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Jean Oliver Briand

1715-1794. Roman Catholic bishop. Native of France, he went to Canada in 1741 to follow Bishop Pontbriand. During the siege of Quebec by the British he directed diocesan affairs in the absence of the bishop. He is generally hailed as the second founder of the Catholic Church in Canada because of the reconciling manner with which he hailed the British under General Murray for their humanity toward the conquered in 1763. Though Roman Catholicism was officially outlawed, the British government gave informal consent to his consecration as “superintendent of the Roman Church in Canada” in 1766. He kept the French passively loyal to the British crown. His Catechism (1765) is one of the first books printed in Canada. Due to his efforts, the Quebec Act and the Habeas Corpus Act of 1774 broadened the privileges of Roman Catholics as British subjects. He consecrated his successors before resigning his see.