Magnanime (74)

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Navies >> British Navy >> Magnanime (74)

Origin and History

The ship was built by B. Geslain in 1742 in Rochefort (France) and launched in 1744.

On January 31 1748, the ship was captured from the French by the Royal Navy.

During the Seven Years' War, the ship was under the command of:

  • in 1757 and 1759: captain lord Howe

The ship was broken up in April 1775.

Service during the War

In August 1757, the ship joined the fleet assembling at Spithead under the command of sir Edward Hawke. On September 8, this fleet sailed. It escorted 45 transports carrying more then 7,000 foot for an expedition against an undisclosed French port of the Atlantic coast. The expedition was finally a raid on Rochefort. On September 23, the British fleet came in sight of the little island of Aix at the mouth of the river leading up to Rochefort. Admiral Hawke ordered captain Howe commanding the Magnanime to attack the fort of Aix. The Magnanime as she approached the fort first received its fire. However, she continued to bear down on the fort and dropped her anchors close under its walls. She then opened a devastating fire which lasted for an hour before the governor struck his flag. The fort was but a ruin. However, the planned assault on Rochefort never took place. On October 6, the expeditionary force, returned home with no other tangible results than the destruction of the small fort on the island of Aix.

During part of the summer of 1759, prince Edward Augustus, afterwards duke of York, again served as a midshipman in this ship. On November 20 at 9:45 AM, the ship announced that the fleet sighted near Belle-Isle was the French fleet. She then took part in the decisive battle of Quiberon. At about 2:30 PM, she was among the British ships who hotly engaged the French rear. At about 4:00 PM, she engaged the Thésée (74) who was relieved by her disablement when she was fouled by one of her consorts and fell astern. Later during the battle, the ship, observing the French Héros (74) somewhat disabled to leeward, bore down and ranging alongside, quickly obliged her to strike. The victory of Quiberon eliminated any serious threat from the French navy for the rest of the war.

To do: campaigns from 1760 to 1763


Technical specifications
Guns 74
1st deck 28 x 36 pdrs
2nd deck 30 x 18 pdrs
3rd deck 16 x 8 pdrs
Crew 520-700 men
Length 165 feet (50,29 m)
Width 44,6 feet (13,59 m)
Depth 22 feet (6,71 m)
Displacement 1500 tons (1361 metric tons)


Anonymous, A Complete History of the Present War, from its Commencement in 1756, to the End of the Campaign, 1760, London, 1761, pp. 227-232

Blasco, Manuel, British 3rd Rates, 3 Decks Wiki

Deschênes, Ronald, Répertoire des vaisseaux de ligne français 1682-1780

N.B.: the section Service during the War is derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.