Admiral Gilles de La Roche-Saint-André1

M, #6532, b. 1621, d. August 1668

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Last Edited11/08/2016
Birth*Admiral Gilles de La Roche-Saint-André was born in 1621 at Château des Ganuchères in Treize-Septiers en Vendée, .2
Death*He died in August 1668, on board the Le Jules off the cost of Galicia.3
(Commander) ShipVoyage On 25 March 1656 the St Georges, La Duchesse, La Maréschale and La Erman, ships of the French fleet arrived at arrived at Saldanha Bay under the overall command of Admiral Gilles de La Roche-Saint-André. Among those on board St Georges/St. Joris were three enslaved Malagasy royal children, including Cornelia Arabus and Lijsbeth Arabus and an unnamed male child who died 3 months later. The fleet had sailed from Nantes via Cap Vert, travelling around the Cape and visiting Madagascar, Ile de Bourbon, Socotra, and the Red Sea - returning via the same route.4 
Slave TransactionsOn 29 March 1656 Lijsbeth Arabus and Cornelia Arabus were gifted by Admiral Gilles de La Roche-Saint-André, to Maria de la Queillerie de Caep de Goede Hoop, however this transaction was revoked by the Visiting VOC Commissioner Ryckloff van Goens senior, and Lijsbeth and Cornelia then became the property of the Company who could be hired out to officials.5,6,7


  1. [S428] Website Wikipedia ( "Gilles de La Roche-Saint-André…, last accessed 5 August 2016."
  2. [S428] Website Wikipedia ( "né en 1621 au château des Ganuchères à Treize-Septiers en Vendée…, last accessed 5 August 2016."
  3. [S428] Website Wikipedia ( "mort en août 1668, à bord du vaisseau Le Jules au large de la Galice…, last accessed 5 August 2016."
  4. [S815] Mansell G. Upham 'Documented Slave Arrivals at the Cape of Good Hope (1652-1677)', First Fifty Years, Uprooted Lives - Unfurling the Cape of Good Hope's Earliest Colonial Inhabitants (1652-1713), (Unpublished), 16 November 2014. "25 March 1656: St Georges (ex Nantes, Madagascar, Ile de Bourbon [Réunion], Socotra, Red Sea, Socotra, Ile de Bourbon, Madagascar & Saldanha Bay) – part of French fleet (La Duchesse, La Maréschale, Larman [La Erman] - ex Nantes & Cap-Vert with St. Georges [St. Joris]);brings 3 captured / enslaved Malagasy royal children likely originating from Ethiopia gifted by French Admiral De la Roche-St. André to Jan van Riebeeck:
    Cornelia Arabus van Abisinna
    Lijsbeth Arabus van Abisinna
    unnamed male slave (dies 14 June 1656).
  5. [S418] Anna J. Böeseken, Slaves and Free Blacks at the Cape 1658-1700 (Cape Town: Tafelberg, 1977), p.8-9; . . . as did two slave children from Abyssinia. These two were little Arab girls, 10 and 12 years of age. They had also been a gift to Maria van Riebeeck from the French Admiral De La Roche St. André who had visited the Cape in March 1657. Their names were Cornelia and Lijsbeth.. Hereinafter cited as Slaves and Free Blacks at the Cape 1658-1700.
  6. [S658] Mansell Upham 'Made or Marred by Time - the Other Armozijn & two enslaved Arabian 'princesses' at the Cape of Good Hope (1656)', First Fifty Years, Uprooted Lives - Unfurling the Cape of Good Hope's Earliest Colonial Inhabitants (1652-1713), (, March 2012. "The French flotilla (4 ships) arrived at the Cape (25 March 1656): La Duchesse with Admiral de-la-Roche-St André (recorded also as La Roch, Laroche, La Ros, Lacos, and Laros) at the helm (400 men and 40 guns), La Maréchale (Vice-Admiral Colon, 300 men and 36 guns) La Erman (Captain Richmont, 200 men and 30 guns) and St. Joris [St Georges] (Captain Labriants, 100 men and 20 guns). They sailed into Table Bay (31 March 1656). ... Finally the admiral disembarked (29 March) to call on Van Riebeeck in person and was "festively and politely treated". ... Before departing, the admiral presented Maria de Queillerie with two of the captive Abysinnian princesses, Lijsbeth and Cornelia Arabus, captured on Madagascar."
  7. [S676] Attestation, C2391; Council of Policy, 4 September1652-6 February 1660, Western Cape Archives and Records Service as transcribed and annotated by Mansell Upham, Cornelia ende Lijsbeth van Abissina door den Fransen admiral Lacrox aen den Commande:[u]rs vrouw vereert.

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