QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2010-04 > 1271037218
From: Fr John L <>
Subject: Re: [Q-R] Link to Samuel de Champlain's Last Will
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 2010 22:08:04 -0400
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
I, Samuel de Champlain, being of sound mind and reason, knowing that nothing is more uncertain than the hour of death, and not wishing to be surprised by it, without declaring my last wishes, I leave this document, so that they are known clearly to everyone.
Therefore, O my God, in your presence and in the presence of your Heavenly Court, I declare that it is my intention to live and die in the faith of the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman religion, and to receive all of the sacraments I am capable of receiving that the Church grants to her children. I am prepared to swear by my blood and my death to all of the truth she holds, and to obey all of your holy commandments.
With all my heart, I forgive all who have offended me, this out of love for you, O God, according to your will and desire; and I humbly beg forgiveness from all those whom I have offended. O my God, you have given me a reasonable soul, which I place in your hands and ask you to dispose of it according to your glory. As for my body, I leave it to rest here until the Resurrection, when you will reunite it with my soul to share with it in beatitude.
Knowing that I am merely the dispenser of all that you have placed in my hands, here is how I dispose of the temporal goods that you have given to me. I therefore intend, O my God, that the most holy Virgin Mary, your mother, should inherit all that I possess here in furnishings, in gold and in silver.
Therefore, I grant to the chapel of this place, which is dedicated to her name, and is commonly known as Notre-Dame-de-Recouvrance, everything that belongs to me here, except for what follows, for which I have asked her permission to give to certain individuals.
So, with her permission, I give to Marin [word missing] the mason, who lives near the house of the Recollet Fathers, the last suit of clothes made with the cloth I bought from the store.
To Poisson, my manservant, along with the unfinished suit of clothes I ordered for him, I give a pair of woolen breeches and a gray and red cloth shirt.
To Bonaventure, my godson, I give a garment of English cloth, a doublet, and breeches of the same color.
I ask Father Charles Lalemant to send to my wife the Agnus Dei which I own, along with a grey fox pelt and two otter skins and a gold ring in which a diamond is embedded.
To Helene, the wife of Monsieur Hebert, I give a pair of camisoles of white cotton.
I give to Marguerite, godchild of Pyvert’s wife, another camisole of the same cloth, along with hairpins and silk ribbons, which she is to share with her cousin Heleyne.
To Madame Giffard, I give the painting of Notre Dame which is in my bedchamber.
To Father Charles Lalemant, I give the painting of our crucified Lord that is also in my bedroom, as well as my compass and the copper astrolabe and sextant, imploring him to take all of my papers and bring them to my wife. I ask Monsieur Gan (who will make sure that everything in this document is executed) as I said, I ask him to make sure that the aforementioned papers are put into the hands of the said Father.
As for the remainder of my assets in France, should my death take place before my wife’s, I cannot dispose of them, having donated them to her in full should she survive me, as she has donated her assets to me in the event her death occurs before mine. So, presuming at the time I write this that my wife precedes me in death, this is how I dispose of everything that I own in France.
To the Mission of the Fathers of the Society of Jesus in Kebec I give the three thousand pounds that I own in the Compagnie générale, and the nine hundred pounds that I own in the Compagnie particulière, intending that they use five hundred pounds to decorate the chapel of Notre-Dame de Recouvrance located in Kebec, with tapestries or other furnishings for the altar. Beyond this, I give the said mission four hundred pounds, asking the fathers and brothers who live there to keep me in their prayers and begging them, in the name of the friendship they have for me, to say every year on the day of my passing, a mass for the repose of my soul.
I give to Abraham and his wife six hundred pounds to be used to buy and clear some land in this country of New France for their substance.
I give to Marguerite, daughter of Abraham, six hundred pounds for her dowry, so that she might marry in this country a man who is a resident of this country of New France, and not from elsewhere, and to Helene, his other daughter, my godchild, three hundred francs.
I give three hundred pounds to Helene des Portes, my wife’s godchild.
I give three hundred pounds to Marguerite Couillard, my godchild, for her dowry.
I give Pyvert two hundred francs.
I give one hundred pounds to La Caille’s wife.
I give to the hospital of La Charite, located in the Faubourg Saint-Germain in Paris, four hundred pounds.
I give to the Hospital Sisters of Parish (les Hospitalieres) who live near the Minims at Place Royale four hundred pounds.
I give to the Fathers of la Doctrine Chrétienne in Paris six hundred pounds, on condition that they pray to God for me, and say a few masses for the repose of my soul.
I give four hundred pounds to the poor of the great Hospital de Paris.
I give six hundred pounds to the paupers who subsist only because of the charity of generous people, wishing that the designated six hundred pounds be placed in the hands of Monsieur Sirou or of Mademoiselle his wife, to distribute according to my intentions. If this is not possible, I want that these funds be placed in the hands of Father Jarry of the Society of Jesus to be distributed for this purpose.
I give one hundred pounds to the Church of Saint-Esprit near La Greve, on condition that thirty masses be said for me.
Everything else that I possess, whether in furnishings of in real estate, I ask that it be given to my cousin, the daughter of the last Captain Georges Camaret, and now married to Monsieur d’Arsant, who lives in La Rochelle.
As executor of my will for the assets I possess in France, I name Monsieur Sirou, asking him humbly to do this as a sign of his friendship for me, knowing that there will be no impediment.
Done at Kebec, on the seventeenth day of November, one thousand six hundred thirty-five, in the presence of the following:
A de Bras de fer Derre
Chateaufort Le Tardif
D Rousseau le merc X de
Giffard De Laville
P. Goblet greffier de Quebec
Fr John L