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Guillaume Léonard de Bellecombe (20 February 1728  – 28 February 1792) was Governor General of Réunion, Haiti and Pondichéry. According to most accounts he was born in 1728 in France.

Bellecombe engaged to Royal Roussillon and took part in French military expeditions overseas of the 2nd part of the 18th century. He had his last battles in New France (1755–1760) and a surprise expedition at St Jean, Newfoundland in 1762. He opposed the English everywhere, whether on the seas, or in the American continent, or in the Indies. He was Governor of St Domingue at the end of his career (1781–1785), where he saw the slave traders unloading their "goods". He helped start the revolution of the slaves which broke out soon in 1791. This event led to the creation of the Republic of Haiti in 1804.

Bellecombe retired to France in 1792 and died in the same year.

Stages of lifeEdit

Bellecomb was born February 20, 1728, in the hamlet of “Bellecombe”, in the commune of Perville.

He spent his youth in France. He entered the regiment of infantry of the Royal Roussillon Regiment in 1747. On March 30, 1755 he reached the rank of Adjutant and on September 1, 1755 attained the rank of Captain.

He served as adjutant during the French and Indian War in Canada from 1756 to 1760. He became a Lieutenant-Colonel in 1761, and in 1762 he was second in command during the Newfoundland expedition and was wounded during the Battle of Signal Hill.

He was promoted to Colonel on December 1, 1762. In 1763 he was adjutant in Martinique.

For 1767 to 1774, Ordering in Isle Bourbon (La Réunion), Sergeant in 1770

He married Angelique de Galaup de Marès.

In 1776 he was Commander Général in India, and Governor of Pondichéry. In 1778, when the American War of Independence reached India, Bellecombe was compelled to surrender Pondichéry to British forces after ten weeks of siege.

He received the rank of Brigadier and the decoration of Commander of Saint-Louis.

On July 13, 1781 he became Governor of Saint Domingue (Haiti). On August 25, 1783 he received the Grand Cross of Saint-Louis.

He spent 1785 to 1792 in retirement in France.


Further readingEdit

  • H. de BELLECOMBE, Essai Biographique sur Guillaume Léonard de Bellecombe, Agen, 1895.
  • Myriam-Idelette GARNIER, Histoire d’une famille protestante et de ses alliances en Périgord – Quercy – Dordogne, Poitiers, 1990.
  • André de VISME, Terre-Neuve 1762 : Dernier combat aux portes de la Nouvelle-France, Montréal, 2005. ISBN 2-9808847-0-7
  • André de VISME, Québec 1759 : Bellecombe, officier blessé, prisonnier des Anglais, Montréal, 2009. ISBN 2-9808847-1-5

External linksEdit


Government offices
Preceded by
Martin Adrien Bellier
Governor General of Réunion
4 November 1767–4 October 1773
Succeeded by
Jean-Guillaume Steinauer
Preceded by
Jean Law de Lauriston
Gouverneur Général de l'Inde française
January 1777–1782
Succeeded by
Charles Joseph Pâtissier, Marquis de Bussy-Castelnau
Preceded by
Jean-Baptiste de Taste de Lilancour
Governor General of Haiti
14 February 1782–3 July 1785
Succeeded by
Gui Pierre de Coustard

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