Jean-François-Marie de Surville (1717–1770) was a merchant captain
with the French East India Company who commanded a voyage of exploration
to the Pacific in 1769 and 1770. Born in Brittany, France, Surville
joined the company when he was 10 years old. For the next several years,
he sailed on voyages in Indian and Chinese waters. In 1740, he joined
the French Navy. He fought in the War of the Austrian Succession and the
Seven Years' War, twice becoming a prisoner of war. In 1769, in command
of Saint Jean-Baptiste, he sailed from India on an expedition to the
Pacific looking for trading opportunities. He explored the seas around
the Solomon Islands and anchored in December at Doubtless Bay, New
Zealand (commemorative plaque pictured). Part of his route around New
Zealand overlapped that of James Cook in Endeavour, who had preceded him
by only a few days. Three months later, Surville drowned off the coast
of Peru while seeking help for his scurvy-afflicted crew.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Fran%C3%A7ois-Marie_de_Surville>
Today's selected anniversaries:
Crimean War: Russian warships led by Pavel Nakhimov destroyed
an Ottoman fleet of frigates at the Battle of Sinop, prompting France
and Britain to enter the war.
Mutesa II, Kabaka of Buganda, was temporarily deposed and
exiled to London by Andrew Cohen, the British governor of Uganda.
The Wall (performance pictured), a rock opera and concept album
by the English band Pink Floyd, was first released.
Marconi Electronic Systems and British Aerospace merged to form
BAE Systems, one of the world's largest defence companies.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. (chiefly Scotland) The owner of a Scottish estate; a member of the
landed gentry, a landowner.
2. (chiefly Scotland, historical) Often in the form Laird of, followed
by a patronymic: a Scottish clan chief.
3. (transitive, Scotland) Chiefly as laird it over: to behave like a
laird, particularly to act haughtily or to domineer; to lord (it over).
Wikiquote quote of the day:
I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them
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