REGNARD DUPLESSIS, GEORGES, receiver of the Admiralty, treasurer of Marine, general and special agent for the Compagnie de la Colonie; b. in the province of Champagne; buried 31 Oct. 1714 at Quebec.
Duplessis came to New France in 1689 to work in the offices of the treasurer of Marine at Quebec. “An orderly man, good at calculating,” he soon received various promotions. On 27 Oct. 1698 he was appointed by Champigny [Bochart] receiver of the Admiralty – the clerk whose task it was to collect dues to be paid to the admiral – and on 22 June 1699 he received in addition the post of treasurer of Marine. Vaudreuil [Rigaud] paid him this tribute: “I can assure you that he carried out his duties here in a manner that satisfies everyone.”
In 1705 Duplessis was chosen, with Lotbinière [Chartier], to manage the affairs of the Compagnie de la Colonie, which was in difficulties. He took advantage of this situation to settle certain debts that he owed the company. An inquiry was held, and an ordinance from Intendant Begon* sentenced Duplessis to make restitution to the shareholders of the money he owed them. Duplessis got out of this situation by an arrangement with the company, which led the king to say: “He [Duplessis] must consider himself fortunate to settle his differences with the company so cheaply.” This escape did not put a stop to his scheming, but he fell more and more into discredit.
In January 1713 all the treasury papers were destroyed when the intendant’s palace in Quebec burned. Duplessis was held responsible for the loss of the card money, treasury bonds, bills in hand, and vouchers for expenditures – all the treasury papers – and he was obliged to make reimbursement. He died on 30 Oct. 1714, before he had finished payment, and his widow had to pay more than a million livres.
Georges Regnard Duplessis took part in the various commercial activities of the colony. He was also an enterprising seigneur. In October 1696 Frontenac [Buade*] granted him a piece of land in Acadia, but he did not farm it. It was as the seigneur of Lauson that he revealed his qualities. He bought this seigneury on 14 Oct. 1699 from Thomas Bertrand for 5,500 livres and soon showed himself to be a dynamic seigneur. In 1702 a decision by the Conseil Supérieur authorized Duplessis to repossess those lands in the seigneury which had not been improved. He had the boundaries of his property marked out, set up a court, had a banal mill built, and where necessary obtained confirmation of his rights of precedence. When reverses of fortune forced him to sell this seigneury in March 1714, he obtained 40,000 livres for it from Étienne Charest.
Duplessis had married Marie Le Roy, who was originally from Chevreuse near Paris. They had eight children of whom only four lived; François-Xavier was a noted Jesuit preacher, and Marie-Andrée*, dite de Sainte-Hélène, was annalist and superior of the Hôtel-Dieu of Quebec.
AN, Col., B, 27, f.244; C11A, 26, f.233; 33, f.300. “Correspondance de Vaudreuil,” APQ Rapport, 1942–43, 407–13. Documents relating to Canadian currency during the French period (Shortt), I, 89. Jug. et délib. P.-G. Roy, Inv. concessions, I, 114; III, 97; IV, 124f.; Inventaire des procès-verbaux des grands voyers conservés aux archives de la province de Québec (6v., Beauceville, 1923–32), II, 204. Tanguay, Dictionnaire, I, 511f.; III, 544. J.-E. Roy, Histoire de la seigneurie de Lauzon (5v., Lévis, 1897–1904), II, 1–3. Guy Frégault, “La Compagnie de la colonie,” Revue de l’université d’Ottawa, XXX (1960), 127–49. “Madame veuve Regnard Duplessis,” BRH, XLII (1936), 611. “Regnard Duplessis, trésorier de la Marine,” BRH, XXIX (1923), 362. P.-G. Roy, “La famille Regnard Duplessis,” BRH, XV (1909), 282–85; “Les trésoriers de la marine à Québec,” BRH, XXXV (1929), 635–37.