Battle of Rio de Janeiro (1558)

The Battle of Rio de Janeiro was a battle in 1558 on the French town at Rio de Janeiro, called Henriville. The Portuguese, though in far smaller numbers, defeated the French and made them flee to the jungle. The French town was then burnt by Mem de Sá, the Portuguese governor.

Battle of Rio de Janeiro
Part of France Antarctique
Rio 1555 França Antártica.jpg
Map of France Antarctique in the Guanabara Bay, 1555.
Result Portuguese victory
Henriville destroyed
Flag Portugal (1521).svg Portuguese Empire  France
Tamoyo allies
Commanders and leaders
Mem de Sá Bois-le-Comte
260 men 1150 men
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown


A few years before, the French admiral and colonist Villegagnon and his friend and comrade, Admiral Coligny, managed to build a fort in the area of modern-day Rio de Janeiro which they called Fort Coligny. As the French colony grew in size and power it was named Henriville and became a serious threat to the Portuguese establishment in Brazil.