French ship Caton (1777)

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French Royal Navy EnsignFrance
Name: Caton
Builder: Toulon
Laid down: April 1770
Launched: 5 July 1777
Completed: May 1778
Captured: 19 April 1782, by Royal Navy
Royal Navy EnsignUnited Kingdom
Name: Caton
Acquired: 19 April 1782
In service: Registered on 29 January 1783
Reclassified: Hospital ship from August 1790
Fate: Sold on 9 February 1815
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: 64-gun third rate ship of the line
Tons burthen: 1,407 2394 (bm)
  • 166 ft (51 m) (gundeck)
  • 136 ft 4.75 in (41.5735 m) (keel)
Beam: 44 ft 0.5 in (13.424 m)
Depth of hold: 19 ft 4 in (5.89 m)
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
Complement: 500 (491 from 1794)
  • Lower deck: 26 × 24-pounders
  • Upper deck: 26 × 18-pounders
  • Quarterdeck: 10 × 9-pounders
  • Forecastle: 2 × 9-pounders

Le Caton was a 64-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, launched in 1777.

She was captured by the Royal Navy at the Battle of the Mona Passage on 19 April 1782, and commissioned as the third rate HMS Caton. She sailed with the fleet for England on 25 July 1782 but was said to have been lost later that year in a hurricane storm off Newfoundland on 16–17 September, along with the other captured French prize ships Ville de Paris, and Hector. In fact, she struggled to reach Halifax NS.

On January 26, 1783, a small British convoy of eight military transports sailed out of Halifax for England; accompanied by the captured French 64-gun man-of war Le Caton, and escorted by the veteran 36-gun frigate HMS Pallas.

Later she became a prison hospital ship at Plymouth and was placed on harbour service in 1798, and sold out of the service in 1815.


  1. ^ Lavery, Ships of the Line vol.1. p182.


  • Lavery, Brian (2003) The Ship of the Line - Volume 1: The development of the battlefleet 1650-1850. Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-252-8.