January 29, 2010
National Gallery of Canada
This class of people was usually comprised of farmers or labourers who were initially brought over from France to live on this land. They had to pay rent and taxes to the seigneur, though they co-owned the land with the seigneur, and even had to work entirely for the benefit of the seigneur a few days each year.
The habitant in New France represented 90 per cent of the adult lay population. Some habitants are given the concession of seigneuries, or they purchase seigneuries thanks to income from the fur-trade or other sources. They are called seigneurs habitants. Some hold civil responsibilities such as church wardens or militia captains, which places them a cut above the other habitants and a rual "elite" would grow out of this. The New France habitant lived comfortably and likely perhaps better than the French peasant (in France) according to records relating the lives of the habitants of New France.
All Rights Reserved
Lucie LeBlanc Consentino