Abondance (1780 ship)

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Name: Abondance
Namesake: Abundance
Builder: Jean-Joseph Ginoux, Le Havre
Laid down: January 1780
Launched: 16 September 1780
Captured: 12 December 1781
RN EnsignKingdom of Great Britain
Name: HMS Abondance
Acquired: 12 December 1781 by capture
Fate: Sold 1784
General characteristics
Class and type: Baleine-class
Type: Gabare
Tons burthen: 524 (bm)
Length: 182 ft 6 in (55.6 m) (overall)
Beam: 29 ft 6 in (9.0 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Complement: 90 (French service)
  • French service: 20 x 8-pounder guns[1]
  • British service: 24 x 9-pounder + 4 x 4-pounder guns

Abondance was a French Baleine-class gabare (cargo ship) launched in 1780. The Royal Navy captured her on 11 December 1781 and took her into service as a troop transport and store ship under the name HMS Abondance. After the end of the war with France the Admiralty sold her in 1784.


Abondance was launched at Le Havre in September 1780.[2] She sailed on 11 December 1781 for the Antilles in a convoy under the command of Admiral de Guichen. She was under the command of a M. Dupuis and was carrying 248 soldiers and ordnance, stores, and provisions.[3]

On the 12th Admiral Kempenfelt, who had been sent out by the Admiralty with an unduly weak force to intercept de Guichen, sighted the French convoy in the Bay of Biscay through a temporary clearance in a fog, at a moment when Guichen's warships were to leeward of the convoy, and attacked the transports at once. de Guichen could not prevent the British from capturing 15 of the transports, Abondance among them, destroying two or three others, and driving the remainder into a panic-stricken flight. The survivors returned to port; de Guichen therefore returned to port also.

The Royal Navy sent Abondance into Plymouth and then took her into service, rating her as a 28-gun sixth rate. Lieutenant N. Phillips commissioned her in April 1783 and on 23 May sailed for North America.[4] She made several trips carrying black loyalists to Halifax, among them the fiery Methodist preacher Moses Wilkinson. In November, she evacuated the last group, some 80 members of the Black Brigade, a unit of black loyalists, from New York.[5]


Phillips paid off Abondance in May 1784.[4] The Admiralty then sold her later that year.

Citations and references[edit]


  1. ^ Roche (2005), p.2.
  2. ^ Demerliac (1996), p.102, #702.
  3. ^ Beatson (1804), Vol. 6, p.319.
  4. ^ a b "NMM, vessel ID 379275" (PDF). Warship Histories, vol iv. National Maritime Museum. Retrieved 30 July 2011. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Finkelman (2006), Vol. 2, pp.139-40.


This article includes data released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported UK: England & Wales Licence, by the National Maritime Museum, as part of the Warship Histories project