La Société Jersiaise

 

 

Le Sueur Monument

The Le Sueur Monument in Broad Street
 

...Broad Street, the ancient "High Street" of the Town, fallen now however from its high estate, and become respectable merely from its dulness. In it is a monument to attest the gratitude of the Island for the services of one of its most energetic Constables, the late PETER LE SUEUR, Esq. The monument itself is a sad blot on the good taste of the Island, and is merely an exaggeration of those spar toys one buys at Sandown or Clifton. At each side of its square base, are lions' heads, pierced for fountains. The water however has never been forthcoming, so the lions look like hapless sea-voyagers - retching without effect. We do not know who designed this thing - this cross between a pillar and a post. We wish we did, for his name ought to go down to posterity, encircled with the halo that should belong to the inventor of the ugliest bit of pillo-pyramidical construction in the world...

The Gossiping Guide to Jersey J. Bertrand Payne 1863

 

...retching without effect...
"...retching without effect..."

 

The pillar is so constructed as to admit of a fountain being hereafter connected with it, whenever the Townsmen may be endowed with taste, liberality and spirit enough to accomplish so healthful and ornamental a work.

The Island of Jersey Falle 1857

...cross between a pillar and a post
...cross between a pillar and a post

Le Sueur Monument

A meeting of the Committee was held at the Constable's Office, on Wednesday afternoon, to receive a report as to the expense of carrying into effect the desire so generally expresses, that the proposed Monument should be in the form of a Fountain, with suitable ornaments and inscriptions. After much consideration, the sum required was found so far to exceed the amount in the hands of the Treasurer, that the plan was reluctantly abandoned; and the following resolutions were unanimously adopted:-

The Committee having ascertained that the cost of erecting a Fountain, as a monument to the memory of Mr. Le Sueur, would exceed the sum at their disposal, it was resolved that the idea of a fountain should be abandoned.

It was further resolved:-

1. That the monument proposed to be erected to the memory of the late Mr. Le Sueur, do consist of on Obelisk, of Jersey granite, to be erected in the upper part of Broad-street, if practicable.

2. That Artists both native and others be invited to furnish plans and designs for the same, between this time and the 31st day of May, when the designs, with estimates, shall be submitted to this Committee for approval, choice, or rejection. That the estimates for the intended work shall be positive and final and in no case are to exceed the sum of 300.

3. That a Sub-committee be named to prepare, or cause to be prepared, a suitable inscription for the proposed Monument, which together with the design adopted, shall be submitted to a general assembly of subscribers, to that effect convened:- and that the said Sub-committee do consist of Dr. Brohier and Mons. Beaufils.

4. That this Committee do meet again as soon as the plans and estimates are obtained.

The Committee further unanimously expressed the wish that the intended Obelisk should be so constructed as to admit of a fountain being eventually connected with it.

It was not in the power of the Committee definitively to fix upon the site for the erection of this monument; but the place recommended, in addition to its general eligibility, is peculiarly desirable, from its contiguity to the spot where the late Constable was born.

We have now every reason to believe that, as soon as a plan and estimates have been selected by the Sub-committee, they will at once be submitted to a general meeting, and the design be carried into execution with the least possible delay.

Jersey Times 7/4/1854

George II

The Le Sueur Monument Committee, which met on Tuesday afternoon, finally adopted a plan sent in by Mr. Thomas Gallichan a simple obelisk placed on a simple pedestal, the whole to be of the height of 45 feet 2 inches. The site and the inscription for the monument have still to be determined upon.

Jersey Times 28/7/1854

George II

The Le Sueur Monument Those who have seen the different designs submitted to the Committee entrusted with the erection of a Monument to the memory of the late Peter Le Sueur, Esq., will learn with much satisfaction that the one known as the "Lions" design was adopted at a meeting held on Tuesday last. The Committee was obliged at first to decline the design, for want of adequate funds; but a sum of 100 having been since added, by the friends of the deceased Constable, to the amount previously subscribed, the Committee found itself in a position to adopt that design, and has entrusted the erection of the Monument to Mr. Poulton, the architect. The site chosen for the Monument is the upper end of Broad-street. Chronique.

Jersey Times 17/10/1854

George II

St. Helier, Jersey. On 10th ult. the committee for erecting a public monument to the late constable, Mr. Le Sueur, selected the design of Messrs. Poulton and Woodman, of Reading. The design consists of an obelisk in Jersey granite, elevated on a spreading basement, and at each angle is to be placed the crouching figure of a leopard (the heraldic animal of the States) sculptured in granite. On each of the four sides of the base of the monument, provision is to be made for the future construction of a fountain, the water from which will fall into reservoirs formed between the angle figures. The total height of the monument will be 40 feet, and the extreme width of base, 20 feet. Mr. Le Sueur marked his long tenure of office by sanitary measures, embellishment of the town, completion of the harbour, and many legal reforms. The Builder.

Jersey Times 14/11/1854

 

Il se dévoua au bien-être de son pays
"Il se dévoua au bien-être de son pays"

 

Le Sueur Monument

The Roads-committee of the Parish of St. Helier on Tuesday marked out the space to be occupied by the Le Sueur Monument, at the eastern end of Broad-street. The pillar will be near the site of the present pump. so as to be distinctly visible from the Royal Square and from Cheapside. The foundation-works for the monument are to be commenced forthwith. The structure to be erected is after the original and tasteful design of Mr. Thomas Gallichan.

Jersey Times 6/4/1855

George II

The granite blocks for the Le Sueur monumental column are at length in readiness for placing, and no further delay, we understand, will now occur in the erection of this memorial edifice.

Jersey Times 23/10/1855

George II

La colonne du Monument de M. Le Sueur est maintenant dégagée de tout l'échafaudage dont elle était entouré, et produit le plus bel effet par l'élégance de sa forme et ses belles proportions. Les ouvriers s'occupent de placer les admirables blocs taillés qui doivent former la base du Monument.

Nouvelle Chronique de Jersey 9/1/1856

George II

Le Monument élevé à la Mémoire de feu Pierre Le Sueur, écr., est maintenant presque achevé. On a placé hier sur les quatre façades du piédestal les têtes de lion en bronze qui sont destinées à jeter par leur gueule l'eau dans des bassins, lorsqu'on se sera décidé à amener l'eau des hauteurs qui entourent la ville. Les inscriptions sur les quatre faces du Monument sont achevées, et il ne reste plus qu'à dorer les lettres.

Nouvelle Chronique de Jersey 10/5/1856

 

Cinq fois élu Connétable de St Hélier
"Cinq fois élu Connétable de St Hélier"

 

Le Monument Le Sueur vient d'être débarrassé de la toile dont le piédestal avait été entouré pour permettre de dorer les lettres des inscriptions qui se trouvent sur ses quatre faces. La dorure, ainsi que nous nous y étions attendu, ne produit qu'un médiocre effet sur du granit. Les inscriptions sont presque illisibles, et il est probable qu'on reviendra à la première suggestion de peindre les lettres en noir.

Nouvelle Chronique de Jersey 29/10/1856

George II

Monument Le Sueur

Des ouvriers sont occupé (sic) à élever, sur les quatre coins du piédestal du Monument Le Sueur, des pilliers en fer qui seront surmontés de lampes sphériques semblables à celle qui se trouve en dessus de la porte de l'Hôtel de l'Union. Chacun des quatre lampes sera éclairée par un bec de gaz.

Nouvelle Chronique de Jersey 19/4/1862

 

lucus a non lucendo
"lucus a non lucendo"

 

Eclairage du Monument Le Sueur

Nouvelle Chronique de Jersey 23/4/1862

George II

Le Monument Le Sueur

Des ouvriers de la Water Company viennent de poser des conduites autour de l'Obélisque érigé au haut de Broad-street à la mémoire de Pierre Le Sueur, dans la prévision sans doute que la base de ce monument va enfin devenir ce à quoi elle était destinée dans le principe le centre d'une fontaine publique avec quatre bassins.

Nouvelle Chronique de Jersey 22/10/1870

George II

Monument Le Sueur

Depuis plusieurs jours des ouvriers sont occupés à déplacer les dalles au tour du monument de la Grand'rue et déjà on a posé des tuyaux pour la conduite de l'eau qui devra couler par les quatre gueules de lion du piédestal. On doit construire sur chacune des faces un bassin pour recevoir cette eau.

Chronique de Jersey 26/10/1870

George II

Monument P. Le Sueur

Samedi matin, la direction de la "Jersey Water-Works Company," ouvrit à onze heures, en présence de MM. Le Sueur, Ramié, du Colonel Hemery et d'autres personnes, la robinet des tuyaux placés depuis quelques jours dans l'intérieur du monument élevé à la mémoire de feu Pierre Le Sueur, écr. élu cinq fois consécutives et mort Connétable de la ville de St.-Hélier, le 16 Janvier 1853. aussitôt l'eau coula par les quatre gueules de lion qui ornent la base de ce moment (sic) élevé à l'une des illustrations de Jersey. Il y avait quinze ans que l'eau manquait à l'ornement de la Grand'Rue; espérons que d'ici à quelques semaines, il sera complété par la construction de bassins en harmonie avec le reste.

Chronique de Jersey 2/11/1870

George II

L'Obélisque de Broad-street. Depuis Samedi matin les gueules de lion placés aux aux quatre faces de la base du monument élevé à la mémoire de Pierre Le Sueur, laissent échapper à volonté des jets d'eau limpide qui ont le double avantage d'être un ornemnt et un puissant moyen d'assainnissement. En été surtout, l'utilité de cette quadruple fontaine sera très grande pour tout le quartier.

Nouvelle Chronique de Jersey 2/11/1870

George II

The Le Sueur Monument

To the editor

Sir.- Can you inform me when we are to have water flowing from the lions' heads on the Le Sueur Monument? One would be led to suppose that these heads were fixed on the lucus a non lucendo principle. I hope that it is not the intention of the "powers that be" to mar the general coup d'oeil of the monument with unsightly brick and cement basins...

Jersey Times 22/7/1871

 

A
PIERRE LE SUEUR
SES
CONCITOYENS
RECONNAISSANTS

 

The obelisk in Broad-Street

Sir, - Your correspondent "Enquirer" suggests that the obelisk in Broad-Street should be utilised. It is strange that the mouths of the royal beast have not yet been turned to account and the intentions of the architect frustrated so long. Will any of the officers of the Jersey Board of Works "have a taste," not necessarily an expensive but a "palatable" one? Surely the Jersey Water Company could be prevailed upon for a reasonable consideration to direct a trickling stream in the necessary direction. If the "flowing" arrangement were in operation it would prove a frequent "source" of gratification to man and beast during the summer months.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

Humanitas

July, 1871

British Press and Jersey Times 27/7/1871

 

George II

The Broad-street Obelisk

The obelisk at the top of Broad-street, observes the Nouvelle Chronique, is just now being completed by the fixing of a granite basin at the base of each façade of the pedestal, which, as its inscription shows, was erected to the memory of the late Peter Le Sueur, Constable of St. Helier's. The inscription itself is being painted in red letters, and is now very legible. The obelisk will not in future be a simple ornament - with its four basins, in which the water will be running every day - but also a monument of public utility, for nearly on the level with the ground small reservoirs have been constructed, and these will serve as troughs for dogs.

Jersey Times 21/10/1871

 

Il se dévoua au bien-être de son pays
"Il se dévoua au bien-être de son pays"

 

And what about the workers?

According to Paula Thelwell in her article on People of the Millennium (JEP, 11 December) Constable Pierre Le Sueur is remembered, among other things, 'for pacifying an angry mob in 1847'.

But, how sad that our recall of this event remains so flawed or that the obelisk was erected to the memory of Pierre Le Sueur rather than to the 1,000 brave men, women and children who dared to march in protect against their poverty and unfair treatment.

If Pierre Le Sueur gave his life to the Parish of St Helier as is claimed (by dying of a heart attack in 1853) he may deserve to be remembered, but where is the memorial to the hundreds of mariners, shipwrights, agricultural, construction or other workers who have given their lives due to work and/or injury since 1847?

Where is the memorial to the 32 'ring leaders' who were jailed following the 1847 protests and how many devotees of Jersey history and heritage can name even one of these heroes today?

Of course, Pierre Le Sueur is long since dead but poverty in Jersey is not. Now, in our time, who shall be the most deserving of an honoured place in history: the Pierres in government who mouth the words to eliminate poverty or the ever anonymous poor who still live the experience?

Michael Dun

JEP 15/12/1999

George II

It is not as if we are short of obelisks, there being one in Broad Street adjacent to the public toilets and another at Le Croix, in my own parish of Trinity, to mention but two.

I have nothing against these monuments, the Trinity one remembering the dead of two world wars and the town one in memory of Pierre Le Sueur, five times Constable of St Helier, but I have to ask how many people, in all honesty, ever really look at these granite needles or even notice that they are there?

JEP 13/4/2002

George II

L'Obélisque à Pièrre L'Sueux



Il ennyie bein à tchi attend, et acouo pus à tchi rein n'prend! Et, ma fé, j'avons attendu quâsiment chent-chînquante ans pouor vaie les jets dg'ieau promîns quand l'obélisque à la mémouaithe dé Pièrre L'Sueux fut êrigi dans la Grand' Rue.

Quand l'Connêtabl'ye dé St. Hélyi mouothit en mil huit chent chînquante trais, y'en avait un tas d'èrconnaîssants tchi voulaient un monument. Viyant qué ch'fut l'înlâssabl'ye Connêtabl'ye tch'avait întroduit la bouonne ieau à la Ville, nou proposit un jet dg'ieau. Mais i' n'y'avait pon assez d'sou pouor chenna, et à eune rêunnion du conmité au mais d'Avri mil huit chent chînquante quat', i' fut décidé d'bâti un obélisque dans la Grand' Rue en espéthant pouver connecter l'ieau pus tard. Lé Sieur Thomas Gallichan proposit des plians tchi fûtent acceptés au mais d'Juilet et l'travas c'menchit en mil huit chent chînquante chînq.

Au mais d'Mai mil huit chent chînquante six, les têtes dé lion destinnées à dêgouôsillonner l'ieau fûtent pliaichies et l'monument 'tait quâsiment prêt – mais les sou mantchaient acouo et les lions avaient la bouoche secque pouor acouo quatorze ans. En mil huit chent septante, la Compangnie dg'Ieau mînt des tchuyaux pouor m'ner à la fîn dé l'ieau ès lions. Mais tout chenna n'duthit pas longtemps et les gens 'taient bétôt à lus r'pliaindre dans les gâzettes qu'l'èrtèrgément des plians pouor un bieau jet dg'ieau au mitan d'la Ville 'tait încriyabl'ye.

D'pis bein longtemps, l'ieau a 'té gâtée dans la p'tite maîson d'à côté, mais lé projet d'nos rafraîchi atout dé l'ieau a 'té gatté. Mais la fîn du temps f'tha tout vaie, et auprès un siècl'ye et d'mie dé sicrèche, l'obélisque est arrouôsé!

Geraint Jennings
JEP 2005

 

George II

 

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