RAYMBAUT, CHARLES, priest, Jesuit, missionary among the Hurons and the Indians of Lake Nipissing; b. 6 April 1602 at Senlis (France); d. 22 Oct. 1642 at Quebec.
He was admitted into the noviciate of the Jesuits at Rouen on 24 Aug. 1621. He studied his philosophy at La Flèche (1623–26), taught at Rennes (1626–28), studied theology at Bourges (1628–30), and after his ordination he taught for a further year at Blois and another at Amiens. Having completed his spiritual training at Rouen (1632–33), he remained at the noviciate of that town as bursar, and was also responsible for the interests of the Canadian mission (1633–37). In the summer of 1637 he arrived at Quebec and was immediately sent to join Father Buteux at Trois-Rivières, in order to learn the Algonkin language and begin his apostolate. Father Raymbaut was a tall man with a vigorous physique. He was thought very well qualified to investigate the tribes of the west, who were reputed to speak the Algonkin tongue. He therefore set out in 1640, with Father Claude Pijart, to begin his work at Lake Nipissing. As the Indians belonging to these regions were not there, the two Jesuits went to the Huron country, where the Nipissing Indians themselves arrived soon after to pass the winter season. Fathers Pijart and Raymbaut learned their language, began to instruct them, and accompanied them the following summer to Lake Nipissing, where they witnessed their feast of the dead at the beginning of September 1641. Raymbaut returned to the residence of Sainte-Marie-des-Hurons, and at the end of that month started on a journey to the country of the Sauteurs with Father Jogues. Though the autumn was well advanced, Raymbaut decided again to winter at Lake Nipissing with Father René Ménard. The difficulties of the journey were such that they were obliged to turn back, and Raymbaut fell seriously ill. He grew weaker all through the winter, and was sent to Quebec in the spring to await death, which struck down this robust man at the age of 40. He was the first Jesuit to die at Quebec, and Governor Huault de Montmagny had him buried beside Champlain.