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 Cross on Spanker Boom 
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Post Cross on Spanker Boom
I am reading Adam Nicolson's Seize the Fire. In it, he writes that the Spanish hung a large cross from the end of the spanker booms of their ships during the battle of Trafalgar. As far as I can recall, this is the first time I've heard of this.

Can anyone point to any sources? Any paintings that show this?

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Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:52 pm
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Post Re: Cross on Spanker Boom
This statement about the Spanish ships having a large wooden cross "hung to the end of the spanker boom" appears in James.

I think it derives from eyewitness accounts of the battle. It has been repeated in many subsequent accounts of Trafalgat. The crosses were blessed by the ships' padres and were intended to protect the ships from "misfortune".

The Spanish had hoisted religious symbols at their mastheads and elsewhere in the rigging for hundreds of years but I cannot help thinking that the end of the spanker boom was an odd place to choose.


Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:28 am
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Post Re: Cross on Spanker Boom
Thanks for ferreting out that reference, Peter.

IONIA wrote:
The Spanish had hoisted religious symbols at their mastheads and elsewhere in the rigging for hundreds of years but I cannot help thinking that the end of the spanker boom was an odd place to choose.


Yes, I thought it was strange. I wonder if there was a particular reason for doing so.

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susan


Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:09 pm
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