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Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada
REPORT ON LOTS A AND B
OF BLOCK 3
(Fortress of Louisbourg
Report H D 16)
1723 - 1768
Lot B was granted
to François Cressonet dit Beauséjour prior to the Ordonnance of 1723, on condition that
his buildings in Block 1 be demolished within three years [NOTE 1]. Beauséjour was one of
the earliest inhabitants of Louisbourg and had settled in Block 1 before that area was
reserved for the king [NOTE 2]. He also owned a lot in Block 2, acquired in 1723 [NOTE 3].
The actual date of the Block 3 concession is not certain, and the dimensions vary.
According to the registers of the Conseil Superieur, the concession was dated June 1724
and consisted of 46 pieds along the quay and 102 1/2 pieds along the Rue de
1'étang [NOTE 4]. The final confirmation of concessions based on Vallée's survey dated
the concession as May 31, 1723, and gave the depth as 105 pieds [NOTE 5].
Plan 1723-2 states that the small building E belonged to "Francoeur Cabaretier, who started to fish this year" [NOTE 6]. One can only assume that this was an error, since there are no further references to François Lessenne dit Francoeur in connection with this lot. Moreover, Francoeur was never, to our knowledge, a cabaretier, and Beauséjour most certainly was.
In 1725, the bones found on Beauséjour's property, the site of the early cemetery, were "solemnly transported" to the new cemetery [NOTE 7]. In the same year Beauséjour's step-son, Jean Baptiste Guyon, married Anne Lachaume. Beauséjour and his wife Marguerite Dugas were building a house in Block 3, and they gave their Block 2 house to Guyon with the provision that they might continue to live there until the house in Block 3 was finished [NOTE 8].
Except for the view 1731-1 which indicates that Beauséjour's house was called the "Billard" [i.e. pool hall], there is no further information concerning the property until 1734. In an ordonnance of that year, Beauséjour was listed as a "cabaretier reglé" [NOTE 9]; that is, a cabaretier who had been officially recognized.
In 1741, a notice which had been read aloud at the barracks entrance was posted at the corner of Beauséjour's house, "rue du Quay" [NOTE 10]. Beauséjour died the following year and his wife, Marguerite Dugas, inherited the property, since there were no children [NOTE 11]. This meant that Guyon was next in line to inherit the property, but there is no information to indicate that he did so. Guyon was living in a house on the quay in 1744 [NOTE 12], but it is not certain whether this was in Block 2 or Block 3 [NOTE 13]. The date of Marguerite Dugast death is not known. There are several references to porperties owned by Jean Baptiste Guyon and his second wife, Gilette Commere, in the 1750's, but no specific locations are given. Guyon had acquired a part of the Lachaume inheritance through his first wife, and his own holdings were fairly extensive [NOTE 14].
The final reference to lot B is plan 1768-1 and the accompanying letter. The house, number 114 on the plan, was described as a private residence built of wood, now in ruins and occupied by "Monr. Dion a french pilot" [NOTE 15]. Dion is almost certainly Jean Baptiste Guyon. [PAGE 21:]
II. CARTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE (see also Part V)
The first plan to
show Beauséjour's house is 1726-4, on which it appears as an L-shaped building,
immediately adjoining Lagrange's house.
Plan 1730-2 shows an L-shaped building with a gable at either end and a garden behind.
Plan ND 24 indicates a hip at the south end of the east wing, and a jog in the boundary between Lots A and B.
View 1731-1 shows both the quay and the Rue de 1'étang facades. The house is at a lower elevation than the Lagrange house, and it seems to have a cellar, at least at the east end - a vent or doorway is shown below the main door. The quay facade contains a window, a door, and two windows. The door is reached by means of an elevated porch with steps at either end. There is a chimney approximately in the centre of this wing, and two small dormer windows. The west end of the house butts against the Lagrange house and has a gable wall. The Rue de l'étang facade has three small windows, a door, and another small window. The door appears to be at street elevation, although it is difficult to be certain on this point. There is a larger dormer above the door, and some vague indication of a chimney at this end of the building. The roof at the south end is hipped.
Plan 1731-3 indicates an L-shaped building with steps in front and a garden enclosed with pickets behind. There is an opening in the picket fence slightly west of the south-west corner of the house.
In general, the view 1731-3 resembles 1731-1, although there are several differences. There is a third window at the west end of the quay facade, and the cellar vent is located under the centre window, considerably west of the door. The two dormers are in relatively the same positions, and so is the chimney. There is a side view of a dormer on the Rue de 1'étang facade. The difference in elevation with respect to the Lagrange house is even more marked. A finial is shown at the east end of the roof. The timber framing of the house is clearly visible on this view.
Plan 1734-4 shows the same L-shaped building with a gable at the south end and a rather odd junction between the roof of this house and the Lagrange house. There is a new building in the garden, parallel to the Rue du Cloître, and an opening in the enclosure south of the east wing, permitting entrance to the courtyard from the street. There is another opening to provide access to the garden from the courtyard.
Plan ND 89 is quite similar, except that the south end of the house is hipped, the west end has a gable, and the building in the garden is considerably smaller.
On plan 1737-7, the building is a simple L-shape, butting against the Lagrange house.
View 1745-1 differs considerably from the earlier views. There are only two windows on the quay facade, one on either side of a central door.
No steps are shown, and only two windows appear on the Rue de 1'étang facade. The roof meets the roof of the Lagrange house in a peculiar way, and appears hipped at the south end. There is no sign of chimneys.
View 1745-la and 1745-lb are too blurred to be of much use. However, there is a vague indication of a terrace along the front and possibly at the side of the house.
The New England plans, except for 1745-17, indicate an L-shaped building of various lengths and widths. (see Part V for the dimensions.) Plan 1746-13 shows an addition to the east wing.
Plan 1752-11 again shows a single L-shaped building with gables at either end.
View 1758-6a shows a long narrow building with the gable fronting on the quay. There is one window in the gable, and a faint suggestion of two rows of windows on the Rue de l'étang facade. This plan is not considered particularly accurate.
Plan 1758-20, like plan 1745-17, must be considered unreliable.
Plan 1767-1 indicates two separate buildings. The part facing the quay is marked "v Houses at present inhabited", and the postion on the Rue de l'étang is marked "In Houses uninhabitable". To the south, approximately where the Rue du Cloître had been is a group of buildings, one running North-south marked "v", another running East-West marked "n", [PAGE 24:] and the third in the angle formed by these two buildings, unmarked. The fact that these buildings are in the French street implies strongly that they were built after 1758. There is a boardwalk or terrace indicated along the quay facade and for a short distance along the Rue de 1'étang. The property has diminished considerably in size due to the expansion of the Lagrange property.
ND 27 again shows two separate buildings on the quay, but only one of the group to the south.
Plan 1768-1 shows one building only on the quay and Rue de 1'étang corner, and two buildings to the south, both facing the Rue de, l'étang. All three buildings are constructed of wood. The two southern buildings were private residences in tolerable condition, but not occupied.
III. STRUCTURAL DETAILS
There are no
documentary references to the structural details of Beauséjour's house. According to view
1731-3, it was a charpente house with visible timbers. There is no indication of
what sort of fill was used between the timbers. It is possible that the Rue de 1'étang
wing was not of the same material, and served a different function from the quay wing. All
the French plans, however, indicate that the roofs of the two wings were built as one
unit. The presence of dormer windows indicates that at least a part of the upper floor was
probably used as living quarters.
(i) property 46 pieds by 105 pieds;
(ii) house approx. 46 pieds by 24 pieds (along quay), 60 pieds by 24 pieds (west wing);
(iii) a small building existed from 1723-24;
(iv) Large building constructed 1725-26;
(v) occupied at least until 1774;
(vi) used as a cabaret and/or pool hall at least until 1742;
(vii) charpente, one and half storey, seems to have had a cellar, steps lead from the street to the main entrance on quay;
(viii) outbuilding built to the south in 1734 (approx.);
(ix) additional outbuildings in the South-east corner of lot in 1767;
(x) there may be a terrace on the quay and along the Rue de l'étang.
[NOTE 1:] 31 mai 1723, AC C11C, vol. 16, piece 6. "Ordonnance du Roy".
[NOTE 2:] 1717, AFO Gl, vol. 462, ff. 67-78, "Toiséz des graves et concessions ...".
[NOTE 3:] 18 août 1719, 11 mai 1720, AFO Gl, vol. 462, ff. 133-34, "Extrait du Registre du greffe du Conseil Superieur de Louisbourg ... "; Brenda Dunn, Report on Block 2, p.
[NOTE 4:] 1 juin 1727, AFO Gl, vol. 466, pièce 83. ff. 22(v)-23, "Louisbourg Conseil Superieur Concessions"; 1 juin 1724, AFO Gl, vol. 462, ff. 135-44, "Extrait du Registre du greffe du Conseil Superieur de Louisbourg ... ".
[NOTE 5:] 15 septembre 1735, AFO Gl, vol. 466, pièce 85], ff. 7-7(v), "Ratiffication faitte par Sa Majesté des Concessions des habitans de Louisbourg".
[NOTE 6:] 1723, AC 11A, vol. 126, 111, [pp. 237-39], "Estat des Emplacements concedés a Louisbourg dans 1'Enceinte de La Place, relatif au plan de 1723".
[NOTE 7:] 24 décembre 1725, AFO G3, Vol. 406, registre III, f. 3, "Décés 1722- 28."
[NOTE 8:] 5 novembre 1725, AFO G3, carton 2058, no. 36, Contrat de mariage.
[NOTE 9:] 23 mai 1734, AC 11B, vol. 24, ff. 307-07(v), Ordonnance du Roi.
[NOTE 10:] 1 juin 1741, AFO G2, vol. 197, dossier 129, pièce 53.
[NOTE 11:] 20 avril 1742, AFO G2, vol. 200, dossier 205 , ff. 16(v)-17(v).
[NOTE 12:] 19 mai 1744, AFO G2, vol. 199, dossier 197, pièce 1, Succession de la femme de Jean Seigneur. [NOTE 13:] Brenda Dunn, op. cit., p.
[NOTE 14:] 2 août 1754, AFO G2, vol. 209, dossier 500, ff. 39-39(v); 30 mai 1755, AFO G2, vol. 205, dossier 385, ff. l(v)-2(v); 24 octobre 1757, AFO G2, vol. 206, dossier 469, ff. 28(v)-29.
[NOTE 15:] September 26, 1768, CO 217, vol. 25, pp. 139-44, "The State of the Town of Louisbourg on the 10th of August 1768", enclosed in a letter from Franklin to Hillsborough.