French frigate Prudente (1790)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Cybèle and Prudente vs English ship and frigate 22 dec 1794-Durand Brager img 3104.jpg
Cybèle and Prudente fighting HMS Centurion and HMS Diomede.
French Navy Ensign French Navy EnsignFrance
Name: Prudente
Namesake: Prudency
Builder: Lorient
Laid down: May 1789
Launched: 21 September 1790
In service: October 1790
Captured: 9 February 1799
General characteristics
Class and type: Capricieuse-class frigate
Displacement: 600 tonnes
Length: 44.2 m (145 ft)
Beam: 11.2 m (37 ft)
Draught: 5.5 m (18 ft)
Propulsion: Sail
Armament: 32 guns
Armour: Timber

The Prudente was a 32-gun Capricieuse-class frigate of the French Navy.


In 1791, under lieutenant Villaret de Joyeuse, she was tasked with ferrying troops to Cap-Français and with police duty in Santo Domingo. In 1793, she returned to France, escorting a convoy from Terre-Neuve, under Villaret de Joyeuse, by then promoted to Captain.

In 1794, she was the flagship of a frigate division under Captain Renaud, also comprising Cybèle, under Pierre Julien Tréhouart. She took part in the Sunda Strait campaign of January 1794 and in the Action of 22 October 1794 off Ile de France. During the Sunda Strait campaign the squadron captured the East Indiaman Pigot.

In 1796, Prudente was attached to the squadron under Sercey, that had come from France.

She served for a time at Mauritius, taking part in the Action of 8 September 1796, before being sold and becoming a privateer.[1]


Daedalus captured Prudente on 9 February 1799 near Table Bay, Cape of Good Hope. At daybreak Daedalus spotted two sails and gave chase to the larger vessel, catching up with her at about 12:30. The quarry struck after an action of almost an hour. She proved to be the Prudente, which Captain H.L. Ball referred to as a French National frigate, rather than a privateer. She was pierced for 42 guns but was armed with twenty-six 12-pounder long guns on her main-deck and two long 6-pounders and two brass howitzers on her quarterdeck. She had a crew of 297 men. In the fight, Daedalus lost two men killed and 12 wounded. Prudente lost 27 men killed and 22 wounded. The ship in her company, which escaped, was an American vessel that she had taken as a prize.[2]

Notes and references[edit]



  1. ^ Hennequin, p. 209
  2. ^ "No. 15161". The London Gazette. 20 July 1799. p. 732.