Friday, November 21, 2014

In 1802 ‘Santísima Trinidad’ was the largest warship in the world.

Designed by an Irish naval architect, the Spanish first-rate, Santísima Trinidad (Holy Trinity) was built in Havana, Cuba in 1769. Originally designed with three gun decks she bore 112 cannon. Twenty five years later, 18 more guns were added when a fourth deck was created by closing in the spar-deck between the quarterdeck and the forecastle. 
In 1802 her guns were increased and with 4-gundecks bearing 140 guns the ‘Santísima Trinidad’ was reputed to be the largest warship in the world,
Her original armament of 112 guns consisted of 30 × 36 pdrs, 32 × 24 pdrs, 32 × 12 pdrs and 18 × 8 pdrs. She had a displacement of 4950  tons, was 61.3 m long (201 ft) with a beam 16.2 m (53 ft) and  carried a complement of 1050 crew.

When Santísima Trinidad, sailed for Trafalgar in October 1805 with the combined Franco/Spanish fleet she carried more guns than any other ship-of-the line outfitted in the Age-of-sail but ‘due to her great bulk, her helm was unresponsive in the light winds of the day’ and she was targetted by ships of the British fleet.
Having lost her mast she eventually surrendered and was taken in tow. In the devastating storm which blew in the day after the battle, she sank.
Today a full-size representation of Santísima Trinidad sits on the wharf in Alicante, in Spain. This is not a true replica, but was constructed over the steel hull of a merchant ship.
The stern galleries are particularly impressive.

Today the ship is a popular pub, disco and restaurant.
Ref: Wikipedia and pics in public domain.
1) The Spanish warship Holy Trinity (Santísima Trinidad). Known as "El Escorial of the seas", it was the only ship in the Battle of Trafalgar that had four decks and 136 cannon.
2) Plans of Spanish ship Santísima Trinidad, before conversion to four-decker
4) Infante don Pelayo going to rescue Santisima Trinidad at Battle of Cape St Vincent on 14 February 1797.
Replica/Representation of Spanish ship Nuestra Señora de la Santísima Trinidad (Alicante) by MM (2012)



ediFanoB said...

For me it is nearly impossible to imagine 1050 crew members living an 60 meters long ship.

I have had the pleasure to read FLOATING GOLD and I liked it a lot.
I was really happy when I read that there will be a fourth novel starring Oliver Quintrell.

M. C. Muir said...

I agree about the overcrowding. I have sailed on the Dutch tall ship Europa but there were only about 50 people on that. It would have been incredibly crowded with 1050 people.
I'm glad to hear you enjoyed Floating Gold. I have just finished writing THE UNFORTUNATE ISLES and hope eto have it published before the end of the year. MM

Linda Collison said...

Thank you for gathering this information and posting it. Bob and I really enjoyed cruising with you, in 2012. When in Alicante, Spain, he and I enjoyed a drink aboard the ship reminiscent of Santisima Trinidad. (I believe you were off on a trek to the castle?) In my novel in progress, the protagonist Patricia finds herself in Havana a few years before the Santisima Trinidad was launched. I can't resist the opportunity for her to see it in the beginning stages of construction.

M. C. Muir said...

What a great setting to incorporate into a story. Good luck with the next Patricia MacPherson story. I will look forward to reading it when it is published.