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Gibraltar in History

   By WCG Ministry Page 1 Plain Truth April, 1982

Recorded possession of the Rock extends far back into history. The ancient Phoenicians once held it. The early Greeks occupied it next, followed by the Phoenicians of Carthage and then the Romans.

Threatened by barbarian invasions at home, the Romans left the Rock in the early fifth century A.D. Three centuries later, in 711, Tarik-ibn-Zaid's invasion from North Africa began a long Moorish domination of much of Spain.

Then in 1309 the Rock was taken by the Spaniards only to be retaken by the Moors in 1333. It became Spanish once more in 1462. Gibraltar was formally incorporated within the domains of the Spanish Crown by Queen Isabella in 1502.

Two centuries later in July, 1704, Spain in turn lost control of the Rock during the War of Spanish Succession. A combined British-Dutch naval force under Admiral Sir George Rooke seized Gibraltar after three days' siege. Finally in 1713 Spain ceded the Rock to Britain in Article X of the Treaty of Utrecht.

Various Spanish expeditions were undertaken in subsequent years to recapture the Rock — all ending in failure. The last great attempt by Spain to regain Gibraltar by force came in June, 1779. This "Great Siege" — one of the most memorable in history — lasted more than 3½ years as a combined Spanish-French army of 60,000 blockaded, but never quite conquered, the small British garrison of 6,000 under General George Elliot, the governor of Gibraltar.

In 1783, Britain's possession of the Rock was once more confirmed by the Treaty of Versailles. This ended Spanish hopes in a military sense.