RAMEZAY, MARIE-CHARLOTTE DE, dite de Saint-Claude de la Croix, Nun Hospitaller of the Hôpital Général of Quebec, superior; b. and baptized 31 July 1697 at Trois-Rivières, daughter of Claude de Ramezay*, governor of Trois-Rivières and Montreal, and Marie-Charlotte Denys de La Ronde; d. 15 Nov. 1767 in Quebec.
Marie-Charlotte was first a boarder with the Ursulines of Quebec, as were her five sisters. On 18 Nov. 1716 she entered the convent of the Hôpital Général of Quebec, and on 30 May 1718 she made her profession. The dowry offered by her parents was rather unusual. After having promised to give 3,000 livres in money of France, her father began by paying 1,000 livres and suggested to the superior that he pay the remaining 2,000 livres in boards and planks, to which he would add the sum of 200 livres coming to him each year from the Ursulines of Trois-Rivières.
It was after 1730 that Marie-Charlotte de Ramezay exercised her most important offices; from then on she helped Marie-Joseph Juchereau Duchesnay, dite de l’Enfant-Jésus, in the administration of the convent. Immediately after the death in 1730 of the superior, Geneviève Juchereau Duchesnay, dite de Saint-Augustin, the dean of the chapter, Louis Bertrand* de Latour, arbitrarily appointed Marie-Thérèse Langlois, dite de Saint-Jean-Baptiste, as superior. Marie-Charlotte de Ramezay and Marie-Joseph Juchereau sided with the nuns who opposed his disregard of the community’s constitution. But the canonical elections in 1732 delivered the office of superior to Marie-Joseph Juchereau, with Marie-Charlotte de Ramezay accepting the charge of depositary (bursar) and discreet (counsellor). In 49 years of religious life, beginning with her profession, Marie-Charlotte held the office of depositary for 26 years, from 1732 to 1738, 1741 to 1747, 1750 to 1756, and from 1759 till her death, on 15 Nov. 1767, when she was 70 years old. In between she was assistant superior to Marie-Joseph Legardeur de Repentigny, dite de la Visitation, from 1747 to 1750, and superior from 1738 to 1741 and 1756 to 1759, replacing Marie-Joseph Juchereau in this office each time.
Marie-Charlotte de Ramezay came from a family of soldiers and was particularly affected by the misfortunes which the French troops suffered during the Seven Years’ War; her sympathy led her after the capture of Quebec to try to demoralize the English soldiers who were hospitalized in the Hôpital Général by making a false announcement of an English defeat. Yet this feeling for her compatriots did not prevent her before September 1759 from treating the English patients well, who were moreover grateful to her. It is reported that Captain David Ochterloney “was cared for most tenderly by Madame de Ramezay, directress of the hospital, ‘who wept when he died.’” Upon Ochterloney’s death General Wolfe hastened to write to Marie-Charlotte de Ramezay to thank her for her kindness to this officer and to assure her that he would protect the convent if fortune favoured him.
AHGQ, Actes capitulaires, 35f.; Actes de profession et contrats de dot, 1; “Annales”; Registre des entrées et des dots. AJTR, Registre d’état civil, Immaculée-Conception de Trois-Rivières, 31 juill. 1697. AMUQ, Registre des entrées des pensionnaires. AN, Col., C11A 54, f.80. Knox, Historical journal (Doughty), II, 20–21, 367–68. Mgr de Saint-Vallier et l’Hôpital Général.