GUYART DE FLEURY, JEAN-BAPTISTE, soldier, court officer, royal notary; b. c. 1719 at Seignelay (dept. of Yonne), France, son of Jean-Baptiste Guyart and Anne Gigou; date and place of death unknown.
Jean-Baptiste Guyart came to New France as a soldier; on 7 Jan. 1740 he married Élisabeth Jobin in Montreal. On 20 Feb. 1741 he presented a petition to obtain the post of court officer; later he was an applicant for the office of attorney. In 1745 he was compromised, along with Jean Eymard, king’s writer, in an obscure matter involving the destruction of a judicial file; his career in Montreal thus came to an abrupt end.
On 29 April 1746 Guyart, who had been living in Quebec for some time, asked François Daine, lieutenant general for civil and criminal affairs of the provost court of Quebec, for recognition of his commission as a court officer, “wishing to enjoy the prerogatives attached to the said office, which he cannot do without having first of all been installed and put in possession of the said office.” The next day, in the investigation into his character, he was acknowledged to be an honest man, without any mention of the matter in 1745. He was then granted the office and was admitted to it on 3 May 1746.
Some months later Guyart was accused of counterfeiting orders for payment: in the night of 15/16 September the authorities went to his domicile in Rue Couillard in Quebec to arrest him. At five o’clock in the morning he gave himself up. During the questioning in the ensuing trial much attention was given to a trip made without permission to Montreal – to receive payment of a debt, said Guyart. About ten witnesses were called and gave evidence in this affair, which had no effect upon the accused’s career.
A few years later, on 8 Jan. 1754, Guyart obtained from Intendant François Bigot* a notary’s commission to practise in the parishes on the north shore in the government of Quebec, from Pointe-aux-Trembles (Neuville) to the seigneury of Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade; some weeks later, on 20 February, he was appointed seigneurial judge of Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade. At almost the same time Guyart asked for a broader territory, pleading that the one assigned him on 8 January was too limited and the clientele too small to allow him to make a living for himself and his family. He then received permission to draw up deeds on the south shore from Saint-Nicolas to Lotbinière, replacing the notary Jean-Baptiste Chorest, deceased. Furthermore, on 12 April 1758 he was given permission to practise at Saint-Augustin (Saint-Augustin-de-Québec).
In 1761 Guyart left the colony, shortly after receiving from James Murray*, on 29 Dec. 1760, a commission to practise as a notary from Cap-Santé to Les Grondines and on the south shore opposite Cap-Santé. We then lose track of him. Jean-Baptiste Guyart had six children, five of whom died in infancy.
ANQ, Greffe de J.-B. Guyart de Fleury, 1754–1761; NF, Coll. de pièces jud. et not., 1446, 2116; NF, Ord. int., XL, XLII. P.-G. Roy, Inv. ins. Prév. Québec, II, 61; Inv. ord. int., III, 42, 80, 83, 182, 194, 207. Tanguay, Dictionnaire. É.-Z. Massicotte, “Les huissiers de Montréal sous le régime français,” BRH, XXXII (1926), 89–90.