History Section

La Société Jersiaise

The History Section

La Section d'l'Histouaithe


Minutes of the Meeting held on Tuesday October 15th 2002 at 5.15pm
Members' Room

Members present :
Mary Billot (Secretary), Mervyn Billot, Gavin Booth, Bertram Brée, Francis Corbet, Roy Dobin, Frank Falle (Chairman), Nicolas Jouault, Bob Le Sueur, Georgia Le Maistre, Rosemary Mesch, Bill Tower.
Apologies :
Jean Arthur, Marie-Louise Backhurst, Anne Corbet, John & Pam Denize, Sue Hardy, Frank Le Blancq, David Le Maistre, David Levitt, Alec Podger.

Minutes of the meeting of September 17th 2002, and amendments
The vingtaine of St Nicolas is in St Peter, not St John.
To RAF personnel = Two RAF personnel shot down on December 7th 1942.

Matters arising from the minutes not covered by the agenda
Francis Corbet said that boundary stones usually show parish limits; however a stone on La Grande Route de La Haule bears the initials 'St L[awrence]'and 'St N[icolas]' the adjoining St Peter vingtaine.
Frank Falle said that he had also seen vingtaine boundary stones; there is one in St Saviour (St Mannelier) on La Rue du Château Clairval. The names came into use ca 1200. King John would not have wanted a leper colony (on Mont St Nicolas) opposite Mont Orgueil, with the danger of the garrison being infected. Its removal to St Peter was funded by revenue from the mills; the vingtaine took its name from the leper colony, not the other way round.
Oak Apple Day & birthday of Charles II (May 29th) - Georgia La Maistre said that the Boscobel House Royal Oak was revered because it sheltered Charles II after the Battle of Worcester (1651). [Actually it is said to have grown from one of the acorns from a tree in which Charles took refuge!]. Frank said that May 29th was a public holiday until the 1850s and a service of thanksgiving was in the Book of Common Prayer until the 1830s.
Georgia attended the St Helier Vingtaine de la Ville meeting on September 18th. Topics on the agenda were -
  • Improvement of the Allix shipyard site - refurbishment has been costed
  • Lease of the Francis St pump with the Parish of St Helier - the parish has offered a ten-year lease. Renewal of such a lease is to be negotiated. The pump needs renovation and considerable investment
  • Deposit of the Vingtaine's records with the Jersey Archive - agreed
  • Development of a website - see www.vingtaine.org
  • Georgia has been asked to research whether Sir John Millais actually ever lived in Jersey as a child (ca 1833-37 when aged four to eight). The owner of No.6 Royal Crescent believes that he lived there. Rosemary Mesch said that a painting in the Museum depicts a house where he lived. Gavin Booth said that the renaming of Rouge Rue to Mont Millais coincided with the 1929 centenary of his birth.

Chairman's announcements
  1. Frank Falle said that the visit to Normandy was a great success; the group visited Pirou Castle, the Abbaye de Hambye, the Tancrède de Hauteville Museum and the Church of St Helier at Bréville. Bertram Brée was congratulated on his hard work in making the arrangements and his splendid simultaneous translations from French into English. The experts at the University of Sicily believe that the Vikings raided Pirou from Jersey.
  2. Frank said that the SJ Newsletter would be sent out next week. He will introduce the lunch-time lectures on Radio Jersey on October 16th.
  3. The SJ Library has a manuscript on approval for £450; it is an anonymous account of a Frenchman's view of Jersey, 1855. The Library is deciding whether to buy it.
  4. Frank has received a document from Colin Platt on 'Who built the Somerset Tower?'
  5. He has found interesting objects whilst clearing Le Vallon, Grouville, a Falle property for 150 years. These include a red-legged partridge in a case (ca 1860s) and some promissory notes issued by the Vingtaine de Mont au Prêtre in order to raise money.

Members' contributions
  1. Bob Le Sueur will not be able to illustrate his lunch-time lecture on Icho Tower; the poor weather and lack of time prevented him from taking new slides.
  2. Georgia Le Maistre circulated the October 2002 issue of Family tree magazine, which includes a feature by Colin Dean on CI migration. It also had an article on a Mrs Lemprière who died whilst trying to save her child's life (23/1/1855).
  3. She attended the recent Maillard's sale and reported that the Tony Watton (of Studio 18) collection on the Ecréhous was sold for £610. She thought it a pity that it has remained in private ownership as it was a definitive collection of material. Photographs of Jersey views and people fetched £580. The SJ was present at the sale but both lots went for more than its budget.
  4. Georgia reported on the opening of the new Local Studies Room on the first floor of the Jersey Library (Monday and Thursday mornings in term time).
  5. Gavin Booth has had a letter from Brian Ahier Read (Jersey Society in London) about Brian's uncle. During the German Occupation an advert appeared in The Times asking Old Victorians to meet at a London restaurant. This was initiated by an Intelligence Officer who asked for photos of the Jersey coastline. Gavin said that his father did a reconnaissance of the La Cotte headland in September 1940. He asked that perhaps anyone going to the PRO at Kew could check Naval Reconnaissance records.
  6. Roy Dobin has had a letter from Mme Denize Veron-Hambye, a Norman-French speaker and author, whom the group met at Pirou Castle. He congratulated Bertram on his translations for the Pirou group.
  7. Nick Jouault is researching the laws and customs of vraic for a Breton enquirer who has contacted him. Bob said that he knows the location of the vraic marks. This could be an interesting topic for a future lunch-time lecture.
  8. Francis Corbet said that Ken Renault was still in hospital; his daughter Gillian is indexing his book on the CI Co-operative Society. Frank will take Ken's place at the next CIFHS meeting on October 28th to talk about La Hougue Boëte.
  9. Bertram showed his slides from the Pirou visit and gave background information on the sites visited.

Any other business
There was no other business.

Date of next meeting

Tuesday November 19th 2002, 5.15pm, Members Room if available, otherwise Arthur Mourant Room.


Members will be saddened to hear of the death of Roger de Carteret on October 15th, aged 57, after a long illness. He was our Correspondence Secretary for several years. We shall miss his genial company and his informative contributions at our meetings.
Condolences have been sent to his wife and family and Section members will attend his funeral at St Peter's Church on October 22nd.