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British Squadron for the relief of Gibraltar


Fleet Commander
Sir Charles WagerBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1692-1734
TRN3
Fleet Formed24.12.1726TRN3
Fleet Disbanded9.4.1728TRN3

Introduction

The attitude of Great Britain with regard to the galleons provoked Spain to make great preparations for a siege of Gibraltar; and as that fortress was neither thoroughly armed nor properly held, corresponding measures had to be taken for its protection. A squadron of six men-of-war and two sloops" was fitted out at Portsmouth towards the end of 1726; seventeen companies of troops and large quantities of provisions and ammunition were embarked ; and on December 24th Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Wager (E.) hoisted his flag in the Kent, 70, and took command. He sailed on January 19th, 1727, and on February 2nd, having picked up the Stirling Castle, 70, on his way out, arrived in Gibraltar Bay, where he found Rear-Admiral Edward Hopsonn (R.), who had remained upon the station during the winter.

As the Spaniards, fifteen thousand strong, were seen to be working hard, troops, guns, and stores were landed; but no actual hostilities took place until after February 10th, when the enemy began a new battery within half gunshot of some of the defences of the place. Colonel Jasper Clayton, the Lieutenant-Governor, made a spirited remonstrance; but the Conde de las Torres, the Spanish commander-in-chief, returned an unsatisfactory and truculent answer; whereupon fire was opened from the Mole Head, and from Prince's and Willis's batteries ; and Sir Charles AVager, on the evening of the 11th, sent the Tiger, 50, Dursley Galley, 20, and Solebay, bomb, 6, to throw a flanking fire upon the Spanish lines from the eastward.

From that day the Spaniards prosecuted the siege in earnest; but as they had nothing larger than boats and small settees afloat in the Bay, they accomplished very little. Sir Charles, while always leaving a few vessels to enfilade the Spanish attack, frequently cruised in the Strait and off Cadiz ; and on those occasions his vessels made prizes of several merchantmen. On March 11th, moreover, the Boyal Oak, 70, being detached, took the new Spanish man-of-war, Nuestra Senora del Bosario, 46, which was on her way from Santander to Cadiz ; and, in the meantime, the small craft employed by the enemy within the Bay were from time to time nearly all seized. So matters went on, until, on June 16th, Sir Charles Wager, having heard that the preliminaries of peace had been agreed to, ordered a cessation of hostilities.

Sir Charles Wager, with part of his fleet, reached Spithead on April 9th, on his return from the Mediterranean

 



ShipJoinedLeftCommanderNotes
Berwick (70) 1723-1783
British 70 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
1743 Renamed "Berwick Hulk"
24.12.172613.2.1726/27
George GordonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1703-1729
Fleet disbanded
Lennox (70) 1723-1756
British 70 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
24.12.172623.2.1726/27
Digby DentBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1697-1737
Fleet disbanded
Tiger (50) 1722-1742
British 50 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
24.12.172621.4.1727
William DaviesBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1707-1744
Fleet disbanded
Portland (50) 1723-1744
British 50 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
24.12.172621.4.1727
Alexander GeddesBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1705-1743
Fleet disbanded
Cruizer (8) 1721-1732
British 8 Gun
Unrated Sloop
24.12.17269.4.1728
Edward BrookesBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1695-1736
Fleet disbanded
Hawk (8) 1721-1739
British 8 Gun
Unrated Sloop
24.12.17269.4.1728
Duncomb DrakeBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1710-1714
Fleet disbanded
Kent (70) 1724-1744
British 70 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
24.12.17269.4.1728
Charles HardyBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1693-1744
Fleet disbanded
Royal Oak (70) 1713-1737
British 70 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
24.12.17269.4.1728
Thomas JacobsBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1693-1729
Fleet disbanded
Colchester (50) 1721-1742
British 50 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
2.2.1726/279.4.1727
The Hon. George ClintonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1709-1757
Fleet disbanded
Winchester (50) 1717-1781
British 50 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
2.2.1726/279.4.1728
James LuckBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1697-1736
Fleet disbanded
York (60) 1706-1751
British 60 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
2.2.1726/279.4.1728
William SmithBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1691-1747
Fleet disbanded
Burford (70) 1722-1752
British 70 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
2.2.1726/279.4.1728
The Hon. Charles StewartBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1701-1736
Fleet disbanded
Stirling Castle (70) 1723-1771
British 70 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
2.2.1726/279.4.1728
Nicholas EatonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1701-1727
Fleet disbanded
Dursley Galley (20) 1719-1745
British 20 Gun
6th Rate Frigate
2.2.1726/279.4.1728
George PurvisBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1695-1741
Fleet disbanded
Thunder (6) 1718-1734
British 6 Gun
Unrated Bomb Vessel
2.2.1726/279.4.1728
John TollerBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1696-1743
Fleet disbanded
Swallow (50) 1719-1728
British 50 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
2.2.1726/279.4.1728
Francis DansaysBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1701-1754
Fleet disbanded
Solebay (6) 1711-1748
British 6 Gun
6th Rate Ship
c.7.2.1726/279.4.1728
Thomas DurellBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1697-1739
Fleet disbanded
Torbay (80) 1719-1750
British 80 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
9.3.1726/279.4.1728
Nicholas HaddockBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1699-1744
Fleet disbanded
Poole (32) 1696-1737
British 32 Gun
5th Rate Ship
9.3.1726/279.4.1728
The Hon. William HerveyBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1718-1743
Fleet disbanded

DateEventSource
1727/01/19

Sailed from Portsmouth

 
1727/02/02
Stirling Castle (70) 1723-1771
British 70 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
joined the fleet
 
1727/02/02
Burford (70) 1722-1752
British 70 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
joined the fleet
 
1727/02/02
York (60) 1706-1751
British 60 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
joined the fleet
 
1727/02/02
Winchester (50) 1717-1781
British 50 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
joined the fleet
 
1727/02/02
Colchester (50) 1721-1742
British 50 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
joined the fleet
 
1727/02/02
Swallow (50) 1719-1728
British 50 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
joined the fleet
 
1727/02/02
Dursley Galley (20) 1719-1745
British 20 Gun
6th Rate Frigate
joined the fleet
 
1727/02/02
Thunder (6) 1718-1734
British 6 Gun
Unrated Bomb Vessel
joined the fleet
 
1727/02/02

Arrived in Gibraltar Bay

 
1727/02/07
Solebay (42) 1711-1748
British 42 Gun
6th Rate Ship
joined the fleet
 
1727/02/11

Tiger, 50, Dursley Galley, 20, and Solebay, bomb, 6, were sent to throw a flanking fire upon the Spanish lines from the eastward.

 
1727/02/13
Berwick (70) 1723-1783
British 70 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
1743 Renamed "Berwick Hulk"
left the fleet
 
1727/02/23
Lennox (70) 1723-1756
British 70 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
left the fleet
 
1727/03/09
Torbay (80) 1719-1750
British 80 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
joined the fleet
 
1727/03/09
Poole (32) 1696-1737
British 32 Gun
5th Rate Ship
joined the fleet
 
1727/03/11

The Royal Oak, having been detached, took the Nuestra Señora del Rosario (40)

 
1727/04/09
Colchester (50) 1721-1742
British 50 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
left the fleet
 
1727/04/21
Portland (50) 1723-1744
British 50 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
left the fleet
 
1727/04/21
Tiger (50) 1722-1742
British 50 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
left the fleet
 
1727/06/16

Sir Charles Wager ordered a cessation of hostilities.

 

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