Móric Beňovský (Maurice Benyovszky)
His full name is Matúš Móric Michal František Serafín August Beňovský.
MB was born on 20thseptember 1746 in Vrbové (near Piešťany). He was a count of Slovak, Poland and Hungarian background.
His career started in Habsburg army, where he was an officer in the 7 years˘war. However, he had to escape and left his country because of his religion views and attitudes, so in 1768 joined the Polish national movement against Russian intervention. However, he was captured by the Russians and he was exiled to Kamchatka. He escaped after a short time and he returned to Europe.
In 1772 he arrived to Paris, where he met and impressed King Louis XV of France. Then he was offered to act in the name of France on Madagascar.
His First expedition to Madagascar strarted in 1774 and lasted two years. In 1776 he was crowned as a King or Emperor of Madagascar by local tribes. Then he went back to France, where he was promoted to the rank of general, and was granted the military Order of Saint Louis and a life pension by Louis XVI. In 1777 in Paris he became a close friend of Benjamin Franklin and he was also given an amnesty from Austria-Hungarian royal court, so he could came back home.
Unfortunately, he hadn˘t stay at home for a long time. In 1779 he went on his first expedition to America for a few months, and short time after he came back –in 1881 began his second expedition to America. He visited Philadelphia, New York, Washington and Saint Dominique.
In 1882 he had returned back to Europe, but after two years his third expedition to America began.
Next year he decided to ship back to Madagascar, so his second (and last) expedition there began. As soon as he arrived there, he started building the capital of his empire, the trade settlement Mauritania-named after himself(Móric=MauriceŢMauritania).
He started trading with Maryland and Baltimore and the main trade was in slaves.
The French Maritime Ministry, outraged by his cooperation with the US and by the capture of Foulpointe, sent an unexpected expedition from the Pondichéry colony to stop him. The expedition managed a surprise attack on May 23, 1786. Benovsky fought bravely, but died from a bullet wound to his chest. He was buried at the village of Mauritania.
Some interesting facts about MB:
-the first European, who had shiped in the northern Pacific
-the first man, who had travelled to 4 continents
-the first man, who had examined The Island of st.Vavrinec
-the first important researcher of Madagascar
-the first King of united Madagascar
-th first Slovak author of world˘s bestseller – Memories,which was written in French,but translated to Slovak, Polish, German, Dutch, Swedish and Hungarian in 19th century.