The Bangle Files: #27 | Marie Tourville at Notary Joseph Turgeon

A few weeks ago, we left William Bangle traveling across the Northwest as he had agreed to work for more than two years as a voyageur. He was absent from home during the period of May 1803 to October 1805 approximately.

On November 21, 1804, Marie Hubou dite Tourville, resident of Terrebonne, met with Notary Public Joseph Turgeon. She mentioned that her husband William Bangle has left for Upper Canada about 18 months ago, where he seemed to be residing now (it seems like she was not aware that William had signed up for two years).

Marie wants her son William, who turned 10 last July 3rd (in fact, he turned 9 on July 5th), to be engaged by William Cain as an apprentice until he reaches the age of 20 years. Cain is a master tailor of Terrebonne. Just like in similar cases, William Bangle will have to obey his master, will not work for someone else unless his master agrees to it, and he will not leave without his express consent.

In return, William Cain will treat him like he was his own son and he will teach him his trade. William Bangle will be given board and room, clothes, linen, hats, shoes and a bed. He will also be taught in the Roman Catholic religion and will be allowed time to observe it. His salary will consist of a new suit (including, shoes and hat) at the end of the term. He will be allowed to keep his old clothes as well.

In May 1803, Marie was left with six children under the age of 8 years old. We can imagine that she had a hard time struggling to survive without her husband to support her and probably with no means to feed her family. Sending a child in apprenticeship to a master was not uncommon in these days. Was it something that was already planned and Marie had to agree to the contract in the absence of William? Or has she taken that decision due to her difficult condition hoping to reduce the family’s burden?

We will never know. However, what we actually know is that the contract was neither cancelled nor modified. Has William been in apprenticeship all these years? William Bangle married Thérèse Lippé 4 months after his 21st birthday, in November 1816.

Two days after the signing of this contract, Notary Joseph Turgeon was at William Bangle’s house to meet with Marie once again and her brother Charles, this time for the signature of the marriage contract of their sister Catherine Tourville to Jean-Baptiste Robin.


For related posts about The Bangle Files, please refer to the Introduction Page

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