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William Faden: Plan of the Bay, Rock, and Town of Gibraltar

Map: SP2109
Cartographer: William Faden
Title: Plan of the Bay, Rock, and Town of Gibraltar
Date: 1783
Published: London
Width: 29 inches / 74 cm
Height: 20 inches / 51 cm
Map ref: SP2109
Bay of Gibraltar. Stunning plan showing the formations, works and batteries, the encampments of the Spanish Army, and the attack of the battering ships in 1782.

The Great Siege of Gibraltar is one of the lesser known theatres of the American War of Independence as France and Spain sought to take advantage of Britain’s preoccupation with their American Colonies and attempt to storm the fortress of Gibraltar. The various attempts at storming, the siege and the blockade were abject failures and the British victory ensured that the Rock remained in British hands during the negotiations at the Treaty of Paris of 1783, which ended the War.

This map is an unrivalled illustration of the military might expended by the Bourbons against the British, with a fleet of 49 ships – of – the line as well as approximately 60,000 men being used in operations against Gibraltar. To put this into perspective, the combined Franco-Spanish fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar numbered 33. [SP2109]