AILLEBOUST, CHARLES-JOSEPH D’, officer in the colonial regular troops, king’s lieutenant; baptized 5 Dec. 1688 in Montreal, eldest son of Pierre d’Ailleboust* d’Argenteuil and Marie-Louise Denys de La Ronde; d. 13 Oct. 1761 in France.
Charles-Joseph d’Ailleboust began his military career as a cadet in the colonial regular troops in Acadia. During the winter of 1708–9 he accompanied his father and his brother, Hector-Pierre d’Ailleboust de Saint-Vilmé, on the expedition led by Saint-Ovide [Monbeton] against the forts at St John’s, Newfoundland. Then he returned to Acadia, where he was commissioned an ensign on 18 July 1710; he was present at the surrender of Port-Royal (Annapolis Royal, N.S.) to Francis Nicholson* in 1710. From Acadia he went to Rochefort, France, then to Quebec, where he arrived on 7 Oct. 1711. He was transferred to Île Royale (Cape Breton Island) in 1714, and he became a lieutenant there on 2 July 1720 and captain on 8 May 1730. During his early years of service on Île Royale he became familiar with garrison routine, both at Port-Toulouse (St Peters) and Louisbourg. In 1730 he received command of one of two companies of soldiers sent out from France.
In 1745 New England troops under the command of William Pepperrell laid siege to Louisbourg. At the time of their landing d’Ailleboust was posted with his company to the Island battery, which commanded the entrance to the harbour. On 6 June Samuel Waldo sent some 400 New England militiamen to seize this battery and thus allow the British fleet to enter the port; with about 180 men and 40 guns d’Ailleboust repulsed the assailants and forced them to give up any idea of an attack from that side. On 16 June his company was relieved by that commanded by Michel de Gannes de Falaise, whom d’Ailleboust replaced at the Grave battery, within the fortress itself. Some differences over the command of the militia brought him into conflict with Pierre Morpain, the port captain, who was dismissed from his command despite the protests of the gunners and militiamen. On 27 June d’Ailleboust went on board Admiral Peter Warren’s ship to hand over to him the act of surrender. He stayed at Louisbourg as the representative of the financial commissary, François Bigot*, to supervise the departure of the last inhabitants, and sailed on one of the last ships for Rochefort. There he received the cross of the order of Saint-Louis on 14 Sept. 1745.
Having been put in charge of the île Royale troops, in 1747 he took command of them on board the ships in Taffanel de La Jonquière’s squadron. The squadron had hardly left the coasts of France when it was forced to surrender on 14 May, after a desperate fight against the ships of Admiral George Anson and Admiral Warren; d’Ailleboust was taken to England as a prisoner, but he returned to France that same year. His stay there, however, was brief; he sailed for Canada the following year.
On 23 July 1749 he returned to Louisbourg – which had been handed back to France in 1748 – as king’s lieutenant; on several occasions he acted as commandant in the governor’s absence. In 1753 and 1754, after Jean-Louis de Raymond*’s departure and before Augustin de Boschenry de Drucour’s arrival, he assumed without difficulty the office of acting governor. Louisbourg had resumed its pattern of growth, which had been cut short abruptly from 1745 to 1749; things had returned to normal, and there remained only the everyday problems of administration.
D’Ailleboust was appointed king’s lieutenant for Trois-Rivières on 1 April 1754, but he did not go there until the following year. On 31 March 1756 he accepted the same office in Montreal and stayed there until the capitulation on 8 Sept. 1760. At the end of that year or early in 1761 he returned to France with his family, which was left in mourning by his death on 13 Oct. 1761. His military career had been long and active; his experience and length of service had brought him to the rank of king’s lieutenant, but his lack of originality and initiative perhaps explain why he had never become governor of Île Royale, an office which he had sought since 1748.
D’Ailleboust does not seem to have had too many financial worries. His pay as king’s lieutenant had brought him an annual income of 1,888 livres; the king, who had already accorded him gratuities of 600 livres in 1746 and 1,500 in 1747, added an annuity of 800 livres from 1750 on and had increased it to 1,000 livres around 1756. In addition, he had secondary interests in fishing, in the hiring-out of a ship, and in the supply of building materials for the fortifications at Louisbourg and various articles for the troops. He also owned some properties in Louisbourg.
On 16 Jan. 1729, in Louisbourg, d’Ailleboust had married Marie-Josephte Bertrand, the widow of Gabriel Rousseau de Villejouin, by whom he had three children. She died sometime between 1745 and 1749, and on 23 Jan. 1758, in Trois-Rivières, he married the daughter of Charles Alavoine, Françoise-Charlotte, who gave birth to two sons.
AN, Col., B, 36/6, pp.48–60; 36/7, p.48; 42/2, pp.334–41, 386; 54/2, p.524; 82/2, p.558; 84/2, p.354; 86/2, p.373; 91, p.292; 97, p.265; 99, pp.156, 215, 240 (PAC transcripts); C11B, 2, ff.261 –64; 5, ff.206–16; 14, ff.190v, 191; 17, ff.37v–38, 193; 23, ff.169–76; 26, ff.173–83v; 28, ff.48–52, 138–49; 29, ff.217–22; 33, ff.18–21v; 34, ff.3–4v, 9–10, 13–13v, 18–19v, 21–21v, 36–36v, 37–37v, 143–43v, 190–96; C11G, 12, ff.85–85v, 106v; D2C, 2, ff.41–41v; 3, ff.19, 69–69v; E, 2 (dossier Ailleboust); F5B, art.56, ff.2/3; Section Outre-Mer, G1, 406/2, ff.13v; 406/4, ff.22v, 27v, 46, 54v, 58, 70v; 407/1, f.5; 408/1, f.113; 466, pièces 69, 76 (recensements de l’île Royale), 83 (registre des actes de concessions à l’île Royale),  (registre pour servir à l’enregistrement des concessions de terrains à l’île Royale); G2, 189, ff.270–360; 203, dossier 304, ff.60–60v; 207, dossier 474, ff.12–13, 34v–36; 209, dossier 500, ff.30v–31; G3, 2037 (14 mai 1728); 2038/2 (2 mars, 21 mai 1733); 2039/1 (22 dec. 1734, 17 sept. 1735); 2042 (12 janv. 1754); 2043 (8 nov. 1754); 2047/1(31 juill. 1749, 20 sept. 1750); 2058 (3 déc. 1726); Dépôt des fortifications des colonies, Am. sept., no.216, ff.5v–6, 14, 14v, 15, 16v, 21–21v, 22, 25. Archives Maritimes, Port de Rochefort, 1E, 143, ff.269–75. Le Jeune, Dictionnaire. P.-G. Roy, Les officiers d’état-major. Ægidius Fauteux, La famille d’Ailleboust (Montréal, 1917).
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Cite This Article
H. Paul Thibault, “AILLEBOUST, CHARLES-JOSEPH D’,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 3, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed June 1, 2023, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/ailleboust_charles_joseph_d_3E.html.
The citation above shows the format for footnotes and endnotes according to the Chicago manual of style (16th edition). Information to be used in other citation formats:
|Author of Article:||H. Paul Thibault|
|Title of Article:||AILLEBOUST, CHARLES-JOSEPH D’|
|Publication Name:||Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 3|
|Publisher:||University of Toronto/Université Laval|
|Year of publication:||1974|
|Year of revision:||1974|
|Access Date:||June 1, 2023|