Excerpt from Before the King's Daughters: The Filles à Marier, 1634-1662
By Peter J. Gagné
Gillette Banne was born about 1636 in Argences (arrondissement of Caen, diocese of Bayeux), Normandy, daughter of Marin Banne and Isabelle Boire or Bour.
She came to Canada in or before 1649.
About 1649, Gillette married Marin Chauvin dit Lafortune in Trois-Rivières.
Marin is from Le Mesnil in the parish of Saint-Médard-de-Réno (canton of Tourouvre, arrondissement of Mortagne), Perche.1 On 08 March 1648 in Tourouvre, notary Choiseau drew up an enlistment contract for Marin to go to New France in the service of Noël Juchereau (see Appendix). Pierre Juchereau acted as agent on behalf of his brother, enlisting Marin for three years at the salary of 40 livres per year, with an advance of 10 livres . This low salary may be due to the fact that Marin was an unskilled laborer.
Gillette and Marin had a daughter, Marie, who was baptized 08 September 1650 at Trois-Rivières. She was to be their only child, for Marin Chauvin died at Trois-Rivières some time before 07 June 1651, when Monsieur d.Ailleboust granted Gillette of an arpent in the town site of Trois-Rivières, between Sébastien Dodier on the southwest and the palisade on the northeast, on the condition that she build a house and have it re-enclosed with a good fence.
In 1653, Gillette married Jacques Bertault in Trois-Rivières. Neither spouse could sign the marriage contract drawn up 27 July by notary Ameau. A locksmith, Jacques was born about 1626 in Les Essars (arrondissement of La Roche-sur-Yon, diocese of Luçon), Poitou, the son of merchant Thomas Bertault and Catherine Coulonne.
He and Gillette had six children. Son Jacques was baptized at Trois-Rivières 25
November 1654, followed by Marguerite (21 December 1655) and Suzanne (18
December 1657). Élisabeth-Thérèse was baptized 23 January 1659, followed by Jeanne (29 March 1660) and Nicolas (26 February 1662). Gillette Banne was confirmed 22 May 1664 at Trois-Rivières. Sadly, son Jacques died some time before the 1666 census. Daughter Élisabeth married Julien Latouche on 12 August 1671. While Élisabeth was a mere 12 years old, her husband was 30. Latouche was unsuccessful at farming his land at Trois-Rivières, and Jacques and Gillette often had to send food to the couple or have Élisabeth come eat with them. What is more, Latouche allegedly beat Élisabeth. The beatings and failure at farming were both apparently the result of heavy drinking on the part of Latouche. And so, with the apparent knowledge and complicity of their daughter, Gillette and Jacques poisoned their son-in-law Julien Latouche.
1 Two men named Marin Chauvin that could possibly be the one here were baptized at Saint-Médard. The first was baptized 24 February 1609, the son of Jean Chauvin (mother.s name omitted). The second (and more likely one) was baptized 16 March 1625, the son of Nicolas Chauvin and Catherine Piedgars
Both Gillette Banne and Jacques Bertault were sentenced to death by the criminal court of Québec City for the murder of their son-in-law. They appealed to the Conseil Souverain . Élisabeth was also found guilty of the crime, but did not appeal to the Conseil Souverain . The Council rejected the appeal and sentenced Gillette and Jacques to be hanged. Before the hanging, they were to have a rope attached to their necks and be lead . nu en chemise . with a torch in their hands to the doors of the church, where they were to kneel and beg forgiveness for their crimes to God and the King. They were then to be hanged upon scaffolds set up in the Grande Place in the haute ville . In addition, Jacques was to have his arms and legs broken with a rod, which Gillette and Élisabeth were forced to witness before Gillette.s execution. After his execution, Jacques. body was to be displayed on a wheel at the Cap-aux-Diamants to serve as an example. All three were collectively sentenced to a fine of 60 livres , half to be paid to the Récollets to pray for the repose of the victim.s soul and half to the King, with the remainder of their property to be confiscated by the State. And so Gillette Banne and Jacques Bertault were executed in Québec City at four o.clock in the afternoon on 09 June 1672.
Given her age, the Conseil Souverain took pity on Élisabeth and only sentenced her to make a public apology and to be a witness to the execution of her parents. The Council also decreed that the surplus of the confiscated property (after court costs) would be given to Nicolas and Jacques Bertault, minor children of Gillette and Jacques.