Duc d'Aquitaine (64)
Origin and History
The ship was built for the French “Compagnie des Indes” by Nicolas Levesque at Lorient and launched on July 22 1754.
On May 30, 1757, the ship was captured by the British Royal Navy. On June 23, she was incorporated into the Royal Navy.
During the Seven Years' War, the ship was under the command of:
- from March 1758: Captain Washington Shirley
- from January 10 1759 to January 1 1761: Captain Sir William Hewitt
The ship foundered off Pondicherry on January 1 1761.
Service during the War
On the night of May 30, 1757, the Medway (60) and Eagle (58) of the British Royal Navy sighted the ship in the Bay of Biscay. She had landed her cargo at Lisbon, and was then on her way round to Lorient. Even though she was pierced for 64 guns, she carried only 20 guns. At daylight, the Medway shortened shortened sail to clear ship and the Eagle, passing ahead of her, engaged at close range. The Medway was foul and could not get up at once, the result being that, when she did reach the scene of action, she was too late. The Duc d'Aquitaine had been beaten to a standstill, and had lost her main and mizen masts together with 50 men killed; and she struck her flag as the Medway came up. Charnock says that she had 97 shot holes through both sides, which would seem to imply that, in the thickness of her planking, she differed considerably from a ship built exclusively for war purposes; but the Admiralty thought her stout enough, and ordered her to be bought.
In January 1759, the ship was among the reinforcements sent to India under rear-admiral Samuel Cornish. They consisted of 3 ships of the line: the Lenox (74), Cornish's flagship; the Duc d'Aquitaine (64); and the York (60); along with the Falmouth (50) and 3 East Indiamen. On April 14, the expedition sailed for the East Indies. On October 17, on his way to Bombay, vice-admiral George Pocock was joined by these reinforcements.
On January 1 1761, the ship foundered off Pondicherry during a cyclone, only 19 men survived.
|Guns||pieced for 64 guns but carrying only 20 guns when captured by the Royal Navy
|Crew||11 officers and 249 men in 1755; 590 men in 1758|
|Length at gundeck||159 ft 5 in (48.59 m)|
|Width||44 ft 4 in (13.51 m)|
|Depth||19 ft 5 in (5.92 m)|
|Displacement||1358 tons BM (1380 tonnes)|
Blasco, Manuel, 3 Decks Wiki – British 3rd Rates
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
Harrison, Simon; Three Decks - Warships in the Age of Sail
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.