French ship Solitaire (1774)

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French Royal Navy EnsignFrance
Name: Solitaire
Launched: 1774
Captured: 6 December 1782, by Royal Navy
Royal Navy EnsignGreat Britain
Name: Solitaire
Acquired: 6 December 1782
Fate: Sold, 1790
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Solitaire class ship of the line
Tons burthen: 1521 tons (1545.4 tonnes)
Length: 51 metres [2]
Beam: 13.2 metres [2]
Draught: 6.4 metres [2]
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship

Solitaire was a 64-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, launched in 1774, lead ship of her class. She was captured by the Royal Navy on 6th December 1782, and commissioned as the third rate HMS Solitaire. She was sold out of the navy in 1790.

Solitaire was part of a squadron that comprised Triton, Résolue, Nymphe, and the brig '"Speedy. The French squadron sailed on 24 November from Saint-Pierre, Martinique.[3]

After a dark night, Solitaire, Captain de Borda, found herself in the morning close to a squadron of eight British ships under the command of Rear-Admiral Sir Richard Hughes, which was on its way from Gibraltar. The English gave chase and Solitaire sailed to delay them and give the rest of the French squadron a chance to escape.[3]

At 12:30 and engagement developed between Solitaire and HMS Ruby. As another British vessel approached Solitaire had to strike. Speedy was captured in the same action,[4] after a vigorous defense. In the action, her captain, Ribiers, was killed, together with a large part of her crew.[3]

Notes, citations, and references[edit]



  1. ^ Lavery, Ships of the Line vol.1. p182.
  2. ^ a b c d Roche, vol.1, p.86
  3. ^ a b c Guérin (1857), Vol. 5, p.124.
  4. ^ Troude (1865), Vol. 2, p.212.