Thursday, October 23, 2014

The War of Jenkins' Ear

In 1731 the English ship Rebecca1 captained by one Jenkins was boarded by the Spanish coast guard, an encounter in which, Jenkins said, a Spanish sailor cut off Jenkins's ear.  In the interest of fairness, it might be noted that English and Spanish merchants and pirates were preying on each others ships. English merchants, Spanish pirates; Spanish merchants, English pirates, you know what I mean though I was not there.

Over a period of eight years resentments built, Walpole attempted to avoid war, the English subjects wanted war.  In 1739 Jenkins testified before Parliament, displaying the reputed severed ear.  War against Spain was declared October 23, 1739. This went on for some time, and lots of people died, including Colonial Americans who for the first time were engaged as British soldiers in a foreign war.2

This war had significance in the New World, for at the time the English controlled Georgia, whereas Florida was owned by Spain.  In raids on each other battles were fought up and down the south coast of Georgia, defended by Oglethorpe, not the least of which was Bloody Marsh after the Spanish landed on St. Simons Island.3

Jenkins War was soon folded into the War of Austrian Succession, all of which ended with the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748.  The St Johns River was unofficially recognized as the border between Florida and Georgia, and other issues, including trade by the British in Spanish America, were settled by the Treaty of Madrid in 1750.2

1.  In addition to piracy and severed ears, it should be noted that underlying these hostilities were trade issues, including the "right" of the English to trade slaves in Spanish America, control of territory, and the general bellicose proclivities of mankind which seems to have persisted throughout history, and which still persists to this day.
2.  After eight years between the severing and the exhibiting of the ear, it could well have been a pig's ear, for all I know.
3.  There really is a lot of interesting reading on the subject if one wishes to follow some of the links provided below.



Vee said...

Bloody history from which humankind seems to learn nothing.

vanilla said...

Vee, not completely true: we learn more efficient ways to off one another.

Sharkbytes said...

Yes, all the hue and cry to just love one another is great, but it's poor observation of human nature.

vanilla said...

Sharkey, perhaps the reason the prioritized steps are to love God first, then love our fellows, and ourselves.

Lovers of self first seldom give much consideration to others. See Bob Warr.

Shelly said...

Wow! What a story. So many lessons to learn from it~

vanilla said...

Shelly, yet there are those who think history is dull.

Leah C. Dancel said...

I don't know. I give up learning History. It's revolting to the mind. Wherever British goes, History would never unmention them not killing let alone annihilating human races especially those belong to "inferior races", like Native Indians, Australian Aboiginals. Yet, they were the prime believers of what the Bible teaches. In the Bible the Ten Commandments are found. It says "Thou shalt not kill". It was translated into British English, not Merican English. It sucks!

Leah C. Dancel said...

Sorry for the typo. I'm using iPad with its own dumb auto speller insisting its own stupid spelling. It appears right after I press RETURN for ENTER.

vanilla said...

Leah, man’s reliance on his own puny intellect and his refusal to honor God’s law results in the chaos and the hypocrisy rampant in the world. Hearts are changed through faith and reliance on God, and that one at a time. The world is never going to be perfect. But the individual can have peace within.

Leah C. Dancel said...

And that chaos never ends.... Very sad.