dissabte, 4 d’agost de 2018


In 1704, during the capture of Gibraltar by an Anglo-Dutch combined operation, an expedition landed there of around 350 Catalans followers of Charles of Austria and commanded by Prince Georg von Hessen Darmstadt (Catalonia's deputy and delegate of Charles of Austria) and general Joan Baptista Basset. They most likely came to Gibraltar in at least five ships, as among the lists of Catalan expeditionaries there are five vessel owners (from Arenys de MarBarcelonaCubellesMataró, and Sant Feliu de Guixols). The Catalans formed two companies, an artillery company (called "Catalan Battery") and an infantry company of mountain fusiliers (called "Catalan Company of Miquelets",commanded by captain Jaume Burguy). Both protected the isthmus of Gibraltar and attacked mountain areas of the Rock against Spanish grenadiers. Some of the surnames of the Catalans who participated in the conquest are: Andreu, Armenter, Auger, Basset, Bertran, Besart, Boix, Bonavida, Bosch, Burguy, Canovas, Caramany, Carreras, Casamitjana, Castells, Cateura, Clavell, Constans, Corrons, Cortès, Esplugas, Estanyol, Estaper, Esteve, Fabregas, Ferrer, Fonollós, Fontanet, Freixes, Frutó, Gil, Goy, Llofriu, Llopis, Martí, Massana, Matalonga, Mulet, Navarro, Nebot, Oliver, Ortas, Pausà, Pi, Pons, Pujol, Rabassa, Ribas, Roca, Rossell, Roset, Rovira, Ruaix, Salvat, Sanromà, Serrallonga, Siurana, Soler, Trebó, Trias, Trullàs, Vidal, Virolà, Viudes.
Subsequently, the conquest, some of these Catalan soldiers settled in Gibraltar, after the departure of the majority of troops used in the conquest, and helped establish the first military checkpoint of Gibraltar. The Catalan Alfons de la Capella, lawyer of the Royal Council of Catalonia, became a judge in Gibraltar. The Catalan Josep Corrons was appointed Alcaide of the Sea (responsible for the harbour) and later was appointed Sergeant Major of Gibraltar. The Catalan Andreu Martí (one of the first to take the stronghold of the port in the conquest of the Rock) was responsible for directing the work of the prisoners after the conquest. The Catalan Jeroni Fàbregas was responsible for the distribution of ammunition.
In the 1705 siege, the Catalan soldiers fought again in defence of Gibraltar, especially in an area then called "Catalan Guard" or "Catalan Post" in Wolf's Leap (Johann Argathelu map at first third of the eighteenth century, Gabriel Bodenehr map 1720, Johann Bowles brothers map 1727, etc.).
In 1709, Catalan Josep Valls, a Gibraltar resident, collaborating with Catalan traders Salvador Feliu de la Penya, Joan Verivol, Josep Grasses, and Josep Boigues, created a commercial company called "Companyia Nova de Gibraltar" (New Company of Gibraltar), in order to replace the monopoly of Cádiz in ocean trade, that would endure until 1723

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