Sunday, July 01, 2007

Colin Martin and the Swan

Colin Martin, from St. Andrews University, has been involved in investigating the wreck of the English ship Swan, lost in 1653. This is inconsistent with the description in R. C. Anderson's list of the Swan, number 42, which was said to have been sold in 1654. This article, though, indicates that it is the same 5th Rate mentioned by Anderson. However, the wreck cannot be the Royalist prize, simply because that Swan was still in service on 27 December 1653, convoying colliers. The convoyer was a ship commanded by Thomas Wilks that carried 22 guns and had a crew of 80 men. If there was in fact a ship Swan lost at Duart Point, it is not the same Royalist prize. The Swan is said to have been built in 1641 as a warship for the navy, but it is not listed by Anderson. I looked at Powell's book, The Navy in the English Civil War, and it says that the Royalist Swan was taken by the Jocelyn, a hired ship, in 1645. Without knowing more, I have to be skeptical of the identification, although I can believe that Anderson missed including the Swan in his list, due to the existence of the larger Swan that was in service in December 1653 and was sold in 1654.

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