Marquis of Verboom
|George Prosper Verboom, Marquis of Verboom|
|Born||9 January 1665
|Died||19 January 1744
|Practice name||Jorge Próspero de Verboom, Marqués de Verboom|
George Prosper Verboom, also known as Jorge Próspero de Verboom (9 January 1665 in Brussels – 19 January 1744 in Barcelona, Spain), was a Flemish-born military engineer in the service of the King of Spain. On 9 January 1727, King Philip V of Spain granted him the title of Marquis of Verboom.
His father was Cornelius Verboom, the Flemish Engineer in Chief of the Spanish Netherlands, in charge of the fortification of Besançon and of Dôle, in France. Prospero Jorge joined the Spanish Military Engineering Academy of Brussels (founded 1675 - disappeared 1706), under General Sebastián Fernández de Medrano.
During the Nine Years' War, Prospero was instrumental in 1691 in the campaign by William III of Orange, King Consort of England, against the French blockade of Mons, in the Spanish Netherlands. In 1695 he directed the siege of Namur, also in the Spanish Netherlands, with famous Dutch military engineer Menno van Coehoorn. He was promoted to Field Marshal of the Spanish Cavalry and, two years later, commanded the Lorraine Regiment of Cavalry.
In the Spanish War of Succession (wherein French, Bavarians and Spaniards supported the grandson of French King Louis XIV, later to become King Philip V of Spain), Verboom was in command of the defence systems of Antwerp, taking part in 1702 with the Captain General of the Spanish Artillery Isidro de la Cueva - Benavides in the siege of Hulst, but in 1706 the French - Spanish Army commanded by François de Neufville, duc de Villeroi was defeated by the Duke of Marlborough at the Battle of Ramillies but managed to use troops from Antwerp to put pressure on the British at the siege of Termonde.
In 1709 Philip V ordered him to report on the state of the castles and garrisons on the Spanish - Portuguese frontier, in preparation for war.
He was promoted to Lieutenant General of the Spanish Army on 18 December 1709 and a few days later Engineer General of the Royal Armies ("...of all Armies, towns and fortifications in all my Kingdoms, Towns or States, wherever they might be located or wherever you can be there and then..."). He fought in the Battle of Almenar against Count Guido Starhemberg in 1710, where he was captured. He was imprisoned until 1712, time he used to prepare the State organizational structure of all the Engineering Works to be undertaken under Spanish sovereignty.
He took a very active part in the conquest of Barcelona; from 1718 he lived there, supervising the works of the Ciudadela of Barcelona and planning the expeditions in the War of the Quadruple Alliance to recover Sardinia and Sicily, former Spanish possessions.
He also worked in Ceuta, Málaga, Sevilla, the Lorca water dam, the Guadalquivir river banks to aid navigation inland from Cadiz, and the Gibraltar contravallation against the British (modern La Línea de la Concepción). He played an important role in the failed Siege of Gibraltar (1727). He was acting Captain General of Catalonia between 1737 and 1738.
He died on 17 January 1744, aged 79, being buried at the Real Convento de Santa Catalina (not in the Ciudadela new church as stated by some).
- De Navorscher. 1859. p. 137.