Rene Besnard, tried for Witchcraft, 1658 Montreal
I am a descendant of a man named Rene Besnard dit Bourjoly.
Jette gives his name as Benard OR Besnard.
He married Marie Sedillot dit Jerlotte at Trois-Rivieres,
Quebec, on 2 February, 1661.
He was exiled for life from Montreal in late 1658 or early 1659.
He was tried for witchcraft on 2 November, 1658 and found guilty....but the judge in the case was not entirely convinced of his guilt so he was spared from being burned at the stake.
He was briefly jailed and then exiled for life from Montreal.
He settled at Trois-Rivieres and married the widow of
He had six children, and they all lived, married, and left descendants.
He is the first person tried for witchcraft in Canada.
I have a brief biography of him, including some information on the trial.
If you are a descendant of his, and would like the story, email me at: