Gloire (1799 ship)

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French Navy EnsignFrance
CapturedMarch 1801
United Kingdom
NameHMS Trincomalee
Acquired1801 by purchase post-capture
FateSold August 1804
Acquired1802 by purchase
Capturedlate 1803
French Navy EnsignFrance
AcquiredLate 1803 by capture
CapturedSeptember 1807
United Kingdom
NameHMS Emilien
Acquired1807 by capture
FateSold 1808
General characteristics [1]
Tons burthen
  • Gloire: 300 (French; "of load")
  • HMS: 320 (bm)
Length80 ft 2 in (24.4 m) (overall); c.
Sail planBrig
  • Gloire (privateer): 183; 111 at capture
  • HMS:121
  • Émilien:150
  • Gloire: 16 × 6-pounder guns
  • HMS: 16 × 6-pounder guns
  • Émilien: 18 guns (at capture)

Gloire was a ship launched at Bayonne in 1799 as an armed merchantman. She became a privateer in the Indian Ocean that the British captured in 1801 in a notable single-ship action and named HMS Trincomalee, but then sold in 1803. The French recaptured her in 1803 and recommissioned her as the privateer Émilien, but the British recaptured her in 1807 and recommissioned her as HMS Emilien, before selling her in 1808.


Was a three-masted corvette-like ship built in Bayonne and commissioned in Bordeaux in 1799 under Captain Emit as an armed merchantman. After her arrival at Île de France (Mauritius) in May she was recommissioned as a privateer under Captain Étienne Bourgoin.[2]

Gloire sailed from Île de France on the evening of 25 August 1800, in company with the privateer Adèle.[3]

On 23 March 1801 HMS Albatross, Captain William Waller captured Gloire, Étienne Bourgoin, master, at 15°17′N 87°0′E / 15.283°N 87.000°E / 15.283; 87.000. Albatross had chased Gloire and had finally caught up with her around noon. After a close and severe action that lasted about 20 minutes Bourgoin struck. Gloire had lost five men killed and 12 wounded, Bourgoin and some of his officers being among the wounded; Albatross had no casualties.[4]

At the time of her capture Gloire was armed with 10 guns, though she was pierced for 18, and had a crew of 111 men. She had left Mauritius with 183 men, but had taken six prizes requiring prize crews; she had also sunk several other prizes that were not worth putting a prize crew aboard.[5]

After his capture Bourgoin stated that Gloire could have escaped, but that his men had insisted on fighting. He also reported that some time earlier he had encountered the British East India Company's 24-gun cruizer Mornington. She had chased Gloire for some three days, and Bourgoin praised Lieutenant Henry Frost, Mornington's captain, for his seamanship.[4]

Waller and Albatross had on 23 November 1800 captured Adèle. Shortly after Albatross arrived at Madras Roads, the New Madras Insurance Company presented Waller with an honour sword, and the Old Madras Insurance Company presented him with a piece of plate, each worth £200, as a reward for the service he had rendered by this capture and that of Gloire.[4][6]

HMS Trincomalee (or Trincomaley)[edit]

Admiral Peter Rainier wrote on 17 June 1801 to Lord Clive, Governor in Council, at Fort George, that he, Rainier, had found it necessary to purchase Gloire for "his majesty's service", that he had named her Trincomalee, and that he intended to put her under the command of a Commander.[7]

Commander Peter Heywood took command of Trincomalee in June. In December she was off Cheduba Island. Heywood noted that provisions could be gotten there at reasonable prices.[8]

Commander T. Pulham replaced Heywood.[a] The Royal Navy sold Trincomalee in January 1802.[1]


She became a merchantman, probably under her existing name. In late 1803 the French recaptured her and recommissioned her as the privateer Émilien.[2][11]


A notice in the Gazette de l'Isle de France on 9 July 1806 stated that Émilien would leave on a cruise in a few days.[12]

Culloden, Captain Christopher Cole, captured Émilien on 26 September 1806 after a chase that lasted two days and a night. He described her as a ship corvette of 18 guns and 150 men. When the British took possession of Emilien at 2a.m. on the 25th, close off the shoals of Point Guadaveri they found out that they had driven her ashore the night before. She had had to jettison 12 guns, her anchors, and her boats, to enable her to be refloated.[b] Cole noted that Emilien was "formerly His Majesty's Sloop Trincomalee". He further noted that she was copper fastened, and that under the name of Gloire had "annoyed our Trade". However, on this cruise she was two months out of Île de France without having made any captures.[13][c]

HMS Emilien[edit]

The Royal Navy took Émilien into service as HMS Emilien.[d] However, The Navy sold her around 1808.[1]

Notes, citations, and references[edit]


  1. ^ Pulham was Governor of the naval hospital at Madras. He transferred to command Trident upon Captain Henry Lidgbird Ball's return to England on private concerns,[9] until Heywood could replace him. Pulham was to replace Heywood on Trincomalee.[10]
  2. ^ Between 1793 and 1816, the French colony of Yanam, which sits on the Godavari River, was under British control.
  3. ^ Demerliac reported that Émilien was captured either by Culloden on 26 September, or on 10 January 1807 near Machilipatnam by an unknown British cruiser.[11]
  4. ^ Demerliac reports that the British gave her back her old name, HMS Trincomalee.[11] This is incorrect.


  1. ^ a b c Winfield (2008), p. 268.
  2. ^ a b Demerliac (1999), p. 272, №2405.
  3. ^ Seton-Karr (1868), pp. 71–2.
  4. ^ a b c "Chronicle for April 1801", Asiatic Annual Review, Vol. 3, pp.62-63.
  5. ^ "No. 15427". The London Gazette. 14 November 1801. p. 1373.
  6. ^ Marshall (1824), pp. 328–9.
  7. ^ Asiatic Annual Register..., Vol. 7, p.126.
  8. ^ Purdy (1816), p. 50.
  9. ^ Naval Chronicle, Vol. 7, p.363.
  10. ^ Naval Chronicle, Vol. 7, p.364.
  11. ^ a b c Demerliac (2003), p. 327, №1807.
  12. ^ Piat (2007), p. 94.
  13. ^ "No. 16013". The London Gazette. 24 March 1807. p. 379.


  • Demerliac, Alain (1999). La Marine de la Révolution: Nomenclature des Navires Français de 1792 à 1799 (in French). Éditions Ancre. ISBN 9782906381247. OCLC 492783890.
  • Demerliac, Alain (2003). La Marine du Consulat et du Premier Empire: Nomenclature des Navires Français de 1800 A 1815 (in French). Éditions Ancre. ISBN 2-903179-30-1.
  • McAteer, William (1991) Rivals in Eden: A history of the French settlement and British conquest of the Seychelles islands. (Sussex: Book Guild). ISBN 978-0863324963
  • Marshall, John (1824). "Waller, William" . Royal Naval Biography. Vol. 2, part 1. London: Longman and company.
  • Piat, Denis (2007). Pirates and Corsairs in Mauritius. Translated by North-Coombes, Mervyn. Christian le Comte. ISBN 978-99949-905-3-5.
  • Purdy, John (1816). Tables of the positions, or of the latitudes and longitudes, of places, to accompany the 'Oriental navigator'.
  • Seton-Karr, Walter Scott, ed. (1868). Selections from Calcutta Gazettes: Showing the Political and Social Condition of the English in India. Vol. 3. Military Orphan Press.
  • Winfield, Rif (2008). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793–1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-246-7.