La Gaité

Nominal Guns20EWIKI
NationalityRépublique Française
OperatorState Navy
First Commissioned1797EWIKI
How acquiredPurpose builtEWIKI
ShipyardBayonne - Aquitaine EWIKI
Ship ClassBonne Citoyenne Class
Designed byRaymond-Antoine Haran (1748-?)EWIKI
CategorySixth RateEWIKI
Ship TypeCorvette
Sailing RigShip Rigged
BecomesBritish Sixth Rate ship 'Gaiete' (1797) (20)


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentFWAS1786
Length of Gundeck113' 4"French Feet (Pied du Roi)36.7107 (120′ 5″ Imperial)
Length of Keel104' 0"French Feet (Pied du Roi)33.7792 (110′ 9″ Imperial)
Breadth28' 6"French Feet (Pied du Roi)9.1147 (29′ 10″ Imperial)
Depth in Hold14' 4"French Feet (Pied du Roi)4.5743 (15′ 0″ Imperial)


1797Broadside Weight = 80 French Livre (86.336 lbs 39.16 kg)EWIKI
Upper Gun Deck20 French 8-Pounder

Crew Complement

Date# of MenNotesSource
1796200Design ComplementFWAS1626
20.8.1797186 BG

Service History

20.8.1797Taken by Arethusa (38) BG

Notes on Ship


Copy of a letter from Captain Thomas Wolley, Commander of His Majesty's Ship Arethusa, to Evan Nepean, Esq; dated Spithead, September 13, 1797.

I am to acquaint you, that on the 20th of August, being in Latitude 30 .deg. 49 min. and Longitude 55. deg. 50 min having in tow a ship under Prussian Colours from Surinam, which I have detained suspecting her to be Dutch Property, we perceived, at day-light, 3 sail to Windward ot us, One of which, deceived your appearance, bore down upon us, under french colours, to within half gun-shot, when she begin to fire, which she continued for more than half an hour before she attempted to escape.

We were, however, fortunate enough to have so disabled her in that time as to render her endeavours fruitless. On striking she proved to be La Gaiete, French Corvette, of 20 French 8-pounders and 186 men, commanded by M. Guinée, Enseigne de Vaisseau. She is a very handsome ship, and quite new, this being her first voyage. She left France in April last for Cayenne, which last place she sailed from about 4 weeks before we fell in with her, in company with the L'Espoir, a Brig of 14 guns, who kept to windward during the action, and stood away as soon as she saw the fate of the Gaiete. They had not taken any thing.

I am sorry to have to add a List of killed and wounded.

Return of killed and wounded on board His Majesty' Ship Arethusa in the action with La Gaiete French Corvette, on the 20th of August, 1797.
1 Seaman killed.

Mr. W. D. Morton, Captain's Clerk, lost his Leg

2 Seamen wounded.

Return of killed and wounded on board La Gaiete , French Corvette,

M. Guinée, Commander. 

2 Seamen killed.

8 Seamen wounded.

(Signed) T. WOLLEY.


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