HMS Actif (1794)

HMS Actif was the British privateerActive that the French captured in 1793 and that became the French privateer Actif. Iphigenia recaptured Actif on 16 March 1794. The Royal Navy took her into service but she foundered on 26 November. All her crew were saved.

For other ships with the same name, see HMS Active.

Kingdom of Great Britain
Name Active
Launched c.1789
Captured 21 May 1793
Name Actif
Acquired 21 May 1793 by capture
Captured 16 March 1794
Kingdom of Great Britain
Name HMS Actif
Acquired By capture 1794
Fate Foundered 1794
General characteristics [1][2]
Type sloop
Displacement c.150 tons (French)[3]
Tons burthen 165, or 100[2] (bm)
  • British privateer:40
  • Royal Navy service:60
  • British privateer:12 × 4-pounder guns + 4 × swivel guns
  • French privateer: 6 to 16 guns[3]
  • Royal Navy service:10 × 4-pounder guns

. . . HMS Actif (1794) . . .

Active was a Liverpool privateer launched c. 1789.[4] She was under the command of Captain Stephen Bower (or Bowers), and was sailing under a letter of marque dated 2 May 1793.[2] The French frigate Sémillante captured her on 21 May 1793.[1] At capture, Active was armed with eleven guns and three howitzers.[3]

On 16 March 1794 Iphigenia captured both Actif and Espiegle in the West Indies.[5][lower-alpha 1]

The Royal Navy registered Actif as a sloop on 17 July. However, already by 4 June she was on active service with the Royal Navy, participating in the capture of Port-au-Prince.[6] Commander John Harvey became her captain on 5 September.[7]

Harvey was sailing Actif to England when by 24 November she developed leaks while off Bermuda. Even with the crew working the pumps continuously, she took on so much water as her structure weakened that on the 26th she had to make distress signals. HMS St Albans came up and rescued Harvey and his crew. The rescuers left her to founder at


. . . HMS Actif (1794) . . .

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. . . HMS Actif (1794) . . .