A History of Canada: - Vol. 1

By Gustave Lanctot; Josephine Hambleton | Go to book overview

CHAPTER ELEVEN
THE COMPANY OF NEW FRANCE AND THE CAPTURE OF QUEBEC

Failures encountered by the Compagnie du Morbihan and the Compagnie de la Nacelle de Saint-Pierre. Trade monopoly and the duty to colonize. The Anglo-French war. The Kirke expedition into the St. Lawrence. Champlain refuses to surrender Quebec. Kirke captures Roquemont's fleet. A winter of famine and the capitulation of Quebec. News of peace. The defeat of Emery de Caën at Murray Bay. The fleet of the One Hundred Associates returns to France. Champlain in London.

France now effected great reforms in her colonial policy. In October 1626, Richelieu, who had been the King's chief minister for the past two years, abolished the post of Admiral and took upon himself the offices of Grand Master, Chief and General Superintendent of Navigation and Commerce. His penetrating and eminently practical mind fully grasped the importance of a national navy and of trade with the lands on the other side of the Atlantic. With these two objects always in view, he carefully studied the proposals which had been made ten years earlier in 1616 by François du Noyer de Saint-Martin: a plan to form a royal French company which would seek trade of a general character by land and sea. At the suggestion of a Dutchman, de Bruck, the Cardinal founded the Compagnie du Morbihan in July 1625. One hundred associates formed this company designed to centralize all the ocean traffic of the realm in Morbihan Gulf. The articles of incorporation furthermore stipulated that this association should receive the property of the lands of New France as a seigniory, with the authorization "to transport thereto able- bodied beggars and vagabonds of both sexes and all ages" who might even be "constrained and forced by imprisonment." Warned by the associates from St. Malo in the Montmorency

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