HAZEUR DE L’ORME, PIERRE, parish priest and delegate in France of the chapter of the cathedral of Quebec; b. 22 Dec. 1682 at Quebec, son of François Hazeur*, a merchant, and Anne Soumande; d. 1771 in Paris, France.
Pierre Hazeur de L’Orme followed in the steps of his older brother, Joseph-Thierry*; after studies at the Petit Séminaire de Québec, which he began in May 1692, he prepared to enter the priesthood. He received the tonsure on 24 July 1701, the minor orders on 24 Aug. 1703, the subdiaconate on 19 Dec. 1705, and the diaconate on 2 Feb. 1706; on 25 April 1706, at the same time as Joseph-Thierry, he was ordained priest by Bishop Laval*, in the absence of Bishop Saint-Vallier [La Croix*]. From 1707 to 1722 Hazeur de L’Orme was parish priest at Champlain, from which he was absent only for a voyage to France, from October 1711 to November 1712. Few traces of this first ministry remain.
In 1722 Hazeur de L’Orme sought and obtained the position of delegate of the chapter of the cathedral of Quebec, which had been vacant since Pierre Le Picart’s death in 1718. On 14 Oct. 1722 he received his canonry and a procuration as agent general in France, with the mission of overseeing in particular the administration of the abbey of Saint-Pierre de Maubec (Méobecq, dept of Indre), which belonged to the chapter. Leaving Quebec four days later, he landed at La Rochelle on 27 November. As soon as he arrived the delegate was confronted with the problems that were to be his lot for the duration of his mission: the need for costly repairs to the abbey, the necessity of putting its finances in order, the defence of the chapter’s jurisdiction against neighbours and the bishop of Bourges, and endless lawsuits with servants guilty of embezzlement. Although Hazeur de L’Orme promised quick redress, the canons thought that he was taking far too long, that Maubec was bringing in too little, that his accounts were not sufficiently detailed, and above all that his personal expenditures were too heavy. Every year the delegate had to give a long account of himself, and he was on the point of convincing his colleagues when the dissensions following Bishop Saint-Vallier’s death [see Claude-Thomas Dupuy*] prompted certain of the canons to examine his accounts even more closely. Three of them were appointed to go through them with a fine-tooth comb; furthermore, in 1731 the dean of the chapter, Bertrand de Latour, went to France himself “to manage all the business affairs of the chapter in France, that is to say, to examine and agree to the accounts, those of M. Delorme as well as of all the other accountants . . . all M. Delorme’s powers will remain wholly suspended without his being able to deal with any matter.” He was in disgrace. But not for long, for Hazeur de L’Orme had little difficulty in proving that Latour’s management of the property was worse than his own; he succeeded in persuading the canons to recall the dean in October 1732. He himself recovered his rights in 1734, and for five years he had to keep dunning Latour to recover the 691 livres the latter owed the chapter.
Then a calmer period began for him, during which he brought most of the lawsuits to an end and had less difficulty in getting his accounts accepted by the chapter. He even succeeded in sending it an additional 2,000 livres each year. Unfortunately, in 1746 illness cast a shadow over this tranquil period; he got over a bout of pneumonia, but three weeks later had a relapse and for six months struggled against “mortal maladies”; he even received the sacrament of extreme unction. He recovered but was handicapped by listlessness and weakness in his legs; he had to hand over some of his administrative duties to subordinates, and his accounts felt the effects. The chapter again began to question him about certain items in his budget. In 1750 his colleagues renewed his procuration for five years, but at the same time they sent Canon Joseph-Marie de La Corne de Chaptes to France as their delegate with instructions “to work efficiently” with Hazeur and particularly to take charge of an important lawsuit against the Séminaire de Québec over the parish ministry of Quebec [see René-Jean Allenou* de Lavillangevin; Jean-Félix Récher*]. Although the two colleagues got along reasonably well, Hazeur de L’Orme was gradually ousted, and on 1 Oct. 1756, “in view of the aforesaid Sieur De Lorme’s infirmities and his great age,” the chapter decided to cancel his procuration on 1 May 1757 and to entrust it to Canon La Come.
Hazeur de L’Orme was no longer able to return to Canada, but his request to the civil authorities and the chapter of Quebec for a pension was unsuccessful. The chapter did, however, pay him his prebend, at least until 1763; a little later La Corne paid him a life annuity of 400 francs on behalf of the chapter. The former delegate was nevertheless not in distress since he lived in the home of his nephew Claude-Michel Sarrazin, a son of the surgeon and naturalist Michel Sarrazin*. It was there that he died at the end of 1771.
Hazeur de L’Orme had been a good servant of the chapter: La Corne called him “a very upright man, who always strove for [its] greatest good,” a judgement in which even the aged delegate’s critics concurred. But the canons had not always openly displayed such confidence and their agent had had cause to complain regularly of being treated with a certain suspicion. He had tried to defend himself against it with closely reasoned arguments, and perhaps he was not wrong to accuse the canons of ingratitude when they decided to remove him from office after 34 years of loyal service.
Hazeur de L’Orme’s correspondence with his brother Joseph-Thierry is particularly interesting because of the valuable information it gives about his compatriots who had returned to France and other people in Paris who had some connection with Canada; it shows the canon to have been a devoted uncle attentive to his nephews François Hazeur and Joseph-Michel and Claude-Michel Sarrazin, who had come to France to complete their education. It also reveals a delegate eager for social advancement. The first of the Hazeurs to add to his name “de L’Orme,” which he had borrowed from his mother’s family, the Soumandes, Hazeur had obtained royal nomination as precentor of the chapter of the cathedral of Quebec in 1723. In his letters he prided himself on the friendship of the Comte de Maurepas and of several court officials, and to keep the friendship up he would have liked to go and live in Versailles, if his constituents had not required him to stay in exile at Maubec; as often as possible, however, he took time off and his winters at least were spent in Paris. There he could not live as he would have liked, for he was often short of money, and, as his only asset was some silverware of little value, he could hardly borrow. On his death he even owed the chapter 1,300 francs.
AAQ, 12 A; 10 B; 11 B, Corr. de Hazeur de L’Orme. A.-H. Gosselin, L’Église du Canada jusqu’à la Conquête, II. P.-G. Roy, La famille Hazeur (Lévis, Qué., 1935); “La famille Hazeur, émule de Aubert de La Chesnaye,” BRH, XLI (1935), 321–49. Têtu, “Le chapitre de la cathédrale,” BRH, XIII-XVI.