LANNELONGUE, JEAN-BAPTISTE (baptized Jean, but referred to as Jean-Baptiste; he signed Lannelongue or Lannelongue aîné), fishing entrepreneur, merchant, privateer; b. 1712 at Bayonne, France, apparently the eldest son of Armand Lannelongue, merchant and bourgeois, and Marie Barrière; d. 1768 at Bayonne.
The first possible mention of Jean-Baptiste Lannelongue in North America is in 1735 when a Sieur Lannelongue is recorded in Louisbourg, Île Royale (Cape Breton Island), as a supplier to the crown of various materials of small value. We do know that Jean-Baptiste was resident in Louisbourg from 1743 when he began providing miscellaneous goods to the government storehouse. Most of his transactions were for inconsequential amounts, but a Sieur Lannelongue did provide one large order of flour and peas worth 55,893 livres in 1743. Sometime after this year Lannelongue disappears from Louisbourg; he may well have returned to France either before or at the time of its occupation by the forces of William Pepperrell in 1745. After the return of the fortress to the French, he reappears; he continued to trade with the government, but the sums involved were trifling and his principal activities lay elsewhere.
By 1750, Lannelongue had formed a company with Bertrand Imbert, another Louisbourg merchant, and made some attempts to enter the fishing trade. Although we do not know the scale of their operations, we have evidence that they engaged fishermen and beachworkers in 1749 and 1750, and were still active in this trade in 1757. They bought four schooners before the Seven Years’ War, and seem to have shipped goods – probably cod – to Martinique and Bayonne in 1756.
After the outbreak of the war the two partners outfitted a series of privateering expeditions. The first was the voyage of a schooner, the Tourterelle, sent out in July 1756, commanded by Maurice Simonin. Two English ships were captured; however, total expenses of 4,870 livres, plus the crew’s share of the gross profits (1,350 livres), resulted in a loss of about 3,400 livres. Later that year the Victory brought in a 50-ton New England schooner, but there is no record whether the partners gained or lost in this venture. Their next expedition, that of the schooner Capricieuse in 1757–58, resulted in considerable losses – 14,711 livres, after the crew’s share was paid. A fourth ship, the Junon, brought in a 50 ton Virginia ship.
Lannelongue was back in Bayonne by the end of 1759, and continued to carry on the same activities with Imbert. By the end of the war, they had outfitted no less than six more privateers, some of them prize ships, some built for the purpose. These ships took more than a dozen prizes. With the return of peace, the partners took up the fishing trade again, outfitting about three ships a year, which they dispatched either with trading goods for the fishermen at Saint-Pierre and Miquelon or on the Grand Banks, or as fishing expeditions. These ships may have been involved in some coasting trade as well. In 1767–68 Lannelongue and his partner also shipped grain to Spain.
In 1743, at Louisbourg, Lannelongue married Anne Richard, the widow of Jean-Baptiste Lascoret (probably the former clerk of Michel Daccarrette (d. 1745)). They had at least six children at Louisbourg, and another five after leaving in 1758, the last of these being born in 1765. His younger brother, Pierre, was also at Louisbourg, acting as clerk (greffier commis and greffier) of the bailiff’s court.
AD, Charente-Maritime (La Rochelle), B, 6119; 6122, nos.1–13; 6124. AN, Col., C11A, 11–13; Section Outre-Mer, G1, 407–9, 431, 459; G3, 2044–45, 2047. Archives communales, Bayonne, EE, 65, 69, 71–73; FF, 329–31, 361; GG, 56, 102, 104–5, 127. Archives de la Chambre de Commerce de Bayonne, regs.32–33, 39–48. Musée basque de Bayonne, manuscript notes of M. René Godinot on Bayonne privateers.