War of Jenkins's Ear
Jenkins's Ear, War of,1739–41, struggle between England and Spain. It grew out of the commercial rivalry of the two powers and led to involvement in the larger War of the Austrian SuccessionAustrian Succession, War of the,
1740–48, general European war. Causes of the War
The war broke out when, on the strength of the pragmatic sanction of 1713, the Austrian archduchess Maria Theresa succeeded her father, Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, as ruler
..... Click the link for more information. . The incident that gave the name to the war occurred in 1731 when, according to Robert Jenkins, master of the ship Rebecca, he had his ear cut off by Spanish coast guards. English smuggling and resentment at exclusion from the Spanish colonial trade caused the war, but Jenkins's story in the House of Commons (1738), reinforced by the showing of his carefully preserved ear, had a tremendous propaganda effect and forced the reluctant Sir Robert WalpoleWalpole, Robert, 1st earl of Orford,
1676–1745, English statesman. Early Life and Career
He was the younger son of a prominent Whig family of Norfolk.
..... Click the link for more information. to declare war. The hostilities with Spain up to 1741 were marked only by the naval engagements of Admiral Edward Vernon in the West Indies.