Móric Beňovský (born 1741 or 1746 as Móritz Benyovszky - died May 23, 1786) was a Slovak noble in the Kingdom of Hungary, adventurer, globetrotter, explorer, colonizer, writer, chess player, the King of Madagascar, a French colonel, Polish military commander and Austrian soldier.
Beňovský was born in Vrbové near Trnava in present-day Slovakia (at that time part of the Kingdom of Hungary). The year of his birth (1741 or 1746) is disputed. His career began as an officer of Austrian army in the Seven Years' War, because Hungary was part of the Austrian monarchy at that time. However, his religious views and attitudes towards authority resulted in his leaving the country. From this time on he was called a sailor, an adventurer, a visionary, a colonizer, an entrepreneur, and a king.
In 1768 he joined the Confederation of Bar, Polish national movement against Russian intervention. He was captured by the Russians and interned in Kazan and later exiled in Siberia (Kamchatka). Subsequently, he escaped from Siberia and started a discovery trip through the Northern Pacific. In 1772 Beňovský arrived in Paris where impressed King Louis XV. He was offered to act in the name of France on Madagascar. In 1776 Beňovský was elected by the local tribal chiefs an Ampansacabe, (king) of Madagaskar. In 1776 he returned to Paris and in appreciation for his services as Commander of Madagascar, he was awarded with promotion to the rank of General, and granted the military Order of Saint Louis and a life pension by Louis XVI. In 1779 Beňovský came to America, where he tried to obtain support in proposal to use Madagascar as a base in the struggle against England. He died in 1786 fighting with the French on Madagascar.