Pubnico Natal Day - July 17
In my first sketch (Jan 3,'89) I was telling you that on July 17, 1653, Governor Charles de La Tour granted to Philippe Mius d'Entremont and his wife Magdeleine Helis the Barony of Pubnico. Thus, this date marks the birth of the Pubnicos, 337 years ago to-day. So today, July 17, is Pubnico Natal Day.
Philippe Mius d'Entremont was born in Normandy, France, in 1609. In the Summer of 1651, he left La Rocelle [sic] with Charles de La Tour, being accompanied by his wife and an infant daughter. He was coming to Acadia as Major to Charles de La Tour. They arrived in Port Royal around the end of summer. In 1653, Charles de La Tour asked Philippe Mius d'Entremont to take command of Acadia, while he was to be in Quebec during the month of May. June 13, after his return, he told d'Entremont to choose any place in Acadia where he would like to establish himself. He chose Pobomcoup, the Indian name by which Pubnico was known at the time. Five weeks later, July 17, Pobomcoup was granted to Philippe Mius d'Entremont as a barony.
Here are some excerpts of the grant: "There was present and personally certified the high and powerful seigneur Charles de La Tour, Lieutenant General in all of Acadia. He voluntarily acknowledged the receipt and avowed that he had, by these presents, given and relinquished in perpetuity the title of baron and noble fief having the administration of justice, high, mean and low as paramount fief to the nobleman Philippe Mius, Esquire, sieur d'Entremont and Madame Magdeleine Helis, his wife, who were present and accepted it for themselves and their heirs. In consideration of the particular merit of said Sieur d'Entremont and of the good and faithful services which he has personally rendered to us, we have given and granted and do give and grant by these presents to the said sieur d'Entremont the extent of one league in width and four in depth in the place called Pomobcoup to be enjoyed by the said grantees and successors with the title of baron, in consideration of an [sic] on condition of homage and a quichipoly of beaver with two bouquets on the days and feasts of St. John Baptist for each year, and on condition that he occupies and establishes the said places. The said seigneur Latour has today granted and placed in possession of the said seigneur d'Entremont the said land, fief and barony of Poboncoupe, promising and binding himself accordingly. -- These renunciations were made and passed at the fort of Port Royal on July 17, 1653. In the presence of...".
The land was on the east side of the harbour, measuring one league in width along the shore, and four in depth, that is about four kilometers by sixteen, or two-and-a-half miles by nine or ten. As Hipson's Brook, called also Larkin's Brook, was about the center of the barony, we can suppose that the whole grant comprised all of today's English section of Upper East Pubnico, from the limits of Pubnico Head to the limits of the Acadian village of East Pubnico.
It was granted as a "fief." At the time of the feudal system, especially in the Middle Ages, when a piece of land was granted as a "fief," it meant, among other things, that the grantor was a "seigneur" and that the grantee had to pay him a yearly rent as long as he would possess that land, which, for one reason or another, could be repossessed by the grantor.
The rent, in our case, if we can call it by that name, consisted first in the grantee, Philippe Mius d'Entremont, paying "homage" to the grantor, Charles de La Tour; that is, he had to promise to be at his service.
The word "quichipoly" is an Indian word meaning "a small bag" or "purse" made out of an animal skin. It was well adorned and used mainly to hold tobacco. Along with a "quichipoly" made out of beaver skin, Philippe Mius d'Entremont had to give yearly to Charles de La Tour, on the feast of St. John the Baptist (June 24) two bouquets of flowers. He had to establish himself on the land, otherwise, it would be forfeited; we have examples of this taking place in the history of Acadia.
This grant made of Philippe Mius d'Entremont a "nobleman" and a "baron." In the scale of nobility at the time, there were kings, princes, counts, barons and marquis. We can be sure that in the case of Philippe Mius d'Entremont it consisted merely of a title, although he was known as such all his life. It is the only example that we have, in all the history of Acadia, of an Acadian being made a baron. Also it is the only example of a barony being created effectively in Acadia; there was another one created in 1707 at Port Medway, between Lunenburg and Queens Counties, but it immediately vanished due to the conquest of 1710. In Canada, it was the second ever erected, the first one having taken place in 1624 at Cap Tourmente, Montmorency County, across the river from Montmagny.
I have to note here that this grant was made in favor not only of Philippe Mius d'Entremont and his wife, but also in favor of a certain Pierre Ferrant and his wife Mathurine Sicard. This is the only time that these two names occur in the history of Acadia. Although they were present in Port Royal when the grant was made, we do not hear of them afterwards, which means that they went right back to France.
It is in the barony that the three sons of Philippe Mius d'Entremont and Magdeleine Helis were born and a daughter, the youngest of the family.
The land was occupied after by thier [sic] oldest son, Jacques, who married Anne de La Tour, daughter of Charles de La Tour, the ancestors of the d'Entremonts from Pubnico. Jacques d'Entremont would be the one who built the d'Entremont Manor House on the right banks of the Hipson's Brook, its foundation being still perceptable 25 years ago. He had designed a coat of arm [sic] of the family, which hung over the main entrance, the d'Entremont family being the only one in all the history of Acadia that gave itself such an emblem, which design we still have.
Moreover, Pubnico is still inhabitated [sic] by Acadians, which makes it the OLDEST REGION STILL ACADIAN. It is also the oldest region in all Canada and maybe in all North America where still reside the descendants of its founder. (See sketch No. 1).
That is because it was established at the early date of 1653, July 17, which is its birthday. And that is why today, July 17, is Pubnico Natal Day.