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Abraham Duquesne: Wikis


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Other topics that could fall under Duquesne can be found at Marquis Duquesne (disambiguation)

Figurehead of the Duquesne of 1814

Abraham Duquesne, marquis du Bouchet, (c. 1610-February 2, 1688) was a French naval officer, who also saw service as an admiral in the Swedish navy. He was born in Dieppe, a seaport, in 1610. He was the son of a naval officer and therefore became a sailor himself, spending his early years in merchant service.


Service in the French navy

In 1635, he was capitaine de vaisseau (captain) in the french navy. In 1636, he was appointed to the "Neptune" squadron. In May 1637 he gained some fame for capturing the island of Lerins from the Spanish. Around this time, his father died in a conflict with the Spanish, which permanently increased his animosity towards them and he sought revenge. He fought them viciously at the Battle of Guetaria in 1638, during the expedition to Corunna in 1639, and in the battles at Tarragona in 1641, Barcelona and the Cabo de Gata.

Service in the Swedish navy

Duquesne then left to join the Swedish navy in 1643.On the side of the Swedes, he fought the Danish fleet at the Battle of Colberger Heide where King Christian IV himself was in command of the Danish fleet, in the frigate Regina 34. And later at Fehmarn, the Danes were defeated, their admiral Pros Mund killed and his ship taken. After a peace had been reached between the Danes and the Swedes in 1645, he returned to France.

Return to French service

He suppressed a revolt at Bordeaux (which was materially supported by his most hated foe, the Spanish) in 1650, during the Fronde outbreaks. During that same year, he created at his own expense a squadron with which he blockaded the Gironde, forcing that city to surrender. This earned him a promotion in rank to chef d'escadre (Rear-Admiral), a castle, and a gift of the entire isle of Indre. The French and the Spanish made peace in 1659, which left him to fight pirates in the Mediterranean Sea. In 1667 he is promoted 'Lieutenant-Général (Vice-Admiral). He distinguished himself in the Third Dutch War, fighting as second in command of the French squadron at the Battle of Solebay and later supporting the insurgents in the revolt of Messina from Spain, fighting Admiral Michel Adriaanzoon de Ruyter, who had the united fleets of Spain and the United Provinces under his command. He fought the combined Dutch-Spanish fleet at the Battle of Stromboli and the Battle of Agosta where De Ruyter was mortally wounded. On the 2nd of June he was present as second in command when the French fleet under Comte and Vivonne attacked and partly destroyed the Spanish-Dutch fleet at the Battle of Palermo, which secured French control of the Mediterranean. For this accomplishment he received a personal letter from Louis XIV and was given, in 1681, the title of marquis along with the estate of Bouchet, even though he was a Protestant.

Bombardment of Algiers in 1682, by Abraham Duquesne.

Duquesne also fought the Barbary pirates in 1681 and bombarded Algiers between 1682 and 1683,[1] to help Christian captives, and bombarded Genoa in 1684.

Last years

In that same year, 1684, he retired from poor health. He may have foreseen the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, though he was exempted from the proscription. He died in Paris on February 2, 1688.


  • The Marquis Duquesne de Menneville, another famous mariner, was his grandnephew
  • 8 vessels of the French Navy have been named in his honour, see French ship Duquesne



1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ABRAHAM DUQUESNE, MARQUIS (1610-1688), French naval officer, was born at Dieppe in 1610. Born in a stirring seaport, the son of a distinguished naval officer, he naturally adopted the profession of a sailor. He spent his youth in the merchant service, and obtained his first distinction in naval warfare by the capture of the island of Lerins from the Spaniards in May 1637. About the same time his father was killed in an engagement with the Spaniards, and the news raised his hatred of the national enemy to the pitch of a personal and bitter animosity. For the next five years he sought every opportunity of inflicting defeat and humiliation on the Spanish navy, and he distinguished himself by his bravery in the engagement at Guetaria (1638), the expedition to Corunna (1639), and in battles at Tarragona (1641), Barcelona (1643), and the Cabo de Gata.

The French navy being left unemployed during the minority of Louis XIV., Duquesne obtained leave to offer his services to the king of Sweden, who gave him a commission as vice-admiral in 1643. In this capacity he defeated the Danish fleet near Gothenburg and thus raised the siege of the city. The Danes returned to the struggle with increased forces under the command of King Christian in person, but they were again defeated - their admiral being killed and his ship taken. Peace having been concluded between Sweden and Denmark in 1645, Duquesne returned to France. The revolt at Bordeaux, supported as it was by material aid from Spain, gave him the opportunity of at once serving his country and gratifying his long-cherished hatred of the Spaniards. In 1650 he fitted out at his own expense a squadron with which he blockaded the mouth of the Gironde, and compelled the city to surrender. For this service he was promoted in rank, and received a gift of the castle and isle of Indre, near Nantes. Peace with Spain was concluded in 1659, and for some years afterwards Duquesne was occupied in endeavours to suppress piracy in the Mediterranean. On the revolt of Messina from Spain, he was sent to support the insurgents, and had to encounter the united fleets of Spain and Holland under the command of the celebrated Admiral de Ruyter. After several battles, in which the advantage was generally on the side of the French, a decisive engagement took place near Catania, on the 20th of April 1676, when the Dutch fleet was totally routed and de Ruyter mortally wounded. The greater part of the defeated fleet was afterwards burned in the harbour of Palermo, where it had taken refuge, and the French thus secured the undisputed command of the Mediterranean. For this important service Duquesne received a letter of thanks from Louis XIV., together with the title of marquis and the estate of Bouchet. His last achievements were the bombardment of Algiers (1682-1683), in order to effect the deliverance of the Christian captives, and the bombardment of Genoa in 1684. He retired from service in 1684, on the ground of age and ill-health. It is probable also that he foresaw the revocation of the edict of Nantes, which took place in the following year. He died in Paris on the 2nd of February 1688.

See Jal, Abraham Duquesne, et la marine de son temps (1873).

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