PERTHUIS, JEAN-BAPTISTE-IGNACE, merchant, last king’s attorney for the provost and admiralty courts of Quebec; b. 13 April 1716 at Quebec, son of Charles Perthuis* and Marie-Madeleine Roberge; d. sometime after 1767 in France.
The son of a rich Quebec merchant, Jean-Baptiste-Ignace Perthuis followed his father and made a career in business. On 16 Sept. 1742, on the eve of his marriage in the church of Notre-Dame de Québec and in the presence of the administrative, business, and military élite of the capital of New France, he signed a marriage contract with Marie-Josephte-Madeleine, daughter of Henry Hiché, king’s attorney and rich Quebec merchant. His wife brought him as her dowry a piece of land and a stone house worth 3,000 livres, plus an annual income of 502 livres and a trousseau valued at 1,000 livres. Having made such a rich marriage, Perthuis acquired more and more importance in Quebec society. He became at this time one of the contractors to the state; in 1744 he sold it more than 8,000 livres of merchandise intended for the construction of the Caribou; in 1747 he was one of five Quebec merchants who supplied the state with munitions and general merchandise to a value of 61,740 livres.
While he was doing business with the government, Ignace Perthuis was following the lectures in law given by the attorney general, Louis-Guillaume Verrier. He nourished the ambition of one day filling a position in the judicature. His father-in-law enabled him to realize this ambition. Not being able, at 81 years of age, to carry out with all the assiduity desired the functions of king’s attorney for the provost court of Quebec, Henry Hiché obtained on 23 Nov. 1753 from the intendant, Bigot*, permission for his son-in-law to act as his deputy in case of illness, absence, or challenge. On 15 May 1754, when Hiché was named a councillor of the Conseil Supérieur of Quebec, Perthuis succeeded him in the offices of king’s attorney for the provost and admiralty courts of Quebec. He fulfilled these two functions zealously until 1760. After the conquest he went to France with three of his five children. He took up residence in Paris and was still living there in November 1767. After that no more is heard of him.
Jean-Baptiste-Ignace was the son of an important Quebec merchant. But his rank as the youngest son in the family hardly favoured him, since in New France the customary law of Paris was followed as regards the transmission of the father’s estate. Thanks to his marriage, however, he succeeded in climbing the social ladder and in becoming wealthy.
AN, Col., B, 99, f.4; C11A, 120, f.351. ANQ, Greffe de Nicolas Boisseau, 16 sept. 1742; NF, Coll. de pièces jud. et not., 1866, 2137, 2139, 4050; NF, Documents de la Prévôté de Québec, 8 janv. 1742. PAC Report, 1886, clxxxi; 1888, 47. “Recensement de Québec, 1744” (APQ Rapport), 52. Gareau, “La Prévôté de Québec,” APQ Rapport, 1943–44, 111. P.-G. Roy, Inv. concessions, I, 16–17; Inv. jug. et délib., 1717–1760, V, 284, 286; VI, 100, 110; Inv. ins. Cons. souv., 270–71. Tanguay, Dictionnaire. Nish, Les bourgeois-gentilshommes, 68, 75, 114. P.-G. Roy, Fils de Québec, I, 187–88.