Catalogue description Captured ship: San Francisco Xavier alias La Perla , Don Josef Perez Muente master (José...

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Details of HCA 30/315
Reference: HCA 30/315

Captured ship: San Francisco Xavier alias La Perla, Don Josef Perez Muente master (José Pérez de Muente) (former master Don Melchor de Alarcón).

Details: Spanish register ship carrying cargo of silver, gold, copper, wool, cocoa and cascarilla, on voyage from Callao near Lima, Peru, to Cadiz, captured off the Azores by the British privateers Sprightly, James Bett commander, and Shark, William Waring commander, on 29 October 1779.

Documents: nos. 1889, 1895, 1897, 1900, 1976, 1987, 1998 to 2000: expense accounts for La Perla for the years 1765 to 1775, internally numbered 1 to 24 (no. 1976); three volumes of certificates of military service for officers, sergeants and cadets at Lima to 30 December 1778, contained in a package addressed to the Secretary of State in Madrid, along with additional loose certificates of service, and other papers detailing strength of army units at Lima, naming officers and giving numbers of men (no. 1987);

Papers probably belonging to the ship's doctor Pedro de Vicuña y Oranegui (in blue folders):

  • small map of Spanish North America printed in 1755, with tables of distances (no. 1900);
  • recipes for medical prescriptions for conditions including viper's stock, nutritious enemas and scorbutical tempered beer (no. 1895);
  • two small printed booklets: one on general pharmacy of experimental remedies, and the other on magic tricks, manual skills to entertain and nature's secrets, Seville, 1751 (no. 2000);
  • print and notes on the virtues of the Pepita de Catbalonga (highly prized remedy from the Philippines), with a wrapped seed (no. 1998);
  • notes on female and male fertility and infertility with documented examples of late fertility in named Spanish women (no. 1999);
  • rules of affinity and consanguinity with regard to marriage (no. 1889);
  • requisites to trade with the Spanish Indies (Carrera de Indias) (no. 1897).

Note: the letters and papers captured from La Perla are in pieces HCA 30/275 and 276, and 311 to 316, and have been re-ordered, as far as practicable, in one continuous sequence using the original numbers given them by the Prize Court in 1779 (nos. 1 to 1993). The sequence has been extended to no. [2111] for papers which either were never numbered or which have lost their association with an original number through damage or separation.

This re-ordering supersedes the previous bundle numbers used as references in Xabier Lamikiz Trade and Trust in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World (2010). References from that work can be traced using the number of the letter, where given, ignoring the piece and bundle numbers. Refer to the catalogue to find in which piece a particular numbered paper is now located.

See the description of piece HCA 30/275 for a list of items which are known to be somewhere among the papers of La Perla but it is not known in which piece.

The letters and papers of La Perla as a whole are written in Spanish, with a few in French, Italian, Latin, English, Portuguese, Catalan and Basque

Note: This piece is included in the HCA Prize Papers sorting and cataloguing project, and will not be available to readers until further notice.
Date: 1760-1779
Related material:

See HCA 30/275, HCA 30/276, HCA 30/311, HCA 30/312, HCA 30/313, HCA 30/314 and HCA 30/316 for more letters and papers, and HCA 32/334/9 for the main collection of ship's papers and court process etc

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: Spanish and Others
Closure status: Open Document, Open Description
Publication note:

Trade and Trust in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World, Xabier Lamikiz, (, 2010),

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