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French frigate Volontaire (1796)

Volontaire was a 40-gun Virginie class frigate of the French Navy.

French Navy Ensign French Navy EnsignFrance
Name: Volontaire
Builder: Bordeaux
Laid down: September 1794
Launched: 7 June 1796
Fate: Captured by the British Navy on 4 March 1806, becoming HMS Volontaire
General characteristics
Class and type: Virginie class frigate
Displacement: 720 tonnes
Length: 47.4 m (156 ft)
Beam: 11.9 m (39 ft)
Draught: 5.5 m (18 ft)
Armament: 44 guns
Armour: Timber

On 20 November 1798, along with Insurgente, Volontaire, under Captain Laurent, captured the 14-gun corvette USS Retaliation.[1]

She took part in the Atlantic campaign of 1806 and was captured by HMS Diadem on 4 March 1806.[2] She sailed into Table Bay, unaware that the British had captured Cape Town. HMS Diadem, flying a Dutch flag, came alongside. When Diadem ran up the British flag, Volontaire surrendered.[Note 1]

The Royal Navy took her into service as HMS Volontaire. Captain Josceline Percy commissioned her and sailed her to St Helena. There he took charge of a convoy for England.

The transports Anacreon and Charlotte (1784 ship) sailed from the Cape of Good Hope on 11 March 1806 bound for France as cartels carrying Volontaire's crew.

On 21 March Volontaire sailed as escort to 17 transports in a convoy to Great Britain carrying invalids and Dutch prisoners.


Volontaire was broken up in February 1826.

Notes, citations, and referencesEdit


  1. ^ In July 1810 there was a distribution of money for the capture of two French vessels taken at the Cape of Good Hope, Rolla on 21 February and Volontaire on 4 March: A petty officer's share of the prize money for Volontaire was £6 5sd; an able seaman's share was £1 11s 6d. For Rolla the amounts were 15s 0½d and 3s 10d.[3]


  1. ^ Troude (1867), p. 168.
  2. ^ "No. 15919". The London Gazette. 13 May 1806. pp. 601–602.
  3. ^ "No. 16387". The London Gazette. 14 July 1810. p. 1047.