The People of Gibraltar
1786 - Lady Elizabeth Craven - A Life Full of Scandal

The right Honourable Lady Elizabeth Lady Craven was supposed to have been one of the most scandalous English society figures of her time. She knew Samuel Johnson and was a friend of Horace Walpole and was known - among other less reputable things - as a writer of inconsequential farces and pantomimes. Her notoriety was such that her book - A Journey through the Crimea to Constantinople - was said to have been written as an attempt to redeem herself of her ruined reputation.

Lady Elizabeth, Margravine of Anspach ( 1780s -Ozias Humphry )

The format was a series of letters to the Margrave of Branderbourg - with whom she had maintained a romantic relationship for a number of years - and was published in 1786 just before the French Revolution.

Her accounts of the harems in Turkey are both scathingly and interesting - but unfortunately of no interest here. What is of interest is that during her travels she managed to get her hands on a pamphlet on the Great Siege of Gibraltar written by a French officer called Hyeres which she then proceeded to turn into a poem. To put it in her own words - she turned his tragedy into farce.

A copy of the poem as it appears in her book is shown below.

From a French point of view the battle for Gibraltar was lost and Eliott acclaimed a hero. But Mahon was thiers and Britain had suffered the enormous humiliation of losing America.