SOUSTE, ANDRÉ, stocking maker, merchant, and royal notary; baptized on 4 April 1692 in the parish of Saint-Léger, Chambéry, Savoy, son of Jean-Marie Souste, a merchant, and Marguerite Vulliermet; m. 28 Nov. 1720 in Montreal (Que.) Marie-Louise, daughter of Denis d’Estienne* Du Bourgué de Clérin; d. 12 Feb. 1776 in Montreal.
André Souste had been a workman and a maker of silk and woollen stockings in France before coming to Canada late in the summer of 1719, under contract to François Charon* de La Barre, founder of the Brothers Hospitallers of the Cross and of St Joseph. Souste had agreed to set up a stocking factory with François Darles, a journeyman, at the Hôpital Général in Montreal. Charon’s death obliged Souste and Darles to sign another contract, dated 13 December, with Louis Turc* de Castelveyre, the newly appointed superior of the community. The partners’ difficulties in meeting the terms of the contract and their increased obligations to the hospitallers caused André Souste slowly to lose interest in his work. When the two began to quarrel, Intendant Michel Bégon* was forced to intervene; on 9 July 1721 he put Darles in sole charge of the factory. Souste protested at first but he finally accepted the decision on 8 May 1722, when he ceased all relations with his partner and let it be known that he had developed an aversion for Darles.
Souste then went into business in Montreal. He apparently did well, since in July 1725 he built a stone house 50 feet by 24 on Rue Saint-Pierre, and in November he hired a servant at an annual salary of 130 livres, with board and lodging. He engaged in retail trade in textiles and clothing until about 1740. Through the good offices of his wife’s brother-in-law Louis-Claude Danré* de Blanzy, he was then appointed notary by the Jesuits for their seigneury of Prairie-de-la-Madeleine (La Prairie). After the death of Guillaume Barette he was appointed royal notary of the seigneury of Longueuil in 1745. Commissioned by Intendant Hocquart, he was to practise in the area “from and including the seigneury of Longueuil up to the dwellings in the southern côtes of the administrative district of Montreal.” On 12 March 1749 Intendant Bigot licensed Souste to practise as a notary in both the northern and the southern côtes of the Montreal district; his jurisdiction was extended to the town itself on 2 Aug. 1750. At the time of the conquest, Gage renewed his commission, and Souste was permitted to practise in the city and throughout the Government of Montreal for another nine years. During his career Souste drew up nearly 1, 200 instruments, more than half dating from the period 1750–59. These included the usual kinds of documents prepared by a notary of the old régime: deeds of sale, land grants, and marriage contracts.
By the end of his career, André Souste had become quite prosperous, with the house on Rue Saint-Pierre and a farm of one and a half by 20 arpents on the côte Saint-Laurent near Montreal His marriage connected him with a prominent family in the colony and probably was a factor in his being able to make a successful transition from specialized labour to the judicial circle of the colony.
André Souste’s register, which covers 28 March 1745 to 5 Feb. 1769, is held at ANQ-M. AD, Savoie (Chambéry), État civil, Saint-Léger, 4 avril 1692. ANQ-M, Doc. jud., Pièces détachées, 21 mars 1720; Registres des audiences pour la juridiction de Montréal, 9, ff.132, 138v; État civil, Catholiques, Notre-Dame de Montréal, 28 nov. 1720, 30 oct. 1758, 13 févr. 1776, 1er, mai 1780; Greffe de J.-B. Adhémar, 5 juill., 21 nov. 1725; Greffe de F.-L. Lepallieur de Laferté, 28 mars 1737; Greffe de M.-L. Lepallieur de Laferté, 27 nov. 1720, 9, 27 juin 1725; Greffe de Pierre Panet, 28 oct. 1758, 20 févr. 1761. ANQ-Q, NF 2, 7, 25 juin 1720, 9 juill. 1721; 8, 24 sept. 1722. IBC, Centre de documentation, Fonds Morisset, Dossier André Souste. PAC Rapport, 1918, app.B, 24–25. “Recensement de Montréal, 1741” (Massicotte), 54. É.-Z. Massicotte, “Inventaire des documents et des imprimés concernant la communauté des frères Charon et l’Hôpital Général de Montréal sous le Régime français,” ANQ Rapport, 1923–24, 179; “Les tribunaux et les officiers de justice, à Montréal, sous le Régime français, 1648–1760,” RSC Trans., 3rd ser., X (1916), sect.i, 298. “Les notaires au Canada sous le Régime français,” ANQ Rapport, 1921–22, 49. P.-G. Roy, Inv. jug. et délib., 1717–60, II, 3, 35; III, 82; IV, 280; Inv. ord. int., I, 183, 204, 229–30; II, 99, 106, 170–71; III, 77, 121. P.-G. Roy et al., Inv. greffes not., XV, 71; XXIV, 1–161; XXV, 15, 65, 123, 132, 182, 191, 193. Tanguay, Dictionnaire, VII, 208. Vachon, “Inv. critique des notaires royaux,” RHAF, XI, 102. J.-E. Roy, Hist. du notariat, I, 214. J.-J. Lefebvre, “Les premiers notaires de Montréal sous le Régime anglais, 1760–1800,” La Revue du notariat (Québec), 45 (1942–43), 297–99.