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- Bourneuf, Francois-Lambert
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Francois-Lambert Bourneuf, 1787-1871, was also commonly known as Francis Bournof. He was born at Reneville, France, the son of Francois Bourneuf and Michelle Enolle. Francois Bourneuf married Marie Doucet in 1818. They had ten children.
In 1808, after 3 years in the French navy, Bourneuf signed on with the frigate, "Furieuse", trading to the French West Indies. He was taken prisoner by the English while on a voyage the following year and brought to Halifax, N.S. On his third attempt, Bourneuf escaped in 1812. He then became a school teacher at Pubnico, Nova Scotia. Later, Francois Bourneuf moved to St. Mary's Bay where he took a pledge of allegiance to the British Crown. He taught another year then turned to farming. In November of 1815, Bourneuf was back at sea as second-in-command on a schooner. Two years later, he purchased his own schooner and began sailing the trade route between Saint John, N.B., and Nova Scotia.
By 1830, Bourneuf was into shipbuilding and doing well. He built around 30 vessels from 1830-1855. Bourneuf was one of the Nova Scotia shipbuilders who built for Saint John owners. Vessels were built along the Fundy coast of Nova Scotia and then registered at Saint John. He did business with the Saint John firm of Allison & Spur and built ships for them. In 1855, that firm was forced to close its doors due to bankruptcy actions. The closure forced Bourneuf's firm into bankruptcy from which neither he or his business ever recovered from.
Bourneuf entered politics in the Nova Scotia election of 1843 as a reform candidate and was elected as the MLA for Digby County, Nova Scotia. He was re-elected in 1847, 1851, and 1855. Francois Bourneuf was appointed as a member of the first schools commission for Clare (Church Point), Nova Scotia. He was also one of the first magistrates in Digby County.
Bourneuf retired from politics at the end of his 4th term as Digby's MLA. He began writing his memoirs but never completed them. Francois-Lambert Bourneuf died at Grosse Coques, St. Mary's Bay, N.S., in 1871.
Sources: Armour & Lackey, Sailing Ships of the Maritimes; Spicer, Masters of Sail; Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Vol. X, 1871-1880
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