Recent updates

Recent Comments


Nuestra Señora de la Santisima Trinidad

Nominal Guns116TODO
OperatorArmada Real
Keel Laid Down1765TODO
Home PortBarcelona - Spain TODO
How acquiredPurpose builtTODO
ShipyardHavana - Cuba TODO
Designed by
Matthew MullinsBritish
Ship Builder
Service 1748-1755
CategoryFirst RateTODO
Ship TypeShip of the Line
Sailing RigShip Rigged


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric Equivalent3DECKS
Length of Gundeck220' 6"Burgos Feet61.299 (201′ 1″ Imperial)
Length of Keel188' 0"Burgos Feet52.3768 (171′ 9″ Imperial)
Breadth58' 0"Burgos Feet16.1588 (53′ 0″ Imperial)
Depth in Hold29' 10"Burgos Feet8.0794 (26′ 6″ Imperial)
Burthen2,475Tons BM 


1769Broadside Weight = 1204 Spanish libre (1299.116 lbs 552.636 kg)3DECKS
Lower Gun Deck30 Spanish 36-Pounder
Middle Gun Deck32 Spanish 24-Pounder
Upper Gun Deck32 Spanish 12-Pounder
Quarterdeck/Forecastle22 Spanish 8-Pounder

1796Broadside Weight = 1400 Spanish libre (1510.6 lbs 642.6 kg)3DECKS
Lower Gun Deck32 Spanish 36-Pounder
Middle Gun Deck34 Spanish 24-Pounder
Upper Gun Deck36 Spanish 12-Pounder
Quarterdeck/Forecastle10 Spanish 24-Pound Obusier
Quarterdeck/Forecastle18 Spanish 8-Pounder
Quarterdeck/Forecastle4 Spanish 4-Pound Pederoso

1805Broadside Weight = 1472 Spanish libre (1588.288 lbs 675.648 kg)3DECKS
Lower Gun Deck32 Spanish 36-Pounder
Middle Gun Deck34 Spanish 24-Pounder
Upper Gun Deck36 Spanish 12-Pounder
Quarterdeck/Forecastle16 Spanish 24-Pound Obusier
Quarterdeck/Forecastle18 Spanish 8-Pounder
Quarterdeck/Forecastle4 Spanish 4-Pound Pederoso

2 Ship Commanders

1797Capitan de navio
Ciriaco CevallosSpanish
Naval Sailor
1805 - 21.10.1805Capitan de navio
Francisco Javier de Uriarte y BorjaSpanish
Naval Sailor
Service 1745-1845

3 Flag Officers

1797Brigadier de marina
Rafael OrozcoSpanish
Naval Sailor
1797Teniente General
José de Córdoba y RamosSpanish
Naval Sailor
27.3.1805 - 21.10.1805Jefe de Escuadra
Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros y la TorreSpanish
Naval Sailor
Service 1775-1875

Service History

19.2.1770Left La Habana to Vigo.
12.4.1770Arrived to Vigo.
9.5.1770Left Vigo to El Ferrol.
15.5.1770Arrived to El Ferrol.
6.1770Maintenance repairs.
21.7.1770Left El Ferrol with Guerrero & Santo Domingo for naval test.
9.8.1770Entered at El Ferrol with Guerrero & Santo Domingo
1771At El Ferrol, in ordinary, disarmed.
1772At El Ferrol, in ordinary, disarmed.
1773At El Ferrol, in ordinary, disarmed.
1774At El Ferrol, in ordinary, disarmed.
1775At El Ferrol, in ordinary, disarmed.
1.1776At El Ferrol, set to careen & new masts.
6.1776Finished careen & new masts.
14.3.1778Entered at the dry dock of El Ferrol for modifications 3.
28.3.1778Finished strutural modifications to solve problems with lower gun decks.
4.1778Left El Ferrol to test structure modifications; the problem persisted.
7.1778Left El Ferrol to Cadiz, to be again modified at La Carraca to solve the problem.
7.8.1778Entered at Cadiz.
23.6.1779Left Cadiz with Admiral Cordova's fleet of 42 SoL.
23.7.1779Nearby Sisargas islands Adm. Cordova's fleet joinned Count of Orvilliers' fleet of 23 SoL.
17.8.1779Franco-spanish fleet at south of Plymouth, captured Ardent
19.8.1779Two lightings hit the ship.
13.9.1779Franco-spanish fleet entered at Brest.
9.11.1779Left Brest under Adm. Cordova's fleet of 15 SoL to reinforce Langara's fleet blocking of Gibraltar.
19.11.1779Arrived to waters off Cadiz and waited for Langara's fleet.
12.1779Adm. Cordova's fleet suffered a storm, damaging many ships.
31.12.1779Entered at Cadiz to repair ships from storm damages.
9.7.1780Left Cadiz under Adm. Cordova's fleet.
18.7.1780Entered at Cadiz under Admiral Cordova's fleet.
31.7.1780Left Cadiz under Adm. Cordova's fleet to patrol Cape St. Vincent.
9.8.1780Captured 51 british merchantships near Cape St. Vincent.
29.8.1780Entered at Cadiz.
6.2.1781Left Cadiz under Adm. Cordova's fleet to cross Cape St. Vincent and waters off Portugal.
28.3.1781Entered at Cadiz under Adm. Cordova's fleet.
1.5.1781Left Cadiz under Adm. Cordova's fleet to wait for Adm. Solano's fleet from La Habana.
19.6.1781Entered at Cadiz under Adm. Cordova's fleet due to Adm. Solano's fleet from La Habana delay.
20.7.1781Arrived to Cadiz Adm. Count Guichen & de La Motte-Picquet with 22 french SoL.
23.7.1781Left Cadiz as Adm. Cordova's fleet (over 50 SoL) flagship with french forces to Mahon & English Channel.
8.1781At Cape Finisterre as Adm. Cordova's fleet flagship.
15.8.1781At the English Channel as Adm. Cordova's fleet flagship.
5.9.1781Count Guichen squadron left Adm. Cordova's fleet to Brest.
23.9.1781Entered at Cadiz with Adm. Cordova's fleet.
5.10.1781At La Carraca, Cadiz, set to careen, coppered & changed main mast.
15.4.1782At La Carraca, Cadiz, finished careen, coppered & changed main mast.
5.6.1782Left Cadiz for the 2nd Campaign of the English Channel with 27 SoL & 2 frigates.
7.1782Captured nearby Sisargas islands a british convoy of 19 ships with destination Terranova.
8.7.1782Nearby Ouessant island Adm. Cordova's fleet is joinned by 9 SoL of La Motte-Picquet.
5.9.1782Entered at Cadiz after the 2nd Campaign of the English Channel.
9.9.1782Entered at Algeciras.
13.9.1782Assault & siegto to Gribraltar.
3.10.1782Left Cadiz under Adm. Cordova's fleet of 46 SoL, 2 frigates & some small vessels.
20.10.1782Battle of Cape Spartel
21.10.1782Battle of Cape Spartel
28.10.1782Entered at Cadiz with Adm. Cordova's fleet after the battle.
23.4.1783Due to peace with britain, by royal order Adm. Cordova's fleet is set in ordinary.
1784At Cadiz in ordinary.
1785At Cadiz in ordinary.
1786At Cadiz in ordinary.
1787At Cadiz in ordinary.
1788At Cadiz in ordinary.
1789At Cadiz in ordinary.
1790At Cadiz in ordinary.
1791At Cadiz in ordinary.
1792At Cadiz in ordinary.
1793At Cadiz in ordinary.
1794At Cadiz in ordinary.

At La Carraca, Cadiz in ordinary, careened and modified again, adding the 4th deck.

1795Refitted as a 136 gun First Rate Ship of the LineTODO
4.8.1796Left Cadiz as Adm. Langara's flagship of 26 Sol & 14 frigates, scorting Rear Adm. Richery french squadron.
9.1796Back to Cadiz under Adm. Langara's fleet.
26.9.1796Left Cadiz under Adm. Langara's fleet of 26 Sol & 14 frigates to sail the Mediterranean.
10.1796Nearby Cartagena was joinned by 7 more SoL & sailed waters off Corsica & Italy.
11.1796Entered at Toulon under Adm. Langara's fleet.
12.1796Left Toulon under Adm. Langara's fleet & 12 french SoL.
20.12.1796Entered at Cartagena under Adm. Langara's fleet.
1797At Cadiz, in ordinary, careened & repaired.
10.1.1797At Cartagena, ordered to modified again, adding 2 ft. of beam at Cadiz.
2.2.1797Left Cartagena to Cadiz under Adm. Cordoba's fleet of 27 SoL, frigates & minor vessels.
14.2.1797Battle of Cape St Vincent
14.2.17972nd Battle of Cape St Vincent
20.2.1797Pursuit of the Santissima Trinidad
1.3.1797Terpsichore vs Santissima Trinidad
3.3.1797Entered at Cadiz after avoiding british frigates.
1798At Cadiz, in ordinary.
1799At Cadiz, in ordinary.
1800At Cadiz, in ordinary.
1801At Cadiz, in ordinary.
1802At Cadiz, in ordinary.
2.11.1803At Cadiz, set to careen & coppered.
24.12.1803At Cadiz, finished careen & coppered.
1804At Cadiz, in ordinary.
1805Refitted as a 140 gun First Rate Ship of the LineTODO
1.1805At Cadiz, set to careen & fitted.
18.6.1805At Cadiz, finished careen & set in commission.
19.10.1805Left Cadiz under Adm. Villenueves' combined fleet.
21.10.1805Battle of Trafalgar

Captured by the British, wrecked about 25-28 miles south of Cadiz due to battle & storm damages.



Previous comments on this page

Posted by F.F. on Saturday 17th of September 2022 14:58

I made some mistakes in my previous comment.

• I misprinted the length of the Santísima Trinidad, as launched (59,54 m, instead of 58,54).

• I mistaked about the displacement of the French 118/120-gun sline-of-battle ships: only the second batch of that class (ships launched from 1806) had a displacement of some 5080-5090t; those launched before (of which 3 still existed in France in 1805: the Océan, formerly the États-de-Bourgogne, launched in 1790; the Majestueux, formerly the République-française, launched in 1802; and the Impérial, formerly the Vengeur, launched in 1803) had a displacement of 5020-5030t; and, according to a Turkish historian, Mʳ Emir Yener, two more had been built in Turkey on the same plan (the Fethiye and the Mesudiye).
So the gap between the displacement of the Santísima Trinidad (4998t) and that of a French or Turkish 118/120-gun ship of the line then afloat was small.

• The Spanish estado general of October, the 19ᵗᵗ, 1805, gives to the artillery of the Santísima Trinidad four 4-pdr howitzers (recently added, according to batalladetrafalgar), not four 4-pdr swivel guns; yet she was rated as a 136-gun ship of the line, not as a 140-gun one.
So her broadside, slighly greater than I wrote it had been, was:
— Long guns:
9×8 libras
18×12 libras
17×24 libras
16×36 libras
— Howitzers:
8×24-pdr 2×4-pdr
— Broadside:
1272 + 200 libras ≈ 1290 + 203 pounds ≈ 585 + 92 ㎏
— Composite broadside (long guns and howitzers):
1472 libras ≈ 1493.10 pounds ≈ 677,26 ㎏

• Wikipedia in French states that, from 1803, the French 118/120-gun ships of the line mounted:
— Long guns:
10×8 livres
17×18 livres
17×24 livres
16×36 livres
— Howitzers:
3×36 livres
— Broadside:
1370 + 108 liv. ≈ 1478 + 117 pounds ≈ 671 + 53 ㎏
— Composite broadside (long guns and howitzers):
1478 livres ≈ 1595.02 pounds ≈ 723,49 ㎏

Posted by F.F. on Sunday 21st of March 2021 21:56

Several sources state that the Santísima Trinidad (1769-1805) was either the largest ship of her time, or the most powerful, or both ; but according to Wikipedia she was somewhat smaller than the French 120-gun ships of the line (1788-1867).

The dimensions of the Santísima Trinidad when she was launched were :
Lenght, 213 pies de Burgos 8 pulgadas
Keel, 182 pies 5 pulgadas
Beam, 57 pies 9 pulgadas
Depth [to deck], 28 pies 11 pulgadas

Wikipedia in Spanish also states that her « desplazamiento » was 4902 t, i. e. 4902 tons (SI). That figure comes from « Modelos De Arsenal Del Museo Naval. Evolución de la construcción naval española, siglos XVII-XVIII » (José Ignacio González-Aller Hierro, Cruz Apestegui, Jorge Pia, Carmen Zamarrón ; Barcelona, Lunwerg Editores, 2004), but in fact it is 4902 toneladas, equal to 4511 tons (SI).

According to Wikipedia in Spanish, 213 pies de Burgos y 8 pulgadas are equal to 61,40 m, so one Burgos foot = 28,74 ㎝. According to Wikipedia in English, 213 pies de Burgos y 8 pulgadas are equal to 59,53 m, so one Burgos foot = 27,86 ㎝.

Angelo Martini's Manuel de Metrologia (Braidense University website) gives the point to Wikipedia in English : one Burgos foot = 27,8635 ㎝ (the lenght assumed by Wikipedia in Spanish is that of another Spanish foot) ; comparison with English measurements of Spanish ships of the line proves the same thing.

The dimensions of the Santísima Trinidad in 1769 were then :
Lenght, 58,54 m
Keel, 50,83 m
Beam, 16,09 m
Depth [to deck], 8,06 m
Displacement, 4511t

The last figure is a gross one, displacements being calculated from seawater density, but the famous Jorge Juan himself (notorious scientist, and founder of the building system used in Spanish shipyards from c. 1750 to c. 1765) over-estimated it by 1 % in his treaty Examen maritimo (1771).

Those figures make out of the Santíma Trinidad a large ship, but not the largest of her time, two French ships being larger than her : the fourth Le Royal-Louis (1759-1772 ; 61,72 m × 16,56 m × 7,93 m ; 116 guns ; displacement of such ships according to J. Boudriot, in Le Vaisseau de 74 Canons, was c. 4800t) and La Bretagne (1766-1795 ; 59,77 m × 16,24 mm × 7,96 m ; displacement, from the same source, might be c. 4600t).

Comparing the Santísima Trinidad with English ships isn't possible without correcting data : in French and Spanish shipyards, measurements were made according to the same criteria, which differ from those of the British Navy. Ships, as measured in England, were a bit shorter (current difference : c. one foot), and the depth in hold given by British Navy's lists is smaller (currently, for ships of the line : c. one foot eight inches) than the depth to deck measured in Europe. Keel lenght was even more different. On the other hand, beam was measured with planking in the British Navy, but not in Spain nor in France. Yet it is possible to know what would be the dimensions of the Santísima Trinidad in 1769, according to British standards, by comparing her to the two other Spanish first rates taken in 1797 : her lenght would have been c. 193 ~ 195 ft ; her beam, 54' 1" ; her depth in hold, c. 24' 7" ~ 25' ; and her burthen, some 2300 ~ 2400 tons (versus some 2550 for La Bretagne, and over 2700 for Le Royal-Louis).

The Estado general del dia 19 de octubre 1805 ( batalladetrafalgar ) describes the Santísima Trinidad as she was two days before the battle of Trafalgar :
Lenght, 220 p. 6 p. (61,44 m)
Keel, 188 p. (52,38 m)
Beam, 58 p. (16,16 m)
Depth [to deck], 28 p. 9 p. (8,01 m)
5432 toneladas.

The last figure is her displacement (calculated from seawater density, then known with accuracy around 0,3 %), and is equal to 4998t (SI).

Once more, comparison with the two first rates taken in 1797 gives her dimensions according to British criteria : lenght, c. 200' ; beam, 54' 4" ; depth of hold, c. 24' 5" ~ 24' 10" ; burthen, c. 2400 ~ 2500 tons. With the same standards, the dimensions of a French 120-gun ship of the line were (Clowes & alii, The Royal Navy,. A History from the Earliest Times to the Present, ⅳ) : lenght, 208' 4" ; beam, 54' 9½" ; depth of hold, 25' ½" ; burthen, 2747 tons ; and displacement, according to French data, was some 5080t (SI).

Many sources claim that the Santísima Trinidad in october 1805 had 136 or 140 guns. The Estado general del dia 19 de octubre 1805 gives the accurate number : she had 4 pedreros, i. e. swivel guns, 16 howitzers and 120 long guns. The number of 140 is accurate where swivel guns are considered, but neither the Spanish Navy, nor lesser the French ang English ones, considered them in rating ; the Spanish Navy considered either the long guns and the howitzers (inefficient weapons, failed answer to the British carronades, and later replaced by true carronades), so in the Estado general the Santísima Trinidad is a 136-gun ship of the line, but either in the British Navy and in the French one the same ship which the same artillery would have been rated as a 120-gun ship of the line.

The armement of the Santísima Trinidad (Estado general) :
120 long guns, 16 howitzers
Broadside (long guns) :
16×36-pdr 17×24-pdr 18×12-pdr 9×8-pdr
1272 libras ≈ 1290 lb ≈ 585 ㎏
Howitzers :
192 libras ≈ 195 lb ≈ 88 ㎏

French 120-gun ships of the line :
120 long guns, 6 howitzers
Broadside (long guns) :
16×36-pdr 17×24-pdr 17×12-pdr 10×8-pdr
1268 livres ≈ 1368 lb ≈ 621 ㎏
Howitzers :
108 livres ≈ 117 lb ≈ 53 ㎏

Composite broadside (both long guns and howitzers) :
1464 libras versus 1376 livres.
Which means a greater broadside (purely theorically) for the Santísima Trinidad, the gap being 15,96g ≈ 0.56 oz – lesser than 0.024 % !

But the advantage favouring the Spanish ship is due to her howitzers, those ineffective weapons.

A few years ago, Wikipedia unstiffly said that the Santísima Trinidad had been the flagship of the French and Spanish fleet in the Channel in 1779, asking for evidence (« citation needed »). Today, whereas this mistake is corrected, a new one is in its place : « Santísima Trinidad became the flagship of the Spanish fleet, taking part in the Franco-Spanish operations in the English Channel in the late summer of that year.[citation needed] ». The needed citation won't come either, for we know by a famous French historian (Louis-Édouard Chevalier, Histoire de la marine française pendant la guerre de l'indépendance américaine, Paris, Hachette, 1877, pp. 162 & sqr) that the 66 ships of the line the French and Spanish altogether had in the Channel in 1779 (30 French ones, 36 Spanish ones) were divided in three parts :
– A light squadron (5 ships : 3 French ones, 2 Spanish ones ; flagship : La Couronne, a French 80-gunner).
– An observation squadron of 16 ships (all of them Spanish ones ; flagship : the Santísima Trinidad).
– The main squadron (45 ships of the line ; 27 of them were French ones, 18 were Spanish ones ; chief-commander of the whole was count Louis d'Orvilliers, his flagship being La Bretagne, of 110 guns).

Posted by Wade Falcon on Wednesday 3rd of June 2020 16:33

I believe this ship (Nuestra Señora de la Santisima Trinidad 1769) may be the same ship that brought many of the Islenos from Havana to Louisiana in 1783 during peacetime. See the book "Canary Islanders of Louisiana" by Gilbert Din. He mentions the ship and Borja.

Make a comment about this page

Recent comments to other pages

Date postedByPage
Thursday 1st of December 2022 09:46Tim
Thomas RaymondBritish
Ship Builder
Wednesday 30th of November 2022 16:13Tim Oakley
Charles CobbBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1774-1873
Wednesday 30th of November 2022 08:04Diane Oldman
Stewart MarjoribanksBritish
Ship Owner
Service 1817-1847
Tuesday 29th of November 2022 06:43Ormonde Waters
Dominick Creagh WatersBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1815
Sunday 27th of November 2022 04:49jude de angulo
Edmund NagleBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1804