Ship's History

 

     In 1764, a Spanish merchant family bought the ship for the New World trade. Before that, a British trading firm owned it and called it the Duke of York. Documents of March 1764 say El Nuevo Constante could carry 470 tons of cargo. It was 121 feet long, 30 feet wide, 19 feet deep, and had three masts. Records show the ship had four pumps and four large and two small anchors. It was armed with 18 eight-pounder and four four-pounder cannons. It also carried 36 muskets, 18 pairs of pistols, 24 war axes and ammunition. El Nuevo Constante, originally the Duke of York, probably was of British construction and carried British weapons.

 

     The ship was one of several ships in the New Spain fleet. This was one of two main Spanish fleets that carried goods to and from the Americas. The New Spain fleet left for Spain from Veracruz, Mexico, on May 25, 1766. However, a lack of wind kept the ships from going very far. More delays put off the departure. At last, six merchant ships and a royal warship left for Spain on August 21, 1766. This was well into the dangerous hurricane season. At least 11 passengers and 60 crew members were aboard El Nuevo Constante when it finally left Veracruz. The ship was under the command of Don Juli├ín Antonio de Urcullu.

(Top right) North America, and the West Indies; a new map, wherein the British Empire and its limits, according to the definitive treaty of peace, in 1763, are accurately described, and the domain possessed by the Spaniards, the French, & other European States. The whole compiled from all the new surveys, and authentic memoirs that have hitherto appeared. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-74694268.

 

(Bottom right) Detail from map above showing the route of the New Spain fleet (called "galeons" here) from Veracruz to Havana on its way to Spain.

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