HMS Bienfaisant (1758)

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French Royal Navy EnsignFrance
Name: Bienfaisant
Launched: 1754
Captured: 25 July 1758, by Royal Navy
Royal Navy EnsignUnited Kingdom
Name: HMS Bienfaisant
Acquired: 25 July 1758
Fate: Broken up, 1814
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: 64-gun third rate ship of the line
Tons burthen: 1360 794 (bm)
Length: 153 ft 9 in (46.86 m) (gundeck)
Beam: 44 ft 6 in (13.56 m)
Depth of hold: 19 ft 4 in (5.89 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
Armament: 64 guns of various weights of shot

Bienfaisant was a 64-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, launched in 1754.

She was captured by the Royal Navy on the night of 25 July 1758 during a cutting out expedition ordered by Admiral Edward Boscawen during the 1758 Siege of Louisbourg. Bienfaisant and the 74-gun Prudent were the last remaining ships of the line of the French squadron in Louisbourg harbour. Prudent was aground and so was burnt but Bienfaisant was successfully cut out by men commanded by Commander George Balfour, of HMS Aetna. The action was decisive moment of the siege as the fortress surrendered the next day.

British Service[edit]

The captured Bienfaisant was commissioned as the third rate HMS Bienfaisant.[2][3] She took part in the Battle of Cape St Vincent in 1780 and the capture of the Comte de Artois off Ireland in August.

She participated, under the command of Captain Braithwaite, in the 1781 Battle of Dogger Bank with reduced armament on her lower deck as the last ship in the line.[4]:46

Bienfaisant was broken up in 1814.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lavery, Ships of the Line, vol. 1, p. 178.
  2. ^ Ships of the Old Navy, Aetna.
  3. ^ Ships of the Old Navy, Bienfaisant.
  4. ^ Ross, Sir John. Memoirs of Admiral de Saumarez Vol 1. 


  • 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.
  • Michael Phillips. Aetna (8) (1756). Michael Phillips' Ships of the Old Navy. Retrieved 24 November 2007.
  • Michael Phillips. Bienfaisant (64) (1758). Michael Phillips' Ships of the Old Navy. Retrieved 24 November 2007.