LEPALLIEUR DE LAFERTÉ, MICHEL, legal practitioner, court officer, jail-keeper, acting clerk of court, royal notary, judge of seneschal’s court, deputy to the king’s attorney, acting lieutenant general for civil and criminal affairs; b. c. 1656; he came originally from the parish of Saint-Eustache, Paris, and was the son of Jean Lepallieur and Marie de Lamotte; buried 10 April 1733 at Montreal.
Few legal officers of the French régime can have performed as many different functions, within the judicature itself, as Michel Lepallieur. Yet he did not start on his career until he was about 44 years old. On 3 Nov. 1688, at Batiscan, he had married Catherine Jérémie*, Jacques Aubuchon’s widow. He had then settled at Quebec, where he was in 1690. He owned a house there, on Rue de la Fontaine Champlain, adjoining Louis Jolliet*’s house, which he rented on 15 June 1693 for five years.
Lepallieur was well thought of: Champigny [Bochart], in 1698, called him “wise and intelligent.” On 25 April 1695 the churchwardens of Quebec had given him powers of attorney to proceed against the debtors of the parochial council, even to the extent of bringing them to court. When the notion of establishing an admiralty court at Quebec was mooted, in 1698, it was to Lepallieur that the intendant gave a commission as clerk of court for that jurisdiction, but the project came to naught. In 1700 Lepallieur was court officer to the Conseil Souverain; in the following year he began to sit as judge of the seneschal’s court for the Lauson seigneury; finally in 1702 he was practising as a notary in the region of Quebec. Lepallieur preferred however to go and live at Montreal. He left the capital in the autumn of 1702, turning over to Louis Chambalon the minutes of the 70 acts which he had received that year.
At that period Montreal offered many more opportunities than Quebec, where legal officers and candidates for the judicature were numerous. Lepallieur arrived at Montreal with a commission as royal notary dated 20 Oct. 1702; furthermore he remained court officer to the Conseil Supérieur. In 1703 and again in 1705 and 1717, he served as acting clerk of court. From 1703 on, Lepallieur was in addition prison-keeper (jailer). This was an important responsibility, which the authorities did not rate lightly. Lepallieur realized this for the first time in 1709, when a prisoner “of note” managed to escape. On 22 March he was censured and dismissed, but as his successor was still more unlucky than he, Lepallieur was reinstated the following 9 July. On another occasion, in 1731, three prisoners who had been condemned to death took to flight. Lepallieur was himself put in prison for a while. Intendant Hocquart*, however, finally pardoned him on 30 Dec. 1732, but this was the end of Lepallieur’s career as a jailer. He was 76 years old.
On 7 Dec. 1706 Jacques Raudot had appointed Lepallieur court crier at Montreal, a post that he held until July 1722. Bégon*, on 24 April 1715, had in addition given him a commission as deputy to the king’s attorney. On 13 July 1722 Raudot had, it is true, offered him the post of king’s attorney, but on condition that he ceased practising as a notary. Lepallieur refused to do this, and contented himself with acting as deputy king’s attorney until 1730. In 1715, 1720, and 1726 he also officiated as acting lieutenant general. A long and fruitful career, if we bear in mind that his minute-book contains 4,776 notarial acts.
Lepallieur resigned as a notary on 12 Jan. 1733 in favour of his son François-Michel. He died three months later. In 1740 Hocquart wrote of Lepallieur’s widow that she had “long striven to fathom the secrets of Indian medicine.”
AJQ, Greffe de Louis Chambalon, 15 juin 1693, 25 avril 1695, 26 oct. 1700, Greffe de Gilles Rageot, 5 mai, 18 juillet 1690. AQ, NF, Coll. de pièces jud. et not., 2036; NF, Ins. Cons. sup., III, 9f.; NF, Ord. des int., III, 29v et seq., 66v et seq.; VI, 167; VIII, 172; 12b, 1f. É.-Z. Massicotte, “Une lettre du juge Raimbault en 1731,” BRH, XXII (1916), 242f. L.-G. Verrier, “Les registres de l’amirauté de Québec,” APQ Rapport, 1920–21, 107f. Massicotte, “Les tribunaux et les officiers de justice,” BRH, XXXVII (1931), 188f., 191, 302–4, 307. Tanguay, Dictionnaire, I, 383. L-E. Roy, Histoire du notariat, I.