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Le Mars

Nominal Guns64NNF-1715
NationalityRoyaume de France
OperatorMarine Royale
Keel Laid Down1.1739NNF-1715
First Commissioned4.1741NNF-1715
How acquiredPurpose builtNNF-1715
ShipyardBrest - Brittany NNF-1715
Ship ClassMars Class (1740)NNF-1715
Chevalier Blaise Joseph OllivierFrench
Ship Builder
Service 1716-1747
CategoryThird RateNNF-1715
National RateSecond RangNNF-1715
Ship TypeShip of the LineNNF-1715
Sailing RigShip RiggedNNF-1715


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentBWAS-1714
Length of Gundeck159' 3"Imperial Feet48.4645 
Length of Keel128' 10 ¾"Imperial Feet39.0335 
Breadth44' 9 ¼"Imperial Feet13.4176 
Depth in Hold18' 4"Imperial Feet5.4991 
Burthen1,373 8894Imperial Feet0.0238 
DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentNNF-1715
Length of Gundeck149'French Feet (Pied du Roi)48.4002 (158′ 9″ Imperial)
Length of Keel147'??French Feet (Pied du Roi)47.7456 (156′ 7″ Imperial)
Breadth40' 6"French Feet (Pied du Roi)13.1544 (43′ 1″ Imperial)
Depth in Hold19'French Feet (Pied du Roi)6.1983 (20′ 4″ Imperial)


1739Broadside Weight = 510 French Livre (550.392 lbs 249.645 kg)NNF-1715
Lower Gun Deck26 French 24-Pounder
Upper Gun Deck28 French 12-Pounder
Quarterdeck/Forecastle10 French 6-Pounder

5.1740Broadside Weight = 510 French Livre (550.392 lbs 249.645 kg)NNF-1715
Lower Gun Deck26 French 24-Pounder
Upper Gun Deck28 French 12-Pounder
Quarterdeck/Forecastle10 French 6-Pounder

Crew Complement

Date# of MenNotesSource
4.17414666 officers, 400 menNNF-1715

2 Ship Commanders

1744 - 8.5.1744Capitaine de Vaisseau
Chevalier Étienne de Périer de SalvertFrench
Naval Sailor
Service 1695-1757
9.5.1744 - 1745Capitaine de Vaisseau
Chevalier Antoine-Alexis de Périer (Comte de Salvert)French
Naval Sailor
Service 1701-1757

1 Commissioned Officer

1744 - 8.5.1744Capitaine de Vaisseau
Chevalier Antoine-Alexis de Périer (Comte de Salvert)French
Naval Sailor
Service 1701-1757

1 Petty Officer

1743 - 1744Sous-Brigadier, Garde de Marine
François Alexis PérierFrench
Naval Sailor
Service 1734-1737

Service History


Campaign to Saint-Domingue .

8.5.1744Action of 1744-05-08
8.5.1744Took the Ship of the Line
Northumberland (64) 1743-1744
British 64 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
off Ushant

11.10.1746Taken by
Nottingham (60) 1745-1773
British 60 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
off Cape clear

11.10.1746Taken by
Exeter (58) 1744-1763
British 58 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
off Cape Clear

Notes on Ship

Captain ??ref:673

In 1744 , changement between brothers Périer at the date of capture of Northumberland or at the return in France ??

Possible confusion and changement next year 1745 .


Previous comments on this page

Posted by Albert Parker on Monday 19th of April 2021 22:02

I think that the captain of _Mars_, whoever he was, was appointed captain of _Northumberland_ when she was taken into the French royal navy. In a study of the 1746 attempt to recapture Louisbourg, very well researched in French records, James Pritchard, _The Anatomy of a Naval Disaster: The 1746 French Naval Expedition to North America_ (1995), the author has separate index entries for Etienne and Antoine-Alexis. He describes "Etienne Perier, the elder" as "flag captain" for Vice-Admiral d'Envoille or d'Anville, whose flagship for the expedition was _Northumberland_. (p. 56) There are further references to Etienne S. as the d'Anville's "flag captain" on pp. 122 and 163 (describing Etienne's transfer to command of _Trident_ after chef d'escadre la Jonquière, formerly a passenger in _Northumberland_, took over command of the remnants of the expeditionary force).
Antoine-Alexis commanded an early abortive attempt to relieve Louisbourg, in 1745, as captain of _Mars_. I don't think he commanded _Mars_ in 1744. French ships of the line were frequently laid up for the winter and received new commanding officers the next spring.
According to my notes, Vergé-Franceschi, I, 265 says that Capt. Périer’s ship lost two masts in a 1744 action with Dreadnought and Prince Frederick but does not name Périer’s ship, and as mentioned earlier, I have the same notes for both Periers. V-F says that Périer was then in Nesmond’s squadron. Nesmond's squadron included Juste, 74 (Nesmond's ship); St. Michel, 64; Fleuron, 64; Apollon, 54; Gloire, 46; and Subtile, 26, a command for a lieutenant de vaisseau.

Posted by regis on Monday 19th of April 2021 08:27

so Etienne end his command with the capture of Northumberland : his brother Antoine-Alexis take his place as commander of Mars ??? this day so the confusion between them

Posted by Albert Parker on Sunday 18th of April 2021 04:45

Etienne seems to be the correct officer.
•The French practice in the 18th century of referring to officers by only a single name, which might be a family name or a place from which officer took a title, while some families had several officers in the navy, is the cause of much confusion. I have Conflans and “Perier’s” reports from Archives Nationales, Marine, sous-serie B4, tom 56, but they don’t help; all the references are merely to “M. Perier” and the signature on Perier’s report looks like just “Perier,” no “aîné” or “cadet” and no “Salvert.”
•English accounts can’t be expected to get this right, and French accounts mostly just say “M. Perrier” or “M. Perier” without saying WHICH M. Perier. The official _Gazette_ (I used the Lyon edition for 1744), says the officers involved in capturing _Northumberland_ were “Chevalier de Conflans & … le sieur Perier” (No. 24, June 13, 1744, p. 96). However . . .
•A letter from Brest dated June 5, 1744, refers to “_le Mars_ … commandé par M. Périer l’aîné.” This was published in Adrien Dessalles, _Histoire générale des Antilles_ (Paris: France, Libraire-Éditeur, 1847–48), IV, 599. It seems to have been written by an officer of _Mars_ who would have known which Perier was his captain. The handwritten original is available at the “Gallica” Web site of the Bibliothèque nationale française as “Clairambault 530: Pièces originales du XVIe siècle, pièces diverses,” etc., pp. 247–49 of 321.
•Perhaps on the basis of this letter, Léon Guérin, _Histoire maritime de la France_ (Paris: Dufour et Mulat, 1851), IV, 258, refers to “_le Mars_ … que commandait le capitaine Perier l’aîné.” Guérin seems to have been some kind of unofficial navy historian during the Second Republic and Second Empire; he made extensive use of the navy’s archives when they were first being opened to researchers. Therefore . . .
•On the basis of the June 5 letter and Guérin, I have changed my listing of the commander of _Mars_ during the action with _Northumberland_ from Antoine-Alexis to Etienne.

I have relied on Michel Vergé-Franceschi, _Les officiers généraux de la marine royale (1715–1774)_ (Paris: Librairie de l'Inde, 1990), a massive (7 volumes!) study that focuses on family relationships within the officer corps. Unfortunately, I have the same notes about the _Northumberland_ action on my pages for both Antoine-Alexis and Etienne! Obviously, I was confused at the time I was consulting this work.

Posted by regis on Wednesday 31st of March 2021 21:23

antoine also commanding in 1745 the Mars .

Posted by regis on Wednesday 31st of March 2021 21:21

i have just read the site Parcours d'officiers dans la royale

and they have his brother Etienne for commanding officer for the capture of Northumberland ??

Posted by Albert Parker on Tuesday 23rd of February 2016 02:13

The commanding officer of Mars on 1744-05-08 was Capt. Antoine-Alexis Périer (“Périer le cadet," later Périer de Salvert)

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