The People of Gibraltar
1725 - Whoring and Other Innocent Debaucheries

Holroide and William Hayle - Jacks and Daniel Defoe
Clayton and Renault - John Braithwaite and John Russell
Jezreel Jones and Lord Portmore - Abraham Benidir and Arbaro Fordefelas
Peter Simons and Captain Fountain - Shrimpton and Childley
Mrs Malhone and Charles Wagner - Don Alonzo and Teresa de la Capela
Gianbattista Sturla and John Noble - Richard Kane and Robert Johnson
Major Hetherington and Stanhope Cotton
By 1725 there were close to 1000 Catholics and Jews living on the Rock but only 300 of these were women. As regards the non-military British there were about 100 split evenly between males and females. Various questions arise from these figures. Why was there such an imbalance of the sexes in the local population and who were these non-military British residents?


Contemporary map of the Rock of Gibraltar (Jean Covens and Corneille Mortier) LINK

The proportionally lower number of women suggests that even though Gibraltar was a good bet as regards earning a living it was not yet everybody’s choice as the ideal place to bring up a family. In fact the bulk of the female population in 1725 was probably composed of Spanish women who had remained behind after the capitulation and several more recent arrivals, especially from Spain.  Many would not necessarily have been married and may have been attracted by the possibility of gaining employment as servants to some of the officers of the garrison and the richer local merchants.
As regards the British population, a small number were undoubtedly tradesmen drawn to Gibraltar for economic reasons, such as Messrs. Holroide, Hayle, Jacks and others but it is almost certain that some of the 50 or so males were soldiers who had finished their time in the army and had decided to retire there rather than move back to Britain. They were in effect the original ‘Rock Scorpions’. They may not exactly have fallen in love with Gibraltar but at least they knew it well. As regards the British women many were prostitutes.
Whatever the economic advantages of living on the Rock, the civilian population still found it heavy going more than a quarter of a century after the takeover. The garrison was bored. It didn’t really want to be there at all and the easiest way to pass the time was to get drunk. In fact drunkenness among the soldiers was so common during the first decades that it could not be dealt with via the usual court-martial procedures. To solve the problem the army developed a merciless passion for flogging. Fortress standing orders made it clear that anybody drunk on duty would be marched as a prisoner to the Grand Parade where the ‘Drum Major’ would take the ‘cat out to exercise’. The sound of the lash was a daily occurrence.
It began with the unfortunate soldier being stripped to the waist and his hands tied to the top of the so-called Whipping Post. Watched by a Drum Major, four soldiers then took it turns to flog the prisoner each giving him twenty five lashes. The ‘cat’, of course was the well known cat-o’-nine tails and sentences which required their use invariably ended with the words ‘to be pickled,’ which meant that the salt was to be rubbed into the wounds inflicted by the flogging – the source of the commonly used present day cliché.
Each tail apparently counted for a lash so one stroke of the cat would count for nine lashes. The Drum Major had to be satisfied that the soldier – always a drummer - was flogging the prisoner as hard as he could. If he wasn’t then the ‘corrector was himself corrected.’ The connection between drummers and flogging was because in the army – unlike the navy - the ‘cat’ was made of a drumstick with attached strings.
Common penalties usually involved a couple of hundred or so lashes but one soldier is reported to have been sentenced to 12 600 lashes for slaughtering and skinning his colonel’s horse. He would probably have got a less severe sentence for killing the horse but the skinning was more than the good colonel could bear. Another Gibraltar soldier was reputed to hold the British record for the number of lashes received over a period of 15 years. He received and managed to survive no fewer than 30 000.
Soldiers were not the only ones subjected to arbitrary flogging. According to an anonymous diarist, there was a ‘gentlewoman that was kept by a pretty fellow in town.’ It turned out that the ‘fellow’ was a footman who wanted to marry his ‘gentlewoman and asked his Commanding officer permission to do so. The response was to be sent to the ‘black hole’ for the night and then ‘for breakfast to receive a hundred lashes for presuming to wed a lady who bore so good a reputation.’ The story has a happy ending as the footman persisted in his request despite the punishment and was eventually allowed to marry his lover.
There was also another equally brutal punishment known as running the gantlet, or gantlope which was reserved for the common soldiers rather than civilians. This entailed being forced to run between lines of troops using willow switches to flail the condemned soldier. It was a common sentence for crimes like barrack-room theft, where vindictive men could be relied on to be merciless. Ironically the authorities – who thoroughly approved of such disciplinary actions – were obliged to stop ‘running the gantlet’ in Gibraltar because the Rock was being stripped of willows.


 
Late seventeenth century engraving showing some poor individual running the guantlet- French style  (N. Gueraud)

After all these sadistic punishments, hanging must have seemed like a release. But even this was sometimes not enough. After their sentences were carried out, thieves were often hung upside down by their heels and left overnight so that they would be visible the next morning. Their bodies were then thrown over the Line Wall and into the sea - and just left there.
Deserters were hanged with extraordinary casualness as can be gleaned from the diary of a contemporary witness: 
Last night a deserter clambered up within a little of Willis’s battery and was assisted by a ladder of ropes by our men. When the officers came to examine his face, they found him to have deserted out of the Royal Irish two months ago. Asking the reason of his return, he said he chose rather to be hanged than continue in the Spanish service so is to have his choice.’ On another occasion: ‘Will Garen, who broke his back, was hanged.
Daniel Defoe ( see LINK ) visited the Rock during this period as some sort of correspondent for a publisher back in London. In his Impartial Account of the Late Siege of Gibraltar he confirms that the lack of respect of the military towards their own soldiers was commonplace and was just as marked with regards to the non-British population It seems that several local Jews and Moors all originally from Tetuan were accused of hatching a plot that would allow them to take possession of one of the main gates and open these to the Spaniards. Found guilty the two Moorish ringleaders were executed and their skins were nailed to the very gates that they had intended to betray. 

According to Defoe: 
They appeared in the same proportion as when alive and being large gigantic fellows, as the Moors in general are, were horrid ghastly spectacles. Nature had sent them into the world with their hides tanned so that the heat of the sun, which is very intense at Gibraltar, could add but little to their original dusk, but it had so hardened them, that they soon seemed equally solid with the gates themselve. After the siege they were much lessened by the curiosity of the people, who cut a great many pieces of them to bring to England, one of which, to gratify our readers, may be seen at Mr Warner's, the publisher of this treatise.
The British historian Ernle Bradford makes the ironic comment that as a publisher’s advertising device ‘the skin of a Moor’ seemed an ‘agreeable’ novelty. At least we can only hope he was being ironic.
In 1727 the hypothesis that history is simply a record of wars interrupted by short intervals of peace was confirmed by Philip V of Spain who instigated an ill-considered armed assault on the Rock from Ceuta. An army of 20 000 mercenaries fired 14 000 cannon balls at the Rock in four days and their guns, much to the delight of the British, were ruined through over use in the hot Andalucian sun. Their delight was tempered by the fact that their own ordinance was of equally poor quality. The assault failed.
The bombardment of Gibraltar by the Spanish during the 13th Siege (Unknown)

Despite their lack of success the Spaniards were soon back. By February, the 13th Siege of Gibraltar had begun. The Conde de la Torre assembled another large force and surrounded the Rock. During this engagement the chances of being killed by one's own guns were as great as of being hit by enemy fire. As had been evident from previous skirmishes over-used cannons tended to burst through overheating. Nevertheless the siege was known as a 'Gunner's war' and the Old Town, Villa Vieja, was reduced to ruin by bombardment. It was later cleared and given over to a new square, which was called The Esplanade.


 A curious map of Gibraltar dated 1727. 
The old town, Villa Vieja, is still standing and the plan of La Barcina does not correspond with what one would expect   (Guillaume Dane)

Another remarkable feature of this curious siege seems to have been the number of deserters from the Spanish side. In some histories the word ‘Spanish’ is used to describe these deserters but in fact few of them were. The reason was that about half the Spanish battalions were made up of foreign infantry and included Irish, Belgians, Walloons, French, Savoyards, Neapolitans, and Swiss mercenaries among others.

 
1727 plans for proposed guard houses and 'garitas' for the Spanish lines. They were supposed to hinder smuggling and make it difficult for deserters. They proved useless on both counts 
 (Antonio Montaigu de la Perille)     


A rare map commissioned by the Admiralty that shows the guard houses and 'garitas' shown in the previous picture stretching across the isthmus. As mentioned on the map the huts were built 'after the cessation of arms'  ( 1744 - R.Erskine and G. Knowles)   

Spanish view of the Rock in 1727 probably drawn before the start of the siege  ( Unknown )

One reason for the surprising success of attracting deserters into a besieged town was that the Governor encouraged this to happen by giving them a considerable amount of money and then sending them off on ‘sailors’ pay on board one of His Majesty’s ships.’ Desertion, however, became more of a problem to the British side after the Siege had ended. So much so that the Governor was forced to offer ten pounds to any soldier and two moidores to any civilian Genoese bringing in a deserter dead or alive.’
The Spaniards apparently never fought in the afternoon and were quite casual as regards civilian visitors. Any English nobleman who happened to be in Spain at the time was allowed to inspect the Spanish lines and watch the soldiers fire their cannons against his own countrymen. Only one historian seems to have been bothered to mention civilian casualties and even he lumps them together with the rank and file – nearly 400 killed and over a thousand injured.  It was more civilised than modern total war but still quite lethal.

 German engraving of the 13th Siege of Gibraltar. The tall ships are British. the smaller oared vessels are Spanish. In other words the navy of the besieged seems to be able to fire at will at the army of the besiegers 

Defoe has left us a humorous account of what is normally a rather macabre event; the burial of the dead. According to Defoe dead soldiers and civilians alike were buried very quickly in order to prevent the bodies becoming ‘offensive and infectious.’ 
Those that died in the morning were buried in the evening, those that died in the evening were buried in the morning and the same proportion of time was generally observed for the rest.
The burial of one of Colonel Clayton’s men who had fallen off one of the bastions followed a similar ritual as the rest. They wrapped the corpse in cloth and ‘had him away to the sands,’ a reference to the red sands area outside the Southport Gates. A minute or so after the burial they heard a grumbling noise. The soldier was alive. They immediately hoisted him up, revived him and took him back to the hospital. He lasted twenty-four hours after which they lugged him back to ‘his former apartment and heard no more of him.’
This was by no means a unique case of premature burial. On more than one occasion people were saved from being buried alive because by pure luck somebody standing by noticed a slight movement.  Defoe in fact seems to have taken considerable pleasure in recording the details of the dead and the dying during the siege. 

There was the volunteer called Renault, for example. Over a long period of time he had managed ‘to escape death from his country’s enemies’, only to find himself in a monumental depression which he found impossible to get out of no matter how much he tried. One day he spent all his money on wine and became so drunk and good humoured that nobody expected him to follow it up by retiring to his chambers and shooting himself, which is what he did.


Semi-contemporary fantasy engraving of the Port of Gibraltar which bears no relationship whatsoever to reality  ( Chez Daumon t)  
Despite the carnage quite a few of the locals managed to make quite a lot of money. One particularly irritating example from the point of view of the British military was the fact that the coins in usage at the time were not milled. This allowed many Jewish traders to clip them. It was said that for many years after the war the Moors were never to be seen anywhere without a small pair of scales in their pockets so as to check the weight of any coins they received from Jewish traders. Both Jews and Moors were also accused of ‘exchanging good money for bad’ by which was meant that they swindled soldiers and seamen by giving them atrociously poor rates of exchange for the various coins in circulation.


Despite the relative obscurity of the 13th Siege of Gibraltar, there are innumerable maps and engravings commemorating the event. Here is a fanciful Dutch representation
Various other incidents suggest an overall lack of enthusiasm for the war. According to local records no action was taken when British ships were suspected of trading with the enemy. These were probably locally owned boats making a bit of money on the side. Certain women of note in the Garrison were ‘taken and committed to custody on suspicion of holding a correspondence with the enemy.’ As the letters used as evidence were signed by their servants this was found to be a good enough excuse to simply dismiss the servants and caution their mistresses.
In 1728 a certain John Braithwaite wrote a history of his previous year’s experiences in the Kingdom of Morocco. Braithwaite was the epitome of the dashing British adventurer. He served in both the British Army and the Royal Navy and took part in various engagements, travelling through France, Spain, Germany and Holland. He was once placed in charge of an expedition to St Lucia and St Vincent and then travelled to Africa where he wrote an account of his long journey through the Gold Coast. He ended his career as Chief Merchant and Governor of Cape-Coast Castle in Ghana.
British Cape-Coast Castle in Ghana. The second largest slave trading post in the world during the 18th century.
Well before that, he happened to be in Lisbon when he heard that Gibraltar was in trouble. He set sail immediately on a British man-of-War and had the honour of being 'the first gentleman to enter that fortress as a volunteer.’  He seemed determined not to miss out on whatever fun could be had out of the Thirteenth Siege of Gibraltar.
Shortly after he arrived, John Russell the new consul to Morocco joined him on the Rock.  Armed with presents and letters of introduction from both London and the Governor of Gibraltar they promptly set off for Tetuan to negotiate with the local Pasha.
After Utrecht when relations with Spain were poorer than ever, the British authorities had turned their minds towards the possibilities of actually improving the town’s fortifications. They discovered an unforeseen problem: bastions and batteries were made of stone and wood and although Gibraltar was practically made of the former it had a serious shortage of the later. The usual place to get wood was Spain but unfortunately the land frontier was closed. There was of course one obvious alternative and that was Barbary. Russell was instructed to find out whether Barbary might be the solution to all their problems.
Russell had also previously informed the treasury in London that Pasha Hamet had ‘signified by letter that it was a good time to enter on the journey’ so as to ‘redeem the King’s subjects held in captivity’ in Mequinez. They gave him £200 to do so.
Braithwaite and Russell were following in Jezreel Jones footsteps.  The Moors were themselves involved in some internal trouble after the death of the Emperor Muley Ishmael and every Pasha in the Barbary Coast was anxious to obtain gunpowder for his troops. In fact the Pasha of Tangier had just ordered the Jews living in his town to write to their Jewish counterparts in Gibraltar and warn them that if they dared to furnish his rival in Tangier with powder he would personally supervise the massacre of all the Jews in town.
Tangier just before the taking of Gibraltar in 1704 ( J. Oliver )  

Braithwaite and Russell soon found out that the divisions which existed between the Moors were to their advantage. They were able to play one faction against the other by ‘industriously courting their friendship’ which in turn allowed ‘Lord Portmore and Brigadier Clayton to make their proper uses of it.’ One doubts whether Lord Portmore actually had anything to do with it but somebody with authority in Gibraltar had authorised Braithwaite and Russell to provide the pasha with whatever he required in exchange for fascines, pickets and gabions.
For those not fully conversant with the minutiae of military engineering in the 18th century these three items are essential requirements in the construction of fortifications. Pickets are thick wooden poles, fascines are essentially bundles of brushwood and gabions are cylindrical hampers made of basketwork which can be filled with earth.
Fascines, gabbions - and claies - the last one is similatr to a picket.

When one considers that the pasha’s income was more or less dependent on what he could get from trade with Gibraltar the outcome was a foregone conclusion. Trading arrangements were made and the emissaries got their fascines, pickets and gabions in exchange for gunpowder and ammunition. Interestingly during the negotiations use was made of one Abraham Benidir, (see LINK) originally from Tetuan but then a resident of Gibraltar. 

He had become persona non-grata in his home town because of his close connections with the local pasha who had been thrown out for his many excesses by the people of Tetuan. As an interpreter to the Moorish ambassador to England - a certain ‘Mr. Aboggly’ - he had ‘learned English to great perfection’ and had previously proved quite useful to the Garrison.

Moroccan Ambassador in England Abghali  - aka ’Mr. Aboggly’
An indirect consequence of these negotiations and other peace treaties (see LINK) made between Britain and Morocco was that despite the obvious incentives, Moorish traders continued to refuse to settle in Gibraltar. The reason was that Pashas were able to demand the return of any of their countrymen who had happened to annoy them for one reason or the other. Moors who fled to Gibraltar to avoid reprisals by one faction would also find that the authorities in Gibraltar had no compunction in sending them back to a certain death. Moorish political exiles therefore looked elsewhere for refuge.
When Braithwaite finally returned to Gibraltar he did so in the company of several people that he had rescued from the Moors including two from Gibraltar, Arbaro Fordefelas and a Genoese with the unlikely name of Peter Simons. He also took back chickens, eggs and corn as he had been moved by the fact that the news from Gibraltar was ‘the same tiresome uncertainty’ and that his friends were eating very ‘poorly’. The 13th Siege was taking its toll.
He was also able to congratulate himself as without the arrangements that he and his consul friend had brought about, the sick of the garrison would have had serious problems since the new military hospital in Gibraltar was totally dependent on Tetuan for the ‘broths and nourishments’ that they required. As an aside, the hospital had cost £5000 to build of which rather inappropriately the largest single item was a loan of £1700 to the newly appointed director.
Braithwaite’s history also reveals a rather unlikely bit of information about the climate of Gibraltar: the troops found it very cold. During his stay there a certain Captain Fountain was specifically ordered to obtain firewood for the garrison. It confirmed the thinking behind Governor Shrimpton’s unusual request to London some twenty years earlier. He had asked that one of the ships which were supposed to be bringing food be laden instead with coal. 
The garrison being in so great a want that they would be reduced to pulling down the houses left there for firing.
An extract from the journal of somebody who was stationed on the Rock at the time also illustrates the brutal nature of life on the Rock and the extraordinarily bad discipline of the garrison. 

'Here’ - he wrote in a lull between one cannonade and another :
 . . is nothing to do nor any news, all things being dormant and in suspense, with the harmless diversions of drinking, dancing, revelling, whoring, gaming and other innocent debaucheries to pass the time—and really, to speak my own opinion I think and believe that Sodom and Gomorrah were not half so wicked and profane as this worthy city and garrison of Gibraltar.
Bored with generalizations, excellent though they were, the writer turned his attention to more specific matters such as:
. . .a poor lady, by name Childley, confined to the black hole or dungeon for the space of a night but next day to make her amends for lack of company she was most formally connected to a pretty wheel or Whirligig in the form of a bird- cage for better air.
The Whirligig, which was also known as the Whirl Gig or even the Pritty Whim, was a cage-like contraption in the form of a tube, large enough to fit one person and suspended on a couple of swivels at the top and bottom.  The offender was placed inside and the cage spun round at great speed by a couple of soldiers for a set period of time. The result was that the person became very giddy and extremely sick. A certain Mrs Malhone would have been able to confirm this. She ‘was committed for proper reasons to the whirligig during two hours. It gave great pleasure to the spectators.’
The Whirligig - from a drawing by local historian, George Palao
The arbitrary nature of some of these punishments is underlined by the following passage. ‘This being our annual thanksgiving for our delivery from Popish Gunpowder and having no other diversion, a lady for cheating the sick men of necessities of life and some other liberties and indecencies was put into the before mentioned whirligig.’  Having recorded the underlying insult to the Catholic population the diarist then proceeded to do the same for the Jewish. ‘A young Jew was circumcised in the presence of all the great officers and gave them good diversion.’
Whirligigs were usually in more or less constant use at the bottom of a winding road known as City Mill Lane. The kind of punishment dished out by this contraption was usually reserved for women, especially prostitutes although there were other ways in which these poor ladies were dealt with.

21st Century City Mill Lane
During the eighteenth century - and for quite a few years after this - it was the opinion of the top brass of the British military establishment that prostitution was something that had to be put up with. The assumption was that the lower ranks of the army and the navy were of low intellectual ability yet highly sexed: they needed to release their frustrations at regular intervals if moral were not to suffer. In other words what these randy individuals needed were brothels, and British garrisons and ports all over the world inevitably ended up having an appropriate number of these with sufficient women to service the men. Gibraltar was no exception.
What was rarely acknowledged but was nevertheless an observable fact was that officers of just about any rank were quite as likely to make use of the same facilities and women as did the lowly soldiers under their command. Something also worth acknowledging is that all the women mentioned by the literature as having been punished for various transgressions had English surnames. It seems that at least from 1704 right through to the early 1730s none of the local female inhabitants were tempted to earn an easy living at this ancient trade.
The inference is that in Gibraltar at any rate, prostitutes seem to have been recruited from Britain. In 1727 a diarist tells us that he can tell that the Gunner’s War is approaching its final days because of some excellent news he has just heard.  A ship from Ireland ‘laden with women from whom comes great numbers of necessary evils’’ was about to arrive in port: a week later on St. Patrick’s Day, the ‘Shambruks celebrated their feast-day in a ‘stately drunken manner.’
From all this, one can gather that prostitutes were never punished for pursuing their trade but rather from misdemeanours such as theft, for being drunk and disorderly or simply creating a nuisance of themselves - and for these the Whirligig was quite adequate. But it was by no means the only method of punishment on offer in Gibraltar.  It can also be given as a certainty that the apparently sadistic psyche of the 18th century British military establishment was by no means unique to them. Heaven knows what the French and Spanish soldier or colonial native had to put up with. But Gibraltar was definitely up there with the best of them.
The hub of much of this cult of violent punishment invariably took place in a pleasant square in the middle of town half way up Main Street.  Its original Spanish name had been the Alameda, which the British changed to the Portuguese version of Almeida not for any particular fondness for the language but simply because they found Alameda too difficult to pronounce. They finally got rid of the problem altogether by renaming it the Grand Parade.
On the west side stood the Spanish Church of Nuestra Señora de las Misericordias, the southern section of which had been converted into a debtors prison, no doubt as a result of Mr. William Hayle’s petition to London. The east side of the square was open to the Main Street but in the middle of the southern side stood the guard house where the soldiers on guard duty gathered every morning and from which they were ordered to move to whatever place they were required to guard that day. 

Just beside it and close to the prison were the punishment cells which were known as either the Dungeon or the Black Hole. Records exist of a ‘lady’ spending a night and a day here in 1726 before being obliged to take the Whirligig. The reason for her punishment was because of her ‘too frequent bestowing of her other favours’ - whatever that might mean.
Right in front of the guard house stood the pillory. In 1727 the ‘wife’ of a soldier was pinioned to it for some unknown offence which was almost certainly to do with some problem arising from prostitution. Here she was made to sit on a stone with an iron bar supporting her back. Her neck was the placed inside a collar also made of iron and attached to the bar by means of a chain. Meanwhile her hands were fastened to rings on either side of the stone. A card with details of her offence was hung around her neck. 
The Pillory – From a drawing by local historian George Palao
Some of these women were recorded as having committed murder for which of course they were dealt with in a far harsher manner. Funnily enough they were not always hanged as one might have expected but given an almost impossible number of lashes over perhaps a period of a days. The poor women were then drummed out of the garrison with a rope around their necks and left outside Waterport  gates where they were usually taken aboard any ship that happened to be in the vicinity and made to ‘work’ for the captain.
It was under this heavy cloud of casual brutality and anarchic administration that the Gunner’s war took place. Militarily and politically it was just one more of a series of rather similar events. From a social history perspective it seems to set the scene for the continuation of many of the excesses that the local population would be forced to suffer in the future. Whatever small improvements might have accrued over the twenty odd years since the takeover disappeared almost overnight.
It was also a war where black humour and sheer absurdity was a common place. For a start the chances of being killed by one’s own guns were just as great as being hit by enemy fire.  A diarist of the siege tells us of a bizarre mischance; a soldier who had lit a match unthinkingly threw it behind him. 

It fell on the ‘vent of a mortar’ which shot him through the body. On another occasion another soldier, ‘not three minutes on his post, must be peeping over the wall at the Princes Line’s. His curiosity cost him his head which a cannon ball made bold to carry off his shoulders.’ Another ‘missing gentleman’ was blown off his post and ‘paid the Governor’s cook a visit, but did not make him any further compliment than to put him in mind of his own memento mori.’ 

 
A rather unsophisticated Spanish proposal dated 1727 for a boat designed to allow men to scale and take the formidable bastions of Gibraltar  (Unknown)

 
A more detailed proposal using similar methods also dated 1727  (Unknown)
Some things didn’t change. People were still intent on making money. Isaac Nieto, Hargrave’s ex-secretary managed to buy himself a useful monopoly. He became the sole importer of all the food brought in from Morocco. His brother Phineas had a very close relationship with the Pasha of Tetuan and was undoubtedly an excellent intermediary to have on the Barbary side. The food incidentally had to be brought by caravan from Fez and then shipped to Gibraltar from Tetuan. It must have taken some organisation to ensure supplies were delivered on time.


This map may be dated 1750 but it refers to Gibraltar during the Gunner's War. The area in front of the 'Huerta de las Gazieras'  is depicted as a garden of citrus fruit trees containing several windmills as well as a fountain which was used by the Spaniards to supply their warships with water - a pleasant place out of bounds to people living in Gibraltar.
The reference to Admiral Wager is also interesting. During the blockade  the British admiral was prone to order his ships  to patrol what he called 'the other side of the hill'. The idea was to engage the Spanish batteries so as to allow ships from Barbary with resupplies of food for the Rock to land near the Devil's Tower 
( Guillaume-Nicolas De la Haye )   

 Admiral Sir Charles Wagner the man in charge of the fleet during the blockade.
In 1704, Wager was with the fleet under Rooke that captured Gibraltar. He once dined with Samuel Pepys, who wrote in his diary  " a brave, stout fellow this Captain and I think very honest"   ( Thomas Gibson )

This time there was no question of the resident Spaniards leaving of their own accord. Quite a few of them were thrown out of town and as a consequence their houses were put up for sale. A record of the sale of properties owned by Spaniards from 1726 to 1727 shows that the people who bought them were almost all British Officers and that many of the Spaniards who had decided to leave were those who had originally opted to stay. One Spanish name that strikes a chord is Teresa de la Capela. She was the daughter of Don Alonzo, once the one and only local judge who was now either dead or had lost his lucrative job.
Another long established inhabitant who found himself out of work was the previously mentioned Genoese consul Gianbattista Sturla. (See LINK) Just about at the time the war began a letter appeared in in the Consul’s office in Tetuan making fun of the British war effort. Most of it referred to some ill-conceived plan to invade Algeciras. 

 
Isla de Algeciras in 1734 . Just behind the island, the town of Algeciras itself was only 30 years old at the time. Its population was made up almost entirely of people who had left the Rock after the exodus  ( Juan de Subreville )     

It was not a particularly earth-shattering revelation but Portmore was absolutely furious. He threw Sturla out of Gibraltar. Much later it was discovered that the actual originator of the letter had been John Noble, Sturla’s English secretary. Clayton, who was then Governor, invited him to return presumably on the grounds that the ex-consul was a man he knew he could do business with. Sturla refused.


 Engraving of Algeciras. Despite the title, Algeciras was not a ruin. The houses in front of the island and shown on the middle right hand section are probably part of the town itself   ( 1728 - John Durant Breval )    ( see LINK
Despite the previous engraving showing Algeciras as a ruin, this 1727 map  suggests that at the time the town was about the same size as that of Gibraltar   
The man who was actually responsible for much of what was going on in Gibraltar at the time, however, was Brigadier General Richard Kane, ex-governor of Minorca in 1712 and of the Rock in 1721. He had been personally asked to take over by George I in order to strengthen Gibraltar’s defences. London had finally woken up to the fact that they were not up to scratch and would be unable to cope with any concerted effort by the Spainish. In 1720 just before Kane arrived, the acting Town Major, Robert Johnson made a survey of the victualling offices and civilian stores and found that there was only 14 days of provisions in the whole garrison. There was only one field officer and the whole Garrison was under the command of a Major Hetherington.  Neither Portmore nor Cotton were at their post.

Contemporary Spanish map of the Campo area ( Unknown )  

There was a certain irony in Kane’s expulsion of the Spanish population as he was also said to have recommended the setting up of a civil government for the Rock, one of the first and for over a hundred years the only military man to think in these terms. No doubt he was influenced by his successes in reforming the legal system and imposing a new constitution on Minorca in the teeth of local Roman Catholic opposition. His recommendations, in so far as Gibraltar was concerned, were never put into practice.
Kane belonged to that species of Governor of Gibraltar whom most commentators remember as decent colonial administrators devoted to the people in their care. These writers were as usual invariably English and their viewpoint might not always have coincided with that of the local population. Kane’s undoubted administrative successes in Minorca for example, depended to a large extent on his moving the capital town from Ciudadela to Mahon, a thoroughly unpopular move with the local population.
Brigadier General Richard Kane
As regards his thoughts on the civilian population of Gibraltar he is quoted as having said that 
. . .the greater number of British Protestants shall be here and the fewer foreign papists, the greatest security it would be for the garrison and the greater would be the traffic for British goods.
They were thoughts that cannot have endeared him to non-British civilians. He was also very aware of the contradiction between the provisions of the Treat of Utrecht which forbad Jews residence in Gibraltar and those of the later treaty with Morocco which allowed it. He wrote about his anxieties several times to his bosses in London who wrote back telling him that although the situation was ‘not strictly comfortable with ye Treaty’ he should just forget about it and get on with it.
The end result was that although many of the Spaniards were thrown out, the Genoese and the Jews were allowed to remain on the Rock. And quite a few of them did so. When Clayton - who eventually took over from Kane - ordered the organization of two large working parties made up of 500 men, 200 'adult male Genoese' and 100 'male Jews' ‘volunteered’ for the job. The wealthy, anticipating discomfort, took themselves off of their own accord - the Jews to the Coast of Barbary, the Protestants to England and the rest to Lisbon and Cadiz. 
One particular event which a diarist found it irresistible to report was that of the exodus and return of a Spanish lady who happened to be married to an Englishman. She left for the safety of San Roque and the diarist speculated as to ‘how she passed the time among the military of her own country,’ which he said ‘was rather guessed at than certain; however, the good natured husband received her upon her return when the siege was over, and seemed to find no fault.’
During the hostilities the locals were often dragooned into helping with the war effort mostly as ammunition carriers or as the repairers of the damage caused by the Spanish bombardment. Anticipating the cannonade, Lord Portmore also used some of the locals to un-pave and dig up most of the streets of the town. Also and according to government records it took 120 men two months to sort the military stores and carry the stuff from the main magazine to various posts elsewhere. The amount of ordinance implied by the need for such a lengthy period of work gives one a clue as to why the siege became known as a Gunners’ War.
Of the non-British population it seems that the Jews were the ones who did most of the hard work. As Daniel Defoe also wrote in his diary the Jews were ‘not a little serviceable, they wrought in the most indefatigable manner and spared no pains where they could be of any advantage either in the siege or after it.’ 

Some, however, were less enthusiastic. When a group of Jews who had evidently had enough of carrying ammunitions up or down the steep slopes of the Rock asked the Governor for permission to leave for Morocco they were disappointed. They had, insisted, the Governor, enjoyed the ‘fruits of the fortress’ when it had been at peace, it was now their duty to defend it. Just in case they hadn’t understood him he made it quite clear that if they were not prepared to help he would turn them over to the Spaniards.
Apropos, many histories of the Rock make mention of locals helping out in the various sieges and blockades suffered by the Rock over the years. One wonders just how much of this was voluntary and how much due to blackmail of one sort or the other. One interpretation offered by the historian Lorraine Madway is that in the case of the Jews, the services and supplies which they offered during the various sieges helped them achieve what no treaty could provide: an acknowledgement of the importance of their presence and perhaps even a modicum of respect for the way that some of them had handled themselves during the hostilities. The bulk of the evidence, however, does not seem to support such a point of view. 
London’s lack of enthusiasm for spending money on Gibraltar’s defences meant that Kane had to pay for these out of his own pocket – a reversal of the normal flow of money as regards Governors of Gibraltar. It meant that he was forced to enter into lengthy correspondence to justify his expenses in order to get some of the money back. Hidden among the almost incomprehensible jargon used by the British Treasury are one or two historically interesting titbits.  They show that Kane actually trusted and employed several local Genoese and used them on delicate military missions. Some were used to run despatches to Spain. Others were drafted as spies and were periodically sent ‘out of the country for intelligence’ for weeks at a time.
The minutes also record some less edifying justifications for his ‘extraordinary’ expenses. These were offered by Peter Laprimaudaye, one of his engineers. He insisted that Kane ‘kept a publik table’, that he ‘gave many entertainments to the Dutch Squadron’, and never spared himself when giving balls and parties ‘on the birthdays of the Royal Family and several other incidents.’ Kane was undoubtedly a better man that Shrimpton and the rest but he still couldn’t resist the traditional perks that went with the job.


Diagram from General Richard Kane’s ‘A New System of Military Discipline for a Battalion of Foot on Action’ the British Army’s bible in the 18th Century. It is unlikely that he was ever able to put any of it into practice while in Gibraltar.