POTTIER, JEAN-BAPTISTE, royal notary, deputy to the fiscal attorney, clerk of court, royal process-server, surveyor, and jailer, originally from Chartres, France; date of birth unknown, son of Jean Pottier and Marguerite de Sainctes; buried 11 July 1711 at Trois-Rivières.
Pottier, a resident of the parish of Saints-Anges at Lachine, was at first a precentor and schoolmaster, at a salary of 50 livres a year. He apparently gave up these poorly paid activities towards the end of 1686, at the time when he began to receive notarial acts by virtue of a commission granted him by the seigneurs of Montreal. On 23 May 1690 he was appointed deputy to the fiscal attorney in the bailiff’s court of Montreal, an office that he held until the middle of 1693. Meanwhile, on 15 March 1693, he had obtained letters confirming his appointment as royal notary in the government of Montreal; but judging by his minute-book, possibly incomplete, his clientele did not increase in consequence. Since 14 June 1688 he had been a married man and he had a family to support. On 5 Oct. 1695, therefore, he had to rent a 60-acre settler’s farm at Lachine.
An opportunity presented itself in 1701: the intendant invited him to replace the old notary Séverin Ameau, at Trois-Rivières, for a few months at least. Pottier decided to establish himself there. In this small town he was able to hold the offices of clerk of court, jailer, and notary at one and the same time; in addition, on 17 Oct. 1703 he became royal serjeant at law (process-server) with jurisdiction for the whole of New France. Pottier, who had a fairly large family on his hands, was perhaps little better off; in any case, on 1 May 1711 Intendant Bégon* added to his titles that of sworn surveyor.
Notaries are said to be peaceable people; Pottier had rather the aggressiveness of the process-server and the jailer. He got into trouble a few times: on 5 May 1693 Pierre Rémy, the parish priest of Lachine, brought an action against him for insults and threats to use force; worse still, in 1707, Pottier used physical violence against a woman named Carpentier from Champlain and was sentenced to pay damages and legal costs. The amusing thing was that Pottier had been attacked himself by Étienne Pézard de La Tousche in 1704, and had been so roughly handled that La Tousche had been obliged to pay him compensation and damages to the extent of 200 livres.
Pottier died in 1711 at Trois-Rivières. His widow Étiennette Beauvais, who is said to have been restored to health in 1704 through the intercession of Brother Didace Pelletier*, lived until 1753.
AJM, Greffe de Claude Maugue, 13 juin 1688, 5 oct. 1695. AJTR, Greffe de J.-B. Pottier, 1699–1711. AQ, NF, Coll. de pièces jud. et not., 400; NF, Ord. des int., V, 28; VI, 22v et seq. Jug. et délib., III, IV, V. Ord. comm. (P.-G. Roy), II, 319. A. Roy, Inv. greffes not., XI, 167–258. “Les notaires au Canada,” 28. É.-Z. Massicotte, “Les tribunaux et les officiers de justice,” BRH, XXXVII (1931), 126, 183, 254. Tanguay, Dictionnaire, I, 495. Jouve, Les Franciscains et le Canada: aux Trois-Rivières. J.-E. Roy, Histoire du notariat, I, 147, 191f.