De la Cierva is a historian and politician and the writer of many works of history. He was born in 1926 and at the time of writing is still alive. In 1993 he published Los Años Mentidos: falsificaciones y mentiras de la historia, a lively and entertaining analysis of popular historical errors.
I have just read a book of his published in 2001 described as a ‘guía impresciendible para jóvenes’. The title page tell us that this is the History of Spain from ‘800 000 BC (sic) to 2001. I am not quite certain about the eight hundred thousand years before Christ, but I have found a hilarious ‘falsificacion y mentira’ on pages 294 which should perhaps be corrected before a new edition of this readable work is published.
On page 294 we read this: Es el 4 de agosto de 1704, el ayuntamiento de Gibraltar se traslada a la vecina villa (town) de San Roque y el Principe de Darmstadt toma posesión de la Roca en nombre del Rey de España Carlos III, cuya pendón se alza en la fortaleza. Inglaterra reconoce la posesión española de la plaza pero el almirante Tooke, que ha fracasado el alzar por el Pretendiente el campo de Gibraltar a la plaza de Ceuta, al otro lado del estrecho, decide al regresar de una incursión izar en Gibraltar la bandera inglesa que contra toda justicia y razón histórica sigue allí.
Well now, this means that at that precise moment there were two Kings of Spain, Carlos III and Felipe V, since this incident formed a part of the Spanish Wars of Succession (q.v.). As I remember it ‘Carlos III’ was in fact the Archduke Charles, the Austrian candidate for the Succession. It also means that de la Cierva insists that Gibraltar became English because an admiral planted the flag there. Apparently the Treaty of Utrecht (Q.V. 1713) is of no importance. Philip V was recognised as Spain’s King after the War was over, a new political group (The Carlists) was organised which claimed the Habsburg Archduke should have been King; Gibraltar became a subject of friction between England and Spain ever since; Felipe was a grandson of Louis XIV, which meant that Bourbon/Borbón families ruled in France and Spain. The path was laid for a later Borbón king called Fernando VII, about whose disastrous monarchy we have also written in General-History.