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'Sophie' Jack Aubrey's first command. (With Plans)

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HMS Sophie (real-life HMS Speedy)


Jack Aubrey's first command, described in Master and Commander is the brig-rigged "sloop" HMS Sophie, operating out of Port Mahon in the western Mediterranean.  Towards the end of the novel, the first book in the series, Sophie is captured on the Spanish coast by a French squadron led by Admiral Linois.


Although the activities of the Sophie and her dimensions and armament were modeled closely on those of real-life HMS Speedy, commanded by Thomas, Lord Cochrane, the quarterdeck - unusual for a small sloop - was taken from HMS Vincejo, captured from the Spanish navy in 1799.  Indeed, In the novel the Sophie is pointed out by one naval officer as being the former "Vencejo" - an alternative spelling - although in fact the Vincejo kept its original name while serving in the Royal Navy until captured by the French at Quiberon Bay in 1804.  The Speedy, like the fictional Sophie, was captured in 1801 by Linois.



The data below are for HMS Speedy


Launched Length Keel Breadth Hold    Tonnage    Crew

1782         78' 3"   59'   25' 9"    10'10"  208 8/94    90

Armament:  Fourteen 4-pound long guns and twelve swivels.




The data below are for HMS Vincejo 


Launched Length      Keel    Breadth    Hold    Tonnage Crew

1798         91' 5 1/2"  82'       25' 2"      12' 8"   276 1/2   100

Armament:  Upper Deck sixteen 18-pound carronades, Quarterdeck two 6-pound long guns.





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  • 5 months later...

I was about to post up some details of HMS Speedy but then found this thread! I would love to see HMS Speedy in Naval Action. Captain Cochrane's exploits in Speedy have to be some of the greatest Naval exploits ever recorded and are what started my interest in small ship actions. If they had been in existence in 1801 I am sure Cochrane would have received a Victoria Cross for his actions and leadership whilst capturing the much larger El Gamo (32 guns).


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