Five of us dug at the Limes last Saturday, we made good progress now the initial digging has been completed and after an early shower the weather wasn’t too bad. We didn’t find anything, apart from a rusty spring but we are still very shallow, around 3″ deep over the entire trench.
We had a visit from Andy Sadler’s father who showed us the medal he’d found long ago, close to where we’re digging, I’m attaching photos of it (and the trench) and Tim Langley did some research for the full details. I’m attaching the photos he sent of a medal in rather better condition. Tim’s research can be seen at the end of this report.
We decided not to dig next Saturday as it’s Easter Saturday and most people are doing other things but we resume the following Saturday (28th April) when it will be warm and sunny!
Terry has bought buckets and shovels now for the diggers so you only need your trowel, kneeling mat and seed tray.
The commemorative medal viewed at the Limes today was to celebrate the
capture of Portobelo on 22nd November 1739.
The *War of Jenkins’ Ear* (known as *Guerra del Asiento* in Spain) was a conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and Spain lasting from 1739 to 1748, with major operations largely ended by 1742. Its unusual name, coined by Thomas Carlyle in 1858, refers to an ear severed from Robert Jenkinsa captain of a British merchant ship. There is no evidence that supports the stories that the severed ear was exhibited before the British Parliament!
*Capture of Portobelo (20–22 November 1739)*
One of the first major actions of the war was the British capture, on 22 November 1739, of Portobelo, a silver-exporting town on the coast of Panama, the move was
intended to damage Spain’s finances and weaken its naval capabilities. The poorly defended port was attacked by six ships of the line under Vice Admiral Edward Vernon who captured it within twenty-four hours. The British occupied the town for three weeks before withdrawing, having destroyed its fortifications, port and warehouses.
As a result, the Spanish changed their trading practices. Rather than trading at centralised ports with a few large treasure fleets, they began using a larger number of smaller convoys trading at a wide variety of ports. Portobelo’s economy was so damaged that it did not recover until the building of the Panama Canal nearly two centuries later.
In Britain, the victory was greeted with much celebration. In 1740, at a dinner in honour of Vernon in London, the song “Rule Britannia was performed in public for
the first time.”