Temeraire Class Ships of the Line
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The Téméraire-class ships of the line were class of a hundred and twenty 74-gun ships of the line ordered between 1782 and 1813 for the French navy or its attached navies in dependent (French-occupied) territories. Although a few of these were cancelled, the type was and remains the most numerous class of capital ship ever built.
The class was designed by Jacques-Noël Sané in 1782 as a development of the Annibal and her near-sister Northumberland, both of which had been designed by him and built at Brest during the 1777-1780 period. Some dozen ships were ordered and built to this new design from 1782 to 1785, and then the same design was adopted as a standard for all subsequent 74s during the next three decades as part of the fleet expansion programme instituted by Jean-Charles de Borda in 1786.
The design was appreciated in Britain, which eagerly commissioned captured ships and even copied the design with the Pompée and America class.