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  2. The frigate Mercedes
  3. The voyage
  4. Chronology of the voyage

Chronology of the voyage

6 November 1802

  • Domingo de Grandallana, secretary of State and of the Universal Office of the Navy, orders the commander generals in the Departments of El Ferrol and Cádiz to fit out three frigates.
  • José Manuel de Goicoa is appointed commander of the frigate Mercedes, and Diego Alesón of the frigate Clara.

26 November 1802

  • Miguel Cayetano Soler, Secretary of State and of the Office of the Treasury, orders the customs officials in Cadiz and La Coruña (Corunna) to load mercury, paper and other effects of the Royal Treasury onto the war frigates the Asunción – that set sail from the former port – and the Mercedes and the Clara, from El Ferrol, and take the cargo to Lima.

30 November 1802

  • The Secretary of State and of the Office of the Treasury notifies the Viceroy of Peru of the imminent departure of the frigates to El Callao, and orders him to send as many funds as possible on the frigates' return voyage.

3 February 1803

  • The war frigate Asunción sets sail from Cadiz to El Callao.

9 February 1803

  • The order regarding the meeting and the sending of funds is repeated to the Viceroy of Peru.

16 February 1803

  • The customs official in La Coruña is ordered to deliver the royal official documents to the commanders of the frigates Clara and Mercedes.

27 February 1803

  • The war frigates Clara and Mercedes set sail from El Ferrol to El Callao.

March 1803

  • The frigate Asunción arrives in "Bahía de Tablas". çThe royal official documents are delivered to Ignacio María de Álava, Head of the Asian Squadron.

April 1803 (probable date)

  • The bowsprit of the frigate Mercedes breaks and it heads to the port of Montevideo to be repaired.

7 June 1803

  • The Viceroy of Peru is notified about the declaration of war between France and Great Britain and he is ordered to delay the departure of the frigates.

July 1803 (probable date)

  • The frigate Mercedes reaches El Callao.
  • The frigate Asunción reaches El Callao.

31 July 1803

  • The green light is given to the Viceroy of Peru for the frigates to leave; they must head for Montevideo under the command of squadron commander Tomás de Ugarte. In Montevideo two other frigates will join them on the return journey to Spain under the command of the squadron commander José de Bustamante y Guerra.

26 November 1803

  • The Viceroy of Peru, carrying out the Royal Order of 7 June , delays the departure of the three frigates from El Callao.

26 December 1803

  • The Viceroy of Peru, carrying out the Royal Order of 31 July, declares that as soon as the frigate Asunción has been fitted out, the frigates will depart.

30 March 1804

  • The Viceroy gives notification of the registered funds and effects carried in the war frigates Mercedes, Asunción and Clara, soon to depart from the port of El Callao.

3 April 1804

  • The frigates set sail from the port of El Callao.

5 June 1804

  • After bad weather around Cape Horn, the frigates Mercedes, Asunción and Clara arrive in Montevideo. The frigate Asunción, damaged in the storm, cannot continue her journey.

9 August 1804

  • Departure of the frigates Mercedes, Asunción and Clara from the port of Montevideo for Cádiz.

5 October 1804

  • At Cape Santa María, off the coast of the Algarve, the frigates are attacked by a British fleet. The Mercedes sinks. and the Clara, Medea and Fama are captured by the British.

17 October 1804

  • The frigate Fama arrives in Portsmouth (United Kingdom).

19 October 1804

  • The frigates Medea and Clara arrive in Plymouth (United Kingdom).