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The Oceanic Navigation

This part of the exhibition includes the cargo of the frigate Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, sunk in 1804 by the English navy in time of peace and recovered by the Spanish State in the courts of the United States to a huntreasures company in 2012.

In 1804, Spain, under the reign of Charles IV and its Prime Minister Manuel Godoy, was at peace with England and France. The Treaty of Amiens signed in 1802 ended the British blockade and Spain was able to resume its trade with the American colonies.

A year later, in 1803, Spain and France signed a new agreement by which the military aid that Spain has to lend to France is replaced by economic support. England decides to attack then the four Spanish frigates sent by Godoy from Montevideo. After the illegal attack of the Cape Santa Maria Spain will declare the war again to England.

Therefore, Our Lady of the Mercedes frigate was a naval vessel of the Spanish Navy that was part of the fleet commanded by General José Bustamante y Guerra, with the mission of bringing flows, goods and other effects from America to Spain.

In addition to the coins in boxes, sacks or bags, we know from the cargo documentation that the Mercedes carried 961 ingots of copper, 1139 ingots of tin, 20 sacks of vicuna wool and 20 sacks of husk in branch (medicinal plant), extract of ratania (medicinal plant), cocoa in branch, and animal skins.

The coins that came to the museum are about 600,000, all of which belong to the Bourbon monetary system. Mainly, they are pieces of silver of eight reales counted the year before the collapse, in 1803 in the mint of Lima, of the Viceroyalty of Peru. In addition, have appeared coins of less value, also of silver, in very little proportion. Finally, have appeared 212 shields of to eight, of gold, of which a shield was equivalent to 16 reales of silver. Also to a lesser extent, coins of the periods of Carlos III and even some of Ferdinand IV appeared.

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