Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/430

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Leguat
Leguat
424

the bible and in profane history; 'finally, he would make him familiar with arithmetic, geography, and the art of war' (State Papers, Dom. 1633, p. 349). On 12 May 1633 Le Grys was granted the office of captain of the castle of St. Mawes for life. The salary attached to the office was little over 50l. per annum, but Le Grys took a liberal view of the perquisites to which he was entitled, and his encroachments gave rise to frequent complaint. Before the end of the year, in answer to the charges which his chief lieutenant and deputy-governor of St. Mawes, Captain Hannibal Bonithon, preferred against him to Edward Nicholas, the secretary of the admiralty, he acknowledged that 'he had brought out of foreign ships several small quantities of wine for his own use, as all captains of forts or ships think it free for them to do, and certain timber for use in the castle, without paying custom;' he had also applied some of his majesty's timber to his own uses, and 'had shot at some few ships which did not come to the castle to give account of themselves.' but in this employment he had only spent 801bs. of powder (ib. p. 474). According to less partial accounts the governor had during his six months' tenure of office burnt not only all the gun-carriages and platforms, but even the flag-post, for firewood; had sold ammunition, had let the castle fall out of repair, and had cashiered most of the old members of the garrison. There was now no porter, nor even any door, to the castle, Le Grys, having burnt the door and lost the castle key, The admiralty in December 1633 summoned him to appear before them at Whitehall, not later than the end of January 1634. He was reprimanded, and his dismissal of Bonithon disallowed. A little later he made his complete submission to the king (ib. 1634). Le Grys does not appear to have been supplanted in nis governorship. He probably died before he was able to return to Cornwall on 2 Feb. 1634-5. Nothing appears to be known of Sir Robert's family, but the Robert Le Grys to whom the books of the Stationers' Company attribute 'Nothing impossible to Love.' a tragi-comedy, 29 June 1660, was probably a son (Baker, Biog. Dram. i. 450).

[Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. iii. 504; S. P. Oliver's Pendennis and St. Mawes, pp. 92-3; Boase's Collect. Cornub. 1416; State Papers, Dom. Ser. 1628-35, passim; Davies Gilbert's Parochial Hist, of Cornwall, ii. 277; Brydges's Censura, pt. x. p. 59; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

T. S.

LEGUAT, FRANÇOIS (1638–1736), voyager and author, born of protestant parents at Bresse, in the modern department of Ain, near the frontier of Savoy, in 1638 claimed descent from the seigneur of La Fougère, Pierre Le Guat, secretary of the Duke of Savoy from 1511 to 1534. To avoid persecution after the revocation of the edict of Nantes, he took refuge in Holland in 1689. On 10 July 1691 he left Texel with a small party of adventurers under the auspices of the Marquis Henri du Quesne, and on 1 May 1691 landed in Rodriguez, the smallest of the Mascarene islands, in order to found a colony of French protestants. After a residence of two years Leguat and the other settlers, who grew discontented with their retired life, constructed a boat, and succeeded in reaching Mauritius, 330 miles distant to leeward, after a hazardous voyage of eight days. The Dutch governor, Diodati, maltreated Leguat and his comrades. They were confined on the rocky islet now called Fouquets, between Mananna island and de la Passe at the entrance of the south-east haven, where the Dutch had established their fort, Hendrik Fredrik. In attempting to escape one of their number perished, and at last the survivors, who had managed to send news of their plight to Europe, were transferred, still in confinement, to Batavia in December 1696. It was not until March 1698, after the proclamation of the peace of Ryswick, that Leguat and two others, the sole survivors of the original party, were set free.

Leguat made his way to Flushing, and thence came over to England, where he became acquainted with Baron Haller, Dr. Sloane, and other scientific men. He published an account of his travels in 1708, both in French, Dutch, and English. The English title runs 'A New Voyage to the East Indies, by Francis Leguat and his companions, containing their Adventures in two Desart Islands, and an Account of the most remarkable things in Maurice Island, Batavia, at the Cape of Good Hope, the Island of St. Helena, and other places in their way to and from the Desart Isles.' The French and English editions were published simultaneously by David Mortier, both at Amsterdam and at London. The Dutch edition, by Willem Broedelet, appeared at Utrecht also in 1708. A German translation was printed at Frankfort and Leipzig in 1709; another under the title of 'Der Französische Robinson' in 1806; another French edition is dated 1720, and a third 1792. The English version was reissued by the Hakluyt Society in 1891. The fact that Leguat was a Huguenot refugee probably sufficed to prejudice contemporary opinion as to the merits of the book in catholic France, where the story of his adventures was generally regarded as an extravagant fable; ut in England, Holland, and Germany the