Steam ship Élise

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Elise-vapeur.gif
Career (France) French Navy Ensign
Christened: Margery
Completed: 1814
Acquired: 1815
Renamed: Renamed Élise in 1815
General characteristics
Displacement: 70 tons
Length: 21 m
Propulsion: Steam engine, 14 shp
Speed: 6 knots

The Élise was the first steamship to cross the English Channel.

She was bought in England 1814 by Pierre Andriel as Margery, and renamed Élise. Andriel intended to accomplish a spectacular crossing of the Channel to convince public opinion that steam ships could be ocean-worthy.

The Élise departed from Newhaven on 17 March, with a heavy sea. At midnight, a tempest broke out, and Andriel had to threaten his own crew at gunpoint and award three bottles of rum to the first man to spot the French coast. After 17 hours at sea, the Élise reached Le Havre.

She sailed up the Seine and arrived in Paris on 28 March, becoming a popular sensation. Two small saluting guns were mounted at the bow and fired in honour of Louis XVIII.

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