France Antarctique-icon.png France Antarctiqueball was a historical Colony-icon.png colonyball of Kingdom of France-icon.png French Empireball. He was not located in Antarcticaball, but was instead located south of the Equator, in Rio de Janeiro-icon.png Rio de Janeiroball, Brazil-icon.png Brazilball, which existed between 1555 and 1570 (when the last remains of the Franco-Tamoia alliance were defeated in the Battle of Cabo Frio), and had control over the coast from Rio de Janeiro-icon.png Rio de Janeiroball to Cabo Frioball. The colony quickly became a haven for the Huguenots, and was destroyed by the Portuguese Empire-icon.png Portuguese Empireball in 1567 but didn’t fully die until 1570.


Europeans first arrived in Brazil-icon.png Brazilball in April 1500, when a fleet commanded by Pedro Álvares Cabral on behalf of the Portuguese Empire-icon.png Portuguese crown arrived in present-day Porto Seguro, Bahia. Except for Salvadorball (the first Brazilian capital city) and São Vicenteball (the first Portuguese Empire-icon.png Portuguese settlement), however, the territory still remained largely unexplored half a century later.

Early French involvement with Brazil

Jean Cousin has been said to have discovered the 3-icon.png New World in 1488, four years before Christopher Columbus, when he landed in Brazil-icon.png Brazilball around the mouth of the Amazon, but this remains unproven. His travels were succeeded by that of Binot Paulmier de Gonneville in 1504 onboard L'Espoir, which was properly recorded and brought back a 3-icon.png Native American person named Essomericq. Gonneville affirmed that when he visited Brazil-icon.png Brazilball, Kingdom of France-icon.png French traders from Saint-Malo and Dieppe had already been trading there for several years.

Kingdom of France-icon.png Kingdom of Franceball continued to trade with Portuguese Empire-icon.png Portuguese Empireball, especially loading Brazilwood (Pau-Brasil), for its use as a red dye for textiles. In 1550, in the royal entry for Henry II of France, at Rouen, about fifty men depicted naked 3-icon.png Indians and a battle between the Tupinamba allies of the Kingdom of France-icon.png French, and the 3-icon.png Tabajaras Indians.


On November 1, 1555, Kingdom of France-icon.png French vice-admiral Nicolas Durand de Villegaignon (1510–1575), a Catholic-icon.png Catholic knight of the Hospitaller-icon.png Order of Maltaball, who later would help the Huguenots to find a refuge against persecution, led a small fleet of two ships and 600 soldiers and colonists, and took possession of the small island of Serigipe in the Guanabara Bay, in front of present-day Rio de Janeiro-icon.png Rio de Janeiroball, where they built a fort named Fort Coligny. The fort was named in honor of Gaspard de Coligny (then a Catholic statesman, that about a year later would become a Huguenot), an admiral who supported the expedition and would later use the colony in order to protect his Reformed co-religionists.

To the still largely undeveloped mainland village, Villegaignon gave the name of Henriville, in honour of Henry II, the King of Kingdom of France-icon.png Franceball, who also knew of and approved the expedition, and had provided the fleet for the trip. Villegaignon secured his position by making an alliance with the 3-icon.png Tamoio and Tupinambá Indians of the region, who were fighting the Portuguese Empire-icon.png Portuguese.

1557 Calvinist arrival

Unchallenged by the Portuguese Empire-icon.png Portuguese Empireball, who initially took little notice of his landing, Villegaignon endeavoured to expand the colony by calling for more colonists in 1556. He sent one of his ships, the Grande Roberge, to Honfleur, entrusted with letters to King-icon.png King Henry II, Gaspard de Coligny and according to some accounts, the Protestant leader John Calvin.

After one ship was sent to France to ask for additional support, three ships were financed and prepared by the king of Kingdom of France-icon.png Franceball and put under the command of Sieur De Bois le Comte, a nephew of Villegaignon. They were joined by 14 Calvinists from Geneva, led by Philippe de Corguilleray, including theologians Pierre Richier and Guillaume Chartrier. The new colonists, numbering around 300, included 5 young women to be wed, 10 boys to be trained as translators, as well as 14 Calvinists sent by Calvin, and also Jean de Léry, who would later write an account of the colony. They arrived in March 1557. The relief fleet was composed of:

The Petite Roberge, with 80 soldiers and sailors was led by Vice Admiral Sieur De Bois le Comte. The Grande Roberge, with about 120 on board, captained by Sieur de Sainte-Marie dit l'Espine. The Rosée, with about 90 people, led by Captain Rosée.

Doctrinal disputes arose between Villegaignon and the Calvinists, especially in relation to the Eucharist, and in October 1557 the Calvinists were banished from Coligny island as a result. They settled among the Tupinamba until January 1558, when some of them managed to return to Kingdom of France-icon.png Franceball by ship together with Jean de Léry, and five others chose to return to Coligny island where three of them were drowned by Villegaignon for refusing to recant.

Portuguese intervention

In 1560 Mem de Sá, the new Governor-General of Portuguese Brazil-icon.png Brazilball, received from the Portuguese Empire-icon.png Portuguese government the command to expel the Kingdom of France-icon.png French Empireball. With a fleet of 26 warships and 2,000 soldiers, on 15 March 1560, he attacked and destroyed Fort Coligny within three days, but was unable to drive off their inhabitants and defenders, because they escaped to the mainland with the help of the 3-icon.png Native Brazilians, where they continued to live and to work. Admiral Villegaignon had returned to Kingdom of France-icon.png Franceball in 1558, disgusted with the religious tension that existed between Protestant-icon.png French Protestants and Catholic-icon.png French Catholics, who had come also with the second group.

Urged by two influential Jesuit priests who had come to Portuguese Brazil-icon.png Brazilball with Mem de Sá, named José de Anchieta and Manuel da Nóbrega, and who had played a big role in pacifying the Tamoios, Mem de Sá ordered his nephew, Estácio de Sá to assemble a new attack force. Estácio de Sá founded the city of Rio de Janeiro-icon.png Rio de Janeiroball on March 1, 1565, and fought the Kingdom of France-icon.png Frenchmen for two more years. Helped by a military reinforcement sent by his uncle, on January 20, 1567, he imposed final defeat on the Kingdom of France-icon.png French forces and decisively expelled them from Brazil-icon.png Brazilball, but died a month later from wounds inflicted in the battle. Coligny's and Villegaignon's dream had lasted a mere 12 years.

Largely in response to the two attempts of the Kingdom of France-icon.png Kingdom of Franceball to conquer territory in Brazil-icon.png Brazilball (the other one was named France Équinoxiale and occupied present-day São Luís, state of Maranhão), between 1612 and 1615, the Portuguese Empire-icon.png Portuguese crown decided to expand its colonization efforts in Brazil-icon.png Brazilball.

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