Sphynx (64)

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Navies >> French Navy >> Sphynx (64)

Origin and History

The ship was built by Salinoc at Brest from 1742 and launched in 1755.

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

  • in November 1759: Captain de Gouyon de Coutances La Selle

The ship was stricken off of the fleet in 1774.

Service during the War

In March 1758, the ship was part of an important squadron (5 ships of the line and 6 or 7 frigates) being fitted out at Rochefort to escort, from the nearby Isle d'Aix, a fleet of 40 transports with 3,000 troops for America. On April 4, the squadron was attacked by a British squadron under the command of Sir Edward Hawke. The French warships escaped but several merchantmen ran ashore. On May 2, the French fleet finally set sail from Rochefort for Louisbourg under the command of Comte du Chaffault de Besné. The Sphinx, armed en flûte transported part of a battalion of Cambis Infanterie. On June 10, the fleet landed the troops at Baie Sainte-Anne 80 km northwest of Louisbourg and then sailed for Québec where it arrived on June 29. Du Chaffault left Québec in mid-September and reached Brest on November 12.

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 where she was attached to the third division under the Chef d'escadre Saint-André-du-Verger who assumed most of the fighting. After the defeat, on November 21 and 22, by taking advantage of the flood tide and of what wind there was under the land, the ship along with 6 other ships of the line and 4 frigates, which were near the mouth of the Vilaine, got into the river.

To do: campaigns of 1760 to 1762


Technical specifications
Guns 64
Lower gundeck 26 x 24-pdr
Upper gundeck 28 x 12-pdr
Quarterdeck and Forecastle 10 x 6-pdr
Crew 450 to 750 men
Length 150 ft (48.72 m) French feet
Width 40 ft 6 in (13.15 m)
Depth 20 ft (6.50 m)
Displacement 1100 tons


Blasco, Manuel, French 4th Rates, 3 Decks Wiki

Deschênes, Ronald, Répertoire des vaisseaux de ligne français 1682-1780

Dull, Jonathan, The French Navy and the Seven Years' War,

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