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HMS Centurion, 60 gun ship of the line launched at Portsmouth in 1732 and commissioned in 1734. She served in the Home Fleet and took part in the expedition to Lisbon by Sir John Norris. In 1738 she was captained by George Anson and led a small squadron to the African coast then to Jamaica and back to England. In 1740 she started her famous circumnavigation being the only ship to survive the entire voyage and capturing the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Cavadonga. After being cut down to a 50 gun ship she took part in the first battle of Finisterre.

 The fourth Centurion built and in 1740 she was the flagship of Commodore George Anson in a squadron of 7 ships who were brought up to complement by 500 superannuated and Chelsea out-pensioners, who all died during the voyage. They sailed on Anson's famous circumnavigation of the world in September 1740. They touched at Madeira and Port St Julian, and off Cape Horn in March 1741 the squadron were dispersed by a succession of gales. Scurvy broke out and the Centurion buried 43 men. She reached Juan Fernandez in June 1741 with 130 men on the sick list, besides having buried 200 men on the passage. Here a prize was captured, and the squadron set sail for the South American coast, capturing another prize on the way. They arrived in Payta Bay in November and surprised the town. Plunder to the value of £32,000 and other stores were taken; the town was set on fire and six vessels in the bay were sunk. In May 1742 the Commodore sailed for China. In August the Centurion anchored off one of the Ladrone Islands and landed 128 sick men, many of whom died. In November the ship arrived off Macao and wintered. In April 1743 Anson put to sea in an attempt to capture the large Spanish galleon trading between Acapulco and Manilla. On June 20th she was sighted off the Island of Samar, and proved to be the long-sought ship Nuestra Senora de Cavadonga. An action followed and lasted nearly two hours, at the end of which the Spaniard struck with a loss of 67 killed and 84 wounded. The Centurion lost only 2 killed and 17 wounded. The cargo of the prize included nearly one and a half million dollars, besides 36,000 ounces of silver and other merchandise. On July 10th the squadron reached Canton, and in December sold the prize at Macao. Numerous difficulties with the Chinese were experienced. In December 1743 the Centurion turned homewards, and reached Spithead on June 15th 1744. Thus ended Commodore George Anson's circumnavigation of the globe, a great naval exploring expedition with war-like objects, carried out with the greatest skill, patience and perseverance.

As the Admiralty declined to confirm Anson's first Lieutenant as captain, Anson returned his own commission as Rear-Admiral of the Blue, and went on half pay as a captain for six months. There is not a doubt that Anson was in the wrong. A change of Government taking place some ten months afterwards, Anson became a Lord of the Admiralty, and being promoted to Rear-Admiral of the White received two steps at once.

The figurehead of this centurion was a big lion some sixteen feet high. It was presented to the Duke of Richmond by King George III when the Centurion was broken up. While serving as an inn sign at Goodwood it was much admired by King William IV, who begged it from the Duke, and used it as a staircase ornament at Windsor Castle. The King later on presented it to Greenwich Hospital, with directions to place it in one of the wards, which he desired should be called the Anson Ward. It remained there until 1871 when it was removed to the playground of the Naval School, where owing to the action of the weather it unfortunately crumbled to pieces. At one time the following lines were inscribed beneath it:-

Stay, traveller, a while, and view

One who has travelled more than you;

Quite round the globe, thro' each degree,

Anson and I have ploughed the sea.

Torrid and frigid zones have pass'd

And-safe ashore arrived at last-

In ease with dignity appear,

He in the House of Lords-I here.

In 1746 the Centurion was cut down to a 50 gun ship. In 1747 the Centurion commanded by Captain Peter Denis, was in an English fleet of 17 ships under the command of Vice-Admiral George Anson, who flew his flag in Prince George. The French fleet, under Admiral de la Jonquiere, consisted of 14 men-of-war and a convoy of 24 ships, and was sighted on May 23rd about 70 miles from Cape Finisterre. The French made off and Anson chased. A running fight of 3 hours followed, in which 13 French ships were captured, while a small detached squadron captured six of the French convoy. Night saved the rest. A topical song of the time expresses in the following verses the part played by the Centurion:

The Centurion first led the van, (bis)

And held 'em till we came up;

Then we their hides did sorely bang,

Our broadsides we on them did pour, (bis)

We gave the French a sower drench,

And soon their topsails made them lower.

 

And when they saw our fleet come up, (bis)

They for quarters call'd without delay,

And their colours they that moment struck

O! how we did rejoice and sing, (bis)

To see such prizes we had took,

For ourselves and for George our King.

The French lost 700 killed and wounded, and the English 520, including one captain killed. Specie to the value of £300,000 was taken from the prizes. This victory was valuable if not brilliant. Vie-Admiral Anson was created a Peer and the captured men-of-war were all added to the British Navy.

In June 1751 the Centurion, flying the broad pennant of Commodore the Hon. Augustus Keppel, proceeded to Algiers, and smoothed over some difficulties with the Dey. The story goes that the Dey angrily expressed surprise that the King of Great Britain should have sent a beardless boy to treat with him. Keppel replied: "Had my master supposed that wisdom was measured by the length of the beard, he would have sent your Deyship a he-goat." After threatening Keppel with death, the Dey consented to treat.

In 1754, the Centurion, Captain the Hon. Augustus Keppel, in company with the Norwich, escorted to North America a large number of troops, destined to assist the colonials in the suppression of the Indians, who with France behind them as moral support, were rising against the English whites.

In 1759 the Centurion, commanded by Captain William Mantell, was in a fleet of 49 ships besides transports under Vice-Admiral Charles Saunders with his flag in Neptune. They left Spithead on February 17th and, having secured pilots by a ruse, they anchored a few miles below Quebec on June 26th with nearly 10,000 troops. On June 28th the French sent down seven fireships and two firerafts, but these were grappled and towed clear by the activity of the seamen. On September 13th under cover of the guns of the Centurion, the troops were landed and attacked Quebec. The seamen assisted with guns. On this day both General Wolfe and the Marquis of Montcalm, the English and French Commanders-in-Chief of the troops were mortally wounded. After some fighting the French retired. Additional ships were brought up to bombard, and on the 17th the enemy offered to surrender. On the 18th Vice-Admiral Saunders was one of the signatories to the surrender.

In May 1762 the Centurion, commanded by Captain James Galbraith, was in the English fleet proceeding to Havana against the Spaniards, which consisted of 53 ships, besides storeships, hospital ships and transports, with 15,000 troops. Admiral Sir George Pocock, with his flag in Namur, and George, Earl of Albemarle, were the naval and military Commanders-in-Chief. On May 27th the fleet of 200 sail in all stood away for the Old Strait of Bahama, which was safely navigated by marking the dangerous shoals and reefs with boats. During the passage two Spanish ships were captured. On June 6th the fleet arrived off Havana, and while a feint was made elsewhere the troops were landed under cover of the guns of the fleet. Moro was bombarded, although the Spaniards made a most gallant defence, Havana fell, and the British took complete possession on August 14th 1762. Specie and stores to the value of three million pounds were captured; thirteen Spanish men-of-war were destroyed, three were sunk, and two on the stocks were burned. While on the passage to Havana some ships were detached and captured two ships in the harbour of Mariel. The British lost 1790 killed and wounded. The division of the prize money caused some heartburning. It worked out as follows: Admiral £123,000, captain £1600, petty officer £17, seaman or marine £4.

In 1769 the Centurion was broken up at Chatham.

 

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AVIATION PRINTS

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 Flight Lieutenant Ian <i>Widge</i> Gleed is depicted in his personal Hurricane 1 P2798 (LK-A) of 87 Sqn shooting down a Messerschmitt Bf.110 on 15th August 1940.  Just visible beneath the cockpit of the Hurricane is his mascot, Figaro, shown kicking a swastika.  His aircraft was also easily identifiable by the red flash on its nose, a feature that was retained even when P2798 was painted all black for its night fighter role. Gleed scored many victories before being shot down and killed whilst flying a Spitfire Vc in the Western Desert in April 1943.

Tribute to Flt Lt Ian R Gleed†by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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 High above the trenches in April 1918, 74 Squadron engage the famed JG 1 led by the renowned ace baron von Richthofen in his distinctive bright red DR 1. Edward Mick mannock flying a SE5.a diving down top engage another Fokker Dr1 as the red baron flies past momentarily catching each others eyes. The new CO of 74 squadron, major Grid Caldwell MC (bar) New Zealands top ace can be seen above entering the dog fight. But it would be Mannock who would go on to great fame. with 61 confirmed victories and to win the VC, DSO (bar) and MC (bar) After 74 squadron he replaced Billy Bishop of CO 85 Squadron on the 3rd July 1918, scoring 46 victories in the Se5.a He was killed by ground fire near Lestram, France on the 26th July 1918. his Victoria Cross being gazetted on the 18th July 1919. The red baron CO of the Richthofens Flying circus didnt survive the month, also killed by ground fire on the 24th April, he was buried by the Allies with full military honours.

Dawn Dog Fight, Mick Mannock VC by Graeme Lothian.
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 It was in 1941 that the remarkable Focke-Wulfe FW190 first appeared in the skies of Europe, quickly establishing itself as a most formidable adversary. It proved to be the supreme weapon against all allied bomber forces. Here FW190A-8 of 1 Gruppe, Jagdgesschwader 1 is shown attacking a B17G of 381st Bomb Group during a critical defence of the Reich in 1944.

Cat Among the Pigeons (FW190) by Ivan Berryman.
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 Lancasters of 61 Squadron head out for the enemy coast during the night of 3rd November 1943. Seen in the lead Lancaster is Flt Lt Bill Reid flying QR-O. After sustaining two heavy attacks by enemy night fighters, killing two crew members and injuring Reid in the head, shoulders and hands. He carried on to the target, dropping accurately his bomb load. Navigating back by Pole Star and Moon, he lost consciousness on occasions due to blood loss. He managed to find his way Shipdharn. Upon landing the undercarriage collapsed but luckily did not catch fire. For his exploits that night he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Lancaster VC by Graeme Lothian. (Y)
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The B-17 Flying Fortress 'Memphis Belle' returns from one of her 25 mission over France and Germany.  Memphis Belle, a  B-17F-10-BO, USAAF Serial No.41-24485, was supplied to the USAAF on July 15th 1942, and delivered to the 91st Bomb Group in September 1942  at Dow Field, Bangor, Maine.  Memphis Belle deployed to Scotland at Prestwick on September 30th 1942 and went to RAF Kimbolton on October 1st, and then to her permanent base at Bassingbourn on October 14th.1942.  Memphis Belle was the first United States Army Air Force heavy bomber to complete 25 combat missions with her crew intact.  The aircraft and crew then returned to the United States to promote and sell war bonds.  The Memphis Belle B-17 is undergoing extensive restoration at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

Coming Home by Tim Fisher.
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 Sopwith Camel with 65 Squadron, on routine patrol, meet head-on with the unmistakable Albatross fighters of the German air force.

The Sky Warriors by Anthony Saunders. (Y)
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 One of the most notable pilots of 3 Squadron was the Frenchman Pierre Clostermann who enjoyed much success flying Spitfires with the Free French 341 <i>Alsace</i> Squadron before moving to 602 and 274 Squadrons RAF.  Once on the strength of 3 Squadron, however, he quickly got to grips with the mighty Hawker Tempest V in which he downed two Focke-Wulf Fw.190D-9s on 20th April 1945, just two of the confirmed 12 aircraft destroyed whilst flying the Tempest, plus 6 shared and two probables.  He is shown here flying Tempest V NV724, bearing the legend <i>Le Grand Charles</i> and the Squadron badge on the tailfin.

Tribute to Flt Lt Pierre Clostermann by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
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 American built, British inspired and once re-engined with the Merlin, the mighty Mustang became a supreme long-range escort fighter and close air support platform. Old Crow was the mount of Clarence E. Anderson based at Leiston, England, with the 357th FG, 363rd FS. Andersons personal victory score during WWII was 16.25 in air combat.
Winter of 45 by Philip West. (Y)
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NAVAL PRINTS

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 The largest and fastest of all the ships that took part in the Battle of Jutland, the elegant battle cruiser HMS Tiger was launched in 1913 and is easily recognisable by the unusual position of Q turret just aft of the third funnel, She is shown about  to pass beneath the Forth Bridge as she departs Rosyth for a sea trial

HMS Tiger by Ivan Berryman
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 Blackbeard the Terrible, otherwise known as Edward Teach, Thatch or Drummond. Circa 1718.

Damnation Seize My Soul by Chris Collingwood. (Y)
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 On the 1st of August 1798, thirteen French ships of the line sat anchored in Aboukir Bay off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt, in support of Napoleon who was inland with his troops attempting to conquer the country. As nighttime approached so did Lord Horatio Nelson and the British fleet. Nelson had been hunting Napoleon at sea for months; at Aboukir Bay he had found the French fleet, trapped and unprepared for battle. Nelsons audacious plan was to attack the French on their unprotected prot side, the plan had its risks; the whole of the British fleet could run aground in the shallows - but Nelson knew the waters too well. The Battle of the Nile was one of the most decisive in the history of naval warfare. By the end of the battle nearly all the French ships were sunk or captured. The 124-gun flagship - and the pride of the French navy - LOrient, had exploded with such ferocity that it halted the battle for over ten minutes. Napoleons ability to dominate the region had been crushed, whilst Nelson was to become a hero throughout the whole of Britain.

Battle of the Nile by Anthony Saunders. (Y)
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 The Japanese ship Takao at Flank speed, riding shotgun for the carrier

Flank Speed by Randall Wilson.
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Ships of the Falklands Task Force formate following the Argentine surrender in 1982.  Nearest is Leander class frigate HMS Andromeda with RFA Brambleleaf in her wake.  The Type 22 frigate HMS Brilliant is to the left of the picture, with the carrier HMS Invincible dominating the right.  HMS Hermes and her escorts are in the extreme distance.

Victory Parade by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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 Under lowering arctic skies HMS Belfast (Admiral Burnets Flagship) leads HMS Sheffield and HMS Norfolk in the race to protect convoy JW55B from Scharnhorst.

HMS Belfast During the Battle of North Cape by Randall Wilson. (Y)
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 The Flower Class corvette HMS Sunflower at sea in 1942. One of thirty ordered on 31st August 1939, K41 was built by Smiths Dockyard in just 9 months and 6 days, completed on 25th January 1941.

HMS Sunflower by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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 HMS Medway was the first Royal navy submarine Depot ship that was designed for the purpose from the outset. She is shown here with a quintet of T-class submarines on her starboard side, whilst an elderly L-Class begins  to move away having completed replenishment. HMS Medway was sunk on 30th June 1940 having been torpedoed by U-372 off Alexandria.

HMS Medway by Ivan Berryman
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MILITARY PRINTS

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 Coming into action in Iraq, February 1991.

M109 Howitzers of 127 (Dragon) Field Battery Royal Artillery by David Rowlands.
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DHM499P.  2nd Maryland Regiment at the Guildford Courthouse 1781 by Brian Palmer.

2nd Maryland Regiment at the Guildford Courthouse 1781 by Brian Palmer (P)
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First China War.

The Madras Foot Artillery at the Assault on Chin-Kiang-Foo, 21st July 1842 by David Rowlands. (B)
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 Camerons and Stuarts attack the centre and flank of Barrells Regiment (4th Foot) at the Battle of Culloden.

Broadsword Charge on Brown Bess by Chris Collingwood. (Y)
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 The Battle of Ulundi took place at the Zulu capital of Ulundi on 4th July 1879. Ulundi became the last battle to be fought during the Zulu war and the British victory finally broke the military power of the Zulu Nation. The battle began at 6 a.m. when Buller led out an advance guard of mounted troops and South African irregulars. The British force comprised of five companies of the 80th regiment in square in four ranks, with two Gatling Guns in the centres, two 9-pounders on the left flank and two 7-pounders on the right. The 90th Light Infantry with four companies of the 94th regiment made up the left face with two more 7-pounders. On the right face were the 1st Battalion of the 13th Light Infantry, four companies of the 58th Regiment, two 7-pounders and two 9-pounders. The rear face was composed of two companies of the 94th Regiment and two companies of the 2nd Battalion of the 21st Regiment. In the middle of the square were headquarters staff, No. 5 company of the Royal Engineers whhich was led by Lt John Chard who had commanded the troops at Rorkes Drift, the 2nd Native Natal Contingent, fifty wagons and carts with reserve ammunition and hospital wagons. Bullers horsemen protected the front and both flanks of the square. A rearguard of two squadrons of the 17th Lancers and a troop of Natal Native Horse followed. In total the British force stood at just over 5300 against the Zulu warrior regiments in total over 15000. The Zulu warriors charged again and again at the square but with the strong British firepower of tifle and gatling gun, they could not get close. As the Zulu warriors strength weakened, Lord Chelmsford ordered the cavalry to mount, and the 17th Lancers and the 1st Kings Dragoon Guards along with colonial cavalry were ordered to charge the now fleeing Zulus. The Zulus fled towards the high ground with the cavalry in pursuit. The Lancers were checked at the Mbilane stream by the fire of a concealed party of Zulus, causing a number casualties before the 17th Lancers overcame the Zulu resistance. The pursuit continued until not one living Zulu remained on the Mahlabatini plain, with members of the Natal Native Horse, Natal Native Contingent and Woods Irregulars slaughtering the Zulu wounded, done in revenge for the massacre at Isandlwana.

The Death or Glory Boys by Bud Bradshaw. (Y)
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VAR128. Pinned Down (Highlanders Engage Boers) by John Farquharson
Pinned Down (Highlanders Engage Boers) by John Farquharson
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 In his 50s with 30 years experience, who has now attained High Centurian rank and commands the entire 1st Cohort.

Primus Pilus by Chris Collingwood. (GS)
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 French dragoons attack a Spanish farmhouse where they believe Spanish guerillas are hiding.

La Gueper Espagnol by Mark Churms. (Y)
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SPORT PRINTS

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SC34. Throwing the Discus by Eduard Joseph Danton.

Throwing the Discus by Eduard Joseph Danton.
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FAR635. Muirfield - 13th Hole by Mark Chadwick

Muirfield - 13th Hole by Mark Chadwick
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B41. Nigel Mansell, McLaren MP4/10/B by Ivan Berryman.

Nigel Mansell, McLaren MP4/10/B by Ivan Berryman.
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DHM1480. Jenson Button 2004 BAR 006 by Ivan Berryman.
Jenson Button 2004 BAR 006 by Ivan Berryman.
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FAR999. The Wild Card by Derrick Mark.
The Wild Card by Derrick Mark.
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 Jacques Villeneuve.

The Maple Leaf Maestro by Stuart Coffield
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 England 31 - New Zealand 28. Played at Twickenham, November 9th 2002. England : Robinson, Simpson Daniel, Greenwood, Tindall, Cohen, Wilkinson, Dawson, Woodman, Vickery, Thompson, Grewcock, Johnson, Moody, Hill, Dallaglio. (Subs) Back, Healey, B. Johnson, Kay, Leonard, Regan, Stimpson. Scores: Try - Moody, Try - Wilkinson, Try - Cohen, Drop Goal - Wilkinson, 2 Conversions - Wilkinson, 3 Penalties - Wilkinson. <br><br>New Zeland: Blair, Howlett, Lowen, Umaga, Lomu, Spencer, Devine, McDonnell, Meeuws, Hore, Williams, Robinson, Randell, Holah, Broomhall, (Subs) Hayman, Lee, Mealamu, Mehrtens, Mika, Robinsom, So oialo. Scores: 2 Tries - Lomu, Try - Howlett, Try - Lee, 2 Conversions - Blair, 2 Conversions - Mehrtens.

England versus New Zealand - Investec 2002 by Doug Harker. (Y)
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 Highbury legend David Seamans glittering career has made him one of the most popular players in the modern game. David has won two FA Cups, two English titles and a European Cup Winners Cup as well as being an ever present in the England side winning over 60 caps. Davids remarkable penalty saves in Euro 96, when England so nearly reached the final, made him Englands player of the year and fittingly David was awarded a testimonial for his loyal service to Arsenal at the end of the 2001 campaign.

David Seaman by Robert Highton. (Y)
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