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Original Early-18th Century Manuscript Map of Gibraltar.

Pen, ink, and wash hand-drawn map of Gibraltar, probably done by a French or Spanish mapmaker around the time of the 1727 Spanish siege.

The map is unusual in its configuration and does not follow an existing template that we have identified. It is, therefore, possible that the map was produced from first-hand observations.

The isthmus separating Gibraltar from the mainland has a low-lying lake (labeled "6"), this feature disappears on maps after the 1730s, and is an important piece of evidence in trying to date the map.

Evidently there was at one time a key that was attached to the map, however this is now wanting.

This was a very careful and detailed mapping; the mapmaker took care to render the fortifications and even individual buildings with precision.

The 1727 Siege of Gibraltar

The Siege of Gibraltar of 1727 (thirteenth siege of Gibraltar, second by Spain) saw Spanish forces besiege the British garrison of Gibraltar as part of the Anglo-Spanish War. Depending on the sources, Spanish troops numbered between 12,000 and 25,000. British defenders were 1,500 at the beginning of the siege, increasing up to about 5,000. After a five-month siege with several unsuccessful and costly assaults, Spanish troops gave up and withdrew. Following the failure the war drew to a close, opening the way for the 1728 Treaty of El Pardo and the Treaty of Seville signed in 1729.

It is possible that the map was made before the 1727 Siege, but, as it does not show any major fortifications on the opposite side of the isthmus it is unlikely that it was done later.