GAUDEREAU, MARTIN

GAUDEREAU, MARTIN (b. Langeais,in Indre-et-Loire, France, 1663; d. Paris, 29 May 1743), French missionary priest (and later Abbé) who left valuable observations on Persia and played a part in Franco-Persian relations (see FRANCE ii). He studied at Tours and at the Séminaire des Missions Étrangères, Paris. He had an audience with Louis XIV (Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères, Mémoires et documents, Indes orientales 6, fol. 6) before leaving for Persia on 16 December, 1689. Accompanied by Bénigne Vachet, one of the directors of the seminary, he arrived in Isfahan at the end of 1690. There he joined François Sanson (Archives du Séminaire des Missions étrangères, Paris, 353, p. 146), also a member of the Société des Missions étrangères, who, as well as being the papal legate, acted as envoy of the king of France at Isfahan. Against strong opposition by other resident missionaries, Sanson, helped by Gaudereau, was granted royal letters by Shah Solaymān in 1692 allowing the establishment of mission houses at New Julfa (Jolfā) and Hamadān (Archives du Séminaire des Missions étrangères, Paris, 353, pp. 83, 119 f.; MS Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, Fr. 25061, p. 2974). After Sanson’s departure for France in the same year, Gaudereau continued negotiating with the Persian court (MS Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, Fr. 25061, p. 2973) despite criticism of his extravagance and prodigality by Msgr. Louis-Marie Pidou de Saint-Olon, Bishop of Babylon, who was forced later to sell the house at Julfa to cover debts incurred by Gaudereau (Chick, I, pp. 530, 532; II, pp. 861 f.).

Gaudereau’s knowledge of Armenian was instrumental in his next appointment as secretary to the papal legate, the archbishop of Ancyra (Archives du Séminaire des Missions étrangères, Paris, 353, pp. 410, 413, 418-20; Lockhart, p. 51). The archbishop, commissioned to the Persian Armenians, arrived in Isfahan in 1699. Accompanied by Gaudereau, he successfully renewed the privileges of the mission and found the shah’s attitude to Christians reassuring (Lockhart, pp. 75-76). In the same year Gaudereau accompanied the archbishop to Surat, and later wrote in a memorandum that he had been entrusted with a letter by the grand vizier (Eʿtemād-al-Dawla, q.v.) to negotiate a military and commercial alliance between Persia and the French East India Company (see EAST INDIA COMPANY [THE FRENCH]) to protect the traders from Arab attacks by occupying Muscat (Kroell, 1976-77, pp. 11 ff.; Lockhart, pp. 434-36, p. 460). After the legate’s death in January 1701, Gaudereau returned to Isfahan and left for Europe in 1703. Between Trabzon and Constantinople, in September 1704, he nearly died from an infectious disease which he described in his Relation des différentes espèces de peste, published in Paris in 1721. While he was curate and chaplain at Amboise, he learned about the arrival of Shah Solṭān Ḥosayn’s envoy, Moḥammad-Reżā Beg, in France (1714). Gaudereau wrote to Baron de Breteuil at Versailles that the shah’s envoy came to solicit French assistance to take over Muscat (Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères, Correspondance politique Perse 3, fols. 386-89, 25 January 1715). Together with Padery and Abbé Richard, he acted as interpreter to Moḥammad-Reżā Beg (Kroell, 1976-77, p. 52). He was a firm advocate of French intervention at Muscat (Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères, Correspondance politique Perse 4, fols. 108, 148, 266) and contrived the acceptance by the Persian ambassador of a treaty of commerce modifying in favor of France the treaty negotiated by Michel in 1708 (Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères, Correspondance politique Perse 4, fols. 195 f.).

In the latter part of his life, Gaudereau was director of the Maison des nouveaux catholiques (converted Protestants) in Paris (Douen, II, p. 248) and also taught Persian at the Jesuits’ college in Paris (Lockhart, p. 470). He retired to Abbaye de Saint-Victor, where he died.

Works by Gaudereau (including letters or reports partially published by different authors without mentioning his name and other unattributed material): “Relation du voyage de M. Gaudereau à Ispahan adressée aux supérieurs et directeurs du séminaire de Tours, 22.I.1691,” Archives du Séminaire des Missions étrangères 348 (not signed). Manuscript report on the Gulf trade to Baron de Breteuil at Versailles, Amboise, 25 January 1715, Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères, Correspondance politique Perse 3, fol. 386a-89a. Relation des différentes espèces de peste que reconnaissent les orientaux, des précautions et des remèdes qu’ils prennent pour en empêcher la communication et le progrès de ce que nous devons faire pour nous en préserver et nous en guérir, Paris, 1721. Relation de la mort de Schah Soliman Roy de Perse, et du couronnment de Sultan Ussain son fils, avec plusieurs particularitez touchant l’état présent des affaires de la Perse, et le détail des cérémonies observées à la consécration de l’éveque de Babylone à Zulpha lez Hispahan, Paris, 1696 (four letters dated 1694-95; also ed. in Kroell, 1979, pp. 57-86). “Relation de Perse écrite à un ami en France par M. l’Abbé Gaudereau, missionnaire en Perse en 1701,” in La Forest de Bourgon, La Relation de Perse où l’on voit l’état de la religion dans la plus grande partie de l’Orient, les diverses branches du christianisme, quelques sectes particulières, des traits de politique et plusieurs faits fort remarquables, n.p., n.d. (probably Paris between 1700 and 1702), pp. 1-40 (a copy of the manuscript letter at the Bibliothèque nationale, Fr. 25061). Relation d’une mission faite nouvellement par Monseigneur l’Archevesque d’Ancyre à Ispaham en Perse pour la Réunion des Arméniens à l’Eglise Catholique, Paris, 1702 (an abridged text of the first part is in Raphaël du Mans, Estat de la Perse en 1660, ed. C. Schefer, Paris, 1890, Appendice L, pp. 373-76). Fragments of letters used without acknowledgement in Père N. Sanson, Voyage ou relation de l’état présent du royaume de Perse, Paris, 1694.

Bibliography:

L.-N. Baron de Breteuil, Mémoires I, ed. C. Roux and F. Lock, n. p., 1858.

H. Chick, ed., A Chronicle of the Carmelites in Persia and the Papal Mission of the XVIIth and XVIIIth Centuries, 2 vols., London, 1939.

O. Douen, La révocation de l’Edit de Nantes à Paris, 3 vols., Paris, 1894.

M. Herbette, Une ambassade persane sous Louis XIV, d’après des documents inédits, Paris, 1907.

A. Kroell, “Louis XIV, la Perse et Mascate,” in Le Monde iranien et l’Islam IV, Paris, 1976-1977.

Idem, Nouvelles d’Ispahan, 1665-1695, Paris, 1979.

Lefèvre de Fontenay, Journal historique du voyage et des aventures singulières de l’ambassadeur de Perse en France, augmenté et corrigé sur de nouveaux mémoires, Paris, 1715.

L. Lockhart, The Fall of the Ṣafavī Dynasty and the Afghan Occupation of Persia, Cambridge, 1958.

F. Richard, Raphaël du Mans, missionaire en Perse au XVIIe siècle, Moyen Orient et Océan Indien 9, 2 vols., Paris, 1995.

(Jacqueline Calmard-Compas)

Cite this article: