Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
July 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


François Gaston duc de Lévis


Lévis, François Gaston, Duc de (1720-1787), commander-in-chief of the French forces in Canada (1759-60), was born on August 23, 1720 , at the Château d ' Ajac, near Limours, Languedoc, France, the son of Jean de Lévis, Marquis d'Ajac, and Jeanne Maguelonne. He entered the French army in 1735, and during the next twenty years saw active service in various parts of Europe. He was created a chevalier de St. Louis in 1848; and in 1856 he was sent to Canada as second-in-command under the Marquis de Montcalm, with the rank of brigadier. He played a distinguished part during the Seven Years' War in Canada ; and after the death of Montcalm in 1759 he succeeded to the command of the French troops in Canada. He fell back on Montreal, but in the spring of 1760 he advanced against the British in Quebec, and on April 28 he defeated the British under Murray at Ste. Foy. He was compelled, however, to retreat to Montreal a second time by the arrival of British men-of-war at Quebec ; and he was compelled to capitulate at Montreal on September 8, 1760. He returned to France, and was created a lieutenant-general in 1761. He served under the Duc de Condé in 1761-2; in 1766, he was appointed governor of Artois ; and in 1780, governor of Arras. He was created a marshal of France in 1783, and he was made Duc de Lévis in 1784. He died at Arras on November 26, 1787. His papers have been collected and edited by the Abbé H. R. Casgrain, under the title Collection des manuscrits du Maréchal de Lévis (12 vols., Montreal and Quebec, 1889-1896). For his life, see G. de Hautecloque, Le Maréchal de Lévis (Arras, 1901), and H. R. Casgrain, Montcalm et Lévis (Tour, 1889).

[Consult the article on Lévis at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.]

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Source: W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. IV, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 400p., pp. 71-72.

© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College