Spanish ship Santísima Trinidad (1751)

Santísima Trinidad was a galleon destined for merchant shipping between the Philippines and México. She was one of the largest of the Manila galleons; officially named Santísima Trinidad y Nuestra Señora del Buen Fin, and was familiarly known as The Mighty (Spanish: El Poderoso). She is not to be confused with Nuestra Señora de la Santísima Trinidad, the biggest warship in the world in its time, which sank at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

Spanish Navy EnsignSpain
Name: Santísima Trinidad
Builder: Bagatao Shipyards
Launched: April 30, 1751
Captured: September 30, 1762, by Royal Navy
Fate: Sold 1763
General characteristics
Class and type: 70-gun galleon
Tons burthen: at most 2,200 bm
Length: 167 ft 6 in (51.05 m) (gundeck)
Beam: 50 ft 6 in (15.39 m)
Draught: 30 ft 6 in (9.30 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full-rigged ship
Complement: 413
Armament: 70 guns of various weights of shot


Armed with 60 guns, she was laid in Bagatao Island shipyard (Real Astillero) Sorsogon in 1751 with a carrying capacity of 2,000 tons. With a length of 167 feet and a beam of 50 feet, she was "one of the largest galleons ever built in the Philippines," able to carry 5,068 crates of cargo.[1]:213 Orders came from the Governor-General of the Philippines Don Francisco José de Ovando, 1st Marquis of Brindisi. Her large volume and some construction errors made modifications necessary in 1757 to reduce her displacement.

Voyage of 1755Edit

In 1755, the Santísima Trinidad, steered by French pilot Antoine Lemaire de Boucourt, made a bad voyage from Manila to Acapulco which lasted 221 days and is said to be the third longest in the history of the line; it started on 23d of July, 1755, with 435 persons on board, of whom 74 died on the way, by tabardillo, a kind of typhus, and/or by lack of water respectively rainfall. Among the victims were former Governor General of the Philippines, Marquis Ovando and his young son, only eight days old. The voyage ended in Acapulco, after a long stop in San José del Cabo, on 27 February 1756.[2]


On 3 Sept. 1762 she departed from Cavite towards Acapulco, but due to a severe storm near the Marianas, she lost a mast. The captain decided to return to the Philippines for repair, unaware that Manila had fallen into British hands after the Battle of Manila.[1]

The ship was intercepted by Edgar-class fourth-rate 60-gun HMS Panther under captain Hyde Parker and the Coventry-class sixth-rate HMS Argo of 28 guns under Richard King. Panther opened fire, but did little damage to her thick wooden hull and caused few casualties. Nevertheless, the disheartened crew of Santísima Trinidad decided to surrender. On board was cargo valued at $1.5 million, besides the value of the ship at $3 million. Previously, Filipina had been captured with her cargo of American silver from Acapulco.[3]

The ship was taken to Portsmouth, where her sale earned the two captains 30,000 pounds, a fortune at that time. It is not known what happened to the ship after the sale but she was probably scrapped.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Fish, Shirley (2011). The Manila-Acapulco Galleons: The Treasure Ships of the Pacific. AuthorHouse. p. 216. ISBN 9781456775421.
  2. ^ José María Silos Rodríguez: El viaje de 1755 del galeón Santisima Trinidad. In: Revista de Historia Naval 88 (2005), S.57-82- The author reads the pilot's name differently, obviously wrong; see Schurz, Manila Galleon (1959), p.208.
  3. ^ Tracy, Nicholas (1995). Manila Ransomed. University of Exeter Press. pp. 75–76. ISBN 0859894266.