History Section

La Société Jersiaise

The History Section

La Section d'l'Histouaithe


Members' Contributions - April 20th 1999


Selected items from presentations delivered to the Section at the regular meeting...


1. Gaye Britton: an interesting Militia manuscript of 1795

Here is a question for any Canadian visitors to the site ... we were shown a Commission given by William Macarmick, Lt. Governor and Commander in Chief of the Island of Cape Breton and its dependencies, to "the honourable John Janvrin" as Lt. Colonel in command of the "Jersey Batallion of Militia, District of Mount Grenville." The Commission is dated March 25th 1795. Does anyone know anything of the history of this unit, and of the men who were in it ? Were they predominantly of Jersey extraction? Please e-mail: history@societe-jersiaise.org if you can add any information. Report by Roger de Carteret.


2. Martine Schenk: The 150th Anniversary of the L.D.S. Church in Jersey

The first glimpse of a book planned to be out by the end of the year. It will contain many contemporary quotations and observations from members of the Church in the 19th Century, preserved in the previously unseen Church archives.


3. Alex Glendinning: The first photograph of an Eclipse in Jersey ?

WILLIAM COLLIE (1810-1896) was one of the earliest Jersey photographers. Born in Skene, Aberdeenshire, Scotland in October 1810, he was already in Jersey by the first census of 1841, which lists him at Belmont House, No. 2 Belmont Road, St Helier, operating a portrait painting business - he added photography later.

His collection is now housed at The Royal Photographic Society, The Octagon, Milsom Street, Bath BA1 1DN. Although there is a duplicate set in the Société Photographic Archives, they cannot provide modern prints without express permission from the Royal Photographic Society.

The last calotype in his collection is of a total eclipse of the sun which took place on Wednesday July 18 1860, predicated to begin around midday and end at 4hr 57m. in the afternoon in the Almanac de la Chronique of that year. The British Press and Jersey Times of July 20 1860 reported that "... there was a sensible diminution in temperature. When the eclipse commenced at 1/2 past one o'clock, the temperature was 71o, which decreased until 1/2 past 2, when it was 63o. It began to rise before 3 o'clock, and went up to 67o at 5 o'clock. Heavy planetary showers then ensued, with thunder to the westward." April 19th 1999 (an eclipse year).