Lazare Picault

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Lazare Picault (fl. mid-18th century) was a French explorer known for his exploration of islands in the Seychelles.[1] Although Arab, Portuguese and British sailors visited the Seychelles prior to Picault, he was the first to do any extensive exploration.

In 1742 on an expedition of exploration of the Indian Ocean, Picault discovered the largest island of the Seychelles which he named L’Île d’Abondance (Isle of Abundance).[2] Also a smaller island to the east he called Ste. Anne Island, named after Saint Anne's Day (the date of his landing there).

In 1744 he returned to the Seychelles and renamed the largest island Mahé[2] after Mahé de La Bourdonnais, the governor of Réunion and Mauritius, who was in charge of the mission. He also named the entire island group, Iles de la Bourdonnais. This was changed to Sechelles in 1756, in honor of French Minister of Finances, Jean Moreau de Séchelles.

In 1744 Picault also explored several other islands in the archipelago, including:

Today on the island of Mahé there are several locales named after him. A bay, beach, village, administrative district and tourist hotel are all called Baie Lazare.


  1. ^ "The History Of The Seychelles" Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  2. ^ a b "Biography". 1966-01-29. Retrieved 2016-07-16. Historically famous as the spot where Frenchman Lazare Picault, leading an expedition, landed on 29 November 1742 in what was still an uninhabited archipelago.