Roberval, Jean François de la Roque, Sieur de


Roberval, Jean François de la Roque, Sieur de
   A gentleman of Picardy, born about the year 1500. By a commission dated Jan. 15, 1541, Francis I gave him the command of the expedition planned by Jacques Cartier, and made him his viceroy and lieutenant-general in the new lands discovered by Cartier. The commission granted to the latter in 1540 was revoked, and Cartier sailed as Roberval's lieutenant. Cartier left St. Malo in May, 1541, and Roberval did not follow until April, 1542. His ships entered the harbour of St. John's, Newfoundland, June 8, and there he met Cartier on his way home. Sailing on into the gulf, and up the St. Lawrence, he reached Charlesbourg Royal, where Cartier had wintered, and set his men to work erecting forts and other buildings. Here he wintered; explored the river in the spring; and sailed back to France with his colonists in the autumn of 1543. Despite the failure of his colonizing venture, commissioned by the king in 1544 to rebuild the fortifications of Senlis; and in 1548 made controller of all mines in France. Lost sight of about the year 1560. One story has it that he was murdered in the streets of Paris; and another that he died at sea; but both lack confirmation. There is reason to believe that he died in 1560, or early in 1561.
   Index: Ch Ravages of scurvy in his expedition, 23.
   Bib.: Hakluyt, Principall Navigations; Harrisse, Notes sur la Nouvelle France; Dawson, The St. Lawrence Basin; Dionne, Jean-François de la Roche, Seigneur de Roberval (R. S. C., 1899).

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