Northumberland (68)

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Navies >> French Navy >> Northumberland (68)

Origin and History

The ship was built at the Woolwich Dockyard by John Holland, starting on October 16 1740, and launched on October 7 1743. She served in the British Royal Navy.

On May 8 1744, after of fight of three hours, the ship was captured by three vessels of the French Navy: Mars (64), Content (60) and Vénus (26). The ship was then rearmed as a 70-gun ship.

In May 1746, the ship carried the flag of Admiral Duc d'Anville for the planned expedition to recapture Louisbourg lost the previous year. On June 22, the squadron set sail from Rochefort, escorting several transports. On September 10 it finally reached Acadia after a very long crossing where crews fell victim to typhus fever. On its arrival a storm dispersed the entire fleet and a British squadron seized the opportunity to capture several ships. On September 27, the Duc d'Anville died from apoplexy on board the Northumberland and La Jonquière replaced him at the head of the fleet which he brought back to Brest in November. In 1747, the ship transported the new governor-general, La Galissonière to Nouvelle-France.

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

  • in November 1759: Captain Belingant de Kerbabut

In 1776, the ship was renamed Atlas.

The ship was wrecked in February 1781 off Ouessant.

Service during the War

In November 1759, in preparation for the planned invasion of England, the ship set sail for Quiberon Bay with the Brest Fleet. On November 20, she took part in the battle of Quiberon. After the defeat, during the night of November 20 to 21, the ship along with 7 other French ships of the line hauled in for the Aix island and took refuge at Rochefort. It later sailed upstream in the Charente to escape British ships.

The ship remained in the Charente, blockaded by a British squadron, till the end of the war.


Technical specifications
Guns 68
Lower gun deck 26 x 36-pdrs
Upper gun deck 28 x 16-pdrs
Quarterdeck and Forecastle 14 x 8-pdrs
Crew 6 officers, 500 men (630 men for the battle of Quiberon)
Length at gundeck 149' (48.40 m) in French feet
Width 40' 6" (13.15 m)
Depth 19' (6.20 m)
Displacement 1150 metric tons


Harrison, Simon and Manuel Blasco, 3 Decks

Phillip, Michael, Ships of the Old Navy

French Wikipedia HMS Northumberland (1705)

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