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Serapis

19031
Nominal Guns50NNF-1610
NationalityRoyaume de France
OperatorMarine Royale
Previously
Captured23.9.1779NNF-1610
First Commissioned12.1779NNF-1610
ShipyardRotherhithe - London - Surrey BWAS-1714
Designed by
Sir Thomas SladeBritish
Designer
Ship Builder
Dockyard Staff
Service 1744-1756
BWAS-1714
Constructor
John RandallBritish
Designer
Ship Builder
Service 1755-1802
BWAS-1714
CategoryFourth RateNNF-1610
Ship TypeShip of the LineNNF-1610
Sailing RigShip RiggedNNF-1610
Burnt31.7.1781FWIKI

Dimensions


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentBWAS-1714
Length of Gundeck140' 2"Imperial Feet42.6733 
Length of Keel115' 7 ⅝"Imperial Feet35.0679 
Breadth38' 0"Imperial Feet11.5824 
Depth in Hold16' 4"Imperial Feet4.8937 
Burthen888 1094Tons BM 

Armament


9.1779Broadside Weight = 489 Imperial Pound (527.4912 lbs 239.2575 kg)NNF-1774
Lower Gun Deck24 French 24-Pounder
Upper Gun Deck22 French 18-Pounder
Quarterdeck/Forecastle6 Smaller guns

Crew Complement


Date# of MenNotesSource
7.1781215 NNF-1774
31.7.1781223 FWIKI

Service History


DateEventSource
10.1779

Between October and December 1779 , Serapis was in the Texel .

FWIKI
9.1780

By September 1780 she was probably at Lorient .

The French Royal Navy commissioned Sérapis , and loaned her to a civilian master named Roche who planned to use the ship against the British in the Indian Ocean .

FWIKI
31.7.1781

On 31 July 1781, Sérapis was at Madagascar , trading spirits and arak for rice , when the load master, Lieutenant de Frégate L'Héritier , had candles taken out of their fire-proof lanterns . The candles ignited alcohol vapour in the hull . The crew fought the fire for two and a half hours , but the flames eventually burned through the walls of the spirit locker and reached a powder magazine . The resulting explosion ripped the stern off the ship , sinking her . While 8 men lost their lives , 215 people survived . The privateer Daliram returned them to Ile Sainte-Marie , Madagascar .

FWIKI

 

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