POULIN DE LA FONTAINE, MAURICE, seigneurial attorney, judge, and king’s attorney at Trois-Rivières; b. c. 1620 at Villebadin (Department of Orne, Normandy), son of Pierre Poulin and Jeanne Ploumelle; d. between 9 Oct. 1670 and 4 Aug. 1676.
On 13 Dec. 1649 Maurice Poulin was at Trois-Rivières, where he acted as godfather to a young Indian girl. On 9 Sept. 1654 he married Jeanne Jallot (or Jalleau), the widow of Marin Terrier, Sieur de Francheville et de Repentigny, who had been captured and burned by the Iroquois in 1652, in the battle on the outskirts of Trois-Rivières.
On 12 Sept. 1657 Poulin succeeded Jean Sauvaget as seigneurial attorney at Trois-Rivières. He sat as a judge the following year and on 17 Nov. 1663 became a king’s attorney, by decision of the Conseil Souverain. On 6 Sept. 1664 the Council granted him a yearly payment of 150 livres “on account of his office as deputy to the king’s attorney at Trois-Rivières.” On 28 Jan. 1665 the same body ordered “the payment to Sieur Maurice Poulain [sic], king’s attorney at Trois-Rivières, of the sum of 225 livres for eighteen months’ stipend which will fall due next March. . . .”
In 1663 Poulin requested authorization for clearing operations to be carried out on a tract of land bordering on the St. Maurice River. This privilege was granted to him by Intendant Talon on 10 Jan. 1668. The ground was made ready, buildings were put up, and Poulin distributed land to several settlers. The seigneury, which was to be handed over officially to his widow on 4 Aug. 1676 by Intendant Duchesneau, had a frontage of one league along the river of Trois-Rivières and a depth of two leagues, with fishing rights on the river. The seigneury was designated as a fief with rights of justice.
On 9 Oct. 1670 Maurice Poulin acted as godfather to Maurice Cardin. According to Benjamin Sulte this is the last trace of him that can be found in the archives. Hence it was between this date and 4 Aug. 1676, when Jeanne Jallot was said to be a widow, that he died.
Maurice Poulin left Michel Poulin, born 4 May 1655, who took the name of Sieur de Saint-Maurice; Jean-Baptiste*, Sieur de Courval, born 15 Jan. 1657; Marguerite, who married François Lemaître Lamorille; and Catherine, who became the wife of Joseph Godefroy* de Vieuxpont.*
It was François Poulin* de Francheville, a grandson of Maurice Poulin, who was to set up a company in the following century for the establishment of a foundry in his Saint-Maurice seigneury.
This name, which was given to the Poulin fief in accordance with the Christian name of the head of the Poulin line, subsequently designated the river along whose shore the seigneury ran. Until then, it had been called the river of Trois-Rivières, or the Métabéroutine, or else the Fouez (Jacques Cartier’s designation). In their turn Les Forges took the name of Saint-Maurice, which was then extended to the county, and finally to the surrounding region.
Archives de la paroisse de l’Immaculée-Conception, Trois-Rivières. Jug. et délib., I, 275, 314. P.-G. Roy, Inv. concessions, II, 115. Benjamin Sulte, Les forges Saint-Maurice (Montréal, 1920). Albert Tessier, Les forges du Saint-Maurice, 1729–1883 (Trois-Rivières, 1952).