FORESTIER (Foretier, Fortier), ANTOINE-BERTRAND, master surgeon; b. 30 Aug. 1687 at Montreal, son of Antoine Forestier* and Marie-Madeleine Le Cavelier; m. 7 April 1712 at La Rochelle, France, to Élisabeth-Charlotte Camoin; buried 25 June 1742 at Montreal.
Antoine-Bertrand Forestier’s father was surgeon to the Hôtel-Dieu after 1681, a churchwarden, a medical adviser to the courts, and surgeon-major to the colonial regular troops. Intendant Jacques Raudot* appointed him surgeon-major in 1708 “upon the good report . . . given by the superior of the Montreal hospital [Charlotte Gallard*], . . . Sieur [François Clairambault*] d’Aigremont, the naval commissary . . . and several other persons” and because Forestier was “the most experienced surgeon.” Antoine-Bertrand and his brother Jean-Baptiste were also surgeons though they do not appear to have enjoyed the same high reputation as their father. Even though Antoine-Bertrand served, like his father, as an expert for the court at Montreal, the authors of Notes pour l’histoire de la médecine exaggerate in saying that “he was the foremost surgeon in Montreal in his time.” Pierre Puibareau and Joseph Istre were equally favoured.
A house brought Antoine-Bertrand Forestier to grief. In 1729 he began construction of a 26 by 34 foot, one-storey, stone house on Rue Notre-Dame, on a lot purchased from his sister Élisabeth and her husband Joseph Istre. While Forestier was in Quebec pursuing a debtor his wife made arrangements with various contractors. The Forestiers incurred a debt of 1,480 livres with Jean-Baptiste Boucher, dit Belleville to begin construction, another of 3,600 livres with Jacques and Louis Charly for building materials, and a further 600 with François Montfort and company to complete the house. Forestier’s liabilities even exceeded these three accounts, and from 1731 to 1741 he was continually sued for debt. He often failed to answer the summons of the Conseil Supérieur when an appeal was being heard at Quebec. While fending off his creditors, Forestier sought recovery of small debts to himself for medicines and treatment but to no avail. His property was seized and the 5,500 livres realized from the judicial sale of his house in 1735 were divided among six creditors.
There were few heirs for what remained of his property when Forestier was buried seven years later in Montreal on 25 June 1742. Except for a daughter, whose history is not known, all his children had died young.
[Since Forestier used Antoine in preference to his baptismal name Bertrand, he is easily confused with his father and a number of other persons who bore the name Antoine Forestier (Fortier). The bibliography contains references to Antoine-Bertrand as well as to his
AD, Charente-Maritime (La Rochelle), État civil, Notre-Dame de La Rochelle, 7 avril 1712. AN, Col., C11G, 3, pp.491–92, 493–96, 499–501; 4, pp.62–63 (PAC transcripts). ANQ, NF, Coll. de pièces jud. et not., 328, 882; NF, Documents de la juridiction de Montréal, III, 4, 39v–40; VI, 113–14; VIII, 34v; X, 1er–8 oct. 1735. ANQ-M, Greffe de Bénigne Basset Des Lauriers, 3 nov. 1670; Greffe de Jacques David, 7 janv. 1720, 16 juill. 1723; Greffe de N.-A. Guillet de Chaumont, 24 avril 1732; Greffe de Claude Maugue, 6 oct. 1679, 16 juill. 1681; Greffe de J.-C. Raimbault, 10, 11 août, 21 sept., 6, 21 oct. 1729, 16 mars 1730; Documents divers, 2 janv., 13 juin 1728; 10 mars, 18, 23 juill. 1729; Registres des audiences, VII, 517, 531–32, 683v, 745, 752; XII, 932; Registre du bailliage, 1682–1687, f.58. Jug. et délib., III, 567–68; IV, 830, 893, 900. L’île de Montréal en 1731 (A. Roy), 38, 75. P.-G. Roy Inv. jug. et délib., 1717–1760, II, 85–86, 260, 315; III, 3, 34, 223–24; IV, 28, 47. Tanguay, Dictionnaire. M. E. Abbott, History of medicine in the province of Quebec (Toronto, 1931; McGill University pubs., VIII, no.63, Montreal, 1932), 20. Ahern, Notes pour l’histoire de la médecine, 226–30.