LE MOYNE DE MARTIGNY, VITE-ADÉLARD, notary, administrator, and financier; b. 24 Dec. 1826 in Varennes, Lower Canada, son of seigneur Jacques Le Moyne de Martigny and Suzanne-Éléonore Perrault; grandson of Joseph-François Perrault*; m. there first 20 Aug. 1849 Marie-Louise Perrault; m. secondly in 1855 Aglaé Globensky, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Maximilien Globensky*; m. thirdly 25 Oct. 1870 a cousin, Malvina Lemoine de Martigny, in Varennes; d. there 6 Aug. 1908 and was buried 10 August in Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemetery in Montreal.
Vite-Adélard Le Moyne de Martigny did classical studies at the Petit Séminaire de Montréal from 1840 to 1842. He then decided to study law with Joseph-Napoléon-Azarie Archambault, a notary in Varennes. Licensed to practise as a notary in 1848, he performed the duties of protonotary for Beauharnois county from 1848 to 1876, registrar of that county from 1856 to 1875, and registrar of Montreal county from 1876 to 1903.
Le Moyne de Martigny also entered the world of finance, where he felt truly at home. When the Merchants’ Bank of Canada opened a branch in the village of Beauharnois in 1871, he became its manager. He held that position until 1875, when he moved to the Crédit Foncier du Bas-Canada as manager, replacing Jean-Baptiste Lafleur. In 1877 the Banque Jacques-Cartier, which had been founded in Montreal in 1861, asked him to take over from cashier (general manager) Edmond-Julien Barbeau, who had agreed in 1875 to straighten out the bank’s accounts, misrepresented by the previous cashier, Honoré Cotté. In order to cover up some questionable transactions, Cotté, who had filled the post since 1861, had begun in 1870 to falsify the reports required by the federal minister of finance, exaggerating the bank’s assets. Le Moyne de Martigny remained in office until 1895 and also acted as a director from 1889 to 1897. He brought with him to the banking house valuable qualifications, wide experience, and judicious methods of work. In 1879 the bank showed a profit. A change in policy introduced shortly afterwards led to contacts with French-speaking industrial circles through the efforts of new directors; one of them, Alphonse Desjardins* (not to be confused with the founder of the Desjardins caisses populaires), during his term as president of the bank, would authorize the opening of nearly 20 branches. Expenses were reduced to a minimum. From 1879 to 1899 the assets increased from $1,759,945 to $5,831,769, although they were still much lower than those of the Bank of Montreal. The Banque Jacques-Cartier was an important element in the province’s French-speaking community, but it did not prove to be of much significance on a national scale.
Le Moyne de Martigny also had interests in a number of companies. He was, among other things, president of the Joliette and St Jean de Matha Railway Company and a director of the Montreal Paper Mills Company. The owner of a pulp- and paper-mill in Sorel, he also had financial interests in Coleraine, in Mégantic county. Shortly after the Banque du Peuple went bankrupt in Montreal in 1895, he became one of the liquidators. Along with Charles-Joseph Coursol*, he served on a five-member royal commission appointed in 1882 to investigate Montreal’s Catholic school board, which was obliged to close Montcalm school and lay off some teachers. The mandate was to examine a request for increased taxes and to analyse the general problems of school administration in the city, where it was believed that instances of overspending had been discovered. The report was submitted to the government in 1883.
Vite-Adélard Le Moyne de Martigny belonged to an illustrious family. His great affability and his modesty naturally won him high esteem. During his last years in notarial practice, he had been appointed collector of succession duties. His death in 1908 was much regretted by his fellow notaries, as well as in financial, business, and political circles.
AC, Montréal, État civil, Catholiques, Cimetière Notre-Dame-des-Neiges (Montréal), 10 août 1908. ANQ-M, CE1-10, 24 déc. 1826, 20 août 1849, 25 oct. 1870. Le Canada, 7 août 1908. La Minerve, 28 déc. 1875, 19 juin 1879, 19 juin 1880, 17 juin 1881, 22 juin 1882, 21 juin 1883, 19 juin 1884, 19 juin 1885, 17 juin 1886, 16 juin 1887, 21 juin 1888, 21 juin 1889, 19 juin 1890, 18 juin 1891, 17 juin 1892, 22 juin 1893, 21 juin 1894, 20 juin 1895, 18 juin 1896. La Presse, 7 août 1908, 16 mars 1909. Cyclopædia of Canadian biog. (Rose and Charlesworth), vol.2. André Labarrère-Paulé, Les instituteurs laïques au Canada français, 1836–1900 (Québec, 1965). Ronald Rudin, Banking en français: les banques canadiennes-françaises de 1835 à 1925 (Montréal, 1988).