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"La Rose" - an innocent Icelandic cod-fishing boat?


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I recently bought the Panart Mantua kit "La Rose".  I wanted my second build to be a boat with sails.  Still do, of course,
The box descrbes La Rose as a "typical French fishing schooner, used during the 1800’s for catching cod in the rich Icelandic fishing banks. These little ships were very fast and manoeuvrable."

I wondered if there ever really was a "La Rose" upon which the kit is based.  So I fed a few key words into an online search engine, to see if I could find out when she would have been built, where she sailed from, what happened to her, stuf like that.

I found no mention of any "La Rose" in a fishing context.

But there were a few fascinating references to a schooner "La Rose" in the Caribbean in 1804, where she was captured by an English cutter.  Commodore Hoad, Commander in Chief in the Leeward Islands, said in a letter dated March 10, 1804 that "She proves to be the La Rose, schooner privateer, carrying 50 men, well armed, and one long brass nine pounder; sails extremely fast, well found, and victualled complete for three months for 50 men; just going on a cruise'

I liked the 'just going on a cruise'!  And the "sails extremely fast" comment does fit in with what Panart are saying!

Other references about that time had La Rose carrying wines and brandies between Nantes and Guadeloupe.

The only other batch of references I found to a schooner "La Rose" (sometimes she was referred to as a brig, but it seems to have been the same vessel), placed her off the coast of Africa, by the River Gallinas, early in 1822.  Here she was captured by HMS Thistle for being "engaged in the illicit Traffick of Slaves".  She described variously as being of 138 or 200 tons, 84 days out from Nantes, carrying 23 men and 2 guns.

At that time she was owned by Ferdinand Savre & Co of Nantes.  The captain had been a M Durand, but at the time of the report was dead (no explanation found yet).  M. Bray de Lavalette was supercargo; Alle. Huart was mate; Pichau had been the carpenter (but was dead); The surgeon was 'Manatou, son of M Manatou, 70 Sur les Ponts, Nantes'.

I couldn't find further references to Ferdinand Savre, although I understand there is a "Quai Feredinand Savre" in Nantes.  The bridges in Nantes have changed somewhat since 1822, so it was no surprise to me that I couldn't find '70 Sur les Ponts' in Google Earth.

Of course, it's a leap of faith to assume that Panart's 'La Rose' is the same one that has been engaging in these Caribbean adventures and slave trafficking.  But it seems a fairly strong possibility.  And anyway I do like to romanticise!

I believe the schooner may have originated from (or spent her early existence in) Bordeaux.  I'd be interested to know where she was actually built.  Similarly, I'd love to find out what happened to her after the slave-trading  voyage(s).  And where, and how she ended her days.

If anyone has any ideas for pointiing me towards further information, I'd be grateful.

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From what I have seen of the kit, it appears to be a fishing schooner from the mid to late 19th century. The name is likely a fiction. They probably took a generic fishing schooner of the type they describe and stuck a name on it. That is faaaar more likely than the vessel having the sexy history you found. I do not say it is absolutely not, but given the way these kit companies have operated over the years, the made up name on the generic boat is more likely the case.



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Russ, you're a killjoy!

But you're probably right, and deep down I know it.  I was giving Panart the benefit of whatever doubt there was about their integrity, and hoping that the kit was based on something that had really existed in history.

I don't care.  When I do build La Rose, I'll be building a schooner that could have had a confrontation with the sacred Captain Jack Sparrow himself!  It'll have a 'long brass nine pounder' on its deck, and I might even create (scale) 3ft-high holds under the main deck, equipped with manacles and such, for the slaves.

However, my little bit of research whetted my appetite.  Regardless of the provenance of Panart's 'La Rose', I'm now wanting to know what happened to the real one that got captured by the Brits in the Caribbean in 1804, and eighteen years later was found off the coast of Africa (also by the Brits) engaged in the slave trade.

If anyone can suggest new avenues of research, I'll do what I can to follow them up.

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Check with the PRO and see what they have. If that ship was captured, there will be a paper trail of some sort. Their website can be found readily on the web and they have a fairly good search feature.



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