HIRIBERRY, JOANNIS DE (less frequently spelled Hiribery, Hirriberry, with numerous other variants), “bourgeois merchant, and former magistrate of the town of St. Jean de Luz,” fisherman; fl. 1718–22.
Hiriberry was the most persistent claimant against the seizures made at Canso (Canceau) in September 1718 by Captain Thomas Smart. The apparent failure of the Massachusetts authorities to make the restitution ordered by the Lords Justices in June 1719 induced Hiriberry to appeal to London. By the end of 1720, no doubt mainly because of the support given him by Cardinal Dubois and the French council, he had obtained a letter of credit from Cragg, the British Secretary of State for the Southern Department, to the value of £200 (one-hundredth of the sum he claimed, but one-tenth of the value estimated by the British authorities). Despite the growing disinterest of his French supporters, evident by the spring of 1721, and their desertion during the following year, he continued to press his claims, and in April 1722 was offered a grant of £800. However, no record has been found to indicate whether this offer was accepted, or whether the subsequent requests he persisted in making were any more successful.
Joannis de Hiriberry was at once a victim and an abettor in the Anglo-French contest for the North American fisheries. Whether French diplomacy was inspired or embarrassed by his case might be open to question; but the Canso incident of September 1718 would probably not have reached the dimensions it attained had it not been for his pertinacity.