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Assis à sa table, le seigneur reçoit les redevances de ses censitaires pendant qu'un secrétaire tient à jour le registre. / Sitting at a table, a seigneur receives dues from his censitaires, while a secretary keeps records of these transactions.

Seigneurial Dues, undated

C.W. Jefferys
in Morden H. Long, A History of the Canadian People, 1942
Musée de la civilisation, Séminaire de Québec Library, M-142

Saint Michael's Day

"According to an old French custom, Saint Michael's Day was dedicated to business transactions. When our ancestors, who lived in the Saint-Lawrence valley, would sign contracts or deeds, they maintained the date of September 29 as the deadline for the reimbursement of debts or payments of interest. According to tradition, all other accounting was carried out on Saint Michael's Day.

Thus, the seigneur would wait for that day to find out the flour mill's profitability. The miller would go to the manor to hand in his business statement and present the complete bill for the operation of the mill. The administrators of the large seigneuries, which were often managed by religious communities, attached great importance to that day. It was then that the performance of each miller was analysed, and the seigneur did not hesitate to inform the miller, because it was believed that such comparisons would cause the best performances to be emulated."

Francine Leboeuf, Échos d'antan, Éditions Paulines, 1991.