Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.469238
Title: The administration of François Bigot as Intendant of New France
Author: Porteous, Hugh Allingham
ISNI:       0000 0000 7622 4984
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1978
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Abstract:
Traditionally, François Bigot has been considered an interesting subject for historical investigation not only because he was important, having presided over Canada's civil administration at the time of the Conquest, and was attainted in a large criminal proceeding at the Châtelet in Paris; but owing to the voluminous testimony accumulated by the court, there is more evidence at the historian's disposal than for his predecessors. There is, however, every reason to doubt the court's objectivity. Although the court believed Bigot was only too typical of colonial administrators, historians have tended to exaggerate the intendant's crimes and to represent him as some strange atypical monster who single-handedly corrupted the administrative corps of the colony. Not only is this interpretation unsatisfactory since it begs the question of how it was possible for this 'monster' to perpetrate his crimes unmolested for over two decades, but by turning him into something unusual, vitiated the value of the materials as evidence for a more generalized picture of colonial administration. The questions which arise, therefore, relate not only to the 'intendant' as an individual but to the administrative corps of the Marine as a whole, and they are related. Who was Bigot? Where did he acquire his attitudes to work and responsibility? How did he view his own activities? What did his friends and family think of him? Questions about his early career would have been much easier to answer had any good secondary works on the Marine existed. Fortunately, access to the Gradis Papers has made it possible not only to reconstruct a cogent picture of 18th century administrative practice but has also imparted much about his family and trade interests. This thesis attempts to illuminate pre-Conquest Canada by tackling her administrators as persons rather than official functionaries, with the result that Bigot's actions are made intelligible in the context of his times.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.469238  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Colonies ; Administration ; Politics and government ; France ; New France
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