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Résolue was an Iphigénie-class 32-gun frigate of the French Navy. The British captured her twice, once in November 1791 during peacetime, and again in 1798. The Royal Navy hulked her in 1799 and she was broken up in 1811.

Engageante resolue.jpg
Engageante (left) and Résolue (right) battling HMS Concorde at the Action of 23 April 1794
French Navy Ensign French Navy Ensign French Navy EnsignFrance
Name: Résolue
Namesake: Resolute
Builder: Lemarchand, Saint Malo; plans by Léon-Michel Guignace
Laid down: April 1777 as No. 1
Launched: 16 March 1778
In service: April 1778
Captured: 14 October 1798
Royal Navy EnsignGreat Britain
Name: Resolue
Acquired: 14 October 1798
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Iphigénie-class frigate
Displacement: 1,150 tons (French)
Tons burthen: 877 2794 (bm)
Length: 140 ft 2 in (42.7 m) (overall); 116 ft 3 in (35.4 m) (keel)
Beam: 37 ft 8 in (11.5 m)
Draught: 4.9 m (16 ft) (unladen)
Sail plan: Full-rigged ship
  • French service:270-290
  • British service:54 (as receiving ship)
  • French service: 26 × 12-pounder guns + 6 × 6-pounder guns; between 1793 and 1795 she also had 2 × 36-pounder obusiers, and between 1796 and 1798 she also had 4 × 36-pounder obusiers[2]
  • British service:28 × 18-pounder guns + 4 × 6-pounder guns

French serviceEdit

In January 1779, Résolue was part of a squadron under Admiral Vaudreuil that captured Fort St Louis in Senegal from the British in February. The troops were under the command of the Duc de Lauzun. In September she was at Martinique undergoing repairs and refitting.[2]

In April 1781 Résolue was at Brest, being coppered.

On 15 July,[3] after having cruised for 50 days, the French 32-gun frigates Friponne, Lieutenant le Chevalier de Blachon, and Résolue captured Speedy, Swift, the four merchant vessels Spy, Adventure, Peggy, and Success, and the 10-gun privateer Queen.[4] The British ships were on their way to the Windward Islands.[5][Note 1]

Speedy, Captain Spargo, and Swift, both of 16 guns and 80 men, were both Post Office packet boats. They were carrying despatches for Barbadoes, St Lucia, Antigua and Jamaica.[4] Speedy, which had left Falmouth on 18 June, was the packet that the government was expecting to arrive in Britain with the news of the departure of the homeward-bound fleet from Jamaica.[3] The French took Speedy and Swift into Martinique, and the rest of the prizes into Guadeloupe.[4] At Martinique the French Navy took Speedy into service.[7] On 6 December, however, the British recaptured Speedy off Barbados.[8]

In 1783 Résolue was again at Brest for repairs.[2]

In November 1791, Résolue was escorting merchant ships, when HMS Phoenix and HMS Perseverance captured her at the Battle of Tellicherry. Résolue suffered 25 men killed and 40 wounded. As this occurred during peacetime, the British restored her to France at Mahé.[2] In 1793 she was at Brest being repaired.[2]

She took part in the Action of 23 April 1794, when a squadron comprising Résolue, Engageante, Pomone and the 22-gun corvette Babet met a squadron of five British heavy frigates. Résolue managed to escape but the British took the other three ships.

Résolue, under Commander Montalan, next participated in the Expédition d'Irlande. On 22 December 1796, she collided with Redoutable in Bantry Bay, losing her own mast in the accident. She sent a boat to seek help from Immortalité, but it was washed up on the shore on Clough Beach and its crew taken prisoner. The boat is now a local attraction. Résolue managed to return to Brest under emergency rigging and in tow from Pégase.


HMS Melampus captured Résolue on 14 October 1798 at the Battle of Tory Island. Résolue was fitted with hanging ports to her main deck. To meet a coming storm, her crew had run in and double-breeched her 12-pounders, and shut and barred the ports. She was, therefore, in a comparatively defenseless state with only her quarterdeck guns able to respond to Melampus's broadsides. Before she struck her colours, Résolue lost ten men killed and had some wounded, out of about 500 men on board.[9]

British careerEdit

She was purchased for the Royal Navy as HMS Resolue but never saw active service, instead being hulked in 1799 at Plymouth. Resolue was commissioned under Lieutenant D. Wynter in November 1801. His replacement was Lieutenant T. Richards. She was in ordinary in 1802. She was again commissioned, in April 1803, under Lieutenant J.H. Nicols, as a slop ship. In 1807 she served as flagship for Admiral J. Sutton. In 1809 she was a receiving ship.[10] As late as 1810 she did have men aboard, including some African-Americans impressed into service, who wrote letters attempting to secure their release.[11]


Resolue was broken up on 10 August 1811.[1]

Notes, citations, and referencesEdit


  1. ^ Some reports give the date of capture as 11 August.[6] However, that was the date of a letter by le Chevalier de Blanchon announcing the captures, which the Ipswich Journal published.[4]


  1. ^ a b Winfield (2008), p.209.
  2. ^ a b c d e Demerliac (1996), p.62, #374.
  3. ^ a b Derby Mercury (29 August 1782).
  4. ^ a b c d Ipswich Journal (19 October 1782, "Foreign News".
  5. ^ Austen (1935), p. 47.
  6. ^ Troude (1865) Vol. 2, p. 205.
  7. ^ Demerliac (1996) p. 77, n°495.
  8. ^ Winfield and Roberts (2015), p. 211.
  9. ^ James (1837), Vol. 2, pp. 135–7.
  10. ^ "NMM, vessel ID 374480" (PDF). Warship Histories, vol iii. National Maritime Museum. Retrieved 30 July 2011.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ W. Jeffrey Bolster. 2007. Notes and Documents: Letters by African American Sailors, 1799–1814. The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 64, no. 1.


  • Austen, Harold Chomley Mansfield (1935) Sea Fights and Corsairs of the Indian Ocean: Being the Naval History of Mauritius from 1715 to 1810. (Port Louis, Mauritius:R.W. Brooks).
  • Colledge, J.J. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of All Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy From the Fifteenth Century to the Present. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1987. ISBN 0-87021-652-X.
  • Demerliac, Alain (1996) La Marine De Louis XVI: Nomenclature Des Navires Français De 1774 À 1792. (Nice: Éditions OMEGA). ISBN 2-906381-23-3
  • James, William (1837). The Naval History of Great Britain, from the Declaration of War by France in 1793, to the Accession of George IV. R. Bentley.
  • Troude, Onésime-Joachim (1867). Batailles navales de la France. Challamel ainé.
  • Winfield, Rif. British Warships in the Age of Sail, 1793-1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Seaforth Publishing, 2nd edition, 2008. ISBN 978-1-84415-717-4.
  • Winfield, Rif & Stephen S Roberts (2015) French Warships in the Age of Sail 1786 - 1861: Design Construction, Careers and Fates. (Seaforth Publishing). ISBN 9781848322042

External linksEdit

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