Jean-Jacques Magendie

Last updated

Jean-Jacques Magendie (21 May 1766 in Bordeaux – 26 March 1835 in Paris) [1] was a French Navy officer. He famously captained the flagship Bucentaure at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Bordeaux Prefecture and commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne in the Gironde department in Southwestern France.

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts. The City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €709 billion in 2017. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, and ahead of Zürich, Hong Kong, Oslo and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong Kong, in 2018.

France Republic in Europe with several non-European regions

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.02 million. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.



Early career

Magendie joined the French Royal Navy in 1781 as an apprentice, and later sailed on merchant ships, raising to second captain and distinguishing himself to the point where he was mentioned in a June 1793 meeting of the National Convention. He was brought into Navy service with the rank of ensign and given command of a cutter patrolling off the coasts of England and Ireland. [1]

National Convention Single-chamber assembly in France from 21 September 1792 to 26 October 1795

The National Convention was the first government of the French Revolution, following the two-year National Constituent Assembly and the one-year Legislative Assembly. Created after the great insurrection of 10 August 1792, it was the first French government organized as a republic, abandoning the monarchy altogether. The Convention sat as a single-chamber assembly from 20 September 1792 to 26 October 1795.

In 1794, he captained the cutter Ranger, and the corvette Espion [2] [3] [Note 1] from July. On 4 March 1795, the British frigate Lively captured Espion about 13 leagues off Ushant. [4]

<i>Robert</i> (1793 ship) 1793 ship

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. She then became a slave ship, whaling ship, and privateer again. The French captured her in mid-1805 and sent her into Guadeloupe.

HMS Lively was a 32-gun fifth-rate Alcmene-class frigate of the British Royal Navy launched on 23 October 1794 at Northam, Devon. She took part in three actions that would in 1847 qualify for the issuance of the Naval General Service Medal, one a single-ship action, one a major battle, and one a cutting-out boat expedition. Lively was wrecked in 1798.

A league is a unit of length. It was common in Europe and Latin America, but is no longer an official unit in any nation. The word originally meant the distance a person could walk in an hour. Since the Middle Ages, many values have been specified in several countries.

Released, Magendie returned to France, where the court-martial acquitted him for the loss of his ship. On 28 September 1795, he married Raimonde Deschazeau. [1]

Frigate captain

In March 1796, he was promoted to commander, and in September received the command of the Tartu. He took part in the early stages of the Expédition d'Irlande, but on 5 January 1797, Tartu she was captured by HMS Polyphemus. [1]

French frigate <i>Uranie</i> (1788)

Uranie was a frigate of the French Navy launched in 1788. She took part in a frigate action in 1793, capturing HMS Thames, and was renamed Tartu in honour of her captain, Jean-François Tartu, who was killed in the action. The Royal Navy captured her in 1797. She served as HMS Uranie until the Royal Navy sold her in 1807.

HMS <i>Polyphemus</i> (1782) Intrepid-class ship of the line

HMS Polyphemus, a 64-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 27 April 1782 at Sheerness. She participated in the 1801 Battle of Copenhagen, the Battle of Trafalgar, and the Siege of Santo Domingo. In 1813 she became a powder hulk and was broken up in 1827.

Magendie was again taken prisoner. He returned to France in September 1798, and was again cleared of any wrongdoing in the less of his ship. He then served as first officer on the brand new Africaine, under captain Pierre-Félix de Lapalisse. Upon her return, Africaine joined up with Régénérée and was put under the command of captain Saunier. Tasked with ferrying ammunition for the Armée d'Orient. [1]

French frigate <i>Africaine</i> (1798) preneuse-class frigates of the French Navy

Africaine was one of two 40-gun Preneuse-class frigates of the French Navy built to a design by Raymond-Antoine Haran. She carried twenty-eight 18-pounder and twelve 8-pounder guns. The British captured her in 1801, only to have the French recapture her in 1810. They abandoned her at sea as she had been demasted and badly damaged, with the result that the British recaptured her the next day. She was broken up in 1816.

French frigate <i>Régénérée</i> (1794)

Régénérée was a 40-gun Cocarde-class frigate of the French Navy. The British captured her in 1801 at the fall of Alexandria, named her HMS Alexandria, sailed her back to Britain, but never commissioned her. She was broken up in 1804.

Order of battle of the Armée dOrient (1798)

The Armée d'Orient was the French military force gathered by the French Directory to send on the expedition to Egypt in 1798. The expedition had the intention of barring Great Britain's route to its colonies in India and was put under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte. Also known as Battle of Orient.

Split from Régénérée by a storm, Africaine encountered HMS Phoebe, under Captain Robert Barlow, east of Gibraltar. Phoebe, which had the weather gage, overtook Africaine and engaged her at close range, despite the French soldiers, who augmented the frigate's guns with their musket fire. Phoebe's guns inflicted more than 340 casualties on the soldiers and seaman of Africaine before she struck at 9:30PM. [5] Magendie sustained a head injury and was captured for the third time.

Released from Minorca, Magendie returned to France in March 1801. In September, he was given command of the Minerva in Napoli, sailed her to Toulon where she took the name Sibylle, and from then took part in a variety of missions. He distinguished himself during the capture of Santo Domingo, earning the provisory rank of captain. After returning to France, he sailed to Naples to surrender his frigate to the Napolitan government, as ordered. [1]

Trafalgar campaign

In October 1803, Magendie was tasked to supervise the commissioning of Bucentaure. After she entered service, he became her captain and flag officer to Vice-Admiral Latouche Tréville, who died on board on 18 August 1804, and then to Vice-Admiral Villeneuve. [1]

Magendie then took part in the Trafalgar Campaign, notably the Battle of Cape Finisterre. Magendie captained Bucentaure at the Battle of Trafalgar, where he was wounded in the mouth and captured. [1] [6]

Released on parole in February 1806, he returned to France, where he worked at the Ministry of the Navy. [1]

Peninsula wars

In December 1807, he was sent to Lisbon and tasked with supervising the naval activities of the harbour. In August 1808, by the Convention of Sintra, the defeated French troops were allowed to return to France and Magendie was ferried on HMS Nymphe. [1]

He worked in various duties on shore and at the ministry until October 1810, when he was again sent to besieged Lisbon to command the naval forces there. The city did not fall, however, and Magendie stayed in Portugal until June 1811. [1]

He supervised the commissioning of Trajan, before commanding the Ajax in Toulon. In February 1812, he took part in a skirmish between three ships of the line and two frigates against one ship and two frigates. [1]

Late career and retirement

At the Bourbon Restoration, Ajax was decommissioned and Magendie was task with the supervision of Toulon harbour. During the Hundred Days, Ajax was reactivated with Magendie for captain. He was consequently dismissed from the Navy at the Second Restoration, and retired. [1]

From 1821, he directed a steamboat service between Paris and Le Havre. [1]


Citations and references

  1. Quintin (p. 251) gives the name Espoir instead of Espion, apparently in error as they state she was captured by Lively in March 1795. A Hasard-class brig Espoir was in commission at the time, but she was not captured on 2–3 March 1795.
  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Dictionnaire des capitaines de vaisseau de Napoléon, Danielle & Bernard Quintin, SPM, 2003, ISBN   2-901952-42-9
  2. Roche, vol.1, p. 183
  3. Quintin, p. 251
  4. "No. 13757". The London Gazette . 3 March 1795. p. 207.
  5. "Phoebe". Phoebe Tree for All. 2007-06-20. Archived from the original on 2006-03-04.External link in |publisher= (help)
  6. p163-7, Goodwin The Ships of Trafalgar, the British, French and Spanish Fleets October 1805

Related Research Articles

French ship <i>Bucentaure</i> ship

Bucentaure was an 80-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, and the lead ship of her class. She was the flagship of Vice-Admiral Latouche Tréville, who died on board on 18 August 1804.

Pierre Dumanoir le Pelley French naval officer

Vice-Admiral Count Pierre-Etienne-René-Marie Dumanoir Le Pelley was a French Navy officer, best known for commanding the vanguard of the French fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Henry Blackwood Royal Navy officer

Vice-Admiral Sir Henry Blackwood, 1st Baronet, GCH, KCB, whose memorial is in Killyleagh Parish Church, was a British sailor.

Jean-Baptiste Philibert Willaumez French admiral

Jean-Baptiste Philibert Willaumez was a French sailor, Navy officer, and admiral of the First French Empire.

Pierre François Étienne Bouvet de Maisonneuve French Navy officer and privateer

Pierre-François-Henri-Étienne Bouvet de Maisonneuve was a French Navy officer and privateer.

French frigate <i>Sensible</i> (1788)

Sensible was a 32-gun Magicienne-class frigate of the French Navy. The Royal Navy captured her in 1798 off Malta and took into service as HMS Sensible. She was lost in a grounding off Ceylon in 1802.

Jean-Anne Christy de la Pallière, also written "Christy-Pallière", was a French Naval officer.

Louis-Léonce Trullet was a French Navy officer.

Captain Charles Berrenger was a French Navy officer.

Captain Jean-Marie Letellier was a French Navy officer.

French frigate <i>Alceste</i> (1780)

Alceste was a Magicienne class frigate of the French Navy, launched in 1780, that the British seized at the Siege of Toulon. They transferred her to the Kingdom of Sardinia, but the French recaptured her a year later in the Action of 8 June 1794. The British captured her again at the Action of 18 June 1799 and took her into service as HMS Alceste. In 1801 she became a floating battery and she was sold the next year.

Jean-Michel Mahé was a French Navy officer and captain.

Louis-Charles-Auguste Delamarre de Lamellerie French Navy officer

Louis-Charles-Auguste Delamarre, vicomte de Lamellerie was a French Navy officer and captain.

Jean-Joseph Hubert was a French Navy officer and captain.

Louis Alexis Baudoin was a French Navy officer and captain.

Jean-Gilles Filhol de Camas was a French Navy officer and captain.

The Atalante was a 74-gun ship of the line of the Spanish Navy. She was acquired by France in 1801 and commissioned in the French Navy, being renamed to Atlas in 1803, serving in Santo Domingo and taking part in the Battle of Cape Finisterre. She was captured in Vigo at the outbreak of the Peninsular War.

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.