PETIT, JEAN (not to be confused with Jean Petit Boismorel, court officer at Montreal), councillor, treasurer of the Marine, and seigneur; b. 1663, son of Pierre Petit, former comptroller of the annuities of the Hôtel de Ville in Paris, and of Catherine Du Bellineau, of the parish of Saint-Jean in Paris; d. 24 Feb. 1720 at Quebec and buried the next day in the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Québec.
Petit probably arrived at Quebec in the spring of 1701 as the agent of the treasurer-general of the Marine, to replace his uncle, Jacques Petit de Verneuil, who had died in Quebec on 28 Aug. 1699. On 23 Sept. 1701, on behalf of the treasurers general of the Marine and of his father, he instituted proceedings against his uncle’s widow, Marie Viel, to recover a sum of 30,000 livres that was missing from the treasury; he won his case on 3 Nov. 1702. Shortly afterwards he demanded that the prisons of the intendant’s palace be made more secure to prevent escapes. In 1703 the intendant, Beauharnois* de La Chaussaye, recommended him to the minister, saying that he was “a thoroughly worthy man.”
On 4 July 1701, at Quebec, he married Suzanne Dupuy, who died two years later. On 13 Sept. 1706 he married Charlotte Dugué, daughter of Michel-Sidrac Dugué* de Boisbriand, a former captain in the Carignan regiment, seigneur of Mille-Îles, and a fur-trader; seven children were born of this marriage. On 5 March 1714 he obtained half the seigneury of Mille-Îles, as did his brother-in-law Charles-Gaspard Piot de Langloiserie. This seigneury, which had been granted to his father-in-law Dugué de Boisbriand in 1683, had been attached to the king’s domain a few days before, that is on 1 March 1714. The grant was confirmed on 5 May 1716.
In 1717 Jean Petit brought an action against the nuns of the Hôtel-Dieu of Quebec to obtain the concession of a piece of land on the Saint-Ignace seigneury which consisted of a half-grant of fallow land and standing timber, and which adjoined a piece of land and a settler’s farm that he had bought from Pierre Brosseau. Having lost his case before the Conseil Souverain, he appealed to the king. On 2 June 1720 a royal decree demanded that the nuns make him this land grant, under penalty of seeing the land attached to the king’s domain by virtue of the decrees of Marly (1711).
On 1 July 1718 the king appointed Petit a member of the Conseil Souverain. It was not until 8 Jan. 1720, however, that the council ordered the inquiry into his character. On 15 January he was admitted to the council as the 11th councillor. He died shortly afterwards, and two years later his widow married Louis-Rémy Dugué. The inventory of his possessions was made in the presence of the notary Jacques Barbel on 17 April 1725.
AN, Col., C11A, 21, f.96. Jug. et délib., IV, 597–99, 789–98. P.-G. Roy, Inv. concessions, III, 266; Inv. jug. et délib., 1717–60, I, 82f.; VI, 257f. Charland, “Notre-Dame de Québec: le nécrologe de la crypte,” 170–77. P.-G. Roy, La famille Du Gué de Boisbriand (Lévis, 1918). J.-E. Roy, “Les conseillers au Conseil souverain de la Nouvelle-France,” BRH, I (1895), 178. P.-G. Roy, “Les trésoriers de la marine à Québec,” BRH, XXXV (1929), 635.