Terpsichore (28)

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Origin and History

This frigate was built by Jacques and Daniel Denys in Dunkerque starting in 1757. She was launched in June 1758.

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

  • in the French service
    • in November 1759: Captain Montalais
  • in the British service
    • from August 27 1760: Captain Sir Thomas Adams
    • from May 24 1762 to February 1764: Captain The Honourable John Ruthven

The frigate was captured by the British Royal Navy on February 28 1760 and later incorporated in the navy under her original name.

The frigate was sold at Deptford on November 4 1766.

Service during the War

French Service

In the summer and autumn of 1759, the frigate was part of Thurot's squadron which was blockaded in the harbour of Dunkerque by a British squadron under the command of Commodore William Boys. In October, Boys' Squadron was driven from his station by a gale. On October 15 at 5:00 p.m., Thurot seized the opportunity, slipped out through a thick fog and made to the northward. He then sailed for Ostend, then for Göteborg in Sweden, partly to procure stores, and partly, no doubt, to baffle pursuit or observation. There he remained for 19 days, going next to Bergen in Norway. On December 5, Thurot's flotilla quitted Bergen and proceeded to the British seas, by way of Streymoy in the Faroe Islands.

On January 25 1760, Thurot's flotilla reached the neighbourhood of the Irish coast. The weather confounded an intended descent near Londonderry, and scattered his flotilla. On February 15 (or 17), Thurot's flotilla put into Claigeann Bay, in the island of Islay in Argyleshire to refresh. They boarded and plundered two small sloops lying at anchor in the small bay of the island. The French crews then landed on the island. On February 19, Thurot left Islay. On February 20, he anchored in Belfast Lough, opposite Kilroot Point. On February 21 around 11:00 a.m., Thurot appeared with only 3 of his frigates, all showing British colours, off the Island of Magee, standing in shore for the Bay of Carrickfergus in Ireland. By noon, the French frigates had put all their boats to sea. The troops landed and attacked the town of Carrickfergus. The garrison capitulated with the honours of war. On February 25 at 8:00 p.m., Thurot re-embarked his troops. On February 27, the French burned several vessels in the harbour of Carrickfergus. At 10:00 p.m., Thurot finally sailed from Carrickfergus for France. On February 28 at 4:00 a.m., 3 British frigates (Pallas, Brilliant and Aeolus) got sight of Thurot's flotilla as it rounded Copeland Island and gave chase. At 6:00 a.m., they caught up. At 9:00 a.m., they engaged the three French frigates. The engagement lasted about 90 minutes before the French were forced to strike theirs colours (for more details, see 1760 - French expedition against the Irish Coasts). The frigate was purchased into the Royal Navy.

British Service

In 1761, the frigate captured two French privateers: the Brimborion on April 8; and the Marquise de Marigny on November 2.

Characteristics

Technical specifications
Guns 28
Gun deck 22 x 6-pdrs
Quarterdeck and Forecastle 6 x 3-pdrs
Crew 100 men
Length 113 ' 9" French feet (36.95 m)
Width 30' 9" French feet (9.99 m)
Depth 13' 5” French feet (4.36 m)
Displacement 300 tons

References

Harrison, Simon and Manuel Blasco, Three Decks - Warships in the Age of Sail

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