Leopoldo M de Mello
Captain Leopoldo M de Mello's background and information
Born 1794, Leopoldo Machado de Mello was the son of a nobleman in Portugal, growing up not too interested in the family's business, his father being the Marquis of Bonfim, Leopoldo was prematurely inserted in the Portuguese Navy Academy in a grand attempt to become an officer. Exceeding in almost every obstacle thrown at him during the academy, Leopoldo was given his first command at the age of 17 — a ambitious commander of the Portuguese Navy bound to set sail towards South America as an escort to a small convoy transporting spices & silk. Along with the Salles 40-Gun Frigate, enters the Pombal (74-Gun Ship of the line) as the commander in charge of the convoy and three merchant ships, the Elena, Pasqual & Luso, they reach the coast of Northern Brazil with land in sight, but to no avail as they get ambushed by a french privateer sloop accompanied by a 48-Gun frigate aswell, the battle begins as the commander in charge, the 74-gun signals the convoy to fall behind the column, trimming it's sails to port whilst the 40-gun Realeza gets in position right behind. Lepoldo orders his man — Preparem os canhões! (Gun battery at the ready!) — The enemy sloop gets in position first, shooting it's full broadside against the Pombal, most of it's shots simply bounces off her hull, as their cannon shots could not penetrate the vastly superior and overgunned ship. The Pombal opens fire, as the privateer Sloop sails down the column, only to get herself a full broadside from both the Pombal and Leopoldo's Realeza, demasting her and leaving her simply dead in the water, with most of her hull completely decimated, the crew immediately gives up at the vastly superior gun power. The Frigate maneuvers faster, surprisingly enough, getting herself positioned right behind the Pombal (the 74-Gun) and rakes her stern! — the 74-Gun tries her best to maneuver ever so slightly to her starboard side, in order to respond with her deadly broadside, just to find herself caught out of the wind — stolen by the Frigate with it's smart maneuver through her stern, the Pombal couldn't turn fast enough, and now with no winds on her sails.
The Realeza, sighting the maneuver, she positions herself quickly to her port as the French frigate is raking the 74-Gun, a bold maneuver from a bold Captain. The Frigate sails past the 74-Gun, leaving her to sail right through the Realeza's whole broadside. Leopoldo orders his man to hold — Espera! (HOLD!) — the Frigate fires, her broadside angled as it was from her maneuver to stern rake the 74-Gun, bounces off the Realeza's hull as she bears through, the Realeza cuts to starboard, pointing her bow towards her stern and shoots a single shot at her rudder, blowing it ou of the water. — "The helm is not responding sir!, says the french helmsman, our rudder is shot! The Realeza, under Leopoldo's command cuts through her stern and rakes her with every single cannon she bears — Fire as she bears! He yells at his crew! The horrors and screams described by the Realeza's crew pictures the devastating blow enough to imagine how effective that maneuver was. With most of it's crew either injured by the splinters and cannonball, the Realeza throw it's grapples towards the ropes, pulling her towards them in an attemp to board them, effectivelly succeeding. Needless to say, the board took less than 10 minutes to get under Portuguese control and captured. — Reaching port, Leopoldo's escort mission comes to an end, but not before he receives a new mission to sail back to Portugal for an important meeting with the Admiralty's command, after resupplying and fixing the damages caused by the early engagement, they set sail bound to Lisboa.
Reaching the Portuguese shores and preparing himself to disembark, one of the crewmen yells — Huzzah! Huzzah! and another Huzzah! to our Captain de Mello. — With a humble smile, he eyes the crew as, in his mind, this would've been the last time he would sail in a ship as it's Captain, being the young officer and inexperienced by rank, he makes his way to the Admiralty. Reaching the office, he meets with the grand Admiral Dário Venâncio, one of the most respectful Admirals of the Portuguese Navy, only to receive a most warm welcoming acknowledging the efforts he made to protect those merchant ships, and bearing news to a new mission. — The mission? Report to the overseas British Admiralty in the West Indies, he was bound to the Caribbean as an exchanged Captain (through diplomatic relations comissioned by the King of Portugal in response to Great Britain's request of a more permament position of their alliance), Leopoldo is to be integrated as a Lieutenant in Britain's Majesty Navy to go through the academic learnings in order to become a captain under Britain's flag. — This new mission was an arrengement made through the Diplomatic Armada sent by the King to the Caribbean in an effort to strengthen their ties with Great Britain and maintain the Portuguese — British alliance as strong as ever, exchanging naval & trading knowledges between the nations. Great Britain was to take-on young Captains of the Portuguese Navy through the ways of their academics in exchange of commissions and rights to the Portuguese East India Trading routes.
Growing himself up to a Captain after years in training, Leopoldo now a full-fledged officer of His Majesty's Navy, finding himself doing all kinds of mission through the coast of Hispaniola & Cuba most of the times, till one day he meets a few captains belonging to a Squadron. This was the day, Leopoldo became a patronage to the St. George Squadron, a well established organization of His Majesty's Navy that operates specifically in the West Indies. And so the journey begins...
Coat of Arms
- H.M.S Domitila (1st Rate, 126-Gun) — A refitted L'Ocean built of Seasoned Live Oak & White Oak out of Vera Cruz.
- H.M.S Realeza (2nd Rate, 90-Gun) — A refitted Le Bucentaure built of Live Oak & White Oak out of Vera Cruz.
- H.M.S Santo Padre (2nd Rate, 80-Gun) — A refitted St. Pavel built of Seasoned Live Oak & Sabicu out of Truxillo.
- H.M.S Vasco (3rd Rate, 74-Gun) — A refitted Wasa built of Locust & White Oak out of San Juan.
- H.M.S Diligência (5th Rate, 52-Gun) — A refitted Endymion built of seasoned Live Oak & Sabicu out of La Tortue.
- H.M.S Salles (5th Rate, 40-Gun) — A refitted Le Belle Poule built of Live Oak & Sabicu built out of San Juan.
- H.M.S Leopoldina (2nd Rate, 92-Gun) — A refitted Santa Ana built of Seasoned Live Oak & Sabicu out of San Juan.