Spanish frigate Hermione

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'Favourite' and 'Active' taking Hermione.jpg
The 'Favourite' and 'Active' taking 'Hermione' by Richard Wright
Flag of Spain (1785–1873, 1875–1931).svgSpain
Name: Hermione
Homeport: Cadiz
Captured: 31 May 1762
General characteristics
Class and type: 26-gun frigate
Armament: 26 x 9-pounder guns

The Spanish ship Hermione was a 26-gun frigate of the Spanish Navy, draughted by a British designer at Cadiz.[1] Opinions differ on the age and provenance of this ship. Some claim it to have been the Hermione bought in 1730.[2] Others believe it to have been the Hermione constructed in the Arsenal de la Carraca, Cadiz in 1752.[3]

Notable incidents[edit]

The ship fired several broadsides into the privateer Antigallican when held at Cadiz in 1756 at the beginning of the Seven Years' War, at that time armed with 32 nine-pounders.[4][5]

Hermione engaged Captain Herbert Sawyer's frigate, the 28-gun HMS Active, and the 18-gun sloop-of-war Favourite under Captain Philemon Pownoll, off the coast of Spain near the port of Cadiz in the action of 31 May 1762.[6][7] The British captured Hermione, with the capture being notable for the size and value of the bounty seized and the subsequent prize money awarded, possibly the largest ever in a single haul.

William Cole, on a visit to his friend Horace Walpole, noted the suicide of Walpole's neighbour, Isaac Fernandez Nunez, in the summerhouse of Cross Deep House, following Nunez's ruin as insurer of Hermione.[8][9]

Hermione features in a picture by Richard Wright, dated November 1762, depicting the capture and dedicated to the victorious captains by the artist.[1]


  1. ^ a b Wright, R. (1 November 1762). "View of the Hermione" (print). Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Historia de las embarcaciones menores de la Real Armada. Historia de Fragatas (por letra H)" [History of vessels under the Royal Navy. History of Frigates (by letter H).] (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Hermione (1752)" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 15 June 2015. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  4. ^ The Annual Register, Or, A View of the History, Politics, and Literature for the Year 1762. 1763. p. 97. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  5. ^ "Historical Chronicle - August 12 1762". The Gentleman's Magazine. Vol. 32. 1762. p. 387.
  6. ^ Laughton, J. K.; Gwyn, rev. Julian. "Sawyer, Herbert". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  7. ^ Wareham, Tom. "Pownoll, Philemon". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  8. ^ Sabor, Peter (2013). Horace Walpole: The Critical Heritage (reprint, revised ed.). Routledge. p. 244. ISBN 9781136172106.
  9. ^ "Cole visits Walpole". 30 October 1762. Retrieved 12 June 2015.