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|Anne-Hilarion de Costentin, Comte de Tourville|
Amiral Anne-Hilarion de Costentin, Comte de Tourville, Musée de la Marine.
|Born||24 November 1642
|Died||23 May 1701
Maréchal de France
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 Agosta 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 War of the Grand Alliance. He flew his personal flag on the Soleil-Royal, where it would stay until the battle of La Hougue in 1692. At the Battle of Beachy Head (Victoire de Béveziers), 1690, he defeated an Anglo-Dutch fleet, sinking or capturing 15 enemy ships.
On 29 May 1692, at the opening battle of the Battles of Barfleur and La Hogue, with only 45 ships, he inflicted heavy damage on an English and Dutch fleet of 97 ships, but was forced to retreat. He himself suffered heavy losses after the battle when fire ships attacked the French ships of the line which were immobilized for repairs in port at Cherbourg.
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. A 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.
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