BAZIRE, CHARLES, receiver general of duties and of the king’s domain, seigneur, merchant, agent of the Compagnie des Indes occidentales; baptized 1 Nov. 1641 at Rouen, France, son of Jean Bazire and of Jeanne Le Borgne; d. 15 Dec. 1677 at Quebec.
He seems to have had only one sister, Marie, who married Philippe Gaultier de Comporté. On 11 Jan. 1666, at Quebec, he married Geneviève Macard, the daughter of Nicolas Macard and Marguerite Couillard; Charles, their only child, was born 21 Sept. 1666 and died two weeks later.
Charles Bazire came to New France about 1660 as receiver general of duties and of the king’s domain. He immediately became active in business, and went into partnership with Charles Aubert* de La Chesnaye. In the 1667 census, 14 persons are listed as sharing his house at Quebec; in addition to his wife, his employees lived with him. The notarial documents of the period show Bazire involved in a large number of transactions dealing with real estate and various exchanges. Until 1674 he was the agent of the Compagnie des Indes occidentales, which held the fur-trading monopoly in New France. On 3 September of the same year, the governor-general, Buade de Frontenac, in order to “make up the number of judges required to judge the charges of impugnment brought by” François-Marie Perrot, governor of Montreal, against certain members of the Conseil Souverain, appointed him a member of this body, along with a number of others.
On 20 July 1672 Intendant Talon granted to him, and simultaneously to Pierre Denys* de La Ronde and Charles Aubert de La Chesnaye, a seigneury one league square on the mainland, opposite the Île Percée. Factories for fishing were set up on the Petite Rivière (at the mouth of the brook Barachois, at Saint-Pierre de La Malbaie), and at Percé. Pierre Denys seems to have been the one chiefly responsible for the smooth functioning of this establishment, which specialized in cod-fishing.
With Charles Aubert de La Chesnaye, Bazire likewise obtained a land grant for the purpose of cutting timber on the Rivière-du-Loup and Madawaska seigneuries. Several other land grants were also made to him. In this way he received from Bishop Laval* on 21 July 1677, jointly with Charles Aubert de La Chesnaye, the arriere-fief of Charlesville, near Montmorency Falls. We also know that he owned, again jointly with Charles Aubert de La Chesnaye, the fief and seigneury of Lachenaie (arriere-fief of the Beaupré heights).
Charles Bazire thus stands out as one of the first businessmen in New France. At his death, he left a tidy little fortune and various assets. In his will, drawn up before the notary Romain Becquet on 14 Dec. 1677, the day preceding his death, he did indeed bequeath 50,000 livres, to be divided between the parochial council of Notre-Dame de Québec, where he had been a churchwarden in 1671 and 1673, the Jesuits, the Ursulines, the Hôtel-Dieu, his father, and the Recollets. His wife, with whom he had a joint estate, received half of his possessions. She was married twice more, first to François Provost*, major of the Château Saint-Louis and then governor of Trois-Rivières, and subsequently to Charles-Henri d’Aloigny*, Marquis de La Groye.
ASQ, MSS, C, II (1674–86) [Livres de comptes, II], pp. 95–112, 280–3; Paroisse de Québec, 145; Seigneuries, III, 27; Séminaire, VI, 16, XXXIII, 11, XXXV, 34–37. BN, MS Clairambault, 1016, f.297. Jug. et délib., I, II, III, V. Ord. comm. (P.-G. Roy), I, 120–6, P.-G. Roy, Inv. concessions, I, 66, 264; II, 127; “La famille Bazire,” BRH, XLII (1936), 66–72.
Revisions based on:
Arch. Départementales, Seine-Maritime (Rouen, France), “État civil,” Rouen (Saint-Vincent), 1er nov. 1641: recherche.archivesdepartementales76.net/?id=recherche_guidee_etat_civil (consulted 6 Nov. 2019). Bibliothèque et Arch. Nationales du Québec, Centre d’arch. de Québec, CE301-S1, 11 janv. 1666, 17 déc. 1677.