Entrecasteaux, Joseph-Antoine Bruni D'
ENTRECASTEAUX, JOSEPH-ANTOINE BRUNI D' (1739-1793), French navigator, was born at Aix in 1739. At the age of fifteen he entered the navy. In the war of 1778 he commanded a frigate of thirty-two guns, and by his clever seamanship was successful in convoying a fleet of merchant vessels from Marseilles to the Levant, although they were attacked by two pirate vessels, each of which was larger than his own ship. In 1785 he was appointed to the command of the French fleet in the East Indies, and two years later he was named governor of the Mauritius and the Isle of Bourbon. While in command of the East India fleet he made a voyage to China, an achievement which, in 1791, led the French government to select him to command an expedition which it was sending out to seek some tidings of the unfortunate La Pérouse, of whom nothing had been heard since February 1788. Rear-admiral d'Entrecasteaux's expedition comprised the "Recherche" and "L'Esperance," with Captain Huon de Kermadec as second in command. No tidings were obtained of the missing navigator, but in the course of his search Entrecasteaux made important geographical discoveries. He traced the outlines of the eastern coast of New Caledonia, made extensive surveys round the Tasmanian coast, and touched at several places on the south coast of New Holland. The two ships entered Storm Bay, Tasmania, on the 21st of April 1792, and remained there until the 16th of May, surveying and naming the d'Entrecasteaux Channel, the entrances to the Huon and Derwent rivers, Bruni Island, Recherche Bay, Port Esperance and various other localities. Excepting the name of the river Derwent (originally called Riviere du Nord by its French discoverers), these foregoing appellations have been retained. Leaving Tasmania the expedition sailed northward for the East Indies, and while coasting near the island of Java, Entrecasteaux was attacked by scurvy and died on the 20th of July 1793.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)