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Souverain was a 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, lead ship of her class.

French Navy Ensign French Navy Ensign French Navy EnsignFrance
Name: Souverain
Namesake: "Sovereign"
Ordered: 25 October 1755
Builder: Toulon
Laid down: December 1755
Launched: 6 May 1757
In service: November 1757
Renamed: Peuple Souverain in September 1792
Captured: 2 August 1798
United Kingdom
Name: Guerrier
Acquired: 12 August 1798
Fate: Guard ship
General characteristics
Class and type: Souverain-class ship of the line
Displacement: 1536 tons (French)
Length: 53.3 m (175 ft)
Beam: 14.1 m (46 ft)
Draught: 7.1 m (23 ft)
Propulsion: Sail
  • 28 × 36-pounders
  • 30 × 18-pounders
  • 16 × 8-pounders
Armour: Timber

She took part in the Battle of the Chesapeake, in 1781. In 1792, she was renamed Peuple Souverain ("Sovereign People").

In 1798, she took part in the battle of the Nile. A shot from HMS Orion (at the rear of the British line) cut her cable and she drifted out of position,[1] later in the battle being captured by the British.[2] She was subsequently recommissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Guerrier, but was in too bad a shape to serve in the high sea, so she was used as a guard ship.


  1. ^ Palmer, p. 10
  2. ^ Crowdy, p. 47


  • Crowdy, Terry (2005). French Warship Crews 1789–1805: From the French Revolution to Trafalgar. Oxford, United Kingdom: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-745-X.
  • Palmer, Michael A. (2005). Command at Sea: Naval Command and Control Since the Sixteenth Century. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-01681-5.

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