Villeneuve, Pierre de (pyĕr də vēlnövˈ) [key], 1763–1806, French admiral. He commanded the rear guard of the fleet in the disastrous battle of Abu Qir (1798). His defeat at the battle of Trafalgar (1805) was partly due to the unpreparedness of his fleet and to his initial refusal to leave Cádiz when ordered to by Napoleon I. Taken prisoner by the English, he was released and committed suicide after returning to France.
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