Centurion -> 1744 Eagle -> 1745 Centurion

Nominal Guns60BWAS-1714
NationalityGreat Britain
OperatorRoyal Navy
Keel Laid Down1729/09/09BWAS-1714
Home PortAlexandria BWAS-1714
How acquiredPurpose builtBWAS-1714
ShipyardPortsmouth Dockyard BWAS-1714
Ship Class1719 Establishment 60-Gunner
Designed byJoseph AllinBWAS-1714
ConstructorJoseph AllinBWAS-1714
CategoryFourth RateBWAS-1714
Ship TypeShip of the Line
Broken Up1769/12/18BWAS-1714


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentBWAS-1714
Length of Gundeck144' 1"Imperial Feet43.8918 
Length of Keel117' 5"Imperial Feet35.6691 
Breadth40' 1 ½"Imperial Feet12.2047 
Depth in Hold16' 5"Imperial Feet4.898 
Burthen1,005 5094Tons BM 


1733Broadside Weight = 435 Imperial Pound ( 197.2725 kg)BWAS-1714
Lower Gun Deck24 British 24-Pounder
Upper Gun Deck26 British 9-Pounder
Quarterdeck8 British 6-Pounder
Forecastle2 British 6-Pounder

Crew Complement

Date# of MenNotesSource
1748/09/16250As a 50-gun ship

Commanding Officers

1734/05 - 1735CaptainFrancis DansaysB0511735 - 1736/10/04CaptainGeorge ProctorBWAS-17141736 - 1737CaptainJohn DurrellBWAS-17141737/12 - 1744/07/15CaptainGeorge AnsonB0511747 - 1748CaptainPeter DenisB0511748/08 - 1753/08CaptainAugustus KeppelB0511754/10 - 1759CaptainWilliam MantellB0511760/06/21 - 1762/09CaptainJames GalbraithB0511763/05 - 1766/09CaptainAugustus John HerveyBWAS-17141764 - 1766CommodoreThomas HarrisonBWAS-1714

Flag Officers

1754/10 - 1756CommodoreAugustus KeppelBWAS-1714

Commissioned Officers

1737/12 - 1744/07/15First LieutenantPiercy BrettB0511739/08/14 - 1742/11LieutenantCharles SaundersODNB1739/11/12 - 1740/11LieutenantPeter DenisB0511739/12/28 - 1740/11Third LieutenantPhilip SaumarezODNB1740/11 - 1741/02/18Second LieutenantPhilip Saumarezref:8331740/11 - 1745/02/09Third LieutenantPeter DenisB0511741/02/18 - 1741/02/27First LieutenantPhilip SaumarezODNB1741/04/14 - 1743/06/21First LieutenantPhilip SaumarezODNB1743/07 - 1744/07First LieutenantPhilip SaumarezODNB1755/03 - 1755/08LieutenantAdam DuncanWWNH

Petty Officers

1740 - 1744Master's MateJohn Campbellref:6761740/08 - 1744/07MidshipmanThomas SaumarezODNB1749 - 1752MidshipmanAdam DuncanWWNH

Service History

1738Sailed on a voyage to the west coast of Africa and the West IndiesB051
1739Returned to EnglandB051
1740/08/10Moved with the squadron to St HelensB051
1740/08/25Arrived in MadieraB051
1740/09/08The squadron left St HelensB051
1740/11/03Left MadieraB051
1740/12/21Anchored at the island of St Catherine'sB051
1741/01/18Left St Catherine's sailing south along the coast of AmericaB051
1741/02/18Arrived at the island of St JulianB051
1741/02/27Left the island of St JulianB051
1741/03/07Passed the straights of Le Maire into the Pacific and became seperated form the rest of the squadronB051
1741/06/09Arrived at Juan FernandezB051
1741/07Took the Carmelo a Spanish ship and fitted her as a cruiserB051
1741/09Rejoined by Trial (8) and a prize, the Trial (8) was so badly damaged she was scuttledBWAS-1714
1741/09Boats under lieutenant Sir Piercy Brett landed at and took PiataBWAS-1714
1741/11/16Left PiataB051
1741/11/18Rejoined by Gloucester (50) with two prizesBWAS-1714
1741/12Arrived at the island of QuiboB051
1741/12Left Quibo for the coast of MexicoB051
1742/01/29Off the pacific coast of MexicoB051
1742/04/07Arrived in Acapulco in company with the Gloucester (50) and three prize ships
1742/05/08Left the American coast in company with the Gloucester (50) , the prizes having been scuttledBWAS-1714
1742/08/16The Gloucester (50) was scuttledBWAS-1714
1742/08/28Arrived at TinianB051
1742/10/21Left TinianB051
1742/11/12Anchored in Macao RoadsB051
1743/04/17Left MacaoB051
1743/05/01Arrived off FormosaB051
1743/05/20Arrived off Espiritu SantoB051
1743/06/16Took the Fourth Rate Ship of the Line Nuestra Señora de Covadonga (50) Near Cape Espiritu Santo
1743/06/20Took the Nuestra Sennora de Covadonga, spanish galleon worth £500,000B051
1743/07/14Entered Canton where he sold the prize ship for $6,000B051
1743/12/07Left CantonB051
1744/03/11Arrived at the CapeB051
1744/07/15Arrived at SpitheadB051
1744/09Began middling repair at Portsmouth Dockyard BWAS-1714
1744/12/15Renamed EagleBWAS-1714
1745/11/15Renamed CenturionBWAS-1714
1746Repaired and reduced to a 50 gun Fourth RateB051
1746/09Refitted as a 50 gun Fourth Rate Ship of the Line
1746/09Completed middling repair at Portsmouth Dockyard at a cost of £16485.2.3dBWAS-1714
1747/05/031st Battle of Cape Finisterre
1747/06/20Action of 1747-06-20
1749Sailed for the MediterraneanBWAS-1714
1751In the MediterraneanB051
1754Escorting troops to North AmericaB051
1754/12/23Sailed for VirginiaBWAS-1714
1756Sailed to Nova ScotiaBWAS-1714
1757/04/16Sailed for North AmericaBWAS-1714
1758At LouisburgBWAS-1714
1759In North AmericaB051
1760/07/24Sailed for JamaicaBWAS-1714
1762/05In the English fleet to Havana commanded by Admiral George PocockBWAS-1714
1762/06/06Arrived off HavanaB051
1762/06/06Operations against Havanna
1762/10Paid offBWAS-1714
1762/10Began small repair at Woolwich Dockyard BWAS-1714
1763/02Completed small repair at Woolwich Dockyard at a cost of £9998.8.1dBWAS-1714
1763/09/22Sailed for the MediterraneanBWAS-1714
1766/09Paid offBWAS-1714
1769Broken up at ChathamB051
1769/05/18Ordered to be broken upBWAS-1714
1769/12/18Break up completed at ChathamBWAS-1714

FromUntilFleetFleet CommanderSource
17401744/06/14Anson's CircumnavigationGeorge Anson

Notes on Ship

Spanish Gold

The cargo which Centurion brought home amounted to 2,600,000 Pieces of Eight, 150,000 Ounces of Plate, 10 Bars of Gold and a large quantity of Gold and Silver Dust, totalling £1,250,000 Sterling. Commodore George Anson arrived in London on the 17th June and on Tuesday 19th a wagon laden with silver from Centurion arrived at the Bank of England under a strong guard.

On 4th July 32 more waggons laden with treasure from Portsmouth passed through St. James's Street, the Strand and Cheapside, in their way to the Tower. They were guarded by the ship's crew and preceded by the Officers with drawn swords. With "Musick playing and Colours flying, particularly that of the Aquapulca Prize."

On 31st October 1744 the crew of the Centurion received £300 1s each, as part of their prize money; after which about forty of them, attended by fiddlers, bag-pipers etc. with cockades in their hats, went to Stratford to regale themselves.


BWAS-1714 British Warships in the Age of Sail 1714 - 1792Rif WinfieldBook
B051 Biographia Navalis - Volume IVJohn CharnockDigital Book
B051 Biographia Navalis - Volume VJohn CharnockDigital Book
B051 Biographia Navalis - Volume VIJohn CharnockDigital Book
ODNB Oxford Dictionary of National BiographyOxford University PressWeb Site
ref:833 The History of GuernseyJonathan DuncanDigital Book
WWNH Who's who in naval historyAlastair Wilson, Joseph F. CalloBook
ref:676 More than Nelson Web Site

Previous comments on this page

Posted by Brian on Thursday 29th of May 2014 23:59

From 1741/03/07 to 1742/11/12

Copy of a letter from a Lieutenant on board the Centurion, (one of Comm. Anson's squadron) to his brother in London, dated Macao, Dec. 1, 1742
I Take this opportunity by Capt. Saunders, who goes home in a Swedish ship a passenger, to inform you, that there's still a small remainder of that once glorious squadron which would have swept the South Seas, but that the great God thought otherwise, and dashed our designs by storms and tempests, which occasioned disease and separations insomuch that twas with the greatest mercy, that those few of us which got round Cape Horne every reached a place to shelter in. Yet the same God that showed us those perils, assisted us in our greatest distress by offering us a hospitable island after beating the sea five months, with plenty of fish, water, greens and some goats. At our arrival at this island, we had buried above half our ships company, and brought in sick 150 more. We soon found the benefit of the land by our people recovering their healths; yet many of those put on shore were to far gone to ever recover. Here we passed our time, recovering our healths, and fitting our ships in order to do some matters in those seas, hoping the rest of our squadron would drop in by degrees; but we were deceived. After staying three months, our squadron consisted of the Centurion, Gloucester, and Trial sloop; the two latter having buried more men in proportion than we.
On Sept. 3, 1741, as we were all riding at anchor, at this Island called Juan Fernandes, we saw a ship at sea. We immediately got on board our ship and sailed after her, but night rescued her from us. However, at our return providence threw her consort in our way. She was about 400 tons with 67 men worth 18000l sterling in dollars with some wrought plate and a rich cargo. We carried her into our island, to show our friends there that there where some pickings up to be had.
Sept. 15, 1741 we dispatched the Tryal to cruize off Valperigo, and the Gloucester, as soon as she should get ready, to sail and cruize off Paita in the Lat. 5 Deg. S. On the 20th we sailed to join the Tryal of Valperigo, and fell in company with her the 25th who had taken a ship of 500 tons. The next day the Commodore ordered the Captain and ship's company then belonging to the Tryal, to go on board the prize she had taken and sink the Tryal, for she had carried away both her masts. We coasted along the coasts of Chili and Peru, cruzing off several principal ports; but met nothing until we came into 10 deg of S. Lat. On Nov. 6, 1741 we took a ship of 300 tons, with a good cargo, nut little money. I was ordered to command this prize. On the 12th we took another ship of 150 tons, a rich cargo and little money. She informed us, that at Paita, from whence she just came, (a small fortified town) which was about 20 leagues off, there was a ship ready to sail with a good sum of money on board. The Commodore ordered the 2nd Lieutenant and myself, with a Marine Officer, and 45 men, in 3 boats, to take the town, and secure the treasure. We landed on the 13th at two in the morning and were saluted by the Fort, which mounted 7 guns with 2 shot. We marched up to the Fort and attacked it. After firing one volley, we stormed it, sword in hand which made the enemy jump over the walls; by which means we became masters of the Fort with the loss of one man only killed and three wounded. We had possession for three days, during which time we were employed in sending on board our ship, money, jewels, wrought plate and provisions. Our plunder here we value at about 35,000/. On the 16th we nailed up their cannon and fired the town, burning two Kings Gallies, two Brigantines, and two se?tees. Here we put all our prisoners on shore, and set sail to join the Gloucester., who we met two days after having taken two prizes worth 25,000/. We had now alarmed all the coast of Peru. Our designs were therefore tending to the coast of Mexico to catch the Acapulco ship, which always arrives at Acapulco by the latter end of December or January. We watered our ship with as much dispatch as the winds and weather would permit, at the Island of Quibo, near Panama, afterwards took a small Bark, and made the best of our way to intercept the Acapulco ship. Twas the 29th of January 1741-2 before we arrived on te coast of Mexico, and as our passage was so long, we feared the ship had gone into Port: upon which the Commodore ordered to take a boat armed and go into the Port of Acapulco in the night, and discover whether the ship was arrived or not, or to take a boat so as to gain intelligence, and at the same time not to be discovered. I went according to orders, and succeeded; going into the harbour I catched a fishing boat with three men and carried them on board without being discovered. These people informed us that the ship was arrived since the 13th of January 1741-2 and that there was a great dispatch made in order to unload her, for sending her back before we appeared on the coast. This ship is reckon'd to be worth a Million sterling. The Commodore placed his squadron so advantageously round the harbour at 15 leagues distant from the land, keeping two boats, with a Lieutenant in each to be 4 leagues off the harbour, that twas impossible that anything could go in or out but we must see them. In this position we lay till the 20th of April. Our water being exhausted, and the time of the Acapulco ship's sailing being expired, we concluded they smelt our being on the watch, by missing those three men which I had taken, tho' I had put their boat on the rocks, to make the case seem plain they were drowned. But in this Spanish jealousy foiled our cunning.
We watered our ships, took as much as we could of the most valuable part of our prize cargo on board, and burnt our Spanish ships. On the 6th of May 1742, we proceeded on our voyage towards the East Indies, where we met, in this passage (contrary to everybody else, that had gone this way) foul winds, which lengthened the voyage, and introduced the scurvy among us to that degree that we seemed to be in a much worse condition than when we came into the Island of Juan Fernandes. Yet to add to our afflictions, a violent gale came on, which made our ship very leaky, and so disabled the Gloucester, by carrying away her masts and springing a leak, that we were obliged to take the Captain and ships company out, they not being able to keep the ship above water. Our men by this time, died like rotten sheep, tossing over board 6, 8, 10 or 12 a day; besides having no prospect of getting into a friendly Port for refreshment. However, in this our last distress, God almighty preserved us, for, contrary to our expectations, we saw three Islands that had formerly been inhabited by the Indians, who had left these to inhabit another about 12 leagues distant. It was ordered in the boat to look for an anchoring place, and was met by a boat with Spaniards on board her whom I took and carried on board. They discovered to us that this Island afforded above 10,000 head of cattle with plenty of hogs, lemons and oranges., which was the only treasure we then wanted. On the 28th of August 1742, we anchored at these Islands in the Lat of 16 N. and I put all the sick people on shore who soon found the effects of boiled and roast beef. We stayed here two months, in which time we gathered some strength, and on the 27th of October 1742, we sailed for the coast of China, which is distant 500 leagues. We arrived the 10th of Nov. 1742 at Macao, a Portuguese settlement at the mouth of the river Canton. We are now in waiting to know whether the Chinese will assist us with necessaries to clean our ship, and stop a leak which is very troublesome to us. What will be the consequence I can't tell; and what will be our next expedition, I am yet in the dark. You'd be desirous to know how my Commodore and I agree. To give you a character of him would require a more masterly pen; but his favours to me as well as all the other officers, are sufficient proofs of his inclination to serve us all. Farewell. I am, Dear Brother, etc.

Make a comment about this page

Recent comments to other pages
Date postedByPage
Wednesday 24th of January 2018 00:52Dan RobinsonThomas Pitt Robinson
Sunday 21st of January 2018 03:14Donna FoxEdward Hodder
Saturday 20th of January 2018 12:25AvMAmerican schooner 'Grampus' (1821) (12)
Friday 19th of January 2018 19:57Tim OakleyBritish Sixth Rate post ship 'Danae' (1798) (20)
Thursday 18th of January 2018 12:43Tim OakleyBritish Third Rate ship of the line 'Sultan' (1807) (74)