Origin and History
The ship was built by Geoffroy at Brest from 1751 and launched on October 13, 1754.
The ship was captured by the Royal Navy on July 25 1758 and renamed HMS Bienfaisant.
During the Seven Years' War, the ship was under the command of:
- in the French service
- in the British service
- from November 1758 to 1765 : captain George Balfour
The ship was broken up in 1814.
Service during the War
In the Spring of 1758, the ship was part of Beaussier's squadron which was left at Louisbourg for the defence of the place by du Chaffault when he sailed for Québec. During the siege of Louisbourg, the ship seriously impeded the operations of the besieging British army. During the night of July 25, the ship was attacked in the harbour of Louisbourg by British boats under the command of Commander George Balfour who captured her and brought her out of the harbour under heavy fire. A few weeks after the capture of Louisbourg, she was among Boscawen's squadron which sailed for Great Britain. On its passage, the squadron became separated. On October 27, the ship was with Boscawen when he entered the Soundings. On November 1, Boscawen arrived at Spithead.
In November 1759, as soon as it became known in Great Britain that the French had sailed from Brest, the excitement was great and every effort was made to meet the situation. Orders were issued for guarding all coastal areas where the French were likely to make a descent. Troops were everywhere put in motion for this purpose. Furthermore, all ships of war in harbour were ordered out. The ship was part of Rear-Admiral Francis Geary's squadron detached to reinforce Hawke's fleet. However, Geary's reinforcements arrived too late to take part in the decisive Battle of Quiberon.
In 1762, the ship served in the Mediterranean in the squadron of Sir Charles Saunders.
|Crew||approx. 500 men|
|Length||150 ft French feet (48.72 m)|
|Width||40 ft 8 in (13.21 m)|
|Depth||20 ft (6.50 m)|
Deschênes, Ronald, Répertoire des vaisseaux de ligne français 1682-1780
Harrison, Simon and Manuel Blasco: Three Decks - Warships in the Age of Sail
Phillips, M., Michael Phillip's Ships of the Old Navy
- HMS Bienfaisant (1758)
N.B.: the section Service during the War is derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.