French India
Overview
 
French India is a general name for the former French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 possessions in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 (French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

: établissements français de l'Inde.) These included Pondichéry  (now Puducherry), Karikal and Yanaon (now Yañam) on the Coromandel Coast
Coromandel Coast
The Coromandel Coast is the name given to the southeastern coast of the Indian Subcontinent between Cape Comorin and False Divi Point...

, Mahé on the Malabar Coast
Malabar Coast
The Malabar Coast is a long and narrow coastline on the south-western shore line of the mainland Indian subcontinent. Geographically, it comprises the wettest regions of southern India, as the Western Ghats intercept the moisture-laden monsoon rains, especially on their westward-facing mountain...

, and Chandannagar
Chandannagar
Chandannagar, formerly known as Chandernagore or Chandernagar , is a small city and former French colony located north of Kolkata, in West Bengal, India. It is head quarters of a subdivision in Hooghly District. It is one of the 6 municipal corporations in West Bengal. It is a part of the area...

 in Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

. In addition there were lodges (loges) located at Machilipatnam
Machilipatnam
Machilipatnam is a city and a special grade municipality in the Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh, India. It is located south east of state capital, Hyderabad.-History:...

, Kozhikode
Kozhikode
Kozhikode During Classical antiquity and the Middle Ages, Kozhikkode was dubbed the "City of Spices" for its role as the major trading point of eastern spices. Kozhikode was once the capital of an independent kingdom of the same name and later of the erstwhile Malabar District...

 and Surat
Surat
Surat , also known as Suryapur, is the commercial capital city of the Indian state of Gujarat. Surat is India's Eighth most populous city and Ninth-most populous urban agglomeration. It is also administrative capital of Surat district and one of the fastest growing cities in India. The city proper...

, but they were merely nominal remnants of French factories.

The total area amounted to 510 km² (196.9 sq mi), of which 293 km² (113.1 sq mi) belonged to the territory of Pondichéry.
Encyclopedia
French India is a general name for the former French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 possessions in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 (French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

: établissements français de l'Inde.) These included Pondichéry  (now Puducherry), Karikal and Yanaon (now Yañam) on the Coromandel Coast
Coromandel Coast
The Coromandel Coast is the name given to the southeastern coast of the Indian Subcontinent between Cape Comorin and False Divi Point...

, Mahé on the Malabar Coast
Malabar Coast
The Malabar Coast is a long and narrow coastline on the south-western shore line of the mainland Indian subcontinent. Geographically, it comprises the wettest regions of southern India, as the Western Ghats intercept the moisture-laden monsoon rains, especially on their westward-facing mountain...

, and Chandannagar
Chandannagar
Chandannagar, formerly known as Chandernagore or Chandernagar , is a small city and former French colony located north of Kolkata, in West Bengal, India. It is head quarters of a subdivision in Hooghly District. It is one of the 6 municipal corporations in West Bengal. It is a part of the area...

 in Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

. In addition there were lodges (loges) located at Machilipatnam
Machilipatnam
Machilipatnam is a city and a special grade municipality in the Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh, India. It is located south east of state capital, Hyderabad.-History:...

, Kozhikode
Kozhikode
Kozhikode During Classical antiquity and the Middle Ages, Kozhikkode was dubbed the "City of Spices" for its role as the major trading point of eastern spices. Kozhikode was once the capital of an independent kingdom of the same name and later of the erstwhile Malabar District...

 and Surat
Surat
Surat , also known as Suryapur, is the commercial capital city of the Indian state of Gujarat. Surat is India's Eighth most populous city and Ninth-most populous urban agglomeration. It is also administrative capital of Surat district and one of the fastest growing cities in India. The city proper...

, but they were merely nominal remnants of French factories.

The total area amounted to 510 km² (196.9 sq mi), of which 293 km² (113.1 sq mi) belonged to the territory of Pondichéry. In 1948 the total population amounted to 362,000.

History

The first French expedition to India is believed to have taken place in the first half of the 16th century, during the reign of François I
Francis I of France
Francis I was King of France from 1515 until his death. During his reign, huge cultural changes took place in France and he has been called France's original Renaissance monarch...

, when two ships were fitted out by some merchants of Rouen
Rouen
Rouen , in northern France on the River Seine, is the capital of the Haute-Normandie region and the historic capital city of Normandy. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe , it was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy in the Middle Ages...

 to trade in eastern seas; they sailed from Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre is a city in the Seine-Maritime department of the Haute-Normandie region in France. It is situated in north-western France, on the right bank of the mouth of the river Seine on the English Channel. Le Havre is the most populous commune in the Haute-Normandie region, although the total...

 and were never afterwards heard of. In 1604 a company was granted letters patent by Henri IV
Henry IV of France
Henry IV , Henri-Quatre, was King of France from 1589 to 1610 and King of Navarre from 1572 to 1610. He was the first monarch of the Bourbon branch of the Capetian dynasty in France....

, but the project failed. Fresh letters patent were issued in 1615, and two ships went to India, only one returning.

From 1658, François Bernier
François Bernier
François Bernier was a French physician and traveller. He was born at Joué-Etiau in Anjou. He was the personal physician of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb for around 12 years during his stay in India....

 (1625–88), a French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

 physician
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

 and traveler, became for 12 years the personal physician of the Mughal
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

 emperor Aurangzeb
Aurangzeb
Abul Muzaffar Muhy-ud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir , more commonly known as Aurangzeb or by his chosen imperial title Alamgir , was the sixth Mughal Emperor of India, whose reign lasted from 1658 until his death in 1707.Badshah Aurangzeb, having ruled most of the Indian subcontinent for nearly...

.

La Compagnie française des Indes orientales (French East India Company
French East India Company
The French East India Company was a commercial enterprise, founded in 1664 to compete with the British and Dutch East India companies in colonial India....

) was formed under the auspices of Cardinal Richelieu (1642) and reconstructed under Jean-Baptiste Colbert
Jean-Baptiste Colbert
Jean-Baptiste Colbert was a French politician who served as the Minister of Finances of France from 1665 to 1683 under the rule of King Louis XIV. His relentless hard work and thrift made him an esteemed minister. He achieved a reputation for his work of improving the state of French manufacturing...

 (1664), sending an expedition to Madagascar
Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

. In 1667 the French India Company sent out another expedition, under the command of François Caron
François Caron
François Caron was a French Huguenot refugee to the Netherlands who served the Dutch East India Company for 30 years, rising from cabin boy to Director-General at Batavia , only one grade below Governor-General...

 (who was accompanied by a Persian
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

 named Marcara), which reached Surat
Surat
Surat , also known as Suryapur, is the commercial capital city of the Indian state of Gujarat. Surat is India's Eighth most populous city and Ninth-most populous urban agglomeration. It is also administrative capital of Surat district and one of the fastest growing cities in India. The city proper...

 in 1668 and established the first French factory in India.

In 1669, Marcara succeeded in establishing another French factory at Masulipatam. In 1672, Saint Thomas was taken but the French were driven out by the Dutch
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

. Chandernagore (present-day Chandannagar) was established in 1673, with the permission of Nawab
Nawab
A Nawab or Nawaab is an honorific title given to Muslim rulers of princely states in South Asia. It is the Muslim equivalent of the term "maharaja" that was granted to Hindu rulers....

 Shaista Khan, the Mughal
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

 governor of Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

. In 1674, the French acquired Valikondapuram from the Sultan of Bijapur and thus the foundation of Pondichéry was laid. By 1720, the French lost their factories at Surat
Surat
Surat , also known as Suryapur, is the commercial capital city of the Indian state of Gujarat. Surat is India's Eighth most populous city and Ninth-most populous urban agglomeration. It is also administrative capital of Surat district and one of the fastest growing cities in India. The city proper...

, Masulipatam and Bantam
Bantam
Bantam may refer to:* Bantam , a small variety of poultry* Bantamweight, a weight class in boxing-Places:* Bantam , a city and former sultanate on Java island, in Indonesia...

 to the British.

On February 4, 1673, Bellanger, a French officer, took up residence in the Danish Lodge in Pondichéry and the French Period of Pondichéry began. In 1674 François Martin
François Martin
François Martin was the first Governor General of Pondicherry. He founded Pondicherry, the future capital of French India in 1674. He was Commissioner of French East India Company before holding this post and was preceded by François Baron and succeeded by Pierre Dulivier. There is a street named...

, the first Governor, started to build Pondichéry and transformed it from a small fishing village into a flourishing port-town. The French were in constant conflict, in India, with the Dutch and the English. In 1693 the Dutch took over and fortified Pondichéry considerably. The French regained the town in 1699 through the Treaty of Ryswick
Treaty of Ryswick
The Treaty of Ryswick or Ryswyck was signed on 20 September 1697 and named after Ryswick in the Dutch Republic. The treaty settled the Nine Years' War, which pitted France against the Grand Alliance of England, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the United Provinces.Negotiations started in May...

, signed on September 20, 1697.

Between 1720 and 1741, the objectives of the French were purely commercial. The French occupied Yanam (about 840 kilometres or 522 mi north-east of Pondichéry on Andhra Coast) in 1723, Mahe on Malabar Coast in 1725 and Karaikal
Karaikal
Karaikal is a major port city of east coast of India and a municipality in Karaikal district in the Union Territory of Pondicherry, India. Several explanations are offered for the word 'Karaikal'. The imperial Gazetteer gives it the meaning 'fish pass'. According to Julien vinson the town is said...

 (about 150 kilometres or 93.2 mi south of Pondichéry) in 1739. After 1742 political motives began to overshadow the desire for commercial gain. All factories were fortified for the purpose of defense.

In the 18th century the town of Pondichéry was laid out on a grid pattern and grew considerably. Able Governors like Pierre Christophe Le Noir (1726–35) and Pierre Benoît Dumas
Pierre Benoît Dumas
Pierre Benoît Dumas was the French Governor General for Pondichéry and Réunion. Predecessor of La Bourdonnais on the Isles and Dupleix in the Indies, Dumas hailed from Southern France. There is still a street in Pondicherry named after him....

 (1735–41) expanded the Pondichéry area and made it a large and rich town. Soon after his arrival in 1741, the most famous French Governor of Pondichéry and all French India, Joseph François Dupleix
Joseph François Dupleix
Joseph-François, Marquis Dupleix was governor general of the French establishment in India, and the rival of Robert Clive.-Biography:Dupleix was born in Landrecies, France...

 began to cherish the ambition of a French Empire in India but his superiors had less interest. French ambition clashed with the British interests in India and a period of military skirmishes and political intrigues began. Under the command of the Marquis de Bussy-Castelnau
Marquis de Bussy-Castelnau
Charles Joseph Patissier, Marquis de Bussy-Castelnau was the Governor General of the French colony of Pondicherry from 1783 to 1785. He servied with distinction under Joseph François Dupleix in the East Indies, receiving the Order of Saint Louis...

, Dupleix's army successfully controlled the area between Hyderabad and Cape Comorin. But then Robert Clive arrived in India in 1744, a dare-devil British officer who dashed the hopes of Dupleix to create a French Colonial India.

After a defeat and failed peace talks, Dupleix was recalled to France in 1754.

In spite of a treaty between the British and French not to interfere in local politics, the intrigues continued. For example, in this period the French were also expanding their influence at the court of the Nawab of Bengal
Nawab of Bengal
The Nawabs of Bengal were the hereditary nazims or subadars of the subah of Bengal during the Mughal rule and the de-facto rulers of the province.-History:...

, and expanding their trade volume in Bengal. In 1756, the French encouraged the Nawab (Siraj ud-Daulah
Siraj ud-Daulah
Mîrzâ Muhammad Sirâj-ud-Daulah , more commonly known as Siraj ud-Daulah , was the last independent Nawab of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. The end of his reign marks the start of British East India Company rule over Bengal and later almost all of South Asia...

) to attack and conquer the British Fort William in Calcutta. This led to the Battle of Plassey
Battle of Plassey
The Battle of Plassey , 23 June 1757, was a decisive British East India Company victory over the Nawab of Bengal and his French allies, establishing Company rule in South Asia which expanded over much of the Indies for the next hundred years...

 in 1757 where the British decisively defeated the Nawab and his French allies, and extended British power over the entire province of Bengal.

Subsequently France sent Lally-Tollendal
Thomas Arthur, comte de Lally
Thomas Arthur, comte de Lally, baron de Tollendal was a French General of Irish Jacobite ancestry. He commanded French forces in India during the Seven Years War. After a failed attempt to capture Madras he lost the Battle of Wandiwash to British forces under Eyre Coote and then was forced to...

 to regain the French losses and chase the British out of India. Lally arrived in Pondichéry in 1758, had some initial success and razed Fort St. David in Cuddalore
Cuddalore
Cuddalore is a fast growing industrial city and headquarter of Cuddalore district in the Tamil Nadu state of southern India. Located south of Pondicherry on the coast of Bay of Bengal, Cuddalore has a large number of industries which employ a great deal of the city's population.Cuddalore is known...

 District to the ground in 1758, but strategic mistakes by Lally led to the loss of the Hyderabad region, the Battle of Wandiwash
Battle of Wandiwash
The Battle of Wandiwash was a decisive battle in India during the Seven Years' War. The Count de Lally's army, burdened by a lack of naval support and funds, attempted to regain the fort at Vandavasi near Pondicherry. He was attacked by Sir Eyre Coote's forces and decisively defeated...

, and the siege of Pondicherry
Siege of Pondicherry (1760)
The 1760–1761 Siege of Pondicherry was a conflict in the Third Carnatic War, part of the global Seven Years' War. Lasting from 4 September 1760 to 15 January 1761, British land and naval forces besieged and eventually compelled the surrender French forces defending the French colonial outpost of...

 in 1760. In 1761 Pondichéry was razed to the ground by the British in revenge and lay in ruins for four years. The French had lost their hold now in South India too.

In 1765 Pondichéry was returned to France after a peace treaty
Treaty of Paris (1763)
The Treaty of Paris, often called the Peace of Paris, or the Treaty of 1763, was signed on 10 February 1763, by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement. It ended the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War...

 with Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 in Europe. Governor Jean Law de Lauriston
Jean Law de Lauriston
Baron Jean Law de Lauriston, was born on October 5, 1719 in Paris. He was twice Governor General of Pondicherry. Not much is known about his life, but his contributions to French Colonial Empire are notable.-In 1765:...

 set to rebuild the town on the old foundations and after five months 200 European and 2000 Tamil
Tamil people
Tamil people , also called Tamils or Tamilians, are an ethnic group native to Tamil Nadu, India and the north-eastern region of Sri Lanka. Historic and post 15th century emigrant communities are also found across the world, notably Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, South Africa, Australia, Canada,...

 houses had been erected. In 1769, the French East India Company, unable to support itself financially, was abolished by the French Crown, who took responsibility for administering the French colonies in India. During the next 50 years Pondichéry changed hands between France and Britain with the regularity of their wars and peace treaties.


In 1816, after the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

, the five establishments of Pondichéry, Chandernagore, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam and the loges at Machilipattnam, Kozhikode and Surat were returned to France. Pondichéry had lost much of its former glory, and Chandernagore was eclipsed as a trading centre by the nearby British establishment of Calcutta (present-day Kolkata
Kolkata
Kolkata , formerly known as Calcutta, is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River, it was the commercial capital of East India...

). Successive governors improved infrastructure, industry, law and education over the next 138 years.

By decree of the January 25, 1871, French India was provided with an elective general council (Conseil général) and elective local councils (Conseil local). The results of this measure were not very satisfactory, and the qualifications for and the classes of the franchise were modified. The governor resided at Pondichéry, and was assisted by a council. There were two Tribunals d'instance
Tribunal d'instance
In France, the Tribunal d'instance , is a judicial inferior court of record of first instance for general civil suits and includes a criminal division, the Police Court , which hears cases of misdemeanors or summary offences...

(Tribunals of first instance) (at Pondichéry and Karikal) one Cour d'appel (Court of Appeal) (at Pondichéry) and five Justices de paix (Justice of the Peace
Justice of the Peace
A justice of the peace is a puisne judicial officer elected or appointed by means of a commission to keep the peace. Depending on the jurisdiction, they might dispense summary justice or merely deal with local administrative applications in common law jurisdictions...

). The agricultural produce consisted of rice, earth-nuts, tobacco, betel nuts and vegetables.

The independence of India in August 1947 gave impetus to the union of France's Indian possessions with former British India. The lodges in Machilipatnam
Machilipatnam
Machilipatnam is a city and a special grade municipality in the Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh, India. It is located south east of state capital, Hyderabad.-History:...

, Kozhikode
Kozhikode
Kozhikode During Classical antiquity and the Middle Ages, Kozhikkode was dubbed the "City of Spices" for its role as the major trading point of eastern spices. Kozhikode was once the capital of an independent kingdom of the same name and later of the erstwhile Malabar District...

 and Surat
Surat
Surat , also known as Suryapur, is the commercial capital city of the Indian state of Gujarat. Surat is India's Eighth most populous city and Ninth-most populous urban agglomeration. It is also administrative capital of Surat district and one of the fastest growing cities in India. The city proper...

 were ceded to India in October 1947. An agreement between France and India in 1948 agreed to an election in France's remaining Indian possessions to choose their political future. Governance of Chandernagore was ceded to India on 2 May 1950, then it was merged with West Bengal
West Bengal
West Bengal is a state in the eastern region of India and is the nation's fourth-most populous. It is also the seventh-most populous sub-national entity in the world, with over 91 million inhabitants. A major agricultural producer, West Bengal is the sixth-largest contributor to India's GDP...

 state on 2 October 1955. On November 1, 1954, the four enclaves of Pondichéry, Yanam, Mahe, and Karikal were de facto transferred to the Indian Union and became the Union Territory
Union Territory
A Union Territory is a sub-national administrative division of India, in the federal framework of governance. Unlike the states of India, which have their own elected governments, union territories are ruled directly by the federal government; the President of India appoints an Administrator or...

 of Pondichéry. The de jure union of French India with India did not take place until 1962, when the French Parliament
Parliament of France
The French Parliament is the bicameral legislature of the French Republic, consisting of the Senate and the National Assembly . Each assembly conducts legislative sessions at a separate location in Paris: the Palais du Luxembourg for the Senate, the Palais Bourbon for the National Assembly.Each...

 in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 ratified the treaty with India.

List of Governors of French Establishments in India

Commissioners

  • François Caron
    François Caron
    François Caron was a French Huguenot refugee to the Netherlands who served the Dutch East India Company for 30 years, rising from cabin boy to Director-General at Batavia , only one grade below Governor-General...

    , 1668–72
  • François Baron, 1672–81
  • François Martin
    François Martin
    François Martin was the first Governor General of Pondicherry. He founded Pondicherry, the future capital of French India in 1674. He was Commissioner of French East India Company before holding this post and was preceded by François Baron and succeeded by Pierre Dulivier. There is a street named...

    , 1681 – November 93

  • Dutch occupation, September 1693 – September 1699 — Treaty of Ryswick
    Treaty of Ryswick
    The Treaty of Ryswick or Ryswyck was signed on 20 September 1697 and named after Ryswick in the Dutch Republic. The treaty settled the Nine Years' War, which pitted France against the Grand Alliance of England, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the United Provinces.Negotiations started in May...

    (1697)

Governors General

  • François Martin
    François Martin
    François Martin was the first Governor General of Pondicherry. He founded Pondicherry, the future capital of French India in 1674. He was Commissioner of French East India Company before holding this post and was preceded by François Baron and succeeded by Pierre Dulivier. There is a street named...

    , September 1699 – December 31, 1706
  • Pierre Dulivier
    Pierre Dulivier
    Pierre Dulivier was the Governor General of Pondicherry for two times. He was preceded by François Martin and succeeded by Guillaume André d'Hébert.-Titles:...

    , January 1707 – July 1708
  • Guillaume André d'Hébert
    Guillaume André d'Hébert
    Guillaume André d'Hébert was Governor General of Pondicherry for two times. He was preceded by Pierre Dulivier and succeeded by Pierre André Prévost de La Prévostière .-Titles:...

    , 1708–12
  • Pierre Dulivier
    Pierre Dulivier
    Pierre Dulivier was the Governor General of Pondicherry for two times. He was preceded by François Martin and succeeded by Guillaume André d'Hébert.-Titles:...

    , 1712–17
  • Guillaume André d'Hébert
    Guillaume André d'Hébert
    Guillaume André d'Hébert was Governor General of Pondicherry for two times. He was preceded by Pierre Dulivier and succeeded by Pierre André Prévost de La Prévostière .-Titles:...

    , 1717–18
  • Pierre André Prévost de La Prévostière
    Pierre André Prévost de La Prévostière
    Pierre André Prévost de La Prévostière was Governor General of Pondicherry. At his time the main interests of the France was only commercial rather than political. So, no significant events occurred during his tenure. His Successor, Pierre Christoph Le Noir was a very able governor and actual...

    , August 1718 – 11 October 1721
  • Pierre Christoph Le Noir
    Pierre Christoph Le Noir
    Pierre Christoph Le Noir was Governor General of Pondicherry twice . During his rule, Yanaon was added to the French Establishments of India as a third colony in 1727. He expanded the Pondicherry area and made it a large and rich town...

     (Acting), 1721–23
  • Joseph Beauvollier de Courchant
    Joseph Beauvollier
    Joseph Beauvollier de Courchant was Governor general of Pondicherry and Réunion in French Colonial Empire.-Titles:...

    , 1723–26
  • Pierre Christoph Le Noir
    Pierre Christoph Le Noir
    Pierre Christoph Le Noir was Governor General of Pondicherry twice . During his rule, Yanaon was added to the French Establishments of India as a third colony in 1727. He expanded the Pondicherry area and made it a large and rich town...

    , 1726–34
  • Pierre Benoît Dumas
    Pierre Benoît Dumas
    Pierre Benoît Dumas was the French Governor General for Pondichéry and Réunion. Predecessor of La Bourdonnais on the Isles and Dupleix in the Indies, Dumas hailed from Southern France. There is still a street in Pondicherry named after him....

    , 1734–41
  • Joseph François Dupleix
    Joseph François Dupleix
    Joseph-François, Marquis Dupleix was governor general of the French establishment in India, and the rival of Robert Clive.-Biography:Dupleix was born in Landrecies, France...

    , January 14, 1742 – October 15, 1754
  • Charles Godeheu
    Charles Godeheu
    wankerCharles Robert Godeheu de Zaimont was Acting Governor General of Pondicherry who is the Commissioner of French army during Dupleix's reign.-Important incidents:...

    , Le commissaire (Acting), October 15, 1754–54
  • Georges Duval de Leyrit
    Georges Duval de Leyrit
    Georges Duval de Leyrit was Governor General of Pondicherry between 1754 and 1758. He was preceded by Charles Godeheu and succeeded by as Arthur, comte de Lally-Tollendal.-Titles:...

    , 1754–58
  • Thomas Arthur, comte de Lally
    Thomas Arthur, comte de Lally
    Thomas Arthur, comte de Lally, baron de Tollendal was a French General of Irish Jacobite ancestry. He commanded French forces in India during the Seven Years War. After a failed attempt to capture Madras he lost the Battle of Wandiwash to British forces under Eyre Coote and then was forced to...

    , 1758 – January 16, 1761

  • First British occupation, January 15, 1761 – June 25, 1765 — Treaty of Paris (1763)
    Treaty of Paris (1763)
    The Treaty of Paris, often called the Peace of Paris, or the Treaty of 1763, was signed on 10 February 1763, by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement. It ended the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War...

  • Jean Law de Lauriston
    Jean Law de Lauriston
    Baron Jean Law de Lauriston, was born on October 5, 1719 in Paris. He was twice Governor General of Pondicherry. Not much is known about his life, but his contributions to French Colonial Empire are notable.-In 1765:...

    , 1765–66
  • Antoine Boyellau
    Antoine Boyellau
    Antoine Boyellau was Governor General of Pondicherry under the French East India Company.-Titles Held:...

    , 1766–67
  • Jean Law de Lauriston
    Jean Law de Lauriston
    Baron Jean Law de Lauriston, was born on October 5, 1719 in Paris. He was twice Governor General of Pondicherry. Not much is known about his life, but his contributions to French Colonial Empire are notable.-In 1765:...

    , 1767 – January 1777
  • Guillaume de Bellecombe, seigneur de Teirac
    Guillaume de Bellecombe
    Guillaume Léonard de Bellecombe was Governor General of Réunion, Haiti and Pondichéry. According to most accounts he was born in 1728 in France....

    , January 1777–82
  • Charles Joseph Pâtissier, Marquis de Bussy-Castelnau
    Marquis de Bussy-Castelnau
    Charles Joseph Patissier, Marquis de Bussy-Castelnau was the Governor General of the French colony of Pondicherry from 1783 to 1785. He servied with distinction under Joseph François Dupleix in the East Indies, receiving the Order of Saint Louis...

    , 1783–85
  • François, Vicomte de Souillac
    François de Souillac
    François, Vicomte de Souillac was born on 2 July 1732 in Périgord. He was Governor General of Pondichéry, Réunion He entered the navy in 1749 and he was named governor of Bourbon on 23 December 1775. On 15 October 1776 the Governor De Souillac created by ordinance, the "Quartier du Repos de Laleu"...

    , 1785
  • David Charpentier de Cossigny
    David Charpentier de Cossigny
    David Charpentier de Cossigny was Governor General of Pondicherry, Réunion and Mauritius.-Birth & death:David Charpentier de Cossigny was born in Gaillac in the Tarn on 9 February 1740. He is member of a famous family of the île de France that includes scientists and soldiers. He died in...

    , October 1785–87
  • Thomas, comte de Conway
    Thomas Conway
    Thomas Conway was a French soldier from Ireland who served as a major general in the American Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He became involved with the alleged Conway Cabal. He later served with Émigré forces during the French Revolutionary War.-Early life:Conway was born...

    , October 1787–89
  • Camille Charles Leclerc, Chevalier de Fresne
    Chevalier de Fresne
    Camille Charles Leclerc, Chevalier de Fresne was Governor General of Mauritius and Pondicherry in French Colonial Empire.-Significant event in his life:...

    ,1789–92
  • Dominique Prosper de Chermont
    Dominique Prosper de Chermont
    Dominique Prosper de Chermont was Governor General of Inde française in Second French Colonial Empire.-Titles:...

    , November 1792–93
  • L. Leroux de Touffreville
    Leroux de Touffreville
    L. Leroux de Touffreville was Governor General of Inde française in the Second French Colonial Empire.-Titles:...

    , 1793

  • Second British occupation, August 23, 1793 – 18 June 1802 — Treaty of Amiens
    Treaty of Amiens
    The Treaty of Amiens temporarily ended hostilities between the French Republic and the United Kingdom during the French Revolutionary Wars. It was signed in the city of Amiens on 25 March 1802 , by Joseph Bonaparte and the Marquess Cornwallis as a "Definitive Treaty of Peace"...

    (1802)
  • Charles Matthieu Isidore
    Comte Decaen
    Charles Mathieu Isidore Decaen , born in Caen, became a French general who served during the French Revolutionary Wars, as Governor General of Pondicherry and Mauritius and as commander of the Army of Catalonia during the Napoleonic Wars.-French Revolution:Before the French Revolution Decaen served...

    , Comte Decaen, June 18, 1802 - August 1803
  • Louis François Binot
    Louis Binot
    Louis François Binot was born on 7 April 1771. On 19 August 1801.He was Governor General of Pondicherry in 1802. Binot was "Colonel / Chief of Brigade" in 121st Regiment of infantry of line which is made under the French Revolution. On 22 November 1806, he was made as "General of Brigade". He was...

    , 1803

  • Third British occupation, August 1803 – 26 September 1816 — Treaty of Paris (1814)
    Treaty of Paris (1814)
    The Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 May 1814, ended the war between France and the Sixth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars, following an armistice signed on 23 May between Charles, Count of Artois, and the allies...

  • André Julien Comte Dupuy
    Comte Dupuy
    André Julien, Comte Dupuy, was Governor General of French India between 1816 and 1825. He was born in 1753.-Life:He was Governor General of Pondicherry between September 1816 to October 1825. After Treaty of Paris , Pondicherry and its territories were returned to French by British for the third...

    , September 26, 1816 – October 1825
  • Joseph Cordier
    Joseph Cordier
    Joseph Cordier was born on 1773. He was Acting Governor General of Pondicherry twice.-Titles:...

    , Marie Emmanuel (Acting), October 1825 – June 19, 1826
  • Eugène Panon, Comte Desbassayns de Richemont
    Comte Desbassayns de Richemont
    Eugène Panon, Comte Desbassayns de Richemont was born in 29 March 1800 in Paris. His father was Philippe Panon-Desbassayns de Richemont, Comte Desbassayns de Richemont, and his mother was Jeanne-Englée Fulcrande Mourgue. He belonged to the family of Panon Desbassayns de Richemont.-Political life...

    , 1826 – August 2, 1828
  • Joseph Cordier
    Joseph Cordier
    Joseph Cordier was born on 1773. He was Acting Governor General of Pondicherry twice.-Titles:...

    , Marie Emmanuel (Acting), August 2, 1828 – April 11, 1829
  • Auguste Jacques Nicolas Peureux de Mélay
    Auguste Jacques Nicolas Peureux de Mélay
    Auguste Jacques Nicolas Peureux de Mélay was Governor General for Inde française in the Second French Colonial Empire.-Titles Held:...

    , April 11, 1829 – May 3, 1835
  • Hubert Jean Victor, Marquis de Saint-Simon
    Hubert Jean Victor, Marquis de Saint-Simon
    Hubert Jean Victor, Marquis de Saint-Simon was Governor General for Inde française in the Second French Colonial Empire during the July Monarchy.-Titles Held:...

    , May 3, 1835 – April 1840
  • Paul de Nourquer du Camper
    Paul de Nourquer du Camper
    Paul de Nourquer du Camper was Governor General for Inde française in the Second French Colonial Empire during the July Monarchy. During his period an annual statistics manual was written by Pierre Constant Sicé in th year of 1842, which describes and narrates various situations in Inde...

    , April 1840–44
  • Louis Pujol
    Louis Pujol
    Louis Pujol was Governor General for Inde française in the Second French Colonial Empire during the last years of July Monarchy and during initial period of French Second Republic.-Titles Held:...

    , 1844–49
  • Hyacinth Marie de Lalande de Calan
    Hyacinth Marie de Lalande de Calan
    Hyacinth Marie de Lalande de Calan was Governor General for Inde française in the Second French Colonial Empire under Second Republic.-Titles Held:...

    , 1849–50
  • Philippe Achille Bédier
    Philippe Achille Bédier
    Philippe Achille Bédier was Governor General for Inde française during the transition of Second Republic and Second French Colonial Empire under Second French Empire under Napoleon III.-Titles Held:...

    , 1851–52
  • Raymond de Saint-Maur
    Raymond de Saint-Maur
    Raymond de Saint-Maur was Governor General for Inde française in the Second French Colonial Empire under Second French Empire under Napoleon III.-Titles Held:...

    , August 1852 – April 1857
  • Alexandre Durand d'Ubraye
    Alexandre Durand d'Ubraye
    Alexandre Durand d'Ubraye was Governor General for Inde française in the Second French Colonial Empire under Second French Empire under Napoleon III....

    , April 1857 – January 1863
  • Napoléon Joseph Louis Bontemps
    Napoléon Joseph Louis Bontemps
    Napoléon Joseph Louis Bontemps was Governor General for Inde française in the Second French Colonial Empire during the last days of the Second Empire of France and in the initial era of the Third Republic.-Titles Held:...

    , January 1863 – June 1871
  • Antoine-Léonce Michaux
    Antoine-Léonce Michaux
    Antoine-Léonce Michaux was Governor General for French India in the Second French Colonial Empire under the French Third Republic. He was born on 6 November 1822.-Titles held:...

    , June 1871 – November 1871
  • Pierre Aristide Faron
    Pierre Aristide Faron
    Pierre Aristide Faron was Governor General for Inde française in the Second French Colonial Empire under Third Republic.-Titles Held:...

    , November 1871–75
  • Adolph Joseph Antoine Trillard
    Adolph Joseph Antoine Trillard
    Adolph Joseph Antoine Trillard was Governor General for Inde française in the Second French Colonial Empire under Third Republic.-Titles Held:...

    , 1875–1878
  • Léonce Laugier
    Léonce Laugier
    Léonce Laugier was Governor General for Inde française in the Second French Colonial Empire under Third Republic.-Titles Held:...

    , February 1879 – April 1881
  • Théodore Drouhet
    Théodore Drouhet
    Théodore Drouhet was Governor General for Inde française in the Second French Colonial Empire under Third Republic.-References:* at Senate of France...

    , 1881 – October 1884
  • Étienne Richaud
    Étienne Richaud
    Étienne Richaud was Governor General for Inde française in the Second French Colonial Empire under Third Republic.-Titles Held:...

    , October 1884–86
  • Édouard Manès
    Édouard Manès
    Édouard Manès was Governor General for Inde française in the Second French Colonial Empire under Third Republic.-Titles Held:...

    , 1886–88
  • Georges Jules Piquet
    Georges Jules Piquet
    Georges Jules Piquet was Governor General for Inde française in the Second French Colonial Empire under Third Republic.-Titles Held:...

    , 1888–89
  • Louis Hippolyte Marie Nouet
    Louis Hippolyte Marie Nouet
    Louis Hippolyte Marie Nouet was Governor General for Inde française in the Second French Colonial Empire under Third Republic.-Titles Held:...

    , 1889–91
  • Léon Émile Clément-Thomas
    Léon Émile Clément-Thomas
    Léon Émile Clément-Thomas was Governor General for various colonies in the Second French Colonial Empire under Third Republic.-Titles Held:...

    , 1891–1896
  • Louis Jean Girod
    Louis Jean Girod
    Louis Jean Girod was Governor General of Pondicherry in the Second French Colonial Empire under Third Republic.-Titles Held:...

    , 1896 – February 1898
  • François Pierre Rodier
    François Pierre Rodier
    François Pierre Rodier was born in 1854 in Vieille-Brioude of Haute Loire département, France. He was Governor General for various colonies in the Second French Colonial Empire under Third Republic.-Titles held:...

    , February 1898 – January 11, 1902
  • Pelletan
    Pelletan
    Pelletan was Governor General of Pondicherry in the Second French Colonial Empire under Third Republic.-Titles Held:...

     (Acting), January 11, 1902
  • Victor Louis Marie Lanrezac
    Victor Louis Marie Lanrezac
    Victor Louis Marie Lanrezac was Governor General of Pondicherry in Second French Colonial Empire under Third Republic.-Titles Held:...

    , 1902–04
  • Philema Lemaire
    Philema Lemaire
    Philema Lemaire was a French politician.He was Governor General of Pondicherry in Second French Colonial Empire. Philema Lemaire, a member of Arthur Blocher's congregation, was also elected deputy in the French National Assembly ....

    , August 1904 – April 1905
  • Joseph Pascal François
    Joseph Pascal François
    Joseph Pascal François was Governor General for various colonies in Second French Colonial Empire under the Third Republic.-Titles held:...

    , April 1905 – October 1906
  • Gabriel Louis Angoulvant
    Gabriel Louis Angoulvant
    Gabriel Louis Angoulvant was a Governor General in the second French colonial empire. He was elected to the French parliament, representing the French territories in India, in 1920, and he contributed to the organization of the Paris Colonial Exposition of 1931...

    , October 1906 – December 3, 1907
  • Adrien Jules Jean Bonhoure
    Adrien Jules Jean Bonhoure
    Adrien Jules Jean Bonhoure was Lieutenant Governor of Côte d'Ivoire from 1898-1899. He was also Governor of French Somaliland in the French Colonial Empire from 6 Dec 1900 - 2 Apr 1904.-Titles held:-See also:...

    , 1908–09
  • Ernest Fernand Lévecque
    Ernest Fernand Lévecque
    Ernest Fernand Lévecque was born on 2 November 1852 at Beaurieux, Aisne département, France. He was a Governor General in French Colonial Empire.-Titles Held:*Assemblée Nationale ....

    , 1909 – July 9, 1910
  • Alfred Albert Martineau
    Alfred Albert Martineau
    Alfred Albert Martineau was a notable Governor-General in the French Colonial Empire.He was born in 1857 and died in 1941.-Titles:-See also:*Colonial heads of Djibouti *List of colonial governors in 1899...

    , July 9, 1910 – July 1911
  • Pierre Louis Alfred Duprat
    Pierre Louis Alfred Duprat
    Pierre Louis Alfred Duprat was a Governor in French Colonial Empire.-Titles held:-See also:*Colonial and Departmental Heads of Guadeloupe...

    , July 1911 – November 1913
  • Alfred Albert Martineau
    Alfred Albert Martineau
    Alfred Albert Martineau was a notable Governor-General in the French Colonial Empire.He was born in 1857 and died in 1941.-Titles:-See also:*Colonial heads of Djibouti *List of colonial governors in 1899...

    , November 1913 – June 29, 1918
  • (unknown), June 29, 1918 – February 21, 1919
  • Louis Martial Innocent Gerbinis
    Louis Martial Innocent Gerbinis
    Louis Martial Innocent Gerbinis was born on 1871 at Toulon, France. He was Governor General for various colonies in French Colonial Empire.-Titles held:...

    , February 21, 1919 – February 11, 1926
  • Henri Leo Eugene Lagroua (Acting) , February 11, 1926 – August 5, 1926
  • Pierre Jean Henri Didelot
    Pierre Jean Henri Didelot
    Pierre Jean Henri Didelot was born on 12 May 1870 in Paris. He was a Governor General in the French Colonial Empire.-Titles held:...

    , 1926–28
  • Robert Paul Marie de Guise
    Robert Paul Marie de Guise
    Robert Paul Marie de Guise was Governor General for various colonies in French Colonial Empire.-Titles Held:...

    , 1928–31
  • François Adrien Juvanon
    François Adrien Juvanon
    François Adrien Juvanon was born in 13 August 1875 at La Balme , Isère département, France. He was Governor General for various colonies in French Colonial Empire.-Titles Held:...

    , 1931–34
  • Léon Solomiac
    Léon Solomiac
    Léon Solomiac was Governor General for various colonies in French Colonial Empire....

    , August 1934–36
  • Horace Valentin Crocicchia
    Horace Valentin Crocicchia
    Horace Valentin Crocicchia was Governor General for various colonies in French Colonial Empire.-Titles Held:-See also:*List of colonial governors in 1942*List of colonial governors in 1943*List of colonial governors in 1944...

    , 1936–38
  • Louis Alexis Étienne Bonvin
    Louis Alexis Étienne Bonvin
    Léon Émile Clément-Thomas was Governor General for various colonies in French Colonial Empire. During the Second World War, he was Governor General of Pondicherry.-Titles Held:-See also:*Colonial heads of Gabon...

    , September 26, 1938–45
  • Nicolas Ernest Marie Maurice Jeandin
    Nicolas Ernest Marie Maurice Jeandin
    Nicolas Ernest Marie Maurice Jeandin was Governor General of Pondicherry during the period immediately following French liberation in the Second World War.-Titles:...

    , 1945–46
  • Charles François Marie Baron
    Charles François Marie Baron
    Charles François Marie Baron was Governor General of Pondicherry after France after Libération during Fourth French Republic. During his time, Inde française became and TOM for France...

    , March 20, 1946 – August 20, 1947

Inde française became a Territoire d'outre-mer for France in 1946.

Commissioners

  • Charles François Marie Baron
    Charles François Marie Baron
    Charles François Marie Baron was Governor General of Pondicherry after France after Libération during Fourth French Republic. During his time, Inde française became and TOM for France...

    , August 20, 1947 – May 1949
  • Charles Chambon
    Charles Chambon
    Charles Chambon was high commissioner of French India. He was born in 1896 and died in 1965.He was in office for less than a year and was succeeded by André Ménard-Titles held:...

    , May 1949 – July 31, 1950
  • André Ménard
    André Ménard
    André Ménard was a Governor General in the French colonial empire in the 20th century.-Significant events:During his reign, the coup d'État de Yanaon happened on 13 June 1954. In the aftermath, he recalled the Administrator of Yanam , George Sala, to Pondicherry.-Titles:-References:* Book of the...

    , July 31, 1950 – October 1954
  • Georges Escargueil, October 1954 – November 1, 1954


de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

 transfer to Indian Union
Dominion of India
The Dominion of India, also known as the Union of India or the Indian Union , was a predecessor to modern-day India and an independent state that existed between 15 August 1947 and 26 January 1950...


High Commissioners

  • Mr.Kewal Singh November 1, 1954–57
  • M.K. Kripalani 1957–58
  • L.R.S. Singh 1958–58
  • AS Bam 1960
  • Sarat Kumar Dutta 1961–61

See also

  • Causes for Liberation of French colonies in India
    Causes for Liberation of French colonies in India
    Many interrelated political, cultural, socio-economic and geographical factors contributed to the liberation of French Establishments in India.-Geographical and cultural divergence:...

  • Municipal Administration in French India
    Municipal Administration in French India
    Though the French established colonies in India in the 17th century itself, it was not until the end of the 19th century they started civil administration in French India.-French Metropolitan Decree:...

  • European colonies in India
  • Coup d'État de Yanaon
    Coup d'état de Yanaon
    The Coup d'état of Yanaon was an incident which brought interest for both India and France when both governments were in an ongoing negotiations in Delhi and Paris regarding the future of French settlements in India in 1954.Yanam was a predominantly pro-French colony, with staunch pro-French...

  • French colonial empire
    French colonial empire
    The French colonial empire was the set of territories outside Europe that were under French rule primarily from the 17th century to the late 1960s. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the colonial empire of France was the second-largest in the world behind the British Empire. The French colonial empire...

  • Chanda Sahib
    Chanda Sahib
    Chanda Sahib was the Nawab of the Carnatic between 1749 and 1752. His birth name is Husayn Dost Khan. He was the son-in-law of the Nawab of Carnatic Dost Ali Khan, under whom he worked as a Dewan. He belonged the Muslim Nait community which had ruled the Carnatic under the Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Khan...

  • Muzaffar Jang
  • Salabat Jang
  • Claude Martin
    Claude Martin
    Major General Claude Martin was an officer in the French, and later the British, army in India. He rose to the position of Major General in the British East India Company...

  • La Martiniere College
    La Martiniere College
    La Martiniere is a non-denominational public school in India and in France .La Martiniere Schools were founded posthumously by Major General Claude Martin in the early 19th century. Martin had acquired a large fortune while serving the Nawab of Awadh Asaf-ud-Daula and bequeathed a major part of...

  • List of French possessions and colonies
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