A chart, shewing the track of the Centurion round the World

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This map reflects the track of a ship, and actually an entire squadron, but the ship was called the Centurion and it was commanded by a Commodore George Anson. This voyage probably goes down as one of the most horrific in the history of exploration and voyaging. Commodore Anson started out with a squadron of seven ships and 1,800 sailors. Three years later when they finally returned to England, fully 90% of those 1,800 had died and there were only approximately 180 crew members left. When the, uh, voyage was undertaken, the British and the Spanish were in the midst of a war, and their ships preyed on one another. Part of Anson’s job was to disrupt Spanish shipping and, perhaps, capture some of the galleons – the ships that carried the great gold and silver hoards that Spain was bringing back to, uh, its country. And Anson had that as one of his goals.

But the track on this map shows is the actual pathway of the Centurion and it’s marvelous for several reasons, one of which is the portion of the track that goes up on the western side of South America, and, if you look closely, you’ll see that that track jiggles a little bit about halfway up the coast, just about where the Juan Fernandez Island is located, and, uh, Anson got close to that island- wanted to get it, but had no way of knowing, in those days, exactly how far east or west he was. Thinking he was in the wrong direction, he headed east and all of a sudden found himself about to bump into the coast of Chile. Realizing his mistake, he turned around and finally found the Juan Fernandez Al- Island, and of course later on, much later on after many adventures, uh, did cross the Pacific and finally returned to England, having captured one of the big prizes, in fact the biggest prize that a British ship had ever found, uh, and was acclaimed a hero on his return back to Great Britain.



For more details, view the catalog record: https://library.villanova.edu/Find/Record/1691572