GUIBORD, JOSEPH, typographer, member of the Institut Canadien, b. 31 March 1809 at Sainte-Anne-de-Varennes (Varennes, Que.), son of Paul Guibord, dit Archambault, and Marie-Anne Célerier, dit Roch; on 2 June 1828, at Montreal, he married Henriette Brown, and they had at least ten children; d. 18 Nov. 1869 in Montreal.
It is known that in 1838 Joseph Guibord and John Lovell* were printing Le Populaire (Montreal). Later Guibord went to work in Louis Perrault’s printing house. Acknowledged to be skilful and even to be one of the best typographers in Canada, Joseph Guibord was entrusted by Abbé André-Marie Garin, a missionary in the northwest, with the task of printing a catechism in an Indian language, which was published in 1854. Guibord is thought to have introduced stereotype printing in Canada, and to have had a part in printing the first book to be stereotyped in the country. At the time of his death he was foreman in Perrault’s firm.
Nothing predestined Guibord to the dubious fame he enjoys today. Around his mortal remains, however, was waged the last and fiercest battle between the liberals of the Institut Canadien and the ultramontanes. Following a decree of the Inquisition (July 1869) condemning the doctrines “contained in a certain yearbook,” the Annuaire de l’Institut Canadien pour 1868, and placing it on the Index [see Gonzalve Doutre*], the parish priests of the diocese of Montreal on 29 August proclaimed an ordinance issued by Bishop Ignace Bourget*: “He who persists in the desire to remain. in the said Institut or to read or merely possess the above-mentioned yearbook without being so authorized by the Church deprives himself of the sacraments at the hour of his death.” Three months later Joseph Guibord was near death; he was then a member of the Institut Canadien. In one of the certified documents later sent to Cardinal Alessandro Barnabo in Rome, Louis-Antoine Dessaulles* stated, that Joseph Guibord received absolution and communion at his bedside. However, he wrote, “the confessor, learning that Guibord was a member of the Institut, hastily returned to tell him that he ought never to have given him absolution, and demanded his resignation as a member.” Guibord’s refusal made him, in the eyes of the religious authorities, a rebel and a public sinner, and thus barred him from the church’s rites and from burial in consecrated ground. This excommunication aroused the anger of the members of the Institut Canadien, who then prompted Henriette Brown Guibord to take the priest and the churchwardens of the parish of Notre-Dame to court. It was a famous and unfortunate case which went up through many courts and was not decided until 1874. At that time the Privy Council in London ordered that Guibord be buried in the cemetery of Côte-des-Neiges [see Charles-Elzéar Mondelet*; Alexis-Frédéric Truteau*; Joseph Doutre*]. Bishop Bourget, using his power to bind and to loose, to bless and to curse, then declared the place of burial forever “under an interdict and separate from the rest of the cemetery.” And the bishop further pronounced. “There rests a rebel who has been buried by force of arms.”
According to his contemporaries, Joseph Guibord was a worthy man, the last to deserve this misadventure.
ANQ-M, État civil, Catholiques, Notre-Dame de Montréal, 2 juin 1828, 18 nov. 1869. Fraser-Hickson Library (Montreal), Archives de l’Institut canadien de Montréal. The Guibord affair, ed. L. C. Clark (Toronto and Montreal, 1971). Le Jeune, Dictionnaire. Notices généalogiques sun la famille Guibord (Ottawa, 1914). La Presse (Montréal), 1er avril 1967. Théophile Hudon, L’Institut canadien de Montréal et l’affaire Guibord; une page d’histoire (Montréal, 1938). Adrien Thério, “Les grandes batailles de Mgr Bourget: l’Institut canadien, l’affaire Guibord et l’université de Montréal,” Perspectives/Le Nouvelliste (Trois-Rivières), 9 (1967), no.20, 29–37; “Mgr Ignace Bourget: novateur audacieux et lutteur intrépide,” Perspectives/Le Nouvelliste, 9 (1967), no. 19, 15–23.