LORIT (Lori, Lerry, Lorris), dit Gargot, FRANÇOIS, settler, process-server, serjeant-at-law in the bailiff’s court of Montreal; b. c. 1646 at Celle, in the bishopric of Poitiers, son of César Lory and Richarde Grimère; buried 6 Jan. 1702 at Lachine.
Lorit arrived in Canada in 1664 as a voluntary indentured worker, and was sent to the Jesuits’ seigneury at Cap-de-la-Madeleine. Probably because of a speech defect which earned him the nickname of “Gargot,” the religious felt sympathetic towards him, and on 23 March 1665 made him a grant of land in their Batiscan seigneury, a grant which he sold to Nicolas Rivard on 3 Dec. 1666. He endeavoured unsuccessfully to establish himself in the neighbouring seigneuries. François Lorit was not cut out for the task of clearing land and felt at ease only in the company of men of law. Being fairly well educated, he gave valuable help to the illiterate people around him. For several years he was a process-server in the jurisdiction of the Cap; in the same period he acted as a witness for numerous notarial contracts and as an arbitrator in disputes. These various occupations did not make him wealthy, and to avoid the visit of one of his writ-serving colleagues he had to sell, in 1680, his last property, a land grant at Champlain.
He went then to the island of Montreal, where the 1681 census mentions his presence and that of his wife and three children. In official documents he was styled serjeant of the bailiff’s court of Montreal, process-server, and sometimes “vicegerent.” In these various capacities he had become acquainted with the private lives of almost all the families in the Colony. Thus in 1687 and 1688 he was entrusted with serving some of the numerous legal papers resulting from the proceedings instituted against Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville for taking advantage of Geneviève Picoté de Belestre.
On 1 Oct. 1670, at Quebec, François Lorit had married a king’s girl (fille du roi), Perrette Parement, who originally came from Troyes, and who bore him four children, two of them boys. He married again on 29 Jan. 1685; his second wife was Marie-Thérèse Le Gros.
AJM, Greffe d’Antoine Adhémar, 17 sept. 1674, 19 oct. 1701; Greffe de Claude Maugue, 2 mai, 6, 24 août 1682, 3 août 1689. AJTR, Greffe de Jean Cusson, 10 oct. 1676; Greffe de Jacques de La Touche. Jug. et délib., II, III. É.-Z. Massicotte, “La maréchaussée à Montréal,” BRH, XXII (1916), 17.