Jean de BETHENCOURT

Family tree of Jean de BETHENCOURT

Sailor

FrenchBorn Jean de BETHENCOURT

French explorer

Born on 1362 in Grainville-la-Teinturière, France , France

Deceased on 1425 in Grainville-la-Teinturière, France

Sailor 29

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In 1402, Jean de Béthencourt led an expedition to the Canary Islands, landing first on the north side of Lanzarote. From there, he conquered for Castile the islands of Fuerteventura and Hierro, ousting their local chieftains (majos and bimbaches ancient peoples). Béthencourt received the title King of the Canary Islands but he recognized King Henry III of Castile, who had provided aid during the conquest, as his overlord.



To finance his expedition, in December 1401 Jean de Béthencourt had sold his house in Paris, valued at 200 gold francs, and some other small pieces of property. His uncle, Robert de Braquemont, loaned him 5,000 pounds (to which he later added another 2,000).

...   In 1402, Jean de Béthencourt led an expedition to the Canary Islands, landing first on the north side of Lanzarote. From there, he conquered for Castile the islands of Fuerteventura and Hierro, ousting their local chieftains (majos and bimbaches ancient peoples). Béthencourt received the title King of the Canary Islands but he recognized King Henry III of Castile, who had provided aid during the conquest, as his overlord.



To finance his expedition, in December 1401 Jean de Béthencourt had sold his house in Paris, valued at 200 gold francs, and some other small pieces of property. His uncle, Robert de Braquemont, loaned him 5,000 pounds (to which he later added another 2,000).



Béthencourt set sail from La Rochelle on May 1, 1402, with 280 men, mostly Gascon and Norman adventurers, including two Franciscan priests (Pierre Bontier and Jean le Verrier, who narrated the expedition in Le Canarien) and two Guanches who had been captured in an earlier Castilian expedition and were already baptised.



In 1402 Jean de Béthencourt conquered Lanzarote, the northernmost inhabited island. While Gadifer de la Salle explored the archipelago, Béthencourt left for Cádiz, where he acquired reinforcements at the Castilian court. At this time a power struggle had broken out on the island between Gadifer and Berthin, another officer. Local leaders were drawn into the conflict and scores of Spaniards and islanders died in what was to become a bloodbath of the first months of Béthencourt's absence. During this crisis, Gadifer managed to conquer Fuerteventura, and to explore other islands. It was only with the return of Béthencourt in 1404 that peace was restored to the troubled island. De la Salle and Béthencourt founded the city of Betancuria (as capital of the island of Fuerteventura) in 1404.



Years later, Bethencourt was defeated by the aboriginals of the island of Gran Canaria (canarios), in the battle of Arguineguin, at south of the island, getting the title of Great.



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Geographical origins

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