Monday, June 9, 2014
Tika & The War of Jenkins Ear
I had just read a historical trivia tidbit when I snuggled in next to Tika in our chair. The bit I read was about the War of Jenkins' Ear. As I rubbed her ears, I wondered if any of my ancestors were involved in this very unknown little conflict.
"The War of Jenkins' Ear was a conflict between Great Britain and Spain that lasted from 1739 to 1748 with major operations largely ended by 1742." (So speaks Wikipedia.)
The unusual name was not coined until 1858 (some 100 years later!) by one Thomas Carlyle who, as a 19th century author, mentioned the event in several passages of his book on Friedrich II.
The name refers to an ear sliced from the head of Robert Jenkins, who was captain of a British merchant ship. He lost the ear when his ship was boarded by Spaniards in 1731.
This small event happened in the midst of the British war against the Spanish Empire and something to do with the slave trade. (Tika didn't care to learn of those details.)
Jenkins' ear "was subsequently exhibited before Parliament." Can you imagine a Congressman today bringing in to the august chamber a severed ear for show and tell???
No war is good; every war is terrible and filled with atrocities big and small. Losing a small ear was no doubt a big deal for Robert Jenkins.
Any Jenkins family have this story in their history?? Tika and I wonder.