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'Foudroyant' 80-Gun 3rd rate, 1798 (With Plans)

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HMS Foudroyant was an 80-gun third rate of the Royal Navy, one of only two British-built 80-gun ships of the period (the other was HMS Caesar (1793). Foudroyant was built in the dockyard at Plymouth Dock (a.k.a. Devonport) and launched on 31 March 1798. Foudroyant served Nelson as his flagship from 6 June 1799 until the end of June 1801.


Foudroyant had a long and successful career, and although she was not involved in any major fleet action, she did provide invaluable service to numerous admirals throughout her 17 years on active service. In her last years she became a training vessel for boys.









Her designer was Sir John Henslow. She was named after the 80-gun Foudroyant, which Swiftsure and Monmouth, both 70-gun ships, and Hampton Court (64 guns), had captured from the French on 28 February 1758.


Foudroyant was a one-off design. She followed French practice of favoring large two-decked, third rates mounting 80 guns rather than the typical British preference for building three-decked second-rate ships mounting 98 guns. The two ship types, despite the difference in absolute gun numbers, had similar gun power but the British thought the second rate had a more imposing appearance and some advantages in battle, while they considered the 80 gun ship as usually faster and less 'leewardly'.



12th October 1798: Fought at the Battle of Tory Island which was commanded by Commodore John Warren, during which the French 74 Hoche (renamed Donegal), and the frigates Bellone (renamed Proserpine), Embuscade and Coquille, were captured.  (Capt. Thomas Byard)

June 1799: Arrived at Palermo, where Nelson took her as his flagship.  (Capt. Thomas Hardy)

Nov 1799 - Feb 1800: At the blockade of Malta.  (Capt. Edward Berry)

Feb 1800: Captured the Généreux (Capt. Edward Berry)

March 1800: Captured the Guillaume Tell (Capt. Edward Berry).  The Guillaume Tell and Généreux were the only two remaining ships from the Battle of the Nile, and Nelson was delighted to have caught them. 

1801: Assisted with the British landing at Egypt under Admiral Lord Keith.  (Capt. Philip Beaver)

13th March 1806: With the London and Amazon, captured the French Marengo(74) and La Belle Poule(40).  (Capt. John Chambers White)

November 1807: Part of the blockade of the Tagus (Capt. Norborne Thompson).

1808: Rear-Admiral William Sidney Smith's flagship in the South American Station.

1812: Returned to England.

1820: Became a guardship at Plymouth.

1861: Became a training ship.

1892: She was sold to be exhibited at seaside resorts, but she became grounded and wrecked at Blackpool.  But, aside from Victory, she was the only other of Nelson's ships to survive long enough to be photographed.


Nelson's flagship as Rear-Admiral from June 1799 - July 1800 whilst he was in Palermo, although sometimes he just had his flag raised in her whilst he was ashore.  It was aboard her that the Neapolitan Admiral was controversially tried and sentenced to death, and it is likely that Nelson and Emma Hamilton's daughter, Horatia, was conceived on board when Nelson took the Hamiltons to Malta in late April or early May 1800.




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Does HMS vanguard fit this same design it almost looks identical besides the paint job




Not quite. Though both 3rd rates, Vanguard was a common-type 74, while Foudroyant was a much larger 80-gun ship. The 80s were the longest two-deckers around until Steppings and others really enhanced ship structural strength after the war, allowing the big two-decker to grow much larger. The wartime 80s, on the other hand, had structural weaknesses compared to the shorter 74s. They flexed more and required more dockyard time for repairs. On the other hand, they were fast and good ships. They lacked the flag accomodations of the three-decker 2nd rates (the third deck also increases structural strength), but saw use as flying squadron flagships. Interestingly, Foudroyant survived for 99 years until she wrecked in 1897. Her name was reused for several other ships, as is the practice with old man of war names like HMS President, the frigate Tricomalee (which has regained it's original name), and the Implacable, a French 74 that was taken at Trafalgar and lasted until she was scuttled after WWII. Her scuttling and the loss of USS Hartford at the same time were part of the big push to save old wooden ships then.


https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/68/HMS_Foudroyant_wreck.jpgThis is a picture of the Napoleonic War-era 80-gun in 1897. She was launched in 1798.


http://forum.keypublishing.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=231142&d=1408569993and http://forum.keypublishing.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=231144&d=1408570308 and http://forum.keypublishing.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=231145&d=1408570461 are some shots of Implacable, renamed Foudroyant, being scuttled in 1949. Her stern was removed beforehand (replaced by a stand-in) and preserved. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/30/HMS_Implacable_%281805%29_stern.JPG/1280px-HMS_Implacable_%281805%29_stern.JPG



Oh, and specs. Foudroyant (80-gun) dimensions were: 184ft 8½in, 151ft 1¼in x 50ft 7¾in x 22ft 6in. 2,06157/94 bm. Draught 14ft 3in / 18ft 7in.

Armed with 30 x 32pdrs on the lower deck, 32 x 24 pdrs on the upper deck, and a mix of 12pdrs and 32pdr carronades on her forecastle and quarterdeck.


Vanguard was only 168ft long, with 28 x 32pdrs on the lower deck, 28 x 18pdrs on the upper deck, and either 9pdrs or 24pdr carronades above. In 1806 she was refitted with an all-24pdr armament, including light 24pdr Gover Guns on the upper deck to replace her 18s and normal 24pdrs on the lower deck.

Edited by Talos
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Wind, you could try your luck contacting ragnar hairy trousers on this forum (or in game). He's the go-to person for plans of ships like this, but I'm not sure he can post them (legal reasons).

Found plans thanks. 

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i fell in love with her lines cant wait to see some progress on her Ragnar

Incredible paint job with those straight lines. I always was a big fan of Vanguard, but when I saw Foudroyant, it became the dream to sail it in the game. I think it looks better than Pavel and would definitely be my most used ship in NA. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just realized when checking out holiday photos:





"the two 24 pound cannons on display belonged to the armament of "HMS Foudroyant". Build on the navy shipyard Plymouth in 1798 she acted as the flagship of viceadmiral Horatio Nelson in 1799 to 1801"

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  • 2 months later...

I saw a fantastic model of the ship in Monmouth museum this summer, I am fairly sure its the same model from above but it puts it into some nice perspective with some shots of the Nelson museum. I was surprised to not see pictures of the model off the Wiki



Edited by Fluffy Fishy
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How would she fit in compared to the Bucentaure though?

I believe she would fit in quite nicely as the Bucentaure is over gunned and has 88 instead of her normal 80/86, she is larger with a higher tonnage being both slightly longer and wider, so would likely be a bit sturdier than Bucentaure but a little less agile and slower. As a ship in game I would see her playing a more tanky 3rd/2nd rate role where she soaks up damage and messes up lines similarly to L'ocean but on a smaller scale. The crew of 650 for Foudroyant seems a little light though but I imagine she would be boosted to similar crew levels as the Pavel.

Edited by Fluffy Fishy
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