Raphael Lambert Closse, the great Indian fighter of colonial Canada, born at St. Denis de Mogres, near Tours, France, killed at Montreal, Feb. 6, 1662. He came out with Mai-sonneuve in 1642, and was made sergeant major of the garrison of Montreal, acting in time of peace as notary also. The exposed position of this settlement made his office one of importance, and he soon grasped the theory of Indian fighting. He trained his men as sharpshooters, and armed them with musket, pistol, and sword. Each was to pick his man, bring him down with a musket ball, then rush on and take another with a pistol, and then come to close quarters with the sword, taking to the cover of trees when possible. By these tactics, when he once set out with 20 men to rescue four who were besieged in a redoubt at Point St. Charles, though he lost four men at the first fire, he killed 32 with his survivors, and routed the hostile force. On July 20, 1051, with only 16 men, after a fight that lasted all day, he routed a party that had penetrated to the Hotel Dieu or hospital in Montreal. On Oct. 14, 1652, he engaged a force of 800 Iroquois near the fort, and, protecting his party of 34 by an old hut, routed the enemy completely, having killed 50 and wounded 37 of them, losing only one man killed and one wounded.
In 1655 he acted as governor of Montreal, in the absence of Maisonneuve. On Feb. 6, 1662, he was sent out with 12 soldiers to rescue some workmen attacked by the Iroquois; but being deserted by his servant, and his pistols missing fire, he and three of his party were killed. He left a young widow, Elizabeth Moyen, who had been made an orphan by the Indians. The fief of St. Lambert had been granted to him in 1058 as a reward for his services, and in 1072 another was bestowed on his widow. As a mark of respect to him, St. Lambert street, Montreal, as well as his fief, were named after his patron saint.