BRUNET (Brunel), dit La Sablonnière, JEAN, merchant butcher; b. 1687 in New France, son of Jean Brunet (Brunel), dit La Sablonnière, a farmer, and Marie-Madeleine Richaume; m. 23 Jan. 1719 at Montreal to Louise Maugue; buried 18 June 1753 at Montreal.
Jean Brunet, dit La Sablonnière, was an active and long-established butcher in Montreal. He began his trade as a young man and apparently received letters of emancipation in order to operate a business before the age of majority, 25. Brunet had already been a butcher for two or three years when an ordinance of the intendant, Antoine-Denis Raudot*, on 2 July 1710, listed him as one of the four authorized butchers in Montreal. Nine years later he married and in 1721 built a wooden house.
It is hard to estimate the scale of Brunet’s trade. No record of meat sales remains except those that resulted in bad debts. Brunet’s dealings in cattle and his credit are evidence that he was a successful butcher. In the early 1720s he obtained steers for his slaughter-house in exchange for draught-animals and other livestock. Later, he was able to buy fattened cattle and he had animals in pasturage and leased out a cow or two. From 1730 to 1734 Brunet acknowledged debts exceeding 3,000 livres, which he was able to repay.
Brunet was associated with several tanners but the degree of his involvement in tanning is uncertain. Butchers in New France often made annual contracts with tanners to supply them with the skins of all the cattle to be slaughtered in the coming year. From 1709 to 1736 Brunet made such agreements with Gérard and Jean-Baptiste Barsalou, Pierre Robreau, dit Leroux-Duplessis, Charles Delaunay*, and other tanners. In 1727 Brunet entered a five-year partnership with Nicolas-Auguste Guillet de Chaumont, which was followed by a one-year partnership with Delaunay. In these partnerships Brunet, it seems, did not just supply skins for a half interest. A few accounts show that Brunet sold finished leather.
In the 1740s Brunet apparently lived in retirement in his house on Rue Saint-Vincent. He could probably afford to do so for he had sold several pieces of property, including his father’s farm, and he rented out a house and a few lots in Montreal. Of his 11 children only three daughters married, and only one son lived to adulthood.
ANQ, NF, Coll. de pièces jud. et not. 3538; NF, Documents de la juridiction de Montréal, IV, 129; VI, 12–14; XI, 43; NF, Ord. int., IV, 81f., 94–95. ANQ-M, Greffe de René Choral de Saint-Romain, 27 nov. 1732; Greffe de Jacques David, 12 juin, 7 juill. 1720, 12 oct., 8 déc. 1721, 2 mars, 25 mai, 21 déc. 1722, 8 avril 1723, 20 juin 1724, 22 avril 1725, 8 juill., 24 août 1726; Greffe de C.-R, Gaudron de Chevrement, 29 nov. 1728, 10, 28 janv. 1729, 1er, 2 mai 1732; Greffe de Michel Lepailleur; Greffe de J.-C. Porlier, 9 sept. 1738, 22 mars 1744; Greffe de J.-C. Raimbault, 19 juill., 17 août 1727, 26 août 1730, 20 févr. 1732, 26 août 1734, 10 févr., 13 juin 1735, 20 mars, 21 août 1736, 4 juin, 11 juill. 1737; Registres des audiences, 7, ff.593v–94v, 603v, 642; 11, f.23; 12, ff.624, 671. “Recensement du Canada, 1681” (Sulte). “Recensement de Montréal, 1741” (Massicotte). P.-G. Roy, Inv, jug, et délib., 1717–1760, II, 41; IV, 293, 303; V, 101; VI, 124–25; Inv. ord. int., I, 105–6, 140. Tanguay, Dictionnaire, I, 93; III, 493–94; V, 179.