VILLIEU, CLAUDE-SÉBASTIEN DE, officer serving in Acadia, garrison adjutant of the colony; date and place of birth and of death unknown; fl. 1690–1705.
Numerous historians have confused Villieu with his father, who bore the same given names. Born in 1633 in Turin, the father came to Canada as a lieutenant in the Carignan-Salières regiment, with which he participated in the 1666 campaign against the Iroquois. In 1672 he received from Talon* a grant of land on the shores of the St Lawrence. He died before 1692. In 1668, near Nantes, he had married Jeanne Lebreton, by whom he had several children.
In letters to the minister dated 29 Sept. 1700 and 25 Nov. 1703, his son Claude-Sébastien states that he had been in the services since 1674 and that he had fought in Flanders, Germany, Catalonia, and Roussillon for 15 years prior to coming to Canada. On 16 Mar. 1687 he had been appointed a midshipman at Rochefort, and in 1690 he took part in the defence of Quebec. On 9 April 1692, at Quebec, he married Judith Leneuf, daughter of Michel Leneuf de La Vallière de Beaubassin (senior), and of Marie Denys. They had only one child, Sébastien.
In 1690 Claude-Sébastien was sent as a lieutenant to Acadia, where, on 1 March 1693, he received command of a company. In May 1694 he went to put an end to the negotiations between the English and the Indians in the region of Pentagouet (on the Penobscot). Then, considered “better suited than others for war of movement with the Indians,” he distinguished himself with Bomoseen at the head of bands of Abenaki Indians during the attack in July on Oyster River (Durham, New Hampshire). Buade* de Frontenac requested a reward for him and entrusted him with the command of Fort Nashwaak (Naxouat) on the Saint John River. In August 1696 Villieu took part, along with Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie de Saint-Castin, in the successful operations conducted by Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville against Fort Pemaquid. On returning from this attack he was captured by Captain Hathorne, as the passport which he had obtained from the English had expired. He was taken as a prisoner to Boston but was set free at Frontenac’s request. He went to France in May 1698, then returned to Acadia, where he exercised temporary command of the colony from July 1700 to December 1701, after Robinau* de Villebon’s death.
From 1699 till 1705 Villieu aided his father-in-law, Michel Leneuf, in his lawsuit against Pierre Tibaudeau and Guillaume Blanchard concerning some land at Chipoudy. He was appointed garrison adjutant of Acadia on 1 Feb. 1702, then once more temporary commandant on 1 March, and received a gratuity of 1,000 livres. His differences with Brouillan [Monbeton], de Goutin, and the missionaries brought about his suspension in 1703. As he was suffering from asthma, he received his final discharge on 1 May 1704, with a pension of 600 livres. He remained for a time in the country, and he again received temporary command of it on 30 Aug. 1705. Villieu returned to France soon after and sold his house at Port-Royal (Annapolis Royal, N.S.) for 4,000 livres to the Recollets, who turned it into a parish church. After that we lose sight of him.
Opinions about Villieu varied. He got along badly with his superiors, Governors Robinau de Villebon and Brouillan, who claimed that he was “fussy and disagreeable.” They accused him of having only his own interest in mind and of trafficking with the Indians. In December 1706 Auger de Subercase begged the minister not to send Villieu back to Acadia. But he was popular in the colony; on 15 July 1705 the notary Loppinot wrote: “His piety, his valour, his capacity have made him very well liked by the settlers, who entreat you to send him back to them.”
AN, Col., B, 16, ff.187v; 17, f.136; 19, ff.44; 22, f.177; 23, ff.124v, 141, 157, 158, 281v, 283v; 25, ff.77v, 78; 27, f.369v; C11A, 11, f.93; 12, f.217; 13, ff.55, 81v, 124, 153, 285, 301, 322; 14, ff.100, 210, 246; 15, ff.3, 98v; 16, f.55v; C11D, 2, ff.220, 225, 228, 230, 244, 258, 274, 277; 3, ff.27, 70, 78, 111, 128, 226; 4, ff.17, 52, 142v, 186, 234, 268, 270, 290, 320v; 5, ff.95, 136v, 213v, 251v, 253v; D2C, 49, f.109v; 222; Marine, C7, 350 (dossier de Villieu). Coll. de manuscrits relatifs à la N.-F., II, 135–143. A. Roy, Inv. greffes not., XVIII, 9. P.-G; Roy, Inv. concessions, II, 136; IV, 154–55; V, 297. Lettres de noblesse (P.-G. Roy), I, 69, 70; II, 78. Webster, Acadia. Le Jeune, Dictionnaire, II. Lauvrière, La tragédie d’un peuple. Rameau de Saint-Père, Une colonie féodale, I, 243–46, 267–70.