The History Section
La Section d'l'Histouaithe
Members' Contributions - March 16th 1999
Major Thomas Fyers R.E. in the Channel Islands (1811-1829) by Alex
Glendinning. Selected items from a talk delivered to the Section at
the regular meeting
- Principal Source:
- A journal of the Fyers family's residence in Jersey, Guernsey and Gibraltar
(1811-1829) kept by Mrs Louisa Banks, his daughter. Sent to her sister
Mrs Brownrigg in 1886. Courtesy of Caroline B. Holt.
- a. Example (scandalous) entry! On a soiree at Government House
(undated): ".... the next Grand at Home she (Lady Halkett) gave, we
were asked and had to go. She was a very strange person, very jealous of
her husband, Sir Colin Halkett. He was her second husband. One Grand Ball
night when we were there, she left all her company for an hour, to fish
for themselves, and threatened to have all the lights put out, if her husband
did not say he meant nothing by having cut an orange in some particular
way, and given it to a lady at dessert that day after dinner!"
- Notes: Sir Colin Halkett was Lieutenant Governor of Jersey from
1821 to 1830 and the first to reside in the St Saviour Government House,
still in use today. His wife's name was Letitia Cricket, widow of Captain
Tyle of the Royal Artillery.
- b. Part of a poem by Thomas Fyers, written circa 1824, preserved
in the Journal.
- ADIEU TO JERSEY.
- Adieu, thou sweetest and most fertile isle,
- Where Flora and Pomona smile,
- Each charming Bay, each noble view,
- Each much admired spot, Adieu,
- Mont Orgueil, Rosel, and Hougmbie,
- St. Brelade, Grieve de Lecq, Bonne Nuit,
- The fort Majestie which does crown
- St. Heliers large, and thriving town,
- Elizabeth's strong and Venerable pile,
- By turns Peninsular and Isle,
- Most ably placed to intersect
- Fort Regents Fire, and to protect
- Thy Pier, thy spacious Port and Strand
- From the foes rash attempt to land,
- St Aubins town, it's Forts, it's Pier,
- Those lofty towers which uprear
- Their heads in formidable array
- Around this fine and beauteous bay
- Whose round and solid bases brave
- The fury of the high tides waves,
- But at the ebb a mile between
- Of fine, firm, level sand is sea,
- Here oft the troops of this fine Isle,
- Before their Martial Chief defile,
- A well armed, and appointed band
- Trained to defend their native land,
- Here their Artillery at full speed
- Fly o'er the ground, advance, recede,
- Form on the waters edge, then fire,
- And at the trumpets call retire.
- Source 2: The Army List
- Thomas Fyers of the Royal Engineers: appointed Captain 23.4.1810, Major
12.8.1819 , Lt. Col. 23.3.1825 and Colonel 10.1.1837.
- Source 3: St Peter Port Baptisms Register - Guernsey
- Children of Captain Thomas Fyers and Louisa Clifton
- Louisa Fyers baptised privately 1.8.1811 (no godparents).
- Rose Matilda Fyers baptised privately 27.1.1813 (no godparents).
- Source 4: St Helier Baptisms Register - Jersey
- Children of Captain/Major/ Lt. Col. Thomas Fyers and Louisa Clifton
- Robert Morse Fyers baptised privately 4.10.1815 (no godparents).
- Charlotte Sabine Fyers baptised privately 8.12.1824 (no godparents).
- Amelius Beauclerk Fyers baptised privately 5.8.1829 (godparents the
father & mother).
- It is hoped to publish more in a future issue of the Société