French frigate Piémontaise (1804)

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Career (France) French Navy Ensign
Name: Piémontaise
Namesake: Piedmont
Builder: Saint Malo
Laid down: 22 March 1803
Launched: 15 December 1804
Commissioned: 23 September 1805 at Saint Servan
Captured: 8 March 1808
Career (Great Britain) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Piemontaise[1]
Acquired: 8 March 1808
Fate: Broken up in 1813
General characteristics
Class and type: Consolante-class frigate
Displacement: 1320 tonnes
Length: 46,59 m
Beam: 12,02 m
Draught: 6,17 m [2]
Propulsion: Sail

28 18-pounders
12 8-pounders

4 32-pounder carronades
Armour: Timber

The Piémontaise was a 40-gun Consolante-class frigate of the French Navy. She served as a commerce raider in the Indian Ocean until her capture in March 1808. She served with the British Navy in the East Indies until she was broken up in Britain in 1813.

French service

Piémontaise was built by Enterprise Étheart at Saint Malo. On 18 December 1805 she sailed from [{Brest]] for Île de France. There she served as a commerce raider under captain Jacques Epron. On 21 June 1806, she captured the East Indiaman Warren Hasting. On 6 September, she captured the 14-gun East India Company brig Grappler, the three-masted country ship Atomany and the East Indiaman Fame, the one-time prize to Semillante. In early March 1808, she captured three merchantmen off Southern India.


On 8 March 1808, she encountered HMS St Fiorenzo.[3] The two ships battled for three days until Piémontaise, out of ammunition and having suffered heavy casualties, had to strike her colours. The evening before she struck, Lieutenant de vaisseau Charles Moreau, who had been severely wounded, threw himself into the sea.

The British brought her into service as HMS Piemontaise (often written Piedmontaise), commissioning her under Capt. Charles Foote. From May to August 1810, she took part in an expedition to the Banda Islands, along with HMS Caroline, Barracouta and Mandarin.

Foote died in September and Cmdr. Henry D. Dawson replaced him, only to die shortly thereafter. Piemontaise's next captain was T. Epworth, who was replaced in turn by Capt. Henry Edgell.


Piémontaise was taken out of commission at Woolwich and then was broken up in 1813.

Sources and references

  • Roche, Jean-Michel (2005) Dictionnaire des Bâtiments de la Flotte de Guerre Française de Colbert à nos Jours. (Group Retozel-Maury Millau), pp.352-3.