Origin and History
The ship was built by Coulomb at Toulon in 1743 and launched in 1744.
During the Seven Years' War, the ship was under the command of:
The ship was captured by the British Navy in 1761.
Service during the War
In February 1758, naval operations in the Mediterranean had resumed and a French squadron under M. de La Clue, on its way for America, had been forced into the harbour Cartagena by a larger British squadron under admiral Osborn who then blockaded the harbour. The Orphée was part of a relief squadron under M. Duquesne. On February 28, off Cape de Gata, she was engaged by the Monarch (74) and the Montagu (60) and driven ashore under the castle of Aiglos. The Oriflamme was not destroyed by reason of neutrality of the coast of Spain.
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 invasions 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, this ship along with 4 others of de la Clue's squadron lost sight of his flagship and steered for Cadiz. She did not take part in the disastrous battle of Lagos in the afternoon of August 18.
To do: campaigns from 1760 to 1762
|Length||135 ft (43.85 m) French feet|
|Width||37 ft (12.02 m)|
|Depth||17 ft 9 in (5.56 m)|
Clowes, Wm. Laird, The Royal Navy – A History from the Earliest Time to the Present, Vol. III, Sampson Low, Marston and Company, London: 1898, p. 189-190
Deschênes, Ronald, Répertoire des vaisseaux de ligne français 1682-1780
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.