DUPUY DE LISLOYE, PAUL, esquire, soldier, seigneur, king’s attorney, and special lieutenant of the provost court of Quebec; b. c. 1637 at Beaucaire (province of Languedoc), son of Simon Dupuy and Suzanne Boschette (or Brusquet), “people of great integrity and of good character”; d. 20 Dec. 1713 and buried the next day in the cathedral of Quebec.
Paul Dupuy landed at Quebec in the autumn of 1665 as an ensign in the Maximy company of the Carignan-Salières regiment. When military operations had ended, he decided to stay in Canada. On 22 Oct. 1668, at Quebec, he married one of Louis Hébert*’s descendants, Jeanne Couillard, granddaughter of Guillaume Couillard* de Lespinay, who was born in June 1654. By the terms of the marriage contract the young couple received from Jeanne’s father and mother, Louis Couillard* de Lespinay and Geneviève Després, half of Île-aux-Oies (which actually included two islands: a larger and a smaller one) and half of Île-aux-Grues, the other half going to their cousins, Pierre Bécart de Granville and Marie-Anne Macard, another granddaughter of Guillaume Couillard. At first Dupuy and his wife seem to have lived mainly at Quebec, where they had two children baptized, in 1669 and 1671. In 1669 Dupuy returned to Beaucaire, perhaps to put his affairs there in order. He came back in 1670, bearing a passport from the governor of Beaucaire – a document which establishes beyond doubt Dupuy’s place of birth, about which several historians have been in error. On 17 Oct. 1671, with a view to settling permanently on Île-aux-Oies, Dupuy made an arrangement with Bécart de Granville by which the Sieur de Lisloye was to be the owner of the larger Île-aux-Oies and Bécart of the smaller one and of Île-aux-Grues. Dupuy and his family probably took up residence on their domain in 1671 or 1672, since their third child was baptized there by a missionary in the winter of 1672–73.
They lived the peaceful life of farming seigneurs. In 1681 the population of the island was 39, including Dupuy’s family, which counted six children and employed two servants. Five settlers, one of them still a bachelor, had taken up land. Dupuy had 24 head of cattle and 20 acres under cultivation, and his copyholders had 64 cattle and 21 acres. Dupuy rarely went to Quebec but lived on his island “like a saint,” according to the annalist of the Hôtel-Dieu of Quebec, “devoting several hours to prayer every day, reading edifying works, delivering on all Sundays and feast days an exhortation to his servants and the country people from all the surrounding area who gathered in his home to listen to him speak of God . . . Several of them have assured us,” continued the annalist, “that no preacher had ever impressed them as much.”
When he was in his fifties Dupuy was to be drawn out of his retreat and his island by Brisay de Denonville and Bochart de Champigny. When Louis XIV dismissed Louis Boulduc, king’s attorney for the provost court of Quebec, and ordered the governor and the intendant to find a successor to him, they chose Dupuy. He was appointed on 17 Oct. 1686 and on 24 October he was called to his office and took the oath. Dupuy displayed extraordinary integrity and impartiality. Consequently, when René-Louis Chartier de Lotbinière, the lieutenant-general of the provost court, was absent on a trip to France in 1691, Dupuy was appointed by the council to replace him until his return. In 1692 he collected and catalogued all the records of proceedings of the provost court, arranged them in order, and initialled them. The preservation of these precious registers is perhaps due to him. Nevertheless, and despite the zeal of its officers, the provost court could not cope with its task, as the matters with which it had to deal became more numerous every year. When Louis XIV finally consented to appoint a second judge to help the lieutenant-general, it was Paul Dupuy whom he named on 1 June 1695 to hold the office of special lieutenant to the provost court. Dupuy was admitted by the Conseil Souverain in September 1696. His salary was set by the king at 500 livres. He was to remain titular special lieutenant to the provost court until his death, although from 10 Nov. 1710 on he acted as lieutenant-general in the absence of the occupant, Denis Riverin, who was living in France.
Paul Dupuy’s outside activities were, however, not negligible. Mindful of his first profession, he took part, with the rank of major, in the expeditions led in 1684 by Le Febvre* de La Barre and in 1687 by Denonville against the Senecas. Again, he demonstrated freely his virtue of charity, which was extolled by the Nuns Hospitallers of Quebec, by concerning himself from the time of its creation with the Bureaux des Pauvres, of which he was for several years the treasurer and one of the directors. When the Hôpital Général of Quebec was founded, he became ex officio one of its administrators. Having the responsibility of a large family and not being rich, he could hardly give of his own money; nevertheless he sought out benefactors, the Sieur Regnard Duplessis for example, the treasurer of the Marine, for the charitable works which he had at heart. Even though he was an officer of the provost court, acting judge of the Conseil Souverain, a legal practitioner on occasion, Dupuy could not afford a dowry for his daughter, who had joined the Nuns Hospitallers, nor pay his debts to the Sieur Peire, a Quebec businessman, who sued him in 1711. Being obviously in difficult financial straits, Dupuy sold his seigneury of Île-aux-Oies to the Nuns Hospitallers of the Hôtel-Dieu of Quebec. It was given over to them in 1711, but the contract was not signed until 14 Feb. 1713. Dupuy was paid 12,000 livres for it, but 3,000 livres were kept by the Nuns Hospitallers for the unpaid dowry of one of his daughters, the second to take the veil as a member of this community.
This law officer, who had been chosen in 1698 to become the first judge of the admiralty court, a tribunal whose creation was finally delayed until 1717, whose name was put forward in 1706 for a post as councillor on the Conseil Supérieur, and upon whom was bestowed in 1697 a seigneury in Acadia measuring three leagues by three, nevertheless died in poverty, without having been able to obtain for his son the reversion of his office that he had solicited since 1703. He would probably have been spared this destitution if he had remained deaf to the appeal from Denonville and Champigny in 1686 and had staved on his domain on Île-aux-Oies, of which the fertility and the yield astonished the Nuns Hospitallers of Quebec. In addition to poverty he had to suffer many bereavements. His wife died in 1702, and when he in turn passed away, only 4 of his 15 children (some sources say 13) survived him.
Paul Dupuy paid dearly for his decision to serve his fellow-countrymen, but he earned their esteem and gratitude, and hence posterity’s. He remains forever the honest, upright man, the fair, painstaking judge, whom governors and intendants praised: “one of the wisest and most disinterested officers” of his period.
AJQ, Greffe de Florent de La Cetière, 14 févr. 1713; Greffe de Gilles Rageot, 10 juillet 1677. AQ, Paul Dupuis; NF, Ins. de la Prév. de Québec, I, 543, 663; II, 1; III, 192, 456; NF, Registres d’intendance, IV 11f. “Correspondance de Frontenac (1689–1698),” APQ Rapport, 1928–29, 293, 306. “Correspondance de Vaudreuil,” APQ Rapport, 1938–39, 53, 85, 116, 130; 1939–40, 409, 460. Jug. et délib., III, IV. Juchereau, Annales (Jamet). P.-G. Roy, Inv. concessions, I, 215f., 224f.; Inv. ins. Cons. souv., 68. Bonnault, “Le Canada militaire,” 277, 295. Gareau, “La prévôté de Québec,” 51–146. Sulte, Hist. des Can. fr., V, 78. N.-E. Dionne, “L’île aux Oies,” BRH, VII (1901), 47–51; “Paul Dupuis, sieur de Lislois,” BRH, VII (1901), 218–21.