HMS Spartiate (1798)

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the Achille
Scale model of the Achille, sister-ship of HMS Spartiate (1798), on display at the Musée de la Marine in Paris.
Career (France) French Navy Ensign
Name: Sparti
Builder: Toulon shipyard
Launched: 1797
Renamed: Spartiate - 1797/1798?
Honours and

Participated in:

Captured: 2 August 1798, by Royal Navy
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Spartiate
Acquired: 2 August 1798
Honours and

Participated in:

Fate: Broken up, 1857
Notes: Sheer hulk from August 1842
General characteristics
Class & type: Téméraire class ship of the line
Displacement: 2966 tonnes
5260 tonnes fully loaded
Length: 55.87 metres (183.3 ft) (172 pied)
Beam: 14.90 metres (48 ft 11 in)
Draught: 7.26 metres (23.8 ft) (22 pied)
Propulsion: Up to 2,485 m2 (26,750 sq ft) of sails

74 guns:

16 x 8-pounder long guns
4 x 36-pdr carronades
Armour: Timber
For other ships of the same name, see HMS Spartiate.

Sparti was a French 74-gun ship of the line, launched in 1797. In 1798, she took part in the Battle of the Nile, where she became one of the nine ships captured by the Royal Navy. By the time of the Nile, she is listed as being named Spartiate.

In 1805, HMS Spartiate fought at the Battle of Trafalgar under Francis Laforey. With Minotaur, she forced the surrender of the Spanish ship Neptuno, of 80 guns. Casualties were three killed (two seamen & one boy), and twenty wounded (the boatswain [Clarke], two Midshipmen [Bellairs & Knapman], one Marine [William Parsons] and sixteen sailors), according to the three logs (Captain's log, Ship's log, Master's log).

Spartiate returned to her home port of Plymouth for repairs from December 1805 to February 1806. Thereafter she joined the Channel Fleet and, for the next two years, was involved in the blockade of Rochefort. (The Captain's log does show that she returned to the UK for replenishment purposes at the following time periods: 25 Jul to 03 Aug 1806, 14 Jan to 26 Feb 1807, 29 June to 16 Sept 1807). In January 1808, she was in Admiral Strachan's squadron, and pursued Allemand's flight from Rochefort. On 21 February 1808 she joined the Mediterranean Fleet at Palermo, and was deployed here until the end of 1809. In June 1809, she participated in the attack on the islands of Ischia and Procida.

On board during the Trafalgar action was First-Lieutenant James Clephan, who was presented with the ship's Union Jack by the crew after the battle as a mark of their esteem.[1]

The flag, recently found in a drawer of one of the descendants of James Clephan, is regarded as the only surviving Union Jack from the Battle of Trafalgar. With battle scars still visible, it was sold for £384,000 when it went for auction in London during October 2009.[2]

HMS Spartiate was converted to a sheer hulk in August 1842. She was later broken up, a process completed on 30 May 1857.


  1. ^ The Times October 8 2009
  2. ^ [1]