French frigate Sémillante (1792)
Semillante and the frigate Atalante were sailing in a squadron under the command of Contre-Admiral Charles-Alexandre Durand Linois with the 74-gun fourth rate ship of the line Marengo. They fought one notable engagement, at the Battle of Pulo Aura on 15 February 1804. Linois attacked the Honourable East India Company's (HEIC) China Fleet, a large convoy of well-armed merchant ships carrying cargo worth £8 million. Although the entire British fleet consisted of merchantmen, escorted by the HEIC's tiny gun-brig Ganges, Linois failed to press the attack. Instead, he withdrew with the convoy at his mercy, invoking the anger of Napoleon when the news reached France.
On 15 September 1804, under Léonard Motard, together with Marengo and Atalanta, Semillante participated in the Battle of Vizagapatam. During the battle the three French ships engaged the sole British warship, the 50-gun HMS Centurion. Semillante also captured the East Indiaman Prince Charlotte. The French squadron panicked a second East Indiaman, the Barnaby, to run aground.. Despite his overwhelming superiority in firepower, Linois then withdrew his squadron, leaving Centurion to survive.
On 3 December, along with Berceau, Sémillante destroyed and captured seven British merchantmen off Paolo-Bay.
On 8 June 1806, she captured the East Indiamen Acteon, Warren Hastings and Active. On 11 November, the encountered HMS Sceptre and HMS Cornwallis; a battle broke out on 13 November, which resulted in the retreat of the British ships.
In September Robert Surcouf purchased Sémillante, after his own ship Revenant had been requisitioned for the defence of the island. He renamed her Charles and sailed with her to Saint-Malo laden with the spoils of his campaign.
In December 1809, the British captured her. Too old and damaged to be brought into British service, she was broken up.
- The Naval History of Great Britain, 1793 - 1820, Volumes II and IV, by William James, R. Bentley, London, 1837.
- Woodman, p. 172
- Histoire de Deux Marins Bretons
- Die Geschichte der französischen Fregatte SEMILLANTE (36) von 1791 bis 1809
|Laid down:||December 1790|
|Launched:||25 November 1791|
|In service:||May 1792|
Sold in 1808
|Class and type:||Sémillante class frigate|
|Tons burthen:||600 tonnes|
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