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Santa Anna

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Santa Anna

Postby shipstamps » Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:37 am

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The Santa Anna, known as "The Great Carrack", the first armour-clad vessel in history, built specially for the Knights of Malta, at Nice, in 1523. She is considered to be the outstanding example of the culmination of the carrack type which was soon to be replaced by the lower-built and more weatherly galleon. She was described by the Spanish chronicler Friar Don Juan de Funes, who visited the ship in 1533, that she was not only a great ship of war but that she was sometimes used to carry 900 tons of wheat from Sicily or Spain to Malta. The ship had six decks, two below the waterline being covered with lead and fastened by bronze nails, as was also the outside of her lower hull. So strongly was she constructed that her sides could not be penetrated by shot and even a whole fleet would be unable to sink her. A chapel on board was dedicated to St. Anne. Her armoury had equipment for 500 soldiers.
The great cabin for the officers had butteries and serving rooms. She even had a garden of shrubs and flowers growing in boxes of earth in her stern galleries. The ship's company had freshly baked bread, not the usual ship biscuits, for she had a windmill and ovens. There was a forge for three blacksmiths or armourers. She mounted 50 heavy guns and numerous light pieces. The friar adds that she sailed and handled well despite being so lofty and was so sound that any water entering her came from above.
Her first captain was an Englishman, Sir Thomas Weston, Knight of Malta.
Jersey SG175
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