HMS Barfleur (1768)

Painting of the Battle of the Siants, showing the HMS Barfleur firing on the French flagship Ville de Paris, as the latter strikes her colors. Painting by Thomas Whitcombe, original in the collection of the Royal Museums, Greenwich.

Ship Class
Ship Type

Launched 30 July, 1768, HMS Barfleur was a ninety-gun second rate ship of the line, and the lead of a four ship class. She was the flagship for the fleet review in 1773, but was soon heavily engaged in the American War of Independence. Barfleur was given another eight guns in 1780, and saw action at the Battle of the Chesapeake, as flagship of Rear-Admiral Hood. Hood flew his flag aboard Barfleur for the rest of the War. Barfleur again saw action at the Battle of St. Kitts, and, 12 April, 1782, the Battle of the Saintes, where she captured the French flagship Ville de Paris. In 1794, Barfleur took part in the Glorious First of June, where she was one of the least damaged British ships. The next year Barfleur was at the Battle of Groix, and then the Battle of Cape St. Vincent in 1797. She spent most of the rest of her career in the Channel Fleet, but saw action one last time in the Battle of Cape Finisterre in 1805. In 1808 and 1811 she was involved in support of the Peninsular War, blockading Lisbon, and supporting Wellington's army ashore. Barfleur was kept in ordinary for several years after the final defeat of Napoleon, until she was broken up in 1819.