The Intendant, who was usually chosen from among the noblesse de robe (hereditary nobles who acquired their rank through holding a high state office), or from the upper bourgeoisie, was appointed by the comptroller general of finance. Although the Intendant was lower in rank than the Governor General, his powers were more sweeping. He had exclusive and supreme authority in the realm of justice: he supervised the judges and the courts, was fully acquainted with cases related to state security, to the levying of taxes (25 percent on beaver, 10 percent on moose, the revenues from the Tadoussac trading post, 10 percent on merchandise imported from France, and later only on wine and spirits) and to disputes between seigneurs and tenants. He also served as president of the Sovereign Council. He was solely responsible for financial matters, including the supervision of assets, provisions, munitions and public works, and the issuing of card money. Since there were no municipal authorities, he was also in charge of administering the towns and cities. He shared with the Governor, however, the tasks of overseeing public morals, maintaining law and order, the upkeep of roads, and support of trade and industry. The first Intendant of New France, Jean Talon arrived in Québec in 1665. There was a regular exchange of instructions, letters and reports between Québec and the French court.

The Intendant
A View of the Intendants Palace, by Richard Short, 1761
CA ANC C-360