List of French sail frigates

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This article is a list of French naval frigates during the Age of Sail, from the middle of the 17th century (when the type emerged) until the close of the sailing era in the middle of the 19th century. The tables excludes privateer frigates (i.e. those owned by individuals or business enterprises), which were not part of the Marine Royale, as well as frigates built for the French East India Company (Compagnie des Indes).

Classification of frigates[edit]

Early French naval frigates, until the 1740s, comprises two distinct groups. The larger types were the frégates-vaisseau, with batteries of guns spread over two decks; these were subdivided into frégates du premier ordre or vaisseau du quatrième rang (French Fourth Rates) usually with a lower deck battery of 12-pounder guns, and an upper deck battery of either 8-pounder or 6-pounder guns; and frégates du deuxième ordre or vaisseau du cinquième rang (French Fifth Rates) with a lower deck batter of 8-pounder guns, and an upper deck battery of either 6-pounder or 4-pounder guns. The smaller types were the frégates légères, with a single battery of (usually) 6-pounder or 4-pounder guns, plus a few small guns on its superstructure or gaillards. The 'modern' sail frigate, with its main battery on the upper deck, and no ports along the lower deck, emerged at the start of the 1740s.

The article categorises frigates according to the weight of the projectile fired by the main battery; the first 'true' frigates in the 1740s carried either 6-pounder or 8-pounder guns, but development soon standardised around the 12-pounder frigate, carrying thirteen pairs (occasionally fourteen pairs) of 12-pounder guns on the upper deck, and usually three pairs of 6-pounder guns on the quarterdeck and forecastle (collectively referred to as the "gaillards" in French). During the American Revolutionary War, larger types carrying an 18-pounder or even 24-pounder main battery (and more secondary guns on the gaillards) were introduced, and following the French Revolution these became predominant. Finally in the 1820s, a new type of 30-pounder armed frigate was brought into service.

Design and construction[edit]

In general, French frigates were more lightly built than their British equivalents. This reflected not a poorer quality of design (French designs were often highly prized by the Royal Navy, which copied the designs of a number of the French frigates that they captured, and built a quantity of vessels to the same designs, but with heavier scantlings), but resulted from a different strategic need. French frigates were perceived as being away from port for limited periods; they had less room for storage of provisions for protracted overseas deployments, and they sacrificed durability for speed and ease of handling. British frigates, in comparison, were more solidly built to endure lengthly times at sea (in particular, to remain for several months on blockade service off enemy harbours and thus were more able to withstand extreme weather conditions, but were slow in comparison

The number of guns is as rated; from the 1780s, many carried some obusiers (from 1800, carronades) or swivels also.

Frigates of Louis XIV (1643–1715)[edit]

This table commences with a listing of early French naval frigates of the second half of the 17th century and the early 18th century (under the reign of Louis XIV – the "Sun King" – from 14 May 1643 to 1 September 1715). Note that numerous French warships underwent changes of names in June 1671, with many other changes of names on various occasions.

Under the classification system introduced by Colbert in 1669, as altered in 1671, the "quatrième rang" (fourth rate) covered two-decked frigates (generally carrying a main battery of 12-pounder guns) of between 40 and 46 guns, increased in 1683 to between 40 and 46 guns, while the "cinquième rang" (fifth rate) comprised smaller frigates, both single-decked and two-decked (generally carrying a main battery of 8-pounder guns) of between 28 and 34 guns, increased in 1683 to between 30 and 36 guns. Below this rate were the unrated frégates légères ("light frigates") carrying fewer guns.

Frigates of the 1st Order (or 4th Rates)[edit]

These were two-decked ships, usually carrying 12-pounder guns in their lower deck battery, and generally an upper deck battery of 6-pounders (although there were exceptions to these calibres). They were classed as fourth rate vessels (vaisseaux du quatrième rang). While not rated as ships of the line, inevitably several of these frigates not infrequently found themselves taking a place in the line of battle, although their many function was for cruising and for trade protection/attack.

  • Sainte Anne 30 guns, acquired 1651 – broken up 1654.
  • Françoise 36 guns, design by Tanguy, launched late 1656 at Saint-Malo – renamed Éole in June 1671; broken up 1674.
  • Victoire 30/38 guns, design by Jean-Pierre Brun, launched 18 June 1658 at Soubise – captured by the British Navy off Lisbon in April 1666, becoming HMS French Victory.
  • Fleur de Lys 30 guns, design by Georges Carteret, launched 1659 at Brest – wrecked January 1662.
  • Notre-Dame 28/36 guns, launched 1658 at Nice and purchased 1661 for the Navy – deleted 1675.
  • Infante 36 guns, launched June 1661 at Brest – renamed Ecueil in June 1671; wrecked off Puerto Rico 25 February 1673.
  • Jules 40 guns, design by Gédéon Rodolphe, launched 1661 at Toulon – renamed Indien in June 1671; wrecked May 1673.
  • Mancini class, designed by Gédéon Rodolphe with 2 x 20-pounder, 6 x 16-pounder, 10 x 12-pounder and 14 x 8-pounder guns:
    • Beaufort (ex-Mancini) 36 guns, launched 15 May 1662 at Toulon – renamed Neptune in June 1671, then Maure in January 1679; deleted 1686.
    • Mercoeur 36 guns, launched June 1662 at Toulon – renamed Trident in June 1671; deleted 1686.
  • Duc 42/44 guns, design by Laurent Hubac, launched 1665 at Brest – renamed Comte in June 1671, wrecked in December 1676.
  • Sirène (ex-Monarque) 44/46 guns, design by François Pomet, launched June 1666 at Toulon – wrecked off Formentera in January 1684.
  • Cheval Marin (ex-Prince) 44/46 guns, design by Laurent Coulomb, launched June 1666 at Toulon – hulked 1726, taken to pieces 1729.
  • Saint Charles 34/42 guns, purchased on the stocks and launched August 1666 – wrecked January 1670 en route to Canada.
  • Tigre 40/44 guns, design by Jean Guichard, launched November 1666 at Soubise – hulked June 1689, taken to pieces September 1697.
  • Flamand 34/40 guns, design by Hendrick, launched 1667 at Dunkirk – renamed Arc en Ciel in June 1671, captured by the Dutch November 1673.
  • Dunkerquois 40/46 guns, launched early 1667 at Dunkirk – renamed Brusque in June 1671, hulked in February 1688.
  • Provençal class, designed by Gédéon Rodolphe:
    • Toulon 44/52 guns, launched February 1667 at Toulon – renamed Joli in June 1671, then Fidele in June 1678 – hulked 1695.
    • Provençal 46/52 guns, launched March 1667 at Toulon – renamed Mignon in June 1671, then Capable in June 1678 – deleted 1690.
  • Galant 44/46 guns, design by Laurent Hubac, launched early 1668 at Brest – taken to pieces 1689.
  • Le Havre 44 guns, design by Jean Esnault, launched August 1669 at Le Havre – renamed Alcyon in June 1671, condemned 1686.
  • Saint Antoine de Genes 34/40 guns, former Portuguese San Antonio du Marquis de Centurion launched 13 June 1765, purchased at Lisbon for the Navy in November 1669 – renamed Leger in June 1671; condemned 1678 and taken to pieces in 1679.
  • Assuré class, designed by Hendrick with 20 x 12-pounder, 20 x 8-pounder and 6 x 4-pounder guns:
    • Assuré 44/48 guns, launched December 1670 at Dunkirk – renamed Français in June 1671; taken to pieces in September 1686.
    • Constant 44/48 guns, launched December 1670 at Dunkirk – renamed Oiseau in June 1671; sold December 1693 to take to pieces.
  • Basque 36/44 guns, design by Joseph Saboulin, launched 1 January 1671 at Bayonne – renamed Brillant in June 1671, then Triton in June 1678; deleted 1694.
  • Aventurier class, designed by Louis Audibert:
    • Aventurier (ex-Galante) 36/40 guns, launched November 1671 at Marseille – deleted 1697.
    • Bizarre (ex-Mignonne) 42/44 guns, launched 29 August 1672 at Marseille – deleted 1694 and sold for commerce.
  • Marquis (ex-Attendant) 46 guns, design by Laurent Hubac, launched March 1673 at Brest – sunk in action against the Dutch off Tobago in March 1677.
  • Actif 36/40 guns, design by Pierre Malet, launched September 1673 at Rochefort – renamed Etoile in December 1675; deleted 1696.
  • Éole (ex-Changeant) 44 guns, design by François Chapelle, launched October 1674 at Toulon – renamed Arche de Noë in February 1692, then Cache in 1693 and deleted same year.
  • Facheux class, designed by Hendrick with 10 x 12-pounder, 8 x 8-pounder, 16 x 6-pounder and 6 x 4-pounder guns:
    • Facheux 40 guns, launched November 1673 at Dunkirk – renamed Entendu in January 1675; burnt (as a fireship) in February 1675.
    • Brutal 40 guns, launched November 1673 at Dunkirk – renamed Croissant in January 1675; taken to pieces 1692.
  • Indien (ex-Anonyme) 40–44 guns, design by Laurent Coulomb, launched 21 November 1673 at Toulon – deleted as frigate 1691, but probably used as a flûte and renamed Concorde in April 1692.
  • Hasardeux class, designed by Honoré Malet, with 18 x 12-pounder, 18 x 6-pounder and 4 x 4-pounder guns:
    • Hasardeux 38–44 guns, launched 1674 at Rochefort – wrecked April 1695 at St Domingo.
    • Faucon (ex-Inconnu) 40–44 guns, launched 1674 at Rochefort – renamed Faucon Français from 1694 until 1703; taken to pieces 1708.
  • Entendu (ex-privateer Dauphin) 40–42 guns, launched 1665 at Saint Malo and purchased for the Navy in February 1675 – sold 1692.
  • Comte (ex-Fidele) 40–44 guns, design by Pierre Le Brun, launched November 1677 at Brest – deleted 1698.
  • Ferme class, designed by François Chapelle, with 20 x 12-pounder, 20 x 6-pounder and 4 x 4-pounder guns:
    • Ferme 40–46 guns, launched 29 January 1678 at Toulon – renamed Laurier in June 1678; sold April 1692.
    • Arc en Ciel 40–46 guns, launched 31 March 1678 at Toulon – deleted 1698.
  • Ecueil 40–44 guns, design by Etienne Salicon, launched 2 November 1678 at Le Havre – sold 1689.
  • Leger 40 guns, design by Etienne Salicon, launched 3 November 1679 at Le Havre – condemned 1695.
  • Solide class, designed by F. Hendrick with 20 x 12-pounder, 20 x 6-pounder and 4 x 4-pounder guns:
    • Solide (ex-Railleuse) 44 guns, launched 6 November 1683 at Dunkirk – wrecked August 1694 off Tortuga.
    • Emporté (ex-Trompeuse) 44 guns, launched 20 November 1683 at Dunkirk – condemned August 1705 and abandoned.
  • Gaillard 44–48 guns, design by Etienne Salicon, launched 17 November 1684 at Le Havre – sold September 1689.
  • François 48–52 guns, design by Etienne Salicon, launched 20 October 1687 at Le Havre – taken to pieces 1736.
  • Trident 50 guns, design by Laurent Coulomb, launched 22 June 1688 at Toulon – captured by the English Navy in January 1695, added to the RN under the same name.
  • Alcyon 40 guns, design by Howens Hendrick, launched July 1689 at Dunkirk – broken up 1718.
  • Adroit 44 guns, design by Etienne Salicon, launched 20 January 1691 at Le Havre – burnt off Orkney June 1703.
  • Opiniâtre class, designed by Honoré Malet with 20 x 12-pounder and 20 x 6-pounder guns:
    • Opiniâtre 40 guns, launched July 1691 at Rochefort – deleted 1699.
    • Poli 40 (later 36) guns, launched August 1691 at Rochefort – broken up 1717.
  • Mutine 40 guns, design by François Le Brun, launched 28 May 1695 at Brest – deleted 1708.
  • Volontaire 44 (launched late August 1695 at Toulon) – reduced to 36 guns in 1701; captured and wrecked in the Battle of Vigo Bay in October 1702.
  • Amphitrite 42/44 guns, design by Pierre Masson, launched 1696 at Rochefort) – sold 1698 commercially but restored to Navy 1704; burnt by accident 1713.
  • Avenant 42 guns, design by Blaise Pangalo, launched September 1696 at Brest – burnt by accident 1704.
  • Dauphine 40/42 guns, design by Pierre Chaillé, launched 9 January 1697 at Le Havre – burnt in the Battle of Vigo Bay in October 1702.
  • Triton 44 guns, design by Blaise Pangalo, launched January 1697 at Brest – captured by the English Navy in the Battle of Vigo Bay in October 1702.
  • Thétis 44 guns, design by Honoré Malet, launched 1697 at Rochefort – captured by the English Navy in February 1705.
  • Renommée 48 guns, design by Antoine Tassy, launched early 1698 at Bayonne – deleted 1723.
  • Maurepas (ex-Hasardeux) 46 guns, design by François Brun, launched October 1698 at Lorient, given to the Compagnie des Indes 1698, recovered 1703 but transferred again 1705.
  • Adélaïde 44 (later 36) guns, design by François Coulomb, launched 10 January 1699 at Toulon – wrecked October 1714 off Havana.
  • Indien 44 guns, launched ?1698 for French South Sea Company, purchased 1701 for the Navy – deleted 1719.
  • Africain 44 (later 42) guns, design for Félix Arnaud, launched 1692 for French South Sea Company, purchased 1701 for the Navy – deleted 1723.
  • Héros 46 (later 50) guns, design by Pierre Coulomb, launched 24 November 1700 for French East India Company, and purchased June 1702 for the Navy – re-rated as 3ième Rang in 1705–08; deleted 1740.
  • Dryade 46 (later 44) guns, design by Philippe Cochois, launched 21 October 1702 at Le Havre – captured by the British Navy in October 1709.
  • Sylvie Class, designed by François Coulomb with 22 x 12-pounder, 16 x 6-pounder and 2 x 4-pounder guns:
    • Sylvie 40 guns, purchased on the stocks for the Navy and launched 30 November 1703 at Toulon – sold 1706.
    • Parfaite 40 guns, launched 29 September 1704 at Toulon – wrecked November 1718 off Cyprus.
  • Griffon 44 (later 50) guns, design by Pierre Coulomb, launched 10 January 1705 at Lorient – captured by the British Navy in August 1712, but returned 1713; deleted 1744 and taken to pieces 1748.
  • Vestale launched privately, then purchased 1706 at Toulon – deleted 1757.
  • Thétis 44 guns, design by Blaise Pangalo, launched 20 June 1705 at Brest – captured by the British Navy in May 1711.
  • Atalante class, designed by Philippe Cochois with 12 x 12-pounder, 18 x 8-pounder, 10 x 6-pounder and 4 x 4-pounder guns:
    • Atalante 44 guns, launched February 1707 at Le Havre – hulked 1728, taken to pieces 1733.
    • Diane 44 guns, launched February 1707 at Le Havre – deleted 1712.
  • Amazone 40 (later 42) guns, design by Blaise Pangalo, launched 16 April 1707 at Brest – hulked 1741, broken up 1748.
  • Gloire 38 guns, design by Laurent Hélie, launched 18 April 1707 at Lorient – captured by the British Navy in 1709, became HMS Sweepstakes; broken up 1716.
  • Argonaute 42 (later 50) guns, design by Blaise Pangalo, launched 14 November 1708 at Brest – hulked 1720, taken to pieces 1746.
  • Enemy frigates or equivalent captured by the French Navy 1675 – 1705 and classed as Frégates du Premier Ordre
    • Notre Dame du Peuple 40/44 guns (Spanish Nuestra Señora del Pueblo captured February 1675) – retaken by the Spanish January 1676.
    • Triomphant 40 guns (Dutch Triomfantelijk captured December 1688) – deleted 1689.
    • Charles II 40 guns (Spanish Carlos II captured 1691) – deleted 1694.
    • Gerzé (or Jersey) 46 (later 40) guns (English Jersey captured December 1691) – sold 1717.
    • Marie-Elisabeth 48 guns (Dutch Maria-Elizabeth captured August 1692) – sold 1697.
    • Faucon Anglais 48 guns (English Falcon captured May 1694) – deleted 1698.
    • Non Such 37/42 guns (English Nonsuch captured January 1695) – renamed Sans Pareil in 1696, deleted 1697.
    • Sainte Croix 40 guns (Spanish Santa Cruz captured 1696) – deleted 1699.
    • Christo 44 guns (Spanish galleon Santo Christo de Maracaibo captured January 1697) – captured by the Dutch in June 1697 [Apparently sold back to Spain by the Dutch, she was captured by the English Navy at Vigo in October 1702 and renamed Monmouth's Prize]
    • Rotterdam 40 guns (Dutch Rotterdam captured May 1703) – deleted 1706.
    • Coventry 50 guns (English Coventry captured August 1704) – retaken by the British Navy in May 1709.
    • Falmouth 50/52 guns (English Falmouth captured August 1704) – sold by January 1706.
    • Mercure 40/42 guns (Dutch Mercurius captured 1705) – captured January 1707 by the English Navy.

Frigates of the 2nd Order (or 5th Rates)[edit]

These generally carried 8-pounder guns in their lower deck battery, and were classed as fifth rate vessels (vaisseaux du cinquième rang). Note this list is incomplete, and requires expansion.

  • Saint Sebastien 30 guns, design by Laurent Hubac, launched 1658 at Brest for Nicolas Fouquet, seized for French Navy in September 1661 – renamed Faucon in June 1671; wrecked 1673 off Terceira.
  • Ecureuil 38 guns, design by Laurent Hubac, launched 1660 at Concarneau for Nicholas Fouquet, seized for French Navy in September 1661 – renamed Orage in June 1671, then Eclair in December 1675, converted to fireship and burnt June 1676.
  • Terron (ex Saint André) 24 guns, purchased February 1662, possibly ex-Swedish – sold September 1665 to French East India Company.
  • Hirondelle 30 guns, design by Hendrick?, launched 7 November 1664 at Dunkirk – deleted 1679.
  • Hermine 34 guns, design by Hendrick, launched 19 November 1664 at Dunkirk – renamed Capricieux on 24 June 1671; hulked 1680, deleted 1686.
  • Saint Joseph 34 guns, design by Laurent Coulomb, launched privately 1664 at La Ciotat and purchased in February 1666 for the Navy – renamed Dur in June 1671, then Poli in June 1678; deleted 1691 and sold 1692.
  • Ville de Rouen 34 guns, launched 1662 at Brest and purchased in April 1666 for the Navy – renamed Hasardeux in June 1671, converted to fireship and expended 1673.
  • Vierge 30 guns, former French East Indiaman Vierge du Port purchased in April 1666 for the Navy – renamed Profond in June 1671; reclassed as a flûte 1669 and deleted 1678.
  • Tourbillon class, designed by Laurent Hubac, with 20 x 8-pounder and 8 x 4-pounder guns:
    • Laurier 28 guns, launched 29 April 1670 at Brest – deleted 1677.
    • Tourbillon 28 guns, launched 28 May 1670 at Brest – renamed Petillant on 28 June 1678; fireship 1693; deleted 1696.
  • Trompeuse class, designed by Gédéon Rodolphe, probably with similar armament to Tourbillon class:
    • Bouffonne 28 guns, launched 29 June 1670 at Toulon – renamed Drole on 24 June 1671, then Gaillard on 28 June 1678; wrecked off Le Havre 1682.
    • Trompeuse 28 guns, launched 6 July 1670 at Toulon – renamed Triton on 24 June 1671, then Mercure on 28 June 1678; converted to flûte and renamed Econome 1692; deleted 1694.
  • Jeux 28 guns, design by Jean Guichard, launched 25 July 1670 at Rochefort – sold 1681.
  • Dur 24 guns, design by Hendrick, launched February 1671 at Dunkirk – renamed Éveillé in June 1671, then Bien Aimée in 1685 when reclassed as frégate légère; deleted 1693.
  • Arrogant class, designed by Laurent Hubac, probably with similar armament to Tourbillon class:
    • Victoire 28 guns, launched 1671 at Brest – renamed Arrogant on 24 June 1671; expended as fireship at Texel on 21 August 1673.
    • Périlleux 28 guns, launched March 1671 at Brest – renamed Hardi on 24 June 1671, then Joly on 28 June 1678; wrecked 1692.
  • Entreprenant 32 guns, design by Jean Guichard, launched May 1672 at Rochefort; renamed Vigilant in January 1673, then Mignon on 26 August 1678, and Coche in 1692 (as a flûte); deleted 1704.
  • Actif 32 guns, launched 1672 at Brest – renamed Emerillon on 7 January 1673; captured by the British Navy in 1693.
  • Dur 28 guns, design by Hendrick, launched February 1673 at Dunkirk – renamed Éveillé in June 1671, then Bien Aimée in 1685 (when reclassed as frégate légère); deleted 1693 (possibly captured by English Navy, becoming Dover Prize).
  • Éclair 32 guns, design by Pierre Malet, launched 28 May 1673 at Rochefort – renamed Soleil d'Afrique on 6 December 1675, then Lyon on 26 August 1678; fireship 1695, sold on 24 December 1710.
  • Caché class, designed by Laurent Hubac with 16 x 8-pounder and 16 x 6(or 4)-pounder guns:
    • Entreprenant 32 guns, launched October 1673 at Brest – renamed Dragon on 28 November 1673; reclassed as a flûte in 1709, taken to pieces 1712.
    • Caché 32 guns, launched October 1673 at Brest – renamed Arrogant on 28 November 1673, then Galant on 28 June 1678; wrecked off Portugal in March 1684.
  • Facheux class – see now under 1st Order frigates above.
  • Dauphin or Dauphin de Bayonne 28 guns, design by Honoré Malet, purchased April 1674 – renamed Perle in December 1675; deletede 1690.
  • Palmier class, designed by Benjamin Chaillé with 18 x 8-pounder and 18 x 6-pounder guns:
    • Palmier launched 23 December 1676 at Le Havre – sold 1709.
    • Adroit launched 15 July 1677 at Le Havre – captured by the Dutch Navy in January 1689.
  • Marquis (ex-Laurier) 28 guns, design by Laurent Hubac, launched 1679 at Brest – wrecked off Brest 1684.
  • Hercule 30 guns, design by Laurent Hubac, launched 1679 at Brest – burnt November 1704 to avoid capture.
  • Hirondelle 28 guns, design by Laurent Hubac, launched 1679 at Brest – deleted 1687.
  • Marin 30 guns, design by Honoré Malet, launched July 1679 at Rochefort – deleted 1705.
  • Royale 36 guns, design by Laurent Coulomb, launched November 1679 at Toulon – renamed Serieux in January 1680, then Croissant in June 1690; burnt November 1704 to avoid capture.
  • Soleil d'Afrique 28 guns, design by Pierre Malet, launched 1681 at Rochefort – deleted 1698.
  • Jeux 30 guns, design by Hendrick, launched 8 January 1689 at Dunkirk – captured by the English Navy in May 1689, becoming HMS Play Prize.
  • Gaillarde class – designed by Masson, with 20 x 8-pounder and 12 x 4-pounder guns:
    • Gaillarde 32 guns, launched 1689 at Rochefort – sold 1711.
    • Badine 32 guns, launched January 1690 at Rochefort – wrecked 1705.
  • Capricieux 34 guns, design by Howens Hendrick, launched July 1689 at Dunkirk – wrecked January 1690.
  • Jeux class – 36-gun design by Howens Hendrick with 18 x 8pdrs and 18 x 4pdrs
    • Jeux launched November 1689 at Dunkirk – captured by the English Navy in July 1706, becoming HMS Childs Play.
    • Tigre launched 1689 at Dunkirk
  • Aigle class – 36-gun design by Felix Arnaud:
    • Aigle launched early 1692 at Bayonne – wrecked February 1712 at Cayenne.
    • Favori launched early 1692 at Bayonne – expended 1702 as a fireship.
  • Volontaire 40 guns, design by François Coulomb, launched 1693 at Toulon – wrecked March 1695.
  • Mutine 34 guns, design by Pierre Coulomb, launched July 1693 and renamed Sphere in September 1693 – deleted 1695.
  • Oiseau 30–32 guns, design by Etienne Hubac, launched September 1695 at Brest – burnt November 1704 to avoid capture.
  • Bellone 30–38 guns, Blaise Pangalo design, launched January 1696 at Brest – hulked 1719, taken to pieces 1741.
  • Hermione 30 (later 36) guns, Etienne Hubac design, launched September 1699 at Brest – lost 1705.
  • Meduse 30 guns, design by Blaise Pangalo, launched September 1699 at Brest – reduced to frégate légère in 1705, wrecked February 1713.
  • Heroine 38 guns, design by Antoine Tassy, launched 1699 at Bayonne – wrecked 1702.
  • Hirondelle 36 (later 30) guns, rebuilding of ex-Algerine ship of 1687 (see below), re-launched 19 March 1700 at Toulon – wrecked 1703 or 1704.
  • Vénus 32 guns, design by Antoine Tassy, launched 1704 at Bayonne – deleted 1722.
  • Valeur 34 guns, design by Desjumeaux, launched November 1707 at Bayonne – deleted 1720.
  • Astrée launched 1707 at Brest (frégate légère 24)
  • Junon 36/40 guns, design by Philippe Cochois, launched 4 December 1709 at Le Havre – fate unknown.
  • Enemy frigates or equivalent captured by the French Navy 1654 – 1703 and classed as Frégates du Deuxième Ordre
    • Saint Antoine 38 guns (Spanish San Antonio, captured March 1654) – wrecked in September 1670.
    • Perle 34 guns (Algerine Tric, captured June 1663) – converted to fireship in June 1674, sold November 1676.
    • Étoile de Diane 34/36 guns (Algerine Nejma, captured October 1664) – converted to fireship in 1675 and renamed Bretonne; taken to pieces 1678.
    • Soleil d'Afrique 30/34 guns (Algerine Chems, captured August 1665) – converted to fireship in June 1674, sold November 1676.
    • Croissant d'Afrique 30/34 guns (Algerine Hillel, captured August 1665) – converted to fireship in 1674, renamed Facheux in January 1675 but taken to pieces in same year.
    • Palmier 24 guns (Algerine Nekhla, captured August 1665) – converted to fireship in June 1671 and renamed Actif, taken to pieces in 1672.
    • Ligournois 24/28 guns (Tunisian, captured November 1665) – renamed Emerillon in June 1671; converted to fireship in April 1672 and burnt at Solebay in June 1672.
    • Soleil d'Alger 36 guns (Algerine al-Sameche, captured July 1687) – renamed Galant in November 1688; returned to Algerines in December 1689.
    • Trois Roses 32 guns (Algerine Ilalatha Warda al-Dhabe, captured October 1687) – renamed Hirondelle in November 1688; rebuilt 1699–1700 at Toulon (see above).
    • Mercure 30 guns (English Mercury, captured 1690) – burnt at La Hogue in March 1692.
    • Weeps 32 guns (Dutch Weesp, captured June 1694) – sold 1705.
    • Zeripze 30 guns (Dutch Zeerijp, captured June 1694) – deleted 1705.
    • Ludlow 30 guns (English Ludlow, captured January 1703) – hulked 1719.
    • Vigilante 32 guns (Dutch Waakzaamheid, captured March 1703) – deleted 1704–05.
    • Rozendal 34 guns (Dutch Rozendaal, captured May 1703) – deleted 1712.
    • Saemslack 30–34 guns (Dutch Zaanslagh, captured July/August 1703) – deleted 1717.
    • Milford 30–32 guns (English Milford, captured 1697 by a French privateer – bought for French Navy 1703) – hulked May 1717, taken to pieces 1720.
    • Fowey 30 guns (English Fowey, captured August 1704) – hulked 1713, taken to pieces c.1720.
    • Sorlingue 32 guns (English Sorlings, captured October 1705) – sold as privateer 1709, retaken by British Navy 1711.

Light Frigates (Frégates légères)[edit]

These were single-decked unrated ships (i.e. classified as below the cinqième rang), carrying a battery of 6-pounder or 8-pounder guns on their sole gundeck. An estimated 162 of these were placed in service between 1661 and 1715, of which the following is simply a partial list, and needs expansion.

  • Aurore launched November 1665 at Brest – renamed Sibylle on 24 June 1671; deleted 1675.
  • Diligente launched 1666
  • Christine launched 1666
  • Dieppoise class
    • Gaillarde 14 guns, launched April 1668 at Dieppe – renamed Inconnu in May 1678, then Incommode in June 1678, reclassed as fireship; taken to pieces in June 1681.
    • Dieppoise 14 guns, launched April 1668 at Dieppe – renamed Lutine 24 June 1671; sold April 1675.
  • Bretonne 12 guns, design by Laurent Hubac, launched October 1670 at Brest – renamed Tempete on 24 June 1671; captured by Spanish in July 1675.
  • Normande 10 guns, design by Laurent Hubac, launched November 1670 at Brest (renamed Aurore on 24 June 1671, then Volante in 1688 and Abondante in February 1692; deleted 1792.
  • Embuscade 18 guns, design by Jean Tortel, launched July 1670 at Le Havre – renamed Dangereux in 1677, then restored to Embuscade in same year; re-classed as fireship 1677, then sold 1688.
  • Friponne class, design by Honoré Malet:
    • Friponne 14 (later 20) guns, launched November 1670 at Rochefort – captured by the English Navy in December 1690.
    • Mutine (ex-Lutine) 14 (later 20) guns, launched November 1670 at Rochefort – captured by privateers in June 1675.
  • Fée class:
  • Tempête class:
  • Serpente 26 guns, design by Hendrick, launched 23 June 1678 at Dunkirk – deleted 1691.
  • Charmante class, designed by Hendrick, with 10 x 4-pounder guns:
    • Charmante launched July 1678 at Dunkirk – deleted 1684.
    • Badine launched July 1678 at Dunkirk – deleted 1684.
  • Bouffonne 18 (later 26) guns, design by Laurent Hubac, launched 1678 at Brest – deleted 1696.
  • Favorite class, designed by François Pomet, with 12 guns originally, but by 1687 with 20 x 8-pounder and 8 x 4-pounder guns:
    • Favorite launched November 1678 at Rochefort – captured in August 1694 by Dutch Navy in the Mediterranean.
    • Gaillarde launched November 1678 at Rochefort – renamed Gaillard in 1690 as a fireship, then Séditieux in January 1691; restored as light frigate 1695; deleted 1698.
  • Gentille class:
  • Trompeuse class:
  • Aurore 20 guns, design by Howens Hendrick, launched 1689 at Dunkirk – captured by the English Navy 19 August 1697.
  • Railleuse 18 guns, design by Howens Hendrick, launched 1689 at Dunkirk – burnt 5 August 1703.
  • Curieux 24 guns, built as the privateer Fin at Malta, launched August 1689 and seized for the French Navy in November 1690 – sold April 1692.
  • Bonne 12 guns, design by François LeBrun, launched January 1692 at Brest – sold 1707.
  • Choquante 12 guns, design by Laurent Helie, launched January 1692 at Brest – burnt at the Battle of Vigo Bay in October 1702.
  • Serpente 14 guns, design by Bernard Renau d'Eliçagaray, launched January 1692 at Le Havre – wrecked November 1692 off Dunkirk.
  • Diligente 10 guns, design by Etienne Salican, launched July 1692 at Le Havre – captured by the English Navy in May 1694.
  • Emeraude 10 guns, design by Howens Hendrick, launched January 1692 at Dunkirk – burnt at the Battle of Vigo Bay in October 1702.
  • Naiade 12 guns, design by Howens Hendrick, launched February 1692 at Dunkirk – deleted 1695.
  • Audacieuse 12 guns, design by Howens Hendrick, launched February 1692 at Dunkirk – wrecked September 1706.
  • Suffisante 12 guns, design by Howens Hendrick, launched February 1692 at Dunkirk – deleted in 1695.
  • Heroïne 14 guns, launched 29 July 1692 at Brest – captured by the English Navy in July 1694, becoming HMS Essex Prize.
  • Naiade 20 guns, design by Blaise Pangalo, launched May 1696 at Brest – deleted 1705.
  • Nereïde 20 guns, design by Blaise Pangalo, launched May 1696 at Brest – deleted 1712.
  • Heroïne class:
    • Heroïne 20 guns, launched 30 May 1696 at Brest – captured by the Spanish 1697.
    • Galathée 20 guns, launched 13 August 1696 at Brest – captured by the English Navy 1708.
  • Salamandre (bomb vessel) 20 guns and 2 mortars, launched October 1696 at Toulon – sold 1709.
  • Friponne 16 guns, 1696
  • Aurore 22 guns, Philippe Cochois design, launched 3 August 1697 at Le Havre – captured by the English Navy in July 1697.
  • Gracieuse 16 guns, design by Philippe Cochois, launched January 1702 at Le Havre – captured by the English Navy May 1702, becoming HMS Rochester Prize.
  • Gentille 12 guns, design by Gueroult, launched May 1702 at Dieppe – sold June 1702.
  • Nymphe 26 guns, design by Philippe Cochois, launched 26 May 1703 at Le Havre – deleted 1719.
  • Dauphine 28 guns, design by Philippe Cochois, launched 26 August 1703 at Le Havre – wrecked 1705.
  • Étoile 30 guns, design by Philippe Cochois, launched 25 October 1703 at Le Havre – captured by the English Navy November 1704, becoming HMS Swallow's Prize 32.
  • Victoire 26 guns, design by René LeVasseur, launched September 1704 at Dunkirk – captured July 1709 by the British Navy, becoming HMS Fame 24, retaken October 1710; rebuilt 1736–37.
  • Fortune 20 guns, design by René LeVasseur, launched September 1704 at Dunkirk – captured December 1711 by the British Navy (?), but returned; deleted 1726.
  • Diane 28 guns, design by Pierre Coulomb, launched November 1704 at Lorient – wrecked 1705.
  • Embuscade 30 guns, design by Pierre Chaillé, launched 1704 at Le Havre – captured May 1707 by the British Navy.
  • Naiade 28 guns, acquired 1706 at St Malo – deleted 1710.
  • Zéphir 24 guns, design by René LeVasseur, launched 1706 at Dunkirk – wrecked 1713.
  • Astrée 24 guns, design by Blaise Pangalo, launched 3 May 1707 at Brest – believed lost at Barcelona 1719.
  • Amarante 14 guns, design by Philippe Cochois, launched 29 March 1708 at Le Havre – deleted 1724.
  • Galathée 28 guns, design by Philippe Cochois, launched 16 August 1708 at Le Havre – captured by the British Navy in February 1712.
  • Enemy frigates or equivalent captured by the French Navy 1654 – 1703 and classed as frégates légères:
    • Moqueuse 6 guns (Dutch, captured December 1674)
    • Orage 24 guns (Spanish San Antonio, captured 1675)
    • Caravelle (Algerine, captured June 1683) – renamed Trompeuse in March 1684, returned to Algerines in April 1685.
    • Dragon d'Or 16 guns (Algerine Tinine Dahabia, captured August 1687) – renamed Moqueuse November 1688, returned to Algerines February 1691.
    • Pelican 18/20 guns (Scottish Pelican, captured July 1689)
    • Jeanette 12 guns (Scottish Janet, captured July 1689) – renamed Normande in January 1691, then Enflammé in 1694.
    • Salamandre 20 guns(Brandenburg Salamander, captured 1693.
    • Nieuport 24 guns (English Newport, captured July 1696) – hulked June 1716, taken to pieces 1740.
    • Quatre frères 14 guns (Dutch Vier Broers, captured April 1702)

Frigates under Louis XV (1715–1774)[edit]

From 1715 onwards, it is more appropriate to classify frégates according to their principal armament, i.e. by the weight of shot fired by the principal battery of guns carried by those ships. The smaller frigates were those mounting 6-pounder guns in their main battery, while larger frigates carried 8-pounder or 12-pounder guns (note that these "pounds" were actually French livres, of about 7.9% greater weight than British Imperial pounds). Later in the century, 18-pounder or 24-pounder frigates were introduced, and from the 1820s 32-pounder guns were carried as the principal battery on larger frigates.

6-pounder armed frigates (frégates légères)[edit]

  • Thétis (one-off 26-gun design of 1722 by Jacques Poirier, with 20 x 6-pounder and 6 x 4-pounder guns, launched September 1722 at Le Havre) – broken up 1730.
  • Vénus (one-off 26-gun design of 1722 by Jacques Poirier, with 20 x 6-pounder and 6 x 4-pounder guns, launched October 1723 at Le Havre) – wrecked 1745.
  • Gazelle (one-off 18-gun design of 1732 by Jacques Poirier, with 18 x 6-pounder guns only, launched September 1733 at Le Havre) – hulked 1745, taken to pieces 1748.
  • Victoire (one-off 22-gun design of 1736 by Blaise Geslain, with 22 x 6-pounder guns, rebuilt from frigate of 1704 and launched 1737 at Rochefort) – deleted 1743.
  • Subtile (one-off 20-gun design of 1740 by Jacques Poirier, with 20 x 6-pounder guns, launched June or July 1741 at Le Havre) – captured by British Navy 1746, but not added to the RN.
  • Panthère (one-off 20-gun design of 1743 by Jacques-Luc Coulomb, with 20 x 6-pounder guns, launched February 1744 at Brest) – captured by British Navy 1745, becoming HMS Amazon.
  • Galathée Class (24-gun design of 1744 by Mathurin-Louis Geoffroy, with 24 x 6-pounder guns)
    • Galathée (launched 13 September 1744 at Brest) – captured by British Navy 1758, but not added to the RN.
    • Mutine (launched 16 October 1744 at Brest) – taken to pieces at Martinique 1758.
  • Guirlande (one-off 22-gun design of 1756 by Pierre Salinoc, with 18 x 6-pounder and 4 x 4-pounder guns, launched January 1757 at Brest) – captured by British Navy in August 1758, becoming HMS Cygnet.
  • Terpsichore (one-off 28-gun design of 1757, with 22 x 6-pounder and 6 x 3-pounder guns, launched June 1758 at Dunkirk) – captured by British Navy in February 1760, becoming HMS Terpsichore.

8-pounder armed frigates (frégates du deuxième ordre)[edit]

  • Astrée (30-gun design by Blaise Ollivier, with 22 x 8-pounder and 8 x 4-pounder guns – launched January 1728 at Brest) – broken up 1741.
  • Zéphyr (28-gun design by François Coulomb, with 22 x 8-pounder, 4 x 4-pounder and 2 x 4-pounder guns – launched 16 November 1728 at Toulon) – captured off Brest by the British Navy September 1762.
  • Flore (26-gun design by François Coulomb, with 4 x 8-pounder and 22 x 6-pounder guns – launched 28 November 1728 at Toulon) – deleted November 1754 (later sold for commerce, and captured 1762 by the British Navy).
  • Médée (26-gun design by Blaise Ollivier, with 26 x 8-pounder guns – launched February 1741 at Brest) – captured by British Navy 4 April 1744, but not added to RN, instead sold as privateer Boscawen.
  • Volage (24-gun design by Pierre Morineau, with 24 x 8-pounder guns – launched 1 April 1741 at Rochefort) – captured by British Navy 4 April 1746, retaken by the French the following day and deleted 1753.
  • Emeraude Class (28-gun design by Pierre Chaillé, with 24 x 8pdrs and 4 x 4-pounder guns)
    • Emeraude (launched 10 June 1744 at Le Havre) – captured by British Navy 21 September 1757, becoming HMS Emerald.
    • Fine (launched 27 May 1744 at Le Havre) – wrecked December 1745 off Montrose.
  • Sirène Class (30-gun design of 1744 by Jacques-Luc Coulomb, with 26 x 8-pounder and 4 x 4-pounder guns)
    • Sirène (launched 24 September 1744 at Brest) – captured 1760 by RN, but not added to RN.
    • Renommée (launched 19 December 1744 at Brest) – captured by British Navy 27 September 1747, becoming HMS Renown.
  • Amphitrite Class (30-gun design of 1744 by Venard, with 26 x 8-pounder and 4 x 4-pounder guns)
    • Amphitrite (launched 1744 at Bayonne) – wrecked 1745
    • Mégère (launched December 1744 at Bayonne) – deleted 1753
  • Embuscade (one-off 38-gun design by Pierre Chaillé, with 26 x 8-pounder and 12 x 4-pounder guns; launched 19 March 1745 at Le Havre) – captured by British Navy in May 1746, becoming HMS Ambuscade.
  • Favorite (one-off 38-gun design by Pierre Chaillé, with 28 x 8-pounder and 10 x 4-pounder guns; launched autumn 1747 at Le Havre) – hulked 1757, deleted 1771.
  • Friponne (one-off 24-gun design by Pierre Morineau, with 24 x 8-pounder guns; launched 1747 at Rochefort) – hulked 1761, sold 1762.
  • Fidèle (one-off 24/26-gun design by Julien Geslain, with 24/26 x 8-pounder (and later 4 x 4-pounder) guns; launched early 1748 at Rochefort) – sunk as blockship at Louisbourg June 1758.
  • Topaze Class (24/26-gun design by Jean-Joseph Ginoux, with 24/26 x 8-pounder guns)
    • Topaze (launched 30 October 1750 at Brest) – deleted 1775
    • Thétis (launched 17 November 1751 at Brest) – deleted 1777
    • Heroine (launched 20 December 1752 at Brest) – deleted 1766
  • Nymphe (24-gun design by Antoine Groignard, with 20 x 8-pounder and 4 x 4-pounder guns – launched early 1752 at Rochefort) – burnt to avoid capture 1757.
  • Comète Class (30-gun design by Joseph-Louis Ollivier, with 26 x 8-pounder and 4 x 4-pounder guns)
    • Comète (launched 20 December 1752 at Brest) – captured by British Navy 16 March 1761, brcoming HMS Comet.
    • Fleur de Lys (launched 1 June 1754 at Brest) – burnt to avoid capture 1760
  • Pléiade (26-gun design by Joseph Coulomb, with 26 x 8-pounder guns – launched 17 November 1755 at Toulon) – sold 1786.
  • Licorne Class (30-gun design of 1754 by Jean Geoffroy, with 26 x 8-pounder and 4 x 4-pounder guns)
    • Licorne (launched December 1755 at Brest) – captured by British Navy 1778, becoming HMS Licorne.
    • Sauvage (launched 3 January 1756 at Brest) – wrecked March 1759 off Poitou.
    • Hermine (launched May 1757 at Bayonne) – wrecked December 1761 off Vigo.
    • Opale (launched May 1757 at Bayonne) – wrecked July 1762 off San Domingo.
  • Minerve Class (30-gun design of 1754 by Jacques-Luc Coulomb, with 26 x 8-pounder and 4 x 4-pounder guns)
    • Minerve (launched 15 February 1756 at Toulon) – wrecked October 1762 off Villefranche.
    • Oiseau (launched 25 April 1757 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy 1762.
  • Blonde Class (32-gun design by Jean-Joseph Ginoux, with 26 x 8-pounder and 6 x 4-pounder guns)
    • Blonde (launched 23 August 1755 at Le Havre) – captured by British Navy 28 February 1760, becoming HMS Blonde.
    • Brune (launched 7 September 1755 at Le Havre) – captured by British Navy 30 January 1761, becoming HMS Brune..
    • Aigrette (launched 1756 at Le Havre) – condemned at Brest 1789.
    • Vestale (launched March 1756 at Le Havre) – captured by British Navy 8 January 1761, becoming HMS Flora.
    • Félicité (launched 1756 at Le Havre) – captured and burnt by British Navy 24 January 1761.
    • Two more to this design – Bouffonne and Malicieuse – were begun at Caen, but were cancelled in 1757.
  • Diligente (one-off 26-gun design of 1755 by Joseph-Louis Ollivier and Jacques-Luc Coulomb, with 26 x 8-pounder and 6 x 4-pounder guns, launched 28 April 1756 for the French East India Company, and purchased in April 1761 for the French Navy)
  • Mignonne (one-off 30-gun design of 1765 by Claud Saucillon, with 26 x 8-pounder and 4 x 4-pounder guns, launched 26 April 1767 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy 1794, becoming HMS Mignonne; burnt in 1797 as useless.
  • Zephyr (one-off 32-gun design of 1767 by Joseph-Louis Ollivier, with 26 x 8-pounder and 6 x 4-pounder guns, launched 23 October 1768 at Brest) – burnt by accident 1779.
  • Flore (one-off 32-gun design of 1768 by Antoine Groignard, with 26 x 8-pounder and 6 x 4-pounder guns, launched 11 November 1768 at Brest) – deleted 1787.
  • Oiseau (one-off 32-gun design of 1767 by François-Guillaume Clairin-Deslauriers, with 26 x 8-pounder and 6 x 4-pounder guns, launched 11 January 1769 at Rochefort) – captured by British Navy 31 January 1779, becoming HMS Oiseau.
  • Pallas was built and launched at Saint-Malo as Prince de Conti in 1773. The French Navy bought her at Saint-Malo in July 1777 for Lt123,654. She was armed with 26 x 8-pounder + 6 x 4-pounder guns. The British captured her in June 1778 before the official outbreak of war and took her into service as HMS Convert. The Royal Navy sold her in 1782.[1]
  • Alcmène Class (26-gun design of 1773 by Antoine Groignard, with 26 x 8-pounder guns – 6 x 4-pounder guns added later)
    • Alcmène (launched 14 June 1774 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy 21 October 1779, becoming HMS Alcmene.
    • Aimable (launched 20 July 1776 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy 19 April 1782, becoming HMS Aimable.

12-pounder armed frigates (frégates du premier ordre)[edit]

  • Hermione (one-off 26-gun design of 1748 by Pierre Morineau, with 26 x 12-pounder guns, launched 28 April 1749 at Rochefort) – captured by British Navy 1757, becoming HMS Unicorn's Prize.
  • Gracieuse (one-off 26-gun design of 1749 by Joseph Chapelle, with 26 x 12-pounder guns, launched 23 April 1750 at Toulon) – sold 1781.
  • Rose (one-off 30-gun design of 1749 by Joseph Chapelle, with 8 x 12-pounder and 22 x 8-pounder (or 6-pounder) guns, launched 23 April 1750 at Toulon) – sold 1781.
  • Danaé (one-off 38-gun design of 1756 by Jean-Joseph Ginoux, with 30 x 12-pounder and 8 x 6-pounder guns, launched 13 September 1756 at Le Havre) – captured by British Navy 1759, becoming HMS Danae.
  • Hébé (one-off 36-gun design of 1756 by Jean-Joseph Ginoux, with 2 x 18-pounder, 28 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns, launched 7? June 1757 at Le Havre) – wrecked in the Canary Islands September 1763.
  • Chimère (one-off 30-gun design of 1756 by Joseph Coulomb, with 26 x 12-pounder and 4 x 6-pounder guns, launched 6 February 1758 at Toulon) – sold 1783.
  • Hussar (ex-British Hussar (1757), captured 1762)
  • Terpsichore (one-off 30-gun design of 1762 by Antoine Groignard, with 30 x 12-pounder guns, launched 10 August 1763 at Indret) – deleted 1783.
  • Sultane (one-off 30-gun design of 1764 by Jean-Baptiste Doumet-Revest, with 26 x 12-pounder and 4 x 6-pounder guns, launched 28 June 1765 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy 1793 at Toulon and burnt.
  • Infidèle Class (32-gun design by Jean-Joseph Ginoux, with 26 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns)
    • Infidèle (launched June 1765 at Le Havre)
    • Légère (launched June 1765 at Le Havre)
    • Sincère (launched 12 March 1766 at Le Havre)
    • Inconstante (launched 26 March 1766 at Le Havre)
    • Blanche (launched 20 October 1766 at Le Havre)
    • Enjouée (launched 4 November 1766 at Le Havre)
  • Boudeuse (one-off 32-gun design of 1765 by Jean-Hyacinthe Raffeau, with 26 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns, launched 25 March 1766 at Indret) – deleted 1800.
  • Dédaigneuse Class (32-gun design by Leon-Michel Guignace, with 26 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns)
  • Engageante (one-off 32-gun design by Jean-Francois Estienne, with 26 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns, launched 14 November 1766 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy 1794.
  • Atalante (one-off 32-gun design of 1767 by Joseph Coulomb, with 26 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns, launched 1 May 1768 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy 1794, becoming HMS Espion.
  • Indiscrète Class (34-gun design by Jean-Hyacinthe Raffeau, with 28 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns)
  • Renommée (one-off 40-gun design by Antoine Groignard, with 30 x 12-pounder and 10 x 8-pounder guns, launched 22 August 1767 at Brest) – deleted 1783.
  • Zéphyr (one-off 32-gun design by Joseph-Louis Ollivier, with 26 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns, launched 23 October 1768 at Brest) – burnt by accident 1779.
  • Aurore (one-off 34-gun design of 1766 by Jean-Denis Chevillard, with 26 x 12-pounder and 8 x 6-pounder guns, launched 23 November 1768 at Rochefort) – captured by British Navy in August 1793 at Toulon.

18-pounder/24-pounder armed frigates[edit]

  • Pourvoyeuse Class (38-gun design by Louis Boux, with 26 x 24-pounder and 12 x 8-pounder guns). In practice the 24-pounders were replaced by 18-pounders.

Frigates of Louis XVI (1774–1792), the Revolutionary era and the First Empire (to 1815)[edit]

12-pounder armed frigates[edit]

  • Nymphe Class (32-gun design by Pierre-Augustin Lamothe, with 26 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns)
    • Nymphe (launched 18 August 1777 at Brest) – captured by British Navy 1780.
    • Andromaque (launched 24 December 1777 at Brest) – wrecked to avoid capture 1796.
    • Astrée (launched 16 May 1780 at Brest) – lost without trace in the Indian Ocean 1795.

Thétis, Cybèle and Concorde were built on the same pattern, but armed with 18-pounders.

  • Sibylle Class (32-gun design by Jacques-Noël Sané, with 26 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns)
    • Sibylle (launched 30 August 1777 at Brest) – captured by the British Navy 1783.
    • Diane (launched 18 January 1779 at Saint Malo) – wrecked 1780.
    • Néréide (launched 31 May 1779 at Saint Malo) – captured by the British Navy 1797.
    • Fine (launched 11 August 1779 at Nantes) – wrecked 1794
    • Émeraude (launched 25 October 1779 at Nantes) – broken up 1797.
  • Charmante Class (32-gun design by Jean-Denis Chevillard, with 26 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns)
    • Charmante (launched 30 August 1777 at Rochefort) – wrecked 1780.
    • Junon (launched March 1778 at Rochefort) – wrecked 1780.
    • Gracieuse (launched 19 May 1787 at Rochefort) – captured by British Navy 1796.
    • Inconstante (launched 8 September 1790 at Rochefort) – captured by British Navy 1793.
    • Hélene (launched 18 May 1791 at Rochefort) – captured by Spanish Navy 1793.
  • Concorde Class (32-gun design by Henri Chevillard, with 26 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns)
    • Concorde (launched 3 September 1777 at Rochefort) – captured by British Navy 1783.
    • Courageuse (launched 28 February 1778 at Rochefort) – captured by British Navy 1799.
    • Hermione (launched 28 April 1779 at Rochefort) – wrecked 1793.
  • Fortunée (one-off 32-gun design by Pierre Forfait, with 26 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns, launched 26 December 1777 at Brest) – captured by British Navy 1779.
  • Iphigénie Class (32-gun design by Léon-Michel Guignace, with 26 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns; Up to 6 x 36-pounder obusiers were later added)
    • Iphigénie (launched 16 October 1777 at Lorient) – captured by Spanish Navy 1795.
    • Surveillante (launched 26 March 1778 at Lorient) – wrecked 1797.
    • Résolue (launched 16 March 1778 at St Malo) – captured by British Navy 1798.
    • Gentille (launched 18 June 1778 at St Malo) – captured by British Navy 1795.
    • Amazone (launched 11 May 1778 at St Malo) – captured by British Navy 1782 but retaken next day; wrecked 1797.
    • Prudente (launched late March 1778 at St Malo) – captured by British Navy 1779.
    • Gloire (launched 9 July 1778 at St Malo) – captured by British Navy 1795
    • Bellone (launched 2 August 1778 at St Malo) – captured by British Navy 1798.
    • Médée (launched 23 September 1778 at St Malo) – captured by British East Indiamen 1800.
  • Magicienne Class (32-gun design by Joseph-Marie-Blaise Coulomb, with 26 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns)
    • Magicienne (launched 1 August 1778 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy in September 1781.
    • Précieuse (launched 22 August 1778 at Toulon) – hulked November 1794, then deleted October 1814.
    • Sérieuse (launched 28 August 1779 at Toulon) – sunk at the Battle of Aboukir, August 1798.
    • Lutine (launched 11 September 1779 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy at Marseille August 1793 – wrecked in October 1799, her ship's bell was salvaged and still hangs in Lloyd's of London.
    • Vestale (launched 14 October 1780 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy off Rochefort August 1799.
    • Alceste (launched 28 October 1780 at Toulon) – captured August 1793 by British Navy at Marseille, but retaken by the French Boudeuse on 8 June 1794, then captured again in June 1799.
    • Iris (launched 29 October 1781 at Toulon) – captured August 1793 by British Navy at Marseille, and burnt December 1793 during evacuation.
    • Réunion (launched 23 February 1786 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy off Cherbourg October 1793.
    • Modeste (launched 18 March 1786 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy at Genoa October 1793.
    • Sensible (launched 29 August 1787 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy off Malta June 1798.
    • Topaze (launched 26 September 1790 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy August 1793.
    • Artémise (launched 25 September 1794 at Toulon) – sunk at the Battle of Aboukir, August 1798.
  • Cérès Class (32-gun design by Charles-Etienne Bombelle, with 26 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns)
    • Cérès (launched 24 November 1779 at Rochefort) – demolished 1787.
    • Fée (launched 19 April 1780 at Rochefort) – demolished 1790.
  • Galathée Class (32-gun design by Raymond-Antoine Haran, with 26 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns)
    • Galathée (launched 28 June 1779 at Rochefort)
    • Railleuse (launched 11 August 1779 at Bordeaux); she was sold on 17 January 1798 at Rochefort. She became the privateer Egyptienne, which Hippomenes captured in 1804. The British took Egyptienne into service as HMS Antigua. Antigua served as a prison ship until she was scrapped in 1816.
    • Fleur de Lys (launched 2 December 1785 at Rochefort) – renamed Pique in June 1792 – captured by British Navy January 1795.
  • Capricieuse Class (32-gun design by Charles Segondat-Duvernet, with 26 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns)
    • Capricieuse (i) (launched 23 December 1779 at Lorient) – captured 1780 by British Navy.
    • Friponne (launched 20 March 1780 at Lorient) – condemned 1796.
    • Capricieuse (ii) (launched 20 November 1786 at Lorient( – wrecked January 1800.
    • Prudente (launched 21 September 1790 at Lorient) – sold for service as a privateer 1798.
  • Vénus Class (32-gun design by Jacques-Noël Sané, with 26 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns)
    • Vénus (launched 6 March 1780 at St Malo) – wrecked 1781.
    • Cléopâtre (launched 19 August 1781 at St Malo) – captured by British Navy 1793, renamed HMS Oiseau.
  • Félicité Class (32-gun design by Pierre-Alexandre Forfait, with 26 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns, and 2 x 36-pounder obusiers de vaisseaux)
    • Félicité 34 guns (launched 4 August 1785 at Brest) – captured by British Navy 1809, sold to Haiti and commissioned as the Améthyste, defected 1812 to Haitian rebels and renamed Heureuse Réunion, retaken by British & returned to Haiti.
    • Calypso 32 guns (launched 2 December 1785 at Brest) – transferred to Spain 1793.
    • Fidèle 32 guns (launched 22 July 1789 at Le Havre) – condemned 1802, probably demolished 1813.
    • Fortunée 32 guns (launched 28 September 1791 at Le Havre) – burnt 1794 to avoid capture.
  • Proselyte (one-off 32-gun design by Charles-Louis Ducrest, with 26 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns, launched February 1786 at Le Havre) – captured by British Navy August 1793.
  • Aglae (one-off 32-gun design by Pierre Duhamel, with 26 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns, launched 7 May 1788 at Rochefort) – lost September 1802.
  • Sémillante Class (32-gun design by Pierre-Joseph Pénétreau, with 26 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns).
    • Sémillante 32 guns (launched 25 November 1791 at Lorient) – sold in September 1808 for commercial use.
    • Insurgente 32 guns (launched 27 April 1793 at Lorient – captured by American Navy in February 1799, becoming USS Insurgent.
  • Charente Inférieure Class (32-gun design by Raymond-Antoine Haran, with 26 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns)
    • Charente Inférieure (launched 30 June 1793 at Rochefort) – renamed Tribune in February 1794 – captured by British Navy 9 June 1796, becoming HMS Tribune.
    • République Française (launched 3 January 1794 at Bordeaux) – renamed Républicaine Française in September 1794, then Renommée in May 1795 – captured by British Navy 13 June 1796, becoming HMS Renommee.
    • Décade Française (launched 10 October 1794 at Bordeaux) – renamed Décade in May 1795 – captured by British Navy 23 August 1798, becoming HMS Decade.
  • Cocarde Nationale Class (40-gun design by Pierre Duhamel, with 28 x 12-pounder and 12 x 6-pounder guns)
    • Cocarde Nationale (launched 29 April 1794 at St Malo) – renamed Cocarde in June 1796; deleted 14 June 1803.
    • Régénérée (launched 1 November 1794 at St Malo) – captured by British Navy 27 November 1801, renamed HMS Alexandria.
    • Bravoure (launched November 1795 at St Servan) – wrecked 1 September 1801 near Livorno to avoid capture by the British Navy.
  • Patriote Class (40-gun design by Raymond-Antoine Haran, with 28 x 12-pounder and 12 x 6-pounder guns)
    • Patriote (launched October 1794 at Bayonne) – renamed Coquille on 30 May 1795.
    • Fidèle (launched 1795 at Bayonne) – renamed Sirène on 30 May 1795.
    • Franchise (launched 17 October 1797 at Bayonne)
    • Dédaigneuse (launched December 1798 at Bayonne)
    • Thémis (launched 13 August 1799 at Bayonne)
  • Heureuse Class (38-gun design by Pierre Degay, with 26 x 12-pounder and 12 x 6-pounder guns)
    • Heureuse (launched 31 January 1798 at Basse-Indre, near Nantes)
    • Chiffonne (launched 31 August 1799 at Basse-Indre, near Nantes)
  • Psyché (one-off 42-gun design by Pierre Degay, with 24 x 12-pounder and 18 x 6-pounder guns, launched 1798 as a privateer at Nantes and purchased 1804 by French Navy) – captured by British Navy 14 February 1805.
  • 12-pounder frigates captured or purchased by the French Navy 1774 – 1815
    • Fox 28 (1773, ex-British privateer Fox, captured 1778) – sold 1778 (not added to French Navy)
    • Bellone 36 (1788, ex-Venetian Bellona, captured May 1797) – destroyed December 1797.
    • Lonato ex-Palme 36 (1784, ex-Venetian Palma, captured July 1797) – captured at Corfu by the Russians in March 1799.
    • Léoben ex-Méduse 36 (1788, ex-Venetian Medusa, captured July 1797) – captured at Alexandria by the British Navy in September 1801.
    • Mantoue ex-Céres 32 (1794, ex-Venetian Cerere, captured July 1797) – captured at Alexandria by the British Navy in September 1801.
    • Montenotte ex-Brillante 32 (1788, ex-Venetian Brillante, captured July 1797) – taken to pieces at Alexandria in May 1801.
    • Pallas 30 (1786, ex-Venetian Pallade, captured May 1797) – destroyed 1797.
    • Bérouse 36/40 (c. 1764, ex-Maltese Santa Maria del Pilar, captured June 1798) – taken to pieces 1798
    • Carthagenoise 40 (1782, ex-Maltese Santa Elizabetta, captured June 1798) – Captured by Britain in September 1800, then taken to pieces.
    • Embuscade 32 (1773, ex-British HMS Ambuscade, captured in the Action of 14 December 1798) – Recaptured by British Navy in May 1803
    • Avtroil 32 (ex-Russian, captured October 1809, ex-Swedish Avtrolle, captured August 1789)


The above list excludes some 12-pounder frigates captured from the British Navy at various dates, or from other navies.

18-pounder armed frigates[edit]

  • Until 1779 the standard armament on the frigate was the 12-pounder gun, but in that year Britain and France independently developed heavy frigates with a main battery of either 26 or 28 x 18-pounder guns (plus a number of smaller guns, usually 8-pounders or 6-pounders, on the gaillards – the French term for the quarterdeck and forecastle combined). From 1786 the standard designs of Jacques-Noël Sané became predominant and – while other classes of frigate were built – Sané designs were used for the vast majority of frigates built thereafter up to 1814.
  • Hébé Class (36/38-gun design by Jacques-Noël Sané, with 26 x 18pdr guns initially, although by 1793 carried 28 x 18pdr guns, plus 10 x 8pdr guns on the gaillards and 4 obusiers).
    • Vénus 38 guns (launched 14 July 1782 at Brest) – wrecked 31 December 1788 in the Indian Ocean.
    • Hébé 38 guns (launched 25 June 1782 at Saint-Malo) – captured by British Navy 4 September 1782.
    • Dryade 40 guns (launched 3 February 1783 at Saint-Malo) – condemned 1801 and BU.
    • Proserpine 40 guns (launched 25 June 1785 at Brest) – captured by British Navy 13 June 1796.
    • Sibylle 40 guns (launched 30 August 1791 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy 17 June 1794.
    • Carmagnole 40 guns (launched 22 May 1793 at Brest) – wrecked at Vlissingen 9 November 1800.
  • Danae Class (36/38-gun design by Charles Segonday-Duvernet, with 26 x 18pdr guns initially, although by 1793 carried 28 x 18pdr guns, plus 10 x 8pdr guns on the gaillards and 4 obusiers).) The Danae, a prototype, differed somewhat from the other pair).
    • Danae 38 guns (launched 27 May 1782 at Lorient) – deleted 1796 or later.
    • Méduse 38 guns (launched 18 November 1782 at Lorient) – burnt by accident 1797.
    • Didon 38 guns (launched 20 August 1785 at Lorient) – burnt at Guadeloupe 1792.
  • Nymphe Class (36/38-gun design by Pierre-Augustin Lamothe, with 26 x 18pdr guns initially, although by 1793 carried 28 x 18pdr guns, plus 10 x 8pdr guns on the gaillards and 4 obusiers).
    • Nymphe 36 guns (launched 30 May 1782 at Brest) – wrecked at Noirmoutiers 30 December 1793.
    • Thétis 36 guns (launched 16 June 1788 at Brest) – captured by British Navy 10 November 1808, becoming HMS Brune.
    • Cybèle 36 guns (launched 7 July 1789 at Brest) – sunk in action 24 February 1809.
    • Concorde 36 guns (launched 25 October 1791 at Brest) – captured by British Navy 4 August 1800.
  • Minerve Class (36/38-gun design by Joseph-Marie-Blaise Coulomb, the first two with 26 x 18pdr guns initially, although by 1793 all carried 28 x 18pdr guns, plus 10 x 8pdr guns on the gaillards and 4 obusiers).
    • Minerve 38 guns (launched 31 July 1782 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy February 1794, becoming HMS San Fiorenzo.
    • Junon 38 guns (launched 14 August 1782 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy June 1799, becoming HMS Princess Charlotte.
    • Impérieuse 40 guns (launched 11 July 1787 at Toulon – Captured by Britain 1793, becoming HMS Impérieuse, renamed HMS Unité in September 1803.
    • Melpomène 40 guns (launched 6 August 1789 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy February 1794, becoming HMS Melpomene.
    • Perle 40 guns (launched 27 August 1790 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy in December 1793, becoming HMS Amethyst.
    • Minerve 40 (launched 4 September 1794 at Toulon) – Captured by Britain 1795, becoming HMS Minerve.
  • Pénélope (40-gun one-off design by Jacques-Noel Sané, with 28 x 18-pounder and 12 x 8-pounder guns) launched 30 October 1788 at Brest – wrecked October 1788 in South Africa.
  • Uranie (40-gun one-off design by Pierre Ozanne and Leon-Michel Guignace, with 28 x 18-pounder and 12 x 8-pounder guns) launched 30 October 1788 at Lorient – renamed Tartu in November 1793, captured by the British Navy 31 December 1796, becoming HMS Uranie.
  • Aréthuse (38-gun one-off design by Charles Segondat-Duvernet with 28 x 18-pounder and 10 x 8-pounder guns, and 4 x 24-pounder carronades) launched 3 March 1791 at Brest – captured by the British Navy August 1793, becoming HMS Undaunted.
  • Vertu (40-gun design by Charles Segondat) – captured by British Navy 1803.
  • Seine Class (38-gun design by Pierre-Alexandre Forfait, with 28 x 18-pounder and 10 x 8pdr guns, plus 4 x 36-pounder obusiers)
    • Seine (launched 1793 at Le Havre) – captured by British Navy 1798.
    • Révolutionnaire (launched 1794 at Le Havre) – captured by British Navy 1794.
    • Spartiate (launched 1794 at Le Havre) – renamed Pensée in May 1795.
    • Indienne (launched 1796 at Le Havre) – burnt 1809.
    • Furieuse (launched 1797 at Cherbourg)
  • Valeureuse Class (38-gun design by Pierre-Alexandre Forfait, with 28 x 18-pounder and 10 x 8pdr guns, plus 4 x 36-pounder obusiers; these were originally ordered to the design of the Seine class, but were slightly lengthened by the constructor, Charles-Henru Le Tellier)
    • Valeureuse (launched 29 July 1798 at Le Havre) – damaged in a storm 1806 and sold.
    • Infatigable 40 (launched 6 April 1799 at Le Havre) – Captured by Britain 1806, renamed Immortalité
  • Montagne (one-off design by Joseph-Marie-Blaise Coulomb) – launched 26 June 1794 at Rochefort; renamed Volontaire on 10 July 1794; wrecked 22 August 1794 to avoid capture by the Royal Navy, and destroyed the following day.
  • Virginie Class (40-gun design by Jacques-Noël Sané, with 28 x 18-pounder and 12 x 8-pounder guns, plus 4 x 36-pounder obusiers)
    • Virginie (launched 1794 at Brest) – captured by British Navy 1795, becoming HMS Virginie.
    • Courageuse (launched 1794 at Brest) – renamed Justice in April 1795 – captured by British Navy 1801, then handed over to Turks.
    • Harmonie (launched 1796 at Bordeaux)
    • Volontaire (launched 1796 at Bordeaux) – captured by British Navy 1806, becoming HMS Volontaire.
    • Cornélie (launched 1797 at Brest) – captured by Spanish Navy 1808.
    • Didon (launched 1799 at St Malo) – captured by British Navy 1805, becoming HMS Didon.
    • Rhin (launched 1802 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy 1806, becoming HMS Rhin.
    • Belle Poule (launched 1802 at Basse-Indre) – captured by British Navy 1806, becoming HMS Belle Poule.
    • Surveillante (launched 1802 at Basse-Indre) – captured by British Navy 1803, becoming HMS Surveillante.
    • Atalante (launched 1802 at St Malo) – burnt 1805.
  • Preneuse Class (40-gun design of 1794 by Raymond-Antoine Haran, with 28 x 18-pounder and 12 x 8-pounder guns)
    • Preneuse (launched 1794 at Rochefort) – destroyed by British Navy 1799.
    • Africaine (launched 1798 at Rochefort) – captured by British Navy 1801, becoming HMS Africaine.
  • Diane 40-gun one-off design by Pierre-Joseph Pénétreau (launched 10 February 1796 at Toulon) – Captured by Britain 1800, becoming HMS Niobe.
  • Armide Class (40-gun design by Pierre Roland, with 28 x 18-pounder and 8 x 12-pounder guns and 4 x 36-pounder obusiers)
    • Armide (launched 24 April 1804 at Rochefort) – captured by British Navy 1806, becoming HMS Armide.
    • Minerve (launched 9 September 1805 at Rochefort) – captured by British Navy 1806, becoming HMS Alceste.
    • Pénélope (launched 28 October 1806 at Bordeaux) – deleted 1826.
    • Flore (launched 11 November 1806 at Rochefort) – wrecked 1811.
    • Amphitrite (launched 11 April 1808 at Cherbourg) – burnt 1809.
    • Niémen (launched 8 November 1808 at Bordeaux) – captured by British Navy 1809, becoming HMS Niemen.
    • Saale (launched 28 October 1810 at Rochefort) – renamed Amphitrite September 1814, reverted to Saale March 1815, then Amphitrite again in July 1815 – deleted 1821.
    • Alcmène (launched 3 October 1811 at Cherbourg) – captured by British Navy 16 January 1814, becoming HMS Dunira, but quickly renamed HMS Immortalite.
    • Circé (launched 15 December 1811 at Rochefort) – deleted 1844.
    • Three more of this design – Androméde, Emeraude and Cornélie – were begun at Bayonne but never reached launch stage, while three more were completed post-war:
    • Antigone (launched 14 March 1816 at Bordeaux) – deleted 3 August 1829.
    • Cléopatre (launched 1 April 1817 at Cherbourg) – deleted 30 September 1823
    • Magicienne (launched 11 April 1823 at Rochefort) – deleted 29 November 1840.
  • Carrère Class (40-gun design by Pierre-Alexandre Forfait, with 28 x 18-pounder and 12 x 8pdr guns, plus 4 x 36-pounder obusiers)
    • Carrère (launched 20 August 1797 at Venice) – captured by British Navy in August 1801, becoming HMS Carrere.
    • Muiron (launched 22 August 1797 at Venice) – hulked 1807, deleted 1850.
  • Créole (40-gun one-off design by Jacques-Augustin Lamothe with 28 x 18-pounder and 12 x 8-pounder guns) launched 24 June 1797 at Basse-Indre – captured by the British Navy 1803, becoming HMS Creole.
  • Uranie Class (40-gun design of 1797 by Jean-Francois Gautier, with 28 x 18-pounder and 12 x 8-pounder guns; both ships built by Pierre Degay and Entreprise Crucy at Basse-Indre, near Nantes)
    • Uranie (launched 30 October 1800 at Basse-Indre) – burnt 3 February 1814 at Brindisi to avoid capture by the British Navy.
    • Clorinde (launched 31 October 1800 at Basse-Indre) – captured by the British Navy 30 November 1803, becoming HMS Clorinds.
  • Gloire Class (40-gun design of 1802 by Pierre-Alexandre Forfait, with 28 x 18-pounder and 12 x 8-pounder guns)
    • Gloire (launched 20 July 1803 at Basse-Indre) – captured by the British Navy 1806, becoming HMS Gloire.
    • Président (launched 4 June 1804 at Basse-Indre) – captured by the British Navy 1806, becoming HMS President.
    • Topaze (launched 1 March 1805 at Basse-Indre) – captured by the British Navy 1809, becoming HMS Alcmene.
    • Vénus (launched 5 April 1806 at Le Havre) – captured by the British Navy 1810, becoming HMS Nereide.
    • Junon (launched 16 August 1806 at Le Havre) – captured by the British Navy 1809, becoming HMS Junon.
    • Calypso (launched 9 January 1807 at Lorient) – severely damaged 1809, sold 1813 or 1814.
    • Amazone (launched 20 July 1807 at Le Havre) – burnt by the British Navy 1811.
  • Consolante Class (40-gun design by François Pestel, with 28 x 18-pounder and 12 x 8-pounder guns)
    • Consolante (launched 22 July 1800 at Saint Malo)
    • Piémontaise (launched 15 November 1804 at Saint Servan)
    • Italienne (launched 15 August 1806 at Saint Servan)
    • Danae (launched 18 August 1807 at Genoa)
    • Bellone (launched February 1808 at Saint Servan)
    • Néréide (launched December 1808 at Saint Servan)
    • Illyrienne (launched 13 November 1811 at Saint Servan)
    • Galatée (launched 5 May 1812 at Genoa)
  • Milanaise Class (40-gun design by Charles Segondat, with 28 x 18-pounder and 12 x 8-pounder guns)
    • Milanaise (launched 23 September 1805 at Dunkirk) – renamed Sirène in August 1814; deleted 1836.
    • Vistule (launched 23 August 1808 at Dunkirk) – renamed Danaé in August 1814; deleted 1819.
    • Oder (launched 14 July 1813 at Dunkirk) – renamed Thémis August 1814, reverted to Oder March 1815, then Thémis again July 1815; deleted 1831.
    • Perle (launched 13 August 1813 at Dunkirk) – deleted August 1823.
  • Hortense Class (40-gun design of 1802 by Jacques-Noël Sané, with 28 x 18-pounder and 12 x 8-pounder guns)
    • Hortense (launched 3 July 1803 at Toulon) – broken up 1840
    • Hermione (launched 2 December 1804 at Toulon) – wrecked 1808
    • Pomone (launched 10 February 1805 at Genoa) – captured by British Navy 1811, becoming HMS Ambuscade.
    • Manche (launched 5 April 1806 at Cherbourg) – captured by British Navy 1810, but not added to RN.
    • Caroline (launched 15 August 1806 at Antwerp) – captured by British Navy 1809, becoming HMS Bourbonnaise.
    • Pauline (launched 18 April 1807 at Toulon) – renamed Bellone April 1814.
    • Corona (launched 27 December 1807 at Venice) – captured by British Navy 1811, becoming HMS Daedalus.
  • Pallas Class (40-gun design of 1805 by Jacques-Noël Sané, with 28 x 18-pounder and 12 x 8-pounder guns). This was the 'standard' frigate design of the French First Empire, numerically outweighing all other types.
    • Pallas (launched 9 April 1808 at Basse-Indre)
    • Elbe (launched 23 May 1808 at Basse-Indre) – renamed Calypso 30 August 1814.
    • Renommée (launched 21 August 1808 at Basse-Indre) – captured by British Navy 1811, becoming HMS Java.
    • Amélie (launched 21 July 1808 at Toulon) – renamed Junon April 1814.
    • Clorinde (launched 8 August 1808 at Painboeuf) – captured by British Navy 1814, becoming HMS Aurora.
    • Elisa (launched 1808 at Le Havre) – wrecked 1810.
    • Favorita (launched 4 October 1808 at Venice for subsidiary "Italian" Navy) – to French Navy itself April 1810, renamed Favorite, burnt and destroyed by explosion at Battle of Lissa (1811).
    • Astrée (launched 1809 at Cherbourg) – captured by British Navy 1810, becoming HMS Pomone.
    • Fidèle (launched 1809 at Flushing after capture on stocks) – captured by British Navy 1809, becoming HMS Laurel.
    • Adrienne (launched 1809 at Toulon) – renamed Aurore April 1814, then Dauphine September 1829 but reverted to Aurore August 1830.
    • Nymphe (launched 1810 at Basse-Indre)
    • Iphigénie (launched 1810 at Cherbourg) – captured by British Navy 1814, becoming HMS Gloire.
    • Méduse (launched 1810 at Paimboeuf) – wrecked 1816.
    • Pregel (launched 1810 at St Malo) – renamed Eurydice August 1814.
    • Ariane (launched 1811 at Basse-Indre) – burnt 1812 to avoid capture.
    • Médée (launched 1811 at Genoa)- renamed Muiron 1850.
    • Andromaque (launched 1811 at Basse-Indre) – sunk in combat 1812.
    • Yssel (launched 1811 at Amsterdam) – handed over to new Dutch Navy 1814.
    • Carolina (launched 1811 at Naples)
    • Principessa di Bologna (ordered 1810 at Venice for subsidiary "Italian" Navy) – to French Navy itself April 1810, renamed Princesse de Bologne and launched 1811 – to Austrian Navy April 1814.
    • Gloire (launched 1811 at Le Havre)
    • Meuse (launched 1811 at Amsterdam) – handed over to new Dutch Navy 1814.
    • Terpsichore (launched 1812 at Antwerp) – captured by British Navy 1814, becoming HMS Modeste.
    • Érigone (launched 1812 at Antwerp)
    • Aréthuse (launched 1812 at Paimboeuf)
    • Jahde (launched 1812 at Rotterdam) – renamed Psyché August 1814.
    • Trave (launched 1812 at Amsterdam) – captured by British Navy 1813, becoming HMS Trave.
    • Weser (launched 1812 at Amsterdam) – captured by British Navy 1813, becoming HMS Weser.
    • Melpomene (launched 1812 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy 1815, becoming HMS Melpomene.
    • Rubis (launched 1812 at Basse-Indre) – wrecked 1813.
    • Ems (launched 1812 at Rotterdam) – renamed Africaine August 1814.
    • Atalante (started as the Euridyce, launched 1812 at Lorient) – renamed Duchesse d'Angoulême July 1814.[2]
    • Cérès (launched 1812 at Brest) – captured by British Navy 1814, becoming HMS Seine.
    • Piave (launched 1812 at Venice)
    • Dryade (launched 1812 at Genoa) – renamed Fleur de Lys in November 1814, reverted to Dryade March 1815 then Fleur de Lys again July 1815, finally Résolue August 1830.
    • Sultane (launched 30 May 1813 at Paimboeuf, near Nantes) – captured by British Navy 1814, becoming HMS Sultane.
    • Étoile (launched 28 July 1813 at Paimboeuf, near Nantes) – captured by British Navy 1814, becoming HMS Topaze.
    • Rancune (launched 30 September 1813 at Toulon) – renamed Néréide in August 1814.
    • Amphitrite (launched October 1814 at Venice) – seized by the Austrians at Venice's capture, becoming Austrian Navy's Anfitrite.
    • Cybele (launched 11 April 1815 at Le Havre) – renamed Remise 1850.
    • Duchesse de Berry (launched 25 August 1816 at Lorient) – renamed Victoire August 1830.
    • Constance (launched 2 September 1818 at Brest) – hulked 1836, broken up after 1837.
    • Thétis (launched 3 May 1819 at Toulon) – renamed Lanninon April 1865.
    • Astrée (launched 28 April 1820 at Lorient)
    • Armide (launched 1 May 1821 at Lorient)

18-pounder frigates captured or purchased by French Navy

    • Succes 32 (ex-British Success, captured 10 February 1801) – Retaken by British Navy 10 December 1801
  • Former British 18-pounder frigates captured 1809–1810
    • Proserpine (ex British Proserpine, captured February 1809). Taken to pieces 1865.
    • Iphigénie (ex British Iphigenia, captured August 1810) – Retaken by British Navy December 1810.
    • Néreide (ex British Nereide, recaptured August 1810; this was originally French Néreide which had been captured by British Navy in December 1797) – Retaken by British Navy December 1810.
    • Ceylon (ex British Ceylon, originally Bombay, captured September 1810) – Retaken by British Navy the following day.

24-pounder armed frigates[edit]

Fight of the Poursuivante – 28 June 1803, Louis-Philippe Crépin

France experimented early with heavy frigates, with a pair being built in 1772 (however the 24-pounder guns of this pair were quickly replaced by 18-pounders in service). One was built in 1785, and more were constructed in the French Revolution, but the Romaine Class of "frégate-bombardes", to which curious design (incorporating a heavy mortar into the design) at least thirteen vessels were ordered (24 were originally planned), proved over-gunned, and no further 24-pounder armed frigates were begun until after 1815.

  • Pomone (40-gun one-off design by Charles-Etienne Bombelle, with 26 x 24-pounder and 2 x 8-pounder guns, and 18 x 36-pounder carronades) launched 16 November 1785 at Rochefort – captured by the British Navy 23 April 1794, becoming HMS Pomone.
  • Résistance Class (design by Pierre Degay, with 30 x 24-pounder guns and 20 x 12-pounder guns)
  • Forte Class (design by François Caro, with 30 x 24-pounder guns and 20 x 8-pounder guns)
    • Forte 50 (launched 26 September 1794 at Lorient) – captured by the British Navy 1799, becoming HMS Forte.
    • Egyptienne 50 (launched 17 July 1799 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy 1801, becoming HMS Egyptienne.
  • Romaine Class (design by Pierre-Alexandre Forfait, initially given 20 x 24-pounder guns and a 12-inch mortar, although all those completed were later armed or re-armed with 18-pounder guns and no mortar)
    • Romaine (launched 25 September 1794 at Le Havre)
    • Immortalité (launched 7 January 1795 at Lorient) – captured by the British Navy 1798, becoming HMS Immortalite.
    • Impatiente (launched 12 March 1795 at Lorient)
    • Incorruptible (launched 20 May 1795 at Dieppe)
    • Revanche (launched 31 August 1795 at Dieppe)
    • Libre (launched 11 February 1796 at Le Havre)
    • Comète (launched 11 March 1796 at Le Havre)
    • Désirée (launched 23 April 1796 at Dunkirk) – captured by the British Navy 1800, becoming HMS Desiree.
    • Poursuivante (launched 24 May 1796 at Dunkirk)
    • The original programme had provided for a total of twenty vessels of this class. Three further vessels begun in 1795/98 were intended to be of this class – Pallas at Saint Malo, and Furieuse and Guerrière at Cherbourg; but all were completed as 18-pounder armed frigates (see above). A thirteenth vessel to this design – the Fatalité (ordered in 1793 at Saint Malo) was never completed; the remainder of the original programme appear never to have been begun.

Frigates under Louis XVIII and later (1815–1860)[edit]

After 1815, French frigates continued to be graded according to the calibre of their main battery as frégates portant du 18, 24 or (after 1820) 30. However, in 1827 they were classified as either 1st, 2nd or 3rd Class. The 1st Class carried a main battery of 30-pounder guns, and the 2nd Class a main battery of 24-pounder guns. The 3rd Class initially comprised the remaining pre-1815 vessels with 18-pounder guns, but after 1830 a new group of 3rd Class frigates was built with 30-pounder guns (although fewer in quantity than the 1st Rate frigates carried). In 1837 this classification was amended to base the division on the number of guns carried.

Third Class frigates (from 1830), 30-pounder armed[edit]

Initially defined as frigates with a main armament of 18-pounder guns, this category was amended to define them as frigates of either 46 or 40 guns.

  • Héliopolis Class (46-gun type, 1830 design by Jean-Baptiste Hubert, with 26 x 18-pounder guns, 16 x 30-pounder carronades and 4 x 30-pounder shell guns):
    • Erigone (launched 27 September 1836 at St Servan) – deleted 31 December 1864.
    • Africaine (launched 9 August 1839 at St Servan) – deleted 7 March 1867.
    • Chartre (launched 6 August 1842 at Brest) – renamed Constitution 28 February 1849; deleted 31 December 1879.
    • Héliopolis (launched 25 August 1847 at Rochefort) – deleted 27 February 1780.
    • Two more frigates at Brest – Bouvines and Psyché – probably to have been to this design, were cancelled in 1831.
    • Five more frigates – Pomone, Nymphe, Thémis, Antigone and Psyché – possibly to the same design, were cancelled in 1836–37.
  • Pénélope Class (46-gun type, 1830 design by Jean-François Guillemard, with 26 x 18-pounder guns, 16 x 30-pounder carronades and 4 x 30-pounder shell guns):
    • Pénélope (launched 25 November 1840 at Lorient) – deleted 22 December 1864.
    • Jeanne d'Arc (launched 8 November 1847 at Lorient) – deleted 22 December 1864.
  • Psyché Class (40-gun type, 1842 design by Mathurin-François Boucher, with 22 x 30-pounder guns, 14 x 30-pounder carronades and 4 x 30-pounder shell guns):
    • Psyché (launched 28 September 1844 at Brest) – deleted 15 July 1867.
    • Clorinde (launched 19 August 1845 at Cherbourg) – fitted as steam frigate 1857; deleted 26 January 1888.
    • Isis (launched 29 July 1851 at Brest) – deleted 12 November 1886.
    • Armorique (launched 1 March 1862 at Lorient as a steam frigate) – deleted 8 November 1884.
  • Algérie Class (40-gun type, 1842 design by Jean-Baptiste Hubert, with 26 x 30-pounder guns, 8 x 30-pounder carronades, and 2 x 80-pounder and 4 x 30-pounder shell guns):
    • Algérie (launched 4 March 1848 at Rochefort) – deleted 15 July 1867.
  • Cérès Class (40-gun type, 1846 design by Pierre-Félix Le Grix, with 26 x 30-pounder guns, 8 x 30-pounder carronades, and 2 x 80-pounder and 4 x 30-pounder shell guns):
    • Cérès (launched 26 March 1857 at Lorient as a steam transport) – deleted 8 November 1884.
  • Résolue Class (40-gun type, 1846 design by Charles-Henri Moll, with 26 x 30-pounder guns, 8 x 30-pounder carronades, and 2 x 80-pounder and 4 x 30-pounder shell guns):

Second Class frigates, 24-pounder armed[edit]

Initially defined as frigates with a main armament of 24-pounder guns, this category was amended to define them as frigates of 58 guns, later either 52 or 50 guns.

  • Jeanne d'Arc Class (58-gun type, 1819 design by Charles-Michel Simon, with 30 x 24-pounder and 2 x 18-pounder guns, and 26 x 36-pounder carronades):
    • Jeanne d'Arc (launched 5 August 1820 at Brest) – deleted 26 October 1833.
    • Amazone (launched 1 May 1821 at Brest) – deleted 13 March 1841.
  • Clorinde Class (58-gun type, 1819 design by Louis-Jean-Baptiste Bretocq, with 30 x 24-pounder and 2 x 18-pounder guns, and 26 x 36-pounder carronades):
    • Clorinde (launched 5 February 1821 at Cherbourg) – deleted 26 October 1833.
  • Vestale Class (58-gun type, 1820 design by Paul Filhon, comprising 30 x 24-pounder and 2 x 18-pounder guns, and 26 x 36-pounder carronades):
    • Vestale (launched 6 May 1822 at Rochefort) – deleted 26 May 1831.
    • Vénus (launched 11 March 1823 at Lorient) – deleted 1847.
    • Atalante (launched 2 April 1825 at Lorient) – deleted 28 December 1850.
  • Marie Thérèse Class (58-gun type, 1820 design by Gustave-Benoît Garnier, comprising 30 x 24-pounder and 2 x 18-pounder guns, and 26 x 36-pounder carronades):
    • Marie Therese (launched 17 May 1823 at Toulon) – renamed Calypso 9 August 1830; deleted 23 April 1856.
    • Syrène (launched 25 July 1823 at Toulon) – deleted 20 July 1861.
  • Artémise Class (52-gun type, 1826 design by Jean-Baptiste Hubert):
    • Artémise (launched 1828 at Lorient) – deleted 3 October 1840.
    • Andromède (launched 5 April 1833 at Lorient) – deleted 24 October 1860.
    • Néreide (launched 17 February 1836 at Lorient) – deleted 30 December 1887.
    • Gloire (launched 1837 at Rochefort) – wrecked 10 August 1847 off Korea.
    • Cléopâtre (launched 23 April 1838 at St Servan) – deleted 31 December 1864.
    • Danaé (launched 23 May 1838 at St Servan) – fitted as steam frigate 1857 – deleted 18 January 1878.
    • Virginie (launched 25 April 1842 at Rochefort) – deleted 13 May 1881.
    • Circé (launched 15 October 1860 at Rochefort as a steam frigate) – deleted 22 July 1872.
    • Hermione (launched 16 August 1860 at Brest as a steam frigate) – deleted 11 May 1877.
    • Junon (launched 28 January 1861 at Brest as a steam frigate) – deleted 24 March 1872.
    • Flore (launched 27 February 1869 at Rochefort as a steam frigate) – deleted 18 October 1886.
  • Poursuivante Class (50-gun type, 1827 design by Louis-Charles Barrallier):
    • Poursuivante (launched 16 November 1844 at Toulon) – deleted 31 December 1864.
    • Zénobie (launched 29 July 1847 at Toulon) – fitted as steam frigate 1857 – deleted 7 August 1868.
    • Sibylle (launched 7 November 1847 at Toulon) – deleted 13 May 1881.
French frigate Némésis at the Siege of Đà Nẵng, Vietnam in 1858.
  • Némésis Class (50-gun type, 1828 design by Jean-Baptiste-Charles Perroy):
    • Némésis (launched 14 April 1847 at Brest) – deleted 19 April 1866.
    • Pandore (launched 26 March 1846 at Brest) – fitted as steam frigate 1857; deleted 2 November 1877.
    • Another unit of this class – Clorinde at Brest – was cancelled in 1838.
  • Alceste Class (50-gun type, 1829 design by Paul-Marie Leroux):
    • Alceste (launched 28 March 1846 at Cherbourg) – deleted 31 May 1886; deleted 31 May 1886.
    • Reine Blanche (launched 15 September 1837 at Cherbourg) – deleted 23 June 1859.
  • Amazone Class (50-gun type, 1845 design by Alexandre-Louis Chedeville):
    • Bellone (launched 26 March 1853 at Cherbourg) – fitted as steam frigate 1856–58; deleted 22 February 1877.
    • Amazone (launched 30 March 1858 at Brest as a steam transport) – deleted 15 February 1872.
  • Astrée Class (50-gun type, 1845 design by Pierre-Félix Le Grix):
    • Dryade (launched 29 December 1856 at Lorient as a steam transport) – deleted 13 February 1883.
    • Astrée (launched 24 December 1859 at Lorient as a steam frigate) – deleted 3 May 1877.
  • Magicienne Class (50-gun type, 1845 design by Prix-Charles-Jean-Baptiste Sochet):

First Class frigates, 30-pounder armed[edit]

Initially defined as frigates with a main armament of 30-pounder guns, this category was amended to define them as frigates of 60 guns.

  • Surveillante Class (60-gun first rate type, 1823 design by Mathurin-François Boucher, with 30 x 30-pounder guns, 28 x 30-pounder carronades and 2 x 18-pounder guns – later units had altered 60-gun armament):
    • Surveillante (launched 29 September 1825 at Lorient) – deleted 22 August 1844.
    • Belle Gabrielle (launched 28 June 1828 at Cherbourg) – renamed Indépendante 9 August 1830, deleted 24 October 1860.
    • Melpomène (launched 28 July 1828 at Cherbourg) – deleted 20 March 1845.
    • Herminie (launched 25 August 1828 at Lorient) – wrecked off Bermuda 3 December 1838.
    • Belle Poule (launched 26 March 1834 at Cherbourg) – deleted 19 March 1861.
    • Sémillante (launched 6 February 1841 at Lorient) – wrecked 16 February 1855 off Bonifacio.
    • Andromaque (launched 8 March 1841 at Lorient) – deleted 17 August 1869.
    • Forte (launched 16 September 1841 at Cherbourg) – deleted 23 October 1883.
    • Pallas (launched 15 August 1860 at Lorient as a steam frigate) – deleted 23 October 1883.
  • Iphigénie Class (60-gun first rate type, 1823 design by Jean-François-Henry De la Morinière, with 30 x 30-pounder guns, 28 x 30-pounder carronades and 2 x 18-pounder guns):
    • Iphigénie (launched 3 May 1827 at Toulon) – deleted 1 July 1872.
  • Terpsichore Class (60-gun first rate type, 1823 design by Philippe-Jacques Moreau, with 30 x 30-pounder guns, 28 x 30-pounder carronades and 2 x 18-pounder guns):
    • Terpsichore (launched 12 May 1827 at Brest) – deleted 6 February 1839.
  • Dryade Class (60-gun first rate type, 1823 design by Paul-Marie Leroux, with 30 x 30-pounder guns, 28 x 30-pounder carronades and 2 x 18-pounder guns):
    • Dryade (launched 12 July 1827 at Rochefort) – renamed Caroline 12 July 1828 but reverted to Dryade 9 August 1830 – deleted 9 May 1838.
    • Didon (launched 15 July 1828 at Toulon) – deleted 28 March 1867.
    • Renommée (launched 28 July 1847 at Rochefort) – fitted as steam-assisted frigate 1858 – deleted 15 November 1878.
    • Guerrière (launched 3 May 1860 at Brest as a steam frigate) – deleted 28 May 1888.
    • Sémiramis (launched 8 August 1861 at Rochefort as a steam frigate) – deleted 3 May 1877.
  • Uranie Class (60-gun first rate type, 1826 design by Louis-Charles Barrallier, with 30 x 30-pounder guns, 28 x 30-pounder carronades and 2 x 18-pounder guns):
    • Uranie (launched 28 July 1832 at Toulon) – deleted 31 December 1864.
  • Persévérante Class (60-gun first rate type, 1829 design by Charles-Michel Simon, with 30 x 30-pounder guns, 28 x 30-pounder carronades and 2 x 18-pounder guns):
    • Persévérante (launched 28 June 1847 at Brest) – deleted 28 March 1867.
    • Two probable sisters at Brest – Jeanne d’Albret and Valentine – were cancelled in 1831.
  • Vengeance Class (60-gun first rate type, 1829 design by Mathurin-François Boucher, with 30 x 30-pounder guns, 28 x 30-pounder carronades and 2 x 18-pounder guns):
    • Vengeance (launched 1 July 1848 at Lorient) – deleted 19 April 1866.
    • Entreprenante (launched 4 November 1858 at Lorient as a steam transport)- deleted 6 July 1885.
    • Victoire (launched 21 August 1861 at Lorient as a steam frigate) – deleted 13 February 1880.
  • Note that four 74-gun ships of the line were cut down (raséed), all at Brest Dockyard) during the 1820s, to become 1st Class frigates of 58 guns, retaining their two complete gundecks but with the gaillards (quarter decks and forecastles) removed. They carried 28 x 36-pounder guns, 28 x 36-pounder carronades, and 2 x 18-pounder guns:
    • Romulus in 1821 (renamed Guerrière)
    • Agamemnon in 1823 (renamed Amphitrite)
    • Colosse in 1827 (renamed Pallas)
    • Glorieux in 1830 (renamed Minerve)

See also[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Demereliac (1996), p.68, #424.
  2. ^ http://www.shipscribe.com/marvap/ships16.html

References[edit]

  • Demerliac, Alain (1996) La Marine De Louis XVI: Nomenclature Des Navires Français De 1774 À 1792. (Nice: Éditions OMEGA). ISBN 2-906381-23-3
  • Frégate – Marine de France 1650–1850 – Jean Boudriot and Hubert Berti, Editions ANCRE, Paris, 1992 ISBN 2-903179-11-5
  • Nomenclature des navires francais – Alain Demerliac, Editions OMEGA, Nice – series of volumes: (i) 1614–1661 (ii) 1661–1715 (iii) 1715–1774 (iv) 1774–1792 (v) 1789–1799 (vi) 1800–1815
  • A history of the French navy, from its beginnings to the present day (1973) – E. H. Jenkins ISBN 0-356-04196-4
  • Conway's All the world's fighting ships, 1860–1905 (1979) – Conway Maritime Press ISBN 0-85177-133-5
  • Warships of the Napoleonic Era (1999) – Robert Gardiner ISBN 1-86176-117-1
  • The 50-gun ship (1997) – Rif Winfield ISBN 1-86176-025-6