Centurion (60)

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Navies >> British Navy >> Centurion (60)

Origin and History

The ship was built by Joseph Allin at the Portsmouth dockyard from September 1729 and launched on January 6 1733.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the ship was part of a small squadron under the command of commodore George Anso who cruised the Pacific. In 1741, the squadron captured prizes off the coasts of Chile and Peru and plundered the town of Payta. In 1742, it operated in the region of Macao. In 1743, it chased the Manilla galleon. It finally returned to Spithead on June 15 1744. On May 14 1747, the ship took part to an engagement with a French squadron off Cape Finisterre.

During the Seven Years' War, the ship was under the command of:

  • from October 1754 to 1759: captain William Mantell
  • from 1760 to September 1762: captain James Galbraith

The ship was broken up at Chatham on December 18 1769.

Service during the War

In January 1755, the ship along with the Norwich escorted vessels transporting general Braddock's troops to America. Later, the same year, she was part of a small squadron who sailed for Algiers to refrain piracy.

At the beginning of 1758, the ship was part of the fleet who assembled at Portsmouth under the command of admiral Edward Boscawen for the expedition against Louisbourg. On February 19, this fleet set sail for Halifax and finally arrived there on May 9. On May 28, the fleet sailed from Halifax and arrived in sight of Louisbourg on June 1. Throughout the siege of Louisbourg, the fleet actively supported the British army and the fortress finally surrendered on July 26.

In February 1759, the ship sailed from Spithead in Great Britain as part of the fleet destined for the expedition against Québec. The voyage was long and tedious. On April 21, when the fleet finally reached Louisbourg, it was to find the harbour blocked with ice, so that the fleet made for Halifax instead. The fleet finally sailed for Louisbourg in May. Between June 1 and 6, the fleet gradually left the harbour of Louisbourg and sailed for Québec. On June 23, Saunders' fleet made a junction with Durell's squadron at Isles-aux-Coudres. On June 26, the whole British fleet of vice-admiral Saunders was anchored safely off the southern shore of Isle-d'Orléans, a few km below Québec without loosing a single ship. On June 27 at 6:30 AM, the ships of the line Centurion (60) and Pembroke (60) along with the sloop of war Porcupine (16) anchored at the south-western point of Isle-d'Orléans, reconnoitring the French positions around Québec. On the morning of July 31 about 11:00 AM, the tide then being at the flood, the ship anchored near the Montmorency and opened fire on the redoubts on the strand of Beauport. Then 2 armed transports, each of 14 guns, stood in on both sides of the Centurion and as close as possible to the first redoubt. At noon, these 3 vessels fired upon the redoubts. At 5:30 PM, the tide was out, and the crisis came. The batteries across the Montmorency, the distant batteries of Pointe Lévis, the cannon of the Centurion and those of the two stranded ships, all opened together with redoubled fury to cover the landing which was repulsed. Finally, on September 18, the town finally surrendered. At the end of October, vice-admiral Saunders fired his farewell salute and dropped down the Saint-Laurent river with his fleet on his way to Great Britain.

In 1760, the ship sailed to Jamaica where she served as sir James Douglas' flagship.

In 1762, the ship was part of the fleet who assembled under the command of Pocock for the expedition against Cuba and the siege of Havanna which surrendered in June. The ship was sent to Jamaica for stores.

To do: more details for the campaigns from 1760 to 1762

Characteristics

Technical specifications
Guns 60
Lower Gundeck 24 x 24-pdrs
Upper gundeck 26 x 9-pdrs
Quarterdeck 10 x 6-pdrs
Crew 365
Length at gundeck 144 ft 1 in (43.92 m)
Width 40 ft 1½ in (12.22 m)
Depth 16 ft 5 in (5 m)
Displacement 1,005 tons BM

References

Blasco, Manuel, HBMS Centurion (1732), 3 Decks Wiki

Phillips, M., Michael Phillip's Ships of the Old Navy

Wikipedia

  • HMS Centurion (1732)

N.B.: the section Service during the War is derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.