Thomas Pichon

Thomas Pichon, alias Thomas Tyrell, colonial official, spy, author (b at Vire, France 30 Mar 1700; d at St Helier, Jersey 22 Nov 1781).

Pichon, Thomas

Thomas Pichon, alias Thomas Tyrell, colonial official, spy, author (b at Vire, France 30 Mar 1700; d at St Helier, Jersey 22 Nov 1781). Seeking advancement after an unrewarding career in Europe, Pichon arrived at LOUISBOURG in 1751 as the governor's secretary and at FT BEAUSÉJOUR in 1753 as chief stores clerk. Enticed by financial promises, he began spying for the neighbouring British garrison at Fort Lawrence. He passed along information, encouraged Acadian neutrality, discouraged French defence schemes, and generally facilitated the British capture of Beauséjour in 1755. He moved on to Halifax and then London, and in 1760 published a reliable but uneven history of Cape Breton. Although condemned for ambition, avarice, treason and moral dissipation, Pichon remains an intriguing figure in early Canadian history.