Report on the mission of Madagascar, [1670 or later]


Report on the mission of Madagascar, [1670 or later]




From 1648 to 1666, ships were sent at different times to Madagascar, with CM priests who had been granted the usual faculties by PF. The first ship brought Carlo Naquart [Charles Nacquart] and Nicolo Gondré [Nicolas Gondrée], and the second brought Tossano Bourdaise [Toussaint Bourdaise] and Francesco Mousnier [Jean-François Mousnier] to the island; all four of them died soon after their arrival on Madagascar. On the third ship there were two people, but the ship perished close to Nantes, and the missionaries who saved themselves, returned to Paris. On the fourth ship there were four others, and whilst travelling they were taken by the Spanish (who were at war with France), and were brought to Spain. Here they fell sick and were forced to return to France. The fifth ship brought Claudio du four [Claude Dufour], Nicolò Prevost [Nicolas Prévost] and Mathurino di Bellauilla [Maturin de BelleVille] to the island; de BelleVille died during the journey, and the other two died shortly after their arrival. In 1660 on board the sixth ship, there were another four missionaries, however they got stuck in Cape Good Hope; unable to find a ship to continue their journey, they stayed there for 10 months. Eventually they were able to return to France. On the seventh ship (in 1662), Nicolo Estienne [Nicolas Etienne], Michele Manié [Michel Manie] and a priest that was not of CM called Frachey, were onboard. Etienne was killed by the infidels two or three years after his arrival, Manie died of illness, and Frachey went to the East. In 1665 they wrote to PF to inform about the mission, but the ship that was tasked to bring the letter was sunk by the English. In 1664 there was a new ship with Carlo Boussordec [Charles Boussordec], Massimiliano Francesco Cuvron [Maximilien François Cuvron], Luigi Bourot [Louis Bourot] and Michele Monmasson [Michel Manmasson] onboard. Boussordec died during the trip, Cuvron died shortly after arriving, and the other two died of illness. The last ship left in 1666, with Marino Ignazio Roguet [Marin Ignaz Roguet], Giovanni Jourdie [Jean Jourdie], Luigi Bourot [Louis Bourot] Carlo le Roy [Charles Le Roy], Giuliano Grohan [Julien Grohan] onboard. Le Roy and Grohan died on the journey, and the other two reached the island, despite being sick. Therefore of all the missionaries that have been sent to Madagascar (according to the latest news from the island of January 1668), only four remain: Roguet, Jourdie, Bourot and Monmasson. Its noted that they are also sick or suffering. They wrote to France that they worked to keep the French godfearing people, but that they hardly had any time to convert the infidels because of illness. They also state that their work is difficult, because the people on the island have a great hatred for the French. During a war with the French, they retreated into the woods and only showed themselves when killing the French. The remaining priests do not send anything new to PF as they have nothing to tell. Besides the above mentioned CM priests, PF also gave the faculties to a few other CM priests. They did not travel to Madagascar however, as they suffered too much at sea, because of illness, or because they have been replaced by others.
Additional comments


APF SC Africa, 35r-36r


1670 or later












“Report on the mission of Madagascar, [1670 or later],” Early Modern Documents: Sources and Resources for Historical Research, accessed October 16, 2019,

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