French frigate Psyché (1804)

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Career (France) French Navy Ensign
Name: Psyché
Namesake: Psyche
Builder: Basse-Indre yard, near Nantes
Laid down: February 1798
Launched: 1798
In service: February 1804
Captured: 14 February 1805
Career (Great Britain) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Psyché[1]
Acquired: 6 April 1809
Fate: Broken up in 1812
General characteristics
Displacement: 846.2 tons
Length: 138 ft 6 in (gundeck); 117 ft 0in (keel)
Beam: 36 ft 10.125 in
Propulsion: Sail
Complement: 339 (French service)

In British service:
Upper deck: 24 12-pounder long guns
Quarter deck: 8 x 18-pounder carronades
Forecastle: 2 x 6-pounder long guns (bow chasers)
plus 2 x

18-pounder carronades
Armour: Timber

The Psyché was a 36-gun frigate of the French Navy, but after only eight months in French naval service she was captured by the British, in whose service she then lasted another seven years.

Originally built in 1798-99 as a privateer, before being purchased into service by Decaen in June 1804 at Réunion.

French naval service

On 10 January 1805, under captain Jacques Bergeret, she captured the Elisa. On 14 February 1805, she captured Pigeon and Thetis. Pigeon, of 10 guns, was renamed Équivoque as a privateer.

On 14 February, the three ships encountered HMS San Fiorenzo off the Malabar Coast of India. After a fierce battle, Psyché sent a boat to announce that she had struck her colours; she had 67 killed and 68 wounded[2].

British naval service

She was brought into British service as HMS Psyché, being commissioned under Commander William Woolridge in about August 1805. She was to serve in the Indian Ocean until 1812, when she returned to Europe and was sold at Ferrol to be broken up.

Sources and references

  • Rif Winfield, British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793-1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. 2nd edition, Seaforth Publishing, 2008. ISBN 978-1-84415-717-4.
  • 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?]