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1708. they were, at that time, much straitened for want of promi
The conquest of the island of Minorca (x), which folquest of
lowed soon after, was intirely owing to major-general Stanhope, who was the first projector, and had the principal share in the execution of the design. In the beginning of August, he received a letter from the lord-treasurer, to acquaint him, that the admiralty had represented to the queen, that it was almost impracticable, and very dangerous for our fleet to winter in the Mediterrancan, except fome safe harbour were procured for it. Upon this, general Stanhope immediately fixed his thoughts upon the island of Minorca, which was a very great enterprize, and required a greater number of troops, than could be spared out of our army. He took a short journey to Barcelona, to consult the proper measures with the admiral; which done, he returns post to the camp, and acquaints Staremberg with his design, who much applauded it; but as to forces he could spare none, for we were then within four miles of the enemy, who were much superior to us, and we daily expected to be attacked. Howcver, Staremberg consented that Stanhope should take Southwell's regiment, a battalion of Neapolitans, another of Portuguese, and a small detachment of Spaniards : all which marched immediately to Barcelona. General Stanhope follows them, on the roth, and had the good fortune of meeting there with brigadier Wade, just returned from London, which was a great advantage to him. The 2ift, he embarks with this handful of men and a few dragoons. What was wanting in troops, was in some measure made up by a fine train of British artillery, with mules to draw it, commanded by colonel Boreguard, with that excellent engineer
(x) Minorca (so called from runs about three Spanish miles to being less than Majorca, another the south-east. The harbour is island about fix leagues from it) guarded by fort St. Philip, and lies in the Mediterranean. Its is accounted the best and largest greatest length is forty-five, and in the Mediterranean. Minorca greatest breadth twenty-four Eng, lies in lat. 39. 45. It was taken lih miles. The chief places are, by general Stanhope in 1708, 1. Citadella on the south-west and confirmed to the English by side, about the middle of the the treaty of Utrecht; in whose iland, in the bottom of a bay, hands it remained till the year thought to be the Jamma of Pto- 1756, when it was most strangely lemy. 2. Fort Formelli on the suffered to be re-taken by the north-eat fide, over-against Ci- French, after a forty-nine years tadella. 3. Port-Mahon at the possession. bottom of a large bay, which
brigadier Petit, who, in that capacity, might be said to have 1908.
but the best perspective glass could not discover whe-
Batteries were erected the next day; and, the morning after, they began to fire against two of the four towers, which are built at proper distances like little bastions, in a (y) English
3708. wall of stones without cement, that covers the fort a quarter
of a mile from it, and that from sea to sea. These towers
honourable terms to the besieged, if they did not put him to the trouble of raising batteries ; but, if they refused, he threatened that all the Spaniards should be sent to the mines, and the French be worse used. These papers were tied round arrows, which were shot in great numbers into the suburbs of the fort, and into the vacancy between the fort and the stone-wall, where small parties were placed to observe us. It was by a shot from one of these parties that Mr. Philip Stanhope, brother to the general, captain of the Milford galley, a young gentleman of great hopes, . was killed, the ball fixing in his forehead, as he was held up by two of his failors to look over the wall, which was nine feet high.
The arrows had a good effect, especially upon the Spaniards, who dreaded the mines. After the towers were beat down, the cannon continued to fire upon the wall, and, in a short time, levelled it to the ground. Through the breach general Wade marched to a redoubt, at the head of all the grenadiers and some marines, with so much intrepidity, even within reach of the enemy's fire, that it struck the garrison (as one of the officers afterwards told our author) with admiration and terror; infomuch that the soldiers could not be brought to fire at them, though commanded, and the cannon could not reach them, the ground being toð low where they marched. Wade took the redoubt, left some men in it, and returned to the camp unattacked.
The next day their panic increased ; a battery of large cannon was fixed against fort St. Philip, and the first ball was ordered to be fo fired, as to fall in the ditch ; which it did, and was immediately taken up and carried to the go
A council of war was instantly held, wherein it was resolved, by a small majority, to beat a parley. Hoftages were quickly exchanged, and Wade was sent to agree on a capitulation. When he came to the governor's house, he found the large ball on the table, which most of the officers had been wondering at. They were not many hours in agreeing upon the following terms: the garrison was to march out the next day with ali marks of honour, anl to be
thipped off immediately; the Spaniards to be transplanted to 1708. a harbour in Murcia, and the French to Marseilles or Toulon: the magazines to be given up, their arms to be left in the court of the fort, and the outward gate to be delivered into our hands that evening, as soon as the capitulation was figned ; which was done in a short time, and a guard was ordered to the gate. Wade returned to the general in the camp; and both were extremely well plealed with this success.
On the morrow Wade went with all the forces to see the garrison evacuate the fort ; and he had not men enough to form the two lines through which the garrison was to march to the sea-side, except they were placed at an unusual dif
The enemy then saw their mistake, as well as before, when they were coming up from the camp, but it was too late. All the boats of the feet which were come into the harbour the night before, when the capitulation was signed, were ordered to attend to carry the garrison into the . transports. When the French were got into three vessels, a field-officer was sent to let them know, that general Stanhope made them prisoners of war, by way of reprisals for the garrison of Denia, which, after a brave defence, were, contrary to the capitulation, made prisoners of war by count & Asfeld.
Fort St. Philip being in our hands, the whole island gladly submitted, except Port-Fornelli
. On the 17th of August, Sir John Leake, with the Dutch, failing for England, Whitaker, rear-admiral of the red, was left with his squadron before Port-Mahon, who, with a few men of war failing to Port-Fornelli, and meeting little resistance, brought away the garrison, consisting of about two hundred men, prisoners of war.
Thus the conquest of the whole island, with the loss only of forty men killed or wounded, was finished in less than three weeks, to the great admiration of all Europe. The besiegers found in the forts about a hundred pieces of cannon, three thousand barrels of powder, and all things necessary for a good defence. The Spaniards were all carried to Murcia, except the inhabitants of the suburbs, who had liberty to return to their houses. As soon as they landed, the governor threw himself out of a window and died. The French marincs were sent to France, except a captain, who refused to fign the capitulation, and two lieutenants, who were left to take care of the prisoners that were detained on account of the affair of Denia. When they arrived at Toulou, la Jonquiere was confined for life
1708. and all the captains received marks of their master's displea
sure. But the captain, who stood out against the capitulation, was promised a reward. General Stanhope appointed brigadier Petit governor of fort St. Philip, and deputy governor of the whole island. By this conquest our fleet had got a safe port to lie in and refit, and to retire to on all occasions; for till then we had no place nearer than Lif
(z) The earl of Sunderland captain Moyser has brought, those wrote the following letter to ge- orders are renewed, so that you neral Stanhope upon the reduc- may depend upon that being eftion of Minorca.
fectually provided for. I do not
say any thing to you of what you Whitehall, Oe. mention in relation to the troops SIR,
20, 1708. from Naples, because you will .. I received on Monday the fa- receive, by Mr. Cragg's, the vour of your's of the 30th of queen's approbation of what you September, N. S. by captain have done in relation to it. I Moyfer, with the welcome news fend you inclosed a letter of of your having taken Port-Ma- the queen's to the countess of hon; which, though it came at Oropesa, writ with her own hand. the same time as the news of You will receive directions from taking of Lisle, yet was not at all my lord treasurer, to give her, lessened by it: every body look at the fame time, from the ing upon our being in poffeffion queen, the thousand pounds you of Port-Mahon as of the last con have fo often mentioned. I must. fequence to the carrying on the not omit telling you, that the war in Spain ; besides the other queen does intirely approve of advantages, which, if we are your leaving an English garrison wise, we may reap from it, both in Port-Mahon, for the reasons in war and peace. I cannot ex you mention, though some of press to you the sense the queen, them must be kept very secret. and every body here, has of your Her majesty does approve also of zeal and conduct in this affair, the governor you have named, to which this very important suc- and is very well fatisfied with cess is so much owing. I hear- your having the commission you tily condole with you for the lofs mention from the king of Spain, of your brother, which indeed is being satisfied you make no use a public loss to us all, he was so of it but what is for the public deserving a young man. As soon service. I have nothing more to as we heard of your being gone trouble you with, but to assure upon this expedition, orders were you, that I am, with the greatest fent to Sir George Byng, as soon
truth and esteem,
SUNDERLAND. there ; and, upon the good news