Military Wiki
HMS Belleisle (1795)
Belleisle PU5705.jpg
HMS Belleisle after the Battle of Trafalgar
Career (France)
Name: Lion, Marat, Formidable
Namesake: Jean-Paul Marat
Builder: Rochefort shipyard
Laid down: 1793 as Lion
Launched: 29 April 1794
Renamed: Marat in 1794
Formidable in May 1795
Captured: 23 June 1795, by Royal Navy at the Battle of Groix
Career (UK)
Name: HMS Belleisle
Acquired: by capture, 23 June 1795
Fate: Broken up, 1814
General characteristics [1]
Class & type: Téméraire-class ship of the line
Displacement: 2,966 tonnes
5,260 tonnes fully loaded
Length: 55.87 metres (183.3 ft) (172 pied)
Beam: 14.90 metres (48 ft 11 in)
Draught: 7.26 metres (23.8 ft) (22 pied)
Propulsion: Up to 2,485 m2 (26,750 sq ft) of sails

74 guns:

16 × 8-pounder long guns
4 × 36-pdr carronades
Armour: Timber

Lion was a Téméraire class 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the French Navy, which later served in the Royal Navy. She was built at Rochefort. She was later renamed Marat and then Formidable, with the changing fortunes of the French Revolution. She took part in the Action of 6 November 1793, managing to rake HMS Alexander.

Fighting under captain Linois on 23 June 1795 at the Battle of Groix, she was captured by HMS Barfleur near the French port of Lorient. She was taken into service in the Royal Navy, but because the Navy already had a Formidable, she was renamed Belleisle, apparently in the mistaken belief that she had been captured off Belle Île, rather than the Île de Groix.

Belleisle PU4054.jpg

Captained by William Hargood, she was the second ship in the British lee column at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, and as such was engaged by the Franco-Spanish ships Achille, Aigle, Neptune, Fougueux, Santa Ana, Monarca and San Juan Nepomuceno. She was soon completely dismasted (the only British ship which suffered that fate), unable to manœuvre and largely unable to fight, as her sails blinded her batteries, but kept flying her flag for 45 minutes until the British ships behind her in the column came to her rescue. With 33 dead and 93 wounded, she was then towed to Gibraltar after the battle by the frigate HMS Naiad.

From 1811 she was in Portsmouth harbour, and in 1814 the decision was taken to have her broken up.


  1. Clouet, Alain (2007). "La marine de Napoléon III : classe Téméraire - caractéristiques". Retrieved 4 April 2013.  (French)

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