French frigate Néréide (1779)

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File:Capture of Nereide.jpg
Capture of Néréide by HMS Phoebe, on 20 December 1797, Thomas Whitcombe, 1816, in the National Maritime Museum
Career (France) French Navy Ensign
Name: Néréide
Namesake: Nereid
Builder: Saint Malo, plans by Sané
Laid down: October 1778
Launched: 31 May 1779
Commissioned: August 1779
Fate: captured on 20 December 1797
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Nereide
Acquired: 20 December 1797
Captured: 23 August 1810
Fate: captured
Career (France) French Navy Ensign
Name: Néréide
Acquired: 23 August 1810
Captured: 3 December 1810
Fate: Broken up
General characteristics
Displacement: 600 tonnes
Length: 43.9 metres
Beam: 11.2 metres
Draught: 5.4 metres
Propulsion: Sail
Complement: 260
  • French service:
  • British service: 26 x 12-pound long guns
Armour: Timber

The Néréide was a Sybille class 32-gun, copper-hulled, frigate of the French Navy. On 22 December 1797 HMS Phoebe captured her and she was taken into British service as HMS Nereide. The French recaptured her at the Battle of Grand Port, only to lose her again when the British took Île de France in 1810. After the Battle of Grand Port she was in such a poor condition that she was broken up.

French service

On 6 June 1780, along with Zodiaque (74 guns), she captured a British privateer, the 10-gun cutter Prince of Wales off Madeira. She was part of the fleet of Lamotte-Picquet that sailed from Brest and on 2 May 1781 captured 18 ships in a convoy from Sint Eustatius. In 1782 she served in the Caribbean under Vaudreuil.

From 1788, she served off Africa.

After a refit in Rochefort in October 1794, she was sailing off the Isles of Scilly under the command of Lieutenant de Vaisseau Chassériau when she encountered Phoebe. After exchanging broadsides with Phoebe for about an hour and a half, Néréide struck. She had suffered 20 killed and 55 wounded; Phoebe had suffered three men killed and 10 wounded. Although the French vessel had a larger crew, she had a substantially smaller broadside and that told. She entered into British service as HMS Nereide.

British service

On 1 March 1800, Nereide captured the French privateer Vengeance, of 18 long 8-pounders and 174 men, after a chase of 12 hours and a run of 123 miles. Vengeance had been in the company of some four other French privateers, some as heavily armed as Nereide, but all had scattered as she approached. Nereide then was present for the capitulation on 13 September of Fort Amsterdam (Sint Maarten).

On 25 November 1806 Nereide captured the Spanish privateer Brilliante, a lugger of four guns with a crew of 50.

In 1809, she served as convoy escort. In September, she took part in the Raid on Saint Paul at Île Bourbon (now Réunion). She captured the frigate Caroline, and recovered the East Indiamen Streatham and Europa, and the 14-gun Bombay Marine brig Grappler.

In March 1810, Nereide joined HMS Iphigenia, Leopard and Magicienne off Île de France (now Mauritius).


She took part in the Battle of Grand Port where she was severely battered and eventually captured.

She was surrendered in December 1810 when the island fell to the British. She was in such a bad shape that she was broken up.

References and sources

fr:Néréide (frégate)