Origin and History
The ship was built by Noël Pomet in Toulon, starting in April 1756, and launched on February 12, 1759. She was first commissioned in May 1759.
During the Seven Years' War, the ship was under the command of:
- in the French service
- no information found
- in the British service
- from April 1760: Captain Henry Speke
- from April 1760: Captain Robert Boyle Walsingham
- from March 1762 to March 1764: Captain John Hollwall
The ship was broken up in August 1800.
Service during the War
In the French service
In 1759, the ship was part of the fleet assembled at Toulon under de la Clue which was destined to reinforce the main French fleet at Brest for the planned invasion of Great Britain. By mid May, de la Clue's squadron was almost ready for sea when a British squadron under the command of Boscawen, conducting operations in the Mediterranean, appeared off Toulon and blockaded the harbour. At the beginning of July, Boscawen was compelled to go to Gibraltar for provisions and repairs. On August 5, de la Clue set sail from Toulon to make a junction with de Conflans' fleet at Brest. On August 17, de la Clue's fleet (10 ships of the line, 2 50-gun ships and 3 frigates) passed the straits of Gibraltar where it was sighted by the Gibraltar (20). Alarmed, Boscawen set sail from Gibraltar to intercept de la Clue. During the night of August 17 to 18, 5 of de la Clue's ships lost sight of his flagship and steered for Cadiz. In the afternoon of August 18, the ship took part in the disastrous battle of Lagos. After an initial engagement, most of the French squadron managed to escape. On the morning of August 19, the ship anchored under the Portuguese batteries of Lagos. Vice-admiral Broderick's division went against her and the Redoutable (74). After an action of about 30 minutes, it captured the Modeste (64). The Redoutable (74), having been abandoned and being found to be bulged, was burnt. As soon as his fleet had repaired damages, Boscawen returned to Great Britain, in accordance with his instructions, taking with him a large part of his squadron including the captured Modeste (64). The ship was repaired in Portsmouth.
In the British service
On January 7 1760, the ship was purchased and added to the Navy under her French name. It soon joined the British fleet operating in the Mediterranean.
On June 17 1761, the ship captured the Bouffonne (32) off Cadiz. On October 18, she sailed for the Leewards Islands.
In 1762, the ship took part in the expedition against Martinique.
|Crew||9 officers, 480 men|
|Length at gundeck||151 ft (49.04 m) French feet|
|Width||40 ft 6 in (13.15 m)|
|Depth||19 ft 8 in (6.19 m)|
Harrison, Simon and Manuel Blasco, 3 Decks
Phillip, Michael, Ships of the Old Navy
Wikipedia HMS Modeste (1759)
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.