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COUILLARD DE LESPINAY, LOUIS, coseigneur of Rivière-du-Sud; baptized 29 Nov. 1658 at Quebec, son of Louis Couillard*, Sieur de Lespinay, and of Geneviève Després; buried 15 May 1728 at Saint-Pierre du Sud.

Louis Couillard de Lespinay gradually built up a large fief. On 4 Aug. 1671 he received from his father, as a settlement of portion by anticipation, an arriere-fief of “four arpents in the said seigneury of Rivière-du-Sud, fronting on the St Lawrence River and extending to a depth of 40 arpents.” On 29 Nov. 1685, conjointly with his brother Jacques, he inherited half of the Rivière-du-Sud seigneury of which his mother had had possession since her husband’s death in 1678; this part became his completely when he bought out his brother Jacques in 1690.

During all these years, Louis Couillard proved to be a good administrator. In 1700 he won a sensational lawsuit against Isaac (Alexandre) Berthier, seigneur of Bellechasse, over the boundaries of his seigneury. Under his stimulus, settling progressed rapidly and the number of settlers increased steadily, so much so that around 1720 the seigneury of Rivière-du-Sud was the second in size from the point of view of population.

This growth made necessary the opening of roads to the interior. Louis Couillard thus became one of the creators of the “king’s road.” In 1713 he obtained an ordinance from the king requiring the settlers of Saint-Thomas and Saint-Pierre to work on roads and bridges, under penalty of fines. As there was a good deal of stalling and opposition, Michel Bégon* issued a new decree on 22 April 1720. A start was thus made on the organization of road-building in New France.

Louis Couillard de Lespinay was buried on 15 May 1728. He had been married four times. On 23 Oct. 1680 he married Marie Vandry, by whom he had two children who died young. On 4 May 1688 he married Marie Fortin, who bore him 11 children. He married Marguerite Bélanger in 1712, became a widower in 1717, and two years later took as his fourth wife Louise Nolin, by whom he had three children.

Nive Voisine

Jug. et délib. A. Roy, Inv. greffes not., III, 64. Azarie Couillard Després, Histoire des seigneurs de la Rivière-du-Sud et leurs alliés canadiens et acadiens (Saint-Hyacinthe, Qué., 1912). F.-J. Audet, “La seigneurie de la Rivière du Sud,” BRH, VI (1901), 117–19. Azarie Couillard Després, “En marge de l’histoire de la Rivière-du-Sud, BRH, XXI (1915), 116–22.

General Bibliography

Cite This Article

Nive Voisine, “COUILLARD DE LESPINAY, LOUIS (d. 1728),” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 2, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed May 21, 2024, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/couillard_de_lespinay_louis_1728_2E.html.

The citation above shows the format for footnotes and endnotes according to the Chicago manual of style (16th edition). Information to be used in other citation formats:

Permalink:   http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/couillard_de_lespinay_louis_1728_2E.html
Author of Article:   Nive Voisine
Title of Article:   COUILLARD DE LESPINAY, LOUIS (d. 1728)
Publication Name:   Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 2
Publisher:   University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication:   1969
Year of revision:   1982
Access Date:   May 21, 2024