DUGUÉ DE BOISBRIAND, MICHEL-SIDRAC, one of the first seigneurs in the Montreal area; b. and baptized in April 1638 in the parish of Saint-Martin à Puceul, France, son of Pierre Dugué de La Boulardière and of Perrine de Chambellé; buried in 1688.
Entering the army as a lieutenant in the Montagu regiment, he later transferred as a captain to the Chambellé regiment, commanded by his uncle. When Louis XIV determined to dispatch an élite corps to New France, Dugué’s company was incorporated in the Carignan-Salières regiment, in which Dugué retained the rank of captain. He arrived at Quebec in September 1665. In June 1666 Dugué was doing garrison duty in Montreal, where he became military commander, in the absence of a governor, from the spring of 1670 until August of that year when M. Perrot assumed his duties.
For his labours in the district the Gentlemen of Saint-Sulpice granted Dugué in January 1672 the land later known as the seigneury of Senneville at the western end of Montreal Island, but in 1679 he sold it to Charles Le Moyne and his brother-in-law Jacques Le Ber*. In October 1672 he had obtained seigneurial title to Île Sainte-Thérèse near Repentigny at the east end of Montreal Island. Although he had received the right to cultivate this property earlier, he apparently showed more interest in the fur trade. He also obtained in 1683 the seigneury of Mille-Îles extending from Terrebonne to Rivière du Chêne, 11½ x 7½ miles in extent. Under the Edict of Marly, 1711, this property because of non-settlement was forfeited to the crown, but re-granted immediately to his two sons-in-law Jean Petit* and Charles-Gaspard Piot* de Langloiserie.
In 1673 Dugué as a captain took part in Buade de Frontenac’s expedition to Lake Ontario and in later years he frequently participated in others. In 1683 his name was considered for governor of Montreal, but he did not receive the appointment owing to the opposition of M. Le Febvre de La Barre. In 1684 and in 1687 he was a member of Brisay* de Denonville’s rather ineffectual expeditions against the Indians.
His real interest, however, continued to be in the fur trade and to promote his interests therein; as one of the delegates called in 1678 to discuss the advisability of selling spirits to the Indians, he favoured completely “free trade.” Yet despite his participation in the fur trade, he apparently lived much of the latter part of his life in poverty.
On 7 Nov. 1667 he married Marie Moyen, daughter of Jean-Baptiste and Élisabeth Le Ber (Le Bret, according to Tanguay), in the parish of Notre-Dame de Montréal; she died at Île Sainte-Thérèse on 24 Oct. 1687. Dugué was buried in Montreal on 18 Dec. 1688. He was survived by seven of his nine children.
From his life and activities one may deduce that Dugué was a typical frontier settler. More interested in fur-trading and fighting than in peaceful pursuits, he took little part in the development of the colony, but did play a considerable role in the defence and geographical extension of its territory.
AJM, Greffe de Bénigne Basset, 1 nov. 1667. AN, Col., C11A and other collections. Recensement de 1681. Lefebvre, Marie Morin. Le Jeune, Dictionnaire. Royal Fort Frontenac (Preston and Lamontagne), 45. Benjamin Sulte, “Michel-Sidrac Dugué, sieur de Boisbriand,” BRH, X (1904), 221–23. Tanguay, Dictionnaire, I, 209–10; III, 512; VI, 375.
Revisions based on:
Bibliothèque et Arch. Nationales du Québec, Centre d’arch. de Montréal, CE601-S51, 7 nov. 1667, 18 déc. 1688. Loire-Atlantique.fr: le Département en Ligne (Nantes, France), “Reg. paroissiaux et d’état civil,” Puceul, Saint-Martin, avril 1638: loire-atlantique.fr/jcms/cg_31196/registres-paroissiaux-et-d-etat-civil (consulted 8 Aug. 2012).