For the Italian nobility see the eight magnificent folio volumes of Count Pompeo Litta, Celebri famiglie italiane, continued by various editors (Milan, 1819-1907); for Spanish, Fernandez de Bethencourt, Hist.
The French claim that between 1364 and 1410 the people of Dieppe sent out several expeditions to Guinea; and Jean de Bethencourt, who settled in the Canaries about 1402, made explorations towards the south.
In 1402, however, Gadifer de la Salle and Jean de Bethencourt sailed with two vessels from Rochelle, and landed early in July on Lanzarote.
Between 1402 and 1404 La Salle conquered Lanzarote and part of Fuerteventura, besides exploring other islands; Bethencourt meanwhile sailed to Cadiz for reinforcements.
In 1 4 05 Bethencourt visited Normandy, and returned with fresh colonists who conquered Hierro.
In December 1406 he left the Canaries, entrusting their government to his nephew Maciot de Bethencourt, and reserving for himself a share in any profits obtained, and the royal title.
Jean de Bethencourt, who died in 1422, bequeathed the islands to his brother Reynaud; Guzman sold them to another Spaniard named Paraza, who was forced to re-sell to Ferdinand and Isabella of Castile in 1476; and Prince Henry twice endeavoured to enforce his own claims. Meanwhile the Guanches remained unconquered throughout the greater part of the archipelago.
JEAN DE BETHENCOURT (c. 1360-1422), French explorer, belonged to a noble family of Normandy, and held important offices at the court of Charles VI., king of France.
Bethencourt was unable to complete his work of conquest and exploration.
In December 1406 he left the islands to the government of his nephew, Maciot de Bethencourt, reserving for himself the royal title and a share in any profits obtained.
Bethencourt wrote a very untrustworthy account of his "conquest of the Canary Islands," Le Canarien, livre de la conquete et conversion ses Canaries.
See also Canary Islands, for the controversy as to the relations between Bethencourt and La Salle.