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The Sovereign Council of New France was a political body appointed by the King of France and consisting of a Governor General, an intendant and a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church. All of them answered to the French Minister of the Marine. The members of the council were chosen as part of the French nobility.

The introduction of this government cancelled the contract with the Compagnie des cents associées which apparently had failed to organize the establishment of thousands of colonists in America.

The institution lasted from its introduction in 1663 to the fall of New France in 1760. Its last meeting occurred on April 28, 1760, day of the Battle of Sainte-Foymarker.

As early as June 16, 1703, the King of France refers to the council as the Conseil Supérieur instead of the former Conseil Souverain.


The Sovereign Council included nine officials who were fully responsible for all legislative, executive, and judicial matters. It made rules and enacted laws concerning the day-to-day affairs of the colony

  • The governor of this new regime was the direct representative of the king of France and was responsible for defense and diplomatic relations.
  • The intendant was responsible for economic affairs and trade, the administration of justice, finance, settlement and seigneurialism.
  • The bishop was in control of religious affairs, which included charity, education, hospitals and the Christianization of Amerindians.
  • The Captain of the Militia informed the inhabitants of the Intendant's plans for the development for the colony, reported on the concerns of the people, and tallied the census.
  • Five councillors served as a Court of Appeal and as a governing body, and they formed the colony's senior court of law. In 1703, the number of councillors was increased to 12. Prior to 1675 the councillors were appointed by the Governor General and thereafter by the King alone.

Members of the Council

Governor General of New France

Name Term Sovereign
Augustin de Mésy 1663-1665 Louis XIV
Daniel de Courcelle 1665-1672
Le comte de Frontenac 1672-1682
Joseph-Antoine de LaBarre 1682-1685
Le marquis de Denonville 1685-1689
Le comte de Frontenac 1689-1698
Hector de Callière 1698-1703
Philippe de Rigaud de Vaudreuil 1703-1725 Louis XV
Le marquis de Beauharnois 1726-1747
Le comte de La Galissonnière 1747-1749
Le Marquis de la Jonquière 1749-1752
Le Marquis Duquesne 1752-1755
Pierre François de Rigaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil-Cavagnal 1755-1760

Intendant of New France

The Indendant was President of the Council.

Name Term Sovereign
Jean Talon 1665-1668 Louis XIV
Claude de Boutroue d'Aubigny 1668-1670
Jean Talon 1669-1672
Jacques Duchesneau de la Doussinière et d'Ambault [48121] 1675-1682
Jacques de Meulles [48122] 1682-1686
Jean Bochart de Champigny, sieur de Noroy de Verneuil [48123] 1686-1702
François de Beauharnois de la Chaussaye, Baron de Beauville 1702-1705
Jacques Raudot co-intendant 1705-1711
Antoine-Denis Raudot co-intendant 1705-1710
Michel Bégon de la Picardière 1712-1726 Louis XV
Claude-Thomas Dupuy 1726-1728
Gilles Hocquart 1729-1748
François Bigot 1748-1760

Bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Quebec

Name Term Sovereign
Bishop François de Montmorency-Laval 1658-1688 Louis XIV of France
Bishop Jean-Baptiste de la Croix de Chevrières de Saint-Vallier [48124] 1688-1727 Louis XIV of France (until September 1715) and Louis XV of France
Bishop Louis-François Duplessis de Mornay 1727-1733 Louis XV of France
Bishop Pierre-Herman Dosquet 1733-1739 Louis XV of France
Bishop François-Louis de Pourroy de Lauberivière 1739-1740 Louis XV of France
Bishop Henri-Marie Dubreil de Pontbriand 1741-1760 Louis XV of France

See also


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