Originally from Butenne in Franche-Comté, Claude Thibault was found guilty of salt trafficking [illegal sale of salt]. Condemned to end his days in the king’s galleys, his sentence was commuted to a life in exile in Canada. He arrived in Québec with a dozen other salt traffickers, including Jacques Jalleteau, in September 1732.
Having settled in Montréal, he worked for various city dwellers including Poulin de Francheville. He was Angélique’s lover, and together they fled on February 22, 1734, in the hope of reaching the English colonies and from there returning to France. Captured by the militia, the fugitives were returned to Montréal. Thibault was thrown in the gaol on March 5, and Angélique was turned over to her mistress. Thibault left the gaol two days prior to the fire.
On the night of April 10, he was seen at the site of the fire, but disappeared when Angélique was arrested the following day. Despite warrants issued for a wanted person throughout the colony, Thibault was never again seen.