FOUCAULT, SIMON (baptized Pierre), Recollet, missionary; b. and baptized 3 March 1699 at Quebec, son of François Foucault, a merchant, and Catherine Nafrechoux; d. 6 July 1744 at Montreal.
Pierre Foucault entered the Petit Séminaire of Quebec in 1712, when he was 13. He left it two years later and continued his studies at the Jesuit college. Around 1719 he took his vows with the Recollets of Quebec under the name of Brother Simon, and on 18 Dec. 1723 he was ordained a priest by Bishop Saint-Vallier [La Croix*]; he had received the tonsure, minor orders, and the subdiaconate on the preceding 30 November, and the diaconate on 5 December.
In the autumn of 1724 Father Simon began serving the parishes of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours (L’Islet) and Cap-Saint-Ignace; on occasion he exercised his ministry at Île aux Grues and Saint-Thomas-de-Montmagny. He remained in this region until 1741. In the first year of his ministry a conflict arose between him and his parishioners: the latter refused to finish the presbytery at Cap-Saint-Ignace. The intendant, Bégon, therefore issued an order on 1 Aug. 1725, constraining the parishioners to sheathe the walls and roof of the presbytery with solid boards.
During the 17 years he spent on the south shore of the St Lawrence Father Simon acted as notary and the intendant’s delegate in addition to carrying out his religious duties. In the absence of a notary he drew up several marriage contracts, which were ratified by the provost court of Quebec. Moreover, the intendants delegated him to arbitrate conflicts which arose among his parishioners. By his ordinance of 6 April 1740 Gilles Hocquart* confirmed the Recollet’s good judgement in the lawsuit between Philippe Bernier and François Caron, habitants of the parish of Saint-Ignace.
In 1741 Father Simon was recalled to Quebec and was replaced by Abbé Joseph-Romain Dolbec, who had been ordained not long before. The following year he went to the Montreal convent; he served on occasion the parishes of Saint-Antoine, Longueuil, and Sainte-Famille, Boucherville, and carried on his ministry at the Hôpital Général of Montreal. He died at the Hôtel-Dieu of Montreal on 6 July 1744 and was buried the same day in his convent.
Archives des Franciscains (Montréal), Dossier Simon Foucault. Caron, “Inventaire de documents,” APQ Rapport, 1941–42, 223, 238. P.-G. Roy, Inv. coll. pièces jud. et not., I, 214, 216; Inv. ins. Prév. Quebec, I, 125, 149, 272, 278; II, 5, 57; Inv. ord. int., I, 277; II, 58, 290, 298; III, 96; “La famille Foucault,” BRH, XXI (1915), 369–79.