HMS Unite - Ship plan 1796
|Builder||Rochefort (constructeur: Joseph Niou)|
|Laid down||November 1785|
|Launched||18 May 1787|
|Renamed||Unité on 28 September 1793|
|Captured||11 April 1796|
|Acquired||11 April 1796 by capture|
|Fate||Sold in 1802|
|Class and type||Charmante-class frigate|
|Tons burthen||87371⁄94 (bm)|
|Beam||37 ft 8 in (11.5 m)|
|Draught||5.4 m (18 ft)|
|Depth of hold||11 ft 0 in (3.4 m)|
|Sail plan||Full-rigged ship|
Gracieuse was a 32-gun Charmante-class frigate of the French Navy. Renamed to Unité in 1793, she took part in the French Revolutionary Wars. The Royal Navy captured her in 1796 off Île d'Yeu and brought her into British service as HMS Unite. She was sold in 1802
Gracieuse was re-commissioned in Rochefort in April 1793 under captaine de vaisseau Chevillard. She transported troops between the Basque Roads and Sables-d'Olonne, and then returned to Rochefort. She transferred to the naval division on the coasts of the Vendée. There she escorted convoys between Brest and Bordeaux.Gracieuse took part in the War in the Vendée, capturing the British privateer Ellis on 11 July.
In September 1793 Gracieuse was renamed Unité. She was to be named Variante in April 1796, but the Royal Navy captured her before the name change took effect.
On 14 May 1794, Unité captured the ship-sloop HMS Alert after a short fight that left Alert with three men killed and nine wounded before Alert struck. The French Navy took Alert into service as Alerte.
Unité then undertook a crossing from Port Louis to Rochefort under commander Durand. On 13 April 1796 Indefatigable, under the command of Captain Sir Edward Pellew was in pursuit of a French frigate. Pellew signaled to his squadron mate HMS Révolutionnaire to sail to cut the frigate off from the shore. Revolutionnaire then captured Unite after having fired two broadsides into her. Unite had nine men killed and 11 wounded; Revolutionnaire had no casualties. Pellew ordered the prize to be commanded to England by Edward Ellicott, first lieutenant of the Revolutionnaire, who was cited by his captain Francis Cole "for his very particular attention in keeping sight of the chase, and for his steady and manly conduct when close engaged." The Royal Navy took the frigate into service as HMS Unite.
She was then captained by Ralph Willett Miller and Sir Charles Rowley.
On 9 October 1797 Unite captured the French Navy brig Decouverte, of 14 guns and 91 men. She was three days out of Nantes, on her way to Guadaloupe with secret dispatches that she managed to throw overboard before the British took possession of her. During the chase her crew threw 10 of her guns overboard in an attempt to lighten her. Decouverte arrived at Plymouth on 15 October.
On 4 March 1799 Unite and the sloop Gaiete left Portsmouth as escorts to a convoy for the West Indies.
Lloyd's List reported in January 1801 that Unite had recaptured the brig Hiram. Hiram, Withey, master, had been sailing from Liverpool to Savannah when a privateer had captured her. The captain and two men had recaptured her, only to have a second privateer recapture then. Then Unite had recaptured Hiram and sent her into Martinique.
Unite was paid off at Sheerness in April 1802. She was sold there in May 1802.
HMS Indefatigable was one of the Ardent-class 64-gun third-rate ships-of-the-line designed by Sir Thomas Slade in 1761 for the Royal Navy. She was built as a ship-of-the-line, but most of her active service took place after her conversion to a 44-gun razee frigate. She had a long career under several distinguished commanders, serving throughout the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. She took some 27 prizes, alone or in company, and the Admiralty authorised the issue of four clasps to the Naval General Service Medal in 1847 to any surviving members of her crews from the respective actions. She was broken up in 1816.
HMS Surprise was the name the Royal Navy gave to the French Navy's corvette Unité after Unité's capture in 1796. Unité was launched on 16 February 1794. Surprise gained fame in 1799 for the recapture of HMS Hermione. In 1802 Surprise was sold out of the service.
HMS Hannibal was a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 15 April 1786, named after the Carthaginian general Hannibal. She is best known for having taken part in the Algeciras Campaign, and for having run aground during the First Battle of Algeciras on 5 July 1801, which resulted in her capture. She then served in the French Navy until she was broken up in 1824.
HMS Amazon, was a 36-gun frigate, built at Rotherhithe by Wells & Co. in 1795 to a design by Sir William Rule. Carrying a main battery of 18-pounder long guns, she was the first of a class of four frigates. She spent her entire career in the Channel, part of the Inshore Squadron under Sir Edward Pellew. She was wrecked in Audierne Bay in 1797, following an engagement with the French ship-of-the-line, Droits de l'Homme.
Révolutionnaire, was a 40-gun Seine-class frigate of the French Navy, launched in May 1794. The British captured her in October 1794 and she went on to serve with the Royal Navy until she was broken up in 1822. During this service Revolutionnaire took part in numerous actions, including three for which the Admiralty would in 1847 award clasps to the Naval General Service Medal, and captured several privateers and merchant vessels.
Vénus was a corvette of the French Navy that the British captured in 1800. Renamed HMS Scout, she served briefly in the Channel before being wrecked in 1801, a few days after taking a major prize.
Sixteen ships of the Royal Navy have borne the name HMS Alert, while another was planned:
HMS Cleopatra was a 32-gun Amazon-class fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy. She had a long career, seeing service during the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War, and the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. During the latter wars she fought two notable engagements with larger French opponents. In the first engagement she was forced to surrender, but succeeded in damaging the French ship so badly that she was captured several days later, while Cleopatra was retaken. In the second she forced the surrender of a 40-gun frigate. After serving under several notable commanders she was broken up towards the end of the Napoleonic Wars.
HMS Proselyte was a 32-gun Royal Navy fifth-rate frigate. She was the former Dutch 36-gun frigate Jason, built in 1770 at Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Her crew mutinied and turned her over to the British in 1796. She then served the Royal Navy until she was wrecked in 1801.
His Majesty's Hired armed lugger Duke of York served the Royal Navy from 14 October 1794 to 2 January 1799 when she foundered in the North Sea. She was of 5744⁄94 tons (bm) and was armed with eight 4-pounder guns.
HMS Actif was supposedly the British privateer Active that the French captured in 1793 and that became the French privateer Actif. Iphigenia recaptured Actif on 16 March 1794. The Royal Navy took her into service but she foundered on 26 November. All her crew were saved.
HMS Alert was launched in 1793 for the Royal Navy. In May 1794 the French Navy captured her and took her into service as Alerte. A few months later the Royal Navy destroyed her.
Robert was a 16-gun French privateer corvette launched in 1793 at Nantes. The British captured her in 1793 and named her HMS Espion. The French recaptured her in 1794 and took her into service as Espion. The British recaptured her in 1795, but there being another Espion in service by then, the British renamed their capture HMS Spy. She served under that name until the Navy sold her in 1801. Spy then became a slave ship, a merchantman to South America, and privateer again. The French captured her in mid-1805 and sent her into Guadeloupe.
HMS Barbuda was commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1780 after having briefly served as an American privateer. Barbuda was one of the two sloops that captured Demerara and Essequibo in 1781, but the French Navy captured her there in 1782 and took her into service as Barboude. The French Navy sold her to private owners in 1786, and she served briefly as a privateer in early 1793 before the French Navy purchased her again and named her Légère. She served them until mid-1796 when the Royal Navy captured her and took her into service as HMS Legere. She was wrecked off the coast of Colombia, without loss of life, in February 1801.
HMS Experiment was launched in 1793, the only lugger actually designed and built for the British Royal Navy. The Spanish Navy captured her in 1796 near Gibraltar. A British privateer recaptured her in 1806, but the Royal Navy did not take her back into service.
HMS Trompeuse was a former French 16-gun brig-sloop, launched in July 1793, that HMS Sphinx captured on 12 January 1794 near Cape Clear Island. The British Royal Navy took her into service. As HMS Trompeuse she captured a small privateer and then grounded off Kinsale in 1796.
The Charmante class was a group of five 32-gun/12-pounder frigates of the French Navy, built during the late 1770s at Brest Nantes and Saint Malo. They were designed by Jean-Denis Chevillard. Of the five ships, two were wrecked, two were captured by the British, and one by the Spanish.
HMS Artois was a fifth-rate Artois-class frigate of the Royal Navy, designed by Sir John Henslow and launched in 1794 at Rotherhithe as the lead ship of her class. She served for the majority of her career in the English Channel under the command of Edmund Nagle in the squadrons of Edward Pellew and John Borlase Warren, notably taking part in the action of 21 October 1794 where she captured the 44-gun frigate La Révolutionnaire almost singlehandedly. She participated in a number of other actions and events including the attempted invasion of France in 1795. Artois continued to serve actively on the coast of France in blockade and patrolling roles, taking a large number of ships as prizes, until she was wrecked with no loss of life off Île de Ré on 31 July 1797 while attempting to reconnoitre the harbour of La Rochelle.
Lutin was a Hasard-class brig-aviso launched at Bayonne in 1788 for the French Navy. Shortly after the outbreak of war with England, the British Royal Navy captured her off Newfoundland. The British took her into service as HMS Lutin. After some two years on the Newfoundland station Lutin sailed to Plymouth where the Navy sold her.
Betzy was the Channel Islands brig Betsey that the French frigate Sémillante captured in May 1793, that the French Navy took into service, and that the Royal Navy recaptured in 1796.