Droits de l'Homme (1794)

Contemporary engraving of Droits de l'Homme, with the British Amazon and Indefatigable in the background. Original believed to be in the public domain.

Ship Class
Ship Type

Part of the second group of the Téméraire-class, Droits de l'Homme was a 74-gun French ship of the line. Launched in 1794, she was in action later that year in November, chasing a pair of British 74's. Droits de l'Homme was forced to break off due to rigging damage, but one of the English ships was captured. Droits de l'Homme also fought in the Battle of Groix the following June, but was only lightly engaged during the battle. In December, Droits de l'Homme was assigned to the French attempt to invade Ireland, but the expedition was a failure. While returning to France on 13 January, 1797, Droits de l'Homme was engaged by the British frigates HMS Indefatigable and Amazon, with a running battle lasting between ten and fifteen hours (sources vary). Between combat damage and increasingly bad weather, both l'Homme and Amazon were grounded and wrecked, with l'Homme losing over between 250 and 900 men (again, sources vary), mostly from the storm.