NOUCHET, JOSEPH, controller and later director of the Domaine d’Occident in Canada, merchant; b. 1690 in the parish of Saint-Vincent du Lude (dept. of Sarthe), France, son of Julien Nouchet and Barbe Barrat; d. 27 Sept. 1750 in Quebec.
The circumstances of Joseph Nouchet’s arrival in Canada are not known; in August 1723 he was exercising there the functions of controller of the farms of the Domaine du Roi (Domaine d’Occident). His reputation as a “diligent man, assiduous in his work” caused him to be chosen on 16 Aug. 1742 by the intendant, Hocquart*, to replace his friend François-Étienne Cugnet as receiver of dues (director) for the Domaine d’Occident. The latter had been relieved of his duties for having borrowed from the funds of the Domaine to finance his operation of the Saint-Maurice ironworks. The receiver’s duties consisted of “receiving import and export duties, domanial and seigneurial dues, and other taxes payable to the Domaine”; he was then required to enter them in one of the six registers of receipts which were entrusted to him for this purpose. To carry out these functions Nouchet received the considerable salary of 2,000 livres annually. As a member of the administrative élite, one of the highly placed officials of the time, and a merchant, Joseph Nouchet carried on business dealings with the ruling group in Quebec society. He was also the churchwarden in charge of the parish council of Notre-Dame de Québec in 1743.
On 7 Aug. 1723 Joseph Nouchet had married Geneviève, “a minor 15 years of age,” whose father, a Quebec merchant, was Jean Gatin. By this marriage he had a son, Joseph-Étienne.
AN, Col., C11A, 114, ff.144v, 233, 234; 115, ff.105v, 216; 120, f.230; 122, ff.225v–26. ANQ, Greffe de Jacques Barbel, 7 août 1723; Greffe de J.-C. Louet, 23 déc. 1728; AP, Timothée Provost, 14 mai 1743. Documents relating to Canadian currency during the French régime (Shortt), I, 544, 546, 566, 568. P.-G. Roy, Inv. jug. et délib., 1717–1760, III, 203; V, 48–49, 238–39; VI, 56, 79, 90. Tanguay, Dictionnaire, VI, 165.