Wikipedia:Today's featured article/November 30, 2019

Plaque honouring Surville's anchoring at Doubtless Bay
Plaque honouring Surville's
anchoring at Doubtless Bay

Jean-François-Marie de Surville (1717–1770) was a merchant captain with the French East India Company who commanded a voyage of exploration to the Pacific in 1769 and 1770. Born in Brittany, France, Surville joined the company when he was 10 years old. For the next several years, he sailed on voyages in Indian and Chinese waters. In 1740, he joined the French Navy. He fought in the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years' War, twice becoming a prisoner of war. In 1769, in command of Saint Jean-Baptiste, he sailed from India on an expedition to the Pacific looking for trading opportunities. He explored the seas around the Solomon Islands and anchored in December at Doubtless Bay, New Zealand (commemorative plaque pictured). Part of his route around New Zealand overlapped that of James Cook in Endeavour, who had preceded him by only a few days. Three months later, Surville drowned off the coast of Peru while seeking help for his scurvy-afflicted crew. (Full article...)