300-year old warrant sold for £900
A warrant penned in the lead-up to the Anglo-Spanish war in the late 1720s, during which Spain laid siege on Gibraltar was sold at auction for £900 to an undisclosed bidder.
The single-sheet manuscript was sold by Forum Auctions and exceeded the valuation the auctioneer’s valuation.
Experts at Forum Auctions, who were selling the document on behalf of a private collector in the UK, had estimated it would fetch between £500 and £700.
The warrant was written by James Berkely, the third Earl of Berkely and First Lord of the Admiralty, to Vice Admiral Sir Charles Wager, who was in command of the English naval fleet operating off the coast of Spain at the time.
In the orders, Sir Charles is tasked with intercepting any Spanish vessels in response to Spain’s hostile actions against Gibraltar.
He was ordered to “…to take, sink, burn or otherwise destroy...” any Spanish vessels sighted by his ships.
The document offers an interesting snippet of Gibraltar’s history just 22 years after an Anglo-Dutch fleet captured Gibraltar in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession.