Maxime Julien Émeriau de Beauverger
American War of Independence
Emeriau joined the Navy in 1776, just before the outbreak of the American War of Independence, taking service on the fluyt Sylphe.
He took part in the Battle of Ushant on the Intrépide in 1778. He was then transferred on the Diadème, in Admiral d'Estaing's fleet, taking part in the Battle of Grenada, where he was wounded, and in the Siege of Savannah, where one of his eyes was wounded.
After rising to lieutenant de frégate, he took part in the campaigns of Admiral de Grasse, serving aboard a number of ships. He took part in the Battle of St. Kitts and in the Battle of the Saintes, where he was twice wounded.
After the Treaty of Paris, Emeriau sailed with the commerce.
On 1 January 1792, Emeriau was promoted to lieutenant. The next year, he received command of the corvette Cerf. He notably ferried a convoy of refugees to New England after a fire devastated Cap Français.
In December 1794, Emeriau was promoted to captain, receiving command of the Conquérant, and later of the Timoléon, both in the Mediterranean fleet under Admiral Pierre Martin. He took part in the various battles fought by the fleet, notably the Battle of Cape Noli and the Battle of Hyères Islands.
He took part in the Battle of the Nile, where Spartiate was the third ship in the French line. She dueled with Nelson's Vanguard, and Audacious from 19:00. At 21:00, Emeriau, twice wounded and facing three opponents, orders the colours struck.
Préfet maritime and chief commander in Toulon
In late 1803, Emeriau was promoted to préfet maritime in Toulon. He served in this capacity until 1811. when he took command of the Mediterranean squadron as a vice-admiral. The fleet was however blockaded in its harbour by Lord Exmouth's fleet, and was unable to mount large-scale operations.
On 7 March 1813, he was promoted to vice-admiral and nominated inspector of the coasts of Ligurie.
During the Hundred Days, Emeriau was made a Pair de France. However, he never had a chance to serve in this capacity. The Bourbon Restoration sent him into retirement, making him a Pair de France in 1831.
He was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati.
- Name engraved on the Southern pillar of the Arc de Triomphe
- Grand cross of the Legion of Honour
- Knight of the Order of Saint Louis
Sources and references
- name sometimes spelt "Emériau", "Emeriaud" or "Emerieau"; "Beauverger" sometimes spelt "Boisverger"
- sous-lieutenant de vaisseau
- lieutenant devaisseau
- capitaine de vaisseau
- Six (Georges): Dictionnaire biographique des généraux et amiraux français de la Révolution et de l'Empire, Librairie historique et nobiliaire Georges Saffroy, Paris, 1934.
- Dictionnaire des Marins Francs-Maçons (sous la direction de Jean Marc Van Hille), Éditions le Phare de Misaine, Nantes, 2008.