Santa Cecilia

Nominal Guns32
OperatorArmada Real
PreviouslyBritish Fifth Rate frigate 'Hermione' (1782) (32)
ShipyardWapping Wharf - Bristol BWAS-1714
Ship ClassHermione ClassBWAS-1714
Designed by Edward Hunt (d.bef.1740)BWAS-1714
Constructor Sydenham Teast (1754-1813)BWAS-1714
CategoryFifth Rate
Ship TypeFrigate
Sailing RigShip Rigged
BecomesBritish Fifth Rate frigate 'Retaliation' (1799) (32)


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentBWAS-1714
Length of Gundeck129' 0"Imperial Feet39.3192 
Length of Keel106' 10 ½"Imperial Feet32.3215 
Breadth35' 5 ½"Imperial Feet10.6807 
Depth in Hold12' 10"Imperial Feet3.6576 
Burthen710 4894Tons BM 
DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentBG

Crew Complement

Date# of MenNotesSource
25.10.1799392 BG

Service History

25.10.1799Taken by Surprise (28) cut out from Porto CavalloBG

Notes on Ship


Surprize, Port Royal Harbour, Jamaica, Nov 1 , 1799.

SIR the honor of my country and the glory of the British Nary, were strong inducements for me to make an attempt to cut out, by the boats of His Majesty's Ship under my command, His Majesty's late Ship Hermione, from the Harbour of Porto Cavallo, where there are about 200 Pieces of cannon mounted on the batteries.

Having well observed, her situation on the 22d and 23d Ultimo, and the evening of the 24th being favorable, I turned the hands up to acquaint the Officers and Ship's Company of my intentions to lead them to the attack, which was handsomely returned with 3 cheers, arid that they would all follow to a man ; this greatly increased my hopes and I had little doubt of succeeding: the boats; containing 100 men, including officers at Half-past 12 on the morning of the 25th, (after having beat the launch of the ship; which carried a 24-pounder and 20 men, and receiving several guns and small arms from the Frigate,) boarded ; the forecastle was taken possession of without much resistance; the quarter-deck disputed the point a quarter of an hour, where a dreadful carnage took place ; the main-deck held out much longer, and with egal slaughter ; nor was it before both cables were cut, sail made on the ship, and boats a-head to tow, that the main-deck could be called ours ; they last of all retreated to the between Decks and continued firing till their ammunition was expended ; then and not until then, did they cry for quarter. At 2 o'Clock the Hermione was completely ours, being out of gun-shot from the Fort, which had for some time kept up a tolerable good fire. From the Captain Don Romond de Chalas I am informed. She was nearly ready for sea, mounting 44 guns with a Ship's Company of 321 officers and sailors, 56 soldiers, and 15 artillery men on board.

Every Officer and Man on this expedition behave with an uncommon degree of valor and exertion ; but I consider it particularly my duty to mention the very gallant conduct, as well  as their aid and assistance , at a particuliar crisis I received from Mr John M' Mullen , surgeon and volunter and Mr. Maxwell, Gunner, even after the latter was dangerously wounded.

As the Frigate was the particular object of your order of the 17th September, I have thought proper to return into port with her.

Enclosed I transmit you a List of captures during the cruise, also 2 lists of killed and wounded.

I have the Honor tp be, &c. &c. See.


Prisoners landed at Porto Cavallo the fame day, out of which there were 97 wounded, mostly dangerous : 228

Escaped in the Launch, which was rowing guard round the Ship, with a 24-pounder : 20

Remain prisoners on board : 3  (Don Challas and 2 officers in english wiki)

On shore on leave : 1 Lieutenant, 1 Captain, of Troops, 4 Pilots, and 1 Midshipman : 7

Swam on Shore from the Ship : 15

Killed: 119

Total: 392
( Signed.) E. HAMILTON

List wounded in the captureBG

A List of Officers and Men wounded on board the Spanish Frigate Hermione, on the attack made by the boats of His Majesty's Ship Surprize under the orders of Captain Hamilton, in the Harbour of Porto Cavallo, the 25th October 1799.

Edward Hamilton, Esq; Captain, several Contusions, but not dangerous.

Mr. John Maxwell, Gunner, dangerously wounded in several places.

John Lewis Matthews, Quarter-Master dangerously.

Arthur Reed, Quarter-Gunner, dangerously.

Henry Milne, Carpenter's Crew, dangerously.

Henry Dibleen, Gunner's Mate, slightly.

Charles Livingston, Able Seaman, slightly.

William Pardy, Able Seaman, slightly.

Robert Ball, Able Seaman, slightly.

Thomas Stevenson, Able Seaman, slightly.

John Ingram, Private Marine, slightly.

Joseph Titley, Private Marine, slightly.

Signed E. HAMILTON, Captain


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