French frigate Poursuivante (1798)

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File:Fight of the Poursuivante mp3h9427.jpg
Fight of the Poursuivante against the HMS Hercules, 28 June 1803
Career (France) French Navy Ensign
Namesake: “Chaser”
Builder: Dunkirk shipyard. Plans by Pierre Forfait.
Laid down: 20 February 1794
Launched: 23 May 1796
Commissioned: May 1798
Struck: 1 September 1805
Homeport: Bordeaux
General characteristics
Class and type: Romaine class frigate
Displacement: 700 tonnes
Length: 45.5 metres
Beam: 11.8 metres
Draught: 5 metres
Propulsion: Sail

40 guns:
24 24-pounders

16 8-pounders
Armour: Timber

The Poursuivante (“chaser”) was a Romaine class frigate of the French Navy.

In June 1800, the Poursuivante took part in the battle of Dunkirk under commander Oreille. In 1802, she departed Flushing to ferry troops to Saint-Domingue, under capitaine de vaisseau Jean-Baptiste Philibert Willaumez. She arrived as the Haitian Revolution raged. The ships Duguay-Trouin, Annibal and Swiftsure, as well as frigate Précieuse, Infatigable were also in Haiti. General Pamphile Lacroix ordered the Blacks of the island drown, and the ships started throwing the Blacks of the island overboard. Only Willaumez refused the ordered, arguing that “sailors of the French Navy were no executioners” [1].

On the 18 May 1803, the Treaty of Amiens was cancelled and war broke out between France and the United Kingdom. On the 28 June 1803, The Poursuivante, en route for Saint-Domingue with the 16-gun corvette Mignonne, encountered a British convoy, and was chased by the HMS Hercules. Largely out-gunned, the Poursuivante managed to manoeuver behind the Hercules and rake her, disturbing her operations enough to be able to reach harbour. Mignonne was captured by HMS Goliath

In October, the Poursuivante reffited in Baltimore, from where she departed in March 1804. During her journey back to France, she met and evaded another British ship. Willaumez was promoted to vice-admiral on his return.

She was converted to a hulk in Rochefort in June 1806.

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