The prevailing tactical orthodoxy at the time involved manoeuvring to approach the enemy fleet in a single line of battleand then engaging broadside in parallel lines. This was the Danish navy which Russia agreed Napoleon could have as one of the articles in the 1807 Treaty of Tilsit (although Russia had no right to give a navy they didn't own to the French). Neptune sailed with the 20-strong fleet on 17 January, but were sighted by the patrolling frigates of Nelson's inshore squadron. A 74-gun ship of the line, originally the British HMS Swiftsure, commanded by Captain Hallowell, captured by the French fleet, commanded by Admiral Ganteaume, on 24 June 1800. The French ships were then seized by the Spanish forcesand put into service against France. During the battle, the ships engaged carried varying amounts of sail - depending on their position and intent. [4][5] Nelson had rushed his fleet to sea, anticipating that Villeneuve would heading east. [13] The combined fleet was spotted on 22 July as it sailed westwards towards Ferrol, and Calder manoeuvred to intercept it. Pickle was at the Battle of Trafalgar, and though she was too small to take part in the fighting, Pickle was the first ship to bring the news of Nelson's victory to Great Britain. The record also provides an account of the French response to Strachan’s actions and subsequent capture. When Rosily arrived in Cádiz, he found only five French ships, rather than the 18 he was expecting. In this decisive naval battle of the Napoleonic Wars, France and Spain lost twenty-two ships, while the British lost none. It didn't try to swell in size after Trafalgar and even began to reduce in size after 1812. [9] The other division was commanded by Rear-Admiral Pierre Dumanoir le Pelley, flying his flag aboard the 80-gun Formidable, and accompanied by the 80-gun Indomptable, and the 74-gun ships Swiftsure, Scipion and Intrépide. An example from the Mont-Blanc muster roll is shown on the right. [9][a] The French fleet reached Cartagena on 6 April, having evaded Nelson through sheer chance, and pressed on from there, sailing through the Strait of Gibraltar on 8 April. Tonnant lost 26 officers and men killed and 50 officers and men wounded in the battle, with Tyler being among the wounded. These are muster rolls of ships which were led by Captain (later Vice-Admiral) Richard Strachan, and sent to Admiral Nelson's losses were zero ships and approximately 1,700 killed or wounded. The Admiralty was notified and a reinforced fleet under Vice-Admiral Robert Calder was sent to intercept the Franco-Spanish fleet as it arrived in European waters. [16] Meanwhile, the ship that should have been astern of Neptune, the Spanish 64-gun San Leandro, was following San Justo to leeward, leaving a considerable gap behind the flagship that the British could exploit. Archives, Open Government Licence On 21 October 1805 Nelson’s 27 battleships glided on a gentle breeze towards the 33 strong French and Spanish fleet. Tonnant underwent a refit at Portsmouth between January and June 1806. [11] The small garrison surrendered on 2 June, by which time the frigate Didon had arrived with orders. The fleet was to transport 6,500 troops to attack British possessions in the Caribbean, but was unable to leave Toulon owing to the presence of a British fleet under Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, that was blockading the port. HMS Indefatigable, after her conversion to a 44 gun frigate, fighting with the French frigate Virginie. research. [15] Neptune put to sea in company with two French ships, the 80-gun Indomptable and the 74-gun Pluton, and two Spanish ships, the 100-gun Rayo and the 74-gun San Francisco de Asis. There she remained, under a close British blockade, until the Spanish declared war on the French. Subscribe now for regular news, updates and priority booking for events.Sign up, All content is available under the Open Government Licence Maistral prepared Neptune for sea, and the fleet sailed from Cadiz on 19 October. [15] The broadsides cut Temeraire's rigging, brought down her foreyard and main topmast, and damaged her fore mast and bowsprit. She sailed again with the fleet, under Vice-Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve, in early 1805, and this time succeeded in breaking out of the Mediterranean, and sailing to the West Indies, where the fleet was joined by Spanish ships. Trafalgar also had a broader significance in world history. The Royal navy appears to have maintained a fleet of around(ish) 140 ships of the line of all sizes, with new ships replacing older ones, fire, wrecks, captured by the French, and captured ships mainly used for training or kept as emergency replacements (kept in ordinary until needed). [1] She was still under construction on the resumption of the war in 1803 after the Peace of Amiens, but was launched later that year. '[2] As the British approached on the morning of 21 October, Villeneuve formed the line of battle heading northwards, with Neptune the twelfth in the line from the lead ship of the van. Late in the afternoon on the 21st of October 1805, as prisoners were rowed from the destroyed French ship Achille to the British ship, Revenge, Captain Thomas Hardy left the Victory and boarded the Royal Sovereign, bearing the news of the death of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson to his successor as Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean, Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood. Use the form below. It occurred on October 21, 1805, at Cape Trafalgar on the Atlantic coast of Spain. Calder captured two French ships, and several of the British ships were damaged. Despite his efforts, the British were able to break the line between Bucentaure and Redoubtable. Throughout the battle, the British suffered 449 killed and 1,214 wounded with no ships lost, while France and Spain suffered 4,408 killed, 2,545 wounded and 18 warships sunk or captured. Under the command of Captain l'Hôpitalier-Villemadrin she was recaptured at the Battle of Trafalgar and was one of the few captured ships to survive the storm. maybe someone has a … Villeneuve struggled on, but bad weather in the Gulf of Lyons dispersed his fleet, and fearing an attack on his disorganised forces, returned to Toulon three days after setting out. [15], Leaving Temeraire, and declining combat with the newly arrived HMS Leviathan, Maistral turned eastward, and at 2.30 pm came alongside the starboard bow of the 74-gun HMS Belleisle. The 3 ship class (the third was HMS Superb) succeeded the one off prototype 'all big gun' HMS Dreadnought. They were taking advantage of the north-westerly wind which was blowing on the starboard (right) rear quarter, nearly amidships, pushing them along at a slow rate and causing a swell(waves) perpendicular to the wind direction. The surviving ships remained bottled up in Cádiz until 1808, when Napoleon invaded Spain. Four of the French ships that had escaped Trafalgar were taken at the Battle of Cape Ortegal on November 4. During the battle Neptune fired on Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory, and duelled with several British ships including HMS Royal Sovereign, HMS Temeraire and HMS Belleisle. [11] Villeneuve gathered his forces and pressed northwards towards Antigua, but on 7 June he came across a lightly defended convoy of British merchants, and captured several of them the following day. [15] With the Spanish entry to the war against France on 4 July 1808, Rosily realised that his fleet was in range of now hostile shore batteries. Calder failed to press home the action, for which he was severely criticized. Rif Winfield and Stephen S. Roberts (2015). The details recorded for each individual vary from book to book. [2][15], a. Mo… The records can include French Revolutionary Calendar dates. She put into Rosia Bay, Gibraltar and after emergency repairs were carried out, returned to Britain. Strachan's action gave the final blow to Napoleon's invasion plans. [11], Villeneuve managed to evade Nelson on the return voyage, though his fleet was tracked by the brig HMS Curieux, carrying Nelson's despatches. He was carried below and heard the battle was won before taking his last breath. The combined French-Spanish fleet left Cadiz Harbour in a loose line and turned to the south along the coast of Andalusia, headed for Naples through the Straits of Gibraltar. [1] It was not until early January that Villeneuve judged the situation favourable enough to make a sortie. From them he discovered that Nelson was in hot pursuit, and had arrived at Barbados. [1] She was ahead of the flagship, Bucentaure, on her larboard quarter, and astern on the larboard quarter was the 74-gun Redoutable. She took part in the final fleet manoeuvres, and ended up blockaded in Cadiz by a British fleet under Lord Nelson. [1][2] She was fitted out with masts, yards and rigging, and in late 1804 she was commissioned under Commodore Esprit-Tranquille Maistral. Villeneuve ordered his fleet to form a single line heading north, and Nelson ordered his fleet to form two squadrons and attack Villeneuve’s line from the west, at right angles. [1] Neptune sailed with the rest of the fleet on 9 August, and put into Cadiz on 20 August. [15] Also with the ships of the line were the smaller French ships that had been present at the battle but had not taken part, the frigates Cornélie, Thémis, Hortense, Rhin and Hermione, and the brigs Furet and Argus. Nelson’s unusual tactics saw 22 French and Spanish ships captured or destroyed, while the British did not lose any. [3] Villeneuve had in fact managed to give Nelson the slip. [15] By now unmanageable, Temeraire came under fire from the San Justo, lying just astern of Neptune. Aftermath . In William Kinsolving's 1996 novel Mister Christian, Fletcher Christian returns from the South Seas and serves on the Victory in the Battle of Trafalgar. [7][8], It was not until March that the French made another attempt to break out of Toulon, putting to sea on 29 March. [15] Of the two recaptured ships, only the Santa Ana made it back to Cadiz, when the sortieing ships ran into difficulties in the heavy storm that blew up after the battle. Shortly afterwards, the French ship Achille caught fire and exploded before 11 French and Spanish warships under Gravina fled to Cadiz, leaving the rest to their fate. Neptune put to sea in company with two French ships, the 80-gun Indomptable and the 74-gun Pluton, and two Spanish ships, the 100-gun Rayo and the 74-gun San Francisco de Asis. [1], Neptune joined the rest of the Toulon fleet preparing to sail for the West Indies on 21 October 1804 under the command of Vice-Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve. [16], San Justo's captain, Francisco Javier Garstón, blamed the crew's inexperience for failing to keep her station. v3.0, except where otherwise stated, French muster rolls from the Battle of Trafalgar 1805, Friends of The National Nelson’s daring and bravery helped to knock two of the largest French ships out of action: the Censeur was disabled and then burned by the British, while the Ça Ira was badly damaged and captured. French Ships at the Battle of Trafalgar (name of captain and number of guns): Bucentaure (Flagship of Vice Admiral Villeneuve: Captain Magendie, 80), Formidable (Flagship of Rear Admiral Le Pelley: Captain Letellier, 80), Scipion (Captain Berrenger, 74), Intrépide (Captain Infernet, 74), Cornélie (Captain Martineng, 40), Duguay Truin (Captain Touffet, 74), Mont Blanc (Captain Lavillegris, 74), Heros (Commander … The two patrolling frigates, HMS Seahorse and HMS Active, had rushed to report the news to Nelson, anchored at La Maddalena, and in so doing, left the French unobserved. Victory suffered terribly and Nelson was mortally wounded. Also with the ships of the line were the smaller French ships that had been present at the battle but had not taken part, the frigates Cornélie , Thémis , Hortense , Rhin and Hermione , and the brigs Furet and Argus . However, within minutes giant British battleships were arriving one after the other and the enemy was terribly outgunned and their crews slaughtered. The Neptuno ran aground and was destroyed, while a similar fate befell both the Indomptable, after she grounded off Rota, and the San Francisco de Asis, in Cadiz Bay. Neptuno served with the Spanish for a further 12 years, being broken up in 1820. HMS Donegal came up, and being unable to resist, Rayo surrendered to her, but was driven on shore on 26 October and wrecked. The Rayo attempted to anchor off San Lucar and ride out the storm, but rolled out her masts in the heavy seas. Neptune was a Bucentaure-class 80-gun ship of the line of the French Navy. Neptune was built at Toulon and launched in 1803. As both these factors altered almost minute by minute, it is impossible to accurately portray a vessel except at a specific point in time. Unbeknownst to Villeneuve, Ganteaume was still being blockaded in Brest. One of the documents seized from the Mont-Blanc was a helmsman’s log which covers the period of 16 September 1805 to 4 November 1805. [1] She was also similar to another Trafalgar combatant, the 80-gun HMS Tonnant, which had previously been a French warship. [1], She joined the fleet in entering Vigo Bay on 28 July, and went into Ferrol on 2 August. [16], As the battle started Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory broke the line ahead of Neptune, passing by and raking Bucentaure. At Trafalgar, in 1805, 20 of the 27 British ships of the line were 3rd rates, and 16 of those had 74 guns. [10], The fleets resupplied and settled in to await the arrival of a large French fleet from Brest under Vice-Admiral Honoré Joseph Antoine Ganteaume. You can search and download the records in Discovery. Pluton, Algesiras and Argonaute and the 40-gun frigate Cornélie, out of the harbour, but on 9 July the squadron was attacked by Spanish forces from the land and sea. [13] Villeneuve formed up the line of battle, with Neptune being eleventh from the front, positioned astern of the Berwick and ahead of the Bucentaure. (After Calder joined up with Nelsons fleet he was allowed to sail back to England on the Prince of Wales in an attempt to clear his name at a court martial. One reason for the development of the line of battle system was to facilitate control of the fleet: if all the ships were in line, signalling in battle became possible. Oct 28, 2014 - 12 in Bellerophon class dreadnought HMS Temeraire anchored at Spithead in 1909: the name has remained in Royal Navy use since distinguished service by the original previously captured French ship at Trafalgar in 1805. [1] While in Cadiz Villeneuve had described Neptune as being 'In every respect one of the finest and most seaworthy ships of the Fleet. Details of the sea battle, in which British ships chased and captured the French vessels, appear in the helmsman's log. We do not provide copies of online records – please download to view, Visit us in Kew to see original documents or view online records for free, Consider paying for As the British began to overwhelm the combined fleet, the relatively undamaged Neptune joined several ships in a retreat to Cadiz. As Nelson lingered, he fleet captured or destroyed 18 ships of the Franco-Spanish fleet, ... and one recaptured by its crew. Helmsman’s Log transcript in English (PDF, 0.06MB), Helmsman’s Log transcript in French (PDF, 0.07MB). [1] After spending several months there, watched by the blockading British fleet under Nelson, Villeneuve decided to put to sea in mid-October. [15] Neptune should have had the position immediately astern of Bucentaure, but the Spanish 74-gun San Justo, which should have been four places astern of Neptune had drifted up to leeward. Her brief career with the French included several major battles, though she spent the last 12 years of her life under the Spanish flag. This would be significant in the coming battle as the position astern of the flagship would be the focus of British attention, and should have been occupied by a powerful ship like the Neptune. The muster rolls include details of the sailors, soldiers and passengers of each vessel. Neptune saw little action, and was relatively unscathed. They were rewarded for each ship captured and returned to the UK, and given a further bonus for men captured. For quick pointersTuesday to Saturday The line also allowed either side to disengage by breaking away in formation; if the attacker ch… She also participated in a notable single-ship action when she captured the French privateer Favorite in 1807. [2][15], Having come through the battle relatively unscathed, Neptune was able to join the sortie made by Captain Julien Cosmao on 23 October, in an attempt to retake some of the captured prizes. She was commissioned in time to join an abortive attempt to break the British blockade of the port in October 1804, but the fleet was forced back to port by bad weather. Napoleon had in mind replacing the fleet he lost at Trafalgar with a new fleet of eighteen ships of the line, four frigates and sixteen other ships. Swiftsure fought at the Battle of the Nile under Horatio Nelson for the British, but was captured by the French in 1801, meaning that by the time Trafalgar took place she was sailing under French colours and fighting for the other side. Trapped in the port, the French handed their ships over to the Spanish, who renamed Neptune Neptuno, replacing a Spanish ship lost at Trafalgar. [11][12] The fleet got underway on 11 June. [17] Standing someway off to leeward Neptune's gunners reloaded, and then opened fire with a broadside into HMS Temeraire as the British ship came up through the gap created by Victory's passage. Consult the table below to convert the calendar dates. The combined fleet achieved little while in the West Indies, managing only to capture the British-held Diamond Rock after two weeks of sitting idle at anchor. [1] After resupplying briefly at Cadiz, the fleet sailed to the West Indies, arriving at Fort de France, Martinique on 14 May, where they were joined over the next two days by six Spanish ships of the line and a frigate under Frederico Gravina. [15] Maistral then ordered Neptune's jib run up, to move her out of Victory's range. [1] Neptune formed part of Villeneuve's division, consisting of the flagship, the 80-gun Bucentaure, and the 74-gun ships Pluton, Mont-Blanc, Berwick and Atlas. In previous times, fleets had usually engaged in a mixed mêlée of chaotic one-on-one battles. Accompanying the fleet were six frigates and two brigs. [14] Neptune saw little action in the confused fighting, and consequently escaped with little damage. The column had a p… Nelson caught him off Cape Trafalgar on October 21. (£). She sortied again two days later in an attempt to recover some of the prizes, but the fleet lost more ships than they regained, and Neptune had to be towed back to harbour. When the British vice admiral Horatio Nelson broke through the French and Spanish line of battle off Cape Trafalgar on 21 October 1805, he unleashed a full broadside from the four gun decks of HMS Victory through the stern window of the French flagship Bucentaure. She spent most of her career serving with the British, in the Mediterranean or blockading Cadiz, except for a brief period when she was captured by the French. The Spanish took Neptune into their service, renaming her Neptuno as a replacement for the Neptuno lost at Trafalgar, and she served with them until being broken up in 1820. Trapped in the port, the French handed their ships over to the Spanish, who renamed Neptune Neptuno, replacing a Spanish ship lost at Trafalgar. She briefly engaged HMS Royal Sovereign at long range, and then wore back to support Villeneuve. A quick summary of the post Trafalgar building programme Antwerp: 37 Toulon :15 Rochefort = 11 Brest: 9 Lorient: 10 Cherbourg: 5 Venice: 11 Genoa : 6 Rotterdam + Amsterdam = 5 (not including ships for the Neapolitan navy, nor ships still in those harbours at the time of Trafalgar. Villeneuve was instructed to attack and capture the British colonies in the West Indies, before sailing his entire force back to Europe, join Ganteaume at Brest and cover the invasion flotilla. [2], The remains of the French fleet were bottled up in Cadiz under Rear-Admiral Rosily, trapped there by the British blockade. In the film Star Trek Generations (1994), a painting reveals that one of Picard's ancestors fought at Trafalgar for the French. The Redoutable was a Téméraire class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy. During the fighting Neptune had sustained a relatively minor amount of damage, and had just 15 killed and 39 wounded. Between 3rd and 4th rates there was an ambiguous class of “razeed” 3rd rates. These are muster rolls of ships which were led by Captain (later Vice-Admiral) Richard Strachan, and sent to capture French ships in the Bay of Biscay on November 1805. She took part in the battles of the French Revolutionary Wars in the Brest squadron, served in the Caribbean in 1803, and duelled with HMS Victory during the Battle of Trafalgar, killing Vice … After achieving little in the Caribbean, the fleet sailed back to Europe, where they were engaged by a British fleet in the Battle of Cape Finisterre. Redoutable's captain, Jean Jacques Étienne Lucas, saw the threat, and brought his ship forward in an attempt to close the gap. Many of the injured crew were brought ashore at Gibraltar and treat… The captured French ships were all added to the Royal Navy, with the 'Formidable', becoming the 'Brave', and the 'Duguay-Trouin', the 'Implacable'. At the time Royal Navy sailors received bonuses for capturing enemy vessels. Built during the last years of the French Revolutionary Wars she was launched at the beginning of the Napoleonic Wars. 09:00 to 17:00. He was promoted to Rear-Admiral on 9 November 1805 and each of the captains involved in the action was presented with a gold medal. Despite this great and glorious victory at Trafalgar, the Napoleonic Wars continued for another 10 years, but the defeat of the French and Spanish fleets meant that they could no longer seriously come up against the British in battle at sea. Victory and Royal Sovereign did indeed take a pounding as they closed with the French and for a terrifying few minutes they found themselves isolated as they ploughed into the enemy lines. List of Vessels at the Battle of Trafalgar. Discovery is a catalogue of archival records across the UK and beyond, from which you can search 32 million records. Neptuno served with the Spanish for a further 12 years, being broken up in 1820. Neptune battled briefly with the 64-gun HMS Polyphemus, and as the British began to overwhelm the Franco-Spanish fleet, she prepared to run for Cadiz, giving supporting fire for the Principe de Asturias as the Spanish ship withdrew, before joining the retreat to Cadiz. The Royal Navy, under the command of Vice-Admiral the Lord Nelson (who died in the action) with 27 ships of the line defeated a combined Franco-Spanish fleet of 33 ships under the command of Vice-Admiral Pierre de Villeneuve. He attempted to move his fleet, consisting of the Neptune, the 74-gun ships Héros, Villeneuve decided to break off operations and return to Europe. ^ The smaller ships were the 40-gun frigates Cornélie, Rhin, Hortense and Hermione, the 36-gun frigates Sirène and Thémis, and the 18-gun brigs Furet and Pleiade. [9], https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=French_ship_Neptune_(1803)&oldid=999047775, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. v3.0, offences committed and punishments inflicted, unusual events, such as attendance at Napoleon’s coronation, lists of army units aboard (for example the 67th Infantry aboard Scipion). Of the 33 ships of Villeneuve's fleet that had departed Cadiz, only 11 returned. Nelson's rout of the Franco-Spanish fleet, whose losses included 18 ships, 6,000 killed or wounded, and over 20,000 taken prisoner, so stung Napoleon that he never initiated another naval campaign. Villeneuve came out of Cadiz in late 1805, and was engaged by Nelson in the decisive Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October. [15] Belleisle had become isolated and took the fire of several French ships until British ships were able to come to her rescue. As Victory passed by Neptune fired into her with a broadside from her larboard battery, damaging Victory's foremast, bowsprit, spritsail yards, her forward hull and her anchors. One of Sané's 80-gun Bucentaure-class, her lines were virtually identical to those of her contemporaries Bucentaure, Indomptable and Formidable, all of which fought at Trafalgar. [1], Neptune entered the battle about 25 minutes after the start of the action, having by then drifted to leeward and fallen astern of Redoutable. You can also download the helmsman’s log in full (in French) or read a transcript of key entries (in French) or an English translation below. [15] Rosily attempted to negotiate to keep his fleet, but on this being rejected, was forced to surrender it to the Spanish on 14 July. Trafalgar would be Nelson and the Victory’s last major glimpse of battle – while leading the attack, Nelson was fatally shot through his left shoulder blade, the musket ball breaking his spine. [15] [4][6] Nelson spent nearly six weeks sailing back and forth across the Mediterranean through heavy seas while the French remained in port, before news finally reached him of Villeneuve's location. During the Battle of Trafalgar (21 October 1805) she captured the 74-gun French ship Algésiras. [15] In preparation for the counter-attack the British cast off several of the prizes and formed a defensive line, allowing the frigates to retake two of the captured prizes, both Spanish ships, the 112-gun Santa Ana and the 80-gun Neptuno. You don’t need to complete every field to find a record. The Battle of Trafalgar was a sea battle between the British and the French-Spanish Navy. In the ensuing storm the captured ship Redoutable sank on 22 October 1805 and the French flagship Bucentaure, captured by the British and recaptured by the French, sank off Cadiz when it struck a rock. The Battle of Trafalgar took place on the 21st October 1805 off the coast of Spain. Although involvement in the battle had been minimal, deaths, injuries and sickness are recorded in these documents, including the names of those who were killed at Trafalgar. Pickle was wrecked in 1808, but without loss of life. It struck the ships from the side, causing them to roll and ruining their stability as gun platforms. Neptune was built at Toulon to a design by Jacques-Noël Sané, with her keel laid down in 1801. The helmsman’s log was recorded at four to six hourly intervals as the fighting was taking place and this is the first time there has been access to an eyewitness account from behind the French line. The records reveal that there were a number of nationalities aboard the French ships at their time of capture. HMS Victory made her way to Gibraltar for repairs, carrying Nelson's body. The collection includes muster rolls and other documentation seized at the time from the following ships: These were the only enemy ships involved in the Battle of Trafalgar to be taken to the UK. This page was last edited on 8 January 2021, at 06:46. [16] Maistral hailed San Justo, The San Justo not being in her station and edging down to place herself on my windward beam hampered me; I at once hailed her to enquire if she knew her station; I told her that mine was to be next astern to the Bucentaure; she replied that she was about to place herself astern of me, which she did not do, and continued to the wind and to fore-reach on me, which made me fall off a little to leeward and to draw away from the flagship, of whom I had been within hail in the first place. The document, taken from the French ship … [15] Neptune had to be towed back into Cadiz. July, and consequently escaped with little damage arrived at Barbados to another Trafalgar combatant, ships. For repairs, carrying Nelson 's inshore squadron British began to reduce in size after 1812 into! [ 9 ], she joined the fleet in entering Vigo Bay on 28 July, ended... 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