Intrepid (64)

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Origin and History

The ship was built by Boyer in Toulon (France) in 1738. She was launched in 1740 under the name of "Sérieux".

The ship was captured from the French on May 3 1747 at the first battle of Cape Finisterre.

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

  • in 1756: captain James Young
  • in 1758: captain Edward Pratten
  • in 1759: captain Edward Pratten
  • in November 1759: captain Jervis Maplesden

The ship was broken up in 1765.

Service during the War

In 1756, the ship was part of Byng's squadron sent to relieve Fort St. Philip besieged by a French amphibious force who had invaded the island of Minorca. The squadron set sail from England on April 10. On May 2, it arrived at Gibraltar. On May 8, Byng's squadron left Gibraltar. On May 19, it came into sight of Fort St. Philip. The French fleet then advanced to meet Byng. On May 20, the ship took part to the battle of Minorca. During the fight, the Intrepid had her foretop-mast shot away, forcing admiral Byng and all his division to fall aback. Several other British ships were seriously damaged but none was lost on either side. During the night, the Intrepid parted from the fleet. She joined back the fleet on May 22. On May 24, after a council of war, Byng gave orders to return to Gibraltar, abandoning Minorca to its fate. The squadron arrived at Gibraltar on June 19.

In August 1757, the ship joined the fleet assembling at Spithead under the command of sir Edward Hawke. On September 8, this fleet sailed. It escorted 45 transports carrying more then 7,000 foot for an expedition against an undisclosed French port of the Atlantic coast. The raid was finally intended against Rochefort but failed lamentably. On October 6, the expeditionary force, returned home with no tangible results.

On March 11 1758, the ship was part of sir Edward Hawke's squadron (7 ships of the line and 3 frigates) who sailed from Spithead to intercept a French squadron preparing to escort a fleet of transports from Rochefort with troops for America. On the night of April 3, Hawke arrived off Isle d'Aix. On April 4, Hawke's squadron gave chase to some French vessels. On the morning of April 5, the admiral sent in the Intrepid (64) and the Medway (60) with his best pilots. The ships anchored in about 5 fathoms but were unable to engage the French squadron. This expedition effectually prevented the despatch of French supplies to America.

In May 1759, during the naval operations in the Mediterranean, the ship was part of admiral Edward Boscawen's squadron who blockaded Toulon to prevent the French squadron from leaving without being detected and followed. At the beginning of July, Boscawen was compelled to go to Gibraltar for provisions and repairs. On August 4, Boscawen finally reached Gibraltar. On August 5, de la Clue set sail from Toulon to make a junction with de Conflans' fleet at Brest. On August 17, de la Clue's fleet (10 ships of the line, 2 50-gun ships and 3 frigates) passed the straits of Gibraltar where it was sighted by the Gibraltar (20). Alarmed, Boscawen set sail from Gibraltar to intercept de la Clue. On August 18, the ship took part in the victorious battle of Lagos. At about 4:00 PM, Boscawen, himself, in the Namur (90), was in action with the sternmost French ships. The Swiftsure (70) and Intrepid (64), were at that time to windward of him and, hailing the former, he ordered her to push on for the French van ship. The Intrepid (64) did not bear down close enough, but kept aloof, and fired at the French across the other ships. On August 19 at about 9:00, the Océan (80) ran among the breakers and the 3 other ships anchored under the Portuguese batteries. Boscawen thereupon sent the Intrepid (64) and America (60) to destroy the Océan (80) which, in taking the ground, had carried away all her masts. However, the captain of the Intrepid had anchored and he failed to carry out the order. As soon as his fleet had repaired damages, Boscawen returned to Great Britain, in accordance with his instructions, taking with him a large part of his squadron including the Intrepid (64). On November 20, the ship was present at the decisive battle of Quiberon who eliminated any serious threat from the French navy for the rest of the war.

To do: campaigns from 1760 to 1763

Characteristics

Technical specifications
Guns 64
Gun deck 26 x 24-pdrs
Upper gun deck 28 x 12-pdrs
Quarter deck 10 x 6-pdrs
Crew 400-420 men
Length 145 feet (44.40 m)
Width 40 feet (12.19)
Depth 19,4 feet (5.91 m)
Displacement 1050 tons (953 metric tons)

References

Anonymous, A Complete History of the Present War, from its Commencement in 1756, to the End of the Campaign, 1760, London, 1761

Clowes, Wm. Laird, The Royal Navy – A History from the Earliest Time to the Present, Vol. III, Sampson Low, Marston and Company, London: 1898, pp. 146-160

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

Wikipedia:

  • "Battle of Minorca"
  • "List of ships of the line of the Royal Navy"

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.