Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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ESPIVENT, Louis Charles, French corsair, born in Nantes, France, in 1641 ; died in Tobago, West Indies, in December 1677. He was of noble family, and, when very young, entered the royal navy, which he soon abandoned for the more hazardous life of privateering. In 1659 he went to Saint Christopher, where his relative De Poincy was commanding at that time. Soon afterward he fitted out a small fleet, with which he went on a cruise, and his captures and adventures soon became famous. In 1663 he entered the port of Carthagena by night, and under the guns of the forts captured a galleon that, was about to sail. In 1664 Espivent kidnapped the Spanish governor of Santo Domingo, and obliged him to pay a ransom of 25,000 francs. Soon afterward the buccaneers of Santo Domingo chose Espivent as their chief, but the jealousy of Ducasse obliged him to quit the island. In 1667 he went to Guadeloupe, where Governor Houel appointed him his lieutenant. In that same year he kidnapped M. de Thoisy Patrocle, an envoy of Louis XIV., and exacted a ransom from him. In 1676 he was appointed by Admiral d'Estrees 1st lieutenant on Guard the frigate " La Gloire." He took part in the recapture of Cayenne, and distinguished himself at the combat of Petit Goave against the Dutch fleet under Binkers. He was killed in the attack on Tobago.
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