LANCTÔT, MAGLOIRE, lawyer and judge; b. 4 March 1823 at Saint-Constant de Laprairie, L.C., of the marriage of Alexis Lanctôt and Agnès Boire; d. 18 April 1877 at Saint-Hyacinthe, Que.
On his father’s death in 1834, Magloire Lanctôt was adopted by his uncle, the notary Pierre Lanctôt, who had him educated at the college of Montreal. He was admitted to the bar in 1847 and first practised at Montreal, where he specialized in criminal law – a field in which few French-Canadian jurists were interested at that time. In 1849 he was one of the signatories to the Annexation Manifesto, which proposed union with the United States as a solution to the economic and political problems of Canada. He was mayor of Laprairie from 1858 to 1862. In 1863 he took up residence at Saint-Hyacinthe, an important legal and political centre, and shared in the legal practice directed by Louis-Victor Sicotte*, who was head of the government of the Province of Canada with John Sandfield Macdonald in 1862 and 1863. In the provincial elections of 1867 Lanctôt stood as Conservative candidate for Saint-Hyacinthe. He campaigned in support of confederation, which had just come into being, and was defeated by Pierre Bachand, one of the few Liberal candidates elected to the Legislative Assembly of Quebec, thanks to his great popularity. Lanctôt was crown attorney for the districts of Saint-Hyacinthe and Bedford and on 4 Nov. 1870 was appointed magistrate at Saint-Hyacinthe by the government of Quebec.
In 1874, at Montreal, Magloire Lanctôt published Le livre du magistrat, which was republished in 1896 by Benjamin-Antoine Testard* de Montigny. It describes the details of legal procedure and of the rules of evidence in criminal matters. An orator loved by the crowds, Lanctôt gave several speeches on official occasions, particularly at the festival of Saint-Jean-Baptiste. He died on 18 April 1877 at Saint-Hyacinthe. The same day, the members of the bar of Saint-Hyacinthe assembled to testify “that by his integrity, intelligence, and urbanity, M. Lanctôt [had] performed his judicial duties in the district with honour to himself and in the best interest of the public.”
In 1850 Magloire Lanctôt had married Angélique Raymond, daughter of Jean-Moïse Raymond, member of the assembly for Laprairie from 1824 to 1838. They had several children.
Le Courrier de Saint-Hyacinthe, 19 avril 1877. La Minerve (Montréal), 20 avril 1877. Chapais, Histoire du Canada, VI, 307–25. Joseph Chevalier, Laprairie; notes historiques à l’occasion du centenaire de la consécration de l’église (s.l., ). C.-P. Choquette, Histoire de la ville de Saint-Hyacinthe (Saint-Hyacinthe, Qué., 1930). Philippe Constant [J.-J. Lefebvre], “Famine Lanctot,” SGCF Mémoires, X (1959), 27–48.