MÉNAGE, PIERRE, master carpenter, son of François Ménage, a merchant in Poitiers, and Françoise Lunette; b. c. 1648 in the bishopric of Poitiers; buried 15 April 1715.
We know nothing about the circumstances under which he came to New France when he was about 21, during Talon*’s administration. His presence at Quebec is first mentioned in 1669, when he bought a house on the Saint-Charles River. In 1675 he built François Jacquet’s small house (which is still standing today at the corner of Rue Saint-Louis and Rue Desjardins) in exchange for a piece of land on the Saint-Charles River.
His principal achievements date from about 1680, when he formed a partnership with Jean Caillé, who came from Soissons. During the following ten years they were busy building the Jesuits’ house near the harbour of Quebec (1684), on one of the best sites in Lower Town, the Comporté [Gaultier*] house (1685), the Pachot [Viennay-Pachot*] house (1686), sited on Place Royale which was dedicated in the same year. In 1688 he took part in the rebuilding of the Ursuline convent, built the belfry of Notre-Dame-de-la-Victoire church in 1690, and also that of the cathedral according to plans by La Rivière [Bernard]. The drawing which is attached to the Comporté contract shows the importance of half-timbering in the period and gives evidence of sure craftsmanship utilizing simple and traditional means. His contribution to the building of the Hôtel-Dieu (1691) and of the Château Saint-Louis (1692) marks the high point of his career. His building activity came to an end with a contract on Île d’Orléans (1701).
In 1670 Pierre Ménage married Dorothée Brassard. After this marriage was annulled, he married Anne Leblanc in 1672. Several children, including two boys, Jean-Baptiste and François, and several daughters, were born of this marriage. Two of his daughters, Marie-Anne and Anne, married François de Lajoüe (1689) and Pierre Levasseur (1696) respectively. Ménage died 15 April 1715 at Quebec.
Although he was not pre-eminent (he was illiterate and unable to sign his name), Ménage nevertheless played an important role in construction during the last quarter of the 17th century, a role that is linked to that of his privileged colleagues, Baillif*, Lajoüe, La Rivière, etc.
AJQ, Greffe de Romain Becquet, 17 nov. 1669, 30 nov. 1672, 2 déc. 1674, 28 févr. 1675; Greffe de Louis Chambalon, 28 févr. 1701; Greffe de François Genaple, 7 févr., 20 déc. 1683; 5 déc. 1685; 4, 12 déc. 1686; 5 janv., 18 nov. 1688; 2 nov. 1692; 17 mars 1696; Registres d’état civil de Notre-Dame de Québec, 15 avril 1715. P.-B. Casgrain, “Une autre maison Montcalm à Québec (1759),” BRH, VIII (1902), 330–33.
© 1969–2023 University of Toronto/Université Laval
Cite This Article
Pierre Mayrand, “MÉNAGE, PIERRE,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 2, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed March 25, 2023, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/menage_pierre_2E.html.
The citation above shows the format for footnotes and endnotes according to the Chicago manual of style (16th edition). Information to be used in other citation formats:
|Author of Article:||Pierre Mayrand|
|Title of Article:||MÉNAGE, PIERRE|
|Publication Name:||Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 2|
|Publisher:||University of Toronto/Université Laval|
|Year of publication:||1969|
|Year of revision:||1982|
|Access Date:||March 25, 2023|