POULIN DE COURVAL, LOUIS-JEAN, merchant, seigneur, king’s attorney and later lieutenant general for civil and criminal affairs for the royal jurisdiction of Trois-Rivières; b. 15 Nov. 1696 at Trois-Rivières, eldest son of Jean-Baptiste Poulin* de Courval, king’s attorney at Trois-Rivières, and of Louise Cressé; d. 19 Feb. 1743 in his home town.
In 1724 Louis-Jean Poulin de Courval was living in Quebec, where he was known as a merchant. After his father’s death on 15 Feb. 1727 at Trois-Rivières, he inherited his title of seigneur of Nicolet and succeeded him as king’s attorney for the royal jurisdiction of Trois-Rivières. As “guardian of public vindication,” he was required to investigate in the king’s name all crimes and offences made known to him by denunciation, complaint, or “public outcry.” But since judicial affairs in the royal jurisdiction of Trois-Rivières were not sufficiently numerous to allow him to keep his family there decently, he continued living in the capital on Rue Sault-au-Matelot, devoting his attention to business. During the autumn of 1738, however, he went to settle permanently at Trois-Rivières, after the death of the lieutenant general for civil and criminal affairs for Trois-Rivières, René Godefroy* de Tonnancour. This decision on Poulin de Courval’s part was to be a profitable one. The following year, on 24 Sept. 1739, the colonial authorities suggested to the minister of Marine, Maurepas, that he fill the office left vacant by the death of the Sieur de Tonnancour. They preferred him to Louis-Joseph Godefroy* de Tonnancour, René’s son, because although he was “barely conversant with jurisprudence” Poulin de Courval had “a little more experience in legal affairs.” On 1 April 1740 the king consequently made the appointment, which Poulin held until his death on 19 Feb. 1743.
On 18 Dec. 1724, in the church of Notre-Dame de Québec, Poulin de Courval had married Françoise, daughter of François Foucault, a Quebec “bourgeois and merchant.” On 25 April 1730 he was widowed, and on 22 Nov. 1733, in Quebec, he was remarried, this time to Thérèse, the “emancipated” daughter of the deceased lieutenant general for civil and criminal affairs for the royal jurisdiction of Montreal, François-Marie Bouat*. By his first marriage Poulin de Courval had three children, two daughters who died in infancy, and a son, François-Louis, who survived him. There were no children of the second marriage.
Poulin de Courval chose his wives from the milieu which he frequented at the period. Thus, being a merchant in 1724, he married the daughter of a merchant, and being king’s attorney in 1733, he married the daughter of an officer of the law. Marriage became for him a means of social advancement.
AN, Col., C11A, 73, f.14v; 75, ff.77f.; 79, ff.58v–59v; 120, ff.230v, 267f., 348v–49; D2C, 222/1, f.181. ANQ, Greffe de Nicolas Boisseau, 19 nov. 1733; Greffe de Florent de La Cetière, 17 déc. 1724; NF, Coll. de pièces jud. et not., 1003, 1147, 2062, 3592; NF, Documents de la Prévôté de Québec, 8 janv. 1742. Bornier, Conférences des ord. de Louis XIV, II, 66–67. P.-G. Roy, Inv. concessions, II, 239. Tanguay, Dictionnaire.