Quatre frères (1796 ship)

Quatre frères was either American or Bermudian built vessel and commissioned in 1796 at Bordeaux as a French privateer. The Royal Navy captured her in April 1797 and took her into service as HMS Transfer. The Royal Navy sold her at Malta in 1802 to Ottoman Tripolitania. The U.S. Navy captured her in 1804 and took her into service as USS Scourge. The U.S. Navy sold her in 1812.

French Navy EnsignFrance
Name: Quatre frères
Owner: Jouguet[1]
Builder: America or Bermuda[2]
Commissioned: 1796
Captured: March 1797
Great Britain
Acquired: April 1797 by capture
Renamed: HMS Transfer
Fate: Sold 1802
Flag of the Tripolitania EyaletOttoman Tripolitania
Acquired: 1802 by purchase at Malta
Captured: 18 or 21 March 1804
United States
Name: USS Scourge
Namesake: Scourge
Cost: Spanish $5,000 purchased
Acquired: 21 March 1804 by capture
Out of service: 1812
Fate: Sold 1813
General characteristics [3][4]
Tons burthen: 150 (French; "of load"); 1811394 (bm)
Length: 80 ft 0 in (24.4 m) (overall); 63 ft 0 in (19.2 m) (keel)
Beam: 23 ft 3 in (7.1 m)
Depth of hold: 14 ft 6 in (4.4 m)
Sail plan:
  • Quatre frères:38
  • Transfer:70
  • Tripoli:80[5]
  • Scourge:36-67[6]
  • Quatre frères:6 guns + 10 swivel guns + 1 × 6-barrel volley gun
  • Transfer:12 × 6-pounder guns
  • Tripoli:10 guns[5]
  • Scourge:16 × 6-pounder guns[5]

Quatre frèresEdit

Quatre frères was commissioned in 1796 in Bordeaux under Martial Dupeyrat. Under his command she captured two prizes: Résolution and Frascara, that she sent into Rochfort. Résolution, of Lisbon and of 500 tons (French, "of load"), Dos Santos (or Roze de Sautort), master, was a Portuguese vessel carrying wheat and almonds from the Barbary Coast.[7][8] Frascara was a Danish vessel carrying oranges and lemons.[7]

The 74-gun HMS Irresistible captured Quatre frères in March 1797 in the Mediterranean.[9]

HMS TransferEdit

The Royal Navy registered Transfer on 30 June 1797, and commissioned her in October under Commander George Bowen.[4] Transfer, brig of 14 guns, is listed as being in Earl St Vincent's fleet in 1798. Commander George Mundy (or Munday), was promoted to command of Transfer on 24 December 1798. She was listed in Lord Viscount Keith's fleet in 1799.

On 11 February 1799, Transfer, under the command of Lieutenant George Miller (acting), captured the French privateer Escamoteur off Ayamonte. Escamoteur was armed with three 6-pounder guns and had a crew of 34 men.[10]

On 4 April Transfer was under Mundy's command when she and the 74-gun Majestic destroyed a French privateer of 14 guns and of unknown name. The two British ships were patrolling between Malaga and Cape de Gatt when they encountered the privateer, which they chased into a small bay where their quarry took refuge under the three guns of a circular fortress. Head money was paid in 1828, almost 30 years later.[Note 1]

Transfer was present at the surrender of the French garrison at Civitavecchia on 21 September. She shared the prize money for the capture of the town and fortress with Culloden, Mutine, Minotaur, and the bomb vessel Perseus.[12] The British also captured the French polacca Il Reconniscento.[13]

In October 1800 Commander Edward O'Brien took command of Transfer.[4] She shared with Lutine, Strombolo and Bonne Citoyenne in the proceeds of unclaimed property found on the ship Fowler on 31 October 1800.[14] In 1801 O'Brien received promotion to post captain and command of Kent.[15]

Next, under the command of Lieutenant John Nicholas, she served in Admiral Viscount Keith's Egyptian campaign of 1801. Prize money was paid in April 1823.[Note 2] In 1850 the Admiralty awarded the Medal for Egypt to the crews of any vessel that had served in the campaign between 8 March and 2 September 1801. Transfer is listed among the vessels whose crews qualified.[17]

Commander Richard Cribb took command in April 1802, but the Navy paid-off Transfer in June 1802. It then sold her at Malta that same year for £700.[4]

Tripolitanian NavyEdit

Gaetano Andrea Schembri, consul for Ottoman Tripolitania, purchased Transfer at Malta. Tripoli then used her in blockade running during the Barbary Wars. Syren, commanded by Lieutenant Charles Stewart, captured her off Tripoli on 18[2] or 21[18] March 1804.[5] The Americans captured her for violating the conditions for the pass under which she had permission to pass through the blockade of the port of Tripoli.[19]

USS ScourgeEdit

Commodore Edward Preble renamed the ship Scourge. On 17 April 1804, she joined Preble's squadron and participated in the blockade of Tripoli and also in the attacks on Tripoli. She was commanded by Lieutenants John H. Dent, John Rowe, Henry Wadsworth (acting lieutenant),[20] and Ralph Izard in succession. On 30 November 1804, Izard sailed Scourge for the United States. She carried as a passenger Midshipman Frederick C. de Kraft, under arrest for having killed Midshipman William R. Nicholson in a duel on 19 November at Syracuse.[21]

Once in the U.S., Scourge saw coastal service.[5]


In 1812, the United States Navy declared Scourge unfit for further service and sold her at auction in Norfolk, Virginia.[5]

Notes, citations, and referencesEdit


  1. ^ A first-class share of the head money was worth £94 2sd; a fifth-class share, that of seaman, was worth 4s 11⅔d.[11]
  2. ^ A first-class share was worth £34 2s 4d; a fifth-class share was worth 3s 11½d.[16]


  1. ^ Corsairs - Jean Jacques Salien.
  2. ^ a b Chapelle (1949), p. 217.
  3. ^ Demerliac (1999), p. 268, n°2359.
  4. ^ a b c d Winfield (2008), pp. 336-7.
  5. ^ a b c d e f DANFS.
  6. ^ Proceedings of the United States Naval Institute (1878), Vol. 5, p.86.
  7. ^ a b Bulletin de la Société des sciences & arts de Bayonne (1998), p.39.
  8. ^ Gazette nationale, ou le moniteur universel, Vol. 18, №113, p.451.
  9. ^ "No. 15339". The London Gazette. 21 February 1801. p. 222.
  10. ^ "No. 15138". The London Gazette. 25 May 1799. p. 507.
  11. ^ "No. 18518". The London Gazette. 28 October 1828. p. 1957.
  12. ^ "No. 15685". The London Gazette. 20 March 1804. p. 352.
  13. ^ "No. 15714". The London Gazette. 26 June 1804. p. 800.
  14. ^ "No. 15534". The London Gazette. 20 November 1802. p. 1228.
  15. ^ Naval Chronicle, Vol. 6, p.259.
  16. ^ "No. 17915". The London Gazette. 19 April 1823. p. 633.
  17. ^ "No. 21077". The London Gazette. 15 March 1850. p. 792.
  18. ^ Cooney (1965), p. 26.
  19. ^ McKee (2014), p.210.
  20. ^ McKee (2014), p. 245.
  21. ^ Paullin (1909), p. 1165.


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.