In 1670, ancestor Edme Goudeau was appointed as surgeon of La Rochelle by Louis XIV, King of France. He died after his retirement, in La Rochelle, having transferred his commission and the post of Chief Surgeon to his son, Henry Goudeau.
I attempted, without success, to locate a copy of this document when writing "Long Journey Home" (the microfilm containing the documents had disappeared from LSU). As you are probably aware, one of the chapters of the book covers the Goudeau family in France. However, a wonderful fellow genealogist (Judith Rabalais Scola) had been given a copy many years ago and was kind enough to share it with me after reading the book. I now want to share it with you.
This is a transcription of the 1670 document:
Today, the first day of February, sixteen hundred and seventy, the King being at St. Germaine-en-Laye, desiring to select a person capable and experienced in the art of surgery to treat and medicate the officers and men serving in the construction, repair, ornament and armament of His Majesty’s vessels in the Port of La Rochelle, who has sufficient ability in that art to determine whether the surgeons whom the captains of the vessels take on their ships are capable of properly treating, caring for and medicating the crews; and being informed that Sieur Edme Goudeau has discharged this office for three years with great care and to the satisfaction of the said officers and men, and of the genuine fidelity and affection which he has for his service, His Majesty for these reasons retains him and orders him retained and appointed naval surgeon at the Port of La Rochelle, to treat, care for and medicate the naval officers and workmen employed in the construction, repair and armament of His Majesty’s vessels which have need thereof, to examine the surgeons before they embark on the said vessels, and to make his report as to their competence or incompetence; and in consideration of the said office to exercise, enjoy and make use of the honors, privileges, exemptions, wages, rights and emoluments accustomed and pertaining thereto. His Majesty orders and commands the Count of Vermandois, Admiral of France, and the vice admirals, generals, lieutenants general, intendants, commanders general and other naval officers who it shall concern, to recompense and cause to be recompensed the said Goudeau in the said capacity, and to attend to those matters touching and concerning their offices. And in testimony of his will, His Majesty commands me to issue him the present commission, which it has pleased him to sign by hand and to be countersigned by me, his counselor, private secretary and secretary of state and finance. (Signed by: Louis ...... Colbert)
Judy also provided me with a copy of this 1672 document. Although I am including it here, it is really unreadable.