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25 de Mayo

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25 de Mayo

Postby shipstamps » Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:11 am

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Argentina's Navy Day stamp, 1975, shows the flagship of Admiral William Brown, the 25 de Mayo. In 1825 Vice-Admiral Lobo, commanding the Brazilian squadron in the River Plate, declared a blockade of the ports of Argentina, war being declared on January 3, 1826, by Argentina on Brazil.
As the Argentine fleet was practically non-existent and unable to oppose the blockading ships, William Brown offered his services to the Argentine Government. These were readily accepted. Brown was placed in overall command of the fleet, such as it was. He inspected a number of vessels at anchor in Buenos Aires. One of them he recommended for purchase, the Comercio de Lima. Renamed 25 de Mayo, her cost was $25,000. An old frigate, she was seaworthy and ideal for Brown's purpose having a tween deck in which he mounted heavy calibre guns, with 22 guns on the main deck. The `tween deck being well above the water line enabled the guns to be fired without fear of flooding in bad weather.
The vessel's displacement was under 400 tons; length 130 ft., beam 32'/2 ft, and depth 161/4 ft. The ship's complement was 208 men, though this was increased to 275 at one time. Her armament varied from time to time. She had secondary armament of 28 rifles, 66 pistols or revolvers, 80 swords and 54 cutlasses.
The frigate was badly damaged at the Battle of Quilmes, on July 30, 1826, when a much superior Brazilian fleet in ships and guns surrounded Browns fleet. The unequal combat lasted 10 hours. The 25 de Mayo, protected and towed by two gunboats, had to retire slowly. Her sails were destroyed, she had 80 holes in the hull and there were 40 casualties on deck. For three hours she had been the principal target of the 22 Brazilian vessels, who ran short of ammunition and in shoal water, withdrew with three vessels damaged. The 25 de Mayo was beyond repair. She was kept afloat for many months but on October 9,1827, she broke up during a storm. SG1479
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Re: 25 de Mayo

Postby aukepalmhof » Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:53 pm

The frigate COMERCIO DE LIMA who was registered at Gibraltar and carried the English flag entered the port of Buenos Aires on 23 Nov. 1825 under command of Capt. Juan Bautista Viale.

Lloyds Lists Newspaper today has the following entry.
03 January 1826 The following English ships are held here (Buenos Aires) due to the Brazilian blockade, it goes on to list 18 vessels including the COMERCIO DE LIMA, under Capt. Viale.
Then it wrote, many of this ships are having to sell cargo to pay expenses and it is believed that at least two are to be “sold as lie”. It looks as though COMERCIO DE LIMA may have been sold out of necessity.
She was for sale and bought by the Government of Argentina on 23 Jan. 1826 for $ 25.000, renamed in 25 DE MAYO.

Admiral Arguindeguy, gives for her building yard, it is possible that she was the Spanish warship the frigate COMERCIO under command of Commander D.Manuel A. Couceiro, the former captain of the Royalist Spanish squadron of the Pacific 1814/15, which one time pursued the HERCULES (also on a Argentinian stamp) DE LIMA later added to her name when under the flag of Gibraltar.

27th January 1826, the Lloyds List gives. The Brazilian Squadron at anchor off Buenos Aires since the 14th January. Only English Packets will be allowed to depart as formerly.

Under supervision of Admiral Guillermo Brown refitted in a warship at Barracas.
Under Argentinean flag her details were.
Tonnage 430 ton, dim. 47 x 11 x 5.5m., draught 2.3m.
Armament 4 long guns of 16 pdr, 4 long guns of 12 pdr, 14 – 12 pdr, 10 – 8 pdr. and 4 - 6 pdr. guns. Total 36 pieces, 24 placed on the upperdeck and 12 on the lower deck.
Complement 200 maximum 300.

07 Feb. 1826 commissioned, under command of D. Guillermo Parker and used as flagship by Admiral Brown.

Lloyds List of 23rd and 25 May 1826 gives, on these dates Brazilian Squadron under Admiral Norton attacked the Buenos Aires Squadron under Admiral Brown, flying his flag on the 25 DE MAYO, and both times were beaten off and chased away.

Took part in the following battles:
Punta Colares 09 Feb. 1826, she acted as flagship in the campaign against the city of Colonia in Feb/March 1826. She was the main player in the night attack on the frigate NITCHEROI in the bay of Montevideo on 11 April, and in the intention of the capture of the EMPERATRIZ on 27 April.
During the Battle of Banco Ortiz on 02 May and Los Pozos on 11 June she was again the main player. In the last battle she and a small part of her squadron attacked 31 enemy (Brazilian) ships. The enemy withdrew from the battle without causing much damage to the Argentinean ships.
The later Brazilian blockade ended in the battle of Quilmes 29/30 July 1827, during this battle she grounded and with the only help of the RIO (DE LA PLATA), resisted the attack of the entire Brazilian fleet. She came under a heavy fire and was riddled with shots, but did not surrender. With the help of gunboats she was refloated. Her attacker Admiral Norton lost his masts and decided to retreat from the action, he was towed out of the battle by his gunboats.

After the battle her hull riddled with more as 100 gunshots, her stern and deck gutted by fire from the NITCHEROI and 20 dead, 23 seriously wounded and the rest of the crew mostly wounded, burnt or confused was towed to Los Pozos and then to the road of Retiro, she was shifted many times around to other coastal roads, Considered impossible to repair, then decommissioned at Retiro and transferred in a hulk, her armament, sails and masts were removed

In this condition in front of Buenos Aires during a strong south easterly and ebb tide on 11/12 November 1826 she came in collision with the abandoned hull of the brig FLORIDA, her port side was pushed in, causing flooding on the lower gun deck.
12 Oct. 1827, during the night she got aground on Las Toscas slowly deteriorating, she was kept afloat by lashing floating tubes alongside her bow and stern. She was kept in this way till 1835 when the harbour master noticed the danger to sail traffic, an ordered in June 1836 to remove her.

In 1930 her remains were found by a dredger in the anteport of Buenos Aires and parts of her were salved in 1943 by the department of the Naval Museum of Tigre, under supervision of Capt. of Fregate Héctor Ratto, and brought to the museum for study and conservation.

She was under command of Capt. Guillermo Parker from 07 Feb. 1826 until 12 Feb. 1928 and then Sergeant Major Tomás Espora until 30 July 1828.

Translated by Mr. M. Rosario after an article written by C.N.Juan Carlos Sidders on the remains of the frigate, published in the Bulletin of the Naval center, Oct/Dec 1984, No 741 Vol. CII year CIII.
Info received from Mr. John. D. Stevenson. Lloyds List. Admiral Arguindeguy.
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