History Section

La Société Jersiaise

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, 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 Bulletin.