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British Ships with Luso-Hispanic Names: A Glossary

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Many of the shipping companies who did business with the Luso-Hispanic world liked to give their ships Spanish or Portuguese-themed names. These could be people, or places, or fictional characters, or evocative words. Some of these ship names became very well-known, especially those that carried large number of passengers around the world, and they ensured that elements of Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin-American culture circulated in the Anglophone world. But what did these names mean? What images did they put into circulation? What follows is a handy reference guide to British-owned or British-based ships launched before 1939.

NOTE: Many ship names were recycled, so that as one ship was scrapped, lost or sold off, the company would pass the name to a new ship. Ship historians use the convention Abadesa (I), Abadesa (II) to distinguish between the generations. [*] by a shipping company's name indicates that they managed the ship rather than owned it.

SOURCES: Information about these ships is drawn from a variety of sources, including The Ships List, Wreck Site, Findmypast, Shipbuilding on the River Tees, Naval-History.net.