La or Le Temeraire?

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    Ian F

      The question is concerning the first Temeraire in the British fleet, she was captured by the Warspite at the Battle of Lagos in 1759, the fleet was under the command of Admiral Boscawen.

      I have read Sam Willis’s book The Fighting Temeraire (twice) and in it he calls this first ship “”La” Temeraire”” on many occasions, however the book has an illustration (number 3) which is a drawing by an Admiralty draughtsman at the time of her capture/refit showing the stern of the ship with the name as “”Le” Temeraire””. To produce such a detailed drawing would seem to indicate that the draughtsman drew his drawing either on site or from very detailed sketches. Sam lists the illustration as “Admiralty draught of the captured La Temeraire 1759” (National Maritime Museum).

      My Question is who is correct Sam with “LA” or the draughtsman with “LE”?

      I can understand Sam using La (which is feminine) as ships are normally referred to as she but I also know many, many ships are named after men hence Le (musculine). I did some research and came up with Charles Le Temeraire a Duke of Burgundy in the 15th. Century, could he be anything to do with the naming?

      Hope you find this interesting.
      Thanks Ian.

      David Hepper

        According to Jaques VIchot [Répertoire des Navires de Guerre Français: Paris 1967] the name has been in use by the French Navy since 1671 and has always been Le Téméraire.
        The current holder (an SNLE ( = SSBN) certainly is ‘le’

        Ian F

          Thank you David


            Good evening. In France, LE Temeraire for a vessel-of-the-line and LA Temeraire for a frigate or a sloop-of-war. (Vaisseau Le Téméraire/Frégate or Corvette La Téméraire).

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