Gibraltar 13th Siege 22 February 1727 – 23 June 1727

In the words of the anonymous author of the Impartial Account of the Siege, the thirteenth siege “made rather more noise in the world in preparation than when undertaken”. The War of the Spanish Succession ended with the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, Article X of which formally ceded Gibraltar to Great Britain (as it became with the passing of the Act of Union in 1707).

King Philip V of Spain felt that he had been forced by Louis XIV to sign the treaty, and the Spanish were determined to regain Gibraltar. In January 1727, Philip claimed that Article X was null and void, citing several alleged violations of its terms by the British. The Marquis de las Torre began assembling an army, supported by contingents from across Catholic Europe, to attack Gibraltar; in response, the British began reinforcing the garrison.

The thirteenth siege began on 22 February when the British fired on a party of Spanish workers in the neutral territory north of the Rock; from then on, the Spanish attempted to build batteries on the isthmus with which to bombard British batteries and the city walls, while the British attempted to halt Spanish progress. By 24 March, the Spanish had established batteries within range of the British defences and began a ten-day bombardment, inflicting considerable damage which the British struggled to repair. The Spanish pace was reduced by bad weather, which began in early April; it was not until 7 May that the bombardment began again in earnest. By 20 May, the Spanish supply chain could not keep up with the demands of the bombardment while the British were almost constantly able to resupply by sea. The Spanish offered a truce on 23 June, which was signed the next day.

Britain retained control of Gibraltar.