Sunday, November 02, 2014

Black Sheep Sunday: Antoine Gaboury, would-be rapist

Scales of justice

It was on this day – 2 November – in 1668 that Antoine Gaboury was found guilty of attempted rape.

Antoine, my maternal 7x great-grandfather, was born about 1640 (he was 20 years old in 1660) or about 1642 (he was 25 years old on the 1667 colonial census) in La Rochelle, France. [1]

He immigrated to Quebec in the 1650s, where his presence is noted there on 24 February 1660 when he received the sacrament of Confirmation. [2]

By August 1665, though, he was heavily in debt to his creditor Aubin Lambert. [3]

Three years later, an order was issued for Antoine’s arrest in L’Ange-Gardien in the Beaupré seigneurie, east of Quebec, on 23 October 1668. [4] It wasn’t due to his debts, however. His neighbor François Hébert and his daughter Jeanne, who was about 10 years old, brought an accusation of rape against him. [5]

Testimony was heard from various witnesses in Quebec. Justice was swift. Two weeks later, the Conseil souverain declared Antoine guilty of having attempted to rape Jeanne ‘with all his might’. [6]

The sentence: Antoine would be shaved, publicly beaten and sent to the galleys for nine years. [7] Additionally, he was fined “cinq cents livres”, half of which would pay his victim’s expenses for boarding school run by the Ursuline nuns in Quebec. The remainder would go to the poor of the local hospital. [8] His belongings were seized and sold at auction. [9] Finally, Antoine was placed on the first ship leaving for France and handed over to the galley guards to begin serving his sentence. [10]

After his exile, Antoine returned to Nouvelle-France, married Jeanne Migneault, by whom he had two sons and six daughters. [11] He died at an unknown date, but it was before 12 October 1708, because he is described as “deffunt [sic] Antoine Gaboury” in his daughter’s burial record. [12]

For her part, young Jeanne married French immigrant François Labadie in April 1671 and was the mother of eleven children. She outlived her assailant and died in 1727. [13]

Sources:

1. René Jetté, Dictionnaire généalogique des familles du Québec (Montréal: Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 1983), 446.

2. Jetté, Dictionnaire, 446.

3. Réal Aubin, “Aubin Lambert, un prétendu soldat du regiment de Carignan”, Mémoires de la Société généalogique canadienne-française 131 (jan-févr-mars 1977): 25-31, particularly p. 29; DVD edition (Montreal, QC: SGCF, 2013).

4. Robert-Lionel Séguin, La vie libertine en Nouvelle-France (Ottawa: Leméac, 1972), I: 303.

5. Joachim Hébert, “Une famille-souche – 1ère generation François Hebert dit Le Comte de Roussy et Anne Fauconnier”, Mémoires de la Société généalogique canadienne-française 173 (automne 1987): 175-212, particularly p. 185.

6. Séguin, La vie libertine en Nouvelle-France, I: 304, citing Jugements du Conseil souverain, op. cit., 111: 497.

7. Séguin, La vie libertine en Nouvelle-France, I: 304, citing Jugements du Conseil souverain, op. cit., 111: 508. A similar sentence (shaved, beaten, exiled for nine years in the galleys) was recently given to Pierre Pinel on 1 October 1668 for having raped two young girls of about 10 and 11 years old. Séguin, La vie libertine en Nouvelle-France, I: 303.

8. Séguin, La vie libertine en Nouvelle-France, I: 304.

9. Joachim Hébert, “Une famille-souche”, p. 185.

10. Séguin, La vie libertine en Nouvelle-France, I: 304, citing Jugements du Conseil souverain, op. cit., 111: 508.

11. Jetté, Dictionnaire, 446.

12. St-Augustin (St-Augustin, Quebec), parish register, 1693-1780, no p. no., no entry no. (1708), Marie Jeanne Gaboury burial, 14 October 1708; St-Augustin parish; digital image, “Le LAFRANCE”, Généalogie Québec (http://www.genealogiequebec.com : accessed 1 November 2014).

13. Jetté, Dictionnaire, 618.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

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