FRANCCOIS JOSEPH PAUL GRASSE, MARQUIS DE Grassetilly, Comte De (1722-1788), French sailor, was born at Bar, in the present department of the Alpes Maritimes. In 1734 he took service on the galleys of the order of Malta, and in 1740 entered the service of France, being promoted to chief of squadron in 1779. He took part in the naval operations of the American War of Independence, and distinguished himself in the battles of Dominica and Saint Lucia (1780), and of Tobago (1781). He was less fortunate at St Kitts, where he was defeated by Admiral Hood. Shortly afterwards, in April 1782, he was defeated and taken prisoner by Admiral Rodney. Some months later he returned to France, published a Memoire justificatif, and was acquitted by a court-martial (1784). He died at Paris in January 1788.
His son Alexandre de Grasse, published a Notice bibliographique sur l'amiral comte de Grasse d'apres les documents inedits in 1840. See G. Lacour-Gayet, La Marine militaire de la France sous le regne de Louis XV (Paris, 1902).
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