Hocquart, Gilles

 Gilles Hocquart, intendant of New France (b at Mortagne-au-Perche, France 1694; d at Paris 1 Apr 1783). He followed his father into the marine service and was posted to Rochefort from 1722 until 1729 when he was appointed to New France as financial commissary and acting intendant. He was promoted intendant in 1731. Instructed to expand trade to benefit France while curbing government expenditures, Hocquart was expected to develop the colony's possibilities. To do so, he tried to encourage every kind of Canadian undertaking, such as the FORGES SAINT-MAURICE and shipbuilding.

He eventually succeeded in getting government funds to assist both endeavours. He also promoted agriculture and to assist trade had roads built between Québec City and Montréal and from the latter to Lake Champlain. By 1740 he could claim considerable success in improving New France's economic situation, but the collapse of the underfinanced Saint-Maurice ironworks, the bad harvests of 1741-43 and war between France and Britain in North America from 1744-48 destroyed his attempts to stimulate private economic efforts and caused a large deficit in crown expenditures. Replaced in Canada by François BIGOT in 1748, Hocquart was intendant at Brest until retiring in 1764.