GUILLOT, dit Larose, FRANÇOIS, soldier, merchant, and militia captain; b. 25 Dec. 1727 at Asnelles (dept of Calvados), France, son of Jacques Guillot and Marguerite Loiseleur; m. 25 July 1763 Marie Létourneau, née Rateau, at Quebec; d. some time before 1785, probably in the United States.
It seems likely that François Guillot, dit Larose, arrived in Canada as a soldier in 1740 and, after the conquest, set himself up in Quebec as a merchant. In 1767 he settled in Rivière-du-Loup (Louiseville), where he became bailiff and later also militia captain. In 1770 he leased a mill from the Ursulines of Trois-Rivières, which he gave up four years later.
Primarily a businessman, Guillot also gambled on the possibilities that developed during the American invasion in 1775, particularly when the majority of his fellow citizens were won over to the American cause. As soon as the Americans arrived at Trois-Rivières, he let his sympathies be known. He accused Conrad Gugy, who owned several seigneuries in the region, of threatening to have Canadians who were in sympathy with the rebels whipped, a charge from which Gugy was cleared on 4 Dec. 1775.
At the beginning of May 1776 François Guillot and a companion, Pierre Dupaul, joined the American troops that had just raised the siege of Quebec and those evacuating Trois-Rivières. He went with them to Sorel, where reinforcements from New England soon reached them. Early in June both men took part in preparations for an attack on Trois-Rivières designed to retake the town and check the advance of British troops. A regiment under Brigadier-General William Thompson crossed the St Lawrence and landed at Pointe-du-Lac during the night of 7 June. François Guillot served as guide and led Thompson to the home of a local inhabitant, Antoine Gautier, who was asked to guide the force to the gates of Trois-Rivières. Gautier, who seemed to fall in readily with this order, advised Thompson not to venture on the king’s road, which was swarming with scouts, and suggested going through the woods of Sainte-Marguerite and the region of the Saint-Maurice ironworks. But at the same time he sent his wife with a message to Landron, the militia captain; the latter went to Trois-Rivières to alert the local garrison and give it time to prepare for the attack. Meanwhile Guy Carleton*’s army reached Trois-Rivières.
After a battle in which the Americans had more than 500 officers and men killed or wounded, Thompson was taken prisoner. François Guillot returned to Sorel with what was left of the little army and then went on to Chambly, Saint-Jean, and he aux Noix. According to François-Xavier Garneau*, he was given command of a company of “brave French Canadians” under the orders of Colonel Moses Hazen* and fought in the Hudson River region.
After that no more is heard of him. It appears that he died in the United States, but we do not know where or when. He may have been dead when the administrators of his estate, Alexander Davison* and John Lees*, published an announcement on 13 Aug. 1778 in the Quebec Gazette that his properties were to be sold in pursuance of an order of the Court of Common Pleas. In any case he was dead in 1785, for on 20 January of that year his widow married Augustin Sicard of Rivière-du-Loup, her third husband.
AD, Calvados (Caen), État civil, Asnelles, 25 déc. 1727. ANQ-MBF, Greffe de J.-B. Badeaux; Greffe de Benoit LeRoy. Invasion du Canada (Verreau). Quebec Gazette, 8 Sept. 1768, 7 Sept. 1769, 4 Oct. 1770 J.-E. Bellemare, Histoire de Nicolet, 1669-1924 (Arthabaska, Qué., 1924). Lanctot, Le Canada et la Révolution américaine, 162–63. Germain Lesage, Histoire de Louiseville, 1665-1960 (Louiseville, Qué., 1961). J. [-P.]-A. Maurault, Histoire des Abénakis, depuis 1605 jusqu’à nos jours ([Sorel, Qué.], 1866). Raymond Douville, “La dette des États-Unis envers les ursulines de Trois-Rivières,” Cahiers des Dix, 22 (1957), 137–62. J.-J. Lefebvre, “Les Canadiens-français et la Révolution américaine,” Soc. historique franco-américaine, Bull. (Boston, Mass.), 1946–47, 50–71. Riclès [Richard Lessard], “François Guillot, dit Larose,” L’Écho de Saint-Justin (Louiseville), 11 juin 1936, 1.