CLAPARÈDE (Claparet), JEAN, master locksmith, blacksmith, merchant; son of Jacques Claparède and Marie Guy of Viols-le-Fort (dept. of Hérault), France; fl. 1714–58.
In December 1736 Jean Claparède was recorded as a member of a party inspecting batteries, bastions, and other of the king’s buildings at Louisbourg, Île Royale (Cape Breton Island). Government accounts over the next 20 years indicate that Claparède was continually employed as a smith on various royal buildings, government works, and fortifications at Louisbourg. He assisted in arming a ship, the Succès, and in preparing artillery for the attacks made against the English at Canso and Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, in 1744 [see Joseph Du Pont Duvivier]. In that same year he fashioned ironwork for the “needs” of English prisoners held at Louisbourg.
In 1749 appears the first reference to Claparède’s commercial ventures – the sale of a 27-ton schooner, the Abigail, on behalf of an English merchant. After this date his commercial activities seemed as important as his smithing trade: 1749 is the year when “merchant” was first used to describe Claparède; it was used interchangeably with locksmith during the rest of his life. In 1750 Claparède was purchaser at Île Royale of a 90-ton ship from the English. Throughout the 1750s he supplied the government with a variety of goods and services, the latter including laundry for the troops and lodgings for certain officials at Louisbourg.
Claparède’s financial status may be gauged from the fact that in 1750 he was paying 450 livres a year for a rented house with a forge at Louisbourg. In 1753 he bought a house for 1,000 livres. The sale of Claparède’s effects, arranged by a nephew in February 1758, realized 1,134 livres 1 sol.
From his first marriage, to Renée Grosse who died 10 Jan. 1753, there were two children. Claparède’s second wife was a widow, Marie-Josephe Seigneur of Louisbourg; one daughter was born to them. A list drawn up in France in 1790 of former inhabitants of North America who were receiving a government subsidy includes Renée Claparède, daughter of a merchant, living at Viols-le-Fort near Montpellier.
AN, Col., C11B, 18, ff.127, 131–32; 26, f.137v.; C11C, 11–14; Section Outre-Mer, G1, 407; 408, ff.322, 360; 409; 466, pièce 76 (recensement de l’île Royale, 1749), 79; G2, 188, f.368; 206, dossier 462; G3, 2041/1 (23 juill. 1749); 2041/2 (4 oct. 1753); 2042 (19 janv. 1754); 2044 (23 déc. 1756); 2047 (24 sept. 1750).