French frigate Libre (1796)

From SpottingWorld, the Hub for the SpottingWorld network...
File:Fight of the Poursuivante mp3h9427.jpg
Poursuivante, sister-ship of Libre
Career (France) French Navy Ensign
Name: Libre
Laid down: September 1794
Launched: 10 February 1796
In service: January 1798
General characteristics
Class and type: Romaine class frigate
Displacement: 700 tonnes
Length: 45.5 metres
Beam: 11.8 metres
Draught: 5 metres
Propulsion: Sail

40 guns:
24 x 24-pounders

16 x 8-pounders
Armour: Timber

The Libre was a Romaine class frigate of the French Navy. She was built at Le Havre, and though launched in 1796, was not placed into service until 1798. She sailed from Le Havre in March 1801 in the company of Indienne towards Cherbourg, then Cadiz and La Corogne under Captaine de Frégate Bourdet. From Septtember to December 1803 she was stationed at the mouth of the River Meuse.

On 14 December 1805, the HMS Egyptienne and HMS Loire captured her six leagues north-west of the lighthouse at Baleine, off Rochefort. Libre suffered two killed and 18 wounded, including Captain de Frégate Deschorches. Loire had no casualties but Egyptienne had 8 wounded, one mortally.

By British report, Libre was armed with 24 18-pounders, six 36-pounder carronades and 10 9-pounder guns.[1] Libre was badly damaged and had lost her masts so Loire took her in tow and reached Plymouth with her on 4 January 1806. She was not taken into Royal Navy service.


  1. The European magazine, and London Review, Vol. 49, p.73-4.
  • Roche, Jean-Michel (2005) Dictionnaire des Bâtiments de la Flotte de Guerre Française de Colbert à nos Jours. (Group Retozel-Maury Millau), p.280.