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COULON DE VILLIERS, NICOLAS-ANTOINE, captain in the colonial regular troops, major of Trois-Rivières; b. 25 June 1708 at Contrecœur, eldest son of Nicolas-Antoine Coulon* de Villiers and Angélique Jarret de Verchères; d. 3 April 1750 in Montreal.

Nicolas-Antoine Coulon de Villiers was a member of a typical military family of the Canadian nobility. His father and at least two of his brothers, Louis and Joseph, had active military careers. A cadet in 1725, Nicolas-Antoine served under his father at Fort Saint-Joseph (probably Niles, Mich.). In 1730 he saw action against the Foxes. Two years later he was recommended for a commission as second ensign. In 1733, with his father, now commandant of Baie-des-Puants (Green Bay, Wis.), two brothers, and a brother-in-law, he was again in action against the Foxes; his father, brother-in-law, and one brother were killed, the other brother wounded. Nicolas-Antoine rallied the French forces, routed the enemy in a counter attack, then took over command of the post. In recognition of his valour and his family’s loss he was given accelerated promotion to lieutenant in 1734 and succeeded to the command of his father’s old post at Saint-Joseph.

About 1742, Nicolas-Antoine returned to Quebec where he married, on 7 Oct. 1743, Madeleine-Marie-Anne Tarieu de La Pérade, widow of Richard Testu de La Richardière. In 1744 he received the commission of captain solicited for him by Governor Beauharnois. Two years later he was posted to Acadia and in February 1747, at Grand-Pré (N.S.), he led some 250 Canadians in an assault on over 500 New England troops commanded by Arthur Noble. His left arm was shattered by a musket ball but his force inflicted heavy losses on the enemy, forcing them to surrender. In October Coulon de Villiers went to France for treatment of his wound at a thermal spring [see Louis de La Corne]. In 1748 he was awarded the cross of the order of Saint-Louis with an 800-livre gratuity, and was appointed major of Trois-Rivières. After his return to Canada in 1749 he was obliged to have his wounded arm amputated. He did not survive the operation, and was buried at Montreal on 4 April 1750.

W. J. Eccles

AJQ, Registre d’état civil, Notre-Dame de Québec, 7 oct. 1743. AN, Col., C11D, 8, ff.130–34; D2C, 47, f.465; 48, ff.38, 176, 203, 279, 305, 320, 326. ANQ, Greffe de C.-H. Du Laurent, 4 oct. 1743. ASQ, Polygraphie, IV, 74; VII, 26. “Recensement de Québec, 1744” (APQ Rapport), 142. Fauteux, Les chevaliers de Saint-Louis, 144. P.-G. Roy, Les officiers d’état-major, 264–67. Amédée Gosselin, “Notes sur la famille Coulon de Villiers,” BRH, XII (1906), 193–207.

General Bibliography

Cite This Article

W. J. Eccles, “COULON DE VILLIERS, NICOLAS-ANTOINE (1708-50),” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 3, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed April 17, 2014, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/coulon_de_villiers_nicolas_antoine_1708_50_3E.html.

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Permalink: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/coulon_de_villiers_nicolas_antoine_1708_50_3E.html
Author of Article: W. J. Eccles
Title of Article: COULON DE VILLIERS, NICOLAS-ANTOINE (1708-50)
Publication Name: Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 3
Publisher: University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication: 1974
Year of revision: 1974
Access Date: April 17, 2014