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Ordinance by Michel Bégon for the reconstruction of burned houses, 8 July 1721.


Michel Begon, Knight seigneur of La Picardiere Murbelin and other Locations, King’s counsellor at His councils and at the Parlement de Metz, Intendant of Justice, Police & finance in Nouvelle france.

As was presented to us by Sieur de Lery, King’s Engineer in this country, following the Inspection done by him of the houses that were Burned in the fire that occurred in This city on The 19 of the past month [...]


And in Regards to this, and it being Important to take all foreseeable precautions in order to avoid similar accidents that may Cause the same upheaval as That which happened to the people whose houses were Burned, which is Also detrimental to the Settling of This Colony and to Trade.

We ordain 1o That no house will be Constructed in Wood or Timber both in The location or Streets where houses were burned and in The Remainder of the City where houses


still stand and All Those that will be constructed will be in Stone and have two stories Including the Main Floor with a Roof supported by Purlins or beams without a Complete wood Frame being allowed.

2o That mansard Roofs will no longer be permitted so that interior Attics will be more spacious, less Encumbered and contain less wood Framing, and in lieu of a Complete wood Frame, in the future The Roof will be supported by Purlins or beams as is common practice in france.

3o We prohibit all Bourgeois & inhabitants of This city to have their houses Covered in Shingles, and order that those currently in place will remain as such, without the owners having the Leisure of replacing them with new Shingles or putting used ones on Reconstructed houses; and until Tiles or clay can be used instead of


Shingles; a double layer Plank Roof will be constructed.

4o That those who reconstruct Burned houses or build on those that remain standing within the walls of This City will comply with the alignments drawn by the Said Sieur de Léry to redress The streets, for Which purpose the Said plans Will be ordered and deposited by us at the Registry of the Jurisdiction Royale of this city and the owners of the properties who wish to Construct will have recourse to and will Conform to these plans, under penalty Against the Said owners of Incurring the demolition of their houses at their costs and expenses.

5o That those who at this time will only be in a State to Raise their houses to one Story Including the Main Floor, will be required to Make the addition of another Story within three years from the day of The Publication of The present ordinance.

6o That in Order to Safeguard Attic Floors from the Risk of Burning when The


Frame and Roof have Been removed, in the event of a Fire, the Said Attics Will be Tiled with Tiles or Brick with three to four inches of mortar to prevent The fire from making Contact.

7o That the Said Owners of the Properties, both of those that have Burned and of Those that remain standing, who, in order to Conform to the said regulations, will lose Their Land or a portion of it, will be exempt from paying the Cens et Rentes due the seigneur for the land they will lose, just as Those whose Properties will increase by following the said regulations will also pay the Said seigneurial Cens et Rentes in proportion to their Land increase; the Said increases or decreases in Rentes will Occur only on the Day that The foundations of the said Houses will have been laid out for Construction in Conformity with the said alignments, And the increases or decreases in Rentes for the said Properties Will be Noted


both in the Minutes of the Sales Contracts and Concessions and subsequent Documents We mandate the officers of the regular Jurisdiction of This city to Oversee the Execution of The present Ordinance, to have It recorded at the Registry and Read, Published and posted wherever Required so that All are aware of it Done and presented at Montreal The eighth of July Seventeen Hundred Twenty-one.[signed]begon

By Monseigneur

The year seventeen Hundred twenty-one the eighth of July in the afternoon, I, antoine perrin the undersigned royal bailiff of the juridiction royalle of montreal residing at the moulin du for near This city, have read, published and posted the above ordinance in


customary locations assisted by the garrison drummer on the above day and year for all to hear.
[aud ?] 3 livres

[signed]perrin royal bailiff

Source: Archives nationales du Québec, Centre de Montréal, Ordonnances, 1684-1760, TL4, S35, Bégon, Michel, Ordinance for the reconstruction of burned houses, July 8, 1721.

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