DUQUET DE LA CHESNAYE, PIERRE, explorer, royal notary, attorney-general, seigneurial judge, seigneur; b. 14 Jan. 1643 in Quebec; d. 13 Oct. 1687 in Quebec.
Son of Denis Duquet and Catherine Gauthier, Pierre was one of the first pupils of the Jesuit college of Quebec. The Journal des Jésuites stresses on different occasions the role that he played in the musical portion of the religious ceremonies.
Shortly after leaving the college, Duquet, at the age of 20, bought the registry of the notary Guillaume Audouart, whom he succeeded as royal notary. His commission, dated 31 Oct. 1663, made him the first Canadian-born notary.
At this time Duquet had only just returned from an expedition, directed by Guillaume Couture*, which had taken him during the summer a little beyond Lake Nemiskau, about a hundred miles from Rupert River. This was the second attempt by the French to reach Hudson Bay by land.
Like most of the notaries of his period, Duquet had a well-filled career: he was often given power of attorney by litigants, and in addition he was commissioned to carry out several inquiries into irregularities in the liquor traffic. In the autumn of 1666 he went with the Carignan-Salières regiment into Iroquois territory and signed on 17 October the Procès verbal de la prise de possession des forts d’Agnié. Deputy attorney-general (1675–1681), attorney-general (1681–1686), seigneurial judge of Notre-Dame-des-Anges, of the Île d’Orléans and of Orsainville, he was moreover the owner of several properties at Quebec and Lévis and of two seigneuries granted to him in 1672 and 1675. His multifarious occupations prevented him however from giving the desired attention to his notarial acts, in which are to be found many errors and omissions. His registry, which is nevertheless very interesting, is preserved in the Judicial Archives of Quebec.
On 25 August 1666 Duquet had married at Quebec Anne Lamarre, who came originally from the parish of Saint-Sulpice in Paris.
AJQ, Greffe de Pierre Duquet, 1663–84; Ins. Prév. Québec, I, 303. AN, Col., C11A, 10, ff.96s. APQ, Ins. Cons. souv., I, 6. JR (Thwaites), passim. JJ (Laverdière et Casgrain), passim. Jug. et délib., passim. Ord. comm. (P.-G, Roy), I, 21. Ordre de M. d’Avaugour au Sr. Couture pour aller au Nord, BRH, VII (1901), 41. Papier terrier de la Cie des I.O. (P.-G. Roy), 250–52. “Procès verbal de la prise de possession des forts d’Agnié (17 oct. 1666),” dans Sulte, Mélanges historiques (Malchelosse), VIII, 57f. Delanglez, Jolliet, 248, 255, 260.P.-G. Roy, Inv. concessions, passim.
“Les notaires an Canada,” APQ Rapport, 1921–22, 22. J.-E. Roy, Histoire du notariat, I: 76f., 89–91. P.-G. Roy, Fils de Québec (4v., Lévis, 1933), I, 10–12. André Vachon, Histoire du notariat canadien, 1621–960 (Québec, 1962), passim.