HMS Didon (1805)
|Builder:||Enterprise Ethéart, Saint Malo (Construteurs: François Pestel and Pierre Ozanne)|
|Laid down:||September 1796|
|Launched:||1 August 1799|
|Captured:||on 10 August 1805|
|In service:||Captured on 10 August 1805|
|Fate:||Broken up August 1811|
|General characteristics |
|Class and type:||Virginie class frigate|
|Displacement:||1,400 tons (French)|
|Tons burthen:||1,090 42⁄94 (bm)|
|Beam:||40 feet 1 inch (12.2 m)|
|Depth of hold:||12 feet 10 inches (3.9 m)|
|Sail plan:||Full-rigged ship|
The Didon was a Virginie class 40-gun frigate of the French Navy. Captured by the British in 1805, she went on to serve briefly in the Royal Navy as the 38-gun fifth-rate HMS Didon until she was sold in 1810.
Laid down in 1796 as Fâcheuse, she was renamed to Didon in 1799, the year of her launch.
On 13 October 1803, she captured a British brig. She later took part in the Battle of Cape Finisterre in 1805.
Captain Milius, of Didon, maneuvered adroitly, and casualties on both sides were heavy. The 4-hour fight cost Didon 27 men killed and 44 wounded. Phoenix lost 12 men killed and 28 wounded. Lloyd's Patriotic Fund awarded Baker a sword worth 100 guineas. In 1847 the Admiralty awarded the Naval General Service Medal with clasp, "Phoenix 10 Augt. 1805".
Baker took Didon in tow and sailed towards Gibraltar. By good fortune and skilful sailing he avoided encountering the Franco-Spanish fleet that had just left Cadiz. Instead of continuing onward, Baker changed direction and sailed for England.
Didon arrived at Plymouth on 4 September 1805. The Navy took her into British service as HMS Didon; she is the only ship of the Royal Navy to have borne this name.
The Navy commenced major repairs on Didon in May, but then cancelled the work. Didon was broken up in August 1811.
Citations and references
- Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) . Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475.
- Long, William H. (1895) Medals of the British navy and how they were won: with a list of those officers, who for their gallant conduct were granted honorary swords and plate by the Committee of the Patriotic Fund. (London: Norie & Wilson).
- Winfield, Rif (2008). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793–1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Seaforth. ISBN 1-86176-246-1.
- Winfield, Rif & Stephen S Roberts (2015) French Warships in the Age of Sail 1786 - 1861: Design Construction, Careers and Fates. (Seaforth Publishing). ISBN 9781848322042