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Sentence by the Conseil superieur against Marie Joseph Angélique, negress, for the crime of arson in Montréal, 12 June 1734.


On the Saturday twelfth of June gbye [1700] thirty-
The Conseil Exceptionally convened
where Were present
M. Cugnet [François-Étienne Cugnet] chief Counsellor, Maitres Sarrasin [Michel
Sarrazin], Guillimin [Charles Guillemin]
Lanoullier [Nicolas Lanouillier], Varin [Jean-Victor Varin de La Marre] and foucault [François Foucault] Counsellors and M.
André Deleigne lieutenant general of the
Provostship as substitute due to lack of Judges

The Conseil examined the exceptional criminal trial set and Investigated by the Lieutenant general Civil et Criminel of the Jurisdiction Royale of Montreal at the request of the substitute to the king’s prosecutor general, plaintiff and accuser for [against] the woman named Marie Joseph Angelique, negress by birth, Slave of Dame Therese Decouagne, widow of Sieur françois Poulin de francheville, defendant and accused and appellant, detained prisoner in the royal gaols of this city, and against the man named Claude

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Thibault defaulting defendant and accused; [the Conseil] Examined the final sentence rendered on the four of June of the present month, for the said trial by the said lieutenant general, assisted by Jean Baptiste Adhemard, Nicolas Auguste Guillet de Chaumont, René Gaudron de Chevremont and françois le Pallieur, Royal notaries at the said seat and practitioners called upon as Counsellors; by which the said accused Marie Joseph Angelique was declared sufficiently guilty and convicted of having set fire to the house of the said Dame francheville, which caused the Fire that consumed a portion of the city [...]


the process And Instructions based on which the said sentence Was Rendered; the Interrogation of the accused on the criminal seat in the counsel chambers on this day [June 4, clerk’s error]; the Conclusions of the king’s general prosecutor dated Yesterday [June 11] and noted by Maitre Jean Victor Varin Counsellor in his report, and everything considered;

The Counsel has and does receive the king’s prosecutor general, appellant of the said sentence of the four of June of the present month, and considering the appeal entered for the said sentence, with that entered by the said king’s prosecutor general, declares the said appeal and the sentence in appeal to be null and calls for the said Marie Joseph Angelique in reparation for the Fire caused by Her and other issues brought forward at the trial, to be condemned to make honourable amends Disrobed, a Rope around her Neck, holding in her hands a flaming torch weighing two Pounds before the door and main entrance of the parish Church of the said City of Montreal, where She will be

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led by the Executor of the high Court And there on her knees state and declare in a loud and intelligible voice that she maliciously and defiantly and wrongly set the Said fire for which She is repentant, [and] ask Forgiveness from God, the King and the Court ; this done she is to be taken to the public square of the said City of Montreal to be Hanged until dead at the gallows erected for this Purpose at the said square, and then her dead Body is to be placed on a flaming pyre and burned and her Ashes Cast to the wind, her belongings taken and confiscated by the King; prior to this the said Marie Joseph Angelique is to be subjected to torture in the ordinary and extraordinary ways in order to have her reveal her accomplices;

[The Conseil] ordains that the Trial in absentia against Claude Thibault be taken up anew, that the proceedings against the said Marie Joseph Angelique serve only as a basis for the said Trial in absentia, and that the witnesses be Heard Anew in the trial by the substitute for the King’s Prosecutor general in the Jurisdiction of Montreal; that, on the said charges and Information that will be presented in consequence of the said trial, an order be issued for the Arrest of the said Thibault; and [in the event] that the said Order cannot be Executed, that the search resume for the said Thibault; and that the remainder of the said Trial in absentia be carried out to include a final sentence, excluding the appeal to the Conseil; and that for the execution of the present sentence the said prisoner Marie Joseph Angelique be sent back before the said lieutenant general of Montreal; it is Ordered


that the present sentence regarding only the condemnation of the said Marie Joseph Angelique be read, published and posted at the regular Locations in the three Cities of Quebec, Montreal and trois Rivieres as instructed by the said king’s prosecutor general.

[signed] Cugnet
[signed] Varin

Source: Archives nationales du Québec, Centre de Québec, Procedure Criminel contre Marie Joseph Angélique negresse — Incendiere, 1734, TP1, S28, P17230, Juridiction royale de Montréal, "Sentence by the Conseil superieur against Marie Joseph Angélique, negress, for the crime of arson in Montréal," June 12, 1734, 24-26.

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