John Le Boutillier

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John Le Boutillier

John Le Boutillier or John Le Bouthillier (1797 – 31 July 1872), Gaspé merchant and Quebec politician.

He was born in St John, Jersey in 1797, the son of Jean David Le Boutillier of La Chasse, and Marie Baudains, his first wife. He went to the Gaspé peninsula in about 1815 as an employee of fellow Jerseyman, Charles Robin, becoming in the 1820s a branch manager. In 1830 he opened his own business exporting dried cod from the Gaspé region, where he settled. He represented Gaspé in the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada from 1833 to 1838 and then Bonaventure from 1844 to 1847 and Gaspé from 1854 to 1867 in the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada. In 1867 he was named to the Legislative Council of Quebec for the Gulf division and served until his death in Gaspé in 1872.

His firm, which had grown to become Jersey`s third largest shipowner, employing 2,500 employees, 12 ships and 169 fishing boats, suffered heavy losses during Jersey`s 1873 bank crashes. Though much reduced, it was taken over after the founder`s death by his cousins` firm, Le Boutillier Brothers.

Le Boutillier married into the family of his then employers, marrying by 1825 Elizabeth, daughter of Philip Robin and Martha Arbour. They had issue Philip (1825- ), who entered into the family business; Horace (1828-1925), Master Mariner and the company`s director at Ste Anne-des-Monts; Georges (1830-1879), Customs Collector at Percé; Marie Elizabeth, who married Antoine Painchaud, Surveyor; Edward (1838-1873) of Percé, a lawyer; Charles (1841-1909), who managed the company`s business at L`Anse-au-Griffon and John William, who was living in Gaspé in 1873. The descendants of John Le Boutillier and his wife remained in Canada, where they have been prominent in political and social life.

Le Boutillier's house in Gaspé was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1975.

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