La Bourdonnais, Bertrand François, comte Mahé de

La Bourdonnais, Bertrand François, comte Mahé de bĕrträNˈ fräNswäˈ, kôNt mäāˈ də lä bo͝ordônāˈ [key], 1699–1753, French naval officer. He entered the service of the French India Company and in 1724 distinguished himself in the capture of Mahé (named in his honor). Governor of Île de France and Île de Bourbon (later Mauritius and Réunion; 1735–46), he was placed (1740) in command of the French fleet in India. He relieved Mahé (1741), and after the outbreak of hostilities with Great Britain captured (1746) Madras (now Chennai), but he quarreled with Joseph François Dupleix and was removed (1746) from his governorship. On his return to France he was imprisoned (1748) in the Bastille on charges of poor administration and embezzlement. In 1751 he was tried and acquitted, largely through pressure of popular opinion.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: French History: Biographies