Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons

Saint Croix Island International Historic Site

Bust of Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons, which is at Fort Anne, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia
Bust of Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons, which is at Fort Anne, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. The bust was commissioned to the artist Hamilton MacCarthy in the early 1900.
© Theresa Bundbury

Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons, was born in the Royan region during the time of the religious wars. As a Huguenot, he participated in the religious conflicts. In 1594, as King of France, Henri IV rewards those who supported him. Dugua is given a pension and the title of "gentilhomme ordinaire de la Maison du Roi".

In 1596, Dugua married Judith Chesnel, a Catholic. She would give him a dowry of 25,000 pounds. "It would be (...) for the Sieur de Mons, a great contribution to the project that he cherished and for which he was already trying to raise the necessary funds."

(Naissance de la Nouvelle-France; Pierre Dugua de Mons, Text: Marie-Claude Bouchet, Société du Musée de Royan, p. 7, June 2000)

This great project was to be named Lieutenant General for the "New World". Henri IV granted him this title on 8 November 1603 and gave him the monopoly on the land located between the 40th and 46th parallels. Having sold his belongings to finance his enterprise, he agreed to "conquer" this land in the name of King Henri IV and to establish permanent French settlements.

Dugua left for l'Acadie with his crew in 1603 to establish a permanent French settlement. He would return to France in October 1605 to tell of his achievements to the King. Upon his return, De Mons faced quite a number of difficulties, one of which being that his opponents tried to discredit him before his protector and King. After years of fighting for his interest, he finally lost his trade monopoly.

Dugua was never to set foot in America again. He died on February 22, 1628 in his house in Ardenne.

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