CHEVALIER, Jean-Baptiste. Blois 23.4.1729 — Blois 30.4.1789. French Traveller in India and Tibet. Son of Jean-Bapt. Ch., a lawyer and royal adviser. In French colonial service left for Bengal in 1752, in 1755-57 explored still independent Assam, trying without success to get an agreement with the Raja. In 1760-61 visited Bhutan, then 1761-62 Tibet, 1763-65 in Tenasserim. From 1767 Governor of Chandernagore trying to get on with the British until the new Franco-British war broke out and he was arrested in 1778. He succeeded to escape and reached Katak, where he was again imprisoned, but soon allowed to return to Europe. Travelling via Red Sea and Egypt he arrived at Paris in 1780. He had laboured to develop the French colonial power in India with great industry, but little succes, and now planned to lead a new expedition to India, but died. He published nothing, the book is collected from his notes and letters. Married with Marie-Anne Robin, marquise d’Aligny.
Publications: Les aventures de Jean-Baptiste Chevalier dans l’Inde orientale, 1752–1765. Mémoire historique et journal de voyage à Assem. Textes établis et annotés par J. Deloche. 205 p. P.E.F.E.O. 140. P. 1984, English transl. N.D. 2008.
Sources: J. Deloche, D.O.L.F. 212f. and *J.-B.Ch., le dernier champion de la cause française en Inde (1729–1789). P. 2003; www.chateauversailles-recherche-ressources.fr/jlbweb/jlbWeb?html=notdictionnaire&ref=194.
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