POULIN DE COURVAL, JEAN-BAPTISTE, king’s attorney, merchant, and seigneur of Nicolet; b. 15 Jan. 1657 at Trois-Rivières, of the marriage of Maurice Poulin*, Sieur de La Fontaine and Jeanne Jallot (Jalleau); d. at Trois-Rivières, 15 Feb. 1727.
Poulin de Courval is known not only as an important merchant of Trois-Rivières, but also as a shipbuilder. On 24 May 1714, he took over as king’s attorney from René Godefroy de Tonnancour, who himself succeeded Jean Lechasseur as lieutenant general for civil and criminal affairs.
On 7 Jan. 1696, Courval married at Trois-Rivières Louise Cressé, eldest daughter of Michel Cressé, seigneur of Nicolet, who had died in mysterious circumstances ten years before, and of Marguerite Denys; he thus became seigneur of Nicolet. Louise Cressé, who gave him five children, died 21 March 1706; his second wife was Marie-Madeleine Forestier. Six children were born of the second marriage.
One of the chief conflicts that marked Courval’s administration of the Nicolet seigneury was over the question of the boundaries between it and the seigneury of Baie-du-Febvre (Baie-Saint-Antoine). In 1702 a survey revealed that Jacques Lefebvre, the seigneur of Baie-du-Febvre, was encroaching to the extent of 27 arpents on the adjoining territory, 18 of these being occupied by himself and some members of his family. Courval recovered the nine arpents occupied by copyholders and left the remainder to those who had settled there in good faith; to compensate him for this, Lefebvre conceded to him his right to a third of the milling dues levied on grain ground at the Platon mill at Trois-Rivières belonging to Courval.
The same mill was the occasion of another conflict in 1724. René Godefroy de Tonnancour had granted the Charon Brothers, free of charge, a piece of land near Platon for the construction of a school; Courval opposed this, claiming that the building blocked the wind. An agreement was reached whereby the school could be built a little further away and the mill freed from obstruction.
Poulin de Courval died 15 Feb. 1727, at Trois-Rivières, and was buried the next day in the church. He was succeeded in his office of king’s attorney by his son Louis-Jean*, likewise seigneur of Nicolet.
Archives de la paroisse de l’Immaculée-Conception, Trois-Rivières, Registres. AQ, NF, Doc. de la jur. des T.-R.; NF, Ins. Cons. sup. Tanguay, Dictionnaire, I, 497; VI, 424. J.-É. Bellemare, Histoire de Nicolet, 1669–1924 (Arthabaska, Qué., 1924), 103, 106, 116. Jouve, Les Franciscains et le Canada: aux Trois-Rivières, 91, 127, 278. Sulte, Mélanges historiques (Malchelosse), VI. Les Ursulines des Trois-Rivières depuis leur établissement jusqu’à nos jours (4v., Trois-Rivières, 1888–1911).