Convoy from Cadiz to Alicante 1690

Convoy Cadiz to Alicante
Alicante in 1832
A view of Alicante in 1832
Date:June 1690 - October 1690
Outcome:Alliance Feat
United Provinces

1 How the Convoy to Alicante connects to others

The voyage of the big fleet to the Mediterranean (cf. To la Coruna and To Setubal & Cadiz) kind of ends at Cadiz, from where the last of the big warships would sail home. The story of how the convoys next sailed into the Mediterranean is a different one. The story of these convoys can be cut up. One convoy sailed from Cadiz to Malaga and Alicante and then back to Cadiz. After that it sailed back to England.

The other convoys, i.e. that to Italy and the Eastern Mediterranean are a different story. They are very complex, and merit a separate page to be able to keep an overview. The Story of how these merchants got back from Spain to the north was part of a major event. It was part of the major operation called Smyrna Fleet 1691.

2 Sequence of convoys from Cadiz

The starting point of all this is of course the return of the warships to Cadiz after their pursuit of Chateau-Renault. According to the Burchett's source this was on May 31st. According to the OHC this was on 1 June OHC 1 July 1690.

Traditionally the events are described as 3 convoys sailing from Cadiz. One for Alicante, one for Smyrna, and one for Iskendrun. In fact all convoys sailed to Alicante. The convoy that sailed there first and the ships that did not sail further were correctly designated as the convoy to Malaga and Alicante. Some of the ships that originally sailed with it would however continue east with the other convoys.

The convoys to Smyrna and Iskendrun were really one convoy that first sailed to eastern Spain, then to Italy, and probably only split up east of Messina. They were designated as the convoys to Smyrna and Iskendrun, but in the Western Mediterranean they were still united. With at least 7 small ships of the line it outnumbered all enemies that could attack it.

3 Convoy to Malaga and Alicante

3.1 Convoy to Malaga and Alicante

Convoy to Malaga and Alicante
Ship CaptainnotesShipCaptainnotes
Happy Return Bockenham De Liefde
Richmond Crowly Ruth
Saphire Killegrew Ruby
Succes Success
Arabella Daniel Parsons ElisabethThomas Francisco
Angel George Matthews
James & Maria John Flower De Prosperant Africaen
Frederick John Matthews Jacob
John of Temson John Water Nieuw Industry
Thomas and Pieter John Johnson Thomas en Samuel
Sara en Anna Maria
Barcelona Witte Roos

The convoy that left for Malaga and Alicante on 11 June was probably not the most important. Burchett says it got the Richmond and Saphire(36) as escorts, Captain Bokenham commanding. According to the OHC it was escorted by the Happy Return and Saphire (capt. Killegrew). Because Bockenham was captain of the Happy Return, and later on all 3 ships returned home with this convoy, we can safely assume it had all 3 ships as escort. The composition of the merchant fleetOHC 15 july 1690 is most interesting. We have a small list of (probably English) ships by the OHC. We would expect these to be part of those having arrived in Cadiz earlier, but that's not the case, so we're obviously missing something.

3.2 The St Anna is captured

An interesting detail is the faith of the Saint Anna of Leendert van Egmont, it left Cadiz together with the Mercurius and without escort. On the 18 June it was before Alicante when it perceived an enemy ship. The Saint Anna could have easily saved itself in the 'New place' (a fortress 3 miles from Alicante), but it thought the ship to be an Algerine Caper, and having 35 guns and 60 men, the Saint Anna awaited the enemy. It turned out to be a French warship which entered and took the Saint Anna after a fight of an hour.

4 From Alicante to Cadiz

4.1 Arriving back in Cadiz

On 5 July the London Exchange of John Moterbey arrived in Cadiz from St. Cruz de Berberia. On 22 August the 'Love of London', Steffen Kerker and the Sarah and Anna, Samuel Prinsz. arrived in Cadiz.

The 'Alicante convoy' arrived back in Cadiz on 6 August with: the Happy Return Capt. Bukkenham; Saphir, Capt. Killegrew; Richemont capt. Crowly; Frederick of London, John Matthews; Angel of London, George Matthews; Thomas and Peter, James Jobson; Cornelis and Lambert, Robert Wal; Adventure of London, Jan Durnel; Juan de Apsom, John Ware; City of Calais, Thomas Ayres; Susanna of London, John Teylen. At about the same moment arrived: St Peter, John Jones from Barbary; 7 Provinciƫn, Frans Wiltschut from Rotterdam; and Nostra Signora de los Milagros, Bernardo Vink from Amsterdam OHC 9 September 1690. One should note that here 'Of London' alludes to the home port of the ship.

4.2 A previous Smyrna convoy

Meanwhile some English Levant ships were sailing to Cadiz. The Benjamin had left Constantinople on 1 December 1689, and sailed to Venice OHC 4 February 1690. On 28 April the John and Anna from Samuel Skinner arrived in Livorno OHC 20 May 1690.

From the Levant 8 English ships arrived at Gibraltar. They would come to Cadiz with the first fair wind, and then continue to England with the three warships. It were: London Merchant, Cap. Bomsted; Siam Merchant, Clemens; Frigate England, Henry Stippel; James II, Jacob Sanders; La Coruna (i.e. the Crown), Jonas; Merchant of Valencia, Anthony; Benjamin, John Payn; John & Anne; and a Pink OHC 9 September 1690 these would arrive in Cadiz on 14 August.

After their arrival more details became clear. This small fleet of English merchant ships had returned from Gallipoli (Turkey) and Cythera. It where: the frigate, Henry Stuple; The Merchant of London, Joseph Bomsted; The Merchant of Siam, Bartel Clement; Jacobus Secundus, Jacob Sandersz.; Benjamin, John Payne; Merchant of Valencia, Willem Anthony; Crown, Tomas Jonas; Joan and Anna, Samuel KunnerOHC 23 Sep. 1690. Perhaps the arrival of the convoys in the Mediterranean had enabled it to cross the western part?

5 From Cadiz to London

31 August: convoy from Cadiz to London
Ship CaptainnotesShipCaptainnotes
Ships also found in outward Ships not found in outward convoy
The Escort: Bridge of London Ed Tyler
Happy Return (52)Cap. Bockenham Andalucia Jan Tyler
Saphire (36)Cap. Killegrew jr Friston William Goodridge
RichmondCap. Crowley London Exchange John Motterby from St. Cruz de Berberia
Cornelis Lambert Robert Wallfrom Malaga with Hamburg c.
AngelGeorge Matthews Susanna John Tyler
James MariaJohn Flower City of Cadiz Thomas Ayreahad arr. in Cadiz 7 May
FrederickJohn Matthews Ventura Juan Dorret
Thomas and PieterJames Johnson St Paulo John Jones
The Frigate England Henry Stipple from Gallipoli
Love of London*Steffen Kerker London Merchant Joseph Bomsted from Gallipoli
Sarah and Anna**Samuel Prinsz. Siam Merchant Berth. Clement from Gallipoli
James II Jacob Sandersz.from Gallipoli
3 Dutch: Benjamin John Payne from Gallipoli
CrooswijkJan Leendertsz. Merchant of Valencia W. Anthonio from Gallipoli
Engel MichaelWillem Reygue** Kroon Thomas Jonasz. from Gallipoli
Zeven Provincien FrigateFrans Wiltschut John and Anna Samuel Skumer from Gallipoli
List from OHC 7 October 1690
* deduced: as 'Love, Steffen Kerker' in the outbound list.
** deduced: as 'Sara' in the outbound list without a captain name.
*** deduced: The Engel Michael of Jan Michelsz. arr. in Amsterdam in Aug.OHC 16 aug 1690

5.1 From Cadiz to England

On 31 August the Malaga and Alicante fleet sailed for England from Cadiz OHC 7 October 1690. The escort was provided by: the Happy Return, Capt. Bockenham; Saphire, Capt. Killegrew; Richmond, Capt. Grouwley. There is also a list (cf. table) of this convoy. It was a diverse collection of ships, so far only 4 ships in it can be positively identified as having arrived with the fleet earlier.

5.2 Arrival in England

By 10 October the convoy from Cadiz of 40 ships with 3 escorts was expected to arrive in The Downs in a 2-3 days OHC 19 October 1690 p. 4. On 14 October the Streights Fleet with its escort arrived in The Downs LG 6 October 1690.

6 Results & Analysis

The alliance had successfully escorted a merchant fleet into the western Mediterranean. As it was unopposed, this was not such a feat. The fact that a large convoy from Smyrna arrived in Cadiz was a bit more significant.

What's surprising is that in September and October 1690 a sizable, and no doubt valuable (Smyrna ships) fleet sailed from Spain to England unopposed. This in spite of the defeat at Beachy Head. What is also remarkable, is that little can be found about this return trip. It was almost as if authorities kept the movements of this fleet a secret.

7 Sources

Direct sources for this page are the London Gazette (LG), and Dutch newspapers, especially the Oprechte Haerlemse Courant (OHC) and Amsterdamsche Courant (AC)