French ship Franklin (1797)

From SpottingWorld, the Hub for the SpottingWorld network...
HMS Canopus, the former Franklin, depicted in the late 1840s
Career (France) French Navy Ensign
Name: Franklin
Laid down: 1794
Launched: 1797
Captured: By Royal Navy, 2 August 1798, Battle of the Nile
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Canopus
Fate: Broken up, October 1887
General characteristics
Displacement: 1800 tonnes
Tons burthen: 2,016 tons
Length: 59.3 metres (183 ft 9 in)
Beam: 15.3 metres (45 ft 11 in)
Draught: 7.8 metres
Propulsion: Sails

80 guns:

  • Lower gundeck: 30 × 36 pdrs
  • Upper gundeck: 32 × 24 pdrs
  • Quarter deck: 18 × 12 pdrs
  • Forecastle: 6 × 36 pdr carronades
Honours and awards:

Participated in:

The Franklin was a French Tonnant class 80-gun ship of the line designed by engineer Jacques-Noël Sané, and named after the American scientist and politician Benjamin Franklin.

Captain Maurice Gillet commanded the Franklin on the French side in the Battle of the Nile (1798), carrying rear admiral Armand Blanquet du Chayla, second-in-command of the French fleet. During the battle, the opposing British fleet led by rear admiral Horatio Nelson captured the Franklin as a prize, and the British admiralty recommissioned her in the Royal Navy as HMS Canopus.

While under the command of Francis Austen, brother to novelist Jane Austen, the Canopus was temporarily absent from the fleet in October 1805 on convoy duty in the Mediterranean, and missed participating in the Battle of Trafalgar. However, in 1806, still under Austen's command, Canopus led the British lee line in the Battle of San Domingo, where her crew suffered 8 dead and 22 wounded. She later served as the flagship of Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Louis during Dardanelles Operation in 1807.[1]

From 1863 she was used for harbour duty, and was sold for scrap in October 1887.

Citations and notes

  1. p.49, Howard


  • Howard, Edward, Memoires of Admiral Sir Sidney Smith, K.C. B., & c., Volume 2, Adamant Media Corporation, 2003