Bigot, François (fräNswäˈ bēgōˈ) [key], 1703–77?, intendant of New France (1748–59), b. Bordeaux, France. At Louisburg, where he served (1739–45) as commissary, it has been said that he indulged in fraudulent practices that contributed to the downfall of that fort. Powerful friends in France secured for him the office of intendant of New France. Bigot arrived at Quebec in 1748 and immediately instituted a system of official theft by which every branch of the public service was laid under tribute to enrich himself and his friends. His corrupt administration reduced the colony to bankruptcy and helped bring on the fall of New France to the British. After the capture of Quebec in 1759 he returned to France, where he was arrested, imprisoned for nearly a year, compelled to make restitution, and then banished. The date of his death in Switzerland is uncertain.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.