Zéphir (30)

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Navies >> French Navy >> Zéphir (30)

Origin and History

The frigate was built, starting in June 1727 at Toulon and acquired by the Marine Royale on November 16 1728.

On February 11 1744, during the War of the Austrian Succession, the frigate was present at the Battle of Toulon.

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

  • in 1756: Captain Charles-Auguste Levasseur de la Touche

The frigate was captured by the British Navy in September 1762.

Service during the War

In 1756, the frigate was part of a small squadron who sailed from France to Martinique under the command of Captain d'Aubigny. Besides this frigate, the squadron consisted of the Prudent (74) and the frigate Atalante (32). On March 11 at daybreak, this small squadron sighted the British ship of the line Warwick (60), cruising off Martinique, who bore away under a press of sail. The Warwick was a dull sailer, had less than 300 men fit for service, and was so crank that she could rarely use her lower deck guns. As there was a heavy sea running, she was unable to use them and she had to rely almost entirely on the 9-pdrs of her upper deck and quarter-deck. The Atalante was the first to come up with the chase, and, hanging on her quarter, out of reach of her weather broadside, kept up a galling fire. The wind shifted in a hard squall; both ships were taken aback; and before the Warwick, whose rigging was much cut, could pay off her head, the Prudent drew close up and opened fire. Shuldham ordered the great guns to play upon the Prudent only, and the small-arm men to keep up their fire on the Atalante; but it was still impossible to use the lower deck guns, the ship being half swamped; and after half an hour more, being defenceless and unmanageable, she struck her flag.

On December 23 1761, the frigate was part of a French squadron of 7 sail of the line and 4 frigates, under M. de Courbon-Blénac, transporting 3,000 troop, who escaped from Brest, owing to Commodore Spry having been driven from his station off that port; and sailed to relieve the French islands of the West Indies.

On September 1 1762, the frigate was captured by the Lyon (60) during the blockade of Brest as she tried to escape with supplies for Newfoundland.


Technical specifications
Guns 28 (in 1729), also referred to as a 30-guns in 1756 and a 32-guns frigate in 1761 and 1762
Lower Gun Deck 4 x 12-pdrs
Upper Gun Deck 22 x 8-pdrs
Quarterdeck 2 x 4-pdrs
Crew approx. 230 men
Length 115 French ft (37,36 m)
Width 30 French ft 6 in (9,91 m)
Depth 14 French ft 4 in (4,57 m)
Displacement 436 tons


This article contains texts from the following book which is now in the public domain:

  • 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. 290

Other sources

Harrison, Simon; Three Decks - Warships in the Age of Sail

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