LA FOREST, MARC-ANTOINE DE, writer in the Marine, employed extraordinarily at Rochefort and Placentia (Plaisance), commissary at Port-Toulouse (St Peters, N.S.), then attorney of the Admiralty Court of Louisbourg; b. in France; d. 22 June 1738 at Louisbourg at about the age of 70.
On two occasions, in 1705, and again in 1713 at the time of the French withdrawal from Newfoundland he came to Placentia to perform the functions of commissary during the Sieur Durand de La Garenne’s absence. The financial commissary, Pierre-Auguste de Soubras, retained his services at Île Royale (Cape Breton Island) and entrusted him with the duties of subdelegate, storekeeper, and bailiff at Port-Toulouse. He was appointed king’s attorney of the Admiralty Court set up at Louisbourg in 1718. In the same year he refused a commission from the governor to go to Canso (Canseau) with Allard de Sainte-Marie to investigate the recent pillaging. To his new duties at Louisbourg he was to bring the same niggling zeal and quarrelsome disposition that had already made him odious to all the merchants and ships’ captains who visited the colony.
He was a widower, who had left behind him in France five children and many debts; in. 1718, at Port-Dauphin (Englishtown, N.S.), he married Marie-Anne Courthiau, who bore him ten children. He sought by all possible means to enlarge the scope of his jurisdiction and to increase the number of dues collected and legal proceedings instituted, on which his emoluments depended. He was thwarted by the governor, Saint-Ovide de Brouillan [Monbeton*], who protected commerce, and in 1735 his accounts with the Admiralty Court showed a deficit of 3,300 livres, which he had to reimburse directly from his reduced income as a writer on half-pay.