Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
July 2--7

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


Jacques-René de Brisay

Marquis de Denonville

Governor of New France


Denonville, Jacques-René de Brisay, Marquis de (d. 1710), governor of New France (1685-89), was a colonel of dragoons, and had spent thirty years in military service when he was appointed governor of New France in 1685. He embarked at La Rochelle, and brought with him his wife and part of his family. On his arrival he at once saw the necessity of open war with the Iroquois and sent to France for reinforcements, in the meantime strengthening Fort Frontenac, and constructing a fort at Niagara. In 1687 he was guilty of an act of treachery in seizing forty Iroquois whom he had invited to a peaceable conference, and in shipping them to France as galley slaves [on this incident, and the fanciful interpretation given to it here, see the text by W. J. Eccles at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Eccles has extensively discussed this issue (in French) in "Denonville et les galériens iroquois", Revue d'histoire de l'Amérique française , vol. XIV, No 3 (décembre 1960): 408-429]. This precipitated war, in which the French suffered badly. In 1688 Denonville was obliged to accept humiliating terms of peace, and in the following year he was recalled by Louis XIV. On his return to France he was named under-tutor to the Dauphin's children, and he died in 1710. See D. Girouard, "Un page sombre de notre histoire" (Trans. Roy. Soc. Can., 1899), and R. Roy. "Denonville" (Bull. rech. hist., vol. xxv).

Source: W. Stewart WALLACE, The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 411p., p. 198.


© 2007 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College