French Reactions to the Northwest Voyages
and the Assays by Geoffroy Le Brumen of the Frobisher Ore (1576-1584)
By Bernard Allaire
rance offers an excellent observation post from which to study the history of the voyages of Martin Frobisher to the Canadian Arctic. At the time, three Frenchmen were directly interested in the fate of those expeditions: the French ambassador in London, Castelnau de la Mauvissière; the king's cosmographer in Paris, André Thevet; and a French Huguenot named Geoffroy Le Brumen. As a backdrop to that interest, other events of the time - such as the capture of English vessels by the fleet of the sieur de Lanssac, the intrigues of Fitzmaurice to invade Ireland from Brittany, or the plantation projects of the Marquis de La Roche in Canada - paint a picture of an existing climate of tension which risked jeopardising Frobisher's expeditions.