Anne Hilarion de Tourville

Anne Hilarion de Costentin, comte de Tourville

Amiral Anne-Hilarion de Costentin, comte de Tourville, Musée de la Marine.
Born 24 November 1642
Paris, France
Died 23 May 1701(1701-05-23) (aged 58)
Paris, France
Allegiance  France
Service/branch  French Navy
Rank Admiral
Maréchal de France
Commands held Soleil-Royal

Cretan War

Franco-Dutch War

Nine Years War

Relations Louise-Françoise d'Hymbercourt

Anne Hilarion de Costentin, comte de Tourville (24 November 1642, Paris – 23 May 1701) was a French naval commander who served under King Louis XIV. He was made Marshal of France in 1693.

Military career

At age 17, as a Knight of Malta, he fought his first naval battle on a frigate of the Order of Malta.[1]

At 25, he joined the French Royal Navy and started an active career, fighting the 1673 campaign of the Franco-Dutch War on the Sans-Pareil, at the Battle of Agosta where he was in command of the Syrene, and later in command of the Sceptre.

He served under Abraham Duquesne during the campaigns of 1676, and became a commander in 1690 during the War of the Grand Alliance. He put his flag on the Soleil-Royal, where it would stay until the battle of La Hougue in 1692. At the Battle of Beachy Head (Victoire de Béveziers), 1690, he defeated an Anglo-Dutch fleet, sinking or capturing 15 enemy ships.[1]

On 29 May 1692, at Barfleur, with only 45 ships, he inflicted heavy damage on an English and Dutch fleet 97 ships strong, but was forced to retreat. He himself suffered heavy losses after the battle when fire ships attacked the French ships of the line immobilised for repairs in Cherbourg.

On 27 June 1693, he defeated a convoy of 59 English ships commanded by George Rooke at Cape St. Vincent near Lagos Bay in Portugal, during the Battle of Cape St. Vincent.[1]

Honours and tributes

Wooden statue of Tourville, on display at Toulon naval museum

Tourville retired after the Peace of Ryswick and died in Paris on 23 May 1701, regarded as a national hero.

A number of French naval vessels from the 18th through 20th centuries were named in Tourville's honour. A 1816 marble statue of Admiral Tourville, by French sculptor Joseph Charles Marin, formerly in Versailles park, features proeminently in the Village of Tourville sur Sienne (Normandy, Manche Département) hometown of Tourville ancestors, though Anne Hilarion de Tourville himself was born in Paris and not in the ancestral castle of Tourville sur Sienne.



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