Étienne Brûlé

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Étienne Brûlé

Birthplace: Champigny, Île-de-France, France
Death: Died in Toanché, Huronie, Canada
Cause of death: assassiné; executed
Immediate Family:

Son of Spire Brûlé and Marguerite Guérin
Husband of Alexon Coiffier
Brother of Loïs Brûlé; Antoinette Brûlé and Roch Brûlé

Occupation: explorateur, coureur des bois, interprète
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Étienne Brûlé


  • Location info: Île-de-France, France (birth,marriage), Huronie (death)
  • Pionnier de la Nouvelle-France. Arrive au Québec en 1608. Explorateur de la Huronie (aujourd'hui Ontario, Simco County).
  • Explorateur, coureur des bois, interprète en langue huronne.
  • Étienne Brûlé est à Paris de l'automne 1626 au printemps 1628.
    • Le 26 jan 1627, il est parrain de Marguerite Bruneau à Champigny-sur-Marne.
    • Le 08 août 1628, dans un acte passé chez le notaire Guy Remond de Paris, il est fait mention d'un gage fait par André Ferru, marchand pelletier à Paris, à Étienne Brûlé, truchement pour le roi en Nouvelle-France, à la suite de livraison de pelleteries d'une valeur de 1600 livres. L'acte fait aussi référence à une procuration du 09 avril 1628 passée chez le notaire Jean Chapelain de Paris par Étienne Brûlé à François Macqueron, secrétaire de la chambre du roi, pour représenter les intérêts d'Étienne Brûlé en 1635 lors d'un accord entre Alexon Coiffier, veuve d'Étienne Brûlé, et Roch Brûlé frère d'Étienne.
      • [Curator Note: this paragraph, taken from Fichier Origine, contains inconsistencies. We need to find the original documents to sort this out.]
    • Lors de son séjour à Paris, pendant l'hiver 1627-1628, Étienne Brûlé avait prêté de l'argent à plusieurs personnes de Champigny-sur-Marne.
  • Postes Canada a émis un timbre en l'honneur de Brûlé en 1987.


Étienne Brûlé (c. 1592 – c. June 1633) was a French explorer and coureur des bois in Canada in the 17th century. A rugged outdoorsman, he took to the lifestyle of the First Nations and had a unique contribution to the geographical knowledge of New France. He departed from his home in Champigny-sur-Marne, southeast of Paris, France, at the young age of 16 and set sail for Québec, what was part of New France. Brûlé took opportunities not only to explore the many dangerous areas of the unknown wilderness, but as well as to learn the habits and customs of the indigenous peoples; the Hurons in particular. He was sent on many portages by Samuel de Champlain as well as sent to live among the Huron people. He scouted the rivers and forests and was a guide and interpreter for Champlain; but in 1629, he betrayed his friend and patron. Not long after his disloyalty to Samuel de Champlain, Brûlé was killed by the Bear tribe of Huron Indians.

From Encyclopaedia Brittanica:


Étienne Brulé was the first European to visit the area, in 1622. He was the forerunner of numerous missionaries, fur traders, and explorers (many seeking a water route to the Pacific Ocean) who helped pave the way for French control of Michigan. Although some of the region’s indigenous peoples and the newcomers initially engaged in skirmishes, these soon gave way to more amiable relationships. Many native individuals became fur trappers, trade middlemen, or guides, while others, particularly women, focused on providing food to the French settlements. In turn, the French provided knives, axes, guns, metal utensils and jewelry, glass beads, cloth, and alcohol. A number of formal alliances were made between tribal and French communities, as were many personal alliances. The latter were often cemented by marriage—the Algonquians, Huron, and French were all accustomed to using the institution as a means of joining extended families.

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Étienne Brûlé's Timeline

Champigny, Île-de-France, France
Champigny-sur-Marne, Île-de-France, France
Age 35
Champigny-sur-Marne, Île-de-France, France
June 1633
Age 41
Toanché, Huronie, Canada