HMS Centaur (1759)

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File:Sinking of centaur.jpg
Sinking of the Centaur,
engraving by James Northcote
Career (France) French Royal Navy Ensign
Name: Centaure
Launched: 1757
Captured: 18 August 1759, by Royal Navy
Career (Great Britain) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Centaur
Acquired: 18 August 1759
Fate: Wrecked, 1782
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: 74-gun third rate ship of the line
Tons burthen: 1739 tons (1766.9 tonnes)
Length: 175 ft 8 in (53.54 m) (gundeck)
Beam: 47 ft 5 in (14.45 m)
Depth of hold: 20 ft (6.1 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
Armament: 74 guns of various weights of shot

Centaure was a 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, launched in 1757.

The Royal Navy captured Centaure at the Battle of Lagos[2] by the Royal Navy on 18 August 1759, and commissioned her as the Third Rate HMS Centaur.[1]


In September of 1782, the Centaur was one of the ships escorting prizes back to Britain from Jamaica, when she foundered during a severe gale near the Newfoundland Banks. Captain John Nicholson Inglefield, along with eleven of his crew, survived the wreck in one of the ship's pinnaces, arriving at the Azores after sailing in an open boat for 16 days without compass quadrant or sail, and only two quart bottles of water; some 400 of her crew perished.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Lavery, Ships of the Line vol. 1, p. 178.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ships of the Old Navy, Centaur.


  • Lavery, Brian (2003) The Ship of the Line - Volume 1: The development of the battlefleet 1650-1850. Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-252-8.

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