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Celebrating New Year 1842 in Tenerife

The Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife before 1900

On 30 December 1841, three British troop ships of this expeditionary force arrived in the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. They'd left Plymouth Sound on 20 December 1841, bound for China, during the Anglo-Chinese War or First Opium War. The Canary Islands, whose strategic position in the Atlantic, between Europe, Africa and America, had made it a mandatory refuelling stop for ships for a long time. 

"1 Jan 1842 [Belleisle] is reported to have been at Santa Cruz for the last 2 days, with the troop ships Apollo, and Sapphire, schooner Wanderer ... the Belleisle arrived Teneriffe (sic) with the RN troop ships Apollo, and Sapphire, where the officer commanding of the troops, at the request of the locals, allowed the band of the 98th Regt to go on shore and play on the Mole, where comparison was made to Nelson's welcome some 40 years previously, and his unsuccessful attack. The ships took the opportunity to top up with water and fresh provisions, with prices reflecting the demand for 2,500 men on board the ships."

The water for the 2,500 men, they will almost certainly have had to collect from the Fuente de Morales, inaugurated in 1838, in El Cabo, the old fisherman's quarter. The first public fountain - La Pila, in the Plaza de la Candelaria, had broken in 1802 and it wasn't until after this, in 1844, that it was taken for repair.

Just 600 meters from the city centre, El Cabo is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city, the first settlement of the Castilian conquerors at the end of the 15th century. It appears as early as 1588 in a plan of the city made by Leonardo Torriani, with just a score of scattered houses. Mainly inhabited by fishermen, it was separated from the rest of the city by the Barranco de Santos (Santos ravine), crossed by a single bridge located near the Concepción church. 

In the mid 19th Century, the Iglesia de la Concepción (Church of the Immaculate Conception) will have dominated the skyline of the city; the Castillo de San Juan Bautista (Castillo Negro) was then the second-most important fort in the defence of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the Castle of San Cristóbal (now buried under the Plaza de España) was the primary fortification of significance on the island of Tenerife and the main defence on Santa Cruz Bay.

Pirotecnia Hermanos Toste (Toste Brothers Fireworks) the famous Los Realejos firework manufacturer responsible for many a display at events on the island, were founded in 1788, so if there were any New Year's celebrations ... 

The ships left Santa Cruz on 1 Jan and arrived in Rio de Janiero on 2 Feb 1842.

(My 2x great-grandfather had been part of the captain's guard on that voyage on HMS Belleisle.)

Old Barrio de el Cabo (El Cabo neighbourhood) in 1869.

Tenerife Land of Eternal Christmas

Sunbathing SantaDesert Island ChristmasScuba Diving SantaTropical Santa
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