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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

Click above to see all of our aviation art index - Eight random half price aviation items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Aviation Art Offers

 A pair of De Havilland Mosquito NF. MkII night fighters of 23 Squadron, based at Bradwell Bay, Essex in 1942.

Night Raiders by Ivan Berryman. (B)
Half Price! - £100.00
DHM265. Desert Prang by Geoff Lea.

Desert Prang by Geoff Lea.
Half Price! - £20.00
 Under the watchful eye of his more experienced tutor a trainee pilot gets his first taste of the Spitfire Mk.IIa, airborne from Tangmere early in 1941. the nearest aircraft is P7856 (YT-C) which enjoyed a long career, surviving until 1945.

The Fledgling by Ivan Berryman. (E)
Half Price! - £95.00
 On the night of 7th-8th June 1944, a Lancaster of No.207 Sqn piloted by Wing Commander John Grey was part of a force of 112 bombers and 10 Mosquitoes sent to attack a tank storage park near Cerisy-la-Foret. With the D-Day landings just 48 hours old, it was considered too risky to leave the tank park intact, should the Germans try to launch a counter thrust from this position, just 20 miles from the French coast near Bayeux. Shortly after crossing the coast, Greys aircraft was attacked by a JU.88 and both the mid upper gunner Sutherland and tail gunner McIntosh opened fire on their pursuer and sent it down in flames. No sooner had they recovered from this fright when a second JU.88 closed in on them. Again, both gunners combined their fire and destroyed the enemy aircraft in mid air. Grey pressed on to the target where their bombs fell on the enemy tank depot, also destroying some fuel dumps and an important road junction. Returning to the French coast to begin their journey home, they were attacked yet again, this time by a Messerschmitt Bf 110. With machine-like precision, McIntosh and Sutherland opened fire together, claiming their third victim in a single night. For this extraordinary feat, both gunners were awarded the DFC.

Gunners Moon by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £40.00



Search Party Reaction by David Rowlands. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00
 With the familiar Lincolnshire countryside beckoning, a Lancaster of the famous 617 Dambusters Squadron, makes its final approach after a raid on Germany, late summer 1944. Gerald Coulsons painting Summer Harvest winds the clock back sixty years, recreating a typical East Anglian countryside scene in late 1944. With the sun well above the horizon, a Lancaster comes thundering in on finals after a gruelling night precision bombing mission over Germany. Below, farm workers busy gathering the summer harvest, stop to marvel at the sheer power and majesty of the mighty aircraft, and to dwell briefly on what horrors its crew may have endured on their perilous journey.

Summer Harvest by Gerald Coulson.
Half Price! - £140.00
 Special Forces Lynx 657 Squadron Army Air Corps and Chinooks from 7 Squadron Royal Air Force in direct fire support to the United Kingdom Special Forces hostage rescue mission in Sierra Leone

Operation Barras, 10th September 2000 by David Rowlands (GL)
Half Price! - £280.00
 On the night of 12th September 1944, Lancaster NF958 (LS-M) of No.15 Sqn was lost in the skies above Mannheim when it was attacked by the Messerschmitt Bf.110G-2 of Ofw Ludwig Schmidt of II/NGJ 6, the bomber receiving hits to the bomb bay which ignited the incendiaries still in their racks.  Five of the crew bailed out and were taken prisoner of war once captured.  The pilot, F/O Norman Overend RNZAF, did not escape the aircraft.  Flt Sgt Harry A Beverton was seen to leave the stricken Lancaster but was not seen again.<br><br><b>Crew of <i>Lancaster LS-M</i> :</b><br><br>F/O Norman Overend RNZAF<br>Sgt Barry J Howarth <i>(survived)</i><br>Sgt George B Thomson <i>(survived)</i><br>Flt Sgt John D Jones <i>(survived)</i><br>Flt Sgt Robert P E Kendall <i>(survived)</i><br>Flt Sgt Harry A Beverton<br>Sgt I Spagatner <i>(survived)</i>.

Incident over Mannheim by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £45.00

 

NAVAL PRINTS

Click above to see all of our naval art index - Eight random half price naval items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Naval Art Offers

B111AP. The Pursuit of the Graf Spee by Ivan Berryman.

The Pursuit of the Graf Spee by Ivan Berryman (AP)
Half Price! - £25.00
 Swordfish of 825 Sqn led by Lt-Cdr Esmonde begin their heroic attack on the battlescruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen as they make their way up the English Channel from Brest during Operation Cerberus on 12th February 1942.  Although all the aircraft were lost and no significant damage was done to the German fleet, all the pilots were decorated for their bravery and Lt-Cdr Esmonde received the first Fleet Air Arm VC to be awarded, albeit posthumously.  The painting depicts the first wave of Swordfish attacking the Scharnhorst with Gneisenau taking avoiding action in the distance.  A German torpedo boat has turned to confront the attacking aircraft.

Attack on the Scharnhorst by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £15.00
 Showing visible signs of her tangle with British cruisers at the Battle of the River Plate, the German pocket battleship Graf Spee slips into the neutral waters of the Montevideo roadstead for light repairs.  This was to be the last haven for the Graf Spee which was later scuttled at the harbour mouth, her commander Kapitan zur See Langsdorff believing a large British fleet to be waiting for attempted escape into the South Atlantic.

Admiral Graf Spee by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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B151AP.  HMS Durban Escorts the Troopship RMS Queen Mary by Ivan Berryman.

HMS Durban Escorts the Troopship RMS Queen Mary by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
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 Forming part of the Eastern Task Force covering the landings at Normandy in June 1944, the cruiser HMS Mauritius is shown in company with the monitor HMS Roberts and the cruiser HMS Frobisher shelling German batteries at Merville, Houlgate and Benerville as the combined British and American forces embark upon what would become known forever as D-Day.

Operation Neptune by Ivan Berryman (P)
Half Price! - £500.00
 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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 To increase the strength of the US fleet in the Pacific during the critical early months of the war, USS Indiana went through the Panama Canal. On the 28th of November 1942 USS Indiana joined Rear Admiral Lee's aircraft carrier screening force. For the next 11 months, USS Indiana helped protect USS Enterprise and USS Saratoga, which had been supporting the US invasion on the Solomon Islands. On the 21st of October 1943 USS Indiana went to Pearl Harbor, but after only a couple of weeks left to support forces designated for the invasion of the Gilbert Islands. The battleship protected the carriers which supported the Marines during the bloody fight for Tarawa atoll. Then, in late January 1944, she bombarded Kwajalein for eight days prior to the Marshall Island landings on 1st February 1944. USS Indiana collided with the battleship USS Washington while refuelling destroyers, killing several men. Temporary repairs to her starboard side were made at Majuro and USS Indiana returned to Pearl Harbor on 13th February 1944 for additional repair work. The painting shows USS Indiana with one of the two carriers she protected.

USS Indiana, First Tour of Duty by Anthony Saunders. (YB)
Half Price! - £230.00
 The print depicts the moment as the first Hurricane of 46 squadron of the Royal Air Force, piloted by Sqn Ldr Kenneth Cross, without arrestor hooks or wires approaches the ill-fated carrier HMS Glorious. during the evacuation of Norway in June 1940.  Bing later said <i>We showed them they were wrong</i>. The Fleet Air Arm pilots were delighted saying <i>Marvelous bloody marvelous, now we will get them too</i>.  All had landed safely by 4.30am on June 8th.
Moment of Truth by Keith Woodcock. (Y)
Half Price! - £75.00

 

MILITARY PRINTS

Click above to see all of our military art index - Eight random half price military items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Military Art Offers

 British infantry supported by Warrior armoured vehicles advance into Iraq, February 1991.

The Storm and the Sabre by Simon Smith.
Half Price! - £50.00
 28th Gloucester Regiment shown in square repelling the French cavalry.

Quatre Bras by Lady Elizabeth Butler. (Y)
Half Price! - £31.00
DHM230.  The Dispatch by H Bellange.
The Dispatch by H Bellange.
Half Price! - £30.00
<b>Ex-display prints in near perfect condition. </b>
Death of Major Hadelin by Carl Rochling. (Y)
Half Price! - £25.00

 Second in the series of British Army units in Northern Ireland.

Deployment from Palace Barracks by David Pentland.
Half Price! - £35.00
DHM506.  A Viking Raid by Brian Palmer.

A Viking Raid by Brian Palmer.
Half Price! - £50.00
 William F Cody (Buffalo Bill) is shown as an Army†Scout during a skirmish with Indians on the Frontier.†

Buffalo Bill by Brian Palmer.
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 Unterscharfurher Karl-Heinz Turk of the Schwere SS Panzerabteilung 503, in one of the units few remaining Kingtigers, defends the Potsdammer Platz along with elements of the Munchberg Division against the rapidly encroaching Soviet forces.

The Last Battle, Berlin, April 30th 1945 by David Pentland. (GL)
Half Price! - £300.00

 

SPORT PRINTS

Click above to see all of our sport art index - Eight random half price sport items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Sport Art Offers

From behind 17th green looking back to hotel, clubhouse and 18th hole.

Gleneagles - Kings Course by Mark Chadwick
Half Price! - £20.00
Saturday, 1 September, 2001.  Germany had only ever lost one World Cup qualifier at home in their history - but suddenly they were torn apart by an England team playing great attacking football  in Munich.  Coming from behind, Michael Owen blasted a stunning hat-trick, with Steven Gerrard  scoring England's 2nd and Heskey scoring the 5th goal, making the final score 5 - 1 to England.  This superb painting by Darren Baker shows Heskey celebrating his goal with a jubilant Owen and Beckham also celebrating.  <br><br>Germany: Kahn, Worns, Linke, Nowotny, Boehme, Hamann, Rehmer, Ballack, Deisler, Jancker, Neuville. <br><br>England: Seaman, G Neville, Ferdinand, Campbell, A Cole, Barmby, Scholes, Gerrard, Beckham, Heskey, Owen.
England v Germany 5 - 1 by Darren Baker
Half Price! - £75.00
B43. Damon Hill/ Williams Renault FW.18 by Ivan Berryman

Damon Hill/ Williams Renault FW.18 by Ivan Berryman
Half Price! - £40.00
 Kentucky - born Steve Cauthen was just 12 years old when his father Tex finally agreed to help the single-minded young man realise a burning ambition to become a jockey provided he didnt let success make him big-headed.  No parental proviso was ever more faithfully fulfilled.  In the year of his seventeenth birthday the kid rode 487 winners of 6 million dollars, including the U.S. Triple Crown on Affirmed.  He went on to captivate British hearts two years later.  By 1984 he was champion. But better was to come. No wonder the fairytale ingredients of 1985 have fired the imagination and talent of Peter Deighan to such compelling effect.

The Golden Boy by Peter Deighan.
Half Price! - £60.00

DH007. Steady Johnnie Steady by Erskine Nicol.
Steady Johnnie Steady by Erskine Nicol.
Half Price! - £12.00
 The legendary Welsh rugby union captain Gareth Edwards is brought to life in the triple portrait. Gareth Edwards is revered in Wales and considered one of the finest players ever. in part of the montage he is shown going over for a try against England.
Gareth Edwards by Darren Baker. (AP)
Half Price! - £150.00
A montage of moments from the outstanding Welsh 6 Nation Championship Grand Slam Victory of 2005.
The Perfect Year - Wales Grand Slam Champions 2005 by Darren Baker. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00
 A celebration of Nigel Mansells success in winning the Formula 1 World Championship and the Indy Car Championship in successive years. A celebration of the magnificent talents of Nigel Mansell. He made his debut in Formula 1 in 1981 and his superb driving technique made an instant impact. He recorded victory after victory coming agonisingly close to being world champion many times before gaining his well deserved Formula 1 title in 1992. The following year he recorded an unprecedented double, gaining the Indy Car championship in 1993. A feat that reserves his name quite rightly in the record books.
Mansell by Peter Deighan.
Half Price! - £45.00

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