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Medea

5325
Nominal Guns26
NationalityGreat Britain
OperatorRoyal Navy
Previously
Captured4.4.1744
ShipyardBrest - Brittany NNF-1715
Constructor
Jean Marguerite TupinierFrench
Designer
Ship Builder
NNF-1715
CategorySixth Rate
Ship TypeFrigate
Sailing RigShip Rigged
Sold3.1744/45
Becomes

Dimensions


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentNNF-1715
Length of Gundeck114' 6"French Feet (Pied du Roi)37.0388 (121′ 6″ Imperial)
Length of Keel98' 0"French Feet (Pied du Roi)31.8304 (104′ 5″ Imperial)
Breadth30' 6"French Feet (Pied du Roi)9.9064 (32′ 6″ Imperial)
Depth in Hold14' 4"French Feet (Pied du Roi)4.5743 (15′ 0″ Imperial)
Burthen380Ton 

 

Previous comments on this page

Posted by Thomas Rauzy on Saturday 16th of February 2013 05:05

I must apologize for not having double-checked my sources before, the following quote, (originating from Wikipedia) is actually mischievous and disparaging, (possibly proceeding from a long list of disinformation):

Source:
Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 05
by John Knox Laughton

Boscawen, Edward (1711-1761):

A few weeks later, 28 April, whilst on an independent cruise in the Channel, he had the fortune to pick up the French frigate Medee, the first capture made in the war. This prize, though a fine ship, was found, on survey, of too weak scantling for the English navy; she was therefore put up for sale and bought by a company of merchants, in whose private service, bearing the name of Boscawen, she cruised with good success for the next eighteen months, at the end of which time she almost fell to pieces by the weight of her own guns and masts (Voyages and Cruises of Commodore Walker, 1762).

Here is the original version : Voyages and Cruises of Commodore Walker, 1762). Vol. 1 page 45 chapter VII)

The Boscawen had been a french man of war, and the first we took from the enemy in the last war, called the Medea, taken by captain Boscawen, lately admiral; a prime sailor, of beautiful construction; one hundred and fifteen feet in her keel, and twenty-eight guns, nine pounders, but was altered by Mr. Walker to thirty guns, twelve and nine pounders upon one deck, having on board three hundred and fourteen men.


Consequently, her end in a wreckage is the more trustworthy:


Boscawen was formerly the French 40 gun frigate Medee which was captured by Lord Boscawen in the English Channel in 1744. Taken into English service having being released by the Admiralty Court as a prize.
She ran aground at St Ives, near Lands End, in a storm, on the 24th of November 1745 and was wrecked.


Posted by Thomas Rauzy on Friday 15th of February 2013 12:21

The Médée was a French 'frégate du deuxième ordre', or 26-gun 8-pounder frigate, built at Brest in 1740. She was the prototype for a long line of frigates, that extended over 40 years and was the first ship captured in the Seven Years' War. She was designed by Blaise Ollivier, and was launched in February 1741. She is regarded as the first of the 'true' frigate, i.e. one designed with her full battery on the upper deck (as opposed to the lower deck or so called gun deck). Among her innovative characteristics was a reduced "trim", defined as the difference between the fore and aft drafts, with the consequence that her keel was almost parallel to the waterline, reducing her elevation and therefore her centre of gravity's height. Together with very fluid lines, and a light construction, using oblique inner planking in place of hull reinforcements, these characteristics provided exceptional sailing qualities and speed, and were an incentive to change British frigate design.
She was captured off Cape Clear, in the English Channel by HMS Dreadnought, a 4th Rate, 1733 Establishment 60 Gunner ship-of-the-line, on the 28 April 1744, after a chase of 50 hours and a first engagement by the 14-gun sloop, HMS GRAMPUS, (launched in 1743, Commander, Richard Collins). The prize was sailed into Portsmouth. In June, having being released by the Admiralty Court, she was bought by a company of merchants to be converted into a privateer, the Boscawen, named after (the future) Lord Boscawen, Captain of the Dreadnought.

This is the original source : Voyages and Cruises of Commodore Walker, 1762.
This prize, though a fine ship, was found, on survey, of too weak scantling for the English navy; she was therefore put up for sale and bought by a company of merchants, in whose private service, Boscawen, she cruised with good success for the next eighteen months, at the end of which time she almost fell to pieces by the weight of her own guns and masts

A source that might however be unreliable, since it seems improbable and since another source gives her a very different fate: (Allen Tony 15/06/11 www.wrecksite.eu wreck 159003)

Boscawen was formerly the French 40 gun frigate Medee which was captured by Lord Boscawen in the English Channel in 1744. Taken into English service having as a prize.

She ran aground at St Ives, near Lands End, in a storm, on the 24th of November 1745 and was wrecked.


Nota Bene : La Renommée built in 1744 of the same draught and with the same scantling as The Médée, was captured and incorporated in the Royal Navy in 1747, and struck from the list in 1771, after 24 years in service. The reason for not incorporating the Médée, was more probably the Navy Board's conservatism and its initial reticence at innovative designs and construction practices.
A painting of the Boscawen exists in NMM Collections (Object ID BHC0362 ):
Charles Brooking’s painting relates to the ‘Voyages and Cruises of Commodore Walker’, first published in 1760 by an unidentified author but possibly an autobiographical narrative of the adventures of the successful English privateer captain, George Walker (d. 1777). It includes his cruise commanding the privateer ‘Boscawen’ - a captured French frigate originally called the ‘Medée’ - and her encounter with this convoy of eight merchantmen bound from Martinique to France. The French ships also carried privateering 'letters of marque' and the engagement, in which the English privateer 'Sheerness' was also involved, took place in the eastern Atlantic north-west of Cape Finisterre. The scene, which was engraved by Boydell in 1753, shows the ‘Boscawen’ in the middle ground, slightly out of the central axis, which is accentuated by the high build-up of clouds in the sky. She is surrounded by the French ships, exchanging fire with them across calm waters, with the commodore (leading ship) of the enemy convoy , the 'Jeune Marie', sinking on the right. A brig and sloop escape on the left but all five of the other French ships were captured. The 'Sheerness' is probably the ship in port-bow view in the distance, immediately to the right of the 'Jeune Marie', since a total of ten vessels are included. All the French ones fly white (Bourbon) colours. ‘The Gentleman’s Magazine’ for 1745 (vol. 15, p. 302.) summarizes the results of the action as follows, in a more general list of prizes taken that year: ‘The ‘duke de Guyenne’, [captain] Le Bournier, 150 tons, 6 guns, 28 men; the ‘Belle Louise’, Bruile, 280 tons, 18 guns, 65 men; the ‘St Andrew’ [sic], Gautier, 200 tons, 14 guns, 40 men; the ‘Abraham’, 100 tons, 18 guns, 84 men; the ‘Victory’ [sic], Touloine, 250 tons, 14 guns, 64 men, brought by the ‘Boscawen’ priv.[ateer], capt. Walker, of Dartmouth, and the ‘Sheerness’ priv. capt. Furnell, into Bristol – These 5 ships were taken out of a fleet of eight, all bound from Martinico [Martinique]; in the engagement, the French commodore was sunk, and only the captain, 16 men, and one woman saved; a brig and a sloop escaped; the French had 103 men killed and wounded; the captors had a man killed and several wounded. These ships had all letters of marque, and were very rich, their lading consisting of 960 hogsheads of sugar, 300,000lb. of coffee, besides cocoa, elephants teeth, gold dust, &c. The ship sunk was called ‘La Jeune Maria’ [sic], 240 tons, 14 g.[uns], 64 m.[en].’ The composition’s low horizon is a legacy of the 17th-century Dutch tradition of seascape painting, which continued to influence British maritime art throughout the 18th century.

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