MALERAY DE NOIRÉ DE LA MOLLERIE, JACQUES (usually referred to as the Sieur de La Mollerie), officer in the colonial regular troops in Canada; named ensign in 1685 or 1687; lieutenant, 1691 (1693); midshipman, 1694; commanded at Fort Lachine in 1690, 1701; b. 1657 in Poitou, son of Isaac Maleray de La Périne and Marie Tessier; m. Françoise Picoté de Belestre, 6 Jan. 1687; d. 26 or 27 July 1704 on board the Seine.
Before coming to Canada, Jacques served as second lieutenant in the Régiment de Noailles (1675) and was made a lieutenant in 1677. He came to the colony in 1685 to escape the consequences of having killed the Sieur Guillot de La Forest in a sword fight in Poitiers that year. On 15 Jan. 1689 the seneschal’s court of Poitou declared him contumacious and condemned him to be decapitated. With the king’s permission, Jacques returned to France in 1693 to request letters of pardon. Considering that he received support from Frontenac [Buade*], Callière, Champigny [Bochart], and his brother-in-law Henri Tonty, and that good officers were in great demand at the time, it is not surprising that the king granted his request. In the letters of pardon, signed in April 1695 and registered by the Conseil Souverain in Quebec on 14 October the same year, the king praised Jacques for having “distinguished himself on all possible occasions against the English and Iroquois, as well as in the commanding of forts entrusted to him.”
In the year he was married, 1687, Jacques laid a criminal charge of rape and seduction against Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville, on behalf of his sister-in-law, Jeanne-Geneviève Picoté de Belestre, a minor. Jeanne-Geneviève, who had a child as a result of the affair, maintained that she had weakened in the face of Iberville’s promise to marry her. Either Iberville’s influence was too great, or else Jeanne-Geneviève’s reputation was questionable, for Jacques failed to persuade the Conseil Souverain to force Iberville to marry his sister-in-law. He did manage to prevent Iberville’s marriage to another woman for several years, and to obtain in 1688 a court order requiring the adventurer to support Jeanne-Geneviève’s daughter until she was 15 years of age.
In 1701 or 1702 Jacques took his wife and two of his children to France where he obtained an extension of his leave to look after some business and recover from an illness. The ship on which he was returning to Canada, the Seine, was captured after an engagement with the escorts of an English convoy, and Jacques was killed during an exchange of musket fire. Governor Callière, in his memoir of 1701 on the officers in Canada, had described the Sieur de La Mollerie as a “good officer.”
Jacques Maleray de La Mollerie has frequently been confused with two of his sons, Jacques (bap. 6 Feb. 1689) and Louis-Hector (bap. 3 July 1692). Like their father before them, both Jacques and Louis-Hector participated in duels in which the survivors were condemned to be beheaded and were later pardoned. Louis-Hector died on 16 Dec. 1714 in Montreal from a wound sustained the previous day in a duel with Jean d’Ailleboust d’Argenteuil. Jacques killed Charles Fustel in September 1716 in Quebec and was granted letters of pardon in October 1720.
Some researchers have erroneously referred to Jacques Maleray, the father, as the son of a Duchesse de La Mollerie. The source of this error is probably a mistranscription in the Public Archives of Canada copy of a council of Marine memoir dated 19 March 1720 (AN, Col., C11A, 41, p.144 [PAC transcript]). Reference is made to a “Duchesse” de la Mollerie who requested that her son be granted letters of grace for having killed one Fustel in a duel in Quebec. The original document (AN, Col., C11A, 41, f.221) refers only to De de la Mollerie. The transcriber erroneously assumed De to be an abbreviation of Duchesse, instead of simply “Dame.” In fact, the woman was Françoise Picoté de Belestre, the wife, and not the mother, of the Jacques Maleray who died on board the Seine in 1704. And the man who killed Fustel in Quebec was their son Jacques.
AN, Col., B, 23, ff.119, 265; C11A, 12, p.706; 41, p.144 (f.221); D2C, 47, pp.69, 93 (copies in PAC); Marine, B3, 123, ff.573–76, 577, 589; B4, 26, ff.96, 98–101. BN, MS, Fr. 22803, ff.285, 290, 316. Jug. et délib., III, 194–97, 231–34, 237–39, 241–43, 258–64, 1057, 1060–64; VI, 923, 935. “Les officiers des troupes du Canada en 1701,” BRH, XXVII (1921), 276. Aegidius Fauteux, La famille d’Ailleboust (Montréal, 1917), 89–94. É.-Z. Massicotte, “Les Maleray de la Mollerie?” BRH, XXV (1919), 122.