BONAMOUR, JEAN DE, king’s doctor, one of the first medical doctors to practise in New France in the 17th century.
He arrived in the country in the summer of 1669, bearing letters naming him a king’s doctor. His stipend was 600 livres, and he had received an equal amount “to outfit himself.” His office required him to treat the poor of the town and of the Hôtel-Dieu of Quebec. He had authority over the surgeons and midwives. He was also doctor to the Ursulines in 1671.
On 9 June 1672 he was called to take a seat in the Conseil Souverain “in order to make up the number of judges.” On 23 October of that year his presence is recorded at the signing of Philippe Gaultier de Comporté’s marriage contract, and on this occasion he was called “the worthy man Jean de Bonamour.” This was his last public act. Shortly afterwards he sailed for France on the pretext of family affairs. In November 1672 Governor Buade de Frontenac vainly asked the minister to send Bonamour back to Canada. Until Sarrazin’s* return in 1697 there was no other medical doctor, or king’s doctor, in Canada.