French frigate Chiffone (1800)

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File:Sybille vs Chiffone-cropped.jpg
HMS Sybille capturing the Chiffonne
Career (France) French Navy Ensign
Name: Chiffonne
Laid down: 10 November 1793
Launched: 31 August 1799
In service: December 1800
Captured: 20 August 1801
Career (Great Britain) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Chiffonne[1]
Acquired: 30 November 1803
Fate: Broken up in September 1814
General characteristics
Class and type: Heureuse class frigate
Displacement: 921 tons
Length: 44.2 metres
Beam: 11.2 metres
Draught: 5.8 metres
Propulsion: Sail
  • 26 12-pounder long guns
  • 9 9-pounders
  • 12 32-pounder carronades
Armour: Timber

The Chiffonne was a 38-gun Heureuse class frigate of the French Navy. She was built at Nantes and launched on 31 August 1799.

French service

On 11 July 1801, Chiffone, under the command of Captain Pierre Guiyesse arrived at Mahé, Seychelles from the port of St Nazaire with 33 deportees under sentence of exile from France. The exiles had been involved in the Plot of the Rue Saint-Nicaise against Napoleon.

On 19 May, off Brazil, she captured the Portuguese corvette Andorinha. Guiyesse, unable to take the crew, let them go after first taking needed cables, spare rigging and sails.

On 16 June, Chiffone captured the East Indiaman Bellona on her way from Bengal to London. In taking Bellone Chiffone had her mizzen mast crippled. A prize crew took Bellona to Mauritius where she arrived a month later.

On 19 August the HMS Sibylle, Captain Charles Adam, chased her off Mahé, Seychelles. Guieyse attempted to avoid capture by beaching Chiffonne, but she was taken the next day, having lost 50 dead. She was brought into British service as HMS Chiffonne.

British service

The British commissioned her in 1802 in the East Indies under Capt. Henry Stuart. in July 1802 she carried despatches to Calcutta with the reports of the murder of the Persian ambassador Haji Khalil Khan in Bombay. She was fitted at Woolwich in 1803 and recommissioned for service in the North Sea and the coast of Spain, where she served from 1803 to 1807. On 10 June 1804, Chiffonne and consorts engaged French gunboats.

She sailed for the East Indies in May 1808. In November 1809, under Captain John Wainwright, she and HMS Caroline, together with a number of East Indiamen, participated in the campaign to eradicate piracy in the Persian Gulf, centered on Ras al-Khaimah. In November she and Caroline destroyed the Persian town of Linga and Laft on Qeshm Island. In January 1810 the two vessels carried Shenaz, which had rebelled against Sultan Sa'id of Oman and which they restored to him. Syyed Sa'id presented Wainwright with a scimitar in recognition of his exertions against the pirates.


Chiffone returned to Portsmouth in 1811. She was eventually sold to be broken up in 1814

Sources and references

  • Roche, Jean-Michel (2005). Dictionnaire des bâtiments de la flotte de guerre française de Colbert à nos jours 1 1671 - 1870. ISBN 978-2-9525917-0-6. OCLC 165892922. [page needed][self-published source?]
  • Winfield, Rif (2005) British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793-1817: design, construction, careers and fates. (London: Chatham Publishing), p.210.