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'Le Muiron' Venetian/French frigate 1797 (With Plans)

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Le Muiron

Venetian/French frigate

44 guns

1797


9BXnreg.jpg

aBFSfJ7.jpgK0Dv8FP.jpg


Her history:

Muiron was a frigate of the French Navy, famous for ferrying Bonaparte on the 22 August 1799 under the flagship of Admiral Ganteaume from Egypt to France after the Battle of the Nile.

The Muiron was one of two 18-pounder armed frigates that were building on the stocks in Venice in November 1796, when Bonaparte took Venice during the Campaign of Italy. The two frigates were launched in August 1797 under the names Carrère and Muiron, and completed during November by the orders of Pierre-Alexandre Forfait. Muiron was named to honour Colonel Jean-Baptiste Muiron, an aide-de-camp of Bonaparte who had covered Bonaparte with his body during the Battle of the Bridge of Arcole.

The Muiron was armed with 28 × 18-pounder guns on the upper deck, and 12 × 6-pounder guns on the quarterdeck and forecastle, and manned with a complement of 340. She was incorporated in the fleet that invaded Egypt, and after the Battle of the Nile, Bonaparte departed for France aboard. She later took part in the Battle of Algeciras Bay. In 1807, Napoleon ordered that the Muiron be preserved as a monument; to this effect, he wrote a letter to the Ministry of the Navy, stating "I wish that the Muiron on which I came back from Egypt be kept as a monument and placed in such a way that it be preserved, if possibly, several hundreds years". She was repaired and docked in Toulon, which a golden inscription on her hull stating: "The Muiron, taken in 1797 in Venice arsenal by the conqueror of Italy. She brought back the saviour of France from Egypt in 1799". Napoléon also had a finely crafted scale model made for his study in Malmaison in 1803. This model is now on display at the Musée national de la Marine in Paris.

At the Bourbon Restoration, Muiron was decommissioned, and she was eventually destroyed in 1850, in circumstances that remain unclear. Conflicting theories have it that she was either sold for material and broken up, or destroyed by fire after being struck by lightning.

The British captured her sister ship in August 1801 and added her to the British Navy as HMS Carrere.






Dimensions:
(in venetian piedi 1 Venetian piede = 0,3 meter = 12 inches): 135'6" x 35'6" x 19'

Length of Gundeck: 150' 10" Imperial Feet or 45.72 meters
Length of Keel: 122' 3 ½" Imperial Feet or 37.1983 meters
Depth of Hold: 12' 9" Imperial Feet or 3.6576 meters
Breadth: 39' 5 ½" Imperial Feet or 11.8999 meters
Burthen: 1,012 74⁄94 Tons BM


Armament:

28 x 18 pounder
16 x 6 pounder

Plans(from Vascelli e fregate della Serenissima. Navi di linea della Marina veneziana 1652-1797 http://www.amazon.it/Vascelli-fregate-Serenissima-veneziana-1652-1797/dp/8890565144/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_img_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=10SB0B1PBW7848V5AFN2):

rV3lg5y.jpg



Muiron's sistership:

Carrere

38/44 guns

1797


History:

Carrère was a French frigate that served briefly in the French navy before the British captured her in 1801, naming her HMS Carrere. She seems never to have seen any meaningful active duty after her capture as she was laid up in 1802 and finally sold in 1814.

Carrère was one of two 38-gun frigates that were building on the stocks in Venice in May 1797, when Napoleon took the city during the Campaign of Italy. Pierre-Alexandre Forfait ordered the two frigates completed, which they were in August 1797 under the names Carrère and Muiron. The French named Carrère after an esteemed artillery colonel who had fallen at Unzmarkt fighting the Austrians.

Carrère and Muiron both served during the French invasion of Egypt in 1798. They then accompanied Napoleon on his return to France after the failure of that campaign. The captain of the Carrère was Commodore Pierre Dumanoir le Pelley, and with him travelled generals Lannes, Murat, and Marmont.

The British Pomone of 48 guns, in company with Phoenix and Pearl, captured Carrère near Elba on 3 August 1801 after a short fight. She was escorting a small convoy from Porto Ercole to Porto Longone during the Siege of Porto Ferrajo. Pomone lost two men killed and four wounded, of whom two died later. The French casualty list was not initially available.

The Royal Navy took her in as HMS Carrere, but rated at 36 guns. Frederick Lewis Maitland was her first captain. He sailed her to Portsmouth, where she arrived on 24 September 1802.

Carrère's active duty career in the Royal Navy was short. She was paid off on 4 October 1802 and then laid up in ordinary. She was sold on 1 September 1814. The purchasers had to post a bond of £3000 that they would not sell or otherwise dispose of her but would break her up within 12 months from the day of sale.

Dimensions: Same as above

Armament:

(French Service):
Upper Gun Deck: 28 × 18-pounder guns
Quarterdeck: 12 brass x 8-pounder guns + 2 x 36-pounder obusiers
Forecastle: 2 x 36-pounder obusiers


(British service):


Upper Gun Deck: 28 x British 18-Pounder
Quarterdeck: 10 x British 32-Pound Carronade
Quarterdeck: 2 x British 9-Pounder
Forecastle: 2 x British 32-Pound Carronade
Forecastle: 2 x British 9-Pounder

Crew:


French service: 356
British service: 340 (352)


Sources: Vascelli e fregate della Serenissima. Navi di linea della Marina veneziana 1652-1797 http://www.amazon.it/Vascelli-fregate-Serenissima-veneziana-1652-1797/dp/8890565144/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_img_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=10SB0B1PBW7848V5AFN2
http://mnm.webmuseo.com/ws/musee-national-marine/app/collection/record/9030
http://www.delcampe.net/page/item/id,135327174,var,militaria%3Dlivre-de-construction-du-3macirc%3Bts-la-freacute%3Bgate-le-muiron-avec-ces-plans-dorigines-1933,language,E.html
http://forummarine.forumactif.com/t3001-la-fregate-la-muiron-1797-1850
https://troisponts.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/la-fregate-la-muiron/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Carrere_(1801)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_frigate_Muiron


Thank you LeBoiteux and Fluffy Fishy! Edited by Sella22
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+1. Very nice find.

A ship with a unique history as she's closely tied to the Emperor Napoleon 1st.

And her original plans were nowhere to be found in France.

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The love he had for that ship is amazing. I feel sad that they broke it up after that. :(

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I have been speaking to Sella about the ship for a few days now, its good to see it make its own way with its special post. I love the way that traditionally so many other navies prized French captures but the French were astounded by the ships and designs they captured and looted in 1797. The ship is fantastic, although I do feel somewhat like its a bit of a kick in the teeth to people who like Venice due to the way Napoleon looted the north of Italy, then used La Muiron to escape certain death/capture after his campaign in Egypt.

I would love to see this ship, and a few other of the Venetian ships put in the game, if you like super frigates then you haven't seen anything until you meet the Fama :)

Edited by Fluffy Fishy
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The love he had for that ship is amazing. I feel sad that they broke it up after that. :(

Yeah me too :( You feel that they will last forever but then one critical decision... Same with the Greek brig Ares. She lasted until 1921. I will never understand why people are so keen to discard such important pieces of history

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To be fair almost every ship was dismantled at some point, you could almost count the major surviving ships on one hand, its a terrible fate for so much craftsmanship and history, I just wish the thinking of the early 20th century where they decided to keep some of the most historic ships going as museums had hit earlier. At least its a kinder fate than being demolished with TNT like some of the other unfortunate victims of progression in naval technology.

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Demolished with TNT or rather "sunk with honours" was the fate of Ares.What an irony... The price of progress unfortunately!

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She seems to have been regarded by her contemporaries as weak in terms of structure and design as French Naval Archaeologist Gerard Delacroix wrote :

« She was regarded as weak in terms of construction : her frames were spaced out too far apart, her planking too thin, lengthwise members (« liaisons ») were too few and the mizzen mast too far forward (only 12 feet from the stem). »

 

« Elle était jugée faible de construction, ses membrures trop espacés, bordé trop mince, liaisons insuffisantes et son mât de misaine trop en avant (seulement 12 pieds de l'étrave). »

http://5500.forumactif.org/t498-le-muiron

 

However, she totally deserves to be in-game considering her history.

 

PS : her unknown fate (sold or burnt) took place in 1850 during the Second Republic whose President was Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, future Napoleon III and nephew of Napoleon I.

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I would treat the French records and Gerard Delacroix with some very careful footing, The Venetian ship building was surprisingly different from the Atlantic nations, coming from reliance on Galleys changed the way naval technology developed significantly. I'm not surprised the French would have said that but then they come from a very different path. The two worlds are very different and if you look at how a Venetian light galley, and to a lesser extent the great galleys were built and operated it reflects on the Venetian ships of later date, this is why you get the Atlantic nation line ships taking on a very different form from the Venetian super heavy frigates, Venice could design and operate ships on the level of 3rd rates that behaved more like super frigates while still maintaining the strength and rigidity of their line ship counterparts.

The real restrictions on Venice as a nation during this period was cost, they could still create ships beyond the level of any other nation, but due to their income being restricted by loss of trade because it being easier and cheaper to navigate spices around the cape of good hope, and also the restrictions that are in competing as a medium size city in a world of superstates, never really quite escaping the threat of the Ottomans or Austrians.

Relating that back to La Muiron, you wouldnt try to break and run a blockade in a ship if you were told it was flimsy, especially with the most important person in France on board, I think the concern over the build strength by the French contemporaries is one that reflects the french ship building industry at the time, while in france it was scientific and ahead of its time it still lacked the technological advantages living wholly a maritime lifestyle and how naval technologies change when you are working primarily on Galleys for the majority of naval history, the Venetians also had a lot more records to relate to when it comes to ship design and what worked due to their excessive bureaucratic nature and the record keeping of the Lords of the Arsenale and other such positons. :)

Apologies for making the above paragraphs so long winded and fairly poor english :D

Edited by Fluffy Fishy
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No need to apologize I think that was a well thought out post. It sounds eerily similar to that piece I found on the Ottomans that touched lightly on their shipbuilding of the period.

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I would treat the French records and Gerard Delacroix with some very careful footing,

 

 It sounds eerily similar to that piece I found on the Ottomans that touched lightly on their shipbuilding of the period.

 

Please, Gentlemen, provide specific evidences on Le Muiron (even if I guess that's Impossible Mission).

Naval archaeology is all about evidence.

G. Delacroix is a respected Naval Archaeologist. His statement must come from contemporary attested reports at the very least.

 

Don't get me wrong. I have no a priori about Le Muiron. But what (may) matters is her actual performance.

 

That ship may have been fast but fragile, light thus fast.

 

If the Ottomans and the French thought the same thing about the weakness of Venetian ships, it may not indeed be a coincidence nor a conspiracy, but... a fact.

 

More facts would be useful. :)

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I forgot to add that she was designed and built by Andrea Chiribini or Andrea Calvin by that time and finished by the Frenchman P. A. Fortfait.

 

Also a quote from the book Duri i Banchi by Guido Ercole. Rough transaltion using google translate:

 

 

 

The frigate was brought to Toulon by a French crew and there, given the significant speed she could reach, it was decided in the first instance to use her for the race war against the English fleet. Was instead aggregate the year following the fleet transportation in Egypt the French expeditionary force as a unit exploring, together with another 44-gun frigate, ALMOST identical, this predates in the Venice and named by the French La Carrere, for the higher speed of the two boats.
  [...]
Napoleon decided to return home in 1799, having lost hope of a quick and decisive victory in Egypt, he embarked on The Muiron which, together with La Carrere, managed to break through (?) the British blockade in the Mediterranean and bring him back to France.

 

 

Also i think it's pretty obvious that her frames were spaced a bit too much from one another. All you have to do is take a look at the model:

K0Dv8FP.jpg

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Interesting ship. Thanks for sharing. Could be a Sister for Belle?

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There was a general consensus that Venetian ships during the long decline period were terribly made and weak, especially amongst the post-rivals of Venice, The French, The Ottomans and the Austrians all rubbished the Venetian ability to build and design ships, again I would treat this with caution, its not necessarily true, but its not going to be false either, these are the emerged nations of the Mediterranean that want to create their own superiority over the region and one way to do it would be to rubbish the predecessor.

There is a huge amount of subjectivity in the contemporary accounts, I'm not saying they are entirely wrong, but we also have to remember this period of French ship building and commanding was fairly terrible, having guillotined their most prestigious shipwrights and captains in the revolution which just had the effect of creating a massive skill vacuum that wasn't really fixed for a couple of generations.

 

When it comes to Venice, being squeezed as it was between 3 fairly hostile super powers it didn't really have the same resources that they could get hold of, you don't see a huge amount of the sturdier woods like oak in the region so there was still a reliance for some warships to be built from weaker woods, the private Arsenal woodland in Montello was only so large, and generally the trees there were still mostly grown from the galley period which required a lighter wood so to be more agile, this could also have a factor in foreign nations accounts.

I also believe that model doesn't show the framing as was, so as to be able to access and view the inner workings of the ship, if you look at the frame construction and diagrams of any other Venetian ship they aren't anything like that far apart, she probably would have had slightly larger frame spacing than the other nations but again I stress that it is due to the experimentation and technological pathway that comes from making and specialising in galleys long after other nations had moved towards almost entirely using round ships.

If you read on the combat records of La Muiron it served the French very well during its short period of service, but its a shame we don't have the information from Venetian records of intent. :)

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but we also have to remember this period of French ship building and commanding was fairly terrible,

 

 

I can agree with the commanding part, but french ship buidling fairly terrible? You must be kidding...

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I can agree with the commanding part, but french ship buidling fairly terrible? You must be kidding...

 

Before the revolution sure it was incredible and a world leader but the aftermath meant knowledge was lost for a period of about 20-30 years, during this time things got a bit sloppy and lost, especially by their previous standards. Perhaps terrible is too strong a word but there was a noticeable dip in the ability to create the kind of things the french could before the chaotic periods of change and executions, its sad really.

Edited by Fluffy Fishy

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Hm...let´s have a look at some the key players of french naval architecture of the period:

Jacques-Noël Sané

First own design as ingeneur in the mid 1760s,  Inspecteur Général du Genie maritime in 1800, retired 1817. Developed a naval building program in 1786  (Sané-Borda).

The french ship designer of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

 

 

Pierre Alexandre Forfait

Sané´s 'rival'.  IIRC, he also began his career in the late 1760s.  First Minister of the Navy under Napoleon around 1800.

Joseph-Marie-Blaise Coulomb

Started working in the mid 1750s. Enobled 1779, retired 1794, died 1803.

 

Léon Guignace

 

Influential naval architect, like Sané, Groignard and Coulomb a pupil of Duhamel du Monceau. Died 1805.

 

 

There are other who started their careers in the ancien régime and rose to high posts during Napoleon´s reign (e.g. Rolland), so I fail to see when  exactlye xperience and knowledge in ship building was lost due to the revolution.

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Hm...let´s have a look at some the key players of french naval architecture of the period:

Jacques-Noël Sané

First own design as ingeneur in the mid 1760s,  Inspecteur Général du Genie maritime in 1800, retired 1817. Developed a naval building program in 1786  (Sané-Borda).

The french ship designer of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

 

 

Pierre Alexandre Forfait

Sané´s 'rival'.  IIRC, he also began his career in the late 1760s.  First Minister of the Navy under Napoleon around 1800.

Joseph-Marie-Blaise Coulomb

Started working in the mid 1750s. Enobled 1779, retired 1794, died 1803.

 

Léon Guignace

 

Influential naval architect, like Sané, Groignard and Coulomb a pupil of Duhamel du Monceau. Died 1805.

 

 

There are other who started their careers in the ancien régime and rose to high posts during Napoleon´s reign (e.g. Rolland), so I fail to see where exactly when experience and knowledge in ship building was lost due to the revolution.

 

You are obviously very knowledgeable about French shipbuilding, I am impressed while those are some very influential examples but you still see a lot of death and destruction taking place throughout France, this caused a substantial dip in the industry in both skill and output, you see this effect showing through the revolution period, the output shrank dramatically and those that were built were much smaller in scope and weren't of the calibre of the ships produced in the enlightenment period, if you look at the ships in service during the conflicts of the period the backbone of those combat ships were built between 1750-85 and then 1800+ there is a distinct almost blank period of about 15-20 years where you don't see many good ships being built, those that are have a pattern of being smaller. You then see a recovery and rediscovery period, reusing the techniques and influences of the enlightenment period and scientific age, showing just how far ahead of its time the French were during the 1750-60s, this was combined with the resources they looted from Italy and Spain especially from Venice and its arsenal to bring things back to the same kind of progression. Despite the influential key names of the French rebuilding their fleet following the battle of the Nile you still see some of the magic lost, and not really regained until the post the Napoleonic period.

On a side note we should probably get back on topic :D

Edited by Fluffy Fishy

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Please, Gentlemen, provide specific evidences on Le Muiron (even if I guess that's Impossible Mission).

I'm sorry if you misunderstood, I was merely indicating that the Ottomans were noted as having lightly built ships in their navies during this period. Back on topic. :)

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You then see a recovery and rediscovery period, reusing the techniques and influences of the enlightenment period and scientific age, showing just how far ahead of its time the French were during the 1750-60s,

 

 

 

What are the techniques you are talking about? The biggest breakthrough in naval architecture in the 18th century was the discovery of the concept of the meta-center by the mathematicians Euler and Bouguer in the 1730/40s. French  ship builders adopted this approach to improve stability very early, followed by the danes and swedes in the 1760s. The standardisation of stabiltiy caculations in France took place in the mid-1780s and were, of course, in use during the revolutionary and napoleonic period.

 

The great works on ship building, Bouguer´s Traité du navire (1746), Euler´s Scientia Navalis (1749), Monceau´s Élémens de l’architecture navale  (1752),  the french translation of Chapman´s Tractat om skepps-byggeriet (1777) and Vial du Clairbois´ more pratical Treatise (1787) also remained available to everyone who was working in naval architecture in the 1790s and 1800s.

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Since we started opening our books here i would appreciate if you resourcefull gentlemen could search your books and tell us a bit more about Muiron's sailing qualities. :D

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I was trying to get a better view of the figurehead, is it the fairly standard venetian lion figurehead or did the French plant something of their own on the front? I can't quite see, but probably because im on a tablet right now. if so the usual venetian lion figurehead wouldn't usually be painted white, perhaps that was done later by the French during some maintenence?

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Several nations have used the lion as figurehead (Sweden, France, Venice, Britain...).

 

During the XVIIth century, French lions are said to be grunting, showing a bit of their teeth and sculpted with a classic style. 

 

The body posture of the lion figurehead from XVIII-th century L'Hermione looks quite similar to that of Le Muiron (even if I  can't see that last one very well on available pics. see low-res pic below) :

figureproue2__014426800_1559_16062011.jp

Source : http://www.hermione.com/actualites/2015/2011/794-un-lion-embleme-pour-l-hermione.html

 

 

Low-res Lion figurehead of Le Muiron :

A41hs1z.jpg?2

 

It'd be interesting to know who carved the figurehead of Le Muiron (a French artist ? a Venetian one ?) and when (before/after capture by Napoleon).

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Well I would reckon it was a Venetian under the supervision of a French commissioner as the ship wasn't fully completed until after Venice was occupied by Napoleon, I would also suspect that the lion was likely carved at this point but I cannot be certain. It would make more sense for it to be the standard naval lion but I was just curious, if someone could confirm. :)

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I was showing Muiron to a friend in game and he was fascinated by the shape of the bow, I would like to know more about why the bow would have given such fast sailing qualities, it does look kind of like it would slice through waves almost like a knife though so would someone more skilled in architecture give a brief description of how and why it resulted in such a good speed?

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