SAVEUSE DE BEAUJEU, GEORGES-RENÉ, Comte de BEAUJEU, seigneur and member of the Legislative Council; b. 4 June 1810 at Montreal, son of Jacques-Philippe Saveuse de Beaujeu, lawyer and seigneur, and Catherine Chaussegros de Léry, daughter of Gaspard-Joseph Chaussegros* de Léry; d. 29 July 1865 at his manor-house, Coteau-du-Lac, Canada East.
Georges-Réne Saveuse de Beaujeu studied at the Collège de Montréal from 1820 to 1825. After his father’s death in the terrible cholera epidemic of the summer of 1832, he inherited the fief of Nouvelle-Longueuil, which extended beyond the western limits of Lower Canada, and the seigneury of Soulanges. Georges-Réne Saveuse de Beaujeu was then 22 years old. On 20 Sept. 1832, at Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, he married Adélaïde, the younger daughter of Philippe-Joseph Aubert* de Gaspé, author of Les anciens Canadiens, and Susanne Allison. He settled down to a quiet life in the manor-house he built at Coteau-du-Lac, next to the old seigneurial dwelling at Les Cascades, in which his mother, who enjoyed the seigneurial income from Soulanges, lived until her death in 1845. At that time he added the dues and rents from the Soulanges seigneury to his income. In 1839 he had also obtained a grant of 821 acres of land in Newton Township.
In 1846, on the death of his paternal uncle Charles-François Liénard de Beaujeu, who had accompanied Jean-François de Galaup*, Comte de La Pérouse, to Hudson Bay, and whose only son had perished during the Russian campaign, Saveuse de Beaujeu took the title of Comte de Beaujeu. During the administration of Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine and Robert Baldwin*, he was appointed in 1848 to the Legislative Council, of which his father had been a member from 1830 to 1832. The council became elective in 1856, and in the 1858 and 1862 elections Saveuse de Beaujeu was returned for the division of Rigaud. He was president of the Board of Agriculture of Lower Canada, lieutenant-colonel of the 8th battalion of Montreal militia, and in 1862 president of the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste of Montreal. He was one of the founding members of the Société Historique de Montréal when it was formed in 1858.
The obituary notice in La Minerve the day after his death stressed that Saveuse de Beaujeu had devoted his leisure time to historical research and that his collection of documents was substantial. Nearly 30 years later a grandson, Monongahéla de Beaujeu, assistant secretary of the Antiquarian and Numismatic Society of Montreal, found material among them for two publications. The first, entitled Documents inédits sur le colonel de Longueuil, appeared in 1891 and is little more than a compilation of the numerous commissions received by Joseph-Dominique-Emmanuel Le Moyne* de Longueuil. The second, written from notes which had been collected by a former tutor of the family, Paul Stevens*, a Belgian, was published in 1892 under the title of Le héros de la Monongahéla. It is an elegantly turned eulogy, in the style of the period, and contains “speeches” after the manner of Livy; the subject is Saveuse’s greatuncle Daniel-Hyacinthe-Marie Liénard* de Beaujeu, for whom the author claims the title of victorious commanding officer in the defence of Fort Duquesne.
According to La Minerve, over 3,000 persons, including several distinguished Montreal citizens, gathered at Saveuse de Beaujeu’s funeral at Coteau-du-Lac. As he died intestate, the apportionment of his estate was decided by the Superior Court of Montreal on 23 Nov. 1870. Of his numerous children, four daughters – three of whom became nuns – and two sons reached adulthood. The elder son, Philippe-Arthur-Quiquerand, died penniless after living extravagantly as lord of the manor; the younger, Raoul, represented Soulanges in parliaments in Quebec and in Ottawa and died prematurely at the age of 40.
ANQ-Q, AP-P-130. Archives du collège Bourget (Rigaud, Qué.), Archives des de Beaujeu, IV. Documents inédits sur le colonel de Longueuil, Monongahéla de Beaujeu, édit. (Montréal, 1891). L’Écho du cabinet de lecture paroissial, 15 août 1865. La Minerve, 5 août 1865. G. Turcotte, Cons. législatif de Québec, 55, 107, 150. [François Daniel], Histoire des grandes familles françaises du Canada . . . (Montréal, 1867), 333; Nos gloires nationales; ou, histoire des principales familles du Canada . . . (2v., Montréal, 1867), I, 149. É.-Z. Massicotte, Processions de la Saint-Jean-Baptiste en 1924 et 1925 (Montréal, 1926). Monongahéla de Beaujeu, Le héros de la Monongahéla; esquisse historique (Montréal, 1892). P.-G. Roy, La famille Aubert de Gaspé (Lévis, Qué., 1907), 141. Alphonse Gauthier, “La famille de Georges-René Saveuse de Beaujeu (1810–1865),” SGCF Mémoires, VI (1954–55), 197–208.