MARTIN, François. Paris 1634 — 31.12.1706. French Traveller in India. Illegitimate son of a wealthy spice merchant, after his death had to work as shop assistant. In 1663 joined the French E.I.C., served first in Madagascar, from 1768 in India, soon in charge of the factory in Masulipatan. In 1674 he founded Pondichéry (Puducherry), which soon became the centre of French India. In 1981-93 Commissioner of French India and, after Dutch occupation of Pondichéry, the Governor-General of French India in 1699–1706. According to Lerot still living in 1723, died before 1727, but the earlier date seems more likely. Himself published nothing. Married Marie Cupery, two daughters.

Publications: A. Martineau (ed.), Mémoires de François Martin, fondateur de Pondichéry, 1665-1696. P. 1931-34; India in the 17th century, social, economic and political. Memoirs of F. M., 1670 – 1694. Transl. by L. Varadarajan. 1-2. 1685 p. N. D. 1981-85.

Sources: P.M_y, Biogr. universelle 27, (1860), 121-124; P. Lerot, N.B.G. 34, 1861, 34f.; briefly Wikipedia.