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LE MAISTRE, JACQUES, priest, Sulpician, bursar of the seminary of Saint-Sulpice at Montreal; b. c. 1621 in Normandy; killed by the Iroquois 29 Aug. 1661.

We have little precise information about Jacques Le Maistre. Together with the Sulpician Guillaume Vignal he sailed from La Rochelle, 29 June 1659, on the Saint-André, as chaplain to the Hospitallers Catherine Macé, Judith Moreau de Brésoles, and Marie Maillet. He reached Quebec on 7 September, and proceeded to Ville-Marie (Montreal), where he was appointed bursar of the seminary of Saint-Sulpice, a function that he performed until his death, which occurred on 29 Aug. 1661. On that day he was in a field belonging to the Saint-Gabriel farm, west of Ville-Marie; he had drawn aside from a group of workmen in order to recite his breviary, and was surprised by some Iroquois under Otreouti. Le Maistre seized a cutlass and tried to place himself between the Indians and the workmen, but he was killed by a shot from an arquebus. After cutting off his head, the Iroquois stripped him of his cassock, and Otreouti put it on.

According to a legend, the Indians wrapped Le Maistre’s head in a white handkerchief taken from his pocket. “This piece of cloth received such a strong imprint of his face that a perfect image was left stamped upon it,” and when one saw the cloth one could recognize “Aaouandio” (the Iroquois name for Le Maistre). On hearing this story, Simon Le Moyne tried to acquire the handkerchief, but his efforts were of no avail.

Olga Jurgens

Morin, Annales (Fauteux et al.), 146–48. Dollier de Casson, Histoire du Montréal, 157–60, 240. Marie Guyart de l’Incarnation, Lettres (Richaudeau), II, 206–7. JR (Thwaites), XLV, 110, 112; XLVI, 188, 216–18; XLVII, 94, 102–4. JJ (Laverdière et Casgrain): 263, 265, 303.

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Cite This Article

Olga Jurgens, “LE MAISTRE, JACQUES,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 1, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed August 20, 2017, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/le_maistre_jacques_1E.html.

The citation above shows the format for footnotes and endnotes according to the Chicago manual of style (16th edition). Information to be used in other citation formats:

Permalink: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/le_maistre_jacques_1E.html
Author of Article: Olga Jurgens
Title of Article: LE MAISTRE, JACQUES
Publication Name: Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 1
Publisher: University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication: 1966
Year of revision: 1979
Access Date: August 20, 2017