CHARLY SAINT-ANGE, JEAN-BAPTISTE (he signed Charly), Montreal merchant, colonel of militia, churchwarden; b. 17 Aug. 1668 in Montreal; d. 9 Nov. 1728 in Quebec.
He was the eldest surviving son of André Charly, dit Saint-Ange, and Marie Dumesnil, both of whom were brought as immigrants to Montreal by Chomedey* de Maisonneuve in the 1650s. Jean-Baptiste appears to have been held in high esteem by his contemporaries as was his father before him. In 1707 and 1724 he was elected churchwarden of Notre-Dame de Montréal and at some time was appointed colonel of militia. He improved upon his father’s economic position by engaging in the fur trade. In 1691 he was hired by a Montreal merchant to make a trip to the Ottawa country to trade. By 1700 he had become a merchant and creditor himself, and was an original shareholder in the ill-fated Compagnie de la Colonie. Improvements to his house in Montreal in 1691, the acquisition of a house in Quebec and another in Montreal prior to 1715, and the probable purchase of a tract of land on Île Jésus in 1712, attest to his increasing affluence. The depressed state of the fur trade during the War of the Spanish Succession seems not to have harmed him seriously. With the revival of the trade Charly emerged a respectable merchant, financing numerous expeditions to the western posts after 1720.
On 3 July 1701 he married the eldest daughter of Louis Le Conte Dupré, Marie-Charlotte, who died in 1705. On 18 Sept. 1722 he married Louise-Catherine d’Ailleboust de Manthet, daughter of Nicolas; after his death, Louise-Catherine married Pierre-Jacques*, only son of Pierre Payen de Noyan (17 Nov. 1731). Jean-Baptiste left a prosperous business to his sons by his first marriage, Jacques Charly and Louis Charly* Saint-Ange, in spite of a successful law suit by his widow over the inheritance. Louis in particular became a very prominent merchant in Montreal, investing heavily in the western trade and in several speculative mining ventures. Jacques, though less successful in trade, married Thérèse Charest, only daughter of the wealthy Étienne Charest, seigneur of Lauson.
Jean-Baptiste’s only surviving son by his second marriage, Jean-Baptiste-François (b. 1728), chose a military career. In 1750 he obtained a commission as ensign in the troops of Île Royale (Cape Breton Island), and in 1758 was transferred to Canada where he served with distinction in the campaign of 1759. For this he was appointed major of Île Gorée in Senegal in 1766. Thus, by acquiring social status and fortune through the fur trade, Jean-Baptiste opened for his sons the major avenues of advancement: a substantial business in the fur trade; marriage into a prominent family; and a commission in the colonial regular troops.
Jean-Baptiste Charly died while on a trip to Quebec in 1728. His respectable position in the colony is reflected by the fact that he was buried in the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Québec on 9 November, under the name Jean-Baptiste Saint-Ange, Sieur de Charly.
Jug. et délib., VI, 900, 926f., 1015f., 1022–26, 1071f. PAC Report, 1899, Supp., 101, 110. P.-G. Roy, Inv. jug. et délib., 1717–1760, I, 222, 225; II, 213f.; III, 3, 24. P.-G. et A. Roy, Inv. greffes not., I, 154, 196; VI, 64; IX, 184; X, 78; XII; XIX, 514; XXI. Charland, “Notre-Dame de Québec: le nécrologe de la crypte,” 180f. Massicotte, “Répertoire des engagements pour l’Ouest.” Tanguay, Dictionnaire, I, 117, 153; III, 19, 266; VI, 265. Aegidius Fauteux, La famille d’Ailleboust (Montréal, 1917), 126–28. P.-G. Roy, La famille Charly Saint-Ange (Lévis, 1945), 1–15 [This book is in error about the age of Jean-Baptiste Charly’s sons when he died in 1728. s.d.s.]. R.-L. Séguin, La civilisation traditionnelle de l’ “Habitant” aux XVIIe et XVIIIesiècles (Montréal, ), 319–21, 328. “Les familles Roy au Canada,” BRH, XXXI (1925), 527. O. Lapalice, “Louis Charly Saint-Ange, marguillier de Notre-Dame de Montréal,” BRH, XXXIV (1928), 426–29.