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LANGUEDOC, FRANÇOIS (baptized François de Borgias), businessman, politician, office holder, seigneur, jp, and militia officer; b. 11 Oct. 1790 at Quebec, son of Jacques Languedoc and Angélique Samson; m. there 15 Feb. 1813 Anna Maria Philipps, and they had eight children; d. 23 Sept. 1840 in Saint-Édouard, near Napierville, Lower Canada.

As a child François Languedoc lived in Lower Town Quebec, on Rue Notre-Dame, among merchants like his father. In 1812 he bought a sixth of the shares in John White and Company, which had been running a ships’ chandlery since 1810. The partnership agreement, registered before a notary on 13 Aug. 1813, was to last for four years, but the company was dissolved on 1 Jan. 1814. Languedoc and White kept the enterprise in operation on their own, under the same name.

Like most merchants of the period, Languedoc and White diversified their activity. They obtained contracts to supply and transport goods for the army or the government and ran public auctions. In 1816 they formed partnerships with John Caldwell and John Goudie*, amongst others, to operate a ferry between Quebec and Pointe-Lévy (Lauzon and Lévis) and to run a steamboat linking Quebec and Montreal; Languedoc was secretary-treasurer of both companies. Along with White, he was among the first promoters of the Chambly canal. In addition he took part in the meetings that led to the founding of the Bank of Quebec in 1818.

Well known in his milieu for his business activities and his participation in various organizations, Languedoc was elected to the House of Assembly for Lower Town Quebec in 1816, winning by 17 votes over Pierre Bruneau*. His interest in business matters did not slacken; on more than one occasion during his term, which ended on 9 Feb., 1820, he brought forward or supported petitions from the Quebec merchants. In 1817 he was appointed commissioner for the improvement of the internal communications of Quebec County.

The early 1820s were a difficult period for Languedoc, since “through commercial misfortunes” he was no longer able to meet his obligations. One by one he ceded his properties at Quebec, including his house on Rue du Sault-au-Matelot, or put them up for sale. In 1821 the partnership with White was broken off; Languedoc was apportioned the company’s goods, but also its debts. He remained in business more or less successfully until 1824 and then went to live permanently on Saint-Georges seigneury, southeast of Montreal.

Languedoc had bought this 12,000-acre property in Sherrington Township in 1817. From 21 June 1823 he held the land officially en franc-alleu noble. As soon as his status as seigneur was confirmed, he turned in earnest, and with success, to putting the management of Saint-Georges in order. He had a land roll prepared, which listed 239 censitaires, built a seigneurial manor-house at Saint-Édouard, and purchased a sawmill on the west bank of the Rivière de la Tortue and put up a grist-mill there. He maintained the rates of cens et rentes in effect prior to 1823 but instituted a sale price of from 10 to 20 shillings per arpent, and he encouraged people to settle the arrears in their yearly payments.

In 1830 Languedoc went back into politics. He was elected for L’Acadie by acclamation, along with Robert Hoyle*, but he took little part in the debates, crucial though they were if only because of the notorious question of supplies. Often absent because of illness, he was, however, in the house when the 92 Resolutions were brought in and he stood opposed to them [see Elzéar Bédard]. He ran again in the elections held in the autumn of 1834 but was defeated by Cyrille-Hector-Octave Côté, a supporter of Louis-Joseph Papineau*.

Languedoc also held several public offices: commissioner for the summary trial of small causes from 1828 till 1832, justice of the peace from 1830, and commissioner empowered in 1837 to receive the oath of allegiance. He was an officer in the 2nd Battalion of Quebec’s militia until 1824; in 1830 he joined the 3rd Battalion of Huntingdon militia with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. Languedoc’s actions as a magistrate left deep-seated grudges, notably in Patriote Pierre-Rémi Narbonne, whom he arrested on 7 Nov 1837. Once released, Narbonne had those he recruited for the Association des Frères-Chasseurs solemnly swear that they would slit Languedoc’s throat.

François Languedoc escaped such a fate. Nor was he murdered in the doorway of his manor-house, as Joseph-Edmond Roy* claimed. He was in fact carried off by illness a few weeks before his fiftieth birthday. By the terms of his will his estate was divided equally among his surviving children, his wife having died in 1836. The heirs continued to manage the seigneury and draw income from the properties their father had bought in various townships.

Andrée Héroux

ANQ-M, CE1-54, 25 août 1827, 18 mai 1832; CE4-4, 31 juill., 18 août, 4 nov. 1836; 25 sept. 1840; CN1-327, 21 janv., 13 avril, 15 juill. 1825; CN4-10, 22 déc. 1835; 2, 20 févr., 2 août 1837; 18 juill. 1839; 2 janv., 4 sept., 13, 26–27 nov., 1er, 4, 7 déc. 1840; M-7, 13 nov. 1840. ANQ-Q, CE1-1, 12 oct. 1790, 15 févr. 1813, 21 janv. 1815, 25 août 1817, 16 août 1819, 20 sept. 1820, 8 déc. 1821, 14 juill. 1824; CE1-2, 18 oct. 1821; CN1-49, 22 mars 1817, 14 avril 1818, 1er févr. 1826; CN1-116, 15 août 1816; 20 janv., 3 févr. 1832; 21 juill. 1835; CN1-171, 13 août 1813; CN1-208, 3 févr. 1832; CN1-230,.26 avril, 20 juin, 29 déc. 1817; 18 juill. 1823; CN1-253, 12, 15 janv., 22 févr., 27 mai 1814; CN1-262, 14 févr. 1813; 5 août 1815; 5 sept. 1816; 6 déc. 1817; 13–27 juin, 6 août 1818; 22 janv., 3 mars, 16 sept. 1819; 24 févr., 5–6, 8, 10, 12–13, 15–24, 26, 28, 31 mars,1er–3, 5–10, 12, 15–16, 18–23, 28 avril, 1er, 10, 15, 20–21, 24, 28–29 mai, 10–11, 15, 24–25, 30 juin, 1er, 7, 15 juill., 31 août, 14, 20 sept., 9, 14, 26, 28 oct., 4, 9 nov., 15, 23, 28, 29 déc. 1820; 11, 13 janv. 1825; 5 juill., 27 oct. 1827; 26 mai 1830; 26 mai 1834; E17/37, no. 3033; T11-1/425, no.536; 1/426, no.537; T11-301/3558, 1820, 1: 239; 301/3563, 1822, 1: 303–5; 301/3564, 1823, 1: 278; 301/ 3567, 1824, 1: 418. PAC, RG 31, C1, 1825, Sherrington Township (mfm. at ANQ); 1831, Saint-Édouard; RG 68, General index, 16511841. “Les dénombrements de Québec” (Plessis), ANQ Rapport, 194849: 82, 131, 181. L.C., House of Assembly, Journaux, 1817: 41, 71, 75, 119, 121, 143, 163, 275, 345, 381, 415, 445, 481, 503, 609, 611, 799; 1818: 39, 47, 64, 72–73, 82, 104, 119, 121, 147, 149, 155–56, 158–59, 174, 182, 193, 195, 198, 202, 213, 217, app.1; 1819: 19, 27–28, 30, 34–35, 49, 51, 59–60, 69, 72, 80, 93, 110, 120, 192, 207, 215, 218–19, 224; 1820, app.G; 1821–22: 162; 1823: 225; 1831: 36, 176, 181, 326; 1832: 37, 256, 283, 289, 311–12, 327, 367, 369; 1832–33: 102, 305, 352, 547; 1834: 266, 310, 337, 353, 382, 386, 465, 474; Statuts, 1818, c.18: 101–57; 1823, c.14: 307–15. Recensement de Québec, 1818 (Provost), 202. Le Canadien, 10 nov., 3 déc. 1834. Montreal Gazette, 19 Oct. 1830, 11 Nov. 1834. Quebec Gazette, 10 May 1810; 23 Jan. 1812; 22 April, 30 Dec. 1813; 3 March 1814; 19 Oct. 1815; 14, 28 March, 4, 11 April, 16 May, 19 Dec. 1816; 13 March, 3 April, 1 May, 11, 18 Sept., 13 Nov. 1817; 12 Feb., 26 March, 14 May, 11 June, 19 Oct. 1818; 11–12 Jan., 2 Feb., 4, 25 March, 19, 21 April, 7 June, 23 Aug., 14 Oct. 1819; 27 March, 15 June, 17 Aug., 21 Sept., 12 Oct., 23 Nov. 1820; 3, 17 May, 17 June 1821; 17 June, 5, 12 Dec. 1822; 10 Feb., 21 April, 9 June, 7 Aug., 9 Oct., 6, 17 Nov. 1823; 17 May 1824; 25 Sept. 1840. Bouchette, Topographical description of L. C. Caron, “Inv. de la corr. de Mgr Panet,” ANQ Rapport, 1933–34: 277–78; 1934–35: 339; 1935–36: 169; “Inv. des doc. relatifs aux événements de 1837 et 1838,” 1925–26: 272. Desjardins, Guide parl. Desrosiers, “Inv. de la corr. de Mgr Lartigue,” ANQ Rapport, 1942–43: 8, 52, 61, 63, 67; 1943–44: 258. Fauteux, Patriotes, 331–33. Langelier, Liste des terrains concédés, 1543, 1559, 1580, 1584–86. Quebec almanac, 1813: 80; 1814: 76, 81; 1815: 81; 1816: 75; 1817: 42, 66, 77; 1818: 42, 51, 69, 83; 1819: 83, 138; 1820: 81; 1821: 85; 1822: 89; 1823: 53, 91; 1824: 93; 1825: 95; 1829: 62; 1830: 50, 68; 1831: 42, 68, 71, 179; 1832: 49, 69, 73; 1833: 41, 69, 73, 219; 1834: 44, 72, 249; 1835: 68; 1837: 72; 1838: 47, 58; 1839: 46, 57, 238; 1840: 43, 59; 1841: 45. P.-G. Roy, Inv. concessions, 5: 106–7. Raymonde [Landry] Gauthier, Les manoirs du Québec (Montréal, 1976), 86–87. Roy, Hist. de Lauzon, 4: 100. Robert Sellar, The history of the county of Huntingdon and of the seigniories of Chateauguay and Beauharnois from their first settlement to the year 1838 (Huntingdon, Que., 1888), 493. “François Languedoc,” BRH, 60 (1954): 49. “François Languedoc était-il notaire?” BRH, 58 (1952): 150–51. J. P. Heisler, “Les canaux du Canada,” Canadian Hist. Sites, no.8 (1973): 96. É.-Z. Massicotte, “Louis Roy, dit Portelance, député de Montréal de 1804 à 1820,” BRH, 32 (1926): 169. P.-G. Roy, “Les concessions en fief et seigneurie sous le Régime anglais,” BRH, 34 (1928): 321–25.

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Andrée Héroux, “LANGUEDOC, FRANÇOIS,” in EN:UNDEF:public_citation_publication, vol. 7, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed September 16, 2014, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/languedoc_francois_7E.html.

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Permalink: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/languedoc_francois_7E.html
Author of Article: Andrée Héroux
Title of Article: LANGUEDOC, FRANÇOIS
Publication Name: EN:UNDEF:public_citation_publication, vol. 7
Publisher: University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication: 1988
Year of revision: 1988
Access Date: September 16, 2014