BOULLÉ (Boulay, Boullay, Boullet, Boulé), EUSTACHE, brother-in-law and lieutenant of Champlain, became a Minim priest; b. c. 1600 in France, son of Nicolas Boullé, a secretary in the king’s privy chamber, and of Marguerite Alix; d. sometime after 1638.
Eustache Boullé accompanied Champlain to New France in 1618. During the absence of the founder of Quebec (1618–20), he held out against the rebellious clerks. When he returned, Champlain had little Fort Saint-Louis built on the extremity of Cap-aux-Diamants and he entrusted its defence to Boullé, making himself responsible for that of the Habitation. On 26 Aug. 1621, they both were witnesses at the marriage of Guillaume Couillard and Guillemette Hébert. On 24 October of that year, Boullé was godfather to Eustache Martin.
In 1624 Boullé returned to France with Champlain and his wife Hélène, Boullé’s sister. Two years later, Champlain, about to return to Quebec, wrote from Dieppe that his brother-in-law was at that time “doing honourable service as lieutenant at the fort.” During his stay in New France, Boullé had found himself entrusted with important missions by Champlain, who placed complete faith in him. Thus, in 1627, Champlain sent him to Trois-Rivières as an ambassador for peace. Boullé was successful in delaying the Iroquois war “until all the ships had arrived and the Indians of the other nations had assembled.” On 26 June 1629, when the English were threatening Quebec, Champlain gave his brother-in-law a new task: to go to France to make known the critical situation of the colony and ask for help. Unfortunately Boullé was captured by the Kirke brothers, who repatriated him. After the surrender of Quebec, which took place 19 July of that year, Boullé was never again to come back to America.
He chose to cross into Italy, where he joined the Minims. Mme de Champlain, who had had a major part in his conversion from Calvinism to Roman Catholicism, paid him a handsome pension during the ten years he spent in that country.
We do not know the place and date of Father Eustache Boullé’s death. Some writers have confused this personage with a captain in Jean de Biencourt de Poutrincourt’s regiment, a Sieur Boulay (Boullet) whose presence in Acadia was recorded in 1604 and in 1609–10.
ANDQ, Registre des baptêmes, mariages et sépultures de la paroisse Notre-Dame de Québec. PRO, C.O. 1/5, 91, 92. Champlain, Œuvres (Laverdière). Dionne, Champlain. Lanctot, Histoire du Canada, I, 179. Robert Le Blant, “La famille Boullé 1586–1639,” RHAF, XVII (1963–64), 55–69.