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Researching the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada
COPYRIGHTED REPORTS, PUBLICATIONS,
MANUSCRIPTS AND IMAGES SITE
Johnston, The Summer of 1744: A Portrait of Life in 18th-Century Louisbourg
(Ottawa: National Sites, Parks Service, Environment Canada. 1991)
1744 - A Calendar of Events
The following calendar of events
focuses on the summer of 1744, hence the
greatest detail is to be found on the dates falling within the period I June to
30 September. Events before and after that period are mentioned only if they
were considered to have special significance for the inhabitants of Louisbourg.
There were also many events of considerable importance, such as the arrival of
captured British vessels in port, the precise dates of which are unknown and
therefore not listed. Finally, the presence of the British prisoners in town is
not an "event" but should be kept in mind as an extremely important
factor of life in Louisbourg throughout that summer.
- January 1 The Circumcision (feast day marking the circumcision
of the infant Jesus).
- January 6 Epiphany.
- February 2 The Presentation and the Purification (feast day
celebrating the presentation of Jesus in the Temple by the Virgin Mary).
February 19 Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.
- February 25 Feast Day of St.
Matthias the Apostle (1744 being a leap year, this feast day was celebrated on
the 25th; in other years it was on the 24th).
- February 26, 28, 29 Ember Days -
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after the first Sunday in Lent; a time of
- 15 March 15 Louis XV declares war on George II, King of Great
Britain and Elector of Hanover.
- March 18 Minister of the Marine, the Comte de
Maurepas, writes Jean-Baptiste-Louis Le Prévost Duquesnel, the commandant, and
François Bigot, the commissaire-ordonnateur of Isle Royale, informing them of
- March 19 Feast Day of St. Joseph, First Patron of New France.
- March 25
Incarnation and Annunciation Day. March
- 27 Ship sails from Saint-Malo for
Louisbourg carrying the official despatches of the minister of the Marine,
including his letter announcing the outbreak of hostilities.
- April 5, 6, 7 Easter Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
- April 9 George
II of Great Britain declares war on Louis XV of France.
- May 1 Feast Day of St. Philip and St. James (the Less) the Apostles.
May 3 Ship from Saint-Malo arrives in Louisbourg with the news of war. Thousands
of miles away the Argonaute, one of the Compagnie des Indes ships, rounds the
Cape of Good Hope.
- May 11, 12, 13
Rogation Days (three days preceding the
movable feast of Ascension, which is always a Thursday); a time of abstinence.
May 14 Ascension Day
- Mid-May to May
22 Preparations under way for the expedition
- May 23 Expedition under
François Du Pont Duvivier's command sets
out for Canso. A merchant vessel out of Glasgow sails into Boston harbour
carrying the first news to the American colonists that Great Britain is at war
- May 24 Pentecost (Whit Sunday). Duvivier expedition arrives in
Canso during the early morning hours. Around dawn the assault begins. The
British garrison makes a brief show of resistance before capitulating.
- May 25
Monday after Pentecost (feast day). The Argonaute reaches Ascension Island and
its captain receives instructions to head for Louisbourg.
- May 26 Tuesday after
Pentecost (feast day).
- May 27, 28, 29 Ember Days - Wednesday, Friday and
Saturday after Pentecost; a time of fasting. On the 29th the Argonaute sails for
- Late May On an unspecified day in late May the Duvivier expedition
returns to Louisbourg with prisoners and booty.
- June early days Vessel sent to Port Toulouse with supplies for the
garrison there; returns to Louisbourg bringing six cannons.
- June 4 The Signe,
commanded by François Bauchet de Saint-Martin, captures a British prize near
Canso. Two Compagnies franches soldiers die in the hospital at Louisbourg:
Jean Camina dit Beauregard and François Caillou dit la Lancette.
- June 8 The
Signe captures a prize near Sable Island.
- June 9 Birth at Louisbourg of a daughter to
Guillaume La Croyx and Marguerite Lango; baptised in the barracks chapel later
the same day by Athanase Guégot, Recollet curé of Louisbourg.
- June 10 Birth at
Louisbourg of a son to Louis Fé1ix Vallée, lieutenant of the artillery company,
and Marie-Josephe Le Large; baptised in the barracks chapel by Guégot. Out at
sea the Signe, commanded by Saint- Martin, captures a prize. The Succès, to be
commanded by Pierre Morpain, is hired to serve as the coast-guard vessel of Isle
- June 11 Two more prizes taken by Saint-Martin's
Signe. Near Canso
Island Jean Fougères of Port Toulouse captures an English schooner without
possessing an authorized commission as a privateer. Governor William Shirley
of Massachusetts asks the General Court of the colony for support for a series
of defensive measures, including sending reinforcements to Annapolis Royal.
12 Marriage in the barracks chapel of Jean Le Bezot, a native of France, and
16-year-old Marie-Louise Paris, of Louisbourg. Out at sea the Marie Josephe,
commanded by Pierre Detcheverry, takes a British prize and the Signe, under
Saint-Martin, captures a British schooner.
- June 13 Birth of a son to Gabriel
Rousseau de Villejouin, captain of one of the Compagnies franches, and Anne
Angélique de Gannes de Falaise; baptised in the barracks chapel by Isidore
Caulet, Recollet military chaplain. In Massachusetts the House of
Representatives votes to raise 500 volunteers to defend the frontiers of the
colony, but no commitment is made to send troops to Nova Scotia. Reports of the
fall of Canso begin to reach Boston. The St. Charles, a privateer commanded by
Nicolas Baron, and the St. Joseph, a transport vessel commanded by Franqois
Briand, sail out of Louisbourg heading for the Newfoundland coast.
- June 15
Françoise Pugnant, age 34 and the wife of Jean Benard, dies in Louisbourg; her
newborn child had died a month earlier. Paul Mascarene, lieutenant governor of
Annapolis Royal, receives word of the fall of Canso.
- June 16
is buried in the parish cemetery by Guégot. On the Newfoundland coast the St.
Charles and St. Joseph pillage an abandoned British fishing station. The
Joseph is sent back to Louisbourg with all the booty (dried cod, fish oil,
- June 18 The St.
Charles, under Baron's command, captures two British
sloops at Burin. Thomas Hamel, in command of the Tourneur de Grandville,
captures a British brigantine.
- June 19 Burial in the parish cemetery by
of the infant son of Captain Rousseau de Villejouin.
- June 20 Birth of a daughter
to Jean-Jacques Le Moine and Marie Rau.
- June 21 Le Moine girl is baptised in the
barracks chapel by Caulet. The Bailliage prosecutor, Jean Delaborde, submits his
recommendation for the sentence to be given to Valdrien Louis dit le
Bourguignon, accused of theft. Jean Vildieu, a 26- to 27-year-old native of
Brittany, dies in Louisbourg.
- June 22 Bourguignon is interrogated for the last
time in the chambers of the Conseil Supérieur; he still denies his guilt. Jean
Vildieu is buried in the parish cemetery by Gudéot.
- June 23 Birth of a son to
Pierre Derieux and Jeanne Dubourg. In Boston the House of Representatives
decides that two volunteer companies of 60 men each can be raised and sent to
- June 24 Feast Day of the Birth of St. John the Baptist. Baptism
in the barracks chapel by Caulet of the Derieux boy. The Massachusetts House of
Representatives votes to raise an additional 500 men to defend the colony from
possible French and Indian attacks.
- June 25 Birth of a son to Jean-Baptiste Dyon
and Anne-Magdeleine Lachaume.
- June 26 Dyon child baptised in the barracks chapel
- June 28 Birth of a daughter to Jodocus Koller and Marie Catherine
Auger; baptised in the barracks chapel by Caulet.
- June 29 Feast Day of St. Peter
and St. Paul the Apostles. Out to sea Hamel's Tourneur de Grandville captures a
British schooner heading for Hamburg.
- June 30 Governor Shirley, in receipt of a
letter from Mascarene at Annapolis Royal asking for reinforcements as soon as
possible, requests the House of Representatives take prompt measures to bolster
the tenuous British hold on Nova Scotia.
- July 1 Massachusetts House of Representatives increases the
financial inducement for volunteering to go to Annapolis Royal from £20 to £25
but refuses to authorize an increase in the number of men to be sent there
beyond the 120 already approved.
- July 3 Baptism of a girl born that day to Jean
Barré and Perrine Bonnier; baptism performed by Guégot in the barracks chapel.
Servanne Bonnier intervenes in a family dispute between Angdlique Butel and
Butel's daughter, and is embroiled in a lengthy exchange of insults with Butel.
July 4 The Cantabre, with an 80-man crew, commanded by Joannis Dolabaratz, is
captured 15 leagues off Cape Cod by the Prince of Orange, commanded by Edward
Tyng. Angélique Butel submits a written complaint to the acting judge of the
Bailliage, Michel Henel de Cournoyer, about Servanne Bonnier's behaviour.
Cournoyer directs that all witnesses appear before him at nine in the morning of
6 July. A son is born to Jean Lavalde and Catherine Heleine Pinet.
- July 5 Baptism
in the barracks chapel by Caulet of the Lavalde child. Birth, and baptism in
the chapel by Caulet, of a daughter of François Heningue, a soldier in the
Karrer Regiment, and Anne Marie Stein. Out to sea, Philippe Leneuf de
Beaubassin, in command of the Cesar, captures two vessels off Cape Cod.
- July 6 The César
captures another vessel off the Massachusetts coast. In Louisbourg, 13
witnesses testify before the Bailliage on the Bonnier-Butel
shouting match. An Irishman named Thomas Bernard dies and is buried by
Guégot in the parish cemetery.
- July 7 Servanne
Bonnier submits to the Bailliage her version of her verbal clash
with Butel. The Bailliage prosecutor, Jean Delaborde, decides that
Bonnier should appear in person before the court for questioning.
- July 8 The
coast guard of Isle Royale, the Succès, commanded by Morpain,
captures two British prizes, the Nancy and the Kinsbury.
- July 10 The
court usher of the Bailliage, Joseph-Félix Chesnaye, informs
Servanne Bonnier that she is to appear before the Bailliage on 17
July at nine in the morning.
- July 11 The
British settlers at Annapolis Royal become aware of the approach of a
force of 300 Micmac warriors and a few French.
- July 12
Annapolis Royal is attacked. Before the assault is repulsed, some
buildings are set on fire and two British soldiers killed. Two vessels
sail from Boston carrying 70 soldiers and supplies to reinforce the
garrison at Annapolis.
- July 15 The
first of two vessels carrying British prisoners from Louisbourg arrives in
- July 16 The
reinforcements from Massachusetts arrive at Annapolis Royal. The siege by
the Micmacs is lifted and they retreat to the Minas area. At Louisbourg,
the first of six Compagnie des Indes vessels, the Philibert,
- July 17
Servanne Bonnier is questioned by the court of the Bailliage. The Argonaute,
another ship belonging to the Compagnie des Indes, reaches port.
John Bradstreet's schooner arrives in Boston with more prisoners and
Duquesnel's request for a general exchange of French and British
- July 19 A son
is born to André Carrerot and Marie-Josephte Chéron.
- July 20 The
Carrerot child is baptised in the barracks chapel by Guégot. Four fishing
vessels from Louisbourg are captured by British privateers.
- July 21 A
daughter is born to Michel Rodrigue and Marguerite Lartigue.
- July 22 The
Rodrigue child is baptised in the barracks chapel by Guégot. Well out to
sea the warship Ardent, en route to Louisbourg, captures a British vessel.
A third Compagnie des Indes ship, probably the Pientieue,
arrives in Louisbourg.
- July last week
of month: The warship Caribou arrives in Louisbourg from Canada.
- July 25 Feast
Day of St. James the Apostle.
- July 26 Feast
Day of Ste. Anne.
- July 27
Massachusetts House of Representatives passes legislation making all trade
with the French illegal. The founh and fifth Compagnie des Indes
ships to make port, the Mars and Baleine, sail into harbour.
- July 29
Duvivier expedition to capture Annapolis Royal sets out from Louisbourg
with the Succès and four smaller vessels. Angélique Butel
requests the Bailliage to conclude her case against Servanne
- July 30 Heavy
winds force the vessels in the Duvivier expedition to seek safe anchorages
in Gabarus and Louisbourg.
- July 31 A
second contingent of British reinforcements (53 men, including some
Pigwacket Indians) sets out from Boston for Annapolis Royal. Off Long
Island, New York, the Signe, commanded by Saint-Martin, captures
two vessels, one of which is let go due to a shortage of provisions aboard
the Signe, and 28 of the prisoners are released.
- August 2 All
five vessels in the Duvivier expedition arrive at Port Toulouse. The body
of a soldier, Jean Marie DuCiel dit St. Amant, who had deserted on
11 February 1744, is found in the woods near Louisbourg.
- August 3 The Charmante
(109 men, 26 guns) is captured by two British warships only four leagues
from Louisbourg. In the vicinity of Port Toulouse the Duvivier expedition
runs into strong headwinds and is forced to anchor.
- August 4 The
Duvivier expedition sets out for Port La Joye, Isle Saint-Jean. In
Louisbourg, 80- year-old Anne Guion Després, the widow Chevalier, dies.
An inventory of her possessions is taken that evening by officials of the Bailliage.
- August 5
Després is buried in the parish cemetery by Guégot. Nineteen-year-old
Magdelaine Paris dies in town. Off the coast of the American colonies,
Saint-Martin's Signe captures a British vessel.
- August 6 A
French brigantine is captured near Louisbourg by two New England
privateers. Duvivier lands at Port La Joye and adds 22 members of the
garrison there to his force. The Succès is left with the then
commandant of Isle Saint-Jean, Louis du Pont Duchambon. In Louisbourg,
Magdelaine Paris is buried in the parish cemetery by Guégot. In Boston,
Governor Shirley replies to Duquesnel's request for a prisoner exchange
with the counter-proposal that he will exchange French prisoners for
able-bodied British soldiers. Shirley gives up three French prisoners for
the more than 20 prisoners Duquesnel has sent. As a result, Bradstreet has
to locate additional crew to man his schooner to take Shirley's letter to
- August 7 The
Duvivier expedition sails from Port La Joye for the Chignecto Isthmus.
- August 8 The
expedition lands at Bale Verte and begins its journey overland to
Beaubassin. Seven leagues from Louisbourg the Heron (I 18 men, 25
guns) is captured by two British warships; three leagues from Louisbourg a
schooner is taken by two New England privateers.
- August 9 Birth
of twins to an Irish couple, Thomas Hill and Marie d'Esem, probably aboard
- August 10 Feast
Day of St. Lawrence the Deacon and Martyr. Three leagues from Louisbourg a
French ship is captured by two New England privateers.
- August 11 A son
is born in Louisbourg to André Ballet and Angélique Frican and baptised
in the barracks chapel by Caulet.
- August 12 The Fulere
(or Fulrie), the sixth of the Compagnie des Indes ships,
- August 13 The
Duvivier expedition arrives at Beaubassin. In Louisbourg a girl is born to
Joannis Echanté and Marie Joanne Voert (?).
- August 14
Baptism by Recollet priest Eugene Le Breton of the Echanté girl. A son is
born to Jean- Chrysostome Loppinot, an ensign in the Compagnies
franches, and Madelaine Bottier; baptism in the barracks chapel by
Caulet. Birth of a daughter to Jean-Baptiste Lannelongue and Anne Richard.
In the waters off Newfoundland, Morpain, in command of the Caribou,
captures two prizes.
- August 15 The
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. Baptism in the barracks chapel by
Recollet hospital chaplain Alexis Guillou of an 11-month-old son of two
residents of the fishing settlement of Cadrez (probably Cap de Ré),
Newfoundland, Daniel Rouque and Anne Necnemaire. Baptism by Guégot of the
- August 16 The
French warship Ardent, commanded by Meschin, reaches Louisbourg.
- August 17 In
Nova Scotia, Duvivier sends most of his soldiers, some Acadian volunteers
and a few Micmacs by boat to Minas. A girl is born in Louisbourg to
Jacques Blein and Françoise Durant.
- August 18 The
French warship Brillant arrives in Louisbourg. Birth and baptism of
a son to Louis Gilber and Marie Goblin; baptism in barracks chapel by Le
Breton. Duvivier himself leaves Beaubassin for Minas.
- August 19
Daughter of Jacques Blein and Françoise Durant is baptised in the
barracks chapel by Caulet. Twins of Irish prisoners Thomas Hill and Marie
d'Esem are also baptised by Caulet in the barracks chapel.
- August 20
Duvivier arrives by boat at Minas.
- August 21
Duvivier assigns two of his officers, le Chevalier Duvivier and le
Chevalier Duchambon, to carry a message to the Acadian deputies at the
settlements of Rivière des Canards and Pisiquid.
- August 22 Birth
and baptism of a son to Claude Simoneau and Philippe Lagarique; baptism by
Guégot in the barracks chapel.
- August 23 Death
in Louisbourg of 47-year- old Louis François Mervin.
- August 24 Feast
Day of St. Bartholomew the Apostle. Burial of Mervin in the parish
cemetery by Guégot.
- August 25 Feast
Day of St. Louis, King of France (Louis IX). Birth of a daughter to Pierre
Sanglard, a sergeant in one of the Compagnies franches, and Anne
Dardy; baptism in the barracks chapel by Caulet.
- August 27
Seventy Malecites arrive at Minas to join Duvivier's force. In Louisbourg
a daughter is born to Baptiste Corporon and Marie Charlotte Bouris.
- August 28 The
day-old Corporon girl is baptised in the barracks chapel by Caulet. At
Minas, Duvivier distributes firearms to the Malecite warriors.
- August 29
Duvivier gives the Malecites a feast.
- August 30
Powder and shot are distributed to the Malecites; the entire Duvivier
expedition sets out overland for Annapolis Royal. In Louisbourg a sailor
from the Caribou drowns in the harbour.
First half of the month: Ship sails from Louisbourg for Canada with two
nuns of the Congregation of Notre-Dame aboard: Marguerite Trottier (Sister
Saint-Joseph), superior of the mission at Louisbourg for 11 years, and
Marie-Josephte Lefebvre Belle- Isle (Sister Saint-Benoît).
- September 1
Born on this day are a son to Jean Guion Sauvage and Louise Pierre Jean
Sauvagesse, and a daughter to Ambroise Zemard and Marguerite Dion. Both
children are baptised by Guégot in the barracks chapel.
- September 2
Second inventory of the widow Chevalier's possessions is taken by Bailliage
- September 3
Rehabilitation by Guégot of the marriage of Jacques Quartier and Jeanne
Heckaste. Birth of a son to Jean Harnois and Marguerite Pinet; baptised by
Guégot in the barracks chapel.
- September 5 De
Renon reaches the Duvivier expedition with Duquesnel's message that
Duvivier can expect his naval support to sail into Annapolis harbour
around 8 September.
- September 6-7
Duvivier manoeuvres his force in preparation for the assault on the
- September 8
Feast Day of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin. At Annapolis Royal Duvivier
marches his force in sight of the British, with the ranks so arranged that
it appears that he has 600 to 700 men rather than the actual 280. In
Louisbourg the day witnesses the birth of a daughter to Pierre Labrouche
and Marie-Geneviève Chevalier and the birth of a son to Louis Leneuf de
la Vallière and Marie-Charlotte Rousseau. The Labrouche infant is
baptised by Guégot in the barracks chapel.
- September 9 The
Leneuf de la Vallière child is baptised by Le Breton. A son is born to
Martin Heron and Jeanne L'equai. Out at sea a fishing vessel from
Louisbourg is captured off Newfoundland. At Annapolis Royal the French
force launches an attack on the British fort at nine o'clock in the
evening. The assault lasts until four the next morning.
- September 10
The Heron child is baptised by Le Breton in the barracks chapel.
- September 11 A
British brigantine is captured by the Ardent off the coast of Isle
Royale north of Scatarie. At Annapolis Royal a second French attack begins
at ten o'clock in the evening. It lasts until four the next morning. In
Louisbourg a daughter is born to Pierre Herpin and Marie Desroches;
baptised by Guégot.
- September 12
Jean Ricar, from Saint-Malo, dies and is buried in the parish cemetery;
service by Guégot.
- September 13 A
daughter is born to Noel Rosse and Marie Herpin.
- September 14
Holy Cross Day (while not a feast day, it is the day by which one of the
four periods of Ember Days is set). The Rosse infant is baptised by
Recollet Paulin Lozach.
- September 15 At
Annapolis Duvivicr sends a letter to Mascarene outlining the naval support
he is expecting and requesting the lieutenant governor of the town to
conclude preliminary terms of capitulation. Mascarene refuses to agree but
many of his officers feel otherwise so a truce is agreed upon while
representatives of Mascarene and Duvivier discuss the possibility of
- September 16,
18, 19 Ember Days - Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after Holy Cross Day; a
time of fasting. On the 19th a daughter is born to François-Marie de
Goutin and Marie-Angèlique de la Fosse; the infant is baptised by Guégot.
- September: mid
to late month: Three vessels carrying 340 prisoners (men, women and
children) sail for Boston. Around the same time a single vessel with
additional prisoners may have departed for Placentia, Newfoundland, where
they are also to be exchanged for French prisoners.
- September 21
Feast Day of St. Matthew the Apostle.
- September 22 A
sailor off the Caribou, Jean Centurie, is buried in the parish
- September 23
The truce at Annapolis Royal ends. At ten o'clock that evening Duvivier
launches an assault on the fort that lasts until four the next morning. In
Louisbourg the marriage of an Irish couple, Teffé Donal and Sara MacMelun,
is rehabilitated by Guégot.
- September 26
Birth of a daughter to Pierre Martissans and Jeanne Angèlique Chavigny.
At Annapolis Royal a brigantine and sloop carrying reinforcements sent by
Governor Shirley sails into harbour.
- September 27
The Martissans child is baptised in the barracks chapel by Le Breton.
- September 29
Feast Day of St. Michael the Archangel; traditional closing day of the
summer fishing season when all debts and rents are due.
- September 30
Birth of a daughter to Noel Amiot and Marguerite Bois; baptised by Guégot.
- October 2
Compagnies franches Captain Michel de Gannes de Falaise arrives in
Duvivier's camp at Annapolis Royal with the news that no warships will be
sent to his siege. The three vessels from Louisbourg carrying the British
prisoners arrive in Boston. (Sometime thereafter French prisoners in
Boston are released and taken to Louisbourg.)
- October 6
Marguerite Trottier (Sister Saint-Joseph) dies aboard ship near Quebec.
- October 9
Duquesnel dies and is buried beneath the floor of the barracks chapel.
- October 21 The Succès
is taken out of service as the Isle Royale coast guard.
- October 28
Feast Day of St. Simon and St. Jude the Apostles.
- November 1 All
- November 29
First Sunday in Advent - the beginning of a period in which marriages are
- November 30
Feast Day of St. Andrew the Apostle. A huge fleet of 53 vessels and
roughly 4000 men sail from Louisbourg to France. The largest of the ships
are four French warships and the six Compagnie des Indes vessels.
- December 3
Feast Day of St. François Xavier, Second Patron of New France.
- December 8
Feast Day of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin.
- December 16,
18, 19 Ember Days - Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after the third Sunday
in Advent; a time of fasting.
- December 21
Feast Day of St. Thomas the Apostle.
- December 25
- December 26
Feast Day of St. Stephen, First Martyr.
- December 27
Feast Day of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist. Soldiers mutiny.