History Section


La Société Jersiaise

The History Section


Minutes of the meeting held Tuesday November 21st 2000 at 5.15pm
Members' Room

1. Members present :

Jean Arthur, Marie-Louise Backhurst, Mary Billot (Secretary), Gavin Booth, Derek Gray, Douglas Hooke, Sally Knight, Frank Le Blancq (new member), David Le Maistre (Chairman), Georgia Le Maistre, Bob Le Sueur, David Levitt, John & Rosemary Speller.

Apologies : Mervyn Billot, Bertram Bree, Francis & Anne Corbet, Roger de Carteret, John Denize, Sarah Jordan, Geraint Jennings, Reg Jeune, Alec Podger.

2. Minutes of the meeting of October 17th 2000 and amendments.
There were no amendments.

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

5.2 The SJ bulletin for 2000 is now available for collection from the Office.

5.5 The proposed field tour to Dinan with Prof. Meirion-Jones has attracted twenty-three names to date. Please let Mary Billot know if you are interested even though the maximum number for comfort has probably been reached. History Section members have priority.

5.7 The Jersey Heritage Trust lists of donations to the SJ for 2000 have been received for circulation.

4. Chairman's announcements

David Le Maistre attended the Chairmen's and Secretaries meeting on November 6th 2000. Points of interest were :

. Mike Day (JHT) made a presentation on Mont Orgueil Castle. The Dixon/Kennedy report is expected in December 2000. Work on the controversial areas has been suspended. The mediaeval Great Hall will be re-roofed in the spring 2001 (not to be confused with the Tudor Great Hall).
. The questionnaire sent to all members in the Spring 2000 mailing was discussed.
. The Millennium building project is nearing completion.
. The SJ/National Trust for Jersey joint meeting on October 19th 2000 was very useful.

SJ History Section lunch time lectures, 1.15pm, Members' Room :

Wednesday November 22nd : Jean Arthur with an historical miscellany illustrated by slides.
Wednesday November 29th : Alec Podger on Living in precarious times, Jersey 1300-1450.

SJ Members' meetings :

Wednesday November 22nd at 8pm : Dr A. Hill on the minerals of Jersey.
Thursday November 23rd at 8pm : SJ EGM
Saturday December 2nd at 11am : Dr John Renouf on the effects of climatic changes around the CI in geological time.

5 Members' contributions

5.1 Marie-Louise Backhurst reported on the three SJ Millennium History awards for 2001; they went to Dr Mercer (Jersey resources in the Public Record Office), Mr Petts (Jersey stone cross-slabs) and Dr Willmot (sheltering Russian slave labourers during German Occupation). [For details see minute book].

She also commented on the celebrations for 1204. Not much of significance occurred at that time, especially at Mont Orgueil. It took years of consolidation before Philip Augustus gained complete control of Normandy. Eustace the Monk (ca 1170-1217) transferred allegiance to the French Crown in 1212. The Channel Islands were in a political vacuum, as the Duchy of Normandy no longer existed. The key date is when the seigneurs swore fealty to the English Crown rather than to France; Dr Mercer, our new PRO contact, will be able to help. The Treaty of Lambeth (1259) is more significant.

5.2 Frank Falle is the local contact for University College London research on genetics and the Viking population in England. Prof. Goldstein is the project leader and the CI will be included in the genetic footprint. Frank has checked the surnames in the Extente of 1331 to find male representation (the Y chromosome) in the same parishes today. Sally Knight has received an e-mail enquiry on Anquetil (also a Viking name) which can be traced back to 500 AD.

Frank also reported that Dr Barbara Crawford (University of St Andrews) is researching the association between Vikings and churches with the patronal name of St Clement. The saint is the patron of sailors and trade.

5.3 Bob Le Sueur commented on Pearl Vardon, a local pro-Nazi who went to Germany in 1944. She later married a German and returned there after a period of imprisonment in England. [Details in Library].

5.4 Sally Knight circulated published documents on the dismal conditions in the signal stations, especially La Moye. It was the subject of pathetic letters written by a signaller to the Governor in 1883. [Details in Library].

5.5 Jean Arthur circulated two albums of photographs of Château des Roches, St Brelade, taken about 1980 before demolition. It was the residence of General Boulanger in 1890/1 before he committed suicide in Brussels in September 1891. Joan Stevens and Jean Arthur examined the house before it was demolished.

5.6 Gavin Booth reported further on James Boielle and his publications (History of Haiti, French-English dictionary still in print in 1932). He also pointed out that Edward Paisnel is now being listed with serial killers in a US publication, though in fact he did not kill anyone.

5.7 John Speller is researching Fort Henry for the Grouville parish millennium book.

5.8 Frank Le Blancq reported his interests : the Cort family (ship owners) who emigrated to Buffalo, New York; severe weather occurrences before 1900. He also scans newspapers and spots information on the Grandins for Georgia Le Maistre.

5.9 Georgia Le Maistre circulated a postcard from David Le Maistre's collection. It is a view of Chillon Castle, near Montreux and was taken by Philip Henry Grandin, Jersey. She is investigating.

6 Any other business
There was no other business.

7. Date of next meeting

Tuesday December 19th 2000 at 5.15 pm, Arthur Mourant Room, 3rd floor
Christmas gathering with party pieces and seasonal refreshments