Anne Hilarion de Tourville

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Anne-Hilarion de Tourville

Admiral Anne-Hilarion de Costentin, Comte de Tourville, Musée de la Marine.
Born(1642-11-24)24 November 1642
Paris, France
Died23 May 1701(1701-05-23) (aged 58)
Paris, France
Allegiance Kingdom of France
Service/branch French Navy
Years of service1666–1693
RankMarshal of France
Vice admiral of the Flotte du Levant
Commands heldFlotte du Levant
Soleil Royal
Awards Order of Saint Michael
RelationsLouise-Françoise d'Hymbercourt

Anne-Hilarion de Costentin, Comte de Tourville (French pronunciation: [an ilaʁjɔ̃ kɔstɑ̃tɛ̃ kɔ̃t tuʁvil]; 24 November 1642 – 23 May 1701) was a French naval officer and nobleman who served under King Louis XIV. Born in Paris, he was made Marshal of France in 1693. Tourville is considered by some as one of the most talented naval officers in French military history.

Military career[edit]

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 began an active career, fighting the 1673 campaign of the Franco-Dutch War on the Sans-Pareil, at the Battle of Augusta 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 Nine Years' War. He flew his personal flag on the Soleil Royal, where it would stay until the battles of Barfleur and La Hougue in 1692. At the Battle of Beachy Head in 1690, he defeated an Anglo-Dutch fleet, sinking, destroying or capturing seven enemy ships.[1]

On 29 May 1692, at the action at Barfleur, with only 45 ships he held at bay an English and Dutch fleet of 97 ships, but was forced to retreat. His fleet suffered heavy losses after the battle when English and Dutch fire ships attacked the French ships of the line which were immobilized for repairs in port at Cherbourg-en-Cotentin.[1] On 27 June 1693, he defeated an Anglo-Dutch convoy led by George Rooke during the Battle of Cape St. Vincent.[1]

Honours and tributes[edit]

Tourville retired after the 1697 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. An 1816 marble statue of Admiral Tourville, by French sculptor Joseph Charles Marin, formerly in the Jardin de Versailles, features prominently in the Village of Tourville-sur-Seine (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.

Related articles[edit]



  • Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Tourville, Anne-Hilarion de Cotentin, Comte de" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 27 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

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