Étienne de Flacourt (1607–1660) was a French governor of Madagascar, born at Orléans in 1607. He was named governor of Madagascar by the French East India Company in 1648.
Flacourt restored order among the French soldiers, who had mutinied, but in his dealings with the natives he was less successful, and their intrigues and attacks kept him in continual harassment during his entire term of office.
In 1655 he returned to France. Not long after he was appointed director general of the company; but having again returned to Madagascar, he was drowned on his voyage home on the 10th of June 1660. He is the author of a Histoire de la Grande Isle Madagascar (1st edition 1658, 2nd edition 1661), which included one of the first descriptions of a game similar to Bao.
Flacourt was one of the few, if not the only, Western person to have recorded knowledge of the elephant bird of Madagascar when they were possibly still extant.
Flacourtia, a genus of flowering plants in the willow family, Salicaceae, was named in honor of him.
- Histoire de la Grande Isle Madagascar – online book