AWAITING NEWS OF JACQUES CARTIER.
CHABOT, PHILIPPE DE, c.1492-1543.
Manuscript Letter Signed ("Bryon") 1 p, small folio (conjoined address leaf), St. Quentin, France, August 13, 1535, to Monsieur de Jarnac, (Guy Chabot?, his nephew) in French. Old folds.
Chabot, at the height of his power, writes to ask for information and acknowledges that "influence" is a fickle mistress. Chabot here signs "Bryon" an acknowledgment of his title Seigneur de Brion. He was also the Comte de Charny and Buzançois. The letter, in translation, reads in part :"you inform me of what has been said and maintained by Sir de Luine, of the way that the king took his refusal ... I desire that you continue with your news during this voyage ... the arrival of the Queen is postponed ... it seems to me that they could well have done without laying siege then to Luine's [castle] ... and it would have sufficed to have a good garrison nearby. Because he who fails to take it, I let you imagine in what esteem he will be held...."
At the time of this letter Chabot was in command of the army assembled to invade the states of the Duke of Savoy. Chabot understanding of the fleetin nature of power proved to be accurate in his case: in the Savoy campaigns of 1536 and 1537 he was eclipsed by Montmorency, and his influence began to wane. His long-term place in history, certainly as far as the New World is concerned, rests on his decision to back the voyages of exploration headed by Giovanni da Verrazzano and Jacques Cartier. In this letter he refers to the second voyage of Jacques Cartier, which left St Malo on 19th may 1535 arriving at Hochelega (Montreal today) on October 2nd. Chabot as a backer for Cartier was obviously anxious to hear news of the voyage.