Jean IV de Bethencourt, "Rey de las Canarias"

Is your surname de Bethencourt?

Research the de Bethencourt family

Jean IV de Bethencourt, "Rey de las Canarias"'s Geni Profile

Records for Jean de Bethencourt

6,383 Records

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Jean de Bethencourt, IV

Birthplace: Grainville-la-Teinturière, Haute-Normandie, Duché de Normandie, France
Death: Died in Grainville-la-Teinturière, Haute-Normandie, Duché de Normandie, France
Immediate Family:

Son of Jean III de Bettencourt and Marie de Bracquemont
Husband of Françoise de Calletot; Jeanne du Fayel and María de Ayala y Vargas
Father of Jacques de Bethencourt and Floridas Bethencourt
Brother of Gallien de Bethencourt; Regnault de Bettencourt and NN de Bethencourt

Occupation: a squire of Philip, Duke of Burgundy, obernador de las Islas Canarias (1403)
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Jean IV de Bethencourt, "Rey de las Canarias"

Jean de Bethencourt (IV). Vivió su infancia en el castillo de Grainville-la-Teinturière. Fue educado por su tío Renaud de Bracquemont. En 1373 se encargó de los dominios del Duque de Anjou, como responsable de la distribución del pan (pannetier). Entre 1387 y 1391 fue chambelán de Luis de Valois, Duque de Touraine y luego Duque de Orleans. Famoso conquistador de Canarias y titulado primer rey de las islas, título muy irregular, ya que saqueó Avignon con sus compañeros normandos cuando fue a recibir su real investidura del Papa Benedicto XIII. Vendió su casa de Paris para financiar su expedixión. Señor feudatario de Enrique III de Castilla; cuando arribó en 1402 a Lanzarote, los de su apellido eran conocidos en el Reino de Francia hacía ya ocho siglos. Partió de La Rochelle el 01-05-1402, haciendo escala en La Coruña y Cádiz, llegando a la Isla de Graciosa y luego a Lanzarote, donde arribó el 30-06-1402. Obtuvo permiso para construir el fuerte de Rubicon. El 10 de enero de 1403 fue investido por Enrique III con el título de Gobernador de las Islas Canarias. Entre 1404 y 1406 fue Rey de las Islas Canarias. Dejó su endeble corona a su sobrino Maciot de Béthencourt. Pudo dominar las islas de Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, El Hierro y La Gomera. Fundó Santa María de Betancuria y regresó a Francia. Además del Señorío de su apellido en Sigy, ostentó los de Grainville la Tenturière, de Saint Sère, de Lincourt, de Riville, del Grand Quesnay y de Hugueleu, así como la Baronía de Saint Martin le Gaullard. A su muerte sin hijos legítimos, la rama normanda de su linaje, fue continuada por su hermano Renaud.


Jean de Bethencourt (IV) (Jean, Jean, Jean, Regnault, Philippe, Jean) (suffix added for clarification)17,35,84,85,37,38,85,39,43,41,40,32,35,86,55,23,9,56,37,32,35,86,55,23,9,56 was also known as Jean de Béthencourt.37,87 He was also known as João de Bethancourt.88,40 He was also known as Jehan de Bethancourt.46 He was also known as Josef de Bethancourt.38 He was also known as Monsiur [sic] João Betancur.43 He was also known as Jean de Bettencourt.44,3 He was also known as João de Bettencourt.41,89,9 He was also known as Mossem João de Betancor.90 He was also known as Jehan de Béthencourt (IV).11 He was also known as Monsiur João de Betancurt.90 He was also known as Mossior João Betencurt.91 He was also known as Monsiur João de Betancor.90 He was also known as Jhean de Bethancourt (IV).56 He was also known as Mosén Jean de Béthencourt el Grande.92 He was born in 1362 in the castle of Grainville-la-Teinturière, Cany-Barville, Dieppe, Seine-Maritime, France.93,9,92 He spent his infancy in the castle of Grainville-la-Teinturière in the company of his mother and her brother, Mathieu de Braquemont (who was also his grandmother's second husband), and later in the company of his stepfather, Roger Suhart.93 He was educated by his uncle, Regnault de Braquemont.93 In 1373 he began to take care of the larder of the Duke of Anjou as the person in charge of the distribution of bread ("pannetier").94

    In 1385 Jean gave to his brother Regnault, as part of his paternal inheritance, the manor of Grand Quesnay and the lands of Huqueleu and Mauquenchy.95,57 Between 1387 and 1391 Jean de Bethencourt (IV) was chamberlain of Louis de Valois, Duke of Touraine and later Duke of Orleans.94 On 11 Apr 1387 he obtained from the King permission to rebuild and fortify the castle of Grainville-la-Teinturière previously destroyed as a consequence of civil war (confirmed 18 Jul 1388). On 9 Dec 1388, he obtained permission from Pope Clement VII to erect a chapel in the castle.96,97 In 1390 he was standard-bearer in the expedition organized by the Duke of Orleans to battle the Moorish pirates that infested the Mediterranean, an expedition that ended in a fiasco, but brought him into contact with African lands.98 According to two sources, he was never married, but these appear to be incorrect.40,46 He married Jeanne de Fayel, daughter of Guillaume de Fayel and Marguerite de Chatillon, on 30 Jan 1392 at Paris, France.99,9,23
    The marriage of Jean and Jeanne was not a happy one, and in 1405, Jeanne complained to the parlement that her husband had ordered her to be confined, not permitting her to leave the house or to speak with her father and friends.100,101 He and Jeanne de Fayel had no children leaving the suggestion that his children were illegitimate.102,57,9,23 He had children; among his descendents was the venerable Pedro de Bettencourt, great apostle of America in the seventeenth century.41 After 1402 Jean de Bethencourt (IV) and Dona Maria de Ayala e Vargas had a relationship which produced a son.103 He was Lord chamberlain of the royal household for Charles VI, King of France.3
    Jean de Bethencourt (IV) was a squire of Charles VI of France.88,41,104,56 He was Lord of Grainville-la-Teinturière.105,57,106,56 He was chamberlain of Charles VI of France at the Palace of Saint Paul, Paris, France.2,44,88,41,94,35 He was a squire of Philip , Duke of Burgundy circa 1400.104 Jean de Bethencourt (IV) was Lord of Béthencourt, Saint Saire, Lincourt, Riville, Grand Quesnoy, Huqueleu, and Baron of Saint-Martin-le-Gaillard, etc.107,57,23,56,92
    He developed the desire to explore the Canary Islands.2,88,87 In Dec 1401 he sold his house in Paris, valued at 200 gold francs, and some other small pieces of property to obtain the necessary financing for his expedition to the Canary Islands. Since the amount realized was insufficient, his uncle, Robert de Braquemont, loaned him 5,000 pounds (to which he later added another 2,000), Jean to all intents mortgaging to him the fiefs of Béthencourt and Grainville.108 Having conceived the project of conquering the Canaries, which were then only frequented by merchants or Spanish pirates, he assembled a body of adventurers, among whom was a knight named Gadifer de La Salle, who joined him at La Rochelle, France. Bethencourt took with him his two chaplains, Brother Pierre Bontier, a Franciscan monk of St. Jouin de Marnes who later officiated at Lanzarote in the church of St. Martial de Rubicon which Bethencourt built in the castle of that name, and Jean le Verrier, a priest who was later installed at Fuerteventura as vicar in the chapel of Our Lady of Bethencourt; they were the historians of the expedition; Our Lady of Bettencourt.109
    Two early manuscripts exist detailing the story of Le Canarien. One is ms. Egerton 2709 in the British Library in London which gives preference to Gadifer de La Salle. The other, ms. mm 129 of the Bibliothèque municipale in Rouen, France, gives preference to Jean de Bethencourt. It was this latter copy which was formerly in the possession of the Béthencourt family;
     La Salle aboard shipLa Salle aboard ship source.110 They started the expedition 1 May 1402 from La Rochelle, France, putting in at Corunna and at Cadiz, where they stayed till the month of July, the party meanwhile becoming reduced by the desertion of twenty-seven men to only fifty-three in number. Eight days from Cadiz brought them to the island of Graciosa; from there they went to Lanzarote, landing on 30 Jun 1402, where they were well received and obtained permission to build a fort which they named Rubicon. Leaving Bertin de Berneval in charge, Bethencourt went with Gadifer to Fuerteventura but was obliged to return to Lanzarote on account of mutiny among his sailors and lack of provisions. While at Fuerteventura, Robin le Brument, master mariner of a ship which Gadifer affirmed to be his own, refused admission to Gadifer and his companions, but agreed, on condition of receiving hostages, to carry them over to Lanzarote; Canary IslandsGadifer refused admission.111,112,3 Although some sources indicate that Bethencourt discovered the Canary Islands, it would be more appropriate to say that he conquered and settled them as well as converting the inhabitants to Catholicism.38,44,43,40,46,32,35,3,57 The museum of the church of Santa Maria de Betancuria in Bethencuria, Fuerteventura, contains a replica of the banner carried by Bethencourt when he seized Fuerteventura.113
    It was resolved that Bethencourt should go to Spain to get together what was necessary to complete the enterprise.88,114,115 Gadifer remained as lieutenant, and while he was absent at the Isle of Lobos, Bertin excited disaffection against him, drew together a faction of his own with which he pillaged the castle of Rubicon and took a number of natives prisoner on 25 Nov 1402, including Guardarifa, the King of Lanzarote, who had already made friendly submission to Bethencourt. Two Spanish ships had arrived meanwhile, and Bertin, having gained over Ferdinand Ordoñez, captain of the Tranchemar, took his spoils and prisoners on board, abandoned his followers to perish miserably in Africa, and went himself to Spain.
    The unfortunate Gadifer was left by this treachery on the island of Lobos without the supplies he expected to follow him, until the captain of the other Spanish ship, the Morelle, sent a canoe to his rescue and he returned to Rubicon. Here he found affairs in a sad state, no provisions, no stores, and an insufficient number of men to keep the natives in check.116,117 Meanwhile, Bethencourt was obtaining from Henry III, King of Castile, the supplies he wanted, on condition of doing homage. Castilian documents of 26-28 Nov 1402 refer to the lordship of the Canary Islands and the requested aid: 20,000 maravedis (old Gothic coin formerly used in Portugal and Spain), soldiers, arms, and provisions. Having sent his wife home in the charge of Enguerrand de la Boissière, he preferred to return to Lanzarote.88,118,119 On 10 Jan 1403 Bethencourt was solemnly invested by Henry III, King of Castile, with the government of the Canary Islands.120,121,35 He was referred to as Jean de Ventancorto in documents in Spain.122 Between 1404 and 1406 Jean de Bethencourt (IV) was King and Lord of the Islas Canarias.37,44,43,46,87,35,123,3,57,9,25,56 Some documents refer to him as Governor of the Islas Canarias.88,41,35 Bethencourt had learned the state of affairs on the arrival of the ship Morelle in Spain, which preceded by a short time the Tranchemar, in which the traitor Bertin arrived with his captives, and sent help to Gadifer from the king with directions to follow up the explorations.
    Gadifer had been to Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Ferro, Gomera, and Palma (all part of the Canary Islands), and returned to Rubicon after a voyage of three months. He had sent a ship to Spain with the account of his expedition, but Bethencourt himself now arrived at Rubicon (Os Bettencourt gives the date as 19 Apr 1404 but this appears to be too late, a date earlier in Feb seeming more likely) where he was received with great demonstrations of joy. He proceeded vigorously with the conquest of the natives. Finally, the king of Lanzarote submitted and asked for baptism on 20 Feb 1404, which he received with many of his people. After this, Bethencourt and Gadifer were only withheld from further conquest by want of aid from the courts of France and Spain, though application was made especially to the former. On their return from an expedition to the coast of Africa in 1404, Gadifer showed discontent that Bethencourt had not considered his interests when he did homage to the King of Castile for the government of the islands. However, he took part in an expedition against Gran Canaria on 25 Jul 1404, but the dispute was afterwards renewed, and on 9 Oct Gadifer set out for Castile to plead his case with the King. Finally, however, Gadifer, unable to prevail against Bethencourt's greater influence at the court of Castile, gave up his own cause in despair and returned to France.124,125
    The Ascendência e Descendência do Conselheiro Nicolau Anastácio de Bettencourt gives Marguérite de Béthencourt's father as Jean IV instead of Maciot. It also states that Jean IV married a second time, in 1415, to Lerize Guardateme, Princess of the Royal House of the Canarias and Lady of the Island of Lanzarote, Marguérite's mother. In a note, however, it states that various authors give Marguérite's father as Maciot.56
    Bethencourt had several encounters with the natives, but maintained his authority successfully, and the two kings of Fuerteventura, together with their people, became Christian in Jan 1405 (Os Bettencourt gives the dates as 18 and 25 Feb 1405 for each king). On 31 Jan 1405, he went to France to obtain the materials for forming a colony, was warmly welcomed at Grainville, and obtained all he required.
    He left Honfleur on 9 May 1405 and returned to Lanzarote with his nephew, Maciot de Bethencourt, and was received with great joy by his own people, as well as by the inhabitants of Fuerteventura.126,127 On 6 Oct 1405 he set out on his expedition to Gran Canaria which was unsuccessful from various causes, but in Palma and Ferro, after some opposition, he formed colonies; Map of Gran Canaria.128,129 Returning to Lanzarote, he arranged everything for the good government of the islands which he had conquered and civilized, and leaving his nephew, Maciot de Bethancourt, as governor-general, he departed universally regretted on 15 Dec 1406.88,43,41,40,46,87,130,131,132 He went to Spain where the king received him warmly and gave him letters of recommendation to the Pope, from whom he was anxious to obtain the appointment of a bishop for the islands. At Rome, he was well received by the Pope, who granted all he required. He then returned to France by way of Florence where he was feted by the government. Then he went to Paris and so to his own house.133
    An indiscreet, though perfectly innocent, word from Madame de Bethencourt with reference to her brother-in-law, Regnault de Bethencourt, produced an estrangement between her and her husband whose jealous cruelty would seem to have brought about her early death. At a festivity in honor of her husband upon his return to France from the Canary Islands, she commented to him that she should have married his brother Regnault, while Jean should have married her sister who was much older, more of an age with Jean himself.134 A feeling of revenge led Jean to impoverish as far as possible the property to which his brother would be the successor. It is but justice to say that before his death he saw his error, and on his deathbed was anxious to declare repentance to the brother whom he had injured.135 He married Françoise de Calletot at France.136 In 1417 Regnault gave certain lands to his brother Jean (referred to in the grant as Lord of the Canaries).25
    On 13 Jun 1417 Jean de Bethencourt paid homage to King Charles VI of France for his feudal benefice of Bethencourt in Normandy.137,25 On 17 Oct 1418 Jean confirmed the powers previously granted to his nephew Maciot, permitting him to sell the Canary Islands with the exception of Fuerteventura which was to remain for his heirs.138 In 1419 Messire Jean de Bethencourt held the title of Baron in right of the Barony of Saint-Martin-le-Gaillard in the Comté d'Eu, where he had a strong castle which was taken and retaken several times in the wars with England. Monstrelet speaks of its final siege and ruin in 1419. It came by inheritance to Messire de Bethencourt from his grandmother Dame Isabeau de St. Martin.139,55,140
    On 16 May 1419 Jean de Bethencourt pledged fealty to King Henry V of England. The wars between England and France had already caused Bethencourt many problems and, after the capture of Caudebec in Normandy in September 1418, this pledge of fealty was the only way to safeguard his possessions.141 Bethencourt remained in Grainville for several years, receiving from the bishop news of the islands and the good government of his nephew.133 In the second half of 1425, as he was preparing to visit the Canary Islands again, he died, attended at his deathbed by his chaplain, Jean Le Verrier. Although the text of the manuscript of Bontier and Verrier places the death of Jean de Bethencourt in 1422, Bergeron, who was not an idle investigator, in fixing the date at 1425, says, "comme il appert par plusieurs actes" (as appears in several documents). So we may reasonably accept his decision.142,143,144,145,57,146,9,56 He was buried in 1425 in the choir of the church of Grainville-la-Teinturière.147,148,56

Jeanne de Fayel32,100,100 was also known as Jeanne du Fayel.9 She was born after 1370 at Champagne, France.32,135 Her dowry was relatively modest. It consisted of the fief and lands of Saclas in the region of Béauce, near Éstampes, and an annual rent of 200 pounds which she had inherited from her maternal grandfather, the Count of Porcin. Perhaps because of the difficulty of maintaining those estates, situated far from his home, her husband Jean sold them after three years.100 She died before 1425.149,148

There were no children of Jean de Bethencourt (IV) and Jeanne de Fayel.

Dona Maria de Ayala e Vargas150 was born circa 1370 at Seville, Spain.150

Children of Jean de Bethencourt (IV) and Dona Maria de Ayala e Vargas were:

   *     21  i.   Floridas Bethencourt150,150,150 was born illegitimate circa 1405 at Seville, Spain.150 After being acknowledged by his father, he was brought to the Canary Islands.150

Françoise de Calletot136 was born circa 1375 at France.136

Children of Jean de Bethencourt (IV) and Françoise de Calletot were:

   *     22  i.   Jacques de Bethencourt136,136,136 was born circa 1410 at France.136 He married Marie d' Estoutteville-Villebon at France.136
     Marie d' Estoutteville-Villebon136 was born circa 1410 at France.136 


Bettencourts 1200-2000 - Generation Seven. Dsip. em:


Jean de Bettencourt (Héricourt-en-Caux, Grainville-la-Teinturière, Ducado da Normandia, 1362 - † 1425), também conhecido por Jean de Béthencourt, Jean de Ventancorto ou João de Bentancour, foi um fidalgo normando e iniciador da conquista cristã das Canárias. Em conjunto com Gadifer de la Salle organizou em 1402 uma expedição destinada à conquista das ilhas e submissão das populações guanche. Tendo sucesso parcial na conquista, passou a usar o título de Rei das Canárias.


Jean de Béthencourt nasceu em 1362 no castelo de Grainville-la-Teinturière, Cany-Barville, Dieppe, Normandia, filho de Jean de III Béthencourt (1339 - ?) e de Marie de Bracquemont, (1340 -?) ambos da aristocracia normanda. O pai faleceu a 13 de Março de 1364 na batalha de Cocherel, tendo sua mãe casado em segundas núpcias com Roger Suhart. Foi irmão de Jorge de Bettencourt (1380 -?) que casou com D. Elvira Gonçalves de Ávila, Henri de Bettencourt (1400 - ?) que casou com D. Margarida de Bettencourt, e Maciot de Bettencourt (1380 -?).

Cresceu no castelo de Grainville-la-Teinturière na companhia da mãe, do padrasto e de um tio materno, Mathieu de Braquemont, que entretanto havia casado em segundas núpcias com a sua avó paterna. A educação de Jean de Bettencourt parece ter sido confiada ao tio materno Regnault de Braquemont.

Jean de Bettencourt usava o título de barão, graças à baronia de Saint-Martin-le-Gaillard, no condado d'Eu, e respectiva fortaleza, que havia herdado de sua avó Isabeau de Saint Martin. O castelo de Saint-Martin-le-Gaillard sobreviveu até 1419, ano em que foi arrasado pelos ingleses.

Em 1373, com apenas 11 anos, aparece ao serviço do Duque de Anjou, com as funções de “pannetier”, isto encarregado das vitualhas.

Prosseguindo a carreira típica da pequena aristocracia feudal, Jean de Bettencourt serviu como chanceler de Louis de Valois, Duque de Touraine (mais tarde Duque de Orleães) entre 1387 e 1391. Neste período obteve autorização real para reconstruir o castelo de Grainville-la-Teinturière, que havia sido danificado pela guerra civil, e autorização do papa de Avignon Clemente VII para nele construir uma capela. Em 1390 foi porta-estandarte da expedição do Duque de Orleães contra os piratas mouros do Mediterrâneo. Apesar da expedição ter falhado, Jean de Bettencourt conhece o norte de África, desencadeando nele um interesse por aquela região que determinará o seu futuro.

A partir de 1392, Jean de Bettencourt entrou ao serviço do rei Carlos VI de França, passando a residir em Paris. Entre esta data e 1401 parece ter mantido contactos com aventureiros que participavam nas guerras contra os mouros no sul de Espanha e no norte de África, desenvolvendo o projecto de participar em tais campanhas.

Casou em Paris, a 30 de Abril de 1392 com Jeanne de Fayel, filha de Guillaume de Fayel e Marguerite de Chatillon, casamento de que não houve filhos. O casamento parece ter sido tempestuoso, já que há registo de queixas de Jeanne sobre o mau tratamento que lhe era infligido pelo marido.

Jean de Bettencourt parece ter tido diversos filhos fora do casamento, de que procede numerosa descendência.

Em Dezembro de 1401 vendeu a sua casa em Paris, iniciando a preparação da sua viagem de conquista às Canárias, matéria que ocupará a maior parte do resto da sua vida.

Faleceu na segunda metade de 1425, quando se preparava para visitar novamente as Canárias. Foi enterrado sob o coro alto da igreja paroquial da sua terra natal de Grainville-la-Teinturière, localidade onde um pequeno museu perpetua a sua memória.


Wikipédia, a enciclopédia livre. Disp.em:

view all 17

Jean IV de Bethencourt, "Rey de las Canarias"'s Timeline

Grainville-la-Teinturière, Haute-Normandie, Duché de Normandie, France
- 1391
Age 25
January 30, 1392
Age 30
Paris, France
Age 38
- 1406
Age 42
Islas Canarias
Age 43
Sevilla, Andalucia, España
Age 48
Age 63
Grainville-la-Teinturière, Haute-Normandie, Duché de Normandie, France