Seigniorial Tenure


Seigniorial Tenure
   The history of this feudal system of land tenure, transplanted from Old to New France, dates back to the commission of the Sieur de la Roche, 1598, in which he is empowered to make grants in the form of fiefs, seigniories, etc., to persons of merit. Up to 1627, when the Company of New France (or the Company of One Hundred Associates) was chartered, only three seigniories had been granted, two to colonial laymen and the third to the Jesuit Order. Thereafter a large number of seigniorial grants were made--no less than sixty between 1632 and 1663, when the Company surrendered its rights to the crown. Details as to the later history of Seigniorial Tenure in Canada, how it was applied to the land, and why it outlived the same system in Old France, will be found in the works cited below. The system was abolished in Canada in 1854.
   Index: F In New France, 56. L Beginning of, 119. Dr Described, 11; an obstacle to the transfer of land, 256; notaries favourable to, 257. E Failure of La Fontaine-Baldwin ministry to settle question, 101-102; measure passed by Assembly, but defeated in Legislative Council, 119-120; settlement postponed by Hincks-Morin government in 1853, 126; Cauchon offers amendment to address, expressing regret at failure to settle question, 126-127; MacNab-Morin ministry pledged to settlement, 140; measure passed in 1854, 142; history of question, 171-188; originates in old feudal system, 171-174; introduced into Canada by Richelieu, 175; description of system, 175-184; movement for its abolition, 185-186; judicial investigation by a commission, 186-187; terms of settlement, 187-188. S Not satisfactory to English settlers, 1, 6. BL Commission appointed (1841) to consider question of abolishing it, 99; pressing for settlement, 339; weakens Reform party in Lower Canada, 349; history of, 349-351; court for adjustment of claims, presided over by La Fontaine, 358. C John A. Macdonald votes against settlement of, 32; Cartier works for, 32-115; the system described, 35-37. Md A problem in Quebec, 14; abolition of, demanded in Quebec, 62; dealt with by MacNab-Morin ministry, 63; its abolition effected, 66-68.
   Bib.: Munro, Seigniorial System in Canada and Documents Relating to Seigniorial Tenure; Munro, Droit de Banalité; Pièces et Documents Relatifs à la Tenure Seigneuriale; Lower Canada Reports; Seigniorial Questions; Dent, Last Forty Years. On the history of individual seigniories, see Lalande, Une Vielle Seignieurie: Boucherville; Mingan Seigniory: Documents in Appeal to Privy Council; Roy, Seigneurie de Lauzon; Sellar, History of Huntingdon; Jodoin et Vincent, Histoire de Longueuil.

The makers of Canada. 2014.

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