The People of Gibraltar
1749 - Mary Ashbourn - Infamous for its Filth

Francisco Levery, and Andrew Gavino. - John Baptista and Joseph Ansaldo
Colonel Godbey and Abraham Benedir - Isaac Nieto , and William Hargrave
Humphrey Bland and Joseph Ashbourn  -Mrs Mary Ashbourn - aka Mary Rumbly 
James MacGlynn and Colonel Cotton -  John Baptist, Nicholas and Francis  Berro
General Sabine and Laurence Cree - Gaspar Luitard and Jeremiah Harrison
Ana Maria Sturla and Charles Robert - Viale and Jasper Clayton
General Trigge  and General Don and  Sir Archibald Hunter
Albert Porral  and Sallust-Smith

The economic and social development of Gibraltar during the first half of the eighteenth century can hardly be described as an easy one. In fact if one accepts contemporary accounts about the kind of people who inhabited the Rock at the time - British or otherwise - it was a miracle that there was any development at all. In fact from the former’s point of view Gibraltar offered very little that was of any commercial value; it produced practically nothing that was of any worth. There was no industry, no farming and the fishing was entirely for internal consumption. 
Despite this, the non-British residents seem to have done quite well during this period. The fact that the never ending cycle of European wars had relatively little effect on the Rock may have had something to do with it. By the end of the decade there was another reason; after 1748 commerce with its big next door neighbour was reopened and although there was no official communication by land, many of the usual restraints were relaxed and the locals made the most of it.
The population continued to increase and by 1730 the total number of civilians stood at about two thousand - give or take a few hundred illegal immigrants. The Garrison, on the other hand was made up of well over four thousand people. The economy, of course, depended almost entirely on the British taxpayer in the form of either military pay-packets or government funding for other military expenditure. 

It was not just a question of making money out of feeding and supplying the Garrison with whatever it needed to survive. Relatively large amounts of cash were also spent on the building of barracks, hospitals, and warehouses and on improving the town’s fortifications. Add to these the finances required for the building of civilian houses and the substantial profits made on both the legitimate movement of goods and on smuggling and it is not difficult to understand why the civilian population far from being troubled – or looking for trouble as some would have us believe - kept their peace and continued to come back for more. That constant ‘camp-follower’ epithet was no longer entirely appropriate. These people were prospering.
Felucca from Barbary just off Gibraltar  (Thomas Chambers)
Local traders were now importing directly from Spain – albeit by sea - and it became far less hazardous to bring in supplies from the Barbary States as the Spanish gunboats were no longer quite as eager to stop them from doing so. It was the start of various serious attempts to import goods into the Rock and then re-export these to England or elsewhere at a profit. 

As a result the number of Barbary Jews on the Rock increased as they and other Jewish families from Portugal and London became – if not quite accepted as proper residents by the British – at least acknowledged as useful inhabitants. Together with a dozen or so British merchants, the Jews found themselves dominating commercial life in Gibraltar. In fact despite the restrictions imposed by the Treaty of Utrecht (see LINK) they thrived not just as merchants, shopkeepers and small scale bankers but also as tailors, shoemakers, butchers and bakers.
The increase in trade also meant that there would be a further influx of Genoese men, often on their own but sometimes with their families. On the whole very few Genoese managed to become wealthy merchants during the eighteenth century. Ever since the capitulation the easiest sources of income came from the import of supplies from Britain for the Garrison and this was mostly controlled by the British themselves. The local trade with Spain and Morocco was firmly in the hands of the Spanish, the Moors or the Barbary Jews. Genoese merchants of any substance therefore tended to give Gibraltar a miss and settled in nearby Cadiz where there was a flourishing trade with Spain’s South American colonies.
Nevertheless a few of them did manage to compete successfully. By 1750 Francesco Levery was a major player in the wine importing business as well as being the Danish vice consul. Andrew Gavino, another successful merchant had been commercially active for a quarter of a century and later ended up as consul of the United States of America. His epitaph in the Catholic Cathedral describes him as a ‘noble knight who from his fortune gave to the poor and to the worship of God.’ 
Gavino family Coat of Arms on the facade of a building in a Gibraltar street known as Gavino’s Court
Yet another Genoese entrepreneur of some standing was John Baptista Ansaldo. (see LINK)  In 1710 he purchased a house in Main Street opposite a Barracks known at the time as ‘Bedlam’. He also married a girl from the very well off Sturla family and prospered to such an extent that by 1716 he had managed to buy several other houses. One of these he purchased from Colonel Godbey, Congreve’s successor as Commanding Officer of the Garrison. (see LINK)  Godbey, of course had no business selling it to Ansaldo as the property was not really his to sell.

In his early years as a businessman John Baptist is reputed to have been perpetually on the move, constantly travelling from Gibraltar to Genoa and back. So much so that the family are recorded in the archives of the Parish of St Stephen in Genoa and those of Saint Mary the Crowned in Gibraltar as having been residents of both places at the same time. Later some members of the family were described in official documents as being residents ‘of London’ despite the fact that they had been born - and eventually - buried in Gibraltar

Ansaldo’s prosperity had much to do with the fact that he was a business associate of Abraham Benedir, a Jewish merchant who had managed to ingratiate himself with Governor Hargrave to such an extent that he was granted – as had Isaac Nieto before him - the lucrative concession of being the sole importer of livestock into Gibraltar. In fact one of Ansaldo’s many properties was conveniently close to the Garrison Victualling Office.

On the whole, however, most of the newer Genoese immigrants were fishermen, cooks, gardeners and general labourers. A good few were employed directly by the Garrison as seamen including those who had the rather unsavoury job of manning the practique boats checking ships for yellow fever. The number of Spanish inhabitants, as before mostly women, also increased as they generally took up menial positions as hired help for the military establishment and for the more well-off locals.

The number of resident British Protestants remained small. Apart from the inevitably merchants the rest were mostly administrators of some sort of the other. In a sense, these British merchants and bureaucrats formed part of the civilian ‘aristocracy’ of the Rock although as was the case for the next couple of centuries or so, the military hierarchy tended to look down their noses on the civilian population whatever their nationality.

This was more or less the civilian world that Lieutenant-General Humphrey Bland (see LINK) inherited from William Hargrave (see LINK) in 1749. Gibraltar still boasts a large statue of General George Augustus Elliot, Baron Heathfield. It stands on a tall pedestal in a prominent place in the Alameda Gardens. Another close by is of the Duke of Wellington. His bust stands on a marble column stolen from the ruins Leptis Magna in Libya.

Wellington’s Monument in the Alameda Gardens  ( 1840s - J.M.Carter)  (see LINK )
It was paid for by collecting a day’s pay from the officers and men of the Garrison. It says much for the continuing willingness of Gibraltarians to celebrate other nation’s war heroes that both are still there. Perhaps it would have been more appropriate if at least Wellington – whose links with Gibraltar are tenuous to say the least – had been replaced by some less war-like historical character who had proved to be of some sort of benefit to the civilian population of Gibraltar. A few could argue that Bland might fit the bill.
Most British historians, old and modern have invariably been quite sympathetic towards Bland and have acknowledged him as one of Gibraltar’s few ‘good’ Governors. Unfortunately, although Bland did make an attempt to clean up the mess that his predecessors had made of the Rock he actually didn’t do all that much for those civilian inhabitants who were not British. Historians seem to forget that Bland took part in the Jacobite Rising of 1715. Papists were not among his favourites.
He was of course quite lucky that throughout his time as Governor, Britain’s relationship with Spain was quite good. So much so that Bland often took it upon himself to cooperate with the Spanish authorities in their efforts to combat smuggling - a by-product of which was to make e more difficult for the local merchants who supplied them. Another anomaly – at least from the local residents’ point of view – was that Bland never made any attempt to re-open the land frontier with Spain which was something that would have been very good for local business.

There are various reasons why he didn’t. In the first place Gibraltar was already well supplied by traders from the Barbary Coast. There was therefore no need for any commerce with the hinterland. There was also little point in opening up land trade with Spain at the expense of the Moors. It would only have made it much more likely for the Barbary Corsairs to start making a nuisance of themselves.

Print showing the imposing new line of fortification between Gibraltar and Spain during Bland's tenure of office  ( Mid 18th century -  Juan de Sobreville - Detail )    

Local Jewish and Moorish traders from Barbary loading and unloading supplies at Waterport

But there was another important and perhaps more selfish reason. The British Government had put Bland in charge of urgent discussion with the Emperor of Morocco. They were keen on continuing to have a good relationship with his country. Bland appears to have managed to conduct meaningful negotiations with the Emperor despite his very low opinion of the Moors. They were, he wrote, 
a Treacherous and Knavish people little regarding the Faith of Treaties when they can gain by the breach of them. 
It meant that in so far Bland was concerned, ‘meaningful negotiations’ were very often backed up by ‘brute force’. When one of the many ‘Princes of Morocco’ - Mullay Abdullah - decided to make himself master of several neighbouring towns Bland was somewhat at a loss at what to do. When he heard that the entire population of the conquered towns had been fined 70 000 ducats and that the Christian merchants had been forced to pay even greater sums of money he was horrified. 

When news came through that one of these merchants had been ‘bastinadoed’ to death and that the British consul William Pettigrew (see LINK) had been threatened with imprisonment and worse, he finally decided to act. Commodore Edgcumbe was sent out from Gibraltar with two British men of war in order ‘to demand satisfaction’ - which they duly received. 

It was the beginning of a cosy understanding between the two nations. A contemporary London journalist put it quite succinctly: what every merchant wanted - whether from London or Gibraltar - was 'universal calm, no aprehension of violence, no war, no thieves, no pirates, no Algerines, no Sallee- men, no Tuniziens or Tripolitans, in a word - no enemy'. They got what they wanted. English power at sea in Gibraltar made all the difference
Map of Gibraltar drawn up by a French cartographer the year that Bland took over. It shows the newly built Naval Hospital and the dangerous sandbanks close to the town walls    
By modern standards Bland was an out and out racist as well as the kind of person who, in a position of power, would be unlikely to turn the other cheek even if diplomacy required him to do so. In fact he exhibited all the characteristics of a narrow minded bigot in his determination that no foreigner should ever be allowed to get the better of him. He would never, he let it be known, be prepared to leave the slightest insolence ‘unresented’ or the smallest wrong ‘unpunished’. He was renowned by the British as an excellent administrator but the locals knew him as a born bureaucrat.

They soon saw their worst fears confirmed when not long after organising his office in the Convent he came out with a lengthy series of regulations known as the Twelve Articles. These were approved by the British Government and with this authority Bland began what most historians acknowledge as the first attempt at establishing a civil administration alongside that of the military garrison. As the classification of Bland as one of Gibraltar’s ‘good’ Governors is entirely dependent on how one interprets the changes brought about by his ‘Articles’ they warrant a closer look.
In general terms they were supposed to lead to the regulation of property on the Rock, the creation of law courts, the appointments of Justices of the Peace and the beginnings of a rudimentary local police force. They specified the amounts to be paid in duties on wines and spirits as well as the management of the various markets. There were byelaws laying down the rules for bakers, and guidelines on relations with Spain and Morocco. Even matters concerning the collection of rubbish didn’t escape his notice. In fact one might hazard the guess that it was one of the first things that he did notice.

The smell of raw sewage is the same everywhere but in Gibraltar the stink could often be overwhelming. Nearly one hundred years later, despite Bland’s – and many another Governors’ interventions – the problem remained unsolved. In 1837, Robert Montgomery Martin (see LINK) in his History of British Mediterranean Possessions gives us a description of the problem that is worth quoting in full.
Previous to the year 1814, the Garrison was infamous for its filth; without sufficient common sewers, without an efficient scavenging department, without pavements on proper principles; in short, it had obtained the bad pre-eminence of being the dirtiest Garrison under the British Crown. On landing at the New Mole, the first objects that struck the eye, were certain enclosures marked "Depot," in which all the filth of the neighbourhood was stored up to be removed at leisure. The foetor from these collections was offensive in the extreme; the effluvia which arose from them were diffused all around, and they were placed so close to each other, as to keep up a chain of putrescent exhalations, which tainted the whole atmosphere. 

Mid eighteenth century Spanish annotated Rock of Gibraltar  ( Unknown )    LINK

Little wonder then that Bland was forced to turn at least some of his bureaucratic talents towards matters of communal hygiene. Bland’s ideas on Gibraltar’s local population were similar to those conventionally held by successive British Governments. They had all hoped that the original Spanish population would have been replaced by Protestants from England or elsewhere in Great Britain. 

The reality was that the people that Bland found himself having to deal with were mostly foreign Catholics and Jews. It didn’t help much that his opinion of these people was even worse than what he thought of the Moors. The population of Gibraltar, he once wrote, was made up of a bunch of 
. . . Jews, Genoese, Spaniards, Portuguese, Irish Papists, Scotch pedlars and English bankrupts, the riff-raff of various nations and religions ready to commit any fraud in their power. 
At the risk of repeating oneself he was quite wrong.

The great majority of the people who were residents on the Rock were no worse in the sense of being ‘riff-raff’ as the more numerous soldiers of the Garrison that lived among them. As regards their willingness to defraud they were certainly far less guilty of this than Gibraltar’s top military commanders and Governors.
Ironically Bland’s relationship with certain members of the local community, were excellent. Bartholome Danino - the Genoese consul in Gibraltar who had spent half his lifetime being harassed by Hargrave – was somebody that he felt he could do business with. In fact it was something of a mutual admiration society. When the Governor sentenced two Genoese fishermen to be lashed for smuggling tobacco there was not a peep of protest out of Danino who would normally have defended his compatriots come hell or high water.

Danino may have found it harder to maintain his good relationship with Bland when in 1750 a young Genoese lad was convicted of raping a seven year old English girl. Interestingly there must have been a strong sense of community among the Genoese at the time. They were not just horrified but felt collectively responsible for what had happened. Despite the fact that they were probably the poorest residents on the Rock they managed to collect a substantial amount of money which they presented to the parents of the little girl as an indication of their regret.
The first and perhaps the most important of Bland’s Articles dealt with property. This incidentally had more to do with specific directions from London than any particular initiative on the part of the Governor. The Secretary of State, the Duke of Bedford, had sent him specific instructions to investigate a series of rather unbelievable allegations. Unbelievable that is to nobody other than the Duke of Bedford.
The above is a letter to London from Bland – almost certainly in his own handwriting - in which he details the amounts of money pocketed by Hargrave while he was Governor of Gibraltar. In total one of Bland’s assistants, Captain Fleming, calculated that he made
 £ 20443 – 10s on ground rents and duties on wines and spirits – an absolute fortune.
The reality was that there had been innumerable complaints about properties being taken from their legitimate owners and rented out to others by previous Governors. To make matters worse they seem to have done so to their ‘own advantage.’  It had been going on since 1704. Bedford therefore instructed Bland that in future all new ground rents were to be ‘collected for the King and not for the Governors as heretobefore and that an exact amount of them to be kept in a book.’ It was the kind of remit that must have given Bland goose pimples of joy.
Hours after having read the letter Bland set up a Court of Inquiry. It was supposed to ensure that all land in Gibraltar would in future be deemed Crown property and that ground rents were paid promptly and accurately to the relevant treasury department - as against directly into somebody else’s pocket. All very worthy until the locals discovered that the Court of Inquiry was going to be made up of military officers and British Protestant civilians.
The expected outcome was easy to predict: in future only Protestants would be allowed to own any property in Gibraltar. Protestants, Bland insisted, 
. . . would prove a strengthening to the Garrison since they were more to be relied on than Papists though born here . . 
or just in case anybody had missed the point - that ‘Jews, Moors and Papist’ might pose a danger to the garrison in time of war – or even in peace time.

Bland’s boss, the Duke of Bedford, Secretary of State for the Southern Department
In all this he had the full support of Bedford who had been quite clear in his instruction: if he did find any properties that were not owned by anybody he should let these out in such a way ‘as to encourage His Majesty’s Protestant subjects to settle there.’ The Duke, incidentally, was the kind of politician who was mostly admired for the amount of time he spent at his country estate playing cricket and shooting pheasants than for any political acumen. 

This meant that his instructions often failed to carry the weight that one would have expected. It also meant that his initiatives in so far as they affected the Jews in Gibraltar met with less than whole-hearted approval in Parliament. Many people felt that if Gibraltar was to become a well run trading port then Jews should actually ‘be encouraged to settle there,’ as it was ‘well known that trade flourishes wherever they resort.’
Two particular cases might suffice to highlight the relatively arbitrary decisions taken by the Court of Enquiry. The first concerned a certain Mrs Mary Ashbourn, who claimed to have a legitimate right to a building in Cornwall’s Parade, known as ‘Fives Courts’. This must have been a substantial property as it is supposed to have included a real tennis court similar to the one used in Versailles by the French Assembly in 1789. 
Fives Courts ( 1830s - Frederick Leeds Eldridge ) (see LINK
According to the evidence given by Mrs Ashbourn – which was based on hearsay -  in 1715 a certain Mr. James MacGlynn had built himself a house in the area for £80 ‘upon a heap of rubbish’. He had obtained permission to do so – or so she said - from the Lieutenant Governor at the time, Colonel Cotton, who as Bland and his officials were well aware had been one of the most corrupt of Gibraltar’s long line of corrupt officials. (see LINK

When MacGlynn died he left the property to his wife who then remarried. Her husband was Joseph Ashbourn. When he also died Mrs Ashbourn inherited the place outright. A few years later she remarried yet again and was now known as Mary Rumbly.  As a three times widow who managed to accumulate a considerable fortune she must have been a practical and resourceful woman
Bland and company accepted this rigmarole without question and granted the property to her and her heirs ‘forever’. The grant however held a proviso – she could only ever sell the place to another Protestant. The ‘she’ in the ‘proviso’ meant that eventually it could be totally ignored by her male descendants. When she died the property was split up and within a few years various parts were owned by people who were neither Protestant nor British.
The second case was even more obscure. In 1704 John Baptist Berro, a Genoese sea captain of some standing received a grant from Prince George of Hesse for services rendered during the capture of Gibraltar. His ship was one of the many auxiliaries that accompanied Rooke’s fleet and helped with repairs during the taking of the Rock.  The grant took the form of a property facing the Parade close to the Line Wall. Although Berro died intestate his widow continued to enjoy the fruits of her husband’s loyalty for several years.

In 1735, however, General Sabine decided to dabble in a spot of town planning. He had decided that the irregular line of the houses along one corner of the Parade was an offence against the laws of symmetry. Being in the position of being able to do more or less as he pleased he decided to pull down the house and rebuild the area to produce the desired straight line. Accordingly he threw out the owner of the offending building - Laurence Cree - and gave him another nearby house which also faced the parade ground.  The fact that this house belonged to Mrs. Berro was of no consequence to the Governor. He arbitrarily threw her out and - somewhat uncharacteristically - offered her another one in Irish Town north of the officers’ quarters.
Caught up in the excitement of the redevelopment of the Parade he must have forgotten that he had already earmarked the property in Irish town as a gift to his cook, Gaspar Luitard. Not at all put out by his mistake he simply threw Luitard out and gave him another house near Southport Gate.
Meanwhile Laurence Cree rebuilt his new house in line with Sabine’s architectural preferences and shrewdly incorporated Berro’s property with what was left of his old home. Unfortunately the cost of doing all this proved too much for his finances and the poor man ended up insolvent. The result of this was that the property was sold by order of the Court of Civil Pleas to a gentleman by the name of Charles Robert who in turn ‘distanced the property even further from the Berro family’ by selling it off yet again to Mr. Jeremiah Harrison.
Things came to a head when Gaspar Luitard suddenly discovered that the house Sabine has given him near Southport Gate was actually owned by somebody else. He understandably decided to reclaim the original property in Irish town thus setting in motion a domino effect of claims and counterclaims that must have driven Bland and his court officials to distraction.

In the end the Court came to the decision that the house in Parade belonged to Jeremiah Harrison and the one in Irish Town to Nicholas and Francis Berro - Mrs. Berro had died without making a will before the decision had been made. Nicholas Berro, incidentally, ended up marrying Ana Maria Sturla (see LINKthus joining together two of Gibraltar’s most powerful families of Genoese origin. 
Inter-marriages between rich Genoese families seems to have been quite commonplace in eighteenth century Gibraltar. In 1777 Joseph Ansaldo (see LINK) – a direct descendent of the previously mentioned John Baptist – married into the Berro family and became one of the major property owners on the Rock.   The family’s prosperity continued well into the late nineteenth century and they ended up owning the two principle hotels on the Rock, the King’s Arms and the Club House Hotel.
Although most of the home-owners involved in the above were British – Sabine’s French cook doesn’t really count – Juan Baptist Berro certainly wasn’t English. The reality was that even within Bland’s tenure of office people with such obviously non-Protestant and non-British sounding names such as Viale, Picardo, ( see LINK ) Porro, Danino, Ronco, Carrera, Cassola, Rombardo, Patron and many others legitimately owned houses in Gibraltar. 

Between them they owned more than a couple of dozen substantial properties. The first, the Viales, ( see LINK ) were descendants of a family that claimed to have been residents in Gibraltar from well before 1704. One member of the family, for example, was reputed to have married an illegitimate daughter of an ex-Governor of Gibraltar, General Jasper Clayton. The wedding must have been a relatively high profile event and probably took place during Bland’s term of office.

A few years after the ‘Ashbourn’ affair, another Governor of Gibraltar gave us an insight into just how big a failure Bland’s regulation had proved.
This town, is granted away in property to fellows, perhaps escaped out of Newgate, and their wives whipped out of Bridewell.
Not only did the Protestants fail to arrive in the required numbers but those few that did were obviously not the right sort. In any case the regulations were ‘modified’ by subsequent governors to such an extent that they became practically worthless. As a final irony, the first person that Bland granted a piece of land was Jewish. This despite the fact that he had insisted that all conveyances had to have his personal approval - and signature. Less than a decade later both Catholics and Jews openly owned property and nobody did anything about it.

Tellingly many of the other people mentioned in the above list were issued with grants not just for ‘services to the garrison’ but for the good of the place’. In other words these grants were acknowledgements of the usefulness of non-British people in time of peace. They were unconnected with the military events of early eighteenth century.
By 1804 Lieutenant-Governor General Trigge was actively supporting the rights of both Jews and Catholics – who he now considered to be ‘useful and good subjects’ - to own property if they could show that they had been residents for more than five years.  By the beginning of the nineteenth century property ownership seems to have gone further than the British authorities in London were prepared to allow without a fight. They asked the Lieutenant-Governor of the day General George Don ( see LINK ) to set up yet another commission to survey properties on the Rock. 

This, understandably, set off a series of alarm bells among the more well off members of the local community who immediately dashed off an impassioned memorial to the General signed by over one hundred house owners. Interestingly only 18 of these were Protestants. The findings of the commission came out in favour of the local community and it became quite clear that if somebody was registered as an inhabitant he was entitled to own his own house. And that was the end of Bland’s Article 1.
But the Court of Enquiry was just one aspect of Governor’s overall plans and Bland - whatever his many other failings – was not the kind of administrator that one could ever accuse of laziness. He immediately set about trying to create what would have been - if he had succeeded - a caste system with a population made up mostly of well-off Protestant families, with the Jews, Moors and Catholics acting out the part of the untouchables.
It was his realisation that his term of office would not be long enough to put all this into practice that made him think it prudent to leave clear instruction for his successors in the form of his famous ‘Articles.’ Future Governor’s should, he insisted, make sure that there were ‘proper restrictions against Papists and foreigners’ buying up property. He was also adamant that if this had been carried out properly by his predecessors most houses would by now have come into the possession of Protestants ‘which might have induced many of them to remain here, and have proved a great strengthening to the Garrison'.
Bland’s gut reaction against the kind of people who made up the bulk of the population is often dismissed by historians. It is, they suggest, a consequence of the type of thinking common to eighteenth century British colonial administrators. There is no doubt that there is something to be said for this argument. Unfortunately history also shows that these attitudes were not confined to the eighteenth century.
As late as in twentieth century General Sir Archibald Hunter was in the middle of his term as Governor of the Rock when he decided to hold a meeting in the local Garrison Library with several local worthies. He wanted to explain to them in detail exactly what he thought of them and the people they represented. He began by making it quite plain that Gibraltar was not just an ordinary town, it was a fortress and he, as Governor, was essentially entitled to do whatever he pleased. He then proceeded to insult just about everybody and everything in sight.
General Sir Archibald Hunter
It was, he told them, his considered opinion that Gibraltar’s police constables, telephone operators and cab drivers could not speak English properly and that many of the locals could only speak Spanish. English, he said,  
. . . was no better spoken here in general than by Kaffir-rickshaw men in Durban and nothing like as well as by the donkey-boy at Suez or Cairo.
Moreover, he wanted it to be known that the drink sold in the bars of Gibraltar was adulterated and a menace to soldiers and sailors alike. He also expressed the belief that in time of war the locals should be made to abandon the Rock. In fact he proposed that it might be worth while getting rid of people in peacetime to make room for workers brought in from India.

As regards sanitation, the streets were dirty the roads in poor condition. It was intolerable that the civilians had made a habit of throwing rubbish, including excrement, straight out of their windows and on to the streets. Not content he then upset Catholic religious sensibilities by announcing that he had ordered a crematorium to be built so that in war-time bodies could be disposed of properly within the limited space available on the Rock.
To conclude the Rock was currently run ‘like an Aegean stables . . . and you remember what action was taken by Hercules in connection with the stables’, asserting that he was ‘determined to exact order and decency here from everybody who comes into the Fortress I command.’ But he still has one final insult up his sleeve. There was, he said 
the undeniable fact of the way Gibraltarians use or misuse the urinals, unbuttoning and beginning before they enter, often not finishing when they leave.

 1913 photograph showing a large crowd bidding bon voyage to Messrs. Albert Porral - Director of the Chamber of Commerce - and W.J. Sallust-Smith - a member of the Gibraltar Employers Federation - who were on their way to London to petition the British Government to get rid of Sir Archibald. They succeeded.
Even as late as 1944 the Colonial Secretary in charge of the administration of the Rock was moved to write about a demonstration he had witness in which Gibraltarians were protesting about having been evacuated during World War II. 
I am getting more than a little tired about this wretched Rock and its queer people. They staged a demonstration through the streets entirely orderly and a trifle pathetic. About 30% did not know what they were there for and another 30% did not know that they were there.
Back to the eighteenth century and unfortunately for Bland, if fortunately for present day Gibraltarians, his instructions were doomed from the start. Many well-off non-British inhabitants refused to play the roles assigned to them which meant that Bland’s regulations were circumvented almost immediately. Jews and Catholics signed up Protestant nominees to hold the titles of their properties.  In any case the locals seem to have found the measure of Bland.

Existing records indicate that there were very few civilian conflicts that were serious enough to come to the attention of the military authorities. The locals seem to have co-existed quite peacefully and there were few inter-communal arguments between the Catholic clergy and the Jewish leaders that were such a common picture of life in Minorca during this period. It meant that most matters could be resolved internally and that they could by-pass the Governor and more or less do whatever they pleased. The Normal British policy of 'divide and rule' was never really an option in Gibraltar.
Bland made one other attempt at improving what he perceived as an assault on the quality of life on the Rock. The problem stemmed from the behaviour of a largish number of Jewish porters and hawkers that serviced and sold goods to civilians and military alike.  When these men were not working they tended to congregate in the middle of town and their noisy, argumentative and aggressive behaviour was perceived as a threat to public order.

It was also a source of embarrassment to the growing number of the more affluent members of the community. Rather than tackle the problem head-on Bland naively authorised ‘some of the principle Jews to consider some method for preventing such inconveniences for the future.’ The community leaders eagerly agreed and then took the matter one step further. 

They proposed a number of regulations which in essence made it compulsory for Jews to behave themselves on the Sabbath ‘as worthy and conformable to the Rules and Orders of their Religion and Rabbi.’ That the Jewish leaders found it necessary to issue instructions on how people should observe the Sabbath is an interesting point. It implies that a good number of the Jews on the Rock were failing to comply with their own established religious norms.
The problem of the hawkers never went away. More than a hundred years later the Gibraltar Chronicle was complaining that anybody who could 
beg or borrow an old basket and three pennyworths of vegetables, (was still) allowed to shout himself hoarse in the public streets to his own profit and to the intense annoyance of all the respectable inhabitants.’ 

Two early 20th century versions of street hawkers with their ‘three pennyworths of vegetables’
What is also surprising is Bland’s tacit approval for what was essentially a kind of communal self-government and by default the acceptance of Jewish cultural identify. Bland actually finished up authorising the Jewish leaders to collect certain taxes on his behalf. In the end, just like everybody else before him he must have felt that the overwhelming commercial benefits of the Jewish presence in Gibraltar had to take precedence over whatever personal distaste he may have had for these people as individuals.
His pragmatism is quite understandable. Not only did the Jews have contacts with the usual suspects in places such as Morocco, Portugal, Britain and the Netherlands but their influence was also felt in the West Indies and elsewhere in the Americas. The U.S historian Henry Charles Lea has even discovered numerous records of Jewish merchants from Gibraltar visiting Spain on business during the 1750s and 60s. Lay officials of the Inquisition, the so called 

Familiars of the Holy Office, followed them around like limpets but the Spanish authorities made sure that the presence of these Familiars would never result in any disruption to trade. A few decades later a royal order specifically allowed a Jew from Gibraltar to remain in Valencia for several days. It was in a sense a Spanish acceptance of the presence of Jews on the Rock. 

A fish washed up in Eastern Beach in 1750 . The familiars of the Holy Office would almost certainly have considered it the work of the devil  (unknown )