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AUDACIOUS (74) Built in 1785, Rotherhithe.
Broken up in 1815.

  • 1794 AUDACIOUS, Capt. PARKER, was so damaged in the partial action between Earl HOWE's fleet and the French on 28 May 1794 that she had to return to port and refit, thus missing the action on the 'Glorious First of June. ' She did have the satisfaction of beating the French three-decker REVOLUTIONAIRE out of the enemy line.
  • 1796 Capt. Davidge GOULD.
    On 21 May 1798 ST. VINCENT appointed Lord NELSON to command a squadron, which included AUDACIOUS, in the Mediterranean. The French fleet sailed from Toulon on 20 May and NELSON went in chase of them.
    On 1 August the enemy were discovered in Aboukir Bay and during the battle, which began after sunset, AUDACIOUS lost one man killed and 35 wounded. Of the 19 French ships only four escaped, the rest were either taken, burnt or sunk.
    (The final distribution of prize money for the Battle of the Nile was paid in October 1808)
  • Later in 1796 off Ireland, based at Cove of Cork.
    In November he captured the American OLIVE BRANCH, Capt. William Bryant, carrying 20,000 guns from Ostend.
    OLIVE BRANCH unloaded her cargo at Portsmouth on 18 December.
    AUDACIOUS arrived at Plymouth from Portsmouth on 30 December.
  • 1799 Blockade of Malta.
    In May 1799 ESPOIR arrived at Palermo with news that a French squadron from Brest had been seen on their way to the Mediterranean. NELSON immediately concentrated his ships at Palermo and AUDACIOUS, with 590 men on board, was placed 12th. in order of sailing. The threat did not materialise.
  • During strong winds and rain on 15 February 1800 Lord KEITH received intelligence that an enemy squadron was approaching Malta. Among other dispositions AUDACIOUS, FOUDROYANT and NORTHUMBERLAND were ordered to chase to windward. CORSO captured a French storeship, VILLE DE PARIS. GENEREUX (74) surrendered to ALEXANDER without a fight and the rest of the French ships returned to Toulon. Lord NELSON ordered AUDACIOUS to take charge of GENEREUX.
  • On 4 April 1800 Lord KEITH hoisted his flag in AUDACIOUS at Livorno. After taking 24 field-pieces on board they sailed for Genoa with some frigates and troopships.
    On the 5th. they arrived off Sestri and AUDACIOUS made a feint attack on Quinto. The following day the French were defeated near Nervi.
    On the 7th. AUDACIOUS sailed for Savonna when a violent cannonade was heard from there and found that General Melas had possession of the city but not the citadel.
  • AUDACIOUS returned to Portsmouth on 15 December after escorting the Lisbon convoy, sailed for Plymouth on the 27th. and went up the harbour on the 8th. to be paid off. She went into dock to be coppered and came out on 18 April.
  • Capt. Henry CURZON had been appointed to her and he was responsible for fitting her out but when she was nearly ready for sea, he found that his health was so impaired that he had to retire from active duty until 1807.
    Under Capt. EDWARDS (acting) she sailed for Spithead on 2 June to take in men. She arrived on the 4th. and sailed four days later, under Capt. PEARD, to join Rear Ad. SAUMAREZ's squadron in Cawsand Bay. The squadron victualled and stored for 5 months with vegetables and fresh meat being taken on board by gunboats. They sailed with sealed orders on the evening of the 15th., five line-of-battle ships and a frigate. In fact they were destined to blockade Cadiz.
  • On 6 July the squadron stood into Algeciras Roads, AUDACIOUS third in line, and found a French squadron of four warships from Toulon anchored under the batteries on Cabrita Point. In baffling winds the action was maintained by AUDACIOUS, VENERABLE and POMPEE, the three ships which had reached the anchorage. The French cut and ran ashore and AUDACIOUS and CAESAR, having drifted near the battery on the Isle of Verda were much damaged by it until a breeze sprang up. AUDACIOUS had eight seamen killed; Lieut. J. W. Day of the marines, twenty-five seamen and six marines, wounded.
    The French were joined by a Spanish squadron on the 9th. Much effort was was put into getting the ships at Gibraltar ready to fight again. Sir James SAUMAREZ transferred his flag to AUDACIOUS when it seemed unlikely that CAESAR would be ready in time.
    On the 12th. he transferred his flag back and the squadron sailed to meet the combined fleet. The enemy entered Cadiz after being engaged by VENERABLE, SUPERB and THAMES.
  • AUDACIOUS returned to Plymouth from Cadiz on 21 November having received part of the crew of RUSSEL at Spithead. She sailed on the 29th. to join the fleet at Torquay.
  • On 3 March 1802 six 74's, including AUDACIOUS, lay becalmed off the Eddystone. They cleared the land at sunset when the wind came up and made sail for the West Indies.
    AUDACIOUS returned to Plymouth on 21 September after a passage of seven weeks and, on the 28th., she was ordered to sail for Portsmouth on the first fair wind to paid off.
  • 1803 Under repair at Plymouth.
  • 1805 Capt. John LAWFORD, Channel fleet. He removed to IMPETUEUX at the end of the year.
  • 1806 Capt. Thomas Le Marchant GROSSELIN, 04/2/1806, Spithead.
    On 19 May AUDACIOUS, as part of Sir Richard STRACHAN's squadron, sailed from Plymouth in pursuit of six French line-of-battle ships.
    After cruising off Madeira and the Canaries they reached Barbados on 8 August and anchored in Carlisle Bay.
    The object of their search was almost discovered on the night of the 18th. to the north of the island but the squadron was hit by a hurricane which continued unabated for 36 hours during which AUDACIOUS, and others, (see TERRIBLE) were completely dismasted.
  • 1807 Channel fleet and the blockade of Ferrol.
    After Denmark declared war on Sweden in February 1808, the navy had the task of preventing French troops crossing into Norway. AUDACIOUS took a part in escorting an English army of 10,000 men under Sir John Moore which arrived off Gothenburg on 17 May. Due to a misunderstanding between Sir John and the Swedish king they never disembarked and returned home in the middle of July.
  • In August 1808 she escorted a troop convoy to Madeira and then remained in the Tagus until taking part in the embarkation of Sir John Moore's army at Coruna. The ships arrived from Vigo on 14 and 15 January 1809 and the following night the general embarkation of the infantry began. By the 18th., when Lieut. Gen. John Hope wrote his dispatch to Lieut. Gen. Sir David Baird on board AUDACIOUS, French guns had made evacuation from the town impossible and troops were being taken off over the beaches.
  • Because of ill health Capt GROSSELIN resigned his command in March 1809.
  • On 12 August 1809 AUDACIOUS was with Lord GARDNER off Dykeshook waiting for Sir Richard STRACHAN to give directions to go into action against the garrison of Flushing. The following day the squadron was led in by SAN DOMINGO. When she and BLAKE grounded the rest of the ships hauled off and anchored.
  • 1810 Capt. Donald CAMPBELL, 03/1810, Lisbon off Flushing.
  • 1812 Out of commission at Chatham.

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