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French Corvettes Collection, 6th Rates (With Plans)

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    The term corvette seems to have begun with the French Navy in the 1670s, to describe a small, maneuverable, lightly armed warship, smaller than a frigate and larger than sloops-of-war. Most sloops and corvettes of the late 17th century were around 40 to 60 feet in length. They carried four to eight small guns on a single deck. These early corvettes grew quickly in size over the decades, and by the 1780s they reached lengths of over 100 feet. 

French Corvettes had three masts, most carried about 16 to 24 guns, sometimes more (up to 32).

The British Navy did not adopt the term until the 1830s, to describe a small sixth-rate vessel somewhat larger than a sloop, sometimes with only 2 masts.



La Créole

1827, 24 guns


Plan and monograph : http://ancre.fr/en/monographies-en/61-monographie-de-la-creole-corvette-1823.html?search_query=corvette&results=6

Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_corvette_Créole_(1829)


Edited by LeBoiteux
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La Bayadère

22 guns, 1811

(updated 5/28/16)




History : 

A "bayadère" (Bayadere in English) is a Hindu sacred female dancer.


Ship involved in several campaigns (Syria, Egypt, Armenia, Greece, Italia) ; mapping of the sand bar of Arguin (1817).

One of the ships unsuccessfully made available to Napoleon 1st at Rochefort to flee in America in 1815 after his abdication. 

Dismantled in Brest in 1833.


General characteristics :

Crew : 140.

Length : 39 m.

Width : 9 m.



Available in the Archives of the French Navy :

2G2, n° 566

8DD1 5, n°16

2G2, n° 216


Sisterships : La Victorieuse, La Sapho (1805)


Source, pics, information : 





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Le Duguay-Trouin


18-gun Privateer


Captured in 1780 by the British 6th-Rate frigate HMS Surprise (28 guns + 12 swivel-guns, 1774) and renamed HMS Duguay-Trouin.




Armament :
French service : 18 guns
British service : 4 X 18-Pound Carronade + 14 × 6-pounder guns + 10 1/2-Pound Swivel

Dimensions (French Feet) :

Length of Gundeck : 80'0"

Breath : 24'6"

Depth in Hold : 12'0"


Sources :



Edited by LeBoiteux
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The Etna description from the NMM is wrong, that´s the Myrmidon of 1781, an almost 1:1 british copy of a 20-gun french frégate légère from the 1740s.


Edit: No, my mistake, that´s the Echo, a 16-gun ship sloop of 1782, in your post: http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/83630.html

        Based on the same ship, tho.


If I remember correctly, the Etna class was designed by Forfait (I´d love to get my dirty little hands on a plan for this ship class, btw) as a smaller version of the Romaine-class.



Great thread, LeBoiteux!

Edited by Malachi
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La Bonne citoyenne

("The good female Citizen")

20-gun french 9-pdr Corvette, 1794

Captured by the Royal Navy in 1796



The Furieuse and The Bonne Citoyenne






Length: 120 ft 1 in (36.6 m) (overall) ;106 ft 6 14 in (32.5 m) (keel)

Beam: 30 ft 11 in (9.4 m)

Depth of hold: 8 ft 7 in (2.6 m)


Armament :

French service : 20 x 8 lb guns

British service : 18 x 6 lb guns + 2 x 32 lb carronades, then 2 x 9 lb chasers + 18 x 32lb carronades. 




Bonne Citoyenne-class Corvettes : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonne_Citoyenne-class_corvette

- La Bonne citoyenne (1794)

- La Perçante (1795)

- La Vaillante (1796)

- La Gaité (1797)

Edited by LeBoiteux
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HMS Scourge

Previously a 24-gun french Corvet

Captured in 1796





Description from the Royal Museum of Greenwich :

Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan with stern board decoration and name in a cartouche between the windows, sheer lines with inboard detail and figurehead, and longitudinal half-breadth for Scourge (captured 1796), a captured French corvette. The plan illustrates the ship as she was taken before being fitted as an 18-gun Ship Sloop. The plan includes some alterations to the head in red ink.

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 Some Classes of the french Corvettes 


Bonne-Citoyenne-class Corvettes (20 guns)

- La Bonne citoyenne (1794)

- La Perçante (1795)

- La Vaillante (1796)

- La Gaité (1797)


Coquette-Class Corvettes

- La Brune, 20 guns (1781)

- La Poulette (1781)


Diligente-Class Corvettes

- Diligente, 20 guns, (1801)

- Etc.


Etna-Class Corvettes (16-18 guns)

- Etna (1795)

- Cérès (1795)

- Vésuve (1795)

- Étonnante (1796)

- Mignonne (1797)



Edited by LeBoiteux
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1747 - 1760, 12 guns



Length of Gundeck   84' 0" (Pied du Roi)
Breadth                     22' 0" (Pied du Roi)
Burthen                     120
Gundeck                   12 French 4-Pounder


Plans: http://gerard.delacroix.pagesperso-orange.fr/Ama/plaquette.htm 
Model: http://www.laroyale-modelisme.net/t12151-expo-et-conferences-au-pays-de-saint-malo


Edited by LeBoiteux
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Le Jean Bart

1793, 18 guns


Captured by the British in 1795.




Armament :

French service:18 x 6-pounder guns

British service:16 × 6-pounder guns


Sources :



Edited by LeBoiteux
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Drawings of French corvettes


20-gun Corvette Fauvette - 1801
22-gun Corvette La Diligente - 1801
22-gun Corvette La Victorieuse - 1804
A French corvette setting sail
Corvette Française en panne mettant un canot à la mer

Edited by LeBoiteux
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