French brig Argus (1800)

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French Navy EnsignFrance
Name: Argus
Builder: Jean Fouache and Enterprise Thibaudier, Le Havre[1]
Laid down: July 1799
Launched: 20 July 1800
Commissioned: May 1802
Struck: 31 March 1807
Fate: Broken up April 1807
General characteristics
Displacement: 160 tons (French)
Length: 29.2 m (96 ft)
Beam: 8.4 m (28 ft)
Draught: 3.5 m (11 ft)
Complement: 84
Armament: 14 × 8-pounder (bronze) guns[1]
Armour: Timber

Argus was a 16-gun brig of the French Navy, launched in 1800 and broken up at Cayenne in 1807.


Argus was a Vigilant-class brig, designated No. 3 in 1799, of a six-vessel class. She was launched 1800, but not commissioned until 1802.[1]

She was at the battle of Trafalgar, but did not engage in combat.

On 23 October 1805, French Captain Julien Cosmao made a sortie from Cadiz with some of the more seaworthy ships that had escaped the battle, in an attempt to retake some of the captured prizes. Argus was among the sortieing vessels. A storm came up that wrecked many vessels and forced the remains of the French fleet back to Cadiz. There, the Spanish seized a number of them after Spain entered the war against France in 1808. However, Argus was not among the seized vessels.

Argus left Cayenne on 15 March 1806, provisioned for a cruise of four months and in company with the French brig Observateur. Argus was eager to escape and abandoned Observateur, which, however, was able to hold off her attacker.[2] Still, the British captured Observateur on 9 June.[3]

Argus fought off Cayenne on 27 January 1807 at the side of Favorite. The British report from the engagement states that Argus was armed with fourteen brass 8-pounder guns, which were the equivalent of English 9-pounders, and had a crew of 120 men.[4]

Argus was condemned and ordered broken up at Cayenne on 31 March 1807. She was decommissioned on 21 April and then broken up.[1]

Citations and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Winfield and Roberts (2015), p. 209.
  2. ^ Barrey (1907), p.54.
  3. ^ "No. 15941". The London Gazette. 29 July 1806. pp. 951–952. 
  4. ^ "No. 16020". The London Gazette. 14 April 1807. p. 479. 
  • Barrey, Ph. (1907; 1st trimester) "Notice sur les Constructeurs de Navires Havrais". Recueil des publications de la société havraise d'études diverses. (Le Havre: Imprimerie H. Micaux).
  • Roche, Jean-Michel (2005) Dictionnaire des Bâtiments de la Flotte de Guerre Française de Colbert à nos Jours. (Group Retozel-Maury Millau).
  • Winfield, Rif & Stephen S Roberts (2015) French Warships in the Age of Sail 1786 - 1861: Design Construction, Careers and Fates. (Seaforth Publishing). ISBN 9781848322042