Gaspard-Alain Chartier de Lotbinière (1748-1822)

2nd Marquis de Lotbinière; Seigneur & Speaker of the House of Commons etc.

Born at Quebec, he served as cadet at age eleven during the Siege of 1759. After New France fell to the British he travelled with his father to Paris and considered entering a cavalry regiment. Instead, he returned to Quebec. His father was the Seigneur of over 850,000-acres in Quebec and New York, but having sold one seigneury and lost two in the American Revolution, his inheritance was reduced to 478,000-acres made up of the Seigneuries of Lotbiniere, Vaudreuil & Rigaud. His father died in 1798, after which he became entitled to style himself the 2nd Marquis de Lotbiniere. However, he preferred not to use the title to keep political favor with the British. This enabled him to represent Vaudreuil in Parliament and sit as the Speaker of the House of Commons. In 1793, he gave an impassioned speech that ensured both French and English were used in the legislature of Quebec, stressing that both languages should always be respected equally. The painting depicting this speech hangs above the Speaker's Chair today. His three daughters each received one of his seigneuries, but the Marquisate died with him.