Aquilon (42)

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Navies >> French Navy >> Aquilon (42)

Origin and History

The ship was built by René Nicolas Levasseur in 1731 in Toulon and launched on November 24, 1733.

On February 22, 1744, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the ship took part in the Battle of Toulon.

During the Seven Years' War, the ship was under the command of:

  • in 1755: M. Froger de la Rigaudière
  • in 1756: M. Hippolyte Bernard Bidé de Maurville
  • in 1757: M. de Turgot

The ship was lost in 1757.

Service during the War

In April 1755, the ship took part in the expedition to reinforce Canada and more particularly Louisbourg. For this campaign, she was armed as a "flute", her armament being reduced to 12 guns. She served as hospital ship.

On May 18, 1756, the ship was escorting a convoy with the frigate Fidèle (24) to Rochefort when they were sighted and brought into action by the Colchester (50) and the Lyme (28). The Aquilon and the Colchester fought together during seven hours and parted on mutual consent. The former is said to have lost more than 60 killed and many wounded including her captain who lost an arm.

On May 14, 1757, the ship was chased by the Antelope (54) which was cruising off Brest. After a two-hours action, in which she lost 30 killed and 25 wounded, she was driven ashore, struck on the rocks of Audierne Bay and was totally lost.

Characteristics

Technical specifications
Guns 42
1st deck 22 x 12-pdrs
2nd deck 20 x 6-pdrs
Crew 300 men and 9 officers
Length 135 ft 4 in (41.26 m)
Width 37 ft 4 in (11.40 m)
Depth 18 ft 2 in (5.55 m)
Displacement 660 tons

References

Clowes, Wm. Laird, The Royal Navy – A History from the Earliest Time to the Present, Vol. III, Sampson Low, Marston and Company, London: 1898, p. 295

Deschênes, Ronald, Répertoire des vaisseaux de ligne français 1682-1780

Harrison, Simon and Manuel Blasco, 3 Decks

Troude, O, Batailles navales de la France, 1867. Vol. I. pp. 339-340.

Vial J. L., Nec Pluribus Impar

Acknowledgments

Simon Brocas de Boisgris for the information on service in 1756 and 1757