an 80-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, and
the lead ship of her class. She was the
flagship of Vice-Admiral Latouche Tréville, who died
on board on 18 August 1804.
At the Battle of Trafalgar, on 21 October 1805,
HMS Victory broke the French line
just astern of Bucentaure and just ahead of
Redoutable. Victory raked her less protected stern
and the vessel lost 197 men and 85 were wounded
(including Captain Magendie). Admiral
Villeneuve survive, but Bucentaure was unable to
fight effectively anymore. After three hours,
she surrendered to HMS Conqueror.
Villeneuve is supposed to have asked to whom he was
surrendering. On being told it was Captain Pellew,
he replied, 'There is no shame in surrendering to
the gallant Sir Edward Pellew.' When he was
informed that the Conqueror's captain (Israel Pellew)
was Sir Edward's brother, he said, 'England is
fortunate to have two such brothers.'
In the following days, Bucentaure's crew rose up
against the British prize crew, and recaptured the
ship. However, she was wrecked in the
gale-force storm of 23 October 1805.