Origin and History
The frigate was built by Jacques-Luc Coulomb at Brest, starting in January 1744, and launched on December 19, 1744. She was named “Renommée” and was Armed with 26 − 8-pdrs and 4 − 4-pdrs on the quarterdeck. She had been designed by François-Guillaume Clairin-Deslauriers and her decorative embellishments had been designed by Charles-Philippe Caffieri. The frigate could reach a speed of 15 knots.
In January 1745, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the frigate was commissioned under the command of Captain Guy-François de Coëtnempren de Kersaint. In February, she left first for Louisbourg, Nova Scotia via Cadiz to reconnoitre the blockade. On April 18, she was sighted off Canseau (Canso) Harbor, Nova Scotia. The ship was unable to enter Louisbourg's harbor due to ice flows offshore. The Shirley, Massachusetts and Abigail were sent in chase but “La Renommée” escaped in thick weather and darkness. On April 19, she was chased by 9 colonial cruisers, firing 115 shots at her. She managed to escape, and then engaged with Massachusetts, Fame, and Caesar off Canseau (Canso) Harbor. On April 23, she was sighted once more off Pope's Head. The Tartar (14) under Captain Fones attacked and drew “La Renommée” away from a colonial fleet of eight transports with 500 men but Tartar, chased by la Renommée, escaped to Tor Bay, Nova Scotia after 8 hours into the night. On April 26, the Shirley under Captain Rous and the Tartar attacked “La Renommée” west of Canso and George's Banks but the frigate outran them. On May 5, she attacked convoy of transports near Massachusetts, captured and released one colonial transport, then chased the Shirley, sloop. Shirley escaped at Canseau (Canso). On May 16, “La Renommée” captured the Prince of Orange (28), a snow, and went to Baie des Castors (Beaver Bay) in Acadia for minor repairs. In Late May, she captured a brigantine Carolina rice ship, of 200 tons. On June 19, she arrived at Brest, France. On July 6, she set sail for America with Admiral De Salvert's squadron. Capturing another Prince of Orange, a mastship. However, the squadron soon learned that Louisbourg had fallen on June 16. “La Renommée” helped in capturing a 14 gun Carolina rice ship 150 leagues east of the Newfoundland banks. By September 4, she was off Cape Sable with Admiral De Salvert's squadron.
On June 20, 1746, still under the command of Captain de Kersaint, the frigate departed Rochelle, France as part of Admiral d'Anville's fleet of 73 ships to retake Louisbourg. On September 10, she arrived at Chebucto with the remainder of the fleet. On October 10, she escorted four French transport ships belonging to Admiral d'Anville's fleet part way from Chebucto (Halifax, Nova Scotia) to Canada. In November, she was separated from the squadron by a gail and for eleven hours engaged in an artillery duel with a frigate and another ship and then escaped. On November 30, she arrived at Port-Louis, France after battling a naval force of Admiral Anson. Captain de Kersaint, who had been wounded, was relieved by Lieutenant La Motte Picquet.
On September 20, 1747, the frigate sailed for Saint-Domingue (present-day Haïti), under the command of Captain François Marie de Saint-Alouarn, carrying the new governor of Saint-Domingue, the Chevalier de Conflan. From September 20 to 23, she fought an indecisive engagement with the Amazon (26), under Captain Samuel Faulknor. Both were damaged and lost contact during the night. “La Renommée” was then chased by five British ships, including the Amazon again, and escaped. On September 24, she was chased and engaged, after her mainmast split and taking on water. The frigate was finally captured by Captain Washington Shirley of the Dover (44). On October 10, “La Renommée” was towed by Dover into Plymouth, arriving there on November 12. On November 23, the frigate was taken into the Royal Navy and renamed “Fame”. She was refitted at Plymouth Dockyard at a cost of £5,103.16.7d. and classified as a 6th Rate. She was renamed the “Renown”.
On January 28, 1748, Captain Washington Shirley took command of the frigate after leaving the Dover and waiting upon the accommodation sloop Swift. In July, she sailed for the Leeward Islands.
In 1749, the frigate served in Jamaica under Captain Shirley. In 1750, while she was still in Jamaica, Captain Smelt temporarily replaced Captain Shirley in command of the frigate. On March 1, 1751, the Renown sailed from Port Royal, Jamaica under Captain Shirley. On March 29, she arrived in Spithead. The ship’s crew was paid off. In May, the frigate was surveyed at Plymouth. On June 1, she was determined unfit for service and to be broken up. However, the decision was reconsidered in July and the frigate was sent into ordinary at Deptford where she would remain until 1756.
During the Seven Years' War, the frigate was under the command of:
- from May 1758: Captain George Mackenzie (transferred to the Glasgow (20) in April 1761)
- from April 1761: Captain Frederick Lewis Maitland
The frigate was broken up at Woolwich in May 1771.
Service during the War
In 1756, the frigate was still in ordinary at Deptford.
On April 22, 1757, the frigate was docked at Portsmouth. In July, she underwent a Great Repair at a cost of £10,754.14.3d at Portsmouth Dockyard and was reclassified as a 30 gun 5th Rate. She lost much of her previous speed.
In May 1758, the frigate was commissioned under command of Captain George Mackenzie. On June 29 off Cherbourg, while a British amphibious force conducted operations against the coasts of France, the frigate took the French sloop La Guirlande (22) assisted by the Rochester (50) under Captain Robert Duff. During the second expedition against the French Coasts, the frigate formed part of Commodore Howe's fleet in the descents on Saint-Malo and St. Cast. The frigate was later repaired of the battle damages at Plymouth, receiving new masts, iron ballast, and other ironmongery. In September, she was reassigned from Commodore Howe's fleet to Admiral Boscawen's fleet. On November 13, she sailed for the Leeward Islands.
At the beginning of January 1759, the frigate, under Captain Mackenzie, captured the French schooner “Captain West” in the West Indies (Later recaptured by the French and then again by the British). Early in January, she formed part of the fleet assembled at Carlisle Bay in Barbados under Commodore John Moore for the planned expedition against the Martinique and Guadeloupe islands. On January 13, the whole British force sailed for Martinique Island. On January 15, the fleet lay off the bay of Fort Royal (present-day Fort de France). On January 18, after an unsuccessful attempt by the land troops to capture Fort Royal, the British fleet proceeded to Saint-Pierre, the second town in Martinique. On January 19, after failing to silence the batteries around Saint-Pierre, Commodore Moore decided to redirect his efforts against the island of Guadeloupe. On January 22, the British fleet reached Basse-Terre. On January 23, the fleet bombarded the citadel and town of Basse-Terre which was almost entirely destroyed. On January 24, British troops landed and occupied the town. On February 6, the frigate was part of Captain Harman's squadron which was detached to attack Fort Louis on the Grande-Terre in Guadeloupe. On February 13, this squadron cannonaded Fort Louis for 6 hours before landing a large detachment of marines and Highlanders who stormed the fort. In mid-March, Moore fell back to Prince Rupert's Bay in the Island of Dominica with his fleet, in order to cover Basse-Terre and the British Leeward Islands from the threat of the newly arrived French squadron. On March 21, General Haldane sailed on the Renown for Jamaica as the new governor-elect to increase the defenses in case the French were to attack. The island of Guadeloupe finally capitulated on May 1. On November 13, the Renown sailed for the Leeward Islands.
Early in 1760, the frigate, under Captain Mackenzie, arrived from England at Port Royal, Jamaica. In July, she sailed for the Leeward Islands. She took a Danish prize while on the Jamaica Station. Edward Green was the carpenter on the ship at the time.
On January 31, 1761, the frigate was at Port Royal, Jamaica. On February 7, she put to sea commanded by Captain George Mackenzie with Captain Frederick Lewis Maitland onboard. On April 16, the frigate, moored in Port Royal, put out to sea off Guarnave with Captain Frederick L. Maitland in command. Captain George Mackenzie transferred to the Glasgow (20). On April 21, the Renown captured the French schooner “La Neptune” off Jamaica. On May 7, she chased and captured a French sloop from Bordeaux and took it to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. On May 10 and 11, the Renown in company of the sloop Do, chased 3 sail. Renown fired 3 shots and the French schooner surrendered. This schooner proved to be the British schooner Black Jack from South Carolina, headed for Jamaica and taken by the French the previous day. From May 16 to June 2, the Renown anchored at Port Royal. From June 3 to 6, she was at sea; from June 7 to 20, at Port Royal; from June 21 to 29, at sea. On June 30 to July 14, at Port Royal and Kingston, Jamaica; from July 15 to 16, at sea, and from July 17 to 19, at Bluefield Bay, Jamaica. On September 21, the frigate was back to Great Britain, at Deal Castle in the Downs.
On February 10, 1762, the frigate, under Captain Maitland, sailed to Woolwich and then to Spithead. On March 3, she sailed from Spithead to Plymouth. On March 7, she captured a French cutter, La Saujon (6) from Morleaux. On March 8, the Renown, along with the Lizard (28), chased and captured a French privateer, Le Comte d'Herronville (12) out of Dunkirk off the Lizard, commanded by Mathieu Brissetyek. On March 14, the Renown sailed from Plymouth. On March 23 and 24, along with the sloop Adventure, she chased a French snow. Renown becalmed and rowed after the ship. With the Adventure assisting, she captured and boarded the French privateer Le Domerville (8) out of Bayonne, to the south-west of Scilly. On April 6, the Renown arrived at Plymouth with her capture. On April 19, the Renown left for Cork, Ireland in convoy duty with the Maidstone (28) and Rochester (50). On April 26, the Renown sailed for Lisbon, Portugal with 14 transports on convoy duty. On May 5, she arrived at Lisbon. On May 16, she sailed from Lisbon with convoy. On June 23, she arrived at Plymouth. On July 22, she sailed for Oporto, Portugal, with a troop convoy, arriving there on August 2. The following day (August 3), she departed from Oporto to return on August 17. On August 18, she sailed from Oporto to return on August 27. She then remained at anchor at Oporto until September 9. On September 10, the Renown sailed for Spithead (Portsmouth) with convoy and anchored there on September 22. On September 28, she was at Spithead, returning with a convoy from Oporto. On November 17, she sailed from Spithead for Port Royal, Jamaica where she arrived on December 31.
On January 5, 1763, the frigate, under Captain Maitland, sailed from Port Royal towards Cape François, Haiti. On February 16, she passed Tortuga. On February 24, she moored at Port Royal. By April 22, she was at sea. On May 6, she moored at Savannah, Georgia where she remained until July 12. On July 18, she arrived at St. Augustine, Florida where she remained until July 29.
|Length||126 ft 2 in (38.41 m.)|
|Width||34 ft 10 in (10.38 m.)|
|Depth||11 ft 8 in (3.56 m.)|
|Displacement||500 long tons (508 metric tons)|
Deschênes, Ronald, Frégates du Roy de 1682 à 1767
Harrison, Simon and Manuel Blasco, 3 Decks
Phillip, Michael, Ships of the Old Navy
Stockman, David: La Renommée – 1744 who kindly authorised us to use his texts on the history and service of this frigate