities in the region. On 9 July 1746, King Philip V of Spain died in Madrid, his successor, Ferdinand VI, soon began negotiations with Britain on trade. The British Parliament was amenable to such negotiations, looked favourably upon lifting the British embargo on Spain and ceding Gibraltar; the neutrality adopted by Ferdinand VI ended with his death in 1759. The new king, Charles III, was less willing to negotiate with Great Britain. Instead, he signed a Family Compact with Louis XV of France on 15 August 1761. At that time France was at war with Britain, so Britain responded by declaring war on Spain and capturing the Spanish colonial capitals of Manila and Havana.
Two years after cessation of hostilities, Spain recovered Manila and Havana in exchange for Spanish holdings in Florida as part of the 1763 Treaty of Paris. In the years of peace that followed both France and Spain hoped for an opportunity to launch a war against Britain on more favourable terms and recover their lost colonial possessions. Following the outbreak of the American War of Independence, both states supplied funding and arms to the American rebels, drew up a strategy to intervene on the American side and defeat Britain. In October 1778 France entered the war and on 12 April 1779, both France and Spain signed the Treaty of Aranjuez wherein they agreed to aid one another in recovering lost territory from Britain. France and Spain sought to secure Gibraltar, a key link in Britain's control of the Mediterranean Sea, expected its capture to be quick—a precursor to a Franco-Spanish invasion of Great Britain; the Spanish blockade was to be directed by Martín Álvarez de Sotomayor. Spanish ground forces were composed of 16 infantry battalions, which included the Royal Guards and the Walloon Guards, along with artillery and 12 squadrons of cavalry.
This yielded a total of about 14,000 men in all. The artillery was commanded by Rudesindo Tilly, while the cavalry and the French dragoons were headed by the Marquis of Arellano. Antonio Barceló commanded the maritime forces responsible for blockading the bay, he established his base with a fleet of several xebecs and gunboats. A fleet of 11 ships of the line and two frigates were placed in the Gulf of Cadiz under the command of Luis de Córdova y Córdova to block the passage of British reinforcements; the British garrison in 1778 consisted of 5,382 soldiers. All the defences were strengthened; the most prominent new work was the King's Bastion designed by Sir William Green and built by the Soldier Artificer Company on the main waterfront of the town in Gibraltar. The King's Bastion comprised a stone battery holding 26 heavy guns and mortars, with barracks and casemates to house a full battalion of foot; the Grand Battery protected the Land Port Gate, the main entrance to Gibraltar from the isthmus connecting to the Spanish mainland.
Other fortifications and batteries crowded on the Rock. Eliott began a programme of increasin