HMS Belleisle (1795)
HMS Belleisle after the Battle of Trafalgar
|Name:||Lion, Marat, Formidable|
|Laid down:||1793 as Lion|
|Launched:||29 april 1794|
Marat in 1794
|Captured:||23 June 1795, by Royal Navy at the Battle of Groix|
|Fate:||Broken up, 1814|
|Class and type:||Téméraire class ship of the line|
|Length:||55.87 metres (172 French feet)|
|Beam:||14.90 metres (44' 6)|
|Draught:||7,26 metres (22 French feet)|
|Propulsion:||Up to 2485 m² of sails|
|Honours and awards:||
Lion was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the French Navy, which later served in the Royal Navy. She was built at Rochefort. She was later renamed Marat and then Formidable, with the changing fortunes of the French Revolution.
Fighting under captain Linois on 23 June 1795 at the Battle of Groix, she was captured by HMS Barfleur near the French port of Lorient. She was taken into service in the Royal Navy, but because the Navy already had a Formidable, she was renamed Belleisle, apparently in the mistaken belief that she had been captured off Belle Île, rather than the Île de Groix.
Captained by William Hargood, she was the second ship in the British lee column at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, and as such was engaged by the Franco-Spanish ships Achille, Aigle, Neptune, Fougueux, Santa Ana, Monarca and San Juan Nepomuceno. She was soon completely dismasted (the only British ship which suffered that fate), unable to manœuvre and largely unable to fight, as her sails blinded her batteries, but kept flying her flag for 45 minutes until the British ships behind her in the column came to her rescue. With 33 dead and 93 wounded, she was then towed to Gibraltar after the battle by the frigate HMS Naiad.
From 1811 she was in Portsmouth harbour, and in 1814 the decision was taken to have her broken up.
- Michael Phillips - Sailing ships of the Royal Navy B1. Ships of the Old Navy. Retrieved 21 January 2007.