LEGARDEUR DE REPENTIGNY, JEAN-BAPTISTE (also Legardeur d'Arpentigny), esquire, midshipman, councillor in the Conseil Souverain, son of Pierre Legardeur* de Repentigny and Marie Favery; b. 1632 at Thury-Harcourt in the province of Normandy; d. 9 Sept. 1709 at Montreal.
Legardeur arrived in Canada in 1636 with his parents. At an early age he was associated with the fur trade, and in 1660 was accused by Jean Peronne* Dumesnil of having killed Dumesnil’s son Michel by a kick full in the face, following a dispute over the bartering of furs for alcohol. There was, however, no sequel to this accusation, which, well founded or otherwise, seems to have had no influence on his career. Indeed, on 6 Oct. 1663 he was elected the first mayor of Quebec, although he occupied this office for only one month, because the Conseil Souverain considered it unnecessary. On 2 May 1670 he received from his mother the seigneury of Repentigny, which the Compagnie de la Nouvelle-France had granted to her husband in 1647.
True to the military tradition of the Legardeur family, in 1665 he commanded a company of volunteers that succeeded in delivering Trois-Rivières, which was threatened by the Iroquois. In January 1666 he took part in the unfortunate expedition led by Rémy* de Courcelle against the Iroquois; in the autumn of the same year, he was in command of the Quebec militiamen during Prouville* de Tracy’s campaign in the same region. He became a lieutenant in the colonial regular troops in 1688, a half-pay captain in 1692, and a midshipman in 1694. Callière wrote in regard to him in 1701 that he was a man “of good conduct and capable.” When he retired in 1702 he drew an annual pension of 600 livres. He was appointed a councillor in the Conseil Souverain the following year, and was installed only on 16 Nov. 1705. Buade* de Frontenac had for him “a particular esteem and friendship.”
In 1656 Legardeur had married Marguerite Nicollet, daughter of Jean Nicollet* de Belleborne, by whom he had 21 children. This large family was the cause of endless financial troubles which Frontenac, in his letters to the minister, often advanced as a reason for requesting from the king a pension for his “loyal servant.” Despite the large number of fiefs that Legardeur had, he found himself, like the majority of the military and legal officers, often “reduced to dire straits.”
AJM, Greffe de Claude Mangue, 21 sept. 1679. “Correspondance de Frontenac (1689–1699) “ APQ Rapport, 1927–28, 85. Jug. et délib. Recensment du Canada, 1666 (APQ Rapport). P.-G. Roy, “Ce que Callières pensait de nos officiers,” 326; Inv. concessions, I, 62; II, III, 26. Ivanhoë Caron, “Les censitaires du côteau Sainte-Geneviève (banlieue de Québec) de 1636 à 1800,” BRH, XXVII (1921), 98. P.-G. Roy, “La famille Legardeur de Repentigny,” BRH, LIII (1947), 195–98.