NOYROT, PHILIBERT, Jesuit; b. October 1592 near Autun (France); drowned 24 Aug. 1629 in a shipwreck near the Strait of Canso.
Philibert Noyrot entered the Society of Jesus 16 Oct. 1617 in Paris, and upon finishing his theological studies in Bourges he was appointed treasurer of the college there. During his stay in Bourges he became renowned for his lessons in the catechism to the children and the poor; he was called “the children’s Father.” In 1624 he became confessor to Henri de Lévis, Duc de Ventadour, who on his advice purchased the viceroyalty of New France the following year and asked the Recollets of Canada to give the Jesuits a part in their missionary efforts.
In 1626 Father Noyrot himself left for Quebec, where he arrived in July with 20 workmen ready to begin building a residence for the Jesuits. But his superior, Father Charles Lalemant, immediately sent him back to Paris to try to bring about the revocation of the monopoly which was held by the Huguenots of the Compagnie de Montmorency. Father Noyrot therefore had an audience with Richelieu and, thanks to the intervention of his former penitent, the Duc de Ventadour, he obtained from the cardinal, at the time of the founding of the Compagnie des Cent-Associés (1627), the revocation of the application to New France of the Edict of Nantes. It would appear that it was also at Father Noyrot’s suggestion that Ventadour resigned his viceregal office and that Antoinette de Pons, Marquise de Guercheville, gave up her rights to Acadia.
In 1627 Father Noyrot took steps to have a shipload of provisions sent to Canada, but his attempt failed when the ship was seized at Honfleur by Guillaume de Caën and Raymond de La Ralde. In 1628 Noyrot himself fitted out another ship with enough provisions to succour the missions for a year and left La Rochelle with Roquemont’s expedition. When the Kirkes stopped them in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, taking Roquemont prisoner, Father Noyrot succeeded in escaping and sailing his ship back to France. In 1629 he set out a third time in a convoy made up of four ships and a bark, under the command of Captain Charles Daniel . But a violent gale near Cape Breton Island sent to the bottom the ship that he himself had chartered, and Father Noyrot was drowned, along with 14 members of the crew.
According to his contemporaries, Father Noyrot was indefatigable and a man of sound common sense, even though he expressed himself with difficulty.
ACSM, MS biography based on the old Jesuit catalogues: Étude sur les Relations des Jésuites, by Félix Martin (see also ASQ, mss, 43, pp. 141–56); two unpublished articles: Lucien Campeau, “Les Récollets ont-ils appelé les Jésuites?” and Euclide Gervais, “Le Père Philibert Noyrot.” Champlain, Œuvres (Laverdière), II, 1107–8, et passim. JR (Thwaites), IV, 267; LXXI, 138. Sagard, Histoire du Canada (Tross). Jésuites de la N.-F. (Roustang). Lanctot, Histoire du Canada, I, 174. Sixte Le Tac, Histoire chronologique de la Nouvelle France ou Canada, depuis sa découverte (mil cinq cents quatre) jusques en l’an mil six cents trente-deux, éd. Eugène Réveillaud (Paris, 1888). Rochemonteix, Les Jésuites et la Nouvelle-France au XVIIe siècle, I, 145.