RICHARD, dit Lafleur, GUILLAUME (styled Sieur de La Fleur), soldier of the Carignan-Salières regiment, captain of the Canadian militia, and at one time churchwarden; b. 1641, son of Jean Richard, seedsman, and his wife, Anne Meusnier, of Saint-Léger, bishopric of Saintes, France; d. 1690.
A strong family tradition states that Richard was the descendant of John Richards, a Welshman, who, as a member of the king’s bodyguard, assisted the French king, Charles IX, to escape through the back gardens of the palace during the frightful massacre of St. Bartholomew, 14 Aug. 1572.
Richard entered the French army as a young man, joining the Carignan-Salières regiment at its formation in 1664. On the last day of May of the following year he embarked for New France with his regiment, as a soldier in the company of Roger de Bonneau de La Varenne, arriving at Quebec on 19 August, after a long and tempestuous voyage. Two years later, when his regiment returned to France, Richard chose to remain in Canada. Shortly thereafter he was appointed sergeant in the Canadian forces, in which rank he accompanied governor Frontenac [see Buade] to Cataracoui where Fort Frontenac was founded in 1673. He remained at the new post as its first commandant when the French returned to Quebec. Richard continued in that capacity until the return of Cavelier de La Salle in 1675, and was still at the fort in September 1677, according to a census of its garrison. Shortly thereafter he was appointed sergeant of the garrison at Montreal. By 1684 he was lieutenant of the vanguard company of that post and later he was captain of militia in the parish of Pointe-aux-Trembles de Montréal, where he had maintained his residence since 1679. Guillaume Richard, dit Lafleur, met a soldier’s death on 2 July 1690, near Bout-de-l’Île de Montréal, when his small party of 25 was overwhelmed by a band of Iroquois warriors. Six days later the bodies of the fallen were buried hurriedly where they fell. In 1694 their remains were exhumed and reinterred in the cemetery of Pointe-aux-Trembles.
On 26 Nov. 1675 Richard had married Agnesse Tese at Montreal. His son, Jean-Baptiste, an interpreter, married Marie-Anne, the daughter of Pierre You* de La Découverte – an associate of La Salle in his discoveries on the Mississippi River – and of Élisabeth, a Miami woman. Jean-Baptiste’s daughter, Suzanne, became the wife of Gilbert Parant, merchant and interpreter at Detroit. Jean-Baptiste’s son, Jean (b. 1721), according to tradition, was wounded and captured by western indigenous people, from whom he escaped three years later, finally reaching white settlements on the lower reaches of the Mohawk River. He, in turn, served as interpreter in the Loyalist forces during the Revolutionary War, and after peace was established he settled on the Bay of Quinte, where he died in 1807.
MS sources include AN, Col., C11A, 6, État des soldats de l’avant-garde, 14 août 1684. United Empire Loyalist Assoc. Archives, Bay of Quinte Branch, narrative of John C. Richards, 1875. É.-Z. Massicotte, Faits curieux de l’histoire de Montréal (Montréal, 1922), 184–88, 195–96. Régis Roy et Malchelosse, Le régiment de Carignan, 67–68, 72, 100. Royal Fort Frontenac (Preston and Lamontagne), 108–14, 124, 348, 467. Tanguay, Dictionnaire, I, 516, 591; VI, 237, 555, 557; VII, 491.
Revisions based on:
Bibliothèque et Arch. Nationales du Québec, Centre d’arch. du Vieux-Montréal, CE601-S5, 2 juill. 1690; CE601-S51, 26 nov. 1675.