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Date Posted: 11:00:51 11/20/16 Sun
Author: Albert Parker
Subject: Re: Dom João VI
In reply to: AvM 's message, "Re: Dom João VI" on 05:15:05 11/20/16 Sun

There is a long section about this ship, in Portuguese, in António Marques Esparteiro, Três Séculos no Mar (1640–1910), No. 9, also designated as Part II, volume 6, on pages 41–107. The 1831 campaign is discussed on pages 96–99.

The information about dimensions and armament on pages 41–42 agrees with what Andreas posted except that it gives metric conversions of 60.00 m, 16.85 m, and 14.025 m.

The armament is odd and I think there is a typographical error or misreading in the caliber of the guns on the main deck. I've never encountered "22-pounders" in the 19th century in any navy, and an armament that light would be very unusual for a ship of the size of Dom João VI. Working backward, the last few Portuguese ships of the line were armed as follows, according to Três Séculos:
Principe do Brasil (launched 1802): not given
Vasco da Gama (1792): 28 × 36, 32 × 24, 16 × 12
Rainha de Portugal (1791): 28 × 36, 22 × 24, 16 × 12
Maria I (1789): 28 × 24, 32 × 18, 12 × 9

My first thought was that "30 de calibre 22" was an error for "30 de calibre 32," but the Portuguese navy, like other continental navies, seems to have used 36-pounders rather than 32's as its heaviest naval artillery. With 32-pounder carronades, it would make sense to cast or purchase 32-pounder long guns to simplify ammunition supply, but specially casting 22-pounders for service on a ship that also had 18's makes no sense. Possibly, "calibre de 22" is a typo for "calibre de 42," a caliber that the British navy had abandoned in the late 18th century and that it might have been willing to sell cheaply or even give to the Portuguese navy.

To the best of my knowledge, the Portuguese libra was the same as the British pound avoirdupois.

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