GRISÉ, ANTOINE (also called Grisé, dit Villefranche), royal notary; b. 19 Oct. 1728 at Chambly (Que.), son of Antoine Grisé and Françoise Poyer; m. 24 June 1754 Françoise Marcoux at Chambly; d. there 12 July 1785.
Antoine Grisé’s father, a corporal in Jacques-Hugues Péan* de Livaudière’s company, came originally from one of the places in France called Villefranche, hence the nickname sometimes given father and son. On 24 July 1756 the younger Grisé received a commission as royal notary for the seigneuries of Chambly and Rouville. That year either his father (who lived until 1781) or more probably he himself became storekeeper at Fort Chambly. In any event “Villefranche, formerly storekeeper of Fort Chambly,” in 1763 was sentenced in the affaire du Canada to five years’ banishment from Paris and a fine of 30 livres for accepting bribes and falsifying accounts. The sentence was pronounced in absentia, since the two Grisés had remained in Canada.
On 1 Oct. 1760 Antoine Grisé Jr was commissioned notary for the seigneuries of Chambly, Belœil, and Rouville, with the requirement that he live in Chambly. After that date his minute-book (there is no inventory) shows that his practice became busier, especially in the recording of land grants. Antoine Grisé was relied on by all the local seigneurs, for whom he drew up deeds of land grants. Some are done on printed forms which are perfectly preserved and are fine specimens of early Canadian printing.
Grisé became embroiled with the famous jurist, François-Joseph Cugnet, who was trying to obtain the title-deeds of the heirs of François-Joseph Bissot* [see Jacques de Lafontaine* de Belcour]. On 4 Dec. 1769 Grisé had acquired from Antoine de Lafontaine de Belcour, a brother of Marie-Josephte, Cugnet’s wife, all the rights to the Mingan islands which Lafontaine de Belcour had inherited from his mother, Charlotte Bissot. On 10 April 1775 Grisé in turn sold these rights to William Grant* of Saint-Roch. At least in Cugnet’s eyes the 1769 deed was illegal, and on 13 April 1775 (and again during the following weeks) he inserted a notice in the Quebec Gazette in which he denounced the 1775 transaction and warned the public about Grisé: “The public can be assured that this deed of transfer is defective (if not fraudulent).” We do not know the result of the affair.
On 23 Aug. 1781 Antoine Grisé’s commission was extended to include the city and district of Montreal. In June 1785 he signed his 2, 775th deed and laid down his pen. He passed away at Chambly the following month. His son Jean-Baptiste, who was also a surveyor, had been granted a commission as notary the preceding February and succeeded him immediately. His career was short. He died early in 1796, asphyxiated by fumes from a stove in a Montreal inn.
ANQ-M, État civil, Catholiques, Saint-Joseph (Chambly), 12 janv., 19 oct. 1728, 24 juin 1754, 14 juill. 1785; Greffe d’Antoine Grisé, 1756–85; Greffe de J.-B. Grisé, 1785–96. Private archives, J.-J. Lefebvre (Montréal), Lettre de Raoul Raymond, 29 août 1974 (notes sur la famille Grisé). PAC Rapport, app.B, 1918, 28. J.-E. Roy, Rapport sur les archives de France, 871, 875. P.-G. Roy, Inv. concessions, III, 194, 196; Inv. ord. int., III, 198. Tanguay, Dictionnaire. Vachon, “Inv. critique des notaires royaux,” RHAF, XI, 272. P.-G. Roy, Bigot et sa bande, 186–88. Leland, “François-Joseph Cugnet,” Revue de l’université Laval, XVII, 151–52; XX, 149–50.