BAILLY, GUILLAUME, priest, Sulpician, missionary, and architect; date and place of birth unknown; d. 1696 in the diocese of Chartres.
He arrived in Canada 7 Sept. 1666. During all the time he spent in the country Bailly was associated with the Congrégation de Notre-Dame as its superior or as a confessor.
In 1668 the Sulpicians had founded a fixed mission at Kenté (Quinte), at the entrance to Lake Ontario, and another at Gentilly (near Dorval) in 1672. Neither had succeeded to the missionaries’ liking. A third was established around 1676 on the slopes of Mount Royal. M. Bailly was sent to direct it and to teach: “He had a talent for languages, was not lacking in experience, and his devotion knew no bounds.” But upon contact with the Indians, who had a taste for dreams, superstitions, and ghosts, he fell a prey to their failings and had to be recalled to the seminary.
Then came the period of the Lachine massacre (1689). The whole population of Montreal was profoundly disturbed by it, and in particular the religious communities: one worthy nun claimed that she was having visions and was receiving messages from the other world. She was backed up by a triumvirate that was remarkable for its virtue and devotion: M. Joseph de La Colombière*, M. Étienne Guyotte*, and M. Guillaume Bailly. The affair reached such a point that the superior of the Société de Saint-Sulpice in Paris had to recall to France the three confrères who were in part responsible for this spiritual unrest.
In addition to his incontestable qualities as a missionary priest, Bailly had a talent as an architect to which Sister Marie Morin*, the annalist of the Hôtel-Dieu of Montreal, bore testimony. He it was who drew up the plans for this hospital, which was rebuilt in stone in 1688.
After his return to France in 1691, Bailly was unable to adapt himself to the life of the Sulpicians. He left the society and went to the diocese of Chartres, where he died in 1696.
Faillon, Histoire de la colonie française, III, passim. Henri Gauthier, Sulpitiana (Montréal, 1926). Albert Jamet, Marguerite Bourgeoys, 1620–1700 (2v., Montréal, 1942), II, 416 et passim. Lefebvre, Marie Morin. Morin, Annales (Fauteux et al.).