Pierre Caunay

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Sailing ship near Java la Grande in Vallard Atlas 1547, Dieppe school.

Pierre Caunay was a 16th-century French adventurer from Honfleur. In 1526, Pierre Caunay sailed to Sumatra, with the objective of reaching the Moluccas to participate in the spice trade.[1] He was part of a fleet of three ships, sponsored by Francis I, financed by a bank of Florence, and set up by entrepreneur Jean Ango and the Verrazano brothers.[2] The ships were separated in the Atlantic, and two of them, led by the brother Verrazano, continued to Brazil.[2] Pierre Cauny however passed the Cape of Good Hope and continued to reach Sumatra.[2] Part of his crew was killed in Aceh in Sumatra, as well as his Portuguese pilot, so that Pierre Caunay decided to return to France.[1]

He lost his ship on the return leg between Africa and Madagascar. Twelve of the crew survived and sailed to Mozambique, where they were imprisoned by the Portuguese.[1][2] Their story was reported by the Governor of Mozambique himself.[2] Some other sailed stayed in Madagascar, where they were picked up by later ships.[2]

The expedition of Jean de Breuilly in 1528 was sent to seek the whereabouts of the expedition of Pierre Caunay, but was unable to find it.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Orientalism in early Modern France 2008 Ina Baghdiantz McAbe, p.78, ISBN 978-1-84520-374-0
  2. ^ a b c d e f Shipwrecks of Madagascar Pierre Van Den Boogaerde p.113ff [1]