Picture of Francis L'ollonais

Francis L'Ollonais (17th century)

François NAU nicknamed l'Olonnais. “Nau” is his family name, and “Francis” is the English form of the French first name “François”. L'Ollonais lived in the seventeenth century and was (probably) born in France. He was first employed as a regular mariner, but after some time he began attacking Spanish vessels in the Caribbean. His base of operations was the Isle of Tortuga (Isle to the North of Hispaniola).
L'Ollonais captured several Spanish vessels. With a fleet fitted out and manned at Tortuga he was also able to capture and plunder the cities of Maracaibo and Gibraltar in 1666. In May 1667 he left the Isle of Tortuga on board his vessel Saint-Jean, a ship that he ahd taken at Maracaibo. He plundered the harbour city Puerto de Cavallo and the town of San Pedro.

After having captured a Spanish ship in the neighbourhood of the coast of Yucatan his fleet split up. L'Ollonais left with his ship, but at the Isles De las Pertas his ship ran aground. After several futile attempts to get it afloat again they made a long-boat and part of the crew left with L'Ollonais. He reached the river of Nicaragua where he and some of his crew were captured by Indians and killed. John Esquemeling describes these "adventures" of L'Ollonais in much greater detail in chapters 1, 2 and 3 of part II of his book The Buccaneers of America

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Part of the information as well as the sources were provided by Raynald Laprise.

Camus, Michel-Christian
L'île de la Tortue au coeur de la Flibuste caraïbe / Michel-Christian Camus. - Éditions L'Harmattan, 1997
Du Tertre, Jean-Baptiste
Histoire générale des Antilles habitées par les Français / Jean-Baptiste Du Tertre. - Fort-de-France, 1973. - Originally written in 1671
Exmelin (sic), A.O.
Histoire des Frères de la Côte / A.O. Exmelin. - Paris : Éditions J’ai Lu, 1984. - Reprint of the French ed. of 1699

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