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Nominal Guns14HLP
NationalityGreat Britain
OperatorPrivate Owners
Home PortLiverpool - Lancashire HLP
Ship TypeBrigNNF-1774
Sailing RigBrigNNF-1774
French brig 'Le Dragon' (1781) (16) 1781-1783
French 16 Gun
Unrated Brig


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentHLP
Burthen112Tons BM 

Crew Complement

Date# of MenNotesSource
177875 HLP

Service History

1778Took the Bonne Foo from Martinico for Dunkirk, and two ships from Newfoundland laden with fish, one of which was lost off CorkHLP
16.2.1779Took the Modeste (a French Letter of Marque), from St. Domingo for NantzHLP
2.1780Took a schooner, bound from Martinico to Boston, laden with sugar, etc., and sent her into Bermuda where she was soldHLP
12.8.1781Taken by
La Friponne (32) 1780-1796
French 32 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
13.9.1781The Capture of the Dragon was announced in the newspapersHLP


Previous comments on this page

Posted by Freddy Van Daele on Friday 2nd of April 2021 20:34

It was NOT The "Dragon" Liverpool privateer acquired in 1778 and built in Beverly, Mass. under the name of "Washington brigantine" that was taken by the French frigate "Amphitrite" on 12.08.1781, but a 70-ton 3 masted "Dragon Liverpool privateer, master Thomas Gardner, 6 guns, 25 men, letter-of-marque 5.01.1781.

Posted by Freddy Van Daele on Friday 2nd of April 2021 20:27

The French corvette Le Dragon was the last vessel lost by France during the American Revolutionary War. She was first believed to have been the former Liverpool privateer brig Dragon acquired by the British off the Canadian coast on 31 May 1778 by capture. (She was at that time the American privateer brigantine Washington, built at Beverly, Massachusetts on 17 September 1776). But, according to various documents kept in the French archives, it appears now that she was in fact the Guernsey privateer The Dragon built as a cutter in Teignmouth, Great-Britain in 1779 and transformed into a brig the following year in Torquay. She was under command of captain Joseph Row when she was taken off the north-west coast of France by the French frigate The Friponne on 15.09.1781 and brought to Le Croisic, then sold to the French Royal Navy and transformed into a corvette for captain de L'Espine.

Posted by Thierry Spahi on Friday 26th of March 2021 17:21

Home port of this Privateer Dragon was Gernsey.

Posted by Freddy Van Daele on Wednesday 11th of December 2019 21:25

Correction to my Saturday 30th of April 2016 18:53 comment: it seems to be now confirmed that GB Dragon brig was not taken by The Friponne but well by another French frigate called the Amphitrite on 12/8/1781 in the Channel.

Posted by Van Daele Freddy on Tuesday 20th of August 2019 20:11

Editing my post of Sat 30th of April 2016 18:53,
last sentence to be read as follows:
8/1781 captain Gardner, captured by a French frigate 12/8/1781, becomes French Royal Corvette Le Dragon 1781-1783

Posted by Freddy Van Daele on Friday 19th of October 2018 16:36

Extract from "Lloyd Register of British and Foreign Shipping 1780" :Nr8=DRAGON brig/capt:M.Reed/110 tons/American built 1776/Owner Woodville/11 feet draft/Class A1/April/captured 1778/single deck/new upperworks1778/14x 6 pnds guns/ Liverpool privateer.

Posted by Thierry Spahi on Thursday 12th of January 2017 03:21

1781/02 Took "a large Dutch ship from Curacao for Amsterdam, carried into Waterford [Ireland], valued at 15.000 l".

The Scots Magazine 1781, volume 43, page 109.

Posted by Freddy Van Daele on Thursday 13th of October 2016 19:35

According to a study I made of a ship's model dated 1783, the Dragon was most probably the former U.S.Washington brick built in Beverly, Mass. on the 17th of September 1776, captured by three British frigates off the Canadian coasts on the 31st of May 1778 and brought to Halifax.

Posted by Freddy Van Daele on Saturday 30th of April 2016 18:53

1778-1779 captain James Briggs
1780-1781 captain Reed
8/1781 captain Gardner, captured by French frigate La Friponne 12/8/1781, becomes French Royal Corvette Le Dragon 1781-1783

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