HMS Foudroyant (1798)
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HMS ''Foudroyant'' was an 80-gun
third rate In the rating system of the Royal Navy The rating system of the Royal Navy and its predecessors was used by the Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by Kingdom of ...
of the
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, one of only two British-built 80-gun ships of the period (the other was ). ''Foudroyant'' was built in the dockyard at Plymouth Dock (a.k.a. Devonport) and launched on 31 March 1798. ''Foudroyant'' served
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as his flagship from 6 June 1799 until the end of June 1801. ''Foudroyant'' had a long and successful career, and although she was not involved in any major fleet action, she did provide invaluable service to numerous admirals throughout her 17 years on active service. In her last years she became a training vessel for boys.


Design

Her designer was Sir John Henslow. She was named after the 80-gun , which and , both 70-gun ships, and (64 guns), had captured from the
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French
on 28 February 1758. ''Foudroyant'' was a one-off design. She followed French practice of favouring large two-decked,
third rate In the rating system of the Royal Navy The rating system of the Royal Navy and its predecessors was used by the Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by Kingdom of ...
s mounting 80 guns rather than the typical
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British
preference for building three-decked second-rate ships mounting 98 guns. The two ship types, despite the difference in absolute gun numbers, had similar gun power but the British thought the second rate had a more imposing appearance and some advantages in battle, while they considered the 80 gun ship as usually faster and less 'leewardly'.


French Revolutionary War

''Foudroyant'' was first commissioned on 25 May 1798, under the command of Captain Thomas Byard. On 12 October ''Foudroyant'' was with the squadron under Captain Sir
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John Borlase Warren
in engaged a French squadron under Commodore Jean-Baptiste-François Bompart in the
Battle of Tory Island The Battle of Tory Island (sometimes called the Battle of Donegal, Battle of Lough Swilly or Warren's Action) was a naval action of the French Revolutionary Wars The French Revolutionary Wars (french: Guerres de la Révolution française) we ...

Battle of Tory Island
. The British captured the French ship of the line and four of the eight French frigates. ''Foudroyant'' was only minimally engaged, though she did suffer nine men wounded, and went off in unsuccessful pursuit of the French frigates that had escaped. (Other British warships captured two of these frigates; two frigates and a schooner escaped completely). In 1847 The Admiralty awarded the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "12th October 1798" to all surviving claimants from the action. Byard's command lasted only until 31 October when, after bringing the ship back to Plymouth, he died. Commander William Butterfield took temporary command of the ship until he transferred to just twelve days later. Captain
John Elphinstone John Elphinstone, also known as John Elphinston (1722 – 28 February 1785), was a senior British naval officer who worked closely with the Russian Navy after 1770, with approval from the British Admiralty, Admiralty, during the period of naval r ...
took up command of the ship on 26 November 1798, in
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. Lord Keith hoisted his flag in ''Foudroyant'' on 28 November, and she departed to join the Mediterranean Squadron on 5 December. After arriving at
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Gibraltar
, Keith shifted his flag to on 31 December, and Captain Elphinstone left the ship the following day. His replacement was Captain James Richard Dacres. Dacres' command lasted for four months, before Captain William Brown replaced him on 22 March 1799. On 30 March ''Foudroyant'' was among the several British warships in sight, and so entitled to share in the prize money, when captured ''Saint Joseph'' or ''Hermosa Andalusia'', off Cadiz. ''Foudroyant'' sailed from Gibraltar on 11 May, calling at
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Port Mahon
before arriving at
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Palermo
on 7 June. At this time, Brown transferred to , and Captain
Thomas Hardy Thomas Hardy (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) was an English novelist and poet. A Literary realism, Victorian realist in the tradition of George Eliot, he was influenced both in his novels and in his poetry by Romanticism, including the poetr ...
took over the command. The following day, Lord Nelson hoisted his flag in ''Foudroyant''. Over the following months, ''Foudroyant'' was involved in the efforts to return the Neapolitan royal family to
Naples Naples (; it, Napoli ; nap, Napule ), from grc, Νεάπολις, Neápolis, lit=new city. is the regional capital of and the third-largest city of , after and , with a population of 967,069 within the city's administrative limits as of ...

Naples
. Nelson's fleet arrived in Naples on 24 June. The fleet consisted of a total of 18 ships of the line, 1 frigate and 2 fire ships. The British landed 500 British and Portuguese marines in support of the Neapolitans on 27 June, all under the command of Captain Sir Thomas Troubridge, of ''Culloden''. The next day they captured the castles
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Ovo
and . On 29 June they commenced the siege of Fort St. Elmo. The first batteries were in place by 3 July, with the last still being constructed on 11 July. The British, Portuguese and Russian forces commenced the bombardment on 3 July and the French capitulated on 11 July, forestalling the need for an assault. On 10 July His Sicilian Majesty arrived in the Bay of Naples and immediately hoisted his standard on board the ''Foudroyant''. There the king and his ministers remained until after the capitulation of Fort St. Elmo. A series of reprisals against known insurgents followed. The Neapolitans conducted several
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, some of which resulted in hangings. Whilst ''Foudroyant'' was in
Naples Naples (; it, Napoli ; nap, Napule ), from grc, Νεάπολις, Neápolis, lit=new city. is the regional capital of and the third-largest city of , after and , with a population of 967,069 within the city's administrative limits as of ...

Naples
harbour, Nelson began his affair with
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. ''Foudroyant'' departed Naples on 6 August, in company with ''Syren'' and the
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Portuguese
ship ''Principe Real''. ''Foudroyant'' also transported the
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royal family to on 22 September. On 13 October, ''Foudroyant'' entered Port Mahon harbour, and Captain Sir
Edward Berry Rear Admiral Sir Edward Berry, 1st Baronet, Order of the Bath, KCB (17 April 1768 – 13 February 1831) was an officer in Britain's Royal Navy primarily known for his role as flag captain of Horatio Nelson, Rear Admiral Horatio Nelson's ship HMS V ...
replaced Captain Hardy as acting captain. ''Foudroyant'' was back in
Palermo Palermo ( , ; scn, Palermu , locally also or ; la, Panormus, from grc, Πάνορμος, Pánormos; older ar, بَلَرْم‎, Balarm) is a city in southern Italy Southern Italy ( it, Sud Italia; nap, 'o Sudde; scn, Italia dû Sud), ...

Palermo
by 22 October. Nelson remained ashore when ''Foudroyant'' departed for
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Gozo
on 29 October, together with . In November, after weathering a storm in Palermo harbour, ''Foudroyant'' departed once more, this time with ''Culloden'', and ran aground in the
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. With ''Culloden''s assistance, it was possible to haul the ship off and into deep water. On 6 December a large part of the 89th Regiment embarked on ''Foudroyant''. The soldiers landed at St. Paul's Bay, on
Malta Malta ( , , ), officially known as the Republic of Malta ( mt, Repubblika ta' Malta ) and formerly Melita, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies south of Italy, east of Tunisi ...

Malta
on the 10th. ''Foudroyant'' was back at Palermo on 15 January 1800, when Lord Nelson hoisted his flag in her once again, and she sailed on to Livorno, arriving on the 21st. There ''Foudroyant'' received salutes from
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Danish
and Neapolitan frigates, and two
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ships of the line. On 26 January ''Foudroyant'' was in company with ''Minorca'' and when she recaptured the
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''Annonciata'', Michele Pepi, master. She was carrying grain from Tunis to Genoa. Sicilian soldiers embarked on 11 February, and ''Foudroyant'' sailed the next day for
Malta Malta ( , , ), officially known as the Republic of Malta ( mt, Repubblika ta' Malta ) and formerly Melita, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies south of Italy, east of Tunisi ...

Malta
, in company with ''Alexander'', ''Northumberland'' (both 74s), and (32). (74), and (16) joined them later. On 18 February, the British squadron began a chase of a squadron of four French ships — ''Généreux'' (74), ''Badine'' (24), French ship Fauvette (1783), ''Fauvette'' (20), another corvette of 20 guns, and a fluyt. ''Alexander'' forced the fluyt to surrender, whilst ''Success'' engaged ''Généreux'', and the two ships exchanged a couple of broadsides before ''Foudroyant'' came up and fired into ''Généreux'', which struck her colours. It turned out that Rear-Admiral Jean-Baptiste Perrée, the commander-in-chief of the French navy in the Mediterranean, had been aboard ''Généreux'' and had been killed at the start of the action. His ships had been carrying some 4,000 troops intended to relieve Malta. Their failure to arrive significantly harmed the French hold on Malta and was a testament to the success of the British blockade of the island. British casualties amounted to one man killed and eight wounded, all on ''Success''. At the beginning of March, Nelson remained at Palermo due to illness when on 25 March ''Foudroyant'' sailed for
Malta Malta ( , , ), officially known as the Republic of Malta ( mt, Repubblika ta' Malta ) and formerly Melita, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies south of Italy, east of Tunisi ...

Malta
once more with Rear-Admiral Decres on board. On 29 March, she encountered the sloop , and from her Berry learned that French ships were expected to leave Valletta that evening. French ship Guillaume Tell (1795), ''Guillaume Tell'' put to sea on the evening of the 30th, where she encountered and . As day broke and the scene became apparent, ''Foudroyant'' maneuvered to pistol range of the French ship – the last French survivor of Aboukir, ''Généreux'' being the only other – and joined the battle. ''Foudroyant's'' log for the action of 31 March 1800 notes that at one point during the battle the French had nailed their colours to the stump of ''Guillaume Tells mizzen mast. Still, ''Guillaume Tell'' eventually Striking the colours, struck, but not before ''Foudroyant'' had lost her fore topmast and main topsail yard. The initial estimates put the number of dead and wounded on ''Lion'' and ''Foudroyant'' at 40 per vessel. Later in the day, ''Foudroyant's'' mizzen mast fell, having been damaged during the battle. ''Lion'' took ''Foudroyant'' in tow for a time, whilst a jury rig was set up. She entered Syracuse, Sicily, Syracuse on 3 April. Amongst the British vessels, ''Foudroyant'' had borne the heaviest casualties with eight men killed and 61 wounded, including Berry, who was only slightly wounded and did not leave the deck during the fight. The British estimated that the French had had over two hundred casualties. On 3 June, the Neapolitan king and queen boarded ''Foudroyant'', accompanied by Sir William Hamilton (diplomat), William Hamilton and his wife Emma. The royal family departed the ship after their arrival in Livorno on 15 June, and just two weeks later Nelson hauled down his flag and began the journey home to England overland together with the Hamiltons. Lord Keith raised his flag in ''Foudroyant'' for the second time on 15 August, returning the ship to
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Gibraltar
on 13 September. Captain Berry transferred out of the ship on 2 November for the 38-gun frigate . Captain Philip Beaver took over the command on 17 November and sailed into the Eastern Mediterranean with a fleet of 51 vessels, many armed en flûte and carrying the 16,150 men of General Sir Ralph Abercromby's force, which was intended to drive the French out of Egypt. Still, on 22 December ''Foudroyant'' captured the French brig ''Hyppolite'', which was carrying rice from Alexandria to Marseilles. Keith sailed from Marmarice on 22 February, arriving off Abu Qir, Abukir Bay on 2 March. Sea conditions meant that the British were unable to land until 8 March. They met resistance from the French but by evening all the troops had landed and driven the French from the beach. The landing cost ''Foudroyant'' one man killed and one wounded. In all, the landings cost the British 22 men killed, 72 men wounded, and three missing. On the 13th, the landing party of seamen and marines, under the command of Captain Sir Sidney Smith (Royal Navy officer), William Sidney Smith, were again in action at Battle of Mandora, Mandora as the British moved towards Alexandria. ''Foudroyant'' had one man wounded. In all, the British navy lost six seamen killed and 19 wounded, and 24 marines killed and 35 wounded. Keith then used his ships to reduce the castle at the entrance of Abukir Bay, which eventually fell to the British on 18 March 1801. A Battle of Alexandria (1801), French counter-attack on 21 March by some 20,000 men, although ending in defeat, caused General Abercromby a severe injury; he died aboard ''Foudroyant'' a week after the battle. In addition to the army losses, the Royal Navy lost four men killed and 20 wounded, though none were from ''Foudroyant''. ''Foudroyant'' lay off Alexandria until June, and on 17 June Captain Beaver transferred to . His replacement was Captain William Young, who in turn was replaced by Captain T. Stephenson. Captain John Clarke Searle took command in June 1801, before handing over to Captain John Elphinstone, again, in September. In mid-August, the fleet transported the British Army to Alexandria. On 26 September the French proposed a three-day armistice to discuss terms of capitulation. Because ''Foudroyant'' had served in the navy's Egyptian campaign between 8 March 1801 and 2 September, her officers and crew qualified for the clasp "Egypt" to the Naval General Service Medal that the British Admiralty, Admiralty authorised in 1850 for all surviving claimants. When the Treaty of Amiens was signed, bringing the war to an end in 1802, ''Foudroyant'' was paid off at Plymouth Dock (Devonport) on 26 July.


Napoleonic Wars

In January 1803, ''Foudroyant'' was docked in Plymouth Dock for a somewhat major repair. The ship was recommissioned under the command of Captain Peter Spicer on 11 June. Her former captain, now Rear Admiral Sir James Richard Dacres, hoisted his flag on the same day, and remained aboard until 28 October. Two days later, Rear Admiral of the White, Sir Thomas Graves (admiral), Thomas Graves hoisted his flag. Captain Peter Puget took over the command on 27 February 1804; however, owing to a serious injury while ''Foudroyant'' served with the Channel Fleet, he was returned to England (leaving Christopher Nesham in acting command) and officially left the ship on 31 May 1805. ''Foudroyant'' returned to dock on 26 March 1804 for repairs. 24 February 1805 saw Captain Edward Kendall take over the command, and in June ''Foudroyant'' was flagship of Graves's fleet, consisting of HMS Barfleur (1768), ''Barfleur'', HMS Raisonnable (1768), ''Raisonnable'', HMS Repulse (1803), ''Repulse'', HMS Triumph (1764), ''Triumph'', HMS Warrior (1781), ''Warrior'', HMS Windsor Castle (1790), ''Windsor Castle'', and French frigate Egyptienne (1799), ''Egyptienne'' blockading the French port of Rochefort, Charente-Maritime, Rochefort. Command of the ship passed to Captain John Erskine Douglas on 9 December temporarily, before Captain John Chambers White assumed command on the 13th. On 13 March 1806, ''Foudroyant'' was involved in an action between some ships of the fleet and two French vessels - French ship Marengo, ''Marengo'' of 80 guns, and French ship Belle Poule (1802), ''Belle Poule'' of 40. Both ships were captured and taken into the navy. On 24 November Captain Richard Peacock took command of the ship, and Admiral Sir
John Borlase Warren Admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the highest rank. In the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth nations and the United States, a "full" admiral is equivalent to a "full" general officer ...

John Borlase Warren
hoisted his flag in ''Foudroyant'' on 19 December. Rear Admiral Sir Albemarle Bertie, 1st Baronet, Sir Albemarle Bertie raised his flag in ''Foudroyant'' on 20 May 1807, and remained in the ship until 17 November. Peacock's command passed to Captain Norborne Thompson on 31 May. ''Foudroyant'' joined with Admiral Sir Sidney Smith (Royal Navy officer), Sir Sidney Smith's squadron blockading Lisbon. Smith hoisted his flag in ''Foudroyant'' on 24 January 1808. Captain Charles Marsh Schomberg took command of the ship on 6 June. On 12 March ''Foudroyant'' parted company for South America, arriving in Río de Janeiro in August. Captain John Davie (Royal Navy officer), John Davie took command on 25 January 1809, and then Captain Richard Hancock on 17 May. Smith transferred his flag to on the same day. From 25 May, ''Foudroyant'' was in company with , , , and HMS Brilliant (1779), ''Brilliant'', escorting a convoy. On 8 June they entered Moldonado Bay at the mouth of the Río de la Plata where ''Agamemnon'' struck rocks and was wrecked. ''Foudroyant'' assisted in taking off men and stores from the stricken ship and no lives were lost. ''Foudroyant'' remained in the Río area until August 1812, when she returned to England, entering
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on 21 October, and entering Plymouth Dock on 6 November. Hancock departed the ship on 30 November, and then ''Foudroyant'' lay at her anchor until 26 January 1815, when she was taken into dock for a large repair that lasted 4 years.


Post-war

When ''Foudroyant'' came out of dock in 1819, she took up her role as guard ship in Plymouth Dock (renamed Devonport 1824) until about 1860. Throughout this period she was in and out of dock on several occasions for repairs. In 1862 she was converted into a gunnery training vessel, a role she fulfilled until 1884. She was thereafter stationed at Devonport on dockyard duties, and was attached as to tender to the gunnery schoolship HMS Windsor Castle (1858), HMS ''Cambridge''. She was finally placed on the Sales List in 1891 and sold out of the service the following January for £2,350. Bought by J. Read of Portsmouth, she was promptly resold to German shipbreakers. This prompted a storm of public protest. Wheatly Cobb of Caldicot Castle then bought her and restored her to her original appearance at a cost of £25,000, using the ship as a training vessel. To offset the restoration cost, it was then decided to exhibit her at various seaside resorts.


Fate

In June 1897 she was towed to Blackpool and could be visited for a small entrance fee. On 16 June 1897 during a violent storm, she parted a cable and dragging the remaining anchor, went ashore on Blackpool Sands, Blackpool, Blackpool Sands, damaging North Pier, Blackpool, Blackpool North Pier in the process. The Blackpool Lifeboat (rescue)#United Kingdom, lifeboat was able to rescue all 27 of her crew. After vain attempts to refloat her, her guns were removed and she was sold for £200. She finally broke up in the December gales. Craftsmen used flotsam from the wreck to make furniture, and, between 1929 and 2003, the wall panelling of the boardroom of Blackpool F.C.'s Bloomfield Road ground. The ship's bell now resides in Blackpool Town Hall. Copper, salvaged from the wreck, was used to manufacture Medals, which were sold to the general public. As a replacement, Cobb purchased the 38-gun frigate , and renamed her ''Foudroyant'' in the previous ship's honour. This ''Foudroyant'' remained in service until 1991, when she was taken to Hartlepool and renamed back to ''Trincomalee''.


Notes, citations, and references

Notes Citations References * Goodwin, Peter (2002) ''Nelson's Ships - A History of the Vessels in which he Served, 1771-1805''. Conway Maritime Press. * *
The Capture of the ''Foudroyant'' by HMS ''Monmouth'', 28 February 1758
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Retrieved 25 October 2006. * Lavery, Brian (2003) ''The Ship of the Line - Volume 1: The development of the battlefleet 1650-1850.'' Conway Maritime Press. . *


External links

*

of pictures, and history of HMS ''Foudroyant''. * Phillips, Michael
Ships of the Old Navy, A History of Ships of the 18th Century Royal Navy
Ships of the Old Navy. Retrieved 25 October 2006. {{DEFAULTSORT:Foudroyant (1798) Ships of the line of the Royal Navy Shipwrecks in the Irish Sea Shipwrecks of England Maritime incidents in 1897 History of Blackpool 1897 in the United Kingdom 1798 ships