History Section

La Société Jersiaise

The History Section

La Section d'l'Histouaithe


Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday April 20th 2004 at 5.15pm
Parish Church of St Helier

        Members present :
Frank Falle (Chairman), Marie-Louise Backhurst, Don & Jean Bell, Mary Billot (Secretary), Mervyn Billot, Francis & Anne Corbet, Roy Dobin, Gerry France, Arthur Griffiths, Sue Groves, Suzanne Le Feuvre, Georgia Le Maistre, Bob Le Sueur, David Levitt, Kenneth & Elinor McFadden, Ian Machin, Alec Podger, Bill Tower.

1.        Apologies for absence :
Guy Dixon, Mary Gibb, Sue Hardy, Sarah Jordan, Sally Knight, George Langlois, David Le Maistre.

2.        Minutes of the meeting of March 16th 2004 and amendments

5.2        Corbet James d'Auvergne purchased Gouray Lodge in 1800. Went bankrupt in 1803.
5.4.1        Cross at centre of dial where gnomon comes from.
5.4.2        Designer/maker Harriet James from Wiltshire.
The minutes were then accepted as a correct record.

3.         Matters arising from the minutes not covered by the agenda

Frank Falle thanked Sarah Jordan very much for taking the minutes in Mary Billot's absence. Sarah always volunteered with alacrity for which we are all very grateful.
3.1        (5.6) The Robin Cox papers are now at the Jersey Archive.

  1. 5There are now only six vacancies for places on the September 2004 trip to Avranches, being arranged by Bertram Brée.

  2. Chairman's communications
  3. Frank congratulated Francis Corbet on being President-elect of the SJ and said that the Section would give its wholehearted support; he hoped that Francis and Anne would still find time to come to Section meetings. He reminded members that the AGM was on April 22nd at 8pm and that Georgia Le Maistre was standing as a general member of Executive.
  4. 2Frank hoped that members were happy with his contribution to the Spring 2004 Newsletter; he has also sent the Section's 2003 annual report for the 2004 Bulletin to Marie-Louise Backhurst.
  5. 3Frank had alluded in his Newsletter contribution to the prevalent belief that a land bridge existed between Jersey and France until the inundation by the sea in 709 AD; this affected the mode of transport whereby Nantais breed of cattle might have arrived in Jersey. He said that varying views about the land bridge were held but that the Section was neutral on the matter. The Nantais breed is very similar to the Jersey breed.
  6. Roy Dobin said that David Le Feuvre referred to the retreat of the Vikings from the Loire with their cattle in one of his recent JEP articles.
  7. Frank concurred that we should look the Vikings in the Loire rather than in Normandy. He will give further information on his research at the May meeting.

  8. Members' contributions
  9. Mary Billot reminded everyone of the lecture by Sir James Holt FBA on Jersey 1204 at the Jersey Arts Centre on May 19th; free tickets are available from the SJ Office.
She also said that the CIFHS was organising a trip to Quebec Province and the Gaspé peninsula at the end of August 2004 - thirteen nights with nine nights in the Gaspé. The cost will be about £1500 and there are places still available.
She said that the dates for the 2005 study tour lead by Prof. Meirion-Jones and Mme Laurent have been agreed – September 15
th-18th 2005, based at Vannes, Brittany.
  1. 2Bob Le Sueur said that the stone at the top of Pontorson Lane reported by Arthur Griffiths at the March meeting has been examined by him and Neil Molyneux of the Archaeology Section. It has been identified as a previously unrecorded menhir (standing stone) and he was most grateful to Arthur for bringing it to their attention.
  2. 3Georgia Le Maistre commented on two emails from researchers checking the History Section pages on the SJ website. Geraint Jennings had forwarded them to Mary Billot. One related to Edwin Dingle, Lilian Grandin's husband; he is an elusive person who was rather careful with the truth. Georgia is still checking the facts, in so far as they are known.
The other email concerns to Lady Otway, née Miss Eliza Price Noble Campbell, later Lady Otway then Mrs Leatham. An Italian enquirer believes that her great grandmother was Lady Otway's daughter. Georgia is waiting for a copy of her English will to arrive; her Jersey will is in the Archive. At present there is no information that she had a child, but she was a friend of King Umberto of Italy (reigned 1878-1900) and funded an Italian orphanage.
  1. Georgia said that English wills of Jersey people are found in the British calendars and are an untapped source of information.
  2. 4Sue Groves said that the Archive is closed for normal service on Saturday May 1st for a special event. The CIFHS holds its exhibition on Saturday May 22nd and Sunday May 23rd at Trinity Parish Hall so most of its indexes normally available at the Archive will be there for the weekend.
  3. 5Frank said that Andy Harris is researching military aspects of Jersey history, 1750-1850, as part of his degree.
  4. 6Marie-Louise Backhurst has been elected to the Council of the National Trust for Jersey. She is researching 16 New Street, recently given to the NT by Merchant Retail plc, owners of De Gruchy's. The Journeaux family owned New St and she is trying to establish whether the same branch also owned The Elms, St Mary.
  5. 7Roy Dobin noted that the flags were flying today for the Queen's birthday tomorrow.
  6. 8Frank said that the mediaeval great hall at Mont Orgueil Castle was a Calvinist chapel at the time of Sir Amyas Poulet. His father Sir Hugh Poulet had requested lead from Glastonbury Abbey for MOC and the amount was 21 fodders of lead (1 fodder = 21cwt). Three areas were recorded as lead covered in 1680 – the chapel, the accommodation block and the Tudor Hall (new nomenclature St George's Hall). Rybot and Nicolle had identified the ruins of St George's chapel.
  7. 9Francis Corbet said that he was looking forward to the support of both Frank and Collette Stevens as Vice-Presidents during his term of office.

  8. Date of next meeting
  9. Tuesday May 18th 2004 at 5.15pm, in the Members' Room if available, otherwise in the Arthur Mourant Room.