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7. VWIDOW OF 13, MILLIONAIRE AT 34

Yarmouth Vanguard, February 14, 1989.


Her name was Anne Mius d’Entremont, born at the manor house of the Mius d’Entremont family, in the Barony of Pombcoup (Pubnico). She had just entered her teens when Antoine de Sallien, Sieur de Salliant, a junior grade lieutenant of the French Navy at Port Royal, asked for her in marriage. He was the son of Pierre-Paul Sallien, Lord de Saillant and de La Laune, and of Francoise d’Assier de Noë, originally from south-eastern France. The question arose whether she was old enough to get married; the Port Royal church registers had been destroyed by fire, and there was no way to know how old she was, it was thought. But her mother intervened, saying that she was 13 years of age, being born in 1694; this was Anne de La Tour, daughter of Governor Charles de La Tour; her father was Jacques Mius d’Entremont, oldest son of Baron Philippe Mius d’Entremont. The marriage took place at Port Royal, July 18, 1707.


Unfortunately, the marriage was broken less than seven weeks later by the death of Antoine de Sallien, following the wounds he received Sept. 8, while defending Port Royal against the troops of Colonel John Marsh of Boston. And thus Anne Mius d’Entremont became the youngest widow that Acadia had known, even maybe Canada. The following year, the Minister, in France, wrote to Subercase, Governor of Acadia, that he could not grant her a pension, maybe because the marriage had not lasted long enough. And so Anne had to come back to her father’s manor house in Pubnico.


Feb. 12, 1716, she remarried, in Louisburg, Philippe de Pastour de Costebelle, Governor of Cape Breton, and widower of Anne do Tours de Sourdeval, of whom he had had one daughter, Anne-Catherine de Pastour de Costebelle. They had been married but since a few months, when Costebelle had to leave for France, taking with him his newly wedded wife. They arrived in France, at Belle-île-en-Mer, an island just off the coast of Brittany, on Christmas Day. From here, they went to Paris, where Anne gave birth, April 11, 1717, to a daughter of whom was given the name of Marie-Josephe; Marie Mius d’Entremont, Anne’s sister, the widow of Francois du Pont, Sieur de Vivier, who was in Paris at the time, stood as god-mother of the child when she was baptized.


Costebelle left France with his wife and the baby Aug. 9 of the same year, 1717. On their way back to Cape Breton, he became sick, so sick that he felt that he had to dictate his last will. He died in Louisburg at the very beginning of October. And thus, this second marriage of Anne Mius d’Entremont had lasted hardly 20 months.


Not quite two years later, Aug. 20, 1719, Anne Mius d’Entremont got married for the third time, in Paris, at St. Eustache church, to Laurent de Navailles-Labatut, Lay Abbot of Asson, in the Béarn, south-western part of France, bordering on Spain. He bore the title of “Chevalier”, “Seigneur”, “Baron”, “Officer”, son of Antonin de Navailles and of Dame Madeleine d’Abbadie. And thus Anne, from Pubnico, was entering into one of the oldest families in France, dating back to the tenth century and beyond, descending from kings and counts, whose origin even is lost in the midst of time.


Anne had met this third husband just a few months before, while she was visiting her brother Philippe Mius d’Entremont the 3rd, married to Therese de Saint-Castin, daughter of Baron Jean-Vincent de Saint-Castin of Castine, Maine, and of Marie Pidiwamiskoa, herself the daughter of the great Chief of the Abenaquis, Madocawondo. It would seem that not long after their marriage, which took place at Penobscot, Maine, Dec. 4, 1717, this couple left for France, to establish themselves on the estate of the Saint-Castin family, in the Bearn.


What took Anne to France, surprisingly enough for the widow of a lieutenant and of a governor, was to beg for charity. In fact, she was destitute; her name was not even mentioned in Costebelle’s last will. Moreover, most of her belongings, as furniture, even clothings, were taken away from her to pay the debts of her second husband. But in coming to France, she got much more than she had bargained for.


With her daughter Marie-Josephe de Pastour de Costebelle, and Anne-Catherine de Costebelle, she followed her new husband to his castle of Navailles-Labatut in south-western France, at 20 kilometers east-north-east of Pau, one of the largest cities in this part of France.


Although this marriage lasted only about nine years, it was much longer than the two others. Laurent de Navailles-Labatut died in 1728; Anne was then 34 years of age. She was left with a huge fortune, a number of castles, a vaste domain of over 800 acres of land, 83 “fiefs” or feudal estates, which brought her yearly annuities totalling to incredible amounts of money, many orchards, especially vineyards, domestic animals, poultry, pigeons, and so forth; even the church at Labatut belonged to her. Strangely enough, it was only now, when she was submerged in wealth, that the French Government decided to give her a grant as the widow of the governor of Cape Breton, which amounted to 17,000 Pounds.


She had from her third husband five children, two boys and three girls. The two boys and one of the girls got married. We have the names of some of their children and of some of the children of their children. I am told that there are still, in south-western France especially, descendants of Anne Mius d’Entremont of Pubnico, who went by the name of “baroness” – “Madame la Baronne de Labatut”. Her daughter Marie-Joseph Costebelle married a Marquis, while Anne-Catherine Costebelle married in Lyon.


After a widowhood of fifty years, Anne Mius d’Entremont of Pubnico, Baroness of Labatut, died Oct 15, 1778, in one of her castles. She was 80 years of age, having outlived three husbands, a son-in-law and a grand-son who died in Haiti.


And that is the story of the youngest widow known in Acadia, also the only Acadian millionaire of her time.

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