DU PERRON, THALOUR, governor of Plaisance (Placentia) (1662–63), native of Nantes, in France; assassinated 1663 in Newfoundland.
Du Perron was still very young when he was appointed governor of Plaisance and sent to take possession of this colony in the king’s name, after Fouquet’s disgrace and Feuquières’ resignation.
He set off for Newfoundland in July 1662, on board the Aigle d’Or, with Nicolas Gargot. His brother accompanied him, and a small party recruited in a most casual fashion; they had a supply of food and munitions. They did not arrive until October. Gargot went on to Quebec. A few months later, during the winter, as Du Perron and his brother were returning from hunting, they were attacked by a party of their men and shot down. The assassins then rushed to the storehouses, got drunk, and set to killing one another, to such effect that 12 or 15 corpses remained. The chaplain accompanying them had fled to the woods, but cold and hunger forced him to return to the fort, where his head was split open with an axe. The following spring the murderers tried to cross to the mainland with the most valuable part of their booty, but they were shipwrecked.
When Capt. Guillon, Gargot’s second-in-command and the captain of the Jardin de Hollande, reached Plaisance with fresh supplies in 1663, he learned this news and managed to capture 15 of the criminals, whom he brought back to Quebec and handed over to Gargot. The trial gave rise to a conflict of authority; the Conseil Souverain demanded the prisoners, but Gargot claimed jurisdiction in the affair. He set up a court martial with the officers of his two ships, and one of the scoundrels, convicted of the murder of the chaplain, had his hand cut off, and was then hanged and burned on a raft, in full view of Quebec.
AN, Col., C11A, 2, f.38. [Pierre Groyer], Mémoires de la vie et des aventures de Nicolas Gargot, capitaine de marine [Paris, 1668]; Les aventures du rochelais Nicolas Gargot dit “Jambe-de-Bois,” éd. Charles Millon (La Rochelle, 1928). Jug. et délib., I, 6. La Morandière, Hist. de la pêche française de la morue, I, 414–16. P.-G. Roy, La ville de Québec, I, 301–2.