French ship Régulus (1805)

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Regulus under attack by British fireships August 11 1809.jpg
The French Régulus under attack by British fireships, during the evening of 11 August 1809. Drawing by Louis-Philippe Crépin.
French Navy EnsignFrance
Name: Régulus
Namesake: Regulus
Ordered: 4 April 1801
Builder: Lorient
Laid down: 2 November 1801
Launched: 12 April 1805
In service: 15 April 1805
Out of service: 7 April 1814
Fate: Scuttled by fire
General characteristics
Class and type: Téméraire-class ship of the line
  • 2966 tonnes
  • 5260 tonnes fully loaded
Length: 55.87 metres (183.3 ft) (172 pied)
Beam: 14.90 metres (48 ft 11 in)
Draught: 7.26 metres (23.8 ft) (22 pied)
Propulsion: Up to 2,485 m2 (26,750 sq ft) of sails
Armour: Timber

Régulus was a Téméraire-class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy.

From 25 May 1801, her armament was upgraded to carry between 80 and 86 guns.

During the Atlantic campaign of 1806, she was the flagship of L'Hermite's squadron (also comprising frigates Président and Cybèle and corvette Surveillant) during L'Hermite's expedition. She patrolled from the Gulf of Guinea to Brazil and the Caribbean. On 6 January 1806 the French squadron captured the 16-gun sloop-of-war HMS Favourite.[1] The squadron also captured about 20 merchantman, notably including the ships Otway and Plowers.

In 1808, Régulus was in station with the Brest squadron.

In 1809, she was transferred to Rochefort. She famously took part in the Battle of the Basque Roads from 11 April 1809, under Captain Lucas, where she ran aground between Les Palles and Fouras. For 17 days, the stranded ship repelled assaults by the British, before refloating and returning to Rochefort on 29.[2]


Régulus was scuttled by fire on 7 April 1814 near Meschers-sur-Gironde to avoid capture by the British vessels HMS Egmont and HMS Centaur.[3]


Régulus caves

The scuttling of Régulus occurred off a limestone cliff dotted by numerous caves. The site was named in honour of the ship.

Sources and references[edit]