LEMIRE, JEAN, master-carpenter; baptized in the parish of Saint-Vivien, at Rouen, France, 4 June 1625, son of Mathurin Le Mire and Jeanne Vanier; in Quebec by 1653, when his marriage to Louise Marsolet is recorded there, on 20 October; d. 5 Oct. 1684 at Quebec and was buried there the following day.
In civic records Lemire is named as preparing an estimate for the building of the presbytery in Quebec in November 1664; as preparing a report, along with Paul Chalifour – both are called “carpenters” (charpentiers) – on a house at Coulonge on 5 April 1664; and, on 21 June 1664, as delivering it. The most important notice of him, however, is as a carpenter working on the enlargement programme for the cathedral of Quebec undertaken in 1684. A contract for the work was signed by him on 4 Jan. 1684, and he is credited with constructing “out of oak from Batiscan” a clocher on the south tower of the cathedral, under the direction of Claude Baillif. Since he died soon after beginning work on the cathedral, it is to be presumed that Lemire constructed the clocher on the ground for later installation; perhaps it was finished, after his death, by one of his many sons.
AJQ, Greffe de Guillaume Audouart, 14 juillet 1653. ASQ, Paroisse de Québec, 46, 51, 131; Polygraphie, XXII, 61, 61A; Séminaire, V, 10. Recensements de 1660, 1667, et 1681. Jug. et délib., I, II, IV. Papier terrier de la Cie des I.O. (P.-G. Roy), 128, 130. P.-G. Roy, Inv. concessions, I, 147; II, 8; Inv. ins. cons. souv., 63f.; La ville de Québec, I, 273, 341, 353, 430. Alan Gowans, Church architecture in New France (Toronto, 1955).
Revisions based on:
Arch. Départementales de Seine-Maritime (Rouen, France), “État civil,” Rouen (paroisse Saint-Vivien), 4 juin 1625: www.archivesdepartementales76.net (consulted 5 Feb. 2013). Bibliothèque et Arch. Nationales du Québec, Centre d’arch. de Québec, CE301-S1, 20 oct. 1653, 6 oct. 1684.