LENEUF DE LA POTERIE, JACQUES, seigneur of Portneuf, governor of Trois-Rivières, acting governor of New France; baptized 7 Nov. 1604 at Caen (Normandy), son of Mathieu Leneuf, brother of Michel Leneuf Du Hérisson; d. some time after 2 Nov. 1687.
Jacques Leneuf de La Poterie arrived at Quebec in 1636. In January of the same year he had managed to acquire the seigneury of Portneuf, a concession which was to be confirmed on 16 April 1647. He likewise obtained, on 29 March 1649, the marquisate of Sablé – which despite its name was land held by a commoner – the fief of the Île aux Cochons (29 March 1649), the fief of La Poterie or Niverville (7 April 1660), which were lands situated in the region of Trois-Rivières, and also the seigneury of the Cap-des-Rosiers, in Gaspesia, which he shared with Charles Legardeur de Tilly and a few others.
He lived at Trois-Rivières from 1640 on. On several occasions he was to act as deputy governor of this small town: from 17 Nov. 1645 to 2 Sept. 1648, and then in 1650, 1652–53, 1658–62. On 13 May 1665 the Conseil Souverain ordered a commission to be registered by virtue of which the governor Saffray de Mézy had nominated him “to be his Lieutenant after his demise.” The governor had died on 5 May. The Council, on 27 May, refused to allow him the majority of the prerogatives of this office, conceding him only the command of the militia.
On 18 Oct. 1666 Jacques Leneuf sailed on the Moulin d’Or, on his way first to Acadia and then to France. His titles of nobility were confirmed by Louis XIV in 1667 and registered in the Conseil Souverain of New France in 1675. He was possibly back in Canada by 1667; in any case he was at Quebec on 22 May 1668. Mention of his name is found in documents up to 1687.
While in France Jacques Leneuf had married Marguerite Legardeur, sister of Pierre Legardeur de Repentigny and of Charles Legardeur de Tilly, members of one of the most illustrious Canadian families. His son Michel Leneuf* de La Vallière, born in October 1640, was to play an important role in Acadia.
Leneuf de La Poterie had always been interested in the fur trade – as well as in the trafficking of spirits. He was one of the members of the Communauté des Habitants. He was a wily business man who often had brushes with the law.
Édits ord., II, 25f. JR (Thwaites), VIII, 220; IX, 142; XVIII, 90; LXXIII, 79. JJ (Laverdière et Casgrain). Jug. et délib., I, 344, 347, 350, 436, 996, 1001; II, 1045. Lettres de noblesse (P.-G. Roy). Papier terrier de la Cie des I.O. (P.-G. Roy). P.-G. Roy, Inv. concessions.
BRH, II (1896), 67–69; VI (1900), 29; IX (1903), 160, 311–14; XXI (1915), 46. Raymond Douville, “La dictature de la famille Le Neuf,” Cahiers des Dix, XX (1955), 61–89. Hugolin Lemay, Le père Joseph Denis, premier récollet canadien (1657–1736) (2v., Québec, 1926), I, 40f. Sulte, Mélanges historiques (Malchelosse), XVIII, 6f., 9, 19; “Premiers seigneurs du Canada, 1634–1664,” RSCT, 1st ser., I (1882–83), sect.i, 131–37. Tanguay, Dictionnaire, I, 381. E. Vaillancourt, La conquête du Canada par les Normands (Montréal, 1933).
Revisions based on:
Les Arch. Départementales, Calvados (Caen, France), “Reg. paroissiaux et d’état civil,” Caen, protestants, 7 nov. 1604: archives.numerisees.calvados.fr/cg14v3/accueil.php (consulted 25 April 2013). Bibliothèque et Arch. Nationales du Québec, Centre d’arch. de Québec, CN301-S114, 2 nov. 1687.