French ship Bourgogne (1766)

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For other ships with the same name, see Bourgogne (disambiguation).
French Navy EnsignFrance
Name: Bourgogne
Namesake: Bourgogne
Ordered: 16 January 1762
Builder: Toulon Dyd
Laid down: 31 January 1762
Launched: 26 June 1766
Commissioned: November 1767
Fate: Wrecked 4 February 1783.
General characteristics
Displacement: 1,550 tons (French)
  • 54.57 m (179.0 ft) (gundeck)
  • 47.43 m (155.6 ft) (keel)
Beam: 14.13 m (46.4 ft)
  • 6.66 m (21.9 ft) (fore)
  • 7.47 m (24.5 ft) (aft)
Depth of hold: 6.98 m (22.9 ft)
Propulsion: sail
Sail plan: full rigged
Complement: 840
  • Lower deck:28 x 36-pounder guns
  • Upper deck: 30 x 18-pounder guns
  • Galliards: 16 x 8-pounder guns

The Bourgogne was a 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy. She was funded by a don des vaisseaux donation from the Estates of Bourgogne. She was commissioned in 1772, and served in the squadron of the Mediterranean, with a refit in 1775, and another in 1778.

On 4 May 1779, off Gibraltar, she took part in a naval action with Victoire against the 32-gun frigates HMS Thetis and Montreal. Montreal was captured, while Thetis managed to escape.

British records largely agree, though they put the encounter on 1 May. When Thetis and Montreal saw two large ships approaching under Dutch colours, they suspected that the strange ships were French and attempted to sail away. Thetis succeeded, but at 9p.m., Bourgogne and Victoire caught up with Montreal, came alongside, and ordered Douglas to send over a boat. Captain Douglas sent over Lieutenant John Douglas, whom the French ordered to Douglas to hail Montreal and instruct her to strike. Captain Douglas attempted to escape, but after the French had fired several broadsides into Montreal he struck.[1]

Bourgogne took part in the American Revolutionary War, most notably at the Battle of the Saintes, where she collided with Duc de Bourgogne [2]

On 11 September 1781 Bourgogne and Aigrette were in the Chesapeake. There they captured the frigate HMS Richmond, which the French Navy took into service as Richemont.[3]


She was wrecked on 4 February 1783, off Curaçao[4] with the loss of 80 of her 840 crew.

Citations and references[edit]

  1. ^ Hepper (1994), p. 55.
  2. ^ Histoire du vaisseau du Roi « La Bourgogne »
  3. ^ Winfield and Roberts (2015), p.127.
  • Hepper, David J. (1994). British Warship Losses in the Age of Sail, 1650-1859. Rotherfield: Jean Boudriot. ISBN 0-948864-30-3. 
  • Winfield, Rif & Roberts, Stephen S., (2015) French Warships in the Age of Sail 1786 - 1861: Design Construction, Careers and Fates. (Seaforth Publishing). ISBN 9781848322042