|Builders:||Toulon, Brest and Rochefort|
|Type:||Ship of the line|
|Length:||59.28 m (194.5 ft)|
|Beam:||15.27 m (50.1 ft)|
|Draught:||7.80 m (25.6 ft)|
|Depth of hold:||7.64 m (25.1 ft)|
|Complement:||854 in wartime (866 by 1802)|
The Tonnant class was a series of eight 80-gun ships of the line designed in 1787 by Jacques-Noël Sané, whose plans for the prototype were approved on 29 September 1787. With sixteen gunports on the lower deck on each side (although only fifteen of these ports on each side were routinely provided with 36-livre guns) these were the most effective two-deckers of their era. Their broadside of 1,102 livres equated to 1,190 British pounds weight, over 50% more than the standard British 74-gun ship, and even greater than that of a British 100-gun three-decker.
Five ships were ordered from 1787 to 1793, and all were completed during the 1790s; six more were ordered in January 1794 to be built to this design at Toulon, but only three of these were named and laid down. All but one of the eight ships were to be captured or destroyed by the British Navy, and four of these were to enjoy long careers in their new service. The prizes were highly regarded by British sea officers, but they proved costly and time-consuming to maintain.
From 1802 a new group (the Bucentaureclass) of French 80-gun ships was begun of slightly modified design, of which more than 24 were begun.
The design dimensions of these ships (in French pieds of 324.84mm) were 182.5 overall length, 167 keel length x 47.0 breadth x 23.5 depth in hold (see General Characteristics box for metric equivalents and those in UK/US units).
HMS Tonnant was an 80-gun ship of the line of the Royal Navy. She had previously been Tonnant of the French Navy and the lead ship of the Tonnant class. The British captured her in August 1793 during the Siege of Toulon but the French recaptured her when the siege was broken in December. Rear-Admiral Horatio Nelson captured her at Aboukir Bay off the coast of Egypt at the Battle of the Nile on 1 August 1798. She was taken into British service as HMS Tonnant. She went on to fight at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, during the Napoleonic Wars.
The Océan-class ships of the line were a series of 118-gun three-decker ships of the line of the French Navy, designed by engineer Jacques-Noël Sané. Fifteen were completed from 1788 on, with the last one entering service in 1854; a sixteenth was never completed, and four more were never laid down.
The Courageux-class ships of the line were a class of six 74-gun third rates of the Royal Navy. Their design was a direct copy of the French ship Courageux, captured in 1761 by HMS Bellona. This class of ship is sometimes referred to as the Leviathan class. A further two ships of the class were built to a slightly lengthened version of the Courageux draught. A final two ships were ordered to a third modification of the draught.
The Téméraire-class ships of the line were a class of a hundred and twenty 74-gun ships of the line ordered between 1782 and 1813 for the French navy or its attached navies in dependent (French-occupied) territories. Although a few of these were cancelled, the type was and remains the most numerous class of capital ship ever built to a single design.
The Magicienne class was a type of twelve 32-gun frigates of the French Navy, each with a main battery of 26 x 12-pounder long guns, and with 6 x 6-pounder guns on the quarterdeck and forecastle. They were designed by Joseph-Marie-Blaise Coulomb.
The Centaure class was a class of 74-gun ships of the line of the French Navy, comprising four ships, all of which built at Toulon Dockyard to a design dated 28 March 1782 by Joseph-Marie-Blaise Coulomb in the year following the close of the American Revolutionary War. The first pair were ordered on 15 February 1782, and were named on 13 April. After the first two ships were begun, the design was amended for the second pair – which are accordingly often described as the Séduisant Class. This second pair were ordered on 1 June 1782 and named on 21 August. All four ships were destroyed or captured by the British navy during the French Revolutionary War.
The Virginie class was a class of ten 40-gun frigates of the French Navy, designed in 1793 by Jacques-Noël Sané. An eleventh vessel (Zephyr) begun in 1794 was never completed.
HMS Hind was a 28-gun sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy.
The Seine class was a class of four 42-gun frigates of the French Navy, designed in 1793 by Pierre-Alexandre Forfait. A fifth vessel, Furieuse, was originally ordered at Cherbourg in February 1794 to Forfait's Romaine class design, but was actually completed to the design of the Seine class.
The Romaine class was a class of nine frigates of the French Navy, designed in 1794 by Pierre-Alexandre Forfait. They were originally designated as "bomb-frigates" and were intended to carry a main armament of twenty 24-pounder guns and a 12-inch mortar mounted on a turntable in front of the mizzen mast. Experience quickly led to the mortars being removed, and the 24-pounders were replaced by 18-pounder guns. The ships also featured a shot furnace, but they proved impractical, dangerous to the ships themselves, and were later discarded. A further eleven ships ordered to this design in 1794 were not built, or were completed to altered designs.
The Bucentaure class was a class of 80-gun French ships of the line built to a design by Jacques-Noël Sané from 1802 onwards, of which at least 29 were ordered but only 21 ships were launched. They were a development from his earlier Tonnant class.
The Artois class were a series of nine frigates built to a 1793 design by Sir John Henslow, which served in the Royal Navy during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
The Etna class was a class of six 16 or 18-gun corvettes with a flat hull, designed by Pierre-Alexandre-Laurent Forfait and his pupil Charles-Henri Tellier. Four separate commercial shipbuilders were involved in their construction by contract - including André-François Normand, Courtois and Denise at Honfleur, and Fouache at Le Havre, while the sixth vessel was built by Pierre Ozanne at Cherbourg Dockyard. The vessels were flush-decked and originally designed to carry a 12" mortar. However, as the British navy captured Etna within a year and a half of her launch at which time she was not carrying any mortar, it is possible that the design was modified quite early to delete the mortar.
The Minerve class was a type of 40-gun frigate of the French Navy, carrying 18-pounder long guns as their main armament. Six ships of this type were built at Toulon Dockyard, and launched between 1782 and 1794. The frigates served the French Navy briefly during the French Revolutionary Wars. The Royal Navy captured all six between 1793 and 1799 and took them into service, with all but one serving in the Napoleonic Wars, and some thereafter.
The Pégase class was a class of 74-gun ships of the French Navy, built to a common design by naval constructor Antoine Groignard. It comprised six ships, all ordered during 1781 and all named on 13 July 1781.
Seven ships of the French Navy have borne the name Sans-Culotte in honour of the Sans-culottes:
The Abeille class was a type of 16-gun brig-corvette of the French Navy, designed by François Pestel with some units refined by Pierre-Jacques-Nicolas Rolland. They were armed with either 24-pounder carronades, or a mixture of light 6-pounder long guns and lighter carronades. Twenty-one ships of this type were built between 1801 and 1812, and served in the Napoleonic Wars.
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French Navy ship of the line classes timeline, 1750s–1900s
|130 gun three-decker||Bretagne|
|110-120 gun three-decker||Sans-Pareil class||Océan class|
|Terrible class||Commerce de Paris class|
|90-100 gun two-decker||Napoléon class|
|80-gun two-decker||Saint-Esprit class|
|Deux Frères||Bucentaure class|
|74-gun two-decker||Hector class|