Duguay-Trouin, René

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Duguay-Trouin, René

(rənā` dügā`-tro͞oăN`), 1673–1736, French privateer and naval officer. A member of a Breton family of shipowners, he became (1689) a privateer and was given command of a vessel in 1691. His bravery, the respect he won from his men, and his successes against the English and the Dutch in the wars of King Louis XIV caused him to rise rapidly in command. By 1709 he was reported to have captured 300 merchantmen and 20 warships or privateers. In 1711, in the War of the Spanish Succession, he captured Rio de Janeiro after an 11-day bombardment and forced the city to pay a heavy ransom. As a reward for his services Duguay-Trouin was ennobled by Louis XIV in 1709 and commissioned a lieutenant general in 1728. He left memoirs.

Duguay-Trouin, René

 

Born June 10, 1673, in St. Malo; died Sept. 27, 1736, in Paris. French seaman; lieutenant general of the fleet from 1728.

When Duguay-Trouin was 16 years old he volunteered for service on a privateering vessel. He took part in the war of France with the League of Augsburg (1688-97), commanded a privateering frigate when he was 19, and in 1696 entered the royal fleet as a captain. He commanded a detachment and then a squadron of a privateering fleet, successfully attacking the maritime communications of Great Britain and the Netherlands during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14). He was a skillful navigator who was noted for his personal bravery; he captured more than 300 merchant ships and 20 warships of the enemy. In 1731 he commanded a squadron in the Mediterranean. A monument was erected to him in Versailles. He left interesting memoirs.