Military Wiki
French frigate Courageuse (1778)
Career (France) French Navy Ensign French Navy Ensign
Name: Courageuse
Builder: Rochefort [1]
Laid down: September 1777 [1]
Launched: 28 February 1778 [1]
In service: April 1778 [1]
Fate: Captured June 1799
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Courageuse
Acquired: By capture June 1799
Fate: Last listed 1803
General characteristics [1][2]
Class & type: Concorde class 12-pounder frigate
Displacement: 550 tons
Tons burthen: 932 (bm)
Length: 145 ft 0 in (44.20 m) (overall);
121 ft 8 in (37.08 m) (keel)
Beam: 39 ft 0 in (11.89 m)
Draught: 5.78m
Depth of hold: 11 ft 6 in (3.51 m)
Complement: 255
Armament: 26 x 12-pounder long guns + 6 x 6-pounder long guns [1]

Courageuse was a 12-pounder Concorde class frigate of the French Navy. She was launched in 1778. The British captured her in 1799 and thereafter used her as a prison hulk.


In 1790, under Captain[Note 1] de Grasse-Briançon, Courageuse was part of the Toulon squadron under Vice-admiral de Poute de Nieuil.[3] From 2 August, she ferried troops and civil commissioners to Corsica, and cruised in the aera before making a port call to Ajaccio and eventually returning to Toulon on 30 October.[4]

In 1792, under Captain de La Croix de Saint-Vallier, Courageuse sailed off Smyrna, Saloniki and Tripoli, returning to Smyrna on 6 December.[5] In January 1793, she escorted a convoy to Marseille, and from there returned to Toulon, arriving on 12 May.[6]

Courageuse took part in the Croisière du Grand Hiver in the winder 1794-1795,[7] under Captain Dalbarade.[8] She was part of the naval division under Rear-admiral Renaudin, which arrived in Toulon on 2 April 1795.[9]

In the summer of 1795, she was part of the station of the Gulf of Roses, under Lieutenant Pourquier,[10][11][Note 2] supporting the Army of the Pyrenees in the Siege of Roses.[12] On 9 July, she defended herself against a Spanish squadron,[13] composed of 16 gunboats, supported by three frigates and two ships of the line; Courageuse, supported by artillery fire from French-held forts, successfully fended off the attack.[12]

In the fleet of Toulon, Courageuse took part in the Mediterranean campaign of 1798; after the Battle of the Nile, she was armed en flûte and ferried supplies for the French Army in Egypt and Syria.[14]

Under Captain Trullet,[1] Courageuse was part of the Syrian naval station under Rear-admiral Perrée.[15] She ferried artillery and ammunition of the French Army besieging Acre; on 9 April 1799, she captured the British gunboat Foudre.[15][Note 3]

HMS Centaur captured Courageuse in the Action of 18 June 1799.[15]


French sources report that Courageuse was used as a prison hulk.[17]

British sources report that the British commissioned Courageuse under Commander John Richards as a receiving ship in the Mediterranean. She was still listed in 1803, but her eventual disposition is unknown.[2]

Notes and references[]


  1. "Major de vaisseau"; Fonds Marine, p.22
  2. James' Naval History of Great Britain (vol.2 p.263) gives his first name as "Honoré".
  3. This is the French gunboat Foudre, of eight guns and 52 men, that Commodore Sir Sidney Smith in HMS Tigre captured on 18 March 1799.[16] The British recaptured her in 1800 and sold her in September 1801.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Roche, p.131
  2. 2.0 2.1 Winfield (2008), p.209.
  3. Fonds Marine, p.22
  4. Fonds Marine, p.26
  5. Fonds Marine, p.33
  6. Fonds Marine, p.52
  7. Troude, vol.2, p.405
  8. Fonds Marine, p.121
  9. Troude, vol.2, p.408
  10. Roche, p.269
  11. Fonds Marine, p.132
  12. 12.0 12.1 Troude, vol.2, p.447
  13. Fonds Marine, p.136
  14. Troude, vol.3, p.94
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Fonds Marine, p.229
  16. "No. 15149". 18 June 1799. 
  17. Fonds Marine, p.240


See also[]

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