René-Louis Chartier de Lotbinière (1641-1709) was a French-Canadian Poet, 1st Seigneur de Lotbinière in New France (1672), Judge of the Provost and Admiralty Courts and Chief Councillor of the Sovereign Council of New France.
Baptised 14 November 1641, in the Church of Saint-Nicholas-des-Champs in Paris, he was the son of Louis-Théandre Chartier de Lotbinière and Élisabeth d'Amours de Clignancourt (1613-1690), daughter of Louis d'Amours de Louvieres (died 1640), Sieur de Serain, Chief Councillor to King Henry IV of France at the Grand Châtelet, Paris. He was the brother-in-law of Philippe de Rigaud Vaudreuil, Governor General of New France, and the uncle of the last Governor General of New France, Pierre François de Rigaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil-Cavagnal. In 1651, at the age of ten, he arrived with his parents in New France, and was educated at the Jesuit's College in Quebec City.
As an officer in the 1660s he took part in some early campaigns against the Iroquois and Mohawks, soon after composing his first known poem. Following in his father's shoes he was appointed Deputy Attorney-General of New France in 1670. In 1672, he was granted a Seigneury which he named after one of his family's old seigneuries in France, Lotbinière, which had since been passed to the Chateaubriand family of Combourg as a wedding dowry. Two years later his name was put forward by the Compagnie des Indes Occidentales and appointed a Councillor of the Sovereign Council of New France. The following year he was made a Councillor for life by Louis XIV of France, the only such Councillor to hold the appointment by the King. In 1677, he replaced his father as Lieutenant-General for Civil and Criminal Affairs (Judge) of the Provost Court.
In stark contrast to his father, he held this position to the great satisfaction of his peers, yet again drawing the praise of Louis XIV of France for his honesty and competence. In 1698, he was appointed Judge of the Admiralty Court. Bishop Jean-Baptiste de La Croix de Chevrières de Saint-Vallier appointed him a director of the Hôpital général de Québec, and he also intermittently served as subdelegate to the Intendant of New France from 1677 to 1706. In 1703, Louis XIV of France appointed de Lotbiniere Chief Counsellor of the Sovereign Council of New France, ranking fourth in the hierarchy of the colony, being preceded only by the governor, the intendant, and the bishop.
De Lotbinière had maintained his connections to the military after his early campaigns against the Iroquois. In 1673, he had been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the Quebec Militia, and in 1684 again accompanied Joseph-Antoine de La Barre in campaigns against the Iroquois as Commander of the Regiment of Quebec. At the Siege of Quebec 1690 he was the colonel of the Quebec militia in the defence of the colony.
At Quebec City in 1678, de Lotbinière married Marie Madeleine Lambert du Mont (1662-1695), daughter of Eustache Lambert du Mont (1618-1673), Seigneur and Commandant of the Quebec Militia. After his father returned to France in 1679, they lived at his old house, Maison Lotbinière in Quebec, where all his children were born and where he died. René-Louis and his wife were the parents of seven children,