LOZEAU (Loiseau, Lozaus), JEAN-BAPTISTE (Jean) (he has been confused, by Cyprien Tanguay* and others, with Jean Loiseau, labourer of Quebec), master locksmith and tinsmith; b. c. 1694, son of François Lozeau and Marguerite Gauron of Rochefort, France; m. 28 Nov. 1713 at Quebec to Marguerite Mercier, without issue, and 7 May 1729 at Quebec to Catherine Gautier; d. probably 7 Feb. 1745.
At the time of his marriage to the daughter of Quebec locksmith Louis Mercier, Jean-Baptiste Lozeau was described as “a soldier of d’Alogny.” He had likely served in a detachment of colonial regular troops under Captain Charles-Henri d’Aloigny* de La Groye. About 19 when he married, he may have been one of those undersized or unhealthy recruits frequently sent to Canada only to be discharged. As a civilian, Lozeau lived on Quebec’s Rue de la Montagne among the town’s metalworkers.
Like most Canadian craftsmen Lozeau performed several trades. He was a blacksmith, a locksmith, and a tinsmith as occasion demanded, but not at the expense of quality. He was employed by Governor Philippe de Rigaud* de Vaudreuil and by the widow of Michel Sarrazin*. In 1727 Lozeau complained to Intendant Dupuy* that “having acquired some fame for the quality of his work . . . several masters and journeymen in this town . . . wishing to profit from the high opinion held of him, conceal their name from those seeking Lozeau . . . and present themselves as the one being sought, and they use his name and his trademarks.” The intendant authorized Lozeau to advertise himself as a locksmith and tinsmith, using whatever symbol he chose for his sign. Other metalworkers were forbidden to copy Lozeau’s trademark, and the imitation of one tradesman’s “signs, ceilings and shop paintings” by another was outlawed.
The year 1729 was a dark one for Lozeau. His wife died childless in April, after 16 years of marriage; the following month he married again. He was still liable, however, for the debts of Louis Mercier, his first father-in-law. Later in the year Lozeau’s apprentice, Jean-Charles Le Guettier, ran away after serving only half of his three-year term. An intendant’s ordinance was issued against any who might harbour the fugitive.
In the summer of 1730 Jean Lozeau asked the Quebec provost court if he could raise money by a lottery. The prizes were a fully harnessed horse, a new calèche, a gilded and engraved snuffbox “of the latest fashion,” and a watch. Henri Solo, a Quebec watchmaker, testified that the watch alone was worth 150 livres, “being the work of Pierre Rousseau in Paris and not from Geneva like so many others.” The court seems to have permitted the lottery after being assured that the prizes were in good condition and of high value.
The few references to Jean Lozeau in the notarial and court records are indicative of an honest and peaceful life. In disputes, such as one with Ruette* d’Auteuil in 1725 over a property encroachment, he was often a passive participant. Lozeau trained over six apprentices and he was frequently employed as an expert estimator. His skill and knowledge in metalworking were evidently respected.
It is difficult to be certain of the death date of this artisan. On 28 Sept. 1744 he was present at the baptism of his last child, Pierre-Louis, and some months later, in the Quebec city census for 1744, Mme Lozeau declared herself to be a widow and her son Pierre-Louis to be three months old. However the register of the parish of Notre-Dame de Québec on 8 Feb. 1745 has a brief reference to the burial of a Jean Loiseau, “ironmonger,” aged about 50, who had died the night before.
AJQ, Registre d’état civil, Notre-Dame de Québec, 28 sept. 1744, 8 févr. 1745. ANQ, Greffe de R.-C. Barolet, 9 avril 1753; Greffe de J.-É. Dubreuil, 10 août 1715, 14 févr. 1719, 24 févr. 1722, 11 mai 1724, 19 oct. 1731; Greffe de Florent de La Cetière, 15 avril 1728; Greffe de J.-C. Louet, 7 mai 1729, 11 juin 1731; NF, Coll. de pièces jud. et not., 850, 860, 1044, 1045, 3617, 3646, 3692; NF, Ord. Int., XIIA, 92. PAC, MG 8, B1, 20/1, pp. 464–66. “L’ameublement d’un seigneur canadien sous l’ancien régime,” APQ Rapport, 1921–22, 261. “Loterie de Jean-Baptiste Lozeau, maître-serrurier,” APQ Rapport, 1923–24, 144–45. “Loterie de Joachim Girard, maître-cordonnier,” APQ Rapport, 1923–24, 159. “Permis d’enseigne à Jean Lozeau,” BRH, XXXIII (1927), 147. “Un inventaire de l’année 1743,” APQ Rapport, 1943–44, 30. Recensement de Québec, 1716 (Beaudet). “Recensement de Québec, 1744” (APQ Rapport). P.-G. Roy, Inv. jug. et délib., 1717–1760, I, II, III, IV; Inv. ord. int., II, 11–12, 40; III, 18. Tanguay, Dictionnaire.