The only known direct sponsor of explorer Samuel de Champlain was the French King Henry IV. Champlain worked as a geographer for the king from 1601 to 1603.
Champlain's work for Henry IV took him to Spain and the West Indies. Champlain then accompanied François Gravé Du Pont for a Canadian expedition in 1603 and then did more geography work for Lieutenant-General Pierre Du Gua de Monts. The rest of Champlain's travels were of his own accord. Champlain was one of the founders of Quebec City, and after years of battling natives and the British, he became the governor of Quebec in 1632. He died three years later.