A Blupete Biography Page

Joseph de St. Ovide, Monbeton de Brouillan

St Ovide was the longest serving Governor of Isle Royal, 1717-1739: 22 years, though absent from his post during the years 1730 and 1731. He came from a proud Brouillan family, rich in military tradition. (His uncle, Brouillan had been the commander at Placentia up to the year 1701, and then Port Royal.)

His uncle had arranged for St Ovide to come to do military duty at Placentia in 1694. His career in Newfoundland was spotty, but in 1709 he had distinguished himself in the French attack on St John's. St Ovide never married; though, in 1705, he had "divested a fifteen year old girl" and had, by this "divestiture," fathered a child.

As our story discloses, St Ovide was in charge of the Louisbourg founding party which, on the July 23, 1713, stepped ashore off the Semslack.

Beginning with the first winter, St. Ovide, like so many appointed leaders of the early colonies (both of England and of France), did not stay over to winter with his struggling followers; not, in the face of the cruel North American winter, when the comforts of their country estates beckoned from across the sea and administrative detail had to be handled at the royal court.


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Peter Landry
2012 (2020)