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Jean Isaac Timothée Chadeau
Sieur de la Clocheterie
Born (1741-02-23)February 23, 1741
Died April 12, 1782(1782-04-12) (aged 41)
Place of birth Rochefort sur Mer
Service/branch French navy
Years of service 1754-1782
Rank Captain
Commands held Belle Poule, Triton, Jason, L'Hercule
Battles/wars Seven Years' War
American Revolutionary WarBattle of Cape Henry, Battle of Saint Kitts, Battle of the Saintes

Jean Isaac Timothée Chadeau, Sieur de la Clocheterie (1741-1782) was a French naval officer of the American Revolutionary War.

Early career[edit | edit source]

Chadeau de la Clocheterie entered the French naval service in 1754, at the age of thirteen, as an élève de la marine. He became an ensign in 1757[1] and served in the Seven Years' War (1756-1763).[2]

In 1768 he was stationed at Mauritius. There he met the botanist Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, who described him as "a young man, with a dashing figure, very modest, who hardly spoke and was devoted to his duties".[3]

In 1775 he was made a Knight of the Order of Saint Louis.

La Belle Poule[edit | edit source]

As lieutenant commanding the royal frigate Belle Poule, de la Clocheterie on 17 June 1778 fought the naval action with the Arethusa that provided the casus belli for French entry into the American Revolutionary War.[4]

Despite suffering heavy casualties, the Belle Poule managed to fight off and disable the British frigate within sight of a becalmed British squadron, and was then towed to safety through the coastal shallows of Brittany.[5][6]

For his gallantry in this action, Lieutenant de la Clocheterie was received at court by Louis XVI and raised to the rank of captain and given command of the newly built Triton, a 64-gun ship of the line. According to a widely circulated anecdote, the king informed him of his new commission during a game of piquet, taking him to task for his infidelity to his ship, and when de la Clocheterie expressed surprise saying "You are sure to abandon the Belle Poule to be captain of a ship with 64 guns."[7]

His action, his reception at court and his reward were reported in British,[8][9] French,[10][11][12] Spanish,[13] German,[14] Swiss,[15] and Dutch[16] reviews of current affairs of the year 1778.

Subsequent career[edit | edit source]

Captain de la Clocheterie became commander of the Jason in early 1780,[17] and fought at the Battle of Cape Henry and the Battle of Saint Kitts,[18] particularly distinguishing himself in the former engagement.[19][20]

He died in 1782, in the Battle of the Saintes, commanding L'Hercule.[21]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Table ou abrégé des cent trente-cinq volumes de la Gazette de France, depuis son commencement en 1631 jusqu'à la fin de l'année 1765, vol. 2 (Paris, 1767), p. 267.
  2. James M. Volo, Blue Water Patriots: The American Revolution Afloat (Greenwood, 2007), pp. 99-101.
  3. Bernardin De Saint Pierre, Journey to Mauritius, translated by Jason Wilson (Oxford: Signal Books, 2002), p. 124.
  4. Théodore Ortolan, Règles internationales et diplomatie de la mer, vol. 2 (Paris, 1864), p. 21.
  5. Jean Cornuault, Un panorama de la marine de Louis XV à Charles X (Paris, 2008), pp. 87-91.
  6. John Adolphus, History of England from the Accession to the Decease of King George the Third, vol. 3 (London, 1841), p. 5
  7. Pierre-Jean-Baptiste Nougaret, Anecdotes du règne de Louis XVI, vol. 4 (Paris, 1791), pp. 135-136.
  8. The Scots Magazine, vol. 40 (1778), p. 327
  9. The Remembrancer; or, Impartial Repository of Public Events (1778), 231-232.
  10. Journal encyclopédique ou universel, vol. 5 (1778), part 3, pp. 557-559.
  11. Journal politique: ou Gazette des gazettes (July 1778), pp. 31-35.
  12. Mercure de France, July 5, 1778, pp. 106-109.
  13. Mercurio Histórico y Politico, May–August 1778, pp. 226-230.
  14. Die neuesten Staatsbegebenheiten, vol. 4 (1778), pp. 1091-1094.
  15. Nouveau journal helvétique, July 1778, 108-109.
  16. De Maandelykse Nederlandische Mercurius, vol. 45, part 1 (July 1778), pp. 11-13.
  17. Mercurio histórico y politico, January–April 1780, pp. 158-159.
  18. Yves-Joseph de Kerguelen-Trémarec, Relation des combats et des évènements de la guerre maritime (Imprimerie de Patris, 1796), pp. 175, 233.
  19. Louis-Philippe de Ségur, Mémoires ou souvenirs et anecdotes vol. 1 (Paris, 1827), p. 216.
  20. Guillaume de Deux-Ponts, My Campaigns in America (Boston, 1868), p. 107.
  21. Adrien Richer, Les Fastes de la marine françoise (Paris, 1787), pp. 177-185.

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