BOISPINEAU, JEAN-JARD (often called “Brother Jean the elder” or “Brother Boispineau the elder”), lay brother, Jesuit, apothecary; b. 11 Sept. 1689 at Lamothe (possibly La Mothe-Achard, dept. of Vendée), France; d. 10 Sept. 1744 in Quebec.
Jean-Jard Boispineau entered the noviciate of the Jesuits of the province of Aquitaine in Bordeaux on 10 Aug. 1711. He sailed for New France in 1713. On 4 November of that year he took his first vows as lay brother, and his final ones on 2 Feb. 1721. Generally the lay brothers who asked to enter the Society of Jesus had already acquired a certain competence in their profession. Often these brothers wanted to participate in missionary work but did not want to be priests or did not have the requisite education. It seems clear that Boispineau had acquired his training as an apothecary in France, and his reputation in Canada was excellent. He lavished his care not only upon the members of the Society of Jesus but also upon the other inhabitants of New France. Several statements confirm Boispineau’s great activity and his numerous successes, as an apothecary and as a surgeon working with Michel Bertier* and Michel Sarrazin*.
Jean-Jard Boispineau died in Quebec on 10 Sept. 1744. His brother Charles, also a lay brother and apothecary, survived him, dying on 30 Jan. 1760. Charles, who had arrived in the colony in 1721, practised his profession competently, but his reputation as an apothecary never equalled Jean-Jard’s.