January 20 - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
30 December 1917 - HMT Aragon, Britain's first defensively armed merchant ship ("DAMS"), was sank by German submarine in the Mediterranean, killing 610 of the personnel aboard


HMT Aragon, originally RMS Aragon, was a 9,588 GRT transatlantic Royal Mail Ship that served as a troop ship in the First World War. She was built in Ireland in 1905 and was the first of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company's fleet of "A-liners" that worked regular routes between Southampton and South American ports including Buenos Aires.

In 1913 Aragon became Britain's first defensively armed merchant ship ("DAMS") of modern times. In the First World War she served as a troop ship, taking part in the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915. In 1917 a German submarine sank her in the Mediterranean, killing 610 of the personnel aboard.

SS_Aragon_1908.jpg
Passenger steamship Aragon, built in Belfast in 1905 by Harland & Wolff for the Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. She was requisitioned in 1915, converted into a troop ship, and sunk by a U-boat off Alexandria, Egypt in 1917

Building
Owen Philipps became chairman of RMSP in 1903 and quickly addressed the company's need for larger ships on its South America route. RMSP ordered Aragon from Harland and Wolff built in Belfast, where she was launched on 23 February 1905 by the Countess Fitzwilliam.

He discussed with Charles Parsons the possibility of steam turbine propulsion, which had been demonstrated by the steam launch Turbinia in 1894. The first turbine-powered passenger ship, TS King Edward, had entered service on the Firth of Clyde in 1901 but Philipps decided that another year of evaluation was needed to establish if and how to apply the new form of steam power to commercial ships.

Accordingly, Aragon was built with a pair of conventional quadruple-expansion steam engines that between them developed 827 or 875 NHP. They drove twin screws that gave her a speed of 15 knots (28 km/h). She had a single large funnel amidships. She had 12 lifeboats on her boat deck plus a dinghy and a gig aft. Her 1st class dining saloon had a panelled ceiling inlaid with paintings of Christopher Columbus discovering the Americas.

Aragon had five cargo holds, some of which were refrigerated to carry meat and fruit from South America. Number 5 hold and the lower levels of numbers 1 and 2 holds were for frozen cargos. The 'tween decks of numbers 1 and 2 holds and upper 'tween deck of number 5 hold were for chilled cargos. A steam-powered refrigerating plant used "carbonic anhydride" as the refrigerant, and the holds were insulated with "silicate cotton". Her bunkers held 2,000 tons of coal[8] and she had water tanks with a capacity of about 2,000 tons.

A-series development
Aragon was followed by series of generally similar but progressively larger and heavier liners. In 1906 Harland and Wolff built sister ships Amazon and Avon, while another Belfast shipyard, Workman, Clark and Company, built Araguaya. Harland and Wolff added a fifth sister ship, Asturias, in 1908. RMSP gave each of this series a name beginning with "A", with the result that colloquially they were dubbed the "A-series" or "A-liners".

A few years later the final four A-series ships followed from Harland and Wolff: Arlanza in 1912, Andes and Alcantara in 1913 and Almanzora in 1915. Apart from being larger again, they differed from Aragon and her first four sisters by having three screws instead of two, and by making limited use of the turbine propulsion that Phillips and Parsons had discussed a few years earlier. Their two outer screws were driven by conventional triple-expansion steam engines. A low-pressure steam turbine drove the middle screw via reduction gearing.

Civilian service
From the 1850s RMSP passenger liners had served a regular route between Britain and the River Plate ports in South America. They sailed from Southampton in southern England, called at the islands of Madeira and Tenerife off the West African coast; at Pernambuco, Salvador de Bahia and Rio de Janeiro on the coast of Brazil; and then at Montevideo in Uruguay before completing their voyage at Buenos Aires in Argentina. Aragon and her sisters modernised RMSP's Southampton – River Plate service, replacing vessels such as RMS Atranto that had been in service from 1889 onwards.

The A-series ships hugely increased the profitability of the route. In 1906 she made four voyages to and from South America and netted a total profit of £45,368. In 1908 she ran aground off the Isle of Wight, but that aside her civilian service was generally uneventful.

Defensively armed merchant ship
Main article: Defensively equipped merchant ships § Anglo-German arms race
From the turn of the 20th century, growing tensions between Europe's Great Powers included an Anglo-German naval arms race that threatened the security of merchant shipping. From 1911 the British Intelligence became aware that the German Empire was secretly arming some of its passenger liners, and the British Government and Admiralty discussed how to respond.

Towards the end of 1912 the Admiralty decided to match the German policy by arming some British passenger liners, starting with RMS Aragon. She was due to carry naval guns from December 1912, but within the British Government and Admiralty there was uncertainty as to how foreign countries and ports would react. In January 1913 Rear Admiral Henry Campbell recommended that the Admiralty should send a merchant ship to sea with naval guns, but without ammunition, to test foreign governments' reaction. A meeting chaired by Sir Francis Hopwood, Civil Lord of the Admiralty agreed, and Sir Eyre Crowe recorded "If nothing happens, it may be possible and easy, after a time, to place ammunition on board."

On 25 April 1913 Aragon left Southampton as Britain's first defensively armed merchant ship (DAMS), carrying two QF 4.7-inch (120 mm) naval guns on her stern. Governments, newspapers and the public in South American countries that Aragon visited took little notice and expressed no concern. There was criticism from some serving and retired naval figures in Britain but the policy continued. Aragon's sister ship RMS Amazon was made the next DAMS, and in the following months further RMSP "A-liners" were armed. They included the newly built Alcantara, which in the First World War served as an armed merchant cruiser.

Gallipoli
During the First World War the ship was requisitioned as a troop ship and became HMT Aragon. She took part in the Gallipoli Campaign, in which one source states that she began by taking the 5th Battalion, the Hampshire Regiment and Royal Army Medical Corps units to the campaign in March 1915. As the landings were not until 25 April, this may refer to troops moving from the UK to the Eastern Mediterranean in preparation for the landings. Her duties included evacuating nearly 1,500 wounded personnel to Alexandria and Malta.

On 8 April Aragon was in Alexandria where she embarked the 4th Battalion, the Worcestershire Regiment and the 2nd Battalion, the Hampshire Regiment. Both battalions were units of the 88th Brigade, which as part of the 29th Division had been ordered to take part in the Gallipoli Landings.

On 11 April she left Alexandria for the Aegean island of Lemnos, where French and British ships were assembling in the large natural harbour of Moudros in final preparation for the landings. On 13 April 1915 Aragon's troops transferred to the cargo steamer SS River Clyde in preparation for the landing at Cape Helles 10 days later.

Later in the Gallipoli Campaign a British Forces Post Office, Base Army Post Office Y, transferred from Arcadian, another troop ship, to Aragon. BAPO Y later redeployed from Aragon to a land base at Moudros.

The invasion was a costly failure and in January 1916 French and British forces withdrew from the Gallipoli peninsula. On 13 February Aragon left Moudros for Malta, taking troops on leave including four officers and 270 men of the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division (RND).

On 14 May Aragon was again at Moudros to withdraw troops; this time including the 1st Battalion the Royal Marines and elements of the 2nd (Royal Naval) Brigade. She reached Marseille in southern France at 0630 hrs on 19 May.

Later in 1916 Aragon served in the Indian Ocean. In December 1916 she sailed from Kilindini Harbour in the British East Africa Protectorate, reaching Durban on Christmas Day.

Alexandria Roads
Late in 1917 Aragon spent two weeks at anchor off Marseille before receiving orders in December to sail for Egypt. She took about 2,200 troops to reinforce the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in the Palestine Campaign against the Ottoman Empire, plus about 150 military officers, 160 VADs and about 2,500 bags of Christmas mail. She and another transport, the Nile, then sailed in convoy with an escort of destroyers for Egypt. On 23 December they reached Windy Bay, Malta, where the two transports stayed at anchor for four or five days. There they celebrated Christmas, and according to one VAD those aboard Aragon had a "top hole" time.

HMS_Attack_(1911).jpg
Acheron-class destroyer HMS Attack

Aragon and Nile then continued to Egypt with a fresh escort: the Acheron-class destroyer HMS Attack plus two Imperial Japanese Navy destroyers. The convoy weathered a gale, and off the Egyptian coast at daybreak on Sunday 30 December it divided. The two Japanese destroyers escorted Nile to Port Said, while Attack escorted Aragon to Alexandria. On approach to the port Attack zig-zagged ahead to search the channel for mines while Aragon waited in Alexandria Roads.

The armed trawler HMT Points Castle approached Aragon flying the international flag signal "Follow me". The troop ship did so, until Attack returned and signalled "You have no right to take orders from a trawler". The destroyer intercepted Points Castle and then ordered Aragon to return to sea. The troop ship obeyed and turned back to sea.

The most senior of Aragon's officers to survive what followed tried to make sense of the confusion:

"The only explanation that the writer can put forward is that the commander of the Attack had a warning of mines in the channel, causing him to order Aragon to disregard Points Castle's "Follow me". Evidently the enemy laid mines at the appropriate time in the knowledge that the ship would be kept out and thus present a target for torpedo attack."
Aragon and Attack were in Alexandria Roads about 8 miles (13 km) or 10 miles (16 km) outside the port, awaiting permission to enter, when at about 1100 hrs the German Type UC II submarine SM UC-34 torpedoed Aragon, hitting her port side aft and causing extensive damage in her almost empty number 4 hold. Aragon's deck officer of the watch, Lieut. J.F.A. Thompson, stated that she then listed to starboard.

Rescue
“Let us take our chance with the Tommies.”— A VAD, quoted in The Northern Star, 8 April 1918

Attack and Points Castle came to the rescue. One account states that two trawlers were present. The VADs were ordered into the first lifeboats to be launched. Two or three of the VADs protested at being given priority and one pleaded "Let us take our chance with the Tommies" before they all obeyed orders. The VADs' boats rescued some troops from the water and then transferred their survivors to one or two trawlers. Aragon released her life rafts but the explosion had smashed one of her lifeboats and her increasing list prevented her crew from launching some of the remainder. Aragon's crew worked until they were waist deep in water to launch what boats they could.

“I have heard the chorus Keep the Home Fires Burning on many occasions but I don't think that I have ever heard it given with so much power.”— A survivor, quoted in The Northern Star, 8 April 1918

Attack drew right alongside Aragon to take survivors aboard as quickly as possible, helped by lines cast between the two ships. The troop ship sank rapidly by the stern. More than one survivor stated that soldiers waiting on deck to be rescued started singing. One said "I have heard the chorus 'Keep the Home Fires Burning' on many occasions but I don't think that I have ever heard it given with so much power".

By now there was an increasing number of men in the water, and trooper James Werner Magnusson of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles saw an injured soldier struggling in the very rough sea. He dived overboard from the ship, rescued the man and placed him in a boat. Magnusson then returned aboard, rejoined his unit, and went down with the ship. He was posthumously awarded the Albert Medal.

“We felt that all our friends were drowning before our eyes.”— A VAD, quoted in MacDonald 1984, pp. 230–231

About 15 minutes after the torpedo struck Aragon, her Master, Captain Bateman, gave the order from her bridge "Every man for himself". Those remaining aboard rushed to get over her side, and her bow rose out of the sea as soldiers swarmed down her side into the water. One of the VADs who survived later recorded "We felt that all our friends were drowning before our eyes". About 17 to 20 minutes after being hit Aragon went down, and she suffered a second explosion as the cold seawater reached her hot boilers. Some of her boats were left upturned in the water.


Cigarette card portrait of BSM Ernest Horlock VC, who was among the hundreds of troops killed when Aragon was sunk

Attack was now crowded with 300 to 400 survivors: some naked, some wounded, many unconscious and dying. One soldier, Sergeant Harold Riddlesworth of the Cheshire Regiment, repeatedly dived from the destroyer into the sea to rescue more survivors. He survived and was decorated with the Meritorious Service Medal.

HMS_Attack_(1911)_sinking.jpg
HMS Attack sinking

Then a torpedo struck Attack amidships and blew her into two pieces, both of which sank with five to seven minutes. The explosion ruptured Attack's bunkers, spilling tons of thick, black bunker fuel oil into the sea as she sank. Hundreds of men were in the water, and many of them became covered in oil or overcome by its fumes.

Aragon's surviving lifeboats now ferried hundreds of survivors to the trawlers, where the VADs "worked unceasingly and with great heroism" to tend the many wounded. Other trawlers came out to assist, and the first trawler or trawlers returned to harbour for safety.

Deaths and survivors
Of those aboard Aragon, 610 were killed including Captain Bateman, 19 of his crew, and six of the VADs. Hundreds of troops were killed. One was Ernest Horlock, a Royal Field Artillery Battery Sergeant Major who had received the VC for "conspicuous gallantry" shown on the Western Front in 1914. Another 25 of those killed were new recruits to the 5th Battalion the Bedfordshire Regiment. Soldiers killed in the sinking are among those commemorated by the Chatby Memorial in the Shatby district of eastern Alexandria.

Aragon's second officer was among the survivors. A month later he told the Master of an Australian troopship, the converted AUSNC liner HMAT Indarra, that as Aragon sank Captain Bateman shouted from her bridge to Attack's commander that he would demand an enquiry into his ship having been ordered out of port. Bateman then jumped overboard and was not seen again.

Many of the survivors from Aragon's crew were repatriated to England, reaching Southampton on 10 February 1918. Some voyaged all the way by steamship, but the majority travelled overland.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMT_Aragon
 

Uwek

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
30 December 2006 – The Indonesian passenger ferry MV Senopati Nusantara sinks in a storm, resulting in at least 400 deaths.


The MV Senopati Nusantara was an Indonesian ferry that sank in a storm on December 30, 2006. The Japanese-made ship was a scheduled passenger liner from the port of Kumaiin Central Kalimantan (Borneo) to Tanjung Emas port in Semarang, East Java. About 40 km (25 mi) off Mandalika Island, the ship sank during a violent storm in the Java Sea. At least 400–500 people are thought to have drowned.

Senopati_Nusantara.jpg

Initial reports claimed as many as 800 were on board, although this was later lowered to around 628, including 57 crew. Design capacity was 1,300 passengers.

Description
The ship was a ro-ro passenger ferry. It was assessed at 2,781 GT, 672 DWT.

History
The vessel was built in 1969 by Taguma Shipbuilding, Onomichi, Japan as Naruto Maru. The IMO Number 6926866 was allocted. It was renamed Kurushima I in July 1996 and then Citra Mandala Satria in August 1996 and finally, Senopati Nusantara in January 2004.

Sinking

Map of ship transportation in Indonesia; the ill-fated ship route, Kumai-Semarang, is shown in the map (click to enlarge).

The Senopati Nusantara was on scheduled time to bring passengers and vehicles across the Java Sea from Borneo to Java. On December 30, 2006, the ship sank about 40 km (25 mi) off Mandalika Island. According to the manifest, the ship was carrying 628 people including 57 crew, but later press releases from government officials gave an inconsistent number of total passengers. The ship had a license to carry 850 passengers.

Initially, stormy weather was suggested to be the main cause of the disaster. Local officials of the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMG), however, did not ban the vessel from sailing, and the official at the Kumai port issued a sailing permit based on the weather report. According to one survivor's account, the ship rolled over and part of the hull was sticking out the water before it submerged into the sea.

Ship's condition
The Indonesian Transport Minister, Hatta Rajasa, said that the ship was not old and was still seaworthy. He said that the ship was built in 1990 and underwent repairs in 2006. It was equipped with sufficient safety gear. He said that the ship was carrying 542 passengers, 57 crew members, 29 bus/truck drivers and conductors as well as their respective vehicles during its last journey.

Survivors
Immediate rescue efforts were made by local fishermen and rescue workers, and the Indonesian Navy sent six warships, one CASA plane, one Bell helicopter, two speedboats, one Nomad plane, one C-130 Hercules, one CN-235 airplane and two Bolco helicopters to assist in the search for survivors. At least 177 survivors were rescued within the first 24 hours, but strong winds and sea currents hampered rescue efforts. Rescue workers in helicopters faced difficulties in distinguishing survivors from the sea foam created by high waves, and the survivors who had made it onto life rafts found it difficult to stay afloat in the stormy waters. The search and rescue team widened the search radius by hundreds of kilometers, but only a few more survivors were found in the following days, some of which were located by chance.

On January 3, 2007 (five days after the event), twelve survivors (11 men and a six-year-old boy) were found on an unmanned oil rig 300 km (190 mi) away; another six were found on the island of Java. They had been adrift on life rafts for days without food; some did not survive and their bodies had to be thrown into the water. The survivors were taken immediately to a hospital in Surabaya. Other survivors witnessed dozens of bodies floating in the sea. They were first thought to be survivors of Adam Air Flight 574 that crashed two days after in another storm, until it later turned out they were from MV Senopati Nusantara.

On January 5, 2007, fifteen victims were found stranded on Kangean Island. On January 8, 2007, a group of fifteen survivors were picked up by a passing cargo ship from a life raft near Bali, 500 km (310 mi) away; one of them died soon after the group was rescued. The fourteen survivors, who survived for ten days by drinking rainwater and eating food supplies stored in the life raft, were then taken to Makassar, South Sulawesi.




https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Senopati_Nusantara
 

Uwek

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
Other Events on 30 December


1419 - The naval Battle of La Rochelle 1419 was a battle between a Castilian and an allied Flemish-Hanseatic fleet.

The naval Battle of La Rochelle 1419 was a battle between a Castilian and an allied Flemish-Hanseatic fleet. The battle was notable for the use of guns by the Castilian fleet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_La_Rochelle_(1419)


1733 – Launch of french Éole, 64 at Toulon, designed and built by Blaise Coulomb - wrecked 1745.


1803 - HMS Grappler Gun-boat (12), Lt. Able Wontner Thomas, wrecked on the Isle de Chausey, Jersey.

HMS Grappler (1797) was a 12-gun gunvessel launched in 1797 and wrecked and burnt in 1803


1816 - Launch of the first german steamship "Die Weser"

Der Raddampfer Die Weser wurde am 6. Mai 1817 in Betrieb genommen und gilt als das erste von einem deutschen Schiffbauer gebaute und einem deutschen Reeder betriebene Dampfschiff. Es fuhr in den Jahren 1817 bis 1833 auf der Strecke zwischen Bremen und Brake. Ab 1827 verkehrte das Schiff über Brake hinaus bis nach Geestemünde.

Steamship_Die_Weser_1817.svg.png

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_Weser


1864 - USS Rattler (1862) was a steamer acquired by the Union Navy sunk

USS Rattler (1862) was a steamer acquired by the Union Navy during the American Civil War.

The_photographic_history_of_the_Civil_War_-_thousands_of_scenes_photographed_1861-65,_with_tex...jpg

She was used by the Navy to patrol navigable waterways of the Confederate States of America, especially the Mississippi River, and to be employed as a gunboat when required.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Rattler_(1862)


1901 - Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Adrian Wilson and Ernest Shackleton reached their Furthest South at 82°17′S during their Discovery-Expedition

Scott, Wilson and Shackleton left on 2 November 1902 with dogs and supporting parties. Their goal was "to get as far south in a straight line on the Barrier ice as we can, reach the Pole if possible, or find some new land". The first significant milestone was passed on 11 November, when a supporting party passed Borchgrevink's Farthest South record of 78°50′. However, the lack of skill with dogs was soon evident, and progress was slow. After the support parties had returned, on 15 November, Scott's group began relaying their loads (taking half loads forward, then returning for the other half), thus travelling three miles for every mile of southward progress. Mistakes had been made with the dogs' food, and as the dogs grew weaker, Wilson was forced to kill the weakest as food for the others. The men, too, were struggling, afflicted by snow blindness, frostbite and symptoms of early scurvy, but they continued southwards in line with the mountains to the west. Christmas Day was celebrated with double rations, and a Christmas pudding that Shackleton had kept for the occasion, hidden with his socks. On 30 December 1902, without having left the Barrier, they reached their Furthest South at 82°17′S.[C] Troubles multiplied on the home journey, as the remaining dogs died and Shackleton collapsed with scurvy. Wilson's diary entry for 14 January 1903 acknowledged that "we all have slight, though definite symptoms of scurvy". Scott and Wilson struggled on, with Shackleton, who was unable to pull, walking alongside and occasionally carried on the sledge. The party eventually reached the ship on 3 February 1903 after covering 960 miles (1,540 km) including relays, in 93 days' travel at a daily average of just over 10 miles (16 km).

1280px-Discovery_alongside_Barrier.jpg
The expedition ship Discovery in the Antarctic, alongside the Great Ice Barrier

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discovery_Expedition


1927 - S.S. Yorktown, launched 10 February 1894, burnt and sunk

S.S. Yorktown was launched 10 February 1894 by Delaware River Iron Ship Building and Engine Works, Chester, Pennsylvania for the Old Dominion Steamship Company for the company's overnight New York City/Norfolk, Virginia service. The United States Navy purchased Yorktown on 21 April 1898 to be commissioned as the second USS Resolute, an auxiliary cruiser and transport that saw naval service during the Spanish–American War 1898–1899. The United States Department of War acquired the ship on 22 January 1900 for service as the United States Army Transport (USAT) Rawlings. The ship was sold to the Merchants and Miners Transportation Company of Baltimore, Maryland on 27 July 1901 and renamed Powhatan. Powhatan was wrecked in 1916 and in 1919 rebuilt as the world's first turbo-electric propelled passenger ship Cuba for luxury passenger and express freight service between Florida and Cuba with the Miami Steamship Company beginning service in 1920. Renamed Seneca the ship burned and sank 30 December 1927 at Hoboken, New Jersey then refloated 2 September 1928 and scrapped.

S.S._Yorktown_(1894).jpg

Over the ship's career she went aground at Santiago, Cuba then two months later burned and sank at Brooklyn in 1901, collided and sank in 1916 in Chesapeake Bay and finally burned and sank in Hoboken.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Yorktown_(1894)


1958 – The Guatemalan Air Force sinks several Mexican fishing boats alleged to have breached maritime borders, killing three and sparking international tension.

The Mexico–Guatemala conflict was an armed conflict between the Latin American countries of Mexico and Guatemala, in which Mexican civilian fishing boats were fired upon by the Guatemalan Air Force. Hostilities were set in motion by the installation of Miguel Ydígoras as President of Guatemala on March 2, 1958.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexico–Guatemala_conflict


1959 - The first fleet ballistic missile submarine, USS George Washington (SSBN 598), is commissioned.

USS George Washington (SSBN-598) was the United States's first operational ballistic missile submarine. It was the lead ship of her class of nuclear ballistic missile submarines, was the third United States Navy ship of the name, in honor of George Washington (1732–1799), first President of the United States, and the first of that name to be purpose-built as a warship

USS_George_Washington_(SSBN_589).jpg
George Washington during her launching ceremony in Groton.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_George_Washington_(SSBN-598)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
31 December 1491 – Birth of Jacques Cartier, French navigator and explorer (d. 1557)


Jacques Cartier (French pronunciation: [ʒak kaʁtje]; Breton: Jakez Karter; December 31, 1491 – September 1, 1557) was a Breton explorer who claimed what is now Canada for France. Jacques Cartier was the first European to describe and map[1] the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the shores of the Saint Lawrence River, which he named "The Country of Canadas", after the Iroquois names for the two big settlements he saw at Stadacona (Quebec City) and at Hochelaga (Montreal Island)

800px-Jacques_Cartier_by_Hamel.jpg
Portrait of Jacques Cartier by Théophile Hamel, ca. 1844. No contemporary portraits of Cartier are known.

Early life
Jacques Cartier was born in 1491 in Saint-Malo, the port on the north-west coast of Brittany. Cartier, who was a respectable mariner, improved his social status in 1520 by marrying Mary Catherine des Granches, member of a leading family.[7] His good name in Saint-Malo is recognized by its frequent appearance in baptismal registers as godfather or witness.

First voyage, 1534
In 1534, two years after the Duchy of Brittany was formally united with France in the Edict of Union, Cartier was introduced to King Francis I by Jean Le Veneur, bishop of Saint-Malo and abbot of Mont Saint-Michel, at the Manoir de Brion. The king had previously invited (although not formally commissioned) the Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano to explore the eastern coast of North America on behalf of France in 1524. Le Veneur cited voyages to Newfoundland and Brazil as proof of Cartier's ability to "lead ships to the discovery of new lands in the New World".

Cartier_First_Voyage_Map_1.png
Route of Cartier's first voyage

On April 20, 1534, Cartier set sail under a commission from the king, hoping to discover a western passage to the wealthy markets of Asia. In the words of the commission, he was to "discover certain islands and lands where it is said that a great quantity of gold and other precious things are to be found".

It took him twenty days to sail across the ocean. Starting on May 10 of that year, he explored parts of Newfoundland, areas that now comprise the Canadian Atlantic provinces and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. During one stop at Îles aux Oiseaux (Islands of the Birds, now the Rochers-aux-Oiseaux federal bird sanctuary, northeast of Brion Island in the Magdalen Islands), his crew slaughtered around 1000 birds, most of them great auks (extinct since 1852). Cartier's first two encounters with aboriginal peoples in Canada on the north side of Chaleur Bay, most likely the Mi'kmaq, were brief; some trading occurred.

His third encounter took place on the shores of Gaspé Bay with a party of St. Lawrence Iroquoians, where on July 24, he planted a cross to claim the land for France. The 10-meter cross bearing the words "Long Live the King of France" took possession of the territory in the name of the king. The change in mood was a clear indication that the Iroquoians understood Cartier's actions. Here he kidnapped the two sons of their captain. Cartier wrote that they later told him this region where they were captured (Gaspé) was called by them Honguedo. The natives' captain at last agreed that they could be taken, under the condition that they return with European goods to trade.

Cartier returned to France in September 1534, sure that he had reached an Asian land.

Second voyage, 1535–1536

Cartier_Second_Voyage_Map_1.png
Route of Cartier's second voyage.

1280px-Carte_espagnole_fleuve_Saint_Laurent.jpg
This Spanish chart of the Saint Lawrence River, from ca. 1541, contains a legend in front of the "isla de Orliens" that says: "Here many French died of hunger"; possibly alluding to Cartier's second settlement in 1535–1536.

Jacques Cartier set sail for a second voyage on May 19 of the following year with three ships, 110 men, and his two Iroquoian captives. Reaching the St. Lawrence, he sailed up-river for the first time, and reached the Iroquoian capital of Stadacona, where Chief Donnacona ruled.

Cartier left his main ships in a harbour close to Stadacona, and used his smallest ship to continue on to Hochelaga (now Montreal), arriving on October 2, 1535. Hochelaga was far more impressive than the small and squalid village of Stadacona, and a crowd of over a thousand came to the river edge to greet the Frenchmen. The site of their arrival has been confidently identified as the beginning of the Sainte-Marie Sault – where the bridge named after him now stands. The expedition could proceed no further, as the river was blocked by rapids. So certain was Cartier that the river was the Northwest Passage and that the rapids were all that was preventing him from sailing to China, that the rapids and the town that eventually grew up near them came to be named after the French word for China, La Chine: the Lachine Rapids and the town of Lachine, Quebec.

After spending two days among the people of Hochelaga, Cartier returned to Stadacona on October 11. It is not known exactly when he decided to spend the winter of 1535–1536 in Stadacona, and it was by then too late to return to France. Cartier and his men prepared for the winter by strengthening their fort, stacking firewood, and salting down game and fish.

From mid-November 1535 to mid-April 1536, the French fleet lay frozen solid at the mouth of the St. Charles River, under the Rock of Quebec. Ice was over a fathom (1.8 m) thick on the river, with snow four feet (1.2 m) deep ashore. To add to the misery, scurvy broke out – first among the Iroquoians, and then among the French. Cartier estimated the number of dead Iroquoians at 50. On a visit by Domagaya to the French fort, Cartier inquired and learned from him that a concoction made from a tree known as annedda, probably Spruce beer, or arbor vitae, would cure scurvy. This remedy likely saved the expedition from destruction, allowing 85 Frenchmen to survive the winter. In his journal, Cartier states that by mid-February, "out of 110 that we were, not ten were well enough to help the others, a pitiful thing to see". The Frenchmen used up the bark of an entire tree in a week on the cure, and the dramatic results prompted Cartier to proclaim it a Godsend, and a miracle.

Ready to return to France in early May 1536, Cartier decided to kidnap Chief Donnacona and take him to France,[21] so that he might personally tell the tale of a country further north, called the "Kingdom of Saguenay", said to be full of gold, rubies and other treasures. After an arduous trip down the St. Lawrence and a three-week Atlantic crossing, Cartier and his men arrived in Saint-Malo on July 15, 1536, concluding the second, 14-month voyage, which was to be Cartier's most profitable.

Third voyage, 1541–1542

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The Dauphin Map of Canada, c. 1543, showing Cartier's discoveries

On October 17, 1540, Francis ordered the navigator Jacques Cartier to return to Canada to lend weight to a colonization project of which he would be "captain general". However, January 15, 1541, saw Cartier supplanted by Jean-François de La Rocque de Roberval, a Huguenot courtier and friend of the king named as the first lieutenant general of French Canada. Roberval was to lead the expedition, with Cartier as his chief navigator. While Roberval waited for artillery and supplies, he gave permission to Cartier to sail on ahead with his ships.

On May 23, 1541, Cartier departed Saint-Malo on his third voyage with five ships. This time, any thought of finding a passage to the Orient was forgotten. The goals were now to find the "Kingdom of Saguenay" and its riches, and to establish a permanent settlement along the St. Lawrence River.

Anchoring at Stadacona, Cartier again met the Iroquoians, but found their "show of joy" and their numbers worrisome, and decided not to build his settlement there. Sailing a few kilometres up-river to a spot he had previously observed, he decided to settle on the site of present-day Cap-Rouge, Quebec. The convicts and other colonists were landed, the cattle that had survived three months aboard ship were turned loose, earth was broken for a kitchen garden, and seeds of cabbage, turnip, and lettuce were planted. A fortified settlement was thus created and was named Charlesbourg-Royal. Another fort was also built on the cliff overlooking the settlement, for added protection.

The men also began collecting what they believed to be diamonds and gold, but which upon return to France were discovered to be merely quartz crystals and iron pyrites, respectively — which gave rise to a French expression: "faux comme les diamants du Canada" ("As false as Canadian diamonds"). Two of the ships were sent on their journey home with some of these minerals on September 2.

Having set tasks for everyone, Cartier left with the longboats for a reconnaissance in search of "Saguenay" on September 7. Having reached Hochelaga, he was prevented by bad weather and the numerous rapids from continuing up to the Ottawa River.

Returning to Charlesbourg-Royal, Cartier found the situation ominous. The Iroquoians no longer made friendly visits or peddled fish and game, but prowled about in a sinister manner. No records exist about the winter of 1541–1542 and the information must be gleaned from the few details provided by returning sailors. It seems the natives attacked and killed about 35 settlers before the Frenchmen could retreat behind their fortifications. Even though scurvy was cured through the native remedy (Thuja occidentalis infusion), the impression left is of a general misery, and of Cartier's growing conviction that he had insufficient manpower either to protect his base or to go in search of the Saguenay Kingdom.

Cartier left for France in early June 1542, encountering Roberval and his ships along the Newfoundland coast, at about the time Roberval marooned Marguerite de La Rocque. Despite Roberval's insistence that he accompany him back to Saguenay, Cartier slipped off under the cover of darkness and continued on to France, still convinced his vessels contained a wealth of gold and diamonds. He arrived there in October, in what proved to be his last voyage. Meanwhile, Roberval took command at Charlesbourg-Royal, but it was abandoned in 1543 after disease, foul weather and hostile natives drove the would-be settlers to despair.

Later life
Cartier spent the rest of his life in Saint-Malo and his nearby estate, where he often was useful as an interpreter in Portuguese. He died at age 65 on September 1, 1557, during an epidemic, possibly of typhus, though many sources list his cause of death as unknown. Cartier is interred in St. Vincent's Cathedral.

No permanent European settlements were made in Canada before 1605, when Samuel Champlain founded Port Royal in present-day Victoria Beach just outside Annapolis Royal.

Legacy
Having already located the entrance to the St. Lawrence on his first voyage, he now opened up the greatest waterway for the European penetration of North America. He produced an intelligent estimate of the resources of Canada, both natural and human, albeit with a considerable exaggeration of its mineral wealth. While some of his actions toward the St. Lawrence Iroquoians were dishonourable, he did try at times to establish friendship with them and other native peoples living along the St. Lawrence River—an indispensable preliminary to French settlement in their lands.

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The Fleet of Cartier was commemorated on a 1908 Canadian postage stamp.

Cartier was the first to document the name Canada to designate the territory on the shores of the St-Lawrence River. The name is derived from the Huron-Iroquois word "kanata", or village, which was incorrectly interpreted as the native term for the newly discovered land. Cartier used the name to describe Stadacona, the surrounding land and the river itself. And Cartier named "Canadiens" the inhabitants (Iroquoians) he had seen there. Thereafter the name Canada was used to designate the small French colony on these shores, and the French colonists were called Canadiens, until the mid-nineteenth century, when the name started to be applied to the loyalist colonies on the Great Lakes and later to all of British North America. In this way Cartier is not strictly the European discoverer of Canada as this country is understood today, a vast federation stretching a mari usque ad mare (from sea to sea). Eastern parts had previously been visited by the Norse, as well as Basque, Galician and Breton fishermen, and perhaps the Corte-Real brothers and John Cabot (in addition of course to the Natives who first inhabited the territory). Cartier's particular contribution to the discovery of Canada is as the first European to penetrate the continent, and more precisely the interior eastern region along the St. Lawrence River. His explorations consolidated France's claim of the territory that would later be colonized as New France, and his third voyage produced the first documented European attempt at settling North America since that of Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón in 1526–27.

Cartier's professional abilities can be easily ascertained. Considering that Cartier made three voyages of exploration in dangerous and hitherto unknown waters without losing a ship, and that he entered and departed some 50 undiscovered harbors without serious mishap, he may be considered one of the most conscientious explorers of the period.

Cartier was also one of the first to formally acknowledge that the New World was a separate land mass from Europe/Asia.

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Jacques Cartier on a 1934 Canadian postage stamp



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Cartier
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
31 December 1501 – The First Battle of Cannanore commences.


The First Battle of Cannanore was a naval engagement between the Third Portuguese Armada under João da Nova and the naval forces of Calicut, which had been assembled by the Zamorin against the Portuguese in order to prevent their return to Portugal.

The battle was fought over two days, between 31 December 1501 and 2 January 1502, and was the first major Portuguese naval engagement in the Indian Ocean. Although badly outnumbered, da Nova's bold tactics, better trained and prepared men and superior weaponry proved decisive for the Portuguese to defeat the blocking force of Calicut, break out of Cannanore, and emerge victorious from the battle.

The battle is also historically notable for being one of the earliest recorded deliberate uses of a naval line of battle, and for resolving the battle by cannon alone. These tactics would become increasingly prevalent as navies evolved and began to see ships less as carriers of armed men, and more as floating artillery. In that respect, this has been called the first 'modern' naval battle (at least for one side). After it, João da Nova returned to Portugal.


João da Nova (Galician spelling Xoán de Novoa or Joam de Nôvoa, Spanish spelling Juan de Nova; born c. 1460 in Maceda, Ourense, Galicia; died July 16, 1509 in Kochi, India) was a Galician explorer of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans at the service of Portugal. He is credited as the discoverer of Ascension and Saint Helena islands.

Joao_da_Nova.jpg

The Juan de Nova Island, in the Mozambique Channel, is named after him. The Farquhar atoll (in the Seychelles) was, for a long time, known as the João da Nova islands. It is sometimes thought that the Agaléga islands (in the Indian Ocean) was also named after him (although it is almost certain he never visited them).


The Third India Armada was assembled in 1501 on the order of King Manuel I of Portugal and placed under the command of João da Nova. Nova's armada was relatively small and primarily commercial in objective. Nonetheless, they engaged the first significant Portuguese naval battle in the Indian Ocean. The Third Armada is also credited for the first discovery of the uninhabited islands of Ascension and Saint Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean. There is also some speculation that it may have been the first Portuguese armada to reach Ceylon.

The fleet
Of all the early Portuguese India armadas, the Third Armada of 1501 is perhaps the most elusive. The chroniclers' accounts are scant on details and differ significantly at several points. There are very few contemporary documents to help us substantiate information, reconcile accounts or supply missing details.

The Third Armada was primarily a commercial run to India, composed of only four ships, two owned by the crown, two privately owned, plus (possibly) one supply ship.

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This list of captains is given in João de Barros's Décadas, Damião de Góis's Chronica, Castanheda's História, Couto's list, Faria e Sousa's Asia and Quintella's Annaes. Barbosa is replaced by a certain "Fernão Pacheco" in the lists given by Gaspar Correia's Lendas and the Relação das Naus. The Livro de Lisuarte de Abreu replaces Novais and Barbosa with Rui de Abreu and Duarte Pacheco (!).)

This modest armada carried 350-400 men, only 80 of which were armed. The admiral was João da Nova, a Galician-born minor noble, alcaide pequeno of Lisbon, whose principal recommendation was probably his connection to the powerful Portuguese nobleman Tristão da Cunha.

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Fleet of the 3rd India Armada (Nova, 1501), from the Memória das Armadas

The owners of the two private ships, D. Álvaro of Braganza and the Florentine Bartolomeo Marchionni, happened to have jointly outfitted the Anunciada, one of the ships of the Second India Armada of Pedro Álvares Cabral that was still out at sea at the time. It was a considerable gamble for these private entities to outfit new ships before knowing the results of their previous enterprise. As it happens, the Anunciada would return safely to Lisbon later that same year, with a splendid cargo of spices.

One of the passengers on the fleet was Paio Rodrigues, an employee of D. Álvaro of Braganza, who was under instructions to remain as a factor in India, not for the crown but for the private consortium. Another was Álvaro de Braga, a crown factor designated for Sofala.

The mission
The objective of the Third Armada was wholly commercial. Their mission was to go to India, load up with spices, and return home. It was expected to be uneventful.

Their destination was Calicut (Calecute, Kozhikode), the principal spice entrepôt in Kerala and dominant city-state on the Malabar coast of India. The Third Armada expected - or hoped - that the well-equipped Second India Armada of Pedro Álvares Cabral, that had departed the previous year (1500), had succeeded in its ambassadorial mission to secure a treaty with Calicut and set up a factory (feitoria) there. What they could not have guessed before their departure, of course, was that Cabral's Second Armada had not only failed in that mission, they had opened hostilities between Portugal and Calicut. João da Nova's little Third Armada was sailing into a war it did not expect and was not equipped for.

The Third Armada seems to also have expected to put in at Sofala, where Cabral had also been instructed to set up a factory. According to Correia, the crown ship of Francisco de Novais was designated to go to trade for gold in Sofala and drop off the factor Álvaro de Braga, the clerk Diogo Barbosa (same name as captain) and an additional twenty-two men. In any case, Cabral's Second Armada had fumbled that mission too - there was no Portuguese factory in Sofala.

Unfortunately, the Third Armada could not have delayed its departure until the arrival of the news of the Second Armada. The seasonal monsoon wind patterns of the Indian Ocean imposed the requirement that India-bound expeditions must leave Lisbon by April at the latest, if they were to have any hope of catching the summer southeasterly winds from Africa to India. Unfortunately, those same wind patterns determined that return fleets would only arrive in Europe in the summer, June at the earliest. Although the difference between one fleet's departure and another fleet's arrival was only a matter of a couple of months, outbound fleets could not delay their departure until the previous year's fleet returned, or else an entire year would be lost.

It is for this reason that both the crown and the private consortium's were willing to equip and launch the Third Armada in March, 1501 before they had received any news of the outcome of the Second Armada, the earliest ship of which only arrived in late June.

Nova's Third Armada would learn of the turn of events along the way from notes and letters left by Cabral's ships at African staging posts. But there was no question of returning home to pick up reinforcements. The lightly armed Third Armada would have to press on, sneak into India stealthily, avoid Calicut, load up at the friendly ports, and slip away as quickly as possible.


Nova in India

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India Malabar Coast c. 1500

August, 1501 - João da Nova's Third Armada alights in India, at Santa Maria islands off the Malabar coast (according to Correia, so named at this time because of the feast of the Assumption of Mary (August 15).

What ensues varies in the chronicles. Barros suggest he immediately began making his way down the Indian coast towards Kerala, but Correia suggests he stopped by the port of Batecala (Bhatkhal), then the principal trade port of the Vijayanagara Empire and lingered there, engaging in some trade with a variety of merchants in the harbors, and chasing down some pirates in Onor (Honnavar). The Third Armada eventually begins making its way down the Indian coast towards Kerala, capturing two merchant ships (allegedly from Calicut) near Mount d'Eli along the way.

The two-month delay between the Third Armada's reputed arrival in India (August) and their first recorded activities in India (November) is unusual and been subject to some speculation. As suggested by Correia, the Third Armada seems to have simply lingered in the area between Batecala and Mount d'Eli,to do some trading and maybe some piracy too, before heading south to Cannanore.

On the other hand, it has been hypothesized that during this interlude, Nova might have launched some exploratory ventures in the area during, in particular taken a wide swing far south, below Cape Comorin, to see if he could locate the fabled island of 'Taprobana' (Ceylon), the world's main source of cinnamon (see below.)

c.November, 1501 - The Third Armada arrives in Cannanore (Cananor, Kannur). They are well received by the Kolathiri Raja of Cannanore, who immediately urges João da Nova to load up his ships with spices from that city's markets. Nova side-steps the offer courteously, noting that he must first collect the supplies already acquired by the Portuguese factory in Cochin (Cochim, Kochi). Nonetheless, before setting off, Nova drops off a few agents, with instructions to initiate arrangements to purchase spices (principally ginger and cinnamon) in the Cannanore markets, to be picked up later.

It is sometimes said that Nova established the Portuguese factory in Cannanore at this point. However, the factor he left behind was Paio Rodrigues, is a private agent of D. Álvaro of Braganza and the Marchionni consortium, not an employee of the Casa da India (the crown trading house). The Casa (and thus the Portuguese Crown) will only install a factor in Cannanore on the next expedition (4th Armada).

While in Cannanore, João da Nova receives an embassy from the Zamorin of Calicut. Accompanying them is Gonçalo Peixoto, a Portuguese survivor of the previous year's massacre, who had remained stuck in Calicut for the past year. In his letter, the Zamorin expresses his sadness at the Calicut Massacre of December 1500, blaming it on old hatreds between Muslims and Christians which he never understood, that he, a Hindu prince, had only a desire for friendship and peace with Portugal. He reports that the ringleaders of the riot had already been rounded up and punished, and invites Nova to Calicut to collect the wares left behind in the Portuguese factory and receive compensation. He also proposes to dispatch a pair of his own ambassadors with Nova's fleet back to Lisbon, to make a final treaty with King Manuel I of Portugal. The Kolathiri Raja of Cannanore is impressed, and recommends that Nova take up the offer. However, Gonçalo Peixoto warns Nova not to believe a word of it, that the Zamorin is luring him into a trap, and is currently preparing a war fleet in Calicut. Nova decides not to reply to the Zamorin's entreaty. Peixoto, seeing no reason to return to Calicut, joins Nova's fleet.

Correia reports this event differently. He asserts that Peixoto had not come and that Nova had taken up the offer from the Zamorin's emissary to Cannanore and sailed to Calicut. The Third Armada anchors by the harbor there, waiting for the promised wares to be shipped from shore, when an unnamed Christian comes aboard and warns him about the Zamorin's intentions. Nova decides to leave, but not without a show of force first. He pounces on three merchant ships, including one owned by the Zamorin himself, at the mouth of Calicut harbor, seizing their cargoes and burning the vessels in plain view of the city. Some valuable silver Indian nautical instruments and navigational charts are among the loot seized from these ships.

Arriving in Cochin, João da Nova encounters the factor left behind by Cabral, Gonçalo Gil Barbosa. Barbosa reports trading difficulties in the local markets. Indian spice merchants require payment in cash (silver principally), but Cabral had left him only with a stock of Portuguese goods (cloth mainly), expecting him to use the revenues from their sale to buy up the spices. But European goods have little vent in Indian markets, and Barbosa is still saddled with his unsold stock, unable to raise the cash to buy the spices. Barbosa seems to suspect that the Arab merchant guilds have engineered a boycott of Portuguese goods on Indian markets. He also reports that the Trimumpara Raja of Cochin, despite his alliance and protection of the factory, is in fact furious at the Portuguese because Cabral's Second Armada had departed so suddenly (without cordialities and taking two noble Cochinese noble hostages with them).

The lack of silver cash seems to be the pressing problem that Nova did not anticipate. He certainly did not bring much cash with him, having also expected to sell Portuguese goods in India to raise it.

Nova immediately sets sail back to Cannanore, to see if the agents he left there had any more success, but they are facing much the same problem - Portuguese merchandise is going unsold, and the spice merchants are demanding payment in silver. The Third Armada's mission is on the verge of failure, when the Kolathiri Raja of Cannanore intervenes, and places himself as security for the sale of spices to the Portuguese on credit. This breaks the deadlock and allows the Portuguese to finally load up on the spice markets.


Naval Battle of Cannanore
Mid-December 1501 – Having loaded up with the spices they could get on credit in Cannanore (plus whatever cargoes they managed to steal by piratical attacks on Malabari ships), João da Nova prepares the Third Armada to leave India. However, news soon arrives that the battle fleet of the Zamorin of Calicut is bearing down on Cannanore.

December 31, 1501 - As he is about to set out of Cannanore, João da Nova's Third Armada is cornered in the bay by a fleet dispatched by the Zamorin of Calicut, composed of nearly forty large ships, plus some 180 small paraus and zambuks, an estimated armed Malabari force of 7,000 men.

The Raja of Cannanore urges João da Nova to stay under his protection and avoid a fight. But Nova, noticing the landside breeze in his favor, decides to attempt a break-out. After a few rounds of cannon open a little hole in the Calicut line, Nova orders his four ships into a column formation and charges through it, cannon blasting on either side. The powerful Portuguese cannonades and carracks' height foil Malibari attempts to throw grappling hooks and board the Portuguese quartet. As the Portuguese column continues out to sea, Nova continues firing his cannon relentlessly at his pursuers. The Calicut fleet, less seaworthy, begins to splinter and lag behind. As the Third Armada pulls away, the prospect of a grapple dims, and the battle is limited to a ranged artillery duel. The Malabari ships quickly realize their Indian cannon cannot match the range and speed of reloading of the Portuguese cannon, and begin to turn away. At this point, Nova gives a brief chase, before finally breaking up the engagement on January 2, 1502.

On the whole, after two days of fighting, the Third Armada had sunk five large ships and about a dozen oar-driven boats. But they inflicted a great deal of damage on the remaining Malabari vessels, while sustaining very little damage themselves.

Although João da Nova had not come prepared for a fight, the two-day naval battle off Cannanore was the perhaps the first significant Portuguese naval engagement in the Indian Ocean. It was not the first clash between Portuguese and Indian ships - Gama's First Armada and Cabral's Second Armada had their share. But earlier encounters had been largely with poorly armed merchant ships, scrawny pirates and isolated squads, targets a single, well-armed fighting caravel could see off without much difficulty. This time, the Zamorin of Calicut had attacked directly, stretching his sinews to deploy the best his navy could offer against a small group of relatively lightly armed Portuguese merchant carracks. The results were disheartening to the Malabari sea-king.

The Battle of Cannanore made abundantly clear the great disparity between European and Indian technology in ship design and artillery - a gap that, in subsequent years, the Portuguese would repeatedly exploit and the Zamorin of Calicut was desperate to close. To nullify the Portuguese naval superiority, the Zamorin would have to stick to land or look abroad - to the Arabs, the Turks and Venetians.

The battle is also historically notable for being one of the earliest recorded deliberate uses of a naval column, later called line of battle, and for resolving the battle by cannon alone. These tactics would become increasingly prevalent as navies evolved and began to see ships less as carriers of armed men, and more as floating artillery. In that respect, this has been called the first 'modern' naval battle (at least for one side)


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Battle_of_Cannanore
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/João_da_Nova
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3rd_Portuguese_India_Armada_(Nova,_1501)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
31 December 1600 – The British East India Company is chartered.


The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC) or the British East India Company and informally as John Company, Company Bahadur,[3] or simply The Company, was an English and later British joint-stock company. It was formed to trade in the Indian Ocean region, initially with Mughal India and the East Indies(Maritime Southeast Asia), and later with Qing China. The company ended up seizing control over large parts of the Indian subcontinent, colonized parts of Southeast Asia, and colonized Hong Kong after a war with Qing China.

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Flag of the British East India Company, 1801–1858. Data from FOTW http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/gb-eic.html.

Originally chartered as the "Governor and Company of Merchants of London trading into the East Indies", the company rose to account for half of the world's trade, particularly in basic commodities including cotton, silk, indigo dye, salt, spices, saltpetre, tea, and opium. The company also ruled the beginnings of the British Empire in India. In his speech to the House of Commons in July 1833, Lord Macaulay explained that since the beginning, the East India company had always been involved in both trade and politics, just as its French and Dutch counterparts had been.

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Coat of arms of the East India Company circa 1700's.(1)

The company received a Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth I on 31 December 1600, coming relatively late to trade in the Indies. Before them the Portuguese Estado da Índia had traded there for much of the 16th century and the first of half a dozen Dutch Companies sailed to trade there from 1595. These Dutch companies amalgamated in March 1602 into the United East Indies Company (VOC), which introduced the first permanent joint stock from 1612 (meaning investment into shares did not need to be returned, but could be traded on a stock exchange). By contrast, wealthy merchants and aristocrats owned the EIC's shares. Initially the government owned no shares and had only indirect control until 1657 when permanent joint stock was established.

During its first century of operation, the focus of the company was trade, not the building of an empire in India. Company interests turned from trade to territory during the 18th century as the Mughal Empire declined in power and the East India Company struggled with its French counterpart, the French East India Company (Compagnie française des Indes orientales) during the Carnatic Wars of the 1740s and 1750s. The battles of Plassey and Buxar, in which the British defeated the Bengali powers, left the company in control of Bengal and a major military and political power in India. In the following decades it gradually increased the extent of the territories under its control, controlling the majority of the Indian subcontinent either directly or indirectly via local puppet rulers under the threat of force by its Presidency armies, much of which were composed of native Indian sepoys.

By 1803, at the height of its rule in India, the British East India company had a private army of about 260,000—twice the size of the British Army, with Indian revenues of £13,464,561, and expenses of £14,017,473. The company eventually came to rule large areas of India with its private armies, exercising military power and assuming administrative functions. Company rule in India effectively began in 1757 and lasted until 1858, when, following the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Government of India Act 1858 led to the British Crown's assuming direct control of the Indian subcontinent in the form of the new British Raj.

Despite frequent government intervention, the company had recurring problems with its finances. It was dissolved in 1874 as a result of the East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act passed one year earlier, as the Government of India Act had by then rendered it vestigial, powerless, and obsolete. The official government machinery of British India assumed the East India Company's governmental functions and absorbed its navy and its armies in 1858.


History
Origins[

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James Lancaster commanded the first East India Company voyage in 1601

Soon after the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, the captured Spanish and Portuguese ships with their cargoes enabled English voyagers to potentially travel the globe in search of riches. London merchants presented a petition to Queen Elizabeth I for permission to sail to the Indian Ocean. The aim was to deliver a decisive blow to the Spanish and Portuguese monopoly of Far Eastern Trade. Elizabeth granted her permission and on 10 April 1591 James Lancaster in the Bonaventure with two other ships sailed from Torbay around the Cape of Good Hope to the Arabian Sea on one of the earliest English overseas Indian expeditions. Having sailed around Cape Comorin to the Malay Peninsula, they preyed on Spanish and Portuguese ships there before returning to England in 1594.

The biggest capture that galvanised English trade was the seizure of the large Portuguese Carrack, the Madre de Deus by Sir Walter Raleigh and the Earl of Cumberland at the Battle of Flores on 13 August 1592. When she was brought in to Dartmouth she was the largest vessel that had been seen in England and her cargo consisted of chests filled with jewels, pearls, gold, silver coins, ambergris, cloth, tapestries, pepper, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, benjamin, red dye, cochineal and ebony. Equally valuable was the ship's rutter containing vital information on the China, India, and Japan trades. These riches aroused the English to engage in this opulent commerce.

In 1596, three more English ships sailed east but were all lost at sea. A year later however saw the arrival of Ralph Fitch, an adventurer merchant who, along with his companions, had made a remarkable fifteen-year overland journey to Mesopotamia, the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean, India and Southeast Asia.[17] Fitch was then consulted on the Indian affairs and gave even more valuable information to Lancaster.

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Red Dragon fought the Portuguese at the Battle of Swally in 1612, and made several voyages to the East Indies

Formation
On 22 September 1599, a group of merchants met and stated their intention "to venture in the pretended voyage to the East Indies (the which it may please the Lord to prosper), and the sums that they will adventure", committing £30,133. Two days later, "the Adventurers" reconvened and resolved to apply to the Queen for support of the project. Although their first attempt had not been completely successful, they nonetheless sought the Queen's unofficial approval to continue. They bought ships for their venture and increased their capital to £68,373.

The Adventurers convened again a year later, on 31 December, and this time they succeeded; the Queen granted a Royal Charter to "George, Earl of Cumberland, and 215 Knights, Aldermen, and Burgesses" under the name, Governor and Company of Merchants of London trading with the East Indies. For a period of fifteen years, the charter awarded the newly formed company a monopoly on English trade with all countries east of the Cape of Good Hopeand west of the Straits of Magellan. Any traders in breach of the charter without a licence from the company were liable to forfeiture of their ships and cargo (half of which went to the Crown and the other half to the company), as well as imprisonment at the "royal pleasure".

The governance of the company was in the hands of one governor and 24 directors or "committees", who made up the Court of Directors. They, in turn, reported to the Court of Proprietors, which appointed them. Ten committees reported to the Court of Directors. According to tradition, business was initially transacted at the Nags Head Inn, opposite St Botolph's church in Bishopsgate, before moving to India House in Leadenhall Street.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_India_Company
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
31 December 1687 – The first Huguenots set sail from France to the Cape of Good Hope.


Huguenots (/ˈhjuːɡənɒt, -noʊ/; French: Les huguenots [yɡ(ə)no]) are an ethnoreligious group of French Protestants who follow the Reformed tradition.

The term has its origin in early 16th century France. It was frequently used in reference to those of the Reformed Church of France from the time of the Protestant Reformation. Huguenots were French Protestants who held to the Reformed tradition of Protestantism, while the populations of Alsace, Moselle and Montbéliard were mainly German Lutherans. In his Encyclopedia of Protestantism, Hans Hillerbrand said that on the eve of the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre in 1572, the Huguenot community included as much as 10% of the French population, but it declined to 7–8% by around 1600 and even further after the return of heavy persecution in 1685 with Louis XIV's Edict of Fontainebleau.

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John Calvin

Huguenot numbers peaked near an estimated two million by 1562, concentrated mainly in the southern and western parts of the Kingdom of France. As Huguenots gained influence and more openly displayed their faith, Catholic hostility grew. A series of religious conflicts followed, known as the French Wars of Religion, fought intermittently from 1562 to 1598. The Huguenots were led by Jeanne d'Albret, her son, the future Henry IV (who would later convert to Catholicism to become king) and the princes of Condé. The wars ended with the Edict of Nantes, which granted the Huguenots substantial religious, political and military autonomy.

Huguenot rebellions in the 1620s prompted the abolition of their political and military privileges. They retained the religious provisions of the Edict of Nantes until the rule of Louis XIV, who gradually increased persecution of Protestantism until he issued the Edict of Fontainebleau (1685), ultimately ending any legal recognition of Protestantism in France and forcing the Huguenots to either convert or flee in a wave of violent dragonnades. Louis XIV laid claim that the French Huguenot population was reduced from about 800,000 to 900,000 adherents down to just 1,000 to 1,500; although he overexaggerated the reduction, the dragonnades certainly were devastating for the French Protestant community. Nevertheless, the remaining Huguenots faced continued persecution under Louis XV. At the time of Louis XV's death in 1774, Calvinism had been nearly eliminated from France. Persecution of Protestants officially ended with the Edict of Versailles, signed by Louis XVI in 1787. Two years later, with the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789, Protestants gained equal rights as citizens.

The bulk of Huguenot émigrés relocated to Protestant states such as England and Wales, the Channel Islands, Scotland, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, the Dutch Republic, the Electorate of Brandenburg and Electorate of the Palatinate in the Holy Roman Empire, the Duchy of Prussia, as well as majority Catholic but Protestant-controlled Ireland. They also fled to the Dutch Cape Colony in South Africa, the Dutch East Indies, the Caribbean, New Netherland and several of the English colonies in North America. A few families also went to Orthodox Russia and Catholic Quebec.

By now, most Huguenots have been assimilated into various societies and cultures, but remnant communities of Camisards in the Cévennes, most Reformed members of the United Protestant Church of France, French members of the largely German Protestant Reformed Church of Alsace and Lorraine and the Huguenot diaspora in England and Australia all still retain their beliefs and Huguenot designation.


Huguenots in South Africa
A large number of people of European heritage in South Africa are descended from Huguenots. Most of these originally settled in the Cape Colony, but were absorbed into the Afrikaner and Afrikaans-speaking population, because they had religious similarities to the Dutch colonists.


Huguenots building their homesteads

Even before the large-scale arrival of the Huguenots at the Cape of Good Hope in the 17th century, a small number of individual Huguenot refugees settled there. They included Francois Villion, later known as Viljoen, and the du Toit brothers. In fact, the first Huguenot to arrive at the Cape of Good Hope was Maria de la Quellerie, the wife of governor Jan van Riebeeck, who started the settlement at the Cape of Good Hope in 1652 on behalf of the Dutch East India Company; however, she and her husband left for Batavia after ten years. After a commissioner was sent out from the Cape Colony in 1685 to attract more settlers, a more dedicated group of immigrants began to arrive. A larger number of French refugees began to arrive in the Cape after leaving their country as a result of the Edict of Fontainebleau (1685), which revoked the Edict of Nantes (1598) that had granted religious toleration to Protestants.

On 31 December 1687 a group of Huguenots set sail from France as the first of the large scale emigration of Huguenots to the Cape of Good Hope, which took place during 1688 and 1689. In total some 180 Huguenots from France, and 18 Walloons from the present-day Belgium, eventually settled at the Cape of Good Hope. A notable example of this is the emigration of Huguenots from La Motte d'Aigues in Provence, France. After this large scale emigration, individual Huguenot immigrant families arrived at the Cape of Good Hope as late as the first quarter of the 18th century, and the state-subsidised emigration of Huguenots was stopped in 1706.

This small body of immigrants had a marked influence on the character of the Dutch settlers. They were purposely spread out and given farms amongst the Dutch farmers. Owing to the policy instituted in 1701 of the Dutch East India Company which dictated that schools should teach exclusively in Dutch, that all official correspondence had to be done in Dutch, and strict laws of assembly, the Huguenots ceased by the middle of the 18th century to maintain a distinct identity, and the knowledge of French diminished and eventually disappeared as a home language. This assimilation into the colonial population was also due to the fact that many Huguenot descendants married individuals from the Dutch population.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huguenots
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huguenots_in_South_Africa
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
31 December 1748 - HMS Wolf (14), Cptn. Veachel, wrecked on the coast of Ireland in high winds.


HMS Wolf was a 14-gun snow-rigged sloop of the Royal Navy, launched in 1742 as the first of three Wolf class sloops constructed for action against Spanish privateers during the War of Jenkins' Ear.

large.jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines with inboard detail, and longitudinal half-breadth for Wolf (1742), a 14-gun two-masted Sloop building Deptford by Mr West. The ship was snow-rigged with sixteen pairs of row-ports.


Construction
Wolf was the first of three small, fast vessels built for coastal patrol and Atlantic service and designated by Admiralty as the "Wolf" class.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Wolf_(1742)#cite_note-4 Her design was similar to that of the preceding Drake class sloops but larger and more heavily armed. Construction was contracted to civilian shipwright Thomas West, who had overseen construction of HMS Drake a year earlier.

Class and type: 14-gun Wolf-class Sloop-of-war
Tons burthen: 243 74⁄94 (bm)
Length:
  • 87 ft 6 in (26.7 m) (overall)[a]
  • 73 ft 0 in (22.3 m) (keel)
Beam: 25 ft 2 in (7.7 m)
Draught: 10 ft 6 in (3.2 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: snow-rigged
Complement: 110
Armament:
  • 14 × 4pdrs
  • 12 × 1/2pdr swivels


As designed, Wolf's dimensions were in keeping with other vessels of her class with an overall length of 87 ft 6 in (26.7 m), a beam of 25 ft 2 in (7.7 m) and measuring 243 74⁄94 tonnes burthen. She had two masts, square-rigged and supported by a trysail mast aft of the main mast. Two decks were fitted instead of one, reflecting the design of her predecessor, the 1731 HMS Wolf. Constructed with eight pairs of gunports, she was initially supplied with fourteen four-pounder cannons in addition to twelve deck-mounted half-pounder swivel guns.

Construction took seven months from the laying of the keel in July 1741 to launch in February 1742, at a building cost of £1,793 and an additional ₤1,653 for fitting out.

Naval career
Wolf was commissioned into the Navy at Deptford Dockyard in early February 1742 and launched at the end of that month under the command of Lieutenant Samuel Loftin. Internal fitout continued until April, after which Wolf was sailed to Svalbard as convoy protection for the English whaling fleet.

Privateer hunter
At the end of the whaling season Wolf returned south to join the blockade of Spanish ports established as part of the War of Jenkins' Ear. On 11 December 1742 Wolf overhauled and captured a Spanish privateer, Nuestra Señora del Pilar y Animas. Two more privateers were captured in March 1743; the San Pedro y Animas on 5 March, and the Nuestra Señora de la Esclavitud on the 17th.

Lieutenant Loftin left the vessel in late 1743 and was replaced by Commander Richard Haddock in January of the following year. Wolf's success in privateer hunting continued, with the capture of Spanish ships La Notre Dame de Boulogne on 30 June 1744, and La Palme on 30 July. In September Haddock was replaced by Commander (later Admiral) Augustus Keppel, who had recently returned to England after taking part in George Anson's voyage around the world. Keppel vacated his command three months later in favour of Lieutenant Thomas Stanhope, under whose authority Wolf was removed from Spanish patrol and reassigned to the English Channel.

Capture and recapture
Stanhope was replaced in July 1745 by Commander John Hughes, with Wolf remaining at her previous post in the English Channel. On 29 October 1745 she was on patrol off the Channel Islands when she encountered and was defeated by a 32-gun French privateer. Commander Hughes and two other English sailors were killed in the battle, and three more were wounded. The outgunned Wolf was then surrendered to the French, who converted her for privateering and renamed her La Loup.

Wolf's French service was cut short four months later, when on 1 March 1746 she was run down and retaken by the Royal Navy frigates Amazon and Grand Turk. The battered sloop was returned to Plymouth as a prize. After a year in port she was repurchased by Admiralty on 6 March 1747 and transferred to Plymouth Dockyard for repair. A five month refit was completed at a total cost of ₤1,887, slightly more than her original construction cost in 1742.

Relaunch and wreck
The rebuilt Wolf was commissioned in July 1747 under Commander George Vachel, and relaunched in August for service against the French in what was now the War of the Austrian Succession. The following year was spent on patrol duties in the North Sea and off the Irish coast. On 31 December 1748 Wolf was caught in heavy seas and driven towards the Irish shore. Despite efforts by her crew she was wrecked in the bay below Dundrum Castle and sank with the loss of all on board.





https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Wolf_(1742)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
31 December 1763 – Birth of Pierre-Charles Villeneuve, French admiral (d. 1806)


Pierre-Charles-Jean-Baptiste-Silvestre de Villeneuve (31 December 1763 – 22 April 1806) was a French naval officer during the Napoleonic Wars. He was in command of the French and the Spanish fleets that were defeated by Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar.

blog-portrait-du-vice-amiral-brueys.jpg Amiraldevilleneuve.jpg villeneuve.jpg

Early career
Villeneuve was born in 1763 at Valensole, Basses Alpes, and joined the French Navy in 1778. He took part in Naval operations in the American Revolutionary War, serving as an ensign on Marseillais, in de Grasse's fleet.

Despite his aristocratic ancestry, he sympathised with the French Revolution, dropping the nobiliary particle from his name, and was able to continue his service in the Navy when other aristocratic officers were purged. He served during several battles, and was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1796 as a result of this.

At the Battle of the Nile in 1798 he was in command of the rear division. His ship, Guillaume Tell, was one of only two French ships of the line to escape the defeat. He was captured soon afterwards when the British took the island of Malta, but he was soon released. He was criticised for not engaging the British at the Nile, but Napoleon considered him a "lucky man" and his career was not affected.

In 1804, Napoleon ordered Villeneuve, now a Vice Admiral stationed at Toulon, to escape from the British blockade, overcome the British fleet in the English Channel, and allow the planned invasion of Britain to take place. To draw off the British defences, Villeneuve was to sail to the West Indies, where it was planned that he would combine with the Spanish fleet and the French fleet from Brest and attack British possessions in the Caribbean, before returning across the Atlantic to destroy the British Channel squadrons and escort the Armée d'Angleterre from their camp at Boulogne to victory in England.

Battle of Trafalgar
Prelude to the battle
Main article: Trafalgar Campaign
After an abortive expedition in January, Villeneuve finally left Toulon on 29 March 1805 with eleven ships of the line. He evaded Nelson's blockade, passed the Strait of Gibraltar on 8 April and crossed the Atlantic with Nelson's fleet in pursuit, but about a month behind owing to unfavourable winds. In the West Indies Villeneuve waited for a month at Martinique, but Admiral Ganteaume's Brest fleet did not appear. Eventually Villeneuve was pressured by French army officers into beginning the planned attack on the British, but he succeeded only in recapturing the island fort of Diamond Rock off Martinique. On 7 June he learned that Nelson had reached Antigua. On 8 June he and his fleet were able to intercept a homeward-bound convoy of 15 British merchant vessels escorted by the frigate HMS Barbadoes and the sloop or schooner HMS Netley. The two British warships managed to escape, but Villeneuve's fleet captured the entire convoy, valued at some five million pounds. Villeneuve then sent the prizes into Guadeloupe under the escort of the frigate Sirène. On 11 June Villeneuve set out for Europe with Nelson again in pursuit.

On 22 July Villeneuve, now with twenty ships of the line and seven frigates, passed Cape Finisterre on the northwest coast of Spain and entered the Bay of Biscay. Here he met a British fleet of fifteen ships of the line commanded by Vice Admiral Sir Robert Calder. In the ensuing Battle of Cape Finisterre, a confused action in bad visibility, the British, though outnumbered, were able to cut off and capture two Spanish ships.

For two days Villeneuve shadowed the retreating British, but did not seek a battle. Instead he sailed to A Coruña, arriving on 1 August. Here he received orders from Napoleon to sail to Brest and Boulogne as planned. Instead, perhaps believing a false report of a superior British fleet in the Bay of Biscay, and against the Spanish commanders' objections, he sailed away back to Cádiz, rendering Napoleon's planned invasion of Britain wholly impossible.

large (2).jpg
Without the 40 ships he had counted on for his ‘three-column’ attack, Nelson had to proceed with his 27 ships in two columns. His opponent, Villeneuve, had foreseen Nelson's tactics but in the event abandoned his ideal deployment – also of two mutually supporting columns – in favour of a single line ahead. He had prayed for a victory but frankly expected defeat. Nelson's old friend, Vice-Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood in the flagship ‘Royal Sovereign’, led the lee division and was in action before Nelson’s weather line, cutting off the rear of the Combined Fleet just as planned.

The battle
Main article: Battle of Trafalgar
At Cádiz the combined French and Spanish fleets were kept under blockade by Nelson. In September, Villeneuve was ordered to sail for Naples and attack British shipping in the Mediterranean, but he was initially unwilling to move and continued in blatant disregard of Superior Admiralty Orders.

In mid-October he learned that Napoleon was about to replace him as commanding officer with François Étienne de Rosily-Mesros and order him to Paris to account for his actions. (Napoleon had written to the Minister of Marine, "Villeneuve does not possess the strength of character to command a frigate. He lacks determination and has no moral courage.") Before his replacement could arrive, Villeneuve gave the order to sail on 18 October.

Inexperienced crews and the difficulties of getting out of Cádiz meant that it took two days to get all 34 ships out of port and in some kind of order. On 21 October 1805 Villeneuve learned of the size of the British fleet, and turned back to Cádiz, but the combined fleets were intercepted by Nelson off Cape Trafalgar. Nelson, though outnumbered, won the Battle of Trafalgar, and Villeneuve's flagship Bucentaure was captured along with many other French and Spanish ships.

large (1).jpg
Tray commemorating Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805). In black japanned sheet iron, with gilt foliage and acorns around the rim, and painted in oils. In the centre, the British lion supports a fallen Nelson who is shown mourned by a standing Britannia. A cherub on the left-hand side blows a trumpet while another on the left crowns the dying hero with a victor's wreath. A kneeling French naval officer to the left (probably intended as Villeneuve) offers him his sword.

Aftermath and death
The British sent Villeneuve to England but released him on parole; during this time he lived in Bishop's Waltham in Hampshire. He stayed at the Crown Inn public house and his men, who numbered 200, stayed in local houses. He was allowed to attend the funeral of Lord Nelson whilst at Bishop's Waltham. Freed in late 1805, he returned to France, where he attempted to go back into military service but his requests were not answered. On 22 April 1806, he was found dead at the Hôtel de la Patrie in Rennes with six stab wounds in the left lung and one in the heart: a verdict of suicide was recorded. The nature of his death ensured that this verdict was much mocked in the British press of the time and suspicions abounded that Napoleon had secretly ordered Villeneuve's murder.

Legacy
Historians have not been kind to Villeneuve. According to the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, "His decision to leave Cádiz and give battle in October 1805, which led directly to the Battle of Trafalgar, cannot be justified even on his own principles. He foresaw defeat to be inevitable, and yet he went out solely because he learnt from the Minister of Marine that another officer had been sent to supersede him ... It was provoked in a spasm of wounded vanity." Despite the defeat at Trafalgar his name is etched on the Arc de Triomphe.

Literary references
C. S. Forester's unfinished novel, Hornblower and the Crisis, had Horatio Hornblower planting false orders from Napoleon to Villeneuve sending Villeneuve out to fight the British fleet. In another novel by Alexander Kent (the penname of Douglas Reeman), Honour This Day, a battle between the British and Spanish navies is described as the British try to prevent the Spaniards from joining forces with the French navy under Villeneuve.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre-Charles_Villeneuve
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
31 December 1799 - Dutch East India Company (Dutch: Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie; VOC) was finally dissolved


The Dutch East India Company (Dutch: Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie; VOC) was an early megacorporation, founded by a government-directed amalgamation of several rival Dutch trading companies (the so-called voorcompagnieën or pre-companies) in the early 17th century.[9][10] It was originally established, on 20 March 1602, as a chartered company to trade with India and Indianized Southeast Asian countries when the Dutch government granted it a 21-year monopoly on the Dutch spice trade. The VOC was an early multinational/transnational corporation in its modern sense. The Company has been often labelled a trading company (i.e. a company of merchants who buy and sell goods produced by other people) or sometimes a shipping company. However, the VOC was in fact a proto-conglomerate company, diversifying into multiple commercial and industrial activities such as international trade (especially intra-Asian trade), shipbuilding, both production and trade of East Indian spices, Formosan sugarcane, and South African wine. The Company was a transcontinental employer and an early pioneer of outward foreign direct investment. The Company's investment projects helped raise the commercial and industrial potential of many underdeveloped or undeveloped regions of the world in the early modern period. In the early 1600s, by widely issuing bonds and shares of stock to the general public, the VOC became the world's first formally listed public company. In other words, it was the first corporation to be ever actually listed on an official stock exchange. The VOC was influential in the rise of corporate-led globalization in the early modern period.

800px-VOC.svg.png
Logo of the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC in Dutch, literally "United East Indian Company").

With its pioneering institutional innovations and powerful roles in global business history, the Company is often considered by many to be the forerunner of modern corporations. In many respects, modern-day corporations are all the 'direct descendants' of the VOC model. It was the VOC's 17th-century institutional innovations and business practices that laid the foundations for the rise of giant global corporations in subsequent centuries — as a highly significant and formidable socio-politico-economic force of the modern-day world – to become the dominant factor in almost all economic systems today, whether for better or worse. The VOC also served as the direct model for the organizational reconstruction of the English/British East India Company (EIC) in 1657. The Company, for nearly 200 years of its existence (1602–1800), had effectively transformed itself from a corporate entity into a state or an empire in its own right.[j] One of the most influential and best expertly researched business enterprises in history, the VOC's world has been the subject of a vast amount of literature that includes both fiction and nonfiction works.

1280px-Flag_of_the_Dutch_East_India_Company.svg.png
Flag of the Dutch East India Company (fictional)

Dubbed the 'VOC Republic' or 'VOC Empire' by some, the Company was historically an exemplary (transcontinental) company-state rather than a pure for-profit corporation. Originally a government-backed military-commercial enterprise, the VOC was the wartime brainchild of leading Dutch republican statesman Johan van Oldenbarnevelt and the States-General. From its inception in 1602, the Company was not only a commercial enterprise but also effectively an instrument of war in the young Dutch Republic's revolutionary global war against the powerful Spanish Empire and Iberian Union (1579–1648). In 1619, the Company forcibly established a central position in the Indonesian city of Jayakarta, changing the name to Batavia (modern-day Jakarta). Over the next two centuries the Company acquired additional ports as trading bases and safeguarded their interests by taking over surrounding territory.[48] To guarantee its supply it established positions in many countries and became an early pioneer of outward foreign direct investment. In its foreign colonies the VOC possessed quasi-governmental powers, including the ability to wage war, imprison and execute convicts, negotiate treaties, strike its own coins, and establish colonies. With increasing importance of foreign posts, the company is often considered the world's first true transnational corporation. Along with the Dutch West India Company (WIC/GWIC), the VOC became seen as the international arm of the Dutch Republicand the symbolic power of the Dutch Empire. To further its trade routes, the VOC-funded exploratory voyages such as those led by Willem Janszoon (Duyfken), Henry Hudson (Halve Maen) and Abel Tasman who revealed largely unknown landmasses to the western world. In the Golden Age of Netherlandish cartography (c. 1570s–1670s), VOC navigators and cartographers helped shape geographical knowledge of the world as we know it today.

1280px-17th_century_plaque_to_Dutch_East_India_Company_(VOC),_Hoorn.jpg
17th century plaque to Dutch East India Company (VOC), Hoorn

Socio-economic changes in Europe, the shift in power balance, and less successful financial management resulted in a slow decline of the VOC between 1720 and 1799. After the financially disastrous Fourth Anglo-Dutch War (1780–1784), the company was first nationalised in 1796, and finally dissolved in 1799. All assets were taken over by the government with VOC territories becoming Dutch government colonies.

In spite of the VOC's historic roles and contributions, the Company has long been heavily criticized for its monopoly policy, exploitation, colonialism, uses of violence, and slavery.

ThuiskomstVanNeck1599.jpg
Return of the second Asia expedition of Jacob van Neck in 1599 by Cornelis Vroom


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_East_India_Company
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
31 December 1862 - USS Monitor founders in a storm off Cape Hatteras, NC


USS Monitor was an iron-hulled steamship. Built during the American Civil War, she was the first ironclad warship commissioned by the Union Navy. Monitor is most famous for her central role in the Battle of Hampton Roads on 9 March 1862, where, under the command of Lieutenant John Worden, she fought the casemate ironclad CSS Virginia (built on the hull of the former steam frigate USS Merrimack) to a standstill. The unique design of the ship, distinguished by its revolving turret which was designed by American inventor Theodore Timby, was quickly duplicated and established the monitor type of warship.

USS_Monitor_at_sea.jpg
USS Monitor at sea

The remainder of the ship was designed by the Swedish-born engineer and inventor John Ericsson and hurriedly built in Brooklyn in only 101 days. Monitor presented a new concept in ship design and employed a variety of new inventions and innovations in ship building that caught the attention of the world. The impetus to build Monitor was prompted by the news that the Confederates were building an ironclad warship, named Virginia, that could effectively engage the Union ships blockading Hampton Roads and the James River leading to Richmond and ultimately advance on Washington, D.C. and other cities, virtually unchallenged. Before Monitor could reach Hampton Roads, the Confederate ironclad had destroyed the sail frigates USS Cumberland and USS Congress and had run the steam frigate USS Minnesota aground. That night Monitor arrived and the following morning, just as Virginia set to finish off Minnesota, the new Union ironclad confronted the Confederate ship, preventing her from wreaking further destruction on the wooden Union ships. A four-hour battle ensued, both ships pounding the other with close-range cannon fire, although neither ship could destroy or seriously damage the other. This was the first-ever battle fought between two armored warships and marked a turning point in naval warfare.

After the Confederates were forced to destroy Virginia as they withdrew in early May, Monitor sailed up the James River to support the Union Army during the Peninsula Campaign. The ship participated in the Battle of Drewry's Bluff later that month and remained in the area giving support to General McClellan's forces on land until she was ordered to join the blockaders off North Carolina in December. On her way there she foundered while under tow, during a storm off Cape Hatteras on the last day of the year. Monitor's wreck was discovered in 1973 and has been partially salvaged. Her guns, gun turret, engine and other relics are on display at the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia.

Design and description

Monitor_model2.jpg
Model of USS Monitor

USS_Monitor_plans.jpg
Inboard plans of USS Monitor

Monitor was an unusual vessel in almost every respect and was sometimes sarcastically described by the press and other critics as "Ericsson's folly", "cheesebox on a raft" and the "Yankee cheesebox". The most prominent feature on the vessel was a large cylindrical gun turret mounted amidships above the low-freeboard upper hull, also called the "raft". This extended well past the sides of the lower, more traditionally shaped hull. A small armored pilot house was fitted on the upper deck towards the bow, however, its position prevented Monitor from firing her guns straight forward. One of Ericsson's prime goals in designing the ship was to present the smallest possible target to enemy gunfire. The ship was 179 feet (54.6 m) long overall, had a beam of 41 feet 6 inches (12.6 m) and had a maximum draft of 10 feet 6 inches (3.2 m). Monitor had a tonnage of 776 tons burthen and displaced 987 long tons (1,003 t). Her crew consisted of 49 officers and enlisted men.

The ship was powered by a single-cylinder horizontal vibrating-lever steam engine, also designed by Ericsson, which drove a 9-foot (2.7 m) propeller, whose shaft was nine inches in diameter. The engine used steam generated by two horizontal fire-tube boilers at a maximum pressure of 40 psi (276 kPa; 3 kgf/cm2). The 320-indicated-horsepower (240 kW) engine was designed to give the ship a top speed of 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph), but Monitor was 1–2 knots (1.9–3.7 km/h; 1.2–2.3 mph) slower in service.The engine had a bore of 36 inches (914 mm) and a stroke of 22 inches (559 mm). The ship carried 100 long tons (100 t) of coal. Ventilation for the vessel was supplied by two centrifugal blowers near the stern, each of which was powered by 6-horsepower (4.5 kW) steam engine. One fan circulated air throughout the ship, but the other one forced air through the boilers, which depended on this forced draught. Leather belts connected the blowers to their engines and they would stretch when wet, often disabling the fans and boilers. The ship's pumps were steam operated and water would accumulate in the ship if the pumps could not get enough steam to work.

USS_Monitor_-_Transverse_hull_section_through_the_turret.jpg
Transverse hull section through the turret

Monitor's turret measured 20 ft (6.1 m) in diameter and 9 ft (2.7 m) high, constructed with 8 inches (20 cm) of armor (11 inches in front at the gun ports) rendering the overall vessel somewhat top heavy. Its rounded shape helped to deflect cannon shot. A pair of steam powered winches rotated the turret through a set of gears; a full rotation was made in 22.5 seconds during testing on 9 February 1862. Fine control of the turret proved to be difficult; the steam engine would have to be placed in reverse if the turret overshot its mark, or another full rotation would have to be made. The only way to see out of the turret was through the gun ports; when the guns were not in use, or withdrawn for reloading during battle, heavy iron port stoppers would swing down into place to close the gunports. Including the guns, the turret weighed approximately 160 long tons (163 t); the entire weight rested on an iron spindle that had to be jacked up using a wedge before the turret could rotate. The spindle was 9 inches (23 cm) in diameter which gave it ten times the strength needed in preventing the turret from sliding sideways. When not in use, the turret rested on a brass ring on the deck that was intended to form a watertight seal. In service, however, this proved to leak heavily, despite caulking by the crew. The gap between the turret and the deck proved to be a problem as debris and shell fragments entered the gap and jammed the turrets of several Passaic-class monitors, which used the same turret design, during the First Battle of Charleston Harbor in April 1863. Direct hits at the turret with heavy shot also had the potential to bend the spindle, which could also jam the turret. To gain access to the turret from below, or to hoist up powder and shot during battle, the turret had to rotate facing directly to starboard, which would line up the entry hatch in the floor of the turret with an opening in the deck below. The roof of the turret was lightly built to facilitate any needed exchange of the ship's guns and to improve ventilation, with only gravity holding the roof plates in place.

The turret was intended to mount a pair of 15-inch (380 mm) smoothbore Dahlgren guns, but they were not ready in time and 11-inch (280 mm) guns were substituted. Each gun weighed approximately 16,000 pounds (7,300 kg). Monitor's guns used the standard propellant charge of 15 pounds (6.8 kg) specified by the 1860 ordnance for targets "distant", "near", and "ordinary", established by the gun's designer Dahlgren himself. They could fire a 136-pound (61.7 kg) round shot or shell up to a range of 3,650 yards (3,340 m) at an elevation of +15°.

The top of the armored deck was only about 18 inches (460 mm) above the waterline. It was protected by two layers of 1⁄2-inch (13 mm) wrought iron armor. The sides of the "raft" consisted of three to five layers of 1-inch (25 mm) iron plates, backed by about 30 inches (762 mm) of pine and oak. Three of the plates extended the full 60-inch (1,524 mm) height of the side, but the two innermost plates did not extend all the way down. Ericsson originally intended to use either six 1-inch plates or a single outer 4-inch (100 mm) plate backed by three 3⁄4-inch (19 mm) plates, but the thicker plate required too much time to roll. The two innermost plates were riveted together while the outer plates were bolted to the inner ones. A ninth plate, only 3⁄4 inch (19 mm) thick and 15 inches (381 mm) wide, was bolted over the butt joints of the innermost layer of armor. Glass portholes in the deck provided natural light for the interior of the ship; in action these were covered by iron plates.

After the duel between the two ironclads at Hampton Roads there was concern by some Navy officials who witnessed the battle that Monitor's design might allow for easy boarding by the Confederates. In a letter dated 27 April 1862 Lieutenant Commander O.C. Badger wrote to Lieutenant H. A. Wise, Assistant Inspector of Ordnance, advising the use of "liquid fire", scalding water from the boiler through hoses and pipes, sprayed out via the vents and pilothouse window, to repel enemy boarders. Wise who was aboard and inspected Monitor after the battle responded in a letter of 30 April 1862: "With reference to the Monitor, the moment I jumped on board of her after the fight I saw that a steam tug with twenty men could have taken the upper part of her in as many seconds ... I hear that hot water pipes are arranged so as to scald the assailants when they may dare to set foot on her." The chance to employ such a tactic never arose. There are conflicting accounts as to whether such an anti-personnel provision was installed.

1280px-The_Monitor_and_Merrimac.jpg
USS Monitor engaging CSS Virginia, 9 March 1862

Final voyage

USS_Monitor_-_H58758.jpg
Engraving of USS Monitor sinking, with USS Rhode Island in the background

On 24 December 1862, orders were issued directing Monitor to Beaufort, North Carolina to join USS Passaic and USS Montauk for a joint Army-Navy expedition against Wilmington, North Carolina, where she would join the blockade off Charleston. The orders were received by the crew on Christmas Day, some of whom had been aboard Monitor on her harrowing journey from New York to Hampton Roads in March and were not pleased with the prospect of taking to the high seas once again. Dana Green remarked, "I do not consider this steamer a sea going vessel".

The crew celebrated Christmas aboard Monitor while berthed at Hampton Roads in what was described as a most merry fashion, while many other celebrations were occurring along the shore. The ship's cook was paid one dollar to prepare a meal for the crew befitting the day; it was received with mixed opinion. That day, Monitor was made ready for sea, her crew under strict orders not to discuss the impending voyage with anyone, but bad weather delayed her departure until 29 December.

While the design of Monitor was well-suited for river combat, her low freeboard and heavy turret made her highly unseaworthy in rough waters. Under the command of John P. Bankhead, Monitorput to sea on 31 December, under tow from USS Rhode Island, as a heavy storm developed off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Using chalk and a blackboard, Bankhead wrote messages alerting Rhode Island that if Monitor needed help she would signal with a red lantern.

Monitor was soon in trouble as the storm increased in ferocity. Large waves were splashing over and completely covering the deck and pilot house so the crew temporarily rigged the wheel atop the turret which was manned by helmsman Francis Butts. Water continued flooding into the vents and ports and the ship began rolling uncontrollably in the high seas. Sometimes she would drop into a wave with such force the entire hull would tremble. Leaks were beginning to appear everywhere. Bankhead ordered the engineers to start the Worthington pumps, which temporarily stemmed the rising waters, but soon Monitor was hit by a squall and a series of violent waves and water continued to work its way into the vessel. Right when the Worthington pump could no longer keep pace with the flooding a call came from the engine room that water was gaining there. Realizing the ship was in serious trouble, Bankhead signaled Rhode Island for help and hoisted the red lantern next to Monitor's white running light atop the turret. He then ordered the anchor dropped to stop the ship's rolling and pitching with little effect, making it no easier for the rescue boats to get close enough to receive her crew. He then ordered the towline cut and called for volunteers, Acting Master Stodder, along with crewmates John Stocking, and James Fenwick volunteered and climbed down from the turret, but eyewitnesses said that as soon as they were on the deck Fenwick and Stocking were quickly swept overboard and drowned. Stodder managed to hang onto the safety lines around the deck and finally cut through the 13 in (33 cm) towline with a hatchet. At 11:30 p.m. Bankhead ordered the engineers to stop engines and divert all available steam to the large Adams centrifugal steam pump; but with reduced steam output from a boiler being fed wet coal it too was unable to stem the rapidly rising water. After all steam pumps had failed, Bankhead ordered some of the crew to man the hand pumps and organized a bucket brigade, but to no avail.

Officers Greene and Stodder were among the last men to abandon ship and remained with Bankhead who was the last surviving man to abandon the sinking Monitor. In his official report of Monitor to the Navy Department, Bankhead praised Green and Stodder for their heroic efforts and wrote, "I would beg leave to call the attention of the Admiral and of the Department of the particularly good conduct of Lieutenant Greene and Acting Master Louis N. Stodder, who remained with me until the last, and by their example did much toward inspiring confidence and obedience on the part of the others."

After a frantic rescue effort, Monitor finally foundered and sank approximately 16 miles (26 km) southeast off Cape Hatteras with the loss of sixteen men, including four officers, some of whom remained in the turret and went down with the ironclad. Forty-seven men were rescued by the life boats from Rhode Island. Bankhead, Green and Stodder barely managed to get clear of the sinking vessel and survived the ordeal but suffered from exposure from the icy winter sea. After his initial recovery, Bankhead filed his official report, as did the commanding officers of the Rhode Island, stating officers and men of both Monitor and Rhode Island did everything within their ability to keep Monitorfrom sinking. The Navy did not find it necessary to commission a board of inquiry to investigate the affair and took no action against Bankhead or any of his officers.

Some time later a controversy emerged over why Monitor sank. In the Army and Navy Journal, Ericsson accused the crew of drunkenness during the storm, being consequently unable to prevent the vessel from sinking. Stodder vigorously defended the crew and rebuked Ericsson's characterization of the crew and events and wrote to Pierce that Ericsson "covers up defects by blaming those that are now dead", pointing out that there were a number of unavoidable events and circumstances that led to the ship's sinking, foremost being the overhang between the upper and lower hulls which came loose and partially separated during the storm from slamming into the violent waves. Stodder's account was corroborated by other shipmates.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Monitor
 

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31 December 1788 – french Vénus, 38 guns Hébé class, (design by Jacques-Noël Sané) – wrecked 31 December 1788 in the Indian Ocean.


Vénus was a 38-gun Hébé-class frigate of the French Navy.

In the summer of 1782, Vénus operated as a transport between Rochefort and Île de Ré. She served in Martinique during the American War of Independence.
From 1785 to 1788, Vénus undertook a scientific expedition in the Indian Ocean, under Captain de Rossily.
Vénus was wrecked in a storm on her way back to France, on 31 December 1788

John_Christian_Schetky,_HMS_Amelia_Chasing_the_French_Frigate_Aréthuse_1813_(1852).jpg
Proserpine, sister-ship of Vénus

Class and type: Hébé-class frigate
Displacement: 700 tonnes
Length: 46.3 m (152 ft)
Beam: 11.9 m (39 ft)
Draught: 5.5 m (18 ft)
Complement: 297
Armament:
  • 26 x long 18-pounders
  • 8 x long 8-pounders
large (3).jpg
Port-quarter view of the Hebe (right) on a larboard (port) tack, with a starboard-broadside view of the lugger (left). 'HEBE' is inscribed on the upper counter on the stern of the ship. Hand-coloured.; Technique includes roulette work.


The frigate La Vénus, referred to as an 18-pdr because of the caliber of her main artillery, was conceived and designed by the engineer Sané and built in Brest in 1782. It is one of the prototypes of the 143 similar frigates which were to be built in every port of France and continental Europe from 1780 to the end of the French Empire.
Often imitated by the British, Sané's 18-pdr frigates enjoyed remarkable success during their lengthy career. The last ones, built at the end of the Empire (1813) were not dropped from the lists until about 1850.
The French archives abound in accounts of the valorous actions led by Sané's frigates. Other episodes, like the story of the Médusé whose wreck was found on the banks of the Arguin are less commandable.


Hébé class, (36/38-gun design by Jacques-Noël Sané, with 26 x 18-pdr guns initially, although by 1793 carried 28 x 18-pdr guns, plus 10 x 8-pdr guns on the gaillards and 4 obusiers).

Hébé, 38 guns (launched 25 June 1782 at Saint-Malo) – captured by British Navy 4 September 1782.
Vénus, 38 guns (launched 14 July 1782 at Brest) – wrecked 31 December 1788 in the Indian Ocean.
Dryade, 40 guns (launched 3 February 1783 at Saint-Malo) – condemned 1801 and BU.
Proserpine, 40 guns (launched 25 June 1785 at Brest) – captured by British Navy 13 June 1796, becoming HMS Amelia.
Sibylle, 40 guns (launched 30 August 1791 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy 17 June 1794.
Carmagnole, 40 guns (launched 22 May 1793 at Brest) – wrecked at Vlissingen 9 November 1800.


Unbenannt.JPG

Ancre is offering a detailed monographie from Jean Boudriot and Hubert Berti about the Hebe-class frigate La Venus in scale 1:48:

The frigate La Vénus, referred to as an 18-pdr because of the caliber of her main artillery, was conceived and designed by the engineer Sané and built in Brest in 1782. It is one of the prototypes of the 143 similar frigates which were to be built in every port of France and continental Europe from 1780 to the end of the French Empire. Often imitated by the British, Sané’s 18-pdr frigates enjoyed remarkable success during their lengthy career. The last ones, built at the end of the Empire (1813) were not dropped from the lists until about 1850. The French archives abound in accounts of the valorous actions led by Sané’s frigates. Other episodes, like the story of the Médusé whose wreck was found on the banks of the Arguin are less commandable. The documentation we offer here brings the Vénus to life. Further research, which was facilitated by documents in French and British archives, as well as archives in the many other countries occupied by the French Empire, enables the construction of the Vénus and other frigates of the same type with a particular decoration or distinguished military career. The Vénus herself had a non-combative and humanitarian career. Her captain, de Rossily, the former commander of the lugger Le Coureur at the time of the famous battle of La Belle Poule, sailed her on a voyage of discovery in the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the Indian Ocean before her complete disappearance during a hurricane with all crew and cargo, on 31 December 1788 after having set sail from Saint Paul de la Réunion.

Unbenannt1.JPG

https://ancre.fr/en/monograph/21-monographie-de-la-venus-fregate-de-18-1782.html#/langue-anglais
https://ancre.fr/en/monograph/88-charpente-de-la-venus.html


The Hébé class was a class of six 38-gun (later 40-gun) frigates of the French Navy, designed in 1781 by Jacques-Noël Sané. The name ship of the class. Hébé, was also the basis for the British Leda-class frigates after the ship had been captured.

Unbenannt2.JPG

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_frigate_Vénus_(1782)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hébé-class_frigate
 

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Uwek

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
31 December 1863 - Lammermuir, named for the Lammermuir Hills, an extreme clipper ship, wrecked


Lammermuir, named for the Lammermuir Hills, was an extreme clipper ship

Construction
Lammermuir measured 178'0" × 34'0" × 22'0", with tonnage 952 NRT. Built in 1856 by William Pile of Sunderland for John "Jock" "White Hat" Willis & Son, London, it was the favorite ship of its owner.

Lammermuir-1856.jpg
Lammermuir built in 1856.

Class and type: Tea Clipper
Tonnage: 952 NRT
Length:hull: 178 ft 0 in (54.25 m)
Beam: 34 ft 0 in (10.36 m)
Depth: 22 ft 0 in (6.71 m)

1.jpg

Loss of the ship
When she was wrecked on the Amherst Reef in the Macclesfield Channel, Gaspar Strait on 31 December 1863, Willis commissioned another ship by the same name, the Lammermuirof 1864.

The wreck of the original Lammermuir was still visible above the water line in August 1866 when the new Lammermuir sailed past en route to China.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lammermuir_(1856_clipper)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
31 December 1876 - Harvest Queen was a packet ship of the Black Ball Line built in 1854, by William H. Webb, which sank in a collision with the steamer Adriatic in 1876.


Harvest Queen was a packet ship of the Black Ball Line built in 1854, by William H. Webb, which sank in a collision with the steamer Adriatic in 1876.

Harvest_Queen_Hughes.jpg
Die Harvest Queen, ein Schiff der Black Ball Line

Voyages
The artist Charles Henry Miller, a recent graduate of New York Homeopathic Medical College, sailed on the Harvest Queen as ship's surgeon in 1864, under Captain Hutchinson, between New York and Liverpool.

This vessel, though never renowned for fast voyages, as were so many of her sister clippers, was a noted emigrant ship ... In 1864, when our artist made his first and last voyage in her, common sailors were getting ninety dollars for the trip, and bounty jumping was frequently practised. Many desperadoes, attracted by the high rate of wages, shipped as foremast hands, and stirring scenes were enacted. A mutiny, which was luckily quelled without loss of life, broke out twice on the Harvest Queen; and Mr. Miller, among his other reminiscences of an eventful voyage, recalls a day when he was ranged beside the captain on the quarter-deck, revolver in hand, ready to aid in overcoming the mutineers ... When the ship reached New York on her return trip, two of the sailors were drowned in an attempt to escape from her; and the sketchesmade by Mr. Miller on board include one of a luckless and forlorn-looking seaman, standing at the wheel, who had jumped overboard, but was captured and severely beaten.

While the Harvest Queen was lying in the Liverpool docks, Miller took a flying trip to London, Scotland, and France, making numerous sketches. When he reached home again, his love of art, freshly kindled by the sight of some of the great art galleries of Europe, and the wonderful ocean scenes which he had attempted to draw on the voyage, proved itself too strong to be overcome. He abandoned medicine, and returned to the practice of art in New York.​
5770_1000 dpi unframed.jpg

Collision and sinking
"The American ship Harvest Queen ... while beating up the English Channel, having nearly completed her voyage from San Francisco, and, we may suppose, with most of her crew in the forecastle singing, yarning, and getting their "shore togs" ready for the morrow, was cut down by the steamship Adriatic. She sank almost immediately. Not a soul was saved. A terrible shriek floated across the sea and then all was still. Boats were lowered from the Adriatic, which cruised about all night, but in vain; when daylight spread over the Channel not a spar nor a vestige of the unfortunate ship marked her grave." "She was run down by the White Star line steamer SS Adriatic, and sunk with all on board, in the Irish Channel in 1876, just after leaving Queenstown on her voyage from San Francisco to Liverpool with a cargo of wheat."

Harvest Queen sank so quickly that the crew of Adriatic could not identify what ship they had hit, and only a records search later showed who the victim had been.

"Before a Court of Admirality held in New York on the White Star Liner's arrival, testimony was adduced throwing the blame on the Harvest Queen because her lights were not visible."



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvest_Queen
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
31 December 1942 - Battle of the Barents Sea


The Battle of the Barents Sea was a World War II naval engagement on 31 December 1942 between warships of the German Navy (Kriegsmarine) and British ships escorting convoy JW 51B to Kola Inlet in the USSR. The action took place in the Barents Sea north of North Cape, Norway. The German raiders' failure to inflict significant losses on the convoy infuriated Hitler, who ordered that German naval strategy would concentrate on the U-boat fleet rather than surface ships.

The_Battle_of_the_Barents_Sea.jpg
Painting of the Battle of the Barents Sea, World War II. The ship depicted is the German destroyer Friedrich Eckoldt.

Background
JW 51B

Convoy JW 51B comprised fourteen merchant ships carrying war materials to the USSR — some 202 tanks, 2,046 vehicles, 87 fighters, 33 bombers, 11,500 short tons (10,433 t; 10,268 long tons) of fuel, 12,650 short tons (11,476 t; 11,295 long tons) of aviation fuel and just over 54,000 short tons (48,988 t; 48,214 long tons) of other supplies. They were protected by the destroyers HMS Achates, Orwell, Oribi, Onslow, Obedient and Obdurate; the Flower-class corvettes HMS Rhododendron and Hyderabad; the minesweeperHMS Bramble; and trawlers Vizalma and Northern Gem. The escort commander was Captain Robert Sherbrooke RN (flag in Onslow). The convoy sailed in the dead of winter to preclude attacks by German aircraft, like those that devastated Convoy PQ-17. Force R (Rear-Admiral Robert L. Burnett), with the cruisers HMS Sheffield and Jamaica and two destroyers, were independently stationed in the Barents Sea to provide distant cover.

Operation Regenbogen
See also: Operation Regenbogen
On 31 December, a German force, based at Altafjord in northern Norway, under the command of Vice-Admiral Oskar Kummetz, on Admiral Hipper set sail in Unternehmen Regenbogen (Operation Rainbow). After Convoy PQ 18, the force had waited to attack the next Arctic convoy but their temporary suspension by the British during Operation Torch in the Mediterranean and Operation FB, the routeing of single ships to Russia, had provided no opportunity to begin the operation.[3] The force comprised the heavy cruisers Admiral Hipper, Lützow, and destroyers Friedrich Eckoldt, Richard Beitzen, Theodor Riedel, Z29, Z30 and Z31.

Prelude
JW 51B sailed from Loch Ewe on 22 December 1942 and met its escort off Iceland on 25 December. From there the ships sailed north-east, meeting heavy gales on 28–29 December that caused the ships of the convoy to lose station. When the weather moderated, five merchantmen and the escorts Oribi and Vizalma were missing and Bramble was detached to search for them. Three of the straggling merchantmen rejoined the following day; the other ships proceeded independently towards Kola Inlet. On 24 December the convoy was sighted by German reconnaissance aircraft and from 30 December was shadowed by U-354 (Kptlt. Karl-Heinz Herbschleb). When the report was received by the German Naval Staff, Kummetz was ordered to sail immediately to intercept the convoy. Kummetz split his force into two divisions, led by Admiral Hipper and Lützow, respectively.

Battle

1024px-Battle_of_the_Barents_Sea.jpg
Battle of the Barents Sea

At 08:00 on 31 December, the main body of JW 51B, twelve ships and eight warships, were some 120 nmi (140 mi; 220 km) north of the coast of Finnmark heading east. Detached from the convoy were the destroyer Oribi and one ship, which took no part in the action; 15 nmi (17 mi; 28 km) astern (north-east) of the convoy Bramble was searching for them. North of the convoy, at 45 nmi (52 mi; 83 km) distance, was Vizalma and another ship, while Burnett's cruisers were 15 nmi (17 mi; 28 km) southeast of them, and 30 nmi (35 mi; 56 km) from the convoy. To the east, 150 nmi (170 mi; 280 km) away, the home-bound convoy RA 51 was heading west. To the north of the convoy, Admiral Hipper and three destroyers were closing, while 50 nmi (58 mi; 93 km) away Lützowand her three destroyers were closing from the south. At 08:00 the destroyer Friedrich Eckholdt sighted the convoy and reported it to Admiral Hipper.

At 08:20 on 31 December, Obdurate, stationed south of the convoy, spotted three German destroyers to the rear (west) of the convoy. Then, Onslow spotted Admiral Hipper, also to the rear of the convoy, and steered to intercept with Orwell, Obedient and Obdurate, while Achates was ordered to stay with the convoy and make smoke. After some firing, the British ships turned, apparently to make a torpedo attack. Heavily outgunned, Sherbrooke knew that his torpedoes were his most formidable weapons; the attack was feigned as once the torpedoes had been launched their threat would be gone. The ruse worked: Admiral Hipper temporarily retired, since Kummetz had been ordered not to risk his ships. Admiral Hipper returned to make a second attack, hitting Onslowcausing heavy damage and many casualties including 17 killed. Although Onslow ultimately survived the action, Sherbrooke had been badly injured by a large steel splinter and command passed to Obedient.

Admiral Hipper then pulled north of the convoy, stumbled across Bramble, a Halcyon-class minesweeper, which opened fire; Admiral Hipper returned fire with her much heavier guns. The destroyer Friedrich Eckholdt was ordered to finish off Bramble, which sank with all hands, while Admiral Hipper shifted aim to Obedient and Achates to the south. Achates was badly damaged but continued to make smoke until eventually she sank; the trawler Northern Gem rescued many of the crew. The Germans reported sinking a destroyer but this was owing to the misidentification of the minesweeper Bramble; they had not realised Achates had been hit.

The shellfire attracted the attention of Force R, which was still further north. Sheffield and Jamaica approached unseen and opened fire on Admiral Hipper at 11:35, hitting her with enough six-inch shells to damage (and cause minor flooding to) two of her boiler rooms, reducing her speed to 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph). Kummetz initially thought that the attack of the two cruisers was coming from another destroyer but upon realising his mistake, he ordered his ships to retreat to the west. In another case of mistaken identity, Friedrich Eckholdt and Richard Beitzen mistook Sheffield for Admiral Hipper; after attempting to form up with the British ships, they were engaged by Sheffield with Friedrich Eckholdt breaking in two and sinking with all hands.

Lützow approached from the east and fired ineffectively at the convoy, still hidden by smoke from the crippled Achates. Heading north-west to join Admiral Hipper, Lützow also encountered Sheffield and Jamaica, which opened fire. Coincidentally, both sides decided to break off the action at the same time, each side fearing imminent torpedo attacks upon their heavy ships from the other's remaining destroyers. This was shortly after noon. Burnett with Force R continued to shadow the German ships at a distance until it was evident that they were retiring to their base, while the ships of the convoy re-formed and continued towards Kola Inlet.

Aftermath
Analysis
The encounter took place in the middle of the months-long polar night and both the German and British forces were scattered and unsure of the positions of the rest of their own forces, much less their opponent. The battle became a rather confused affair and sometimes it was not clear who was firing on whom or how many ships were engaged. Despite this German attack on convoy JW 51B, all 14 of its merchant ships reached their destinations in the USSR undamaged. Hitler was infuriated at what he regarded as the uselessness of the surface raiders, seeing that two heavy cruisers were driven off by mere destroyers. There were serious consequences: this failure nearly made Hitler enforce a decision to scrap the surface fleet and order the German Navy to concentrate on U-boat warfare. Admiral Erich Raeder, supreme commander of the Kriegsmarine, offered his resignation—which Hitler accepted. Raeder was replaced by Admiral Karl Dönitz, the commander of the U-boat fleet. Dönitz saved the German surface fleet from scrapping; though Admiral Hipper and two (Emden and Leipzig) of the light cruisers were laid up until late 1944, while repairs and rebuilding of the battleship Gneisenau were abandoned. Although German E-boats continued to operate off the coast of France, only one more big surface operation was executed after the battle. This was the attempted raid on Convoy JW 55B by the battleship Scharnhorst. The battleship was sunk by an escorting British task force in what later became known as the Battle of the North Cape.

Victoria Cross
Captain Robert Sherbrooke was awarded the Victoria Cross. He acknowledged that it had really been awarded in honour of the whole crew of Onslow. In the action he had been badly wounded and he lost the sight in his left eye. He returned to active duty and retired from the navy in the 1950s with the rank of rear-admiral.

Commemoration
At the memorial for Bramble, Captain Harvey Crombie said of the crew

They had braved difficulties and perils probably unparalleled in the annals of the British Navy, and calls upon their courage and endurance were constant, but they never failed. They would not have us think sadly at this time, but rather that we should praise God that they had remained steadfast to duty to the end.​
The battle was the subject of the book 73 North by Dudley Pope and the poem JW51B: A Convoy by Alan Ross, who served on Onslow.




https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Barents_Sea
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
Other Events on 31 December


1717 – spanish San Pedro 60 (launched 26 March 1716 at Pasajes) - Wrecked 31 December 1718


1770 – Launch of Spanish San Pedro Apóstol 74 (launched 31 December 1770 at Ferrol) - Stricken 1801

San Pedro Apóstol class
San Pedro Apóstol
74 (launched 31 December 1770 at Ferrol) - Stricken 1801
San Pablo 74 (launched 15 March 1771 at Ferrol) - Renamed Soberano 1814, BU January 1856
San Gabriel 74 (launched 5 March 1772 at Ferrol) - Stricken 10 August 1909


1796 HMS Curlew Sloop (16), Cdr. Francis Ventris Field, foundered in North Sea.

HMS Curlew was an 18-gun Diligence class brig-sloop of the Royal Navy, commissioned in June 1795 under Commander Francis Ventris Field for Admiral Duncan's fleet.
On 31 October 1796 she disappeared during a storm in the North Sea, and was presumed to have foundered with all hands

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Curlew_(1795)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diligence-class_brig-sloop


1796 - Uranie, (40-gun one-off design by Pierre Ozanne and Leon-Michel Guignace, with 28 x 18-pounder and 12 x 8-pounder guns) launched 30 October 1788 at Lorient – renamed Tartu in November 1793, captured by the British Navy 31 December 1796, becoming HMS Uranie.

Uranie was a frigate of the French Navy launched in 1788. She took part in a frigate action in 1793, capturing HMS Thames, and was renamed Tartu in honour of her captain, Jean-François Tartu, who was killed in the action. The Royal Navy captured her in 1797. She served as HMS Uranie until the Royal Navy sold her in 1807.

1280px-Uranie_vs_HMS_Thames.png
The Action of 24 October 1793 between Uranie and HMS Thames

French service
At the Action of 24 October 1793, under Jean-François Tartu, she engaged HMS Thames, which she reduced to a hulk before disengaging. Tartu was killed; he was hailed as a hero, and Uranie was renamed Tartu in his honour.

British service
On 5 January 1797, she was captured by HMS Polyphemus, and subsequently brought into British service as HMS Uranie.
On 28 July 1800, Uranie captured the French privateer schooner Revanche, which was armed with fourteen 6-pounder guns and had a crew of 80 men. Revanche was 19 days out of Vigo and had already captured and sent in the English brig Marcus, a Portuguese ship, and a Spanish brig that had been a prize to Minerve. Sirius shared in the capture.
In 1807, she detected Manche, but failed to engage. Complaints by her crew led to the court martial of the captain for "failure to do his utmost to bring the enemy's frigate to action"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_frigate_Uranie_(1788)


1917: Der britische Truppentransporter Osmanieh läuft vor Alexandria auf eine von dem deutschen U-Boot UC 34 gelegte Seemine und sinkt innerhalb weniger Minuten. 199 Menschen kommen ums Leben.

Die Osmanieh war ein 1906 in Dienst gestelltes Passagier- und Frachtschiff, das ab 1916 im Ersten Weltkrieg als Truppentransporter und Versorgungsschifffür die Royal Navy diente. Am 31. Dezember 1917 lief die Osmanieh vor Alexandria auf eine von einem deutschen U-Boot gelegte Seemine und sank. Dabei kamen 199 Menschen ums Leben, darunter Besatzungsmitglieder, Soldaten und Krankenschwestern.

HMS_Osmanieh_passenger_ship_built_1906_sunk_Dec_31_1917.jpg

HMS_Osmanieh_passenger_ship_sunk_on_Dec_31_1917.jpg

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osmanieh


1941 - Adm. Chester W. Nimitz assumes command of U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Chester William Nimitz, Sr. (/ˈnɪmɪts/; February 24, 1885 – February 20, 1966) was a fleet admiral of the United States Navy. He played a major role in the naval history of World War II as Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet and Commander in Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas, commanding Allied air, land, and sea forces during World War II.

Nimitz was the leading US Navy authority on submarines. Qualified in submarines during his early years, he later oversaw the conversion of these vessels' propulsion from gasoline to diesel, and then later was key in acquiring approval to build the world's first nuclear-powered submarine, USS Nautilus, whose propulsion system later completely superseded diesel-powered submarines in the US. He also, beginning in 1917, was the Navy's leading developer of underway replenishment techniques, the tool which during the Pacific war would allow the US fleet to operate away from port almost indefinitely. The chief of the Navy's Bureau of Navigation in 1939, Nimitz served as Chief of Naval Operations from 1945 until 1947. He was the United States' last surviving officer who served in the rank of fleet admiral.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chester_W._Nimitz


1942 - USS Essex (CV 9), the first of a new class of aircraft carriers, is commissioned at Norfolk, Va.

USS Essex (CV/CVA/CVS-9) was an aircraft carrier and the lead ship of the 24-ship Essex class built for the United States Navy during World War II. She was the fourth US Navy ship to bear the name. Commissioned in December 1942, Essex participated in several campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations, earning the Presidential Unit Citation and 13 battle stars. Decommissioned shortly after the end of the war, she was modernized and recommissioned in the early 1950s as an attack carrier (CVA), eventually becoming an antisubmarine aircraft carrier (CVS). In her second career, she served mainly in the Atlantic, playing a role in the Cuban Missile Crisis. She also participated in the Korean War, earning four battle stars and the Navy Unit Commendation. She was the primary recovery carrier for the Apollo 7 space mission.

1024px-USS_Essex_(CV-9)_in_Hampton_Roads_on_1_February_1943_(NNAM.1996.488.242.078).jpg
The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Essex (CV-9) at Hampton Roads, Virginia (USA), on 1 February 1943.

She was decommissioned for the last time in 1969, and sold by the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrap on 1 June 1975

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Essex_(CV-9)


1943 - USS Greenling (SS 213) sinks Japanese transport Shoho Maru southeast of Ponape and evades counterattacks by submarine chaser Ch 30.


1948 - The last annual report by a Secretary of the Navy to Congress and the President is filed by Secretary of the Navy John L. Sullivan. Thereafter the Secretary of Defense reports annually to Congress.
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
1 January 1660 - Samuel Pepys began to keep a diary. He recorded his daily life for almost ten years.


Samuel Pepys FRS (/piːps/ PEEPS; 23 February 1633 – 26 May 1703) was an administrator of the navy of England and Member of Parliament who is most famous for the diary he kept for a decade while still a relatively young man. Pepys had no maritime experience, but he rose to be the Chief Secretary to the Admiralty under both King Charles II and King James II through patronage, hard work, and his talent for administration. His influence and reforms at the Admiralty were important in the early professionalisation of the Royal Navy.

Samuel_Pepys.jpg

The detailed private diary that Pepys kept from 1660 until 1669 was first published in the 19th century and is one of the most important primary sources for the English Restoration period. It provides a combination of personal revelation and eyewitness accounts of great events, such as the Great Plague of London, the Second Dutch War, and the Great Fire of London.

The diary

Pepys_diary_shorthand.png
A facsimile of part of the first entry in the diary

800px-Samuel_Pepys_bookplate_1.jpg
Samuel Pepys' bookplate. The motto reads Mens cujusque is est Quisque – "Mind Makes the Man".

On 1 January 1660 ("1 January 1659/1660" in contemporary terms), Pepys began to keep a diary. He recorded his daily life for almost ten years. This record of a decade of Pepys' life is more than a million words long and is often regarded as Britain’s most celebrated diary. Pepys has been called the greatest diarist of all time due to his frankness in writing concerning his own weaknesses and the accuracy with which he records events of daily British life and major events in the 17th century. Pepys wrote about the contemporary court and theatre (including his amorous affairs with the actresses), his household, and major political and social occurrences.

Historians have been using his diary to gain greater insight and understanding of life in London in the 17th century. Pepys wrote consistently on subjects such as personal finances, the time he got up in the morning, the weather, and what he ate. He talked at length about his new watch which he was very proud of (and which had an alarm, a new accessory at the time), a country visitor who did not enjoy his time in London because he felt that it was too crowded, and his cat waking him up at one in the morning. Pepys's diary is one of the only known sources which provides such length in details of everyday life of an upper-middle-class man during the seventeenth century.

Aside from day-to-day activities, Pepys also commented on the significant and turbulent events of his nation. England was in disarray when he began writing his diary. Oliver Cromwell had died just a few years before, creating a period of civil unrest and a large power vacuum to be filled. Pepys had been a strong supporter of Cromwell, but he converted to the Royalist cause upon the Protector’s death. He was on the ship that brought Charles II home to England. He gave a firsthand account of events, such as the coronation of King Charles II and the Restoration of the British Monarchy to the throne, the Anglo-Dutch war, the Great Plague, and the Great Fire of London.

Pepys did not plan on his contemporaries ever seeing his diary, which is evident from the fact that he wrote in shorthand and sometimes in a "code" of various Spanish, French, and Italian words (especially when describing his illicit affairs). However, Pepys often juxtaposed profanities in his native English amidst his "code" of foreign words, a practice which would reveal the details to any casual reader. He did intend future generations to see the diary, as evidenced by its inclusion in his library and its catalogue before his death along with the shorthand guide he used and the elaborate planning by which he ensured his library survived intact after his death.

The women whom he pursued, his friends, and his dealings are all laid out. His diary reveals his jealousies, insecurities, trivial concerns, and his fractious relationship with his wife. It has been an important account of London in the 1660s. The juxtaposition of his commentary on politics and national events, alongside the very personal, can be seen from the beginning. His opening paragraphs, written in January 1660, begin:

Blessed be God, at the end of the last year I was in very good health, without any sense of my old pain but upon taking of cold. I lived in Axe yard, having my wife and servant Jane, and no more in family than us three. My wife, after the absence of her terms for seven weeks, gave me hopes of her being with child, but on the last day of the year she hath them again.​
The condition of the State was thus. Viz. the Rump, after being disturbed by my Lord Lambert, was lately returned to sit again. The officers of the army all forced to yield. Lawson lie still in the River and Monke is with his army in Scotland. Only my Lord Lambert is not yet come in to the Parliament; nor is it expected that he will, without being forced to it.​

The entries from the first few months were filled with news of General George Monck's march on London. In April and May of that year, he was encountering problems with his wife, and he accompanied Montagu's fleet to the Netherlands to bring Charles II back from exile. Montagu was made Earl of Sandwich on 18 June, and Pepys secured the position of Clerk of the Acts to the Navy Board on 13 July. As secretary to the board, Pepys was entitled to a £350 annual salary plus the various gratuities and benefits that came with the job–including bribes. He rejected an offer of £1,000 for the position from a rival and soon afterwards moved to official accommodation in Seething Lane in the City of London.

Pepys stopped writing his diary in 1669. His eyesight began to trouble him and he feared that writing in dim light was damaging his eyes. He did imply in his last entries that he might have others write his diary for him, but doing so would result in a loss of privacy and it seems that he never went through with those plans. In the end, Pepys' fears were unjustified and he lived another 34 years without going blind, but he never took to writing his diary again.

However, Pepys dictated a journal for two months in 1669–70 as a record of his dealings with the Commissioners of Accounts at that period. He also kept a diary for a few months in 1683 when he was sent to Tangier, Morocco as the most senior civil servant in the navy, during the English evacuation. The diary mostly covers work-related matters.

Public life
PepysLetter.jpg
A short letter from Samuel Pepys to John Evelyn at the latter's home in Deptford, written by Pepys on 16 October 1665 and referring to "prisoners" and "sick men" during the Second Dutch War

On the Navy Board, Pepys proved to be a more able and efficient worker than colleagues in higher positions. This often annoyed Pepys and provoked much harsh criticism in his diary. Among his colleagues were Admiral Sir William Penn, Sir George Carteret, Sir John Mennes and Sir William Batten.

Pepys learned arithmetic from a private tutor and used models of ships to make up for his lack of first-hand nautical experience, and ultimately came to play a significant role in the board's activities. In September 1660, he was made a Justice of the Peace; on 15 February 1662, Pepys was admitted as a Younger Brother of Trinity House; and on 30 April, he received the freedom ofPortsmouth. Through Sandwich, he was involved in the administration of the short-lived English colony at Tangier. He joined the Tangier committee in August 1662 when the colony was first founded and became its treasurer in 1665. In 1663, he independently negotiated a £3,000 contract for Norwegian masts, demonstrating the freedom of action that his superior abilities allowed. He was appointed to a commission of the royal fishery on 8 April 1664.

Pepys' job required him to meet many people to dispense money and make contracts. He often laments how he "lost his labour" having gone to some appointment at a coffee house or tavern, only to discover that the person was not there whom he was seeking. These occasions were a constant source of frustration to Pepys.

Major events
Pepys' diary provides a first-hand account of the Restoration, and it is also notable for its detailed accounts of several major events of the 1660s, along with the lesser known diary of John Evelyn. In particular, it is an invaluable source for the study of the Second Anglo-Dutch War of 1665–7, the Great Plague of 1665, and the Great Fire of London in 1666. In relation to the Plague and Fire, C. S. Knighton has written: "From its reporting of these two disasters to the metropolis in which he thrived, Pepys's diary has become a national monument." Robert Latham, editor of the definitive edition of the diary, remarks concerning the Plague and Fire: "His descriptions of both—agonisingly vivid—achieve their effect by being something more than superlative reporting; they are written with compassion. As always with Pepys it is people, not literary effects, that matter."

Second Anglo-Dutch War

Van_Soest,_Attack_on_the_Medway.jpg
Dutch Attack on the Medway, June 1667 by Pieter Cornelisz van Soest, painted c. 1667. The captured ship Royal Charles is right of centre.

In early 1665, the start of the Second Anglo-Dutch War placed great pressure on Pepys. His colleagues were either engaged elsewhere or incompetent, and Pepys had to conduct a great deal of business himself. He excelled under the pressure, which was extreme due to the complexity and under-funding of the Royal Navy.[8] At the outset, he proposed a centralised approach to supplying the fleet. His idea was accepted, and he was made surveyor-general of victualling in October 1665. The position brought a further £300 a year.

Pepys wrote about the Second Anglo-Dutch War: "In all things, in wisdom, courage, force and success, the Dutch have the best of us and do end the war with victory on their side". And King Charles II said: "Don't fight the Dutch, imitate them".

In 1667, with the war lost, Pepys helped to discharge the navy. The Dutch had defeated England on open water and now began to threaten the mainland itself. In June 1667, they conducted their Raid on the Medway, broke the defensive chain at Gillingham, and towed away the Royal Charles, one of the Royal Navy's most important ships. As he had done during the Fire and the Plague, Pepys again removed his wife and his gold from London.

The Dutch raid was a major concern in itself, but Pepys was personally placed under a different kind of pressure: the Navy Board and his role as Clerk of the Acts came under scrutiny from the public and from Parliament. The war ended in August and, on 17 October, the House of Commons created a committee of "miscarriages".[8] On 20 October, a list was demanded from Pepys of ships and commanders at the time of the division of the fleet in 1666.[8] However, these demands were actually quite desirable for him, as tactical and strategic mistakes were not the responsibility of the Navy Board.

The Board did face some allegations regarding the Medway raid, but they could exploit the criticism already attracted by commissioner of Chatham Peter Pett to deflect criticism from themselves. The committee accepted this tactic when they reported in February 1668. The Board was, however, criticised for its use of tickets to pay seamen. These tickets could only be exchanged for cash at the Navy's treasury in London. Pepys made a long speech at the bar of the Commons on 5 March 1668 defending this practice. It was, in the words of C. S. Knighton, a "virtuoso performance".

The commission was followed by an investigation led by a more powerful authority, the commissioners of accounts. They met at Brooke House, Holborn and spent two years scrutinising how the war had been financed. In 1669, Pepys had to prepare detailed answers to the committee's eight "Observations" on the Navy Board's conduct. In 1670, he was forced to defend his own role. A seaman's ticket with Pepys' name on it was produced as incontrovertible evidence of his corrupt dealings but, thanks to the intervention of the king, Pepys emerged from the sustained investigation relatively unscathed.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Pepys
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
1 January 1761 - Loss of HMS Newcastle (1750 - 50), HMS Duc D'Aquitaine (1754 - 64), HMS Sunderland (1724 - 60), HMS Protector (1749 - 44) and HMS Queenborough (1747 - 24) in a cyclone in the East Indies.


HMS Newcastle was a 50-gun fourth rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched in 1750 and in active service during the Seven Years' War against France. Principally engaged in defending British settlements in India, she was wrecked in a storm off Pondicherry in January 1761.

Class and type: 1745 Establishment 50-gun fourth rate ship of the line
Tons burthen: 1052 46⁄94(bm)
Length:
  • 144 ft (43.9 m) (gundeck)
  • 117 ft 8 in (35.9 m) (keel)
Beam: 41 ft 0 in (12.5 m)
Depth of hold: 17 ft 8 in (5.4 m)
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
Complement: 350
Armament:
  • Gundeck: 22 × 24-pounder guns
  • Upper deck: 22 × 12-pounder guns
  • Quarterdeck: 4 × 6-pounder guns
  • Forecastle: 2 × 6-pounder guns

Fate
On 1 January 1761, a cyclone off Pondicherry, drove Newcastle, HMS Queenborough, and HMS Protector onshore, where they wrecked. Newcastle was able to leave harbour, but the wind shifted, impeding her and eventually driving her ashore two miles south of Pondicherry. The same storm also caught HMS Duc D'Aquitaine and HMS Sunderland. They tried to get out to open water, but were unable to. When they anchored the sea overwhelmed them and they both foundered, each with the loss of almost all on board


Duc d'Aquitaine was a 64-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, launched in 1754.

Class and type: 64-gun third rate ship of the line
Tons burthen: 1358 (bm)
Length: 159 ft 5 in (48.59 m) (gundeck)
Beam: 44 ft 4 in (13.51 m)
Depth of hold: 19 ft 5 in (5.92 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
Armament: 64 guns of various weights of shot

On 30 May 1757 she was captured by the Royal Navy and commissioned as the third rate HMS Duc D'Aquitaine. She foundered in 1761 and was lost.

Fate
On 1 January 1761, Duc D'Aquitaine was caught in a cyclone off Pondicherry, India, and foundered. She had been anchored and attempted to go out to sea, but was unable to and so reanchored. The storm overwhelmed her and she foundered; only 19 men out of a crew of about 400 survived. The same storm claimed four other warships as well. HMS Sunderland foundered in much the same manner as Duc D'Aquitaine, and with a similar outcome. HMS Newcastle, HMS Queenborough, and HMS Protector were all driven onshore and wrecked.


HMS Sunderland was a 60-gun fourth rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built to the 1719 Establishment at Chatham Dockyard, and launched on 30 April 1724.

General characteristics after 1744 rebuild
Class and type: 1741 proposals 58-gun fourth rate ship of the line
Tons burthen: 1123 (bm)
Length: 147 ft (44.8 m) (gundeck)
Beam: 42 ft (12.8 m)
Depth of hold: 18 ft 1 in (5.5 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
Armament:
  • Gundeck: 24 × 24-pounder guns
  • Upper gundeck: 24 × 12-pounder guns
  • QD: 8 × 6-pounder guns
  • Fc: 2 × 6-pounder guns
large.jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sternboard outline with some decoration detail, sheer lines, and longitudinal half-breadth for Sunderland (1744), a 1741 Establishment 60-gun Fourth Rate, two-decker. Signed by Peirson Lock [Master Shipwright, Portsmouth Dockyard, 1742-1755 (died)].

On 25 December 1742 Sunderland was ordered to be taken to pieces for rebuilding as a 58-gun fourth rate to the 1741 proposals of the 1719 Establishment at Portsmouth Dockyard, from where she was relaunched on 4 April 1744

Sunderland sailed from Portsmouth on 6 May 1758, bound for Madras. She sailed in convoy with the 74-gun HMS Grafton and the East Indiaman Pitt.

On 1 January 1761, Sunderland was caught in a cyclone off Pondicherry, India, and foundered. She had been anchored and attempted to go out to sea, but was unable to and so reanchored. The storm overwhelmed her and she foundered six miles north of the anchorage; 376 of her crew died and 17 survived. The same storm claimed four other warships as well. HMS Duc D'Aquitaine foundered in much the same manner as Sunderland, and with a similar outcome. HMS Newcastle, HMS Queenborough, and HMS Protector were all driven onshore and wrecked.


HMS Queenborough (1747), a sixth rate of 24 guns, launched by Sparrow of Rotherhithe on 21 January 1747. She was one of five vessels lost in a cyclone off Pondicherry on 1 January 1761

HMS Protector, a 44-gun fifth rate listed in 1749 which served in India and was wrecked on 1 January 1761 by a cyclone near Pondicherry.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Newcastle_(1750)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_ship_Duc_d'Aquitaine_(1754)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Sunderland_(1724)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
1 January 1776 – American Revolutionary War: Norfolk, Virginia is burned by combined Royal Navy and Continental Army action.


The Burning of Norfolk was an incident that occurred on January 1, 1776, during the American Revolutionary War. British Royal Navy ships in the harbor of Norfolk, Virginia began shelling the town, and landing parties came ashore to burn specific properties. The town, whose significantly Tory (Loyalist) population had fled, was occupied by Whig (Revolutionary)forces from Virginia and North Carolina. Although these forces worked to drive off the landing parties, they did nothing to impede the progress of the flames, and began burning and looting Tory properties.

After three days, most of the town had been destroyed, principally by the action of the Whig forces. The destruction was completed by Whig forces in early February to deny use of even the remnants to the British. Norfolk was the last significant foothold of British authority in Virginia; after raiding Virginia's coastal areas for a time, its last Royal Governor, Lord Dunmore, left for good in August 1776.

1024px-EasternVirginia1775.jpg
Detail of a 1780s manuscript map depicting the eastern coastal areas of Virginia, including portions of "Princess Anne" and Norfolk counties. The map is oriented with North to the bottom and South to the top. Part of the mouth of Chesapeake Bay is visible at the bottom of the map. The map depicts the sites of several military actions fought on land in the early days of the American Revolutionary War, including w:en:Battle of Kemp's Landing, w:en:Battle of Great Bridge, and the w:en:Burning of Norfolk, and the site of two sea battles of the war, the First and Second Battles of the Capes, the latter also known as w:en:Battle of the Chesapeake.

Background
Tensions in the British Colony of Virginia were raised in April 1775 at roughly the same time that the hostilities of the American Revolutionary War broke out in the Province of Massachusetts Bay with the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Rebellious Whigs (also known as Patriots) in control of the provincial assembly had begun recruiting troops in March 1775, leading to a struggle for control of the colony's military supplies. Under orders from John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, the royal Governor of Virginia, British marines removed gunpowder from the colonial storehouse in Williamsburg to a Royal Navy ship, alarming members of the colonial legislature and prompting a militia uprising. Although the incident was resolved without violence, Dunmore, fearing for his personal safety, left Williamsburg in June 1775 and placed his family on board a Royal Navy ship. A small British fleet then took shape at Norfolk, a port town whose merchants had significant Loyalist (Tory) tendencies. Although the town did have some Whig support, the threat posed by the British fleet may have played a role in minimizing their activity in the town.

Sir_Joshua_Reynolds_-_John_Murray,_4th_Earl_of_Dunmore_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg
John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore

Confrontations and minor skirmishes continued in Virginia between Whigs on one side and Tories on the other until October, when Dunmore had acquired enough military support to begin organized operations against the rebellious Whigs. General Thomas Gage, the British commander-in-chief for North America, had ordered a small detachment of the 14th Regiment of Foot to Virginia in response to pleas by Dunmore for military help. These troops began raiding surrounding counties for rebel military supplies on October 12. This activity continued through the end of October, when a small British ship ran aground and was captured by Whigs during a skirmish near Hampton. Navy boats sent to punish the townspeople were repulsed by Continental Army troops and militia in a brief gunfight that resulted in the killing and capture of several sailors. Dunmore reacted to this event by issuing a proclamation on November 7 in which he declared martial law, and offered to emancipate Whig-held slaves in Virginia willing to serve in the British Army. The proclamation alarmed Tory and Whig slaveholders alike, concerned by the idea of armed former slaves and the potential loss of their property. Nevertheless, Dunmore was able to recruit enough slaves to form the Ethiopian Regiment, as well as raising a company of Tories he called the Queen's Own Loyal Virginia Regiment. These local forces supplemented the two companies of the 14th Foot that were the sole British military presence in the colony. This successful recruiting drive prompted Dunmore to write on November 30, 1775 that he would soon be able to "reduce this colony to a proper sense of their duty."

Virginia's assembly had sent companies of militia to Hampton under the command of William Woodford, the colonel of the 2nd Virginia Regiment in October, and further militia continued to arrive at Williamsburg. Woodford, his force swollen to 700 men, advanced toward Great Bridge in early December. Some of Dunmore's troops had fortified the north side of the bridge, so Woodford began entrenching the position on his side of the bridge, while more and more militia companies arrived from the surrounding counties and North Carolina. On December 9, British troops attempted to disperse Woodford's force, and were decisively repulsed. Following the battle, the British retreated back into Norfolk, and shortly after, Dunmore and his entire force withdrew to Royal Navy ships anchored in Norfolk's harbor, along with most of the remaining Tory population of the town. Woodford's force continued to grow with the arrival of Colonel Robert Howe and North Carolina regulars the day after the battle.

Continental Army occupation of Norfolk
On December 14, with the Whig forces having grown by further militia arrivals to about 1,200, Howe and Woodford moved into Norfolk. Since Colonel Howe held a senior Continental Army commission, he outranked Woodford, and assumed command of the occupying forces. He adopted a hard line in dealings with Dunmore and the Royal Navy captains, denying the delivery of supplies to the overcrowded ships, and insisting on parity in the exchange of prisoners.

Howe and Woodford were also concerned about the possibility of a British attack, and at first appealed for additional troops. However, on further consideration they realized that the British fleet could easily maneuver around the town and isolate the garrison. They consequently recommended to the Virginia assembly that the town be abandoned and rendered useless to their enemy.

On December 21 the Liverpool arrived, accompanied by a store ship loaded with supplies and munitions. Dunmore positioned four ships, the Dunmore, the Liverpool, the Otter, and the Kingfisher in a threatening line along the town's waterfront, setting off an exodus of people and possessions from the town. On Christmas Eve, Liverpool's captain, Henry Bellew, sent what amounted to an ultimatum into the town, stating that he preferred to purchase provisions instead of taking them by force. Howe rejected the ultimatum, and prepared for a bombardment. On December 30, Bellew demanded that the Whig forces cease parading and changing the guard on the waterfront because he found it offensive, and suggested that it would "not be imprudent" for women and children to leave the town. Howe refused to withdraw his men, telling Bellew "I am too much an Officer [...] to recede from any point which I conceive to be my duty."

Burning and looting
On New Year's Day 1776, Howe's guards paraded as they had before. Between 3:00 and 4:00 pm, the four ships of the British fleet opened fire on the town. Mounting more than 100 guns, they cannonaded the town well into the evening hours. Landing parties were sent ashore, some to retrieve provisions, others to set fire to buildings that Whig snipers had been using as posts from which to fire on the fleet. Although the British movements were not particularly well coordinated, they succeeded in setting most of the waterfront ablaze.

The Whig militia resisted the landing parties, but did little to stop the flames, which were spread by advantageous winds. Some Loyalist properties were targeted for burning and looting by the Whigs shortly after the bombardment began, including a local distillery. Although the British ended their operations that day, the fires continued to rage; the next morning Colonel Howe reported that "the whole town will I doubt not be consum'd in a day or two." The burning and looting by the occupying Whigs continued for three days. By the time order was restored, much of the town had been destroyed.

Aftermath

Cannonball_lodged_in_church_wall.jpg
Cannonball on display where it struck St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Norfolk

Damage to the town by the Whig forces significantly exceeded that done by the British, destroying 863 buildings valued at £120,000 (an estimated £14.8 million in modern pound sterling). In comparison, the British bombardment destroyed only 19 properties worth £3,000 (£370,000); this was in addition to £2,000 (£250,000) in damages done by Lord Dunmore during the British occupation of Norfolk.

Colonel Howe's report to the Virginia Convention omitted the role of the Whig forces in the burning, and repeated the recommendation that the town be destroyed. A newspaper account published by Lord Rawdon prompted some questions in Whig circles about the event, but many assumed that British forces were responsible for most of the damage, and no inquiries were made in the immediate aftermath. The convention approved Howe's plan, and by February 6 the remaining 416 structures had been destroyed. It was not until 1777 that the full extent of Whig participation in the burning was acknowledged.

Whig forces withdrew from the ruins of the town after completing its destruction, and took up posts in other nearby towns. They were further organized in March, when General Charles Lee arrived to take command of the Continental Army's Southern Department. He mobilized the militia to evict Dunmore from a camp he had established near Portsmouth; Dunmore finally abandoned Virginia for good in August 1776.

While the lands at an already established Fort Nelson and what would later become Fort Norfolk had been fortified, these defensive positions were too weak to prevent the British Royal Navy from bombarding Norfolk. As a result, following the war, the U.S. Federal Government bought the fortified land in Norfolk and established Fort Norfolk. Both fortifications were reinforced and used to prevent any further naval assaults on the cities which lie on the Elizabeth River.

There is a marker at St. Paul's Boulevard and City Hall Avenue in Norfolk commemorating the action.


HMS Liverpool was a 28-gun Coventry-class sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy. Launched in 1758, she saw active service in the Seven Years' War and the American Revolutionary War. She was wrecked in Jamaica Bay, near New York, in 1778.

1920px-Liverpool_(1758)_RMG_J6424.png
Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines with inboard detail and longitudinal half breadth as proposed for the Liverpool, 1756

Class and type: Coventry-class sixth-rate frigate
Tons burthen: 589 85⁄94bm
Length:
  • 118 ft 4 in (gundeck)
  • 97 ft 7¼ in (keel)
Beam: 33 ft 8½ in
Sail plan: Full-rigged ship
Complement: 200
Armament:
  • Upperdeck: 24 × 9-pounder guns
  • Quarterdeck: 4 × 3-pounder guns
  • 12 × swivel guns

HMS Kingfisher (also spelled King's Fisher or Kingsfisher) was the second ship in the 14-gun Swan class of ship sloops, to which design 25 vessels were built in the 1760s and 1770s. She was launched on 13 July 1770 at Chatham Dockyard, and completed there on 21 November 1770. She took part in the American Revolutionary War, enforcing the blockade of the Delaware Bay, and served in the Battle of Turtle Gut Inlet, near Cape May, New Jersey. While under the temporary command of Lieutenant Hugh Christian, she was burnt by her own crew to avoid capture on 7 August 1778 in Narragansett Bay during the Battle of Rhode Island.

HMS_Kingfisher_1770_bow.jpg
Prospective oil painting of the hull model of HM Sloop Kingfisher (1770) - starboard bow view

Class and type: Swan class ship sloop
Tons burthen: 302 8⁄94bm
Length:
  • 96 ft 8 1⁄2 in (29.5 m) (gundeck)
  • 78 ft 10 1⁄2 in (24.0 m) (keel)
Beam: 26 ft 10 in (8.2 m)
Depth of hold: 12 ft 10 in (3.91 m)
Complement: 125
Armament: 14 x 6-pounder guns



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burning_of_Norfolk
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Kingfisher_(1770)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Liverpool_(1758)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
1 January 1800 - Action of 1 January 1800


The Action of 1 January 1800 was a naval battle of the Quasi-War that took place off the coast of present-day Haiti, near the island of Gonâve in the Bight of Léogâne. The battle was fought between an American convoy of four merchant vessels escorted by the United States naval schooner USS Experiment, and a squadron of armed barges manned by Haitians known as picaroons.

ExperimentFightsPicaroons.jpg
A sketch of the action between Experiment and picaroons. William Bainbridge Hoff, 1875

A French-aligned Haitian general, André Rigaud, had instructed his forces to attack all foreign shipping within their range of operations. Accordingly, once Experiment and her convoy of merchant ships neared Gonâve, the picaroons attacked them, capturing two of the American merchant ships before withdrawing. Experiment managed to save the other two ships in her convoy, and escorted them to a friendly port. On the American side, only the captain of the schooner Mary was killed. Though the picaroons took heavy losses during this engagement, they remained strong enough to continue wreaking havoc among American shipping in the region. Only after Rigaud was forced out of power by the forces of Toussaint L'Ouverture, leader of the 1791 Haitian Revolution, did the picaroon attacks cease.

Background
With the dawn of the Haitian Revolution in 1791, a successful slave rebellion on the French colony, then known as Saint-Domingue, allowed the local population to gain control over the government. Despite their success in removing the French colonial authorities, the various political factions that had seized control of the colony were fractious, and fighting soon broke out among them. By 1800, the War of Knives between the pro-French André Rigaud and the pro-autonomy Toussaint L'Ouverture was in full swing and Saint-Domingue was divided in two. Rigaud controlled part of the southern portion of Saint-Domingue while L'Ouverture controlled the rest of the French colony. In need of supplies and materiel, Rigaud's forces attacked any non-French ship that passed them.

Concurrently with the War of Knives, the United States and France were engaged in a bout of limited naval warfare in the Caribbean as part of the Quasi-War. In late December 1799 the American armed schooner Experiment was escorting under convoy the brig Daniel and Mary and the schooners Sea Flower, Mary, and Washington to prevent their capture by French privateers. On 1 January 1800, the convoy was caught in a dead calm off the north side of the present-day Haitian island of Gonâve, in the Bight of Leogane. Seeing the convoy becalmed, Rigaud sent eleven armed barges out to attack and seize the American vessels.

The crews of the American merchant vessels possessed only small arms, but their escort, Experiment, was a much more powerful vessel. Commanded by William Maley, the 135-ton Experiment was armed with 12 six-pounder guns and had a complement of 70 men. In comparison, Rigaud's initial attack force consisted of eleven barges crewed by 40 to 50 men each in the smaller ones, and 60 or 70 in the larger vessels. These barges were primarily propelled by oars, with 26 per vessel. The Haitian craft were each equipped with a mix of swivel guns and four-pounder cannon, with most vessels armed with two or three guns as well as small arms. In addition to the vessels that set out to attack the convoy, there were more barges and men nearby that the Haitians could call upon if reinforcements were needed. In total some 37 barges and 1500 men were at Rigaud's immediate disposal, though the Americans did not know this during the attack. Individually the Haitian barges presented only a small threat to the convoy, but when attacking en masse they could easily overwhelm and capture the American ships if they managed to board them.

Battle

David_porter_senior.jpg
Commodore David Porter, Alonzo Chappell, pre 1862

Experiment kept her gunports closed and passed herself off as a merchantman, while the Haitians sailed closer to the convoy with the intent of boarding and capturing all five vessels. Once the Haitians were in musket range of the American vessels they opened fire on them, and Experiment returned the fire. Grapeshot from the Americans wreaked havoc among the Haitian barges and they were forced to withdraw. They stood off the American convoy for thirty minutes before beaching at the nearby island of Gonâve to land their wounded and gather reinforcements. With three more barges and fresh crews, the picaroons set off to assault the American convoy once more. They divided themselves into three squadrons of four barges each and set course to attack Experiment. The lead and centermost divisions attacked the sides of the American warship while the rear division assaulted the stern. During the lull in fighting Experiment had readied herself for the picaroons' next assault by positioning musketeers in defensive positions, loading her main guns, and raising boarding nets. Thus, when the Haitians attacked the American warship again she was well prepared to repulse any attempt at boarding her.

For three hours, Experiment battled the barges, sinking two and killing a great many of the picaroons. During this time two of the barges left the warship and attacked the merchant ships. These barges managed to protect themselves from Experiment by sailing behind the schooner Mary, which was between the two barges and the warship. The Haitians boarded Mary and killed her captain. Many of the crew jumped into the sea, and the rest hid in the hold. The second barge attempted to take Daniel and Mary but was sunk by fire from Experiment. Once the Haitians had boarded Mary, Experiment opened fire upon her with grapeshot, driving the picaroons off.

The entire flotilla of Haitians once more retired to Gonâve and replaced their wounded crewmembers with fresh ones. Seeing that Daniel and Mary and Washington had drifted away from the convoy, the Haitians set out to attack them. The two civilian vessels, having drifted too far from the protection of Experiment's guns, were abandoned by their crews and passengers who fled to the American warship. The Haitians boarded and plundered these two vessels, carrying them further away from Experiment. Experiment managed to get close enough to the barges to attack them with her cannon but could not pursue them, as two barges had broken away from the main flotilla and were positioned to take Mary and Sea Flower if Experiment left them. Eventually the remnants of the convoy managed to make it to Léogâne, where they were looked after by the American consul.

Aftermath
USS Experiment had succeeded in protecting two of the convoy, but the other two ships were taken by the picaroons. On the American side, only the captain of the schooner Mary had been killed. The Americans also suffered two wounded: one civilian, and Experiment's second in command David Porter, who had been shot in the arm during the action. In exchange the Haitians had lost two of their barges and a great many casualties. Rigaud's picaroons attacked another American convoy later in the year and continued to harass American shipping until Rigaud was ousted from Saint-Domingue at the end of the War of Knives. After fleeing to Guadeloupe, he left for France on the schooner Diane, but was captured and taken to Saint Kitts when Experiment intercepted her on 1 October 1800.

The action would prove controversial in the United States as several officers' reports suggested that Lieutenant Maley, commander of Experiment, had shown cowardice during the engagement. Lieutenant Porter stated that Maley had tried to insist on surrendering to the picaroons immediately upon their arrival. It was alleged that Maley thought the situation was hopeless due to the sheer number of pro-French Haitians who were attacking the convoy, and he had attempted to strike the colors.

The officers' reports also commended Porter, stating that he had saved Experiment and her convoy by acting on his own initiative to ignore Maley's defeatism, urging the crew to fight. Other American officials, such as the American consul at Leonge who was aboard the Experiment during the action, disagreed with Porter's accusations and instead lauded Maley for his bravery. Threats of court-martial were made against Maley, but no formal charges regarding the incident were ever brought. On 16 July 1800 he was replaced as commander of Experiment by Charles Stewart. The incident haunted his career until his retirement.


USS Experiment was a schooner in the United States Navy during the Quasi-War with France.

Experiment was built in 1799 at Baltimore, Maryland; and first put to sea late in November 1799, Lieutenant W. Maley in command.

Type: Schooner
Tonnage: 135
Length: 84 ft 7 in (25.78 m)
Beam: 22 ft 6 in (6.86 m)
Draft: 9 ft 6 in (2.90 m)
Propulsion: Sail
Complement: 70 officers and enlisted
Armament: 12 × 6-pounder (3 kg) guns


Experiment joined the squadron commanded by Captain Silas Talbot on the Santo Domingo station, and for seven months, cruised against French privateers in the Caribbean, taking a number of valuable prizes. On 1 January 1800, while becalmed in the Bight of Leogane with a convoy of four merchantmen, Experiment was attacked by 11 armed pirate boats, manned by about four or five hundred buccaneers. In the seven hours of fighting that followed, the pirates boarded one of the merchantmen, killing her captain, and towed off two other ships of the convoy after their crews had abandoned them. But Experiment sank two of the attacking craft, and killed and wounded many of the pirates, suffering only one man wounded.

Arriving in the Delaware River early in July 1800, Experiment refitted, and returned to the West Indies. Again successful in her patrols against the French, she captured several armed vessels, one of which was carrying a high-ranking army officer. She also recaptured a number of American merchantmen, and in January 1801 rescued 65 Spaniards from the ship Eliza, wrecked on a reef of the island of Saona.

Experiment returned to Norfolk early in February 1801, and was laid up there until August, when she sailed to Baltimore. There, she was sold in October 1801.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_of_1_January_1800
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Experiment_(1799)
 
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