History Section


La Société Jersiaise

The History Section


Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday June 17th 2003 at 5.15pm
Arthur Mourant Room

1.         Members present :
Jean Arthur, Mary Billot (Secretary), Mervyn Billot, Bertram Brée, Caroline Easterbrook, Frank Falle (Chairman), Gerry France, Sue Groves, Tertius Hutt, Nick Jouault, Sally Knight, George Langlois, Frank Le Blancq, Suzanne Le Feuvre, David Le Maistre, Georgia Le Maistre, Bob Le Sueur, David Levitt, Ian Machin, Philip Stevens, Bill Tower.
Apologies :
Marie-Louise Backhurst, Suzanne Bidel, Francis & Anne Corbet, Alasdair Crosby (new member), Roy Dobin, Mary Gibb, Sue Hardy, Douglas Hooke, Sarah Jordan, Richard & Gwyneth Syvret.

2.        Minutes of the meeting of May 20th 2003 and amendments
        The minutes were approved as a correct record.

3.         Matters arising from the minutes not covered by the agenda
3.5.6        Frank Falle said that Grosnez was a fort, not a castle. Elizabeth Castle was first a battery, then a fort of residence (with need for a water supply), finally a castle.
3.5.9        Mary Gibb (via Mary Billot) confirmed that the October 21st meeting is convenient for her to record members' reminiscences about the economic history of the G.O. She thanked members for their support.
4.6        Frank emphasised that the French invaders wished to acquire the islands for the Lancastrian Red Rose party.
5.1        Sue Groves said that the Public Records (Jersey) Law 2002 would be on the statute book by August 1st 2003 if all goes well.

4.        Chairman's communications
4.1        Frank welcomed Philip Stevens, a corresponding member, to the meeting. He also welcomed Alasdair Crosby as a new member of the Section; Alasdair could not come because of pressure of work.
4.2        Mme Denise Veron-Hambie (Norman French speaker and author) will visit Jersey for the weekend of July 26-28, staying with John and Daphne Le Seelleur in St Martin.
There is an open invitation to members to attend the Jerriais barbeque lunch hosted by Mrs Anne Perchard at La Ferme, St Martin, on Sunday July 27th (cost £7.50 for the food; bring your own cutlery, plates and drink). Mme Veron-Hambie will be present, with Jerriais speakers.
4.3        Frank said that he has further sponsorship of £1000 which will be spent on DNA analysis of the bones in the Green Island graves; see Dr Mark Patton's article in the SJ bulletin of 2002.
4.4        He said that the results of the Blood of the Vikings project at UCL have not yet been published. Two local genes were interesting -
M 173 (Celtic gene) : 70% occurrence in Guernsey; 60% in Jersey
M 170 (invader gene) : 10% occurrence in Guernsey; 30% in Jersey.
This establishes that Jersey people are Celtic, not Norse. Frank is researching the difference in the M 170 gene between the two islands. Frank wants to hold a meeting of those who gave samples so that he can present the local findings. Frank Le Blancq welcomed more information as the individual letter that he had received was rather uninformative. There was some discussion on the names of rocks, pre- and post-Viking invasion.
4.5 Frank has met Dr Warwick Rodwell to discuss his paper on historic names at Mont Orgueil Castle. Warwick has agreed that -  
* St George' Hall (Middle Ward) = St George's Chapel (but when was it built?)
* Tudor Hall = St George's Hall
* St Mary's Chapel - the name will remain
* St George's undercroft (Middle Ward) was never a chapel; Warwick suggests that it was a hall.
4.6 The 'Down your way' walk in St Mary on June 15th was a great success; the final walk for 2003 is in St Saviour on Sunday September 7th.

5.        Members' contributions
5.1        Sue Groves said that the St Ouen parish records have now been deposited with the Jersey Archive.
5.2        Mary Billot said the Section meeting on November 18th would be a lantern show of the slides of Mont Orgueil Castle taken by E.T. Nicolle before WWI. Damer Waddington will show slides from his collection and the SJ collection; Francis Corbet will give the commentary. Mary has invited the Archaeology Section to attend and Chris Aubin has accepted.
        She gave details of an e-mail from Antony Gibb, who has been appointed by Education, Sport and Culture to prepare a Conservation Statement for Fort Regent. The bicentenary of the laying of the foundation stone occurs in 2006. Antony is looking for someone to help with some of the writing of Part 1 of the Statement, which covers 'Understanding'. A précis of William Davies' book would be a good start and might take 4 or 5 days. Please contact Antony on (863922 or antony@antonygibb.co.uk if you know of anyone willing to take on this project; Antony can pay a small fee.
        Mary asked whether she should make a group booking for the final dinner in Morlaix on Saturday September 13th, with the four group leaders as our guests. It was agreed that she would arrange this through Go France, with a maximum three courses. Prof. Meirion-Jones has completed the programme; Mme Laurent has booked the coach and restaurants for lunches.
5.3        Ian Machin is broadening his research on General Don to cover the Revolutionary and Napoleonic era in Jersey. Philip d'Auvergne's papers are in the PRO; Liam Sumption researched his spy networks using the PRO material (typescript in SJ Library).
5.4        David Le Maistre said that Philip d'Auvergne is featured in the George Croad book.
5.5        Mr Hutt is researching antiquarian booksellers in Jersey; he knows of Mr Sweeney, an Irishman who had a barrow in Halkett Place in the 1930s. John Berger was also mentioned.
5.6         Nick Jouault is checking on the 'pebble' now at St Catherine's Breakwater. The Société Guernesiaise asked him about the origin of the 'killick', an end weight on fishing gear. It is the slang name for an anchor and also for a Leading Seaman because of his badge. [Details with official minutes].
        Geraint Jennings has been researching on the names of the rocks around the Ecréhous to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1953 case at the International Court of Justice; details can be found on his website.
5.7        Philip Stevens is looking at the letters of Deborah Dumaresq, daughter of Philippe Dumaresq and Deborah Trumbull; she was the last Dumaresq seigneur of Samarès.
He has also been reading the journals of the Hall sisters held in Kent County Archives at South Bromley; they run to 850 pages. The sisters were in Jersey from 1838 to 1845; he has checked the 1841 census.
He circulated a copy of a painting by Robert Hills (1769-1844) who came here 1833-37; he painted a house at Mont au Prêtre, which Philip would like to identify.
5.8        George Langlois found that there was little information on Dr Alfred Charles Godfray (1851-1915), a graduate of Edinburgh Medical School and a founder member of the SJ. He was a prominent local surgeon and Freemason. George has now prepared an article for the Masonic Temple archives, with a copy of a picture of Dr Godfray in his Masonic regalia. He extended an invitation to the Section from the Temple to visit the building and its archives, which was gratefully received.
5.9        Sally Knight said that St Columba's Church of Scotland was founded in 1853 and has marked its 150th anniversary with an interesting exhibition and booklet. The steeple was demolished in 1968 because it was unsafe.
5.10        Georgia Le Maistre circulated two in a series of postcards painted by water colourist Charles Paine, ARCA, who died ca 1970. They were published at 7 Gorey Pier, St Martin.
She attended the Vingtaine de la Ville meeting on June 11th at which it was agreed that the Francis Street pump would be renovated. Jean Le Capelain's studio was at the top of the Calvados Hotel at 1 Hill Street. After the hotel burnt down the business moved to 24 Hill Street, where the Le Capelain plaque was wrongly placed and later mislaid during renovations. The plaque will go up in its correct position at 1 Hill Street, now part of the States building. The Millais plaque at 6 Royal Crescent will go up soon; the Millais family lived there at the time of the 1841 census. The Vingtaine's records have been deposited with the Jersey Archive.
5.11        Frank Le Blancq has found newspaper reports of the large land sale by Advocate Francois Godfray in 1867, caused by his financial difficulties. About a dozen fiefs were also put up for sale.
5.12        David Levitt is now able to return to his research on sundials.
5.13        Bob Le Sueur said that Victor and Charles Hugo took the photographs of the external staircase at Mont Orgueil Castle in the 1850s.

6.         Date of next meeting

        Tuesday July 15th 2003, 5.15pm. In the Members' Room if available; otherwise in the Arthur Mourant Room