image Champlain, soldier and navy captain, 1609
Based on detail of the engraving
Defeat of the Iroquois at Lake Champlain

Champlain, The Voyages, 1613
National Library of Canada

1575: Born in Brouage, France, circa 1575; son of Antoine, a navy captain, and of Marguerite Leroy. Childhood in Brouage, where ships were fitted out for fishing off the coast of Newfoundland.

1595: Assistant to the billet master in Brittany’s royal army.

1597: Captain in a company stationed at Quimper.

1598: Billet master.

1599: Travelled to Spain and the "West Indies"; stayed in Peru and Mexico.

1601: Inherited a large property near La Rochelle.
Received a pension from the court of Henri IV of France.

1603:Volunteered to travel to Canada to investigate the establishment of a settlement in New France. Champlain sojourned at Tadoussac and explored the Saint Lawrence River up to Montreal with Gravé du Pont.

1603-1604:Explored Acadia and wintered at Sainte-Croix island.

1604-1605: Sojourned at Port Royal.

1608: Founded Quebec and ordered the first settlement to be built at the foot of Cap Diamant.

1609: Took part in his first battle against the Iroquois near the lake that was named after him.

1610: Married Hélène Boullé.

1613: Explored the Ottawa Valley up to île aux Allumettes.

1615: Completed his exploration of the Ottawa Valley and reached Huronia. Took part in a raid into Iroquois territory.

1618 - 1625: Appointed lieutenant to the Viceroy of New France. Presented the King of France with a trade colonization programme, showing that he was a farsighted and practical administrator.

1626: Ordered the building of a second settlement at Quebec.

1628 - 1629:Under the Kirkes’ blockade, had to surrender Quebec to the English privateers in July 1629, two months after the Peace of Susa was signed.

1632: Quebec is given back to France.

1634: Appointed the representative of Cardinal Richelieu and became a shareholder in the Company of One Hundred Associates.

1635:Died at Quebec on December 25, 1635.

In short, over a period of 32 years, Champlain crossed the Atlantic 22 times and travelled 35,000 kilometres. He lived on the banks of the St. Lawrence River throughout the year.


    Last Updated: September 1, 2009