Talk:Spanish treasure fleet

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Why Curaçao and Jamaica?[edit]

(Discussion moved here from User talk:Gdr):

I wonder why the "Dutch captured Curaçao in 1634 and the English Jamaica in 1652" is singled out when the Dutch had had bases in the Caribean since 1620 and the British since 1612? Rmhermen 13:01, Aug 5, 2004 (UTC)

No reason, except that they were significant events that came to mind. Please rephrase or replace with earlier significant events. Gdr 13:07, 2004 Aug 5 (UTC)

Contradiction with another Wikipedia Page[edit]

HMS Indefatigable (1784):

"In October 1804, Indefatigable, with three other frigates (Medusa, Lively and Amphion with Moore as the senior officer, intercepted a Spanish treasure fleet of four frigates carrying bullion from the Caribbean back to Spain."

Spanish treasure fleet:

"In the 1780s Spain opened its colonies to free trade. The last treasure fleet sailed in 1790."

Clearly both can't be true. MichaelSH 22:41, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Indeed weird. I could imagine though that regular (e.g. yearly) colonial mining profit fleets (implied by the treasure fleet article) ended by 1790; while the occasional trade transport of gold in a convoy to Spain may have continued. But some clarification is indeed necessary, anyone got a decent source to resolve this? Arnoutf 17:39, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

I would like to continue another article relating to this on the 1715 fleet and the recovery by a number of salvagors including Kip Wagner, Real Eight Company.

See also Graham Moore, which shows a painting of it. There is an account of it, quoting Moore's logs, at [1]. Regarding the fictionalization in the Hornblower series, in The Hornblower Companion, 1964, Forester says: that the incident really happened, though "on the previous occasion, some years earlier, when the flota was intercepted, the captors shared millions." This suggests that it had happened once before during the Napoleonic Wars, i.e., since 1790. Laura1822 03:49, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

"In 1790, the Casa de Contratación was abolished." I think that's the clue - that the great regular trade convoys, organised by the Casa, were no more -

We need somebody with some detailed knowledge to sort out this article. For instance, free trade between all the ports of the Spanish empire began at least as early as 1765 - with individual packet ships sailing quite independently of the treaure fleet. The War of Jenkins Ear article states that the siezure of Portebello in 1740 caused a fundamental change in the operations of the treasure fleet - exactly what does that article mean? Finally, the convoys that operated after 1790 - and so appear to contradict this article - were they in fact just specialised ad-hoc convoys for the transport of bullion rather than the general purpose fleets that this article speaks of or were they somehow a continuation of these fleets but in a much reduced manner after the Casa de Contratacion was abolished?

The Flota system article should be merged into this article. 01:23, 24 March 2007 (UTC)


Does a full list of these convoys exist? Drutt (talk) 17:29, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

We're talking about two hundred years of the system being in place, from my point of view it would make no sense to have such list in Wikipedia both for practical reasons and as per WP:INDISCRIMINATE.--Darius (talk) 22:47, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
For comparison, Arctic convoys of World War II has a list of nearly a hundred separate convoys over a period of just 5 years. Drutt (talk) 04:58, 17 July 2010 (UTC)


not "a treasure fleet being loaded with riches"

The image currently used at the top of the page is not a depiction of a Spanish treasure fleet. It's a crop from a 1593 engraving showing shipping in Lisbon. It was reinserted with the argument that Portugal and Spain were both part of the Habsburg empire at the relevant time so it made no difference [2]. While it's true that the two countries were in a personal union around 1600, my understanding is that their systems of colonial exploitation and their trade routes were still separate, and I have found no indication that Portuguese ships were taking part in the same system of large-scale convoys characteristic of the Spaniards. The "treasure fleets" are a very specific thing; not every form of shipping between the Habsburg possessions and the New World is part of it.

In addition, this image doesn't show a "fleet being loaded with riches" in any case. It's in a European port, so treasures wouldn't be loaded but, if anything, unloaded. But there's actually no loading or unloading being shown in the picture at all (except for what appear to be some barrels of provisions). It's not even a fleet. It's just a harbour busy with individual ship movements; according to the narrative in the book which this was meant to illustrate, one individual ship is about to depart for Brazil.

In short: no Spanish, no fleet, no loading, no riches. Fut.Perf. 07:37, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

It would be hard to argue with that.--Wetman (talk) 09:31, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Agree. Even if Lisbon was under Hasburg rule, the main ports where unloadig operations took place were Cadiz and Seville.--Darius (talk) 15:35, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm glad to tell all involved that this picture has found a new home at Portuguese_Empire#Southeast_Asia_and_the_spice_trade. Cheers walk victor falk talk 11:22, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for uploading the pic to the right article. Regards.--Darius (talk) 16:10, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Units Inconsistent[edit]

The section "The flow of Spanish treasure" seems inconsistent in its units of measure. The text seems to use one set of units, and the table following the text seems to use another. That makes it hard to figure out. The table should include a heading or note identifying the units. It is also unclear if the table refers only to specific years, or to centuries or intervals, or what. MaxwellPerkins (talk) 21:29, 7 February 2015 (UTC)