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Decorative scene showing of George Anson and King George, following Anson's return from his circumnavigation of the World.

Anson's expedition failed to carry out its original ambitious scheme. Anson's squadron t consisted of six warships: HMS Centurion (flagship), Gloucester, Severn, Pearl, Wager, and the sloop Tryal, plus the two store ships Anna and Industry.

Successive disasters eventually reduced his force to just Centurion. Two of his vessels, Pearl and Severn, failed to round the Horn and returned home. HMS Wager was wrecked off the coast of Chile, where the crew subsequently mutinied (see the Wager Mutiny). The lateness of the season forced him to round Cape Horn in very stormy weather, and the navigating instruments of the time did not allow for exact observations . By the time Anson reached the island of Juan Fernández in June 1741, only three of his six ships remained, while the strength of his crews had fallen from 961 to 335.

In the absence of any effective Spanish force on the coast, he was able to harass the enemy and to sack the small port city of Paita in Peru in November 1741. The steady decrease of his crew by scurvy, and the worn-out state of his remaining consorts, compelled him to collect all the remaining survivors in Centurion. He rested at the island of Tinian, and then made his way to Macao in November 1742.

After considerable difficulties with the Chinese, he sailed again with his one remaining vessel to cruise in search of one of the richly laden Manila galleons that conducted the trade between Mexico and the Philippines. His persistance was rewarded, when he captured his prize, the Nuestra Señora de Covadonga, possessing 1,313,843 pieces of eight, which he encountered off Cape Espiritu Santo in June 1743. Anson took his prize back to Macao, sold her cargo to the Chinese, and sailed for England, which he reached via the Cape of Good Hope in June 1744.

Alexander Hogg Biography

Alexander Hogg was a publisher active in London from 1778 to 1824. He worked under the sign of the Kings Arms on Paternoster Row. He is especially known for publishing architectural and historical prints, as well as maps.