LA FRENAYE DE BRUCY (Lafrenaye, Lafresnaye, Lafresnay, La Frenay, Lafraynaye), ANTOINE DE, lieutenant in the Auvergne regiment, ensign of the first company (“la Colonelle”) in the Carignan-Salières regiment, lieutenant of François-Marie Perrot (governor of Montreal); baptized 7 Feb. 1644 at Carlepont in the diocese of Noyon (Department of the Oise), son of Martin de La Frenaye and Geneviève Lepage; d. 1684 in Canada.
As a lieutenant in the Auvergne regiment, he came from the West Indies to Canada, arriving with Prouville de Tracy in 1665. By a notarial contract drawn up on 26 Aug. 1667 at Quebec, he purchased from Dominique Lefebvre Du Guesclin, for the sum of 500 livres, a commission as ensign of a company which was part of the Carignan regiment, and decided to settle in Canada. In 1670 he became the lieutenant of the governor of Montreal, François-Marie Perrot. As the governor could not personally concern himself with the trading in furs for which he possessed the rights in the island bearing his name, he appointed Brucy in his place. As Perrot’s partner Brucy acted as an intermediary between him and certain coureurs de bois, and furthered the governor’s ambition by trafficking in furs with the Indians who came down the Ottawa river to Ville-Marie (Montreal). In 1673 Frontenac [see Buade] learned that the corrupt practices of the coureurs de bois were attributable to Perrot and Brucy. Summoned to amend their ways, the two traders complied; indeed, shortly afterwards, when Frontenac arrived at Montreal on his way to Cataracoui (Kingston), Perrot received him with respect and Brucy was entrusted with a command in the expedition led by Frontenac himself. But the following year the conflict began again more fiercely than ever, and the infractions of the ordinances on the part of the two accomplices were one of the causes of the notorious legal disputes in 1674–75, involving the Abbé Fénelon [see Salignac], Perrot, and Brucy. The Conseil Souverain referred the whole matter to Colbert in Paris. Various sentences were handed down; Brucy, as Perrot’s principal agent, was condemned to a term of imprisonment and a fine of 200 livres.
Antoine de Brucy obtained several fiefs by notarial contract, among others the one granted by Perrot, on his island, on 1 Jan. 1676: 10 arpents in length by 30 in depth, opposite Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. On 5 Feb. 1684 Dollier* de Casson, the superior of the Montreal seminary, conveyed to him a tract of land 2 arpents wide by 20 deep, attached to the fief of Jacques Le Ber* near Senneville.
Brucy, a very skilful and moderately scrupulous businessman, succeeded in acquiring a fortune. He owned a house and a store at Montreal, at the northwest corner of Saint-Paul and Saint-Pierre streets. The inventory of his possessions reveals a remarkable wealth for a gentleman of the period. On 10 Oct. 1682 Brucy had attended an assembly of notables called specifically to discuss the Iroquois question.
On 23 June 1676, at Montreal, he had married Hélène, daughter of Pierre Picoté de Belestre, a Montreal merchant; she bore him five children. When she became a widow, Hélène Picoté de Belestre married again, in 1686. Her second husband was Jean-Baptiste Céloron* de Blainville.
P.-G. Roy, Inv. concessions, I, II, V. Valérien Carrière, Histoire de l’île Perrot, de 1662 à nos jours (Valleyfield, 1949). Faillon, Histoire de la colonie française, III, 449–51. Henri Lorin, Le comte de Frontenac: étude sur le Canada français à la fin du XVIIe siècle (Paris, 1895). Gérard Malchelosse, “Perrot, neveu de Talon,” Cahiers des Dix, VII (1942), 129–60. É.-Z. Massicotte, “Le sieur La Fresnaye de Brucy,” BRH, XXXVI (1930), 644–67. Régis Roy et Malchelosse, Le régiment de Carignan. Tanguay, Dictionnaire.
Revisions based on:
Arch. Départementales, Oise (Beauvais, France), “État civil,” Carlepont, 7 févr. 1644: archives.oise.fr/archives-en-ligne/etat-civil (consulted 6 July 2016). Bibliothèque et Arch. Nationales du Québec, Centre d’arch. de Montréal, CE601-S51, 23 juin 1676.