War of Jenkin’s ear

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© Bob Denton 2014

War of Jenkins’ Ear – (1739 -1748)

Spain became embroiled in a war with Great Britain. Its name was based upon the captain of a British merchantman, the brig ‘Rebecca’. Robert Jenkins, its master, was stopped for piracy in 1731, and boarded from the Spanish coast guard ship, La Isabela.

During this boarding the Spanish captain cut off Jenkins’ left ear. Jenkins is said to have presented the severed ear in 1738 to a committee hearing at the House of Commons. His disfigurement was among a list of other incidents of attacks on British citizens that were seen as sufficient reason for war.

There had been plenty of skirmishes ever since the Treaty of Utrecht which had granted Great Britain a thirty-year trading arrangement with the Spanish colonies. The British had been authorised to supply an unspecified number of slaves and 500 tons of other goods to the colonies.

An early English success in this War was the taking in 1739 of Porto Bello in Panama, an important Spanish warehouse and exporter of silver. The action led by Vice Admiral Edward Vernon was celebrated in 1740 by the very first public performance of ‘Rule Britannia’, and London’s Portobello Road was named to commemorate the victory.

Nouvelle cuisine – this term has been used many times in the history of French cuisine. In the 1730s and 1740s, several French writers proposed a break with tradition. These were Vincent La Chapelle’s ‘Cuisinier moderne’ in 1733–1735. and Menon’s ‘Nouveau traité’ de la cuisine was first published in 1739, it was in his third volume, in 1742, that Menon first used the term ‘nouvelle cuisine’. It was not until the 1880s and 1890s that Georges Auguste Escoffier work was sometimes described using the term. But our modern usage derives from the late 1960s and the works of Henri Gault, Christian Millau and André Gayot.

Forward to King George’s War – Back to The European Theatre
Back to 1789 and all that!
© Bob Denton 2014