History Section

La Société Jersiaise

The History Section

La Section d'l'Histouaithe


Minutes of the meeting held Tuesday July 16 at 5.15pm
Members' Room

1.         Members present :
Jean Arthur, Marie-Louise Backhurst, Don & Jean Bell, Mervyn Billot, Gavin Booth, Bertram Brée, Francis Corbet, Guy Dixon, Roy Dobin, Frank Falle (Chairman), Nelson Fauvel, Mary Gibb, David Le Maistre, Georgia Le Maistre, Bob Le Sueur, David Levitt (these minutes), Bill Tower,.

Mary Billot (Secretary), Sue Hardy, Douglas Hook.

2.        Minutes of the meeting of June 18th 2002 and amendments
4.2 It was Guy Dixon's Grandfather who found the querns at Hougue Mauger. The quern mentioned by Jean Arthur was the upper section of a two part circular quern with a hole to admit the grain and two recesses for the turning handles.
Matters arising from the minutes, not covered by the agenda
        There were none

Chairman's announcements
1.The members' Room has been reserved for the Christmas meeting on December 17th.
2.The Down Your Way Walks were reviving old Jersey customs. For example at Grouville, a bean crock was served. At the most recent walk, in St John's, the blowing of horns for St John's Day/ Midsummer was re-enacted. For St Martin's the walk will take place around Oak Apple Day. There followed a discussion on the Royalist traditions in the Island, particularly with reference to Charles I & II. Frank Falle asked members to let him know of any traditions that should be remembered in this way.
3.The Report on the Radio Carbon Dating of the Horse's tooth from La Hougue Boët was circulated among those present (copy in Société Library). Frank Falle said that the date was a surprise and would require a revision of the interpretation of similar finds in Brittany. There was a general discussion on the Celts and their activities in Armorica and southern Britain.
4.The Sponsor who funded the dating had agreed a grant of £1,000 pa for similar research. Suggestions would be welcome. The next area of research that Frank Falle has in mind is the origin of the querns from La Hougue Mauger. As there seem to be only two pieces, apart from a fragment in the garden wall, which can still be identified as coming from the site Frank will call on Jean Arthur and Guy Dixon to assist. Jean Arthur recalls the site when the present building was constructed and is sure that there was a concrete base. There is little chance of access to the remains of the Hougue.
5.A talk by Prof. Goldstein, funded by the same sponsor, is probable in late January 2003. This will be after publication of the DNA research in Nature. Sir Peter Crill has agreed to introduce the speaker.
6.The Icelandic ambassador is to visit the Island in the autumn and there may be some involvement with the History Section in view of the Viking links.

5         Mont Orgueil
A number of members contributed to a discussion on the seminar arranged by JHT on 5 July and the open meeting in St Martin arranged by FoMO on 15 July. Their main points were:
Mary Gibbs - prefer modern roof and nothing else
Mervyn Billot - would like to see roof and floors for access to spaces, like Tudor Apartments
Gavin Booth - Undercroft below TGH subject to 'rain' of moisture from walls. Not a good idea to re-floor.
Frank Falle - St Martin's meeting interesting. Davison reviewed all commentators and warned that restoration is artificial and action should not be taken too quickly. He considered the castles were given to the States to safeguard for posterity and not to be commercially self-financing.
Francis Corbet - Conserve by making a roof, big difference between that and 'banqueting hall', preservation not jollification.
Bob Le Sueur - Davison did not think a roof was necessary to conserve the granite. The plaster and Caen stone could be preserved in situ. Interpretation could be hampered by flooring; phases could be shown by virtual reality.

Members' contributions
1Bob Le Sueur reminded members of the walk to Icho Tower: Sunday August 11, 2:30pm Le Hocq Slip, do not be late.
2Francis Corbet - St Brelade Book to be 'launched' 15 August.
3Georgia Le Maistre produced Daily Mail Saturday July 6. Article by Ludovic Kennedy, murder trial 1857 in Scotland. Madeleine Smith of Glasgow accused of killing Emile L'Angelier of Jersey. Important case, said Marie-Louise Backhurst, as it was the first 'not proven' verdict.
4Bertram Brée covered matters relating to the proposed visit to Pirou. A form will be drafted and issued with these minutes. A deposit of £60 per person should be made payable to the Société Jersiaise and sent, with the form, to Bertram, who will pass cheques to the Office. The trip is now being advertised outside the History Section.
5Guy Dixon is researching a number of matters at the Land Registry. He is keen to use the Registry as much as possible as the old Registers are going to the Archive at the end of this year where access will not be so easy.
6Nelson Fauvel enjoyed the St John's Down Your Way Walk and will try to find a photo, taken in his grandparent's days, of a man called Barret who climbed the church spire, to adjust the weather vane. His grandparents made a book of places of interest in the parish for use by visitors.
7David Le Maistre, on the subject of traditions, reminded members that today was St Helier's day.
8Marie-Louise Backhurst mentioned two matters
8.1She had a copy of 'Acadie en Résistance - un Abbé Breton au Canada Francais' by Jean Segalen - 2002, which tells of Abbé Jean-Louis le Loutre, born Morloix 1711. He helped Acadians in Canada 1755-1763, was captured by the British and imprisioned in Elizabeth Castle. His betrayer was Thomas Piction, a Frenchman, who changed his name to Tyrell and died in Jersey in 1781, aged about 81. It was mentioned, by Gavin Booth, that a Mr Tyrell was involved in the Battle of Jersey
8.2At the Musée de Circ de Perros-Guirec there is a room dedicated to a Madame Taupin who was arrested in the French Revolution for harbouring two priests. She was sentenced to the guillotine in 1793 by LeRoux, chef of the Tribunal at Lennion. Her widower returned from exile in Jersey and murdered LeRoux to avenge his wife.
9Gavin Booth referred to the Petition organised by George Boiel on 29 March 1871 for the construction of the Elizabeth Castle Breakater.

There was no other business.

8.         Date of next meeting

Tuesday August 20th 2002 at 5.15 pm, in the Members' Room if available otherwise in the Arthur Mourant Room.