RAIMBAULT, PIERRE, cabinet-maker, clerk of court, notary, surveyor, king’s counsellor, king’s attorney, acting lieutenant of police, subdelegate of the intendant, judge in the court of Montreal; b. 11 Oct. 1671 at Montreal, son of Claude Raimbault, master-carpenter, and Marie-Thérèse Sallé; d. there 17 Oct. 1740.
Raimbault was in France 1681–96, and returned to Montreal with Jeanne-Françoise Simblin, whom he had married 8 July 1691 in Paris; he was at that time a cabinet-maker with his own business. On 17 Nov. 1697 he began his career as a notary, and pursued it until 24 Jan. 1727, leaving a registry of 3,520 acts. He was made royal notary in 1699, and the following year was appointed king’s attorney on an interim basis; it was not until 1706 that he received his commission for this office, which he occupied until 1727. He was a subdelegate of the intendant from 1716 to 1730, and also the Sulpicians’ business agent. Finally, having been acting lieutenant of police since 1720, he was appointed on 27 April 1727 lieutenant-general at the court of Montreal for civil and criminal affairs, for police, trade, and navigation, a post which he occupied until his death, but from which he was forced to absent himself during the last two years of his life because of his infirmities.
With this impressive legal career he combined that of an astute business man, carrying through during his lifetime no fewer than about 30 real estate transactions. According to Hocquart* he was “well versed in business matters”; furthermore, wrote Intendant Bégon*, he “discharged his functions well and capably.” On his death he left two properties at Montreal and a fief on Lake Champlain called La Moinaudière.
Raimbault was a man of some culture. The inventory of his possessions drawn up in 1706, at the time of his first wife’s death, reveals the largest collection of books known to belong to any one individual at the beginning of the 18th century; it comprised 35 works: 7 law books, 12 Greek and Latin classics, 15 books on religion, and 1 on horticulture.
On the other hand, his way of life often gave rise to criticism, especially from the numerous enemies he inevitably made for himself in discharging his duties. He was accused of not taking the sacrament at Easter and of having scandalous relations with the widow of an officer. But Hocquart points out that “the Sieur Raimbault’s age, together with his infirmities and the ugliness of the widow in question, do not authorize such a presumption.” And when in 1731 he had two Recollets put in prison, Bishop Dosquet* wrote that “he seized the opportunity to take vengeance on church people.”
By his first marriage he had six children, of whom the eldest, Joseph-Charles, was royal notary and clerk of the court of Montreal, and the second, Paul-François, was ennobled under the name of Raimbault de Saint-Blaint (or Simblin), which his descendants bore. By his second marriage, to Louise Nafrechoux in 1707, he had ten children, of whom the third, Marguerite, married Pierre Boucher* de Boucherville, the third seigneur of that name.
AJM, Greffe d’Antoine Adhémar, 20 déc. 1706; Greffe de Pierre Raimbault, 1692–1727. Documents relating to Canadian currency during the French period (Shortt), I, 548. Jug. et délib., IV, V, VI. É.-Z. Massicotte, “Une lettre du juge Raimbault en 1731,” BRH, XXII (1916), 242f. A. Roy, Inv. greffes not., XII, XV, XVI. P.-G. Roy, Inv. concessions; Inv. coll. pièces jud. et not., I, 37, 184; Inv. ins. Cons. souv., I, 111, 182f., 227–29, 234; Inv, ord. int., I, 89; II, 20–22.
“Liste des officiers de justice employez dans les différents tribunaux de la Nouvelle-France (1722),” BRH, XXXV (1929), 111, “Liste des officiers de justice de la Nouvelle-France (1722),” BRH, XXXVI (1930), 155–56. É.-Z. Massicotte, “Les juges de Montréal sous le régime français,” Cahiers des Dix, VIII (1943), 255–59. “Les notaires au Canada,” 31. Tanguay, Dictionnaire, VI, 500.
J.-E. Roy, Histoire du notariat, I, 151. Montarville Boucher de La Bruère, “Les Boucherville à l’étranger,” Cahiers des Dix, I (1936), 232. L.-P. Desrosiers “Correspondance de M. Magnien,” Cahiers des Dix, IX (1944), 223. Albertine Ferland-Angers, “La Citadelle de Montréal,” RHAF, III (1949–50), 501. Auguste Gosselin, “Le clergé canadien et la déclaration de 1732,” RSCT, 2d ser., VI (1900), sect.i, 23–52. É.-Z. Massicotte, “Le juge Pierre Raimbault et sa famille,” BRH, XXI (1915), 78–81.