HAZEUR, JOSEPH-THIERRY, parish priest, grand penitentiary of the chapter of the cathedral of Quebec, vicar general; b. 25 June 1680 at Quebec, son of François Hazeur*, a merchant, and Anne Soumande; d. 1 April 1757 at the Hôpital Général of Quebec.
Joseph-Thierry Hazeur entered the Petit Séminaire of Quebec on 11 Sept. 1691. He left it on 22 May 1696, “being in the first year of philosophy,” say the annals of the Petit Séminaire, “not having much aptitude or bent for study or inclination for the church.” This judgement by his superiors was indeed severe towards a schoolboy who, at 15 years of age and after only four years of study, was already in the philosophy class. Furthermore, it was at the least premature, since Thierry Hazeur persevered in his vocation. He was tonsured 9 Aug. 1699 by Bishop Saint-Vallier [La Croix*], and received the minor orders on 11 November. In the absence of the bishop of Quebec, Bishop Laval* conferred the subdiaconate upon him 24 July 1701, the diaconate 27 April 1704, and on 25 April 1706, at the same time as his younger brother, Pierre Hazeur* de L’Orme received it, the priesthood.
Abbé Joseph-Thierry Hazeur first exercised his ministry at Saint-François, on Île d’Orléans, from 1707 to 1712. In 1715 Bishop Saint-Vallier offered him a canonry, left vacant by the death of Abbé Jean Pinguet of the seminary of Quebec. The new canon received his letters of appointment on 21 March and was installed on 4 May. At the end of that year the bishop sent him to the parish of Saint-François-de-Sales at Pointe-aux-Trembles (Neuville); Jean Basset*, the parish priest there, had died on 20 November. Canon Hazeur went to Pointe-aux-Trembles on 5 December, intending, however, as he himself specified both in the parish register and in the account book of the parish council, to “carry out the functions of parish priest for the space of one whole year.” His stay was to extend nevertheless to September 1725. He seems to have carried out his task conscientiously; his records were carefully kept and attest to his faithfulness in maintaining residence.
Once more in Quebec, Thierry Hazeur, whom the bishop had appointed grand penitentiary of the chapter on 24 May 1723, lived henceforth on his prebend. He also drew interest on a sum of 10,000 livres that he had lent on 2 Nov. 1724 to the Quebec seminary at a rate of 1 in 20 (5 per cent). Almost always ill, complaining in particular of a continual perspiration, the grand penitentiary rarely attended the cathedral services. In 1730 Bishop Dosquet* asserted that he had “been reprimanded for being absent more than 1,300 times this year.” However, the coadjutor added, “He claims his right to receive the remunerations as if he had been present.” After 1744 he appeared at no more meetings of the chapter.
Whether real or imaginary, Thierry Hazeur’s infirmities did not prevent him from living to the age of 77, or, in particular, from taking an active part in the incessant quarrels which rocked the chapter of Quebec after Bishop Saint-Vallier’s death. On 3 Jan. 1728 he was elected vicar general by his colleagues, and, urged on by his friend Joachim Fornel, he undertook to support the claims of the chapter to direct the diocese. In a letter dated 31 May 1728 Bishop Mornay [Duplessis], Bishop Saint-Vallier’s successor, in vain ordered the vicar general and his partisans to wait for the orders which his coadjutor, Dosquet, would bring to New France. They did not do so and on 12 September signed an order intimating to the faithful that they were to recognize the chapter’s authority during “the vacancy of the see.” As soon as he had landed Bishop Dosquet reacted firmly against the spirit of in subordination which reigned in the Quebec church and unsparingly denounced the guilty to the minister, Maurepas. The canons, he wrote, “think of nothing but quibbling and sowing discord among themselves as well as among the laity and will not recognize rules, or statutes, or superiors. They treat the dean as an inferior and the bishop as their equal, making it a point to oppose everything he desires. This applies principally to Messieurs Fornel and Hazeur, who enjoy discord and attract the others to their side.” The minister’s reply was not long in coming. He sent Governor Charles de Beauharnois and Intendant Gilles Hocquart* a lettre de cachet authorizing the coadjutor to send Fornel back to France if he considered it advisable. As for Canon Hazeur, the minister charged them to warn him that if he did not conduct himself better in future, the king would give “orders to bring him into line.”
Somewhat chastened by the reprimand he had received, Thierry Hazeur prudently remained in the background until 1740 when, at the request of Hazeur de L’Orme, Bishop Lauberivière [Pourroy*] chose him to preside in his absence at the official taking of possession of his episcopal see. This time the grand penitentiary felt sufficiently strong to preside over the official ceremony, on 20 June. After the bishop’s untimely death on 20 August the canons again took over the administration of the diocese. On 7 November they entrusted Thierry Hazeur with the office of vicar general, which Canon Jean-Pierre de Miniac* had just given up to return to France. Thierry Hazeur remained in office until Bishop Pontbriand [Dubreil] arrived on 9 Aug. 1741. This short period was nonetheless sufficient for him to bring two condemnations upon himself from the Conseil Supérieur: the first arose from a lawsuit brought against him by none other than Joachim Fornel, and the other from the authorization he had incautiously given for the marriage of René-Ovide Hertel* de Rouville and Louise-Catherine André de Leigne, despite the opposition of the bridegroom’s family.
The grand penitentiary does not seem to have been any more fortunate in the conduct of his own affairs. In 1734, shortly before dying, the doctor Michel Sarrazin*, the canon’s brother-in-law, had chosen him as guardian of his children and heirs. From then until 1747 Hazeur had to suffer several lawsuits brought by the dead man’s creditors, which cost him much worry and money. Towards 1748, exhausted and at the end of his resources, he sought refuge with his friend Abbé Louis Lepage de Sainte-Claire, the seigneur of Terrebonne. In 1751 Joseph-Thierry Hazeur returned to Quebec and retired to the Hôpital Général. There he died on 1 April 1757 and was buried two days later in the cathedral choir.
AAQ, 12A, Registres d’insinuations A; 12 A, Registres d’insinuations B; 10 B, Registre des délibérations; 1 W, Église du Canada, I, II. AN, Col., C11A, 53, f.373v; 56, ff.75–76. Archives paroissiales de Saint-François-de-Sales (Saint-François, Île d’Orléans, Qué.), Registres des baptêmes, mariages et sépultures, 1706–1712 (copies at ANQ). Archives paroissiales de Saint-François-de-Sales (Neuville, Qué.), Registres des baptêmes, mariages et sépultures; Livres de comptes, I. ASQ, mss, 2, 18; mss, 12, 208f, 488f; Registre A, 28f.; Séminaire, XCII, 20, p.42. P.-G. Roy, Inv. jug. et délib., 1717–1760, V. Gosselin, L’Église du Canada jusqu’à la conquête, I, II. Henri Têtu, “Le chapitre de la cathédrale de Québec et ses délégués en France,” BRH, XIII (1907), 238, 240; XIV (1908), 79, 98; XV (1909), 75; XVI (1910), 138, 160.