THE SOLEIL ROYAL (1670) Flagship of the French Fleet with 104 guns, the SOLEIL ROYAL was launched - some say in 1690, others in the 70's - to join the relentless battles going on the Mediterranean. In 1692, under the command of A.H. de COTENTIN, Count of TOURVILLE and Marshal of France, she left the port of BREST on 12 th May with a squadron of 45 ships. On 29th May she found herself some 20 miles from the Cape of BARFLEUR in the North East, facing a fleet of 97 british and dutch vessels. After a merciless fight lasting 12 hours, the British and Dutch were forced to flee after suffering substantial losses. The SOLEIL ROYAL and two other vessels were careened for repairs on the beach at CHERBOURG. A defenceless target, she was burned during the British and Dutch attack on 2nd and 3rd June 1692. One year later, the Count of TOURVILLE, again at sea, won a brilliant victory at Cape St-Vincent on 27th June 1693, capturing 59 British ships.

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