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THE LOCATION OF THE FEUDAL FIEFS
FROM THE GULF OF ST. LAWRENCE
TO QUEBEC.

CHAPTER XII.

The location of the different fiefs and seigniories throughout Quebec is a subject which has not been touched upon to any great extent. There exist what are known as the 'Cartes Topographiques' on which these are shown, and from these maps, together with the 'Régistres de Foi et Hommage', and the ‘Régistre d'Intendance', a fairly comprehensive idea may be obtained.

It is impossible even from these, to give an absolutely accurate account of the holdings, for in many cases the record of the original grant has been lost, and the data given are taken from the registers of the first years of the Nineteenth Century. Some of the grants have been re-grants of fiefs which for one reason or another were returned to the Crown, or were the re-registration of seigniories which had been acquired through purchase. Some of the seigniors who had become the most famous were not the original grantees, but men who had bought their seigniories, they are not shown as the holders

in these chapters where the name of the seignior who was the first to receive the seigniory appears.

These registers contain only the names of those who held the greater seigniories, some of which were as large as the smaller European principalities, but the registers do not mention any of the divisions held in co-seigniory, of fiefs belonging to minor holders and held 'En seigneurie' to a greater seignior, or 'En arrière fief'.

The seigniory of the Sulpicians on the Island of Montreal is an excellent example of this. The Gentlemen of Saint Sulpice acquired this grant from the 'Compagnie de Montréal', and had it confirmed directly by the Crown, besides they granted fiefs themselves, and not through any Governor or Company which controlled the colony. They apparently had full powers, equal to those of the Company which administered New France, to re-grant their lands in other seigniories, and we find that these Gentlemen made several grants within their own domain 'En fief noble'.

To simplify the locating of the seigniories, they may be divided into:

(a) Those situated below Quebec.

(b) Those lying between Quebec and Montreal.
(c) Those on the Island of Montreal and adjacent
to it.

(d)

Those which were granted west of Montreal, along the Ottawa and the Saint Lawrence Rivers.

(e) Those bordering the Richelieu and Yamaska Rivers.

(f)

Those in Gaspé and the Baie des Chaleurs. All the seigniories were described in arpents and lieues, which word has been translated by the English word 'league', a measure equivalent to about three miles. The leagues therefore mentioned are French measure.

the concession is missing, but an Act of Fealty and Homage was made on the 3rd of April 1723, by Pierre Tremblay, at that time proprietor of the fief, who produced titles of a concession granted to Pierre Lessard which included this land.

Towards the west, this seigniory was joined by the concession made on the 30th of December 1682, by Lefebvre de la Barre, the Governor, and the Intendant Demeulles, and known as the seigniory Legouffre. The holder was Pierre Dupré. It was bounded on the west by some lands owned by the Bishop of Quebec, and it extended towards Goose Cape, on a frontage of half a league by four leagues in depth.

In the Saint Lawrence opposite the seigniory of Legouffre, was Isle aux Coudres, which was granted together with the shoals which surrounded it, as a seigniory to the Seminary of Quebec by the Marquis de Brisset, the Governor, and Jean Bouchart, the Intendant, on the 29th of October, 1687.

To the west of the seigniory of Legouffre, was that of Côte de Beaupré, which was granted on the 16th of January 1636, to sieur Cheffault de la Regnardière by the Company of One Hundred Associates, and which extended from the Rivière de Gouffre (Baie Saint-Paul) as far west as the seigniory of Beauport, by a depth of six leagues, together with all the islands and shoals which lay in front of it.

Next to this was the seigniory of Beauport, which was granted to Robert Giffard who later received the seigniory of Mille Vaches it measured one league along the Saint Lawrence, by one and a half leagues in depth, and was bounded on the west by the River of Notre Dame de Beauport. This concession was granted on the 31st of December 1635, and on the 31st of March 1653, the depth was increased by two and a half leagues.

Following this was the seigniory of Notre-Dame des Anges, granted on the 10th of March 1626, to the Jesuits. It measured one league in frontage, by four leagues in depth, and was bounded on the east by the seigniory of Beauport, and on the west by the seigniory which had been accorded to Talon and had become the countship of Orsainville.

Approaching Quebec, we next meet the seigniory and countship of Orsainville, which, as we have seen, was granted to the Jesuits in 1626, later to Talon in 1667, raised to a barony in 1671, and in 1675 created a countship. It was granted to the General Hospital of Quebec by Letters Patent from the King, in May 1675, and contained a superficial area of three thousand five hundred and seventy-five arpents and had a depth of four leagues.1

The next seigniory was situated at Quebec. It was known as the Fief Saint-Joseph, and had been granted by Champlain to Louis Hébert. This concession was dated the 28th of February 1626, and signed by the Duc de Vantadour. It had a frontage on the Saint Charles River of one league, by a depth of four leagues, and was the first seigniorial grant made in Canada.

On the south shore of the River, the seigniories begin almost at the extreme eastern end of Gaspé. The first one, which was situated opposite the Island of Anticosti, was known as the seigniory of the 'Bay of Swamps' or 'l'Anse de l'Etang'. This concession was made on the 20th of September 1697, by Frontenac and Jean Bochart, the Intendant, to sieur François Hazeur and Denis Riverin. It consisted of the bay at the extreme point of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, and extended one half a

1.-There is a discrepancy in these dates. The authorities

differ.

league on either side of the bay, and to the westward towards the mountains of Notre Dame, with a depth of one league.

Next to this, towards the west, we come to the seigniory of 'Grand Vallée des Monts'. This was also made by Frontenac and Jean Bochart, the Intendant, to the same François Hazeur. On the 23rd of March 1691, they granted him another extent of land of two leagues of frontage, in what was known as the Great Valley of the Mountains, it extended up to the Magdalen River for a distance of two leagues, and measured four leagues on the swamp. This was apparently the parent concession, and the seigniory of l'Anse de l'Etang was an enlargement of it.

Coming up the Saint Lawrence, the next concession was made on the 28th of March 1689, and was known as the seigniory of La Magdelaine. This, with the concession next to it to the west, which was made on the 28th of November 1688, was known as the seigniory of Sainte Anne, was granted by the Governor Jacques de Brisay and Jean Bochart, the Intendant, to sieur Riverin. The seigniory of La Magdelaine was situated higher up the Saint Lawrence than the Mountains of Notre Dame. It extended half a league on either side of the Magdelaine River, fronted the Saint Lawrence, and was two leagues in depth. The Seigniory of Sainte Anne was situated near the Mountains of Notre Dame, faced the Saint Lawrence, and was also intersected by the Sainte Anne River. It included a frontage on the Saint Lawrence River of one half a league on either side of the Sainte Anne River, and extended to a depth of one league. These two holdings together formed the Great Seigniory of Sieur Riverin.

Passing this seigniory, we arrive at the seigniory of Matane, which was conceded on the 26th of June 1677,

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