HMS Atalante (1797)

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Career (France) French Navy Ensign
Name: Atalante
Builder: Bayonne
Laid down: 1793
Launched: January 1794
Completed: By April 1794
Captured: 10 January 1797, by the Royal Navy
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign (1800 - present)
Name: HMS Atalante
Acquired: 10 January 1797
Fate: Wrecked on 1 February 1807
General characteristics
Class and type: 16-gun brig-sloop
Tons burthen: 309 80/94 bm
Length: 99 ft (30.2 m) (overall)
78 ft 8 in (24.0 m) (keel)
Beam: 27 ft 8 in (8.4 m)
Depth of hold: 12 ft 2.25 in (3.71 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Complement: 90

As fitted:

  • 16 x 6pdrs

(After 1798:

HMS Atalante was an 16-gun brig-sloop of the Royal Navy. She was formerly the French Atalante, captured in 1797. She served with the British during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and was wrecked in 1807.

French service and capture

Atalante was a brig built at Bayonne between 1793 and 1794 to a design by Raymond-Antoine Haran.[1] She was launched in January 1794 as the only ship built to her design.[1] After only three years in service with the French, she was captured off the Scilly Isles on 10 January 1797 by HMS Phoebe.[1][2] She was taken back to Portsmouth and registered there, before being sent on to Plymouth to be fitted out between June and September 1798.[1]

British service

Atalante was commissioned under Commander Digby Dent in July 1798, but was paid off in October that year.[1] Recommissioned in December, this time under Commander Anselm Griffiths, she went on to have a particularly successful career against French privateers.

On 20 February 1799 she and HMS Boadicea captured the 14-gun privateer cutter Milan. She followed this up by taking the 6-gun privateer Succès off the Downs on 4 December.[1]

On 1 April 1801 Atalante and HMS Viper captured the 14-gun privateer Héros in the English Channel, while Atalante's cutter took the 2-gun lugger Eveillé in Quiberon Bay on 10 August.[1]

Griffiths was succeeded by Commander Joseph Masefield in May 1802, and operated out of Portland.[1] Atalante was recommissioned in January 1803 for service with the Channel Fleet, and on 9 October 1803 her boats destroyed a brig in Quiberon Bay.[1]

She was assigned to the squadron under Sir Samuel Hood on 25 September 1806, and in 1807 Lieutenant John Bowker took over command in an acting capacity. His time in command was short-lived.


On 12 February 1807 Atalante was wrecked off the Île de Ré, near Rochefort.[1][2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Winfield. British Warships of the Age of Sail 1794-1817. p. 269. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Colledge. Ships of the Royal Navy. p. 24.