Rochefort-sur-Mer (Rosh-forr'-sur-Mayr), a French seaport, naval arsenal, and fortress of the first class, in the dep. of Charente-Inferieure, stands on the Charente's right bank, 9 miles from its mouth, and 18 miles SSE. of Rochelle, 89 SW. of Poitiers. It was founded in 1665 as a naval station by Colbert, and fortified by Vauban, being covered now on the sea side by strong forts; and it is a modern, clean, well-built place. The naval hospital (1783-88) has nearly 1300 beds and an artesian well 2758 feet deep. There are both a naval harbour and, higher up the river, a commercial harbour with three basins; and Rochefort besides possesses rope-walks, cannon-foundries, etc. From 1777 till 1852 it was the seat of a great convict prison. Napoleon meant to take ship for America at Rochefort, but instead had to surrender to Captain Maitland of the Bellerophon, 15th July 1815. Pop. (1872) 26,619; (1901) 31,613.
Roche-sur-Yon (Rosh-sur-Yong), capital of the French dep. of Vendee, on the Yon, 50 miles SSE. of Nantes by rail, has a prefecture, lyceum, library of 12,000 volumes, a museum, and a theatre. In 1805 Napoleon selected it - then a mere village - to be the departmental capital. From 1815 to 1848 it was called Bourbon-Vendee, from 1848 to 1870 Napoleon-Vendee. Pop. 11,190.
Rockall, on a sandbank in the Atlantic 50 miles long and 25 broad, in 57° 36' N. lat., 13° 41' W. long., 184 miles W. of St Kilda, 290 from the nearest point of the Scottish mainland, and 260 from the north of Ireland. It is a granite rock of a rounded form, rising 70 feet above the sea; and about 100 yards in circumference; and is situated at a greater distance from the mainland than any other rock or islet of the same diminutive size in any part of the world.
Rockford, capital of Winnebago county, Illinois, on the Rock River, 86 miles WNW. of Chicago. It has foundries, flour, paper, cotton, and woollen mills, and manufactures of carriages, pumps, churns, furniture, cutlery, etc. Pop. (1880) 13,129; (1900) 31,050.
Rockhampton, a town of Queensland, Australia, on the Fitzroy, 35 miles from its mouth, and 420 NW. of Brisbane. It has wide tree-lined streets, and owes its beginning (1858) to extensive gold-fields, the annual yield of which is valued at £1,000,000 to £1,250,000; copper and silver are also worked. The industries include tanning, soap and boot making, and meat-preserving; and it is the chief port for central Queensland. A bridge across the Fitzroy, with five spans of 232 feet each, connects Rockhampton with its suburb North Rockhampton. Pop. (1901) 18,470.