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A Parish pub, naval battles, and Trafalgar celebrations

The Sans Pareil public house 

Sans Pareil public house in 2005


HMS Sanspareil in 1905. Acknowledgements to Janes' Fighting Ships

HMS Sanspareil in 1905. [Acknowledgements to Janes' Fighting Ships.]

Here in Frindsbury Extra Parish, we are blessed with a wide range of public houses all with either intriguing history, a delightful riverside setting, an interesting name or perhaps a combination of all three.  The year of 2005, being the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, we are noting the history behind the name  SANS PAREIL.

The SANS PAREIL, a Third rate 80 gun warship was launched in Brest, France in June 1793. Captured by Earl HOWE in the Atlantic at the Battle of First of June 1794.

She sailed in May 1794 with Rear Ad. Nielly`s squadron to meet a corn convoy from America. They attacked and captured the CASTOR, Capt. Thomas TROUBRIDGE, and part of the convoy she was escorting from Guernsey to Newfoundland.

During the battle between the two fleets on the 1st June Lord BRIDPORT`s flagship, ROYAL GEORGE, broke through the French line just ahead of SANS PAREIL, bringing down her fore amd mizen masts. she then came under fire from GLORY and lost her main mast as well, drifting out of the line to be taken possession of by MAJESTIC. TROUBRIDGE and the 50 men from CASTOR, who were prisoners on board, assisted in bringing her into Spithead. SANS PAREIL`s losses could have been as high as 260 killed and 120 wounded.

Capt. Lord Hugh SEYMOUR, (promoted Rear Admiral. on first anniversary of the battle). Capt. W. BROWELL, 8/95. (with Rear Ad. Lord H. SEYMOUR's flag). Channel fleet. Took part in Lord BRIDPORT`s action with the French fleet off Belleisle on 22 June, silencing both the FORMIDABLE and Le PEUPLE. SANS PAREIL lost ten killed and two wounded. After SEYMOUR was appointed to the Board of Admiralty in the autumn she cruised off the French coast, using her French build and flying the tricoleur as a ruse to lure privateers within range. Sir Hugh retained her as his flagship and sailed on several summer cruises in her.

Capt. D. ATKINS, 1/99. Capt. C.V. PENROSE, 8/99. To the West Indies with, a convoy as Sir Hugh`s flagship. The admiral died of fever on 11 September 1801 and Capt. PENROSE had to be invalided home suffering from sunstroke. Capt. ESSINGTON, with the flag of Ad. Richard MONTAGUE. Returned to Plymouth on 4 September 1802. After a refit lasting 18 months and costing 35,000 pounds she turned into a prison hulk for French prisoners of war. Later a sheer hulk, she was broken up in April 1842.

No wonder that, after an interesting and varied service, the name SANS PAREIL has made such a fitting name for a local hostelry!

Photograph of The Sans Pareil public house in 2005   Sans Pareil public house in 2005

British Warships bearing the name


1st SANS PAREIL French-built vessel captured at the Battle for the First of June, 1794.  Carried 2-42 pounder guns (pdr), 8-32 pdr, 30-32 pdr, 32-24 pdr.  Was a sheer hulk by 1810 and finally broken up in October 1842 at Devonport.
2nd SANS PAREIL A second rate screw propelled vessel with 81 guns. Carried 1-10 inch gun, 30-8 inch, 50-32 pdr.  Built in Devonport Dockyard 1851 and later sold in March 1867 to Marshall, Plymouth.
3rd SANS PAREIL A 10,470 tons battleship built by Thames iron Works in 1887.  Carried 2-16.25inch guns, 1-10 inch, 2-6 inch, 9-6 pdr.  Sold in April 1907 to Ward of Birkenhead & Preston.
4th SANS PAREIL A naval yacht, built 1940. No further information.
Battle Honours

Groix 1795

Black Sea 1854

Indian Mutiny 1857

China 1856 - 60.

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Chatham Dockyard Historical Society

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