RIEUTORD, JEAN-BAPTISTE, doctor; b. c. 1733 in Gramont, France, son of Jacques Rieutord and Françoise Deray; m. first 11 Nov. 1760 Pélagie-Victoire Perron in Baie-Saint-Paul (Que.); m. secondly 7 July 1788 Marie-Josette Audette, dit Lapointe, widow of Samuel Jacobs*, in Trois-Rivières, Que.; d. there 27 March 1818.
Jean-Baptiste Rieutord left Bordeaux on the Charmante Nancy and came to New France in 1758, apparently as a military surgeon. Some authors have claimed, without citing sources, that his ship had been captured by the British. By January 1760 Rieutord was practising as a surgeon at Baie-Saint-Paul. In 1762 or early in 1763 he moved to Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, but a few months later he decided to settle in Château-Richer. Over 20 years he succeeded in securing a financial status comparing favourably with that of most of his colleagues who lived in the countryside. His landed property was worth 8,750 livres and he owed, at least by notarized obligation, only 600 livres.
In the spring of 1783, with his experience and success in the rural area behind him, Rieutord moved to the town of Trois-Rivières. He lived comfortably and could indulge in subscribing to the Quebec Gazette and owning a black female slave, amenities not within everyone’s means. At the professional level his competence was officially recognized on 15 Dec. 1788, when he received a surgeon’s licence. In 1790 he exposed the deplorable state of the Trois-Rivières jail, which he had visited at the request of the merchant Malcolm Fraser, whose son was imprisoned there. By 1792 the Ursulines considered it appropriate to make him their official doctor.
Rieutord spent considerable sums of money on some of his children. On 19 Sept. 1781 Thompson and Shaw, Quebec merchants, undertook to furnish his son Jean-Baptiste, who was just 17, with goods so that he could enter into trade at Quebec. Rieutord stood surety for him. The business soon met with disaster. On 5 Oct. 1782 the boy was sentenced to pay 3,360 livres to the merchant John Jones. On 24 Feb. 1784 Simon Fraser Sr and John Young, assignees of the body of creditors of Thompson and Shaw, obtained an award of 7,728 livres against the Rieutords, father and son, in settlement of goods sold. Of this sum the father put up at least 5,374 livres. Subsequently the son decided to move to Saint-Ours and practise as a surgeon. Another son, Louis, who settled at Contrecœur at the end of the 18th century, also practised medicine, but it was François who took over from his father. François is believed to have gone to Europe in 1790, and he then went to study at Queen’s College in New Brunswick, N.J., probably before 1793. He chose to practise in Trois-Rivières, where in 1797 he went into partnership with his father as a doctor, surgeon, and apothecary.
On 21 Oct. 1799, feeling the weight of his years and wishing “to free himself of temporal matters in order to attend solely to those concerning his salvation,” Jean-Baptiste Rieutord renounced all claims regarding the surgical practice in favour of François, who undertook to support him until he died. His success surpassed his father’s. In 1815 his personal estate was worth 12,270 livres, including 4,800 livres for his surgical instruments and medicines. He owned three farms, four houses in Trois-Rivières, and half of another building lot. His debtors owed him 40,456 livres. His liabilities amounted to only 816 livres, exclusive of 2,400 livres in fees owing to a notary. François Rieutord died less than a year after his father, on 1 Feb. 1819.
AAQ, 940 CD, II: 99. ANQ-MBF, CE1-48, 7 juill. 1788, 22 févr. 1802, 30 mars 1818, 3 févr. 1819; CN1-4, 21 oct. 1799; CN1-5, 12 juin, 17, 21 juill., 23 sept. 1783; 21 avril 1784; 15 oct. 1790; 16 déc. 1793; CN1-6, 22 févr. 1802, 9 avril 1818; CN1-32, 11 déc. 1816, 8 févr. 1819; CN1-79, 21 juin 1815. ANQ-Q, CE1-6, 24 août 1768; CE4-1, 11 nov. 1760; CN1-76, 28 avril 1762; 10 avril, 11 juin 1763; 26, 29 mars 1764; 31 mars, 25 août 1766; 20 oct. 1769; 27 déc. 1779; 14 janv., 11 févr. 1780; CN1-77, 9 avril, 7, 11, 13, 16 août 1783; CN1-148, 22 mars 1764; CN1-205, 24 août 1781, 14 juill. 1784; CN1-224, 26 avril 1780; CN1-245, 19 sept. 1781; CN1-284, 25 sept. 1788, 13 juill. 1793; CN4-14, 8 nov. 1760; T13-1, mai 1776-mai 1785. PAC, MG 19, A2, ser.3, 5; MG 24, B 1, 46; RG 4, B28, 47: 69. Le Journal des Trois-Rivières (Trois-Rivières, Qué.), 29 juill. 1886. Quebec Gazette, 7 Feb. 1771, 7 Oct. 1790, 17 July 1794, 24 Nov. 1803. M.-J. et G. Ahern, Notes pour l’hist. de la médecine, 451–53. “Les docteurs Rieutord père et fils,” BRH, 18 (1912): 3–7.