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When the Centurion and a squadron of six vessels and 1,959 men and boys set out from England in 1740, on a round-the-world expedition, they were unaware of the terrifying events that awaited them in the days ahead. The squadron, under the command of Commodore George Anson, had departed from England with every hope of a successful mission to harass and take prizes in the Spanish possessions of the Americas and in Asia. The journey proved more challenging than anticipated, and at times, it seemed nightmarish and beyond anything experienced by the crew. The ship survived two huge waves and a lightning strike. Then, there was the great loss of life amongst the crew who perished due to the devastating symptoms of scurvy. Despite these setbacks, there were moments of pure joy, especially when the Centurion captured the fabulously wealthy Manila-Acapulco Galleon in the Philippines, the Nuestra Senora de Covadonga. Throughout the Centurion's career as a royal naval warship in the eighteenth century, she played a role in the capture of Quebec during the French and Indian War and the invasion of Havana in the Seven Years War. She was also instrumental when dealing with the Barbary Corsairs of Algeria and Morocco. Amongst the famous men who sailed on this vessel were John Harrison, the inventor of the first maritime sea clock, and Joshua Reynolds, the celebrated portrait painter. The details of the journeys to the Americas, Asia, and Europe are described in this biographical-travelogue of the Centurion.

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