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Old 05-06-2006, 06:27 PM
Clayton (Clay) Clayton is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Current Project: Phantom (Model Shipways)
Project Status: Setting finished model in display case
Location: Minnesota, USA
Posts: 156
Default Galleon San Francisco information

There have been a lot of questions floating around about the history of the galleon San Francisco. When I purchased a kit I began to do a little research my self.

It is still a work in progress but here are the results of my labor up to this point: I am updating the information on my website at:

http://scaleships.googlepages.com/claysfinfo 

San Francisco (aka Florencia) c 1588 Spanish Armada

961 tons
52 guns (brass!)
400 solders
86 crew

The Florencia belonged to the Duke of Tuscany, who was using her to take advantage of the spice trade that was disrupted in 1585 by the siege of Antwerp. After arriving in Lisbon in 1586 the Florencia was held in Spanish authorities, and eventually impounded in mid-1587. While being held in Lisbon the Florencia was visited by many captains and admirals. Even the Marquis Santa Cruz admired her 52 brass guns and noted how well she was constructed. After being requisitioned the Florencia was re-named San Francisco (or San Francesco) and added to Duke of Medina-Sidonia’s Squadron of Portugal.

The San Francisco was sailed by Captain Bartoli (while sailing for both the Duke of Tuscany and the Spanish). Commanded by Captain Gaspar da Sousa (Unlike English ships of the period, Spanish ships were under the control of the commander of the solders – not the mariner captain.)

Many resources agree that the San Francisco was one of the best, if not the best constructed and armed galleon in the Spanish Armada of 1588. She is known to have taken an active role in many of the Armada battles of 1588, and performed notably well. After the Armada’s return both Captain Gaspar da Sousa and Medina-Sidonia commented on how well and often the San Francisco participated in the fighting.

The San Francisco returned to Santander (Spain), with 9 other ships including the flagship, on September 20th, 1588. Captain Bartoli died the following day. The San Francisco was so damaged that she was salvaged for guns and lumber, then left to rot on the shore.

Some sources (treasure ship books usually) claim that the San Francisco (or Florencia) sank in Tobermory Bay on the Isle of Mull, Scotland where she was sheltering form the storm that destroyed so many ships of the Armada. Some claim she sunk as a result of the magazine being fired by raiders looking for pay chests or by locals mad at the Spaniards for refusing to pay for food and water that they had taken. An Armada ship did sink in Tobermory Bay, but it was the San Juan de Sicilia. The San Juan de Sicilia was formerly the Brod Martolosi, a merchantman embargoed by the Spanish in 1586.


The galleon San Francisco timeline:
-Constructed in around 1585 for the Grand Duke of Tuscany, named Florencia.
-Requisitioned by the Spanish in 1587, re-named San Francisco and added to Duke of Medina-Sidonia’s Squadron of Portugal.
-Took part in Spanish attempt (c 1587) to pursue Sir Francis Drake in the Azores.

During Armada of 1588:
-August 1, off Dartmouth: Part of the re-guard van offering to fight, but the English did not choose to attack. Was sent in an attempt to aid of the Rosario, while the rest of the Armada sailed on.
-August 2, Battle of Portland Bill: Was one of the foremost ships in the 3-hour battle, and was in “close fighting.”
- more to follow...

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Old 05-07-2006, 03:02 PM
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Vaudry Vaudry is offline
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Default Re: Galleon San Francisco information

Great work Clayton... researching a ship and finding information on it which is not in the main stream really helps to motivate the building of it.

Maybe you will find some info on the construction that you can use when building your model that will make it more authentic.

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Old 05-09-2006, 12:43 PM
Clayton (Clay) Clayton is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Current Project: Phantom (Model Shipways)
Project Status: Setting finished model in display case
Location: Minnesota, USA
Posts: 156
Default Re: Galleon San Francisco information

Yeh - I have already found a few things out. The cannon that came with the model are turned brass, but they look like bombardettas which would have been made from wrought-iron. I came across a couple of references to the San Francisco having 52 brass guns (I am assuming for now that should have been bronze). So I might be ordering diffrent cannon for the model. Also, the carriages with the kit have 4 wheels, but they were more likely to have had only 2 wheels. So I will scratch build those.

I am also researching color scheme, swivel guns, shield placement, etc. Pretty fun.

http://scaleships.googlepages.com/claysf 

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