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Jean Vrolicq (also called Jacques, Johannes, Joanis, or Joan Vrolicq/Vrolyck) was a mariner from St-Jean-de-Luz in the first half of the 17th century. He served in the Danish, Dutch, and French whaling industries from 1618 to 1636, and later became a privateer.[1] In 1619 he was among Basque whalemen recruited for a Danish whaling expedition to Spitsbergen. In the following years he continued to participate in the Danish whaling industry in one form or another. In 1624 Vrolicq served as a harpooner for the Dutch Noordsche Compagnie, and the following year he represented two Basque whaling merchants who sent ships to Spitsbergen for a Copenhagen company. In July 1629 Cardinal Richelieu gave Vrolicq a charter for whaling north of 60°. In 1631 Vrolicq sent a ship to Spitsbergen in partnership with the Hamburg merchant Johan Braem. Vrolicq separated from Braem in 1632 and sailed under the patronage of Cardinal Richelieu and the King of France. He attempted to catch whales in Copenhagen Bay, as he had done the year before with Braem, but was driven away by the Dutch. He went to Iceland instead. In 1633 he again tried to hunt in Copenhagen Bay, but was forced to catch whales further to the south out of a tiny bay he christened Refuge Français or Port Louis (modern Hamburgbukta), just south of Magdalenefjorden. The following year the English tried to drive him out of Hamburgbukta, but failed. Following a Spanish raid which resulted in the sacking of St-Jean-de-Luz, Ciboure, and Socoa and the capture of fourteen French Basque whaleships in 1636, Vrolicq devoted himself to privateering. A map (c. 1634) of Spitsbergen entitled La France Artique has been attributed to Vrolicq. Among the features labelled are Baie des Holandois (Smeerenburgfjorden), Port St. Pierre (Kobbefjorden), Port-Louis or Refuge Français (Hamburgbukta, mentioned above), and Baie aux Anglois (Kongsfjorden). To the southwest of Spitsbergen lies Jan Mayen, which is labelled as Ysle de Richelieu.[2] Vrolicq makes the obviously spurious claim of having discovered the island in 1612. Footnotes ^ Henrat (1984), p. 545. ^ Henrat (1984), p. 544; Conway (1906), p. 79; among others. Dalgård (1962), p. 160, says he called it Pico. References Conway, William Martin (1906). No Man's Land: A History of Spitsbergen from Its Discovery in 1596 to the Beginning of the Scientific Exploration of the Country. Cambridge, At the University Press.  Dalgård, Sune (1962). Dansk-Norsk Hvalfangst 1615-1660: En Studie over Danmark-Norges Stilling i Europæisk Merkantil Expansion. G.E.C Gads Forlag.  Henrat, P. 1984. French Naval Operations in Spitsbergen During Louis XIV’s Reign. Arctic 37: 544-551. Persondata Name Alternative names Short description Date of birth Place of birth Date of death Place of death