French corvette Aréthuse (1799)

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Career (France) French Navy Ensign
Name: Aréthuse
Namesake: Arethusa
Builder: Basse-Indre
Laid down: October 1797
Launched: 29 April 1798
Captured: by HMS Excellent, 10 October 1799
Career (United Kingdom) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Raven
Acquired: 10 October 1799
Fate: Wrecked on 6 July 1804
General characteristics
Class and type: Aréthuse class corvette
Displacement: 250 tonnes
Length: 31.2 metres
Beam: 8.9 metres
Draught: 3.8 metres
Armament: 18 8-pounder long guns

The Aréthuse was a corvette of the French Navy, lead ship of her class, and launched in April 1798.

French service

Aréthuse served between France and the Caribbean.

On 9 October 1799, she met with the 74-gun HMS Excellent, who chase her. Aréthuse attempted to flee but part of her rigging broke during the night, and Excellent caught on during the night. After a brief fight, Aréthuse struck her colours.

British service

Purchased into Royal Navy service as the brig-sloop HMS Raven[1], she served under Captain Spelman Swaine.


She was wrecked on shore on the night of 6 July 1804 in Mayara (Mazzara?) Bay on the SW coast of Sicily. Her crew was saved. The court martial on 10 February 1805 admonished the Master for having steered her too near the land.[2]

Sources and references

  1. HMS Raven, naval database
  2. Gossett (1986), p.41.