Beyond NGE

Out on Your Ear

 In the 1742 Battle of Bloody Marsh on St. Simons Island, General Oglethorpe's soldiers defeated Spanish forces in what was the only Spanish invasion of Georgia during the War of Jenkins' Ear. The battle earned its name from its location rather than from the number of casualties, which were minimal.

Have you ever heard the phrase out on your ear? If you do, it means that you are being kicked out of a place or situation. For example, your soccer coach might say, “You’ll be out on your ear if you don’t get to practice on time."

Back in 1731 British naval captain Robert Jenkins would gladly have been out on his ear—except he didn’t have one! An angry Spanish privateer cut off Jenkins’s ear as punishment for English raids on Spanish ships. Captain Jenkins paraded his severed ear before the British Parliament, and the English people were outraged. War between England and Spain erupted in 1739, and the young Georgia colony, caught between Spanish-ruled Florida to the south and the British colonies to the north, was right in the middle of the fight. For a time it looked like the Georgia colony would be lost. But English settlers and Native American tribes came together to expel the Spanish, and in 1742, during the Battle of Bloody Marsh on St. Simons Island, General James Oglethorpe and his troops put the Spanish out on their ears for good. Never again did the Spanish invade Georgia, thanks to the War of Jenkins' Ear.

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Courtesy of Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries