History Section


La Société Jersiaise

The History Section


Minutes of the meeting held Tuesday December 19th 2000 at 5.15pm

Members' Room

1. Members present :

Mary Billot (Secretary), Gavin Booth, Sally Coffin, Roger de Carteret, John & Pam Denize, Guy Dixon, Frank Falle, Nelson Fauvel, Derek Gray, Sue Hardy, Sally Knight, Geraint Jennings, Nicolas Jouault, Frank Le Blancq, David Le Maistre (Chairman), Georgia Le Maistre, Bob Le Sueur, David Levitt, Alec Podger, Pauline Taylor.

Apologies : Jean Arthur, Marie-Louise Backhurst, Gerald France, Douglas Hooke, Sarah Jordan, David Levitt, John & Rosemary Speller.

2. Minutes of the meeting of November 21st 2000 and amendments.

Sally Knight's name had been omitted from the list of those present.

5.2 Marie-Louise Backhurst wished that the minute on the 1204 celebrations be expanded. Not much of significance occurred at that time apart from King John's loss of Normandy. How much direct impact did that loss have on Jersey at that time? Eustace the Monk succeeded in retaking Jersey in his third raid (1215) having changed allegiance from England to France in 1212. The Treaty of Lambeth (1259) may be more significant.

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

3.5.5 Prof. Meirion-Jones wishes to book the mini-bus but would like the Section to make hotel arrangements. No costs have been made yet.

5.2 Frank Falle has 25 samples from people; another 75 are needed. [UCL letter with minutes].

4. Chairman's announcements

David Le Maistre thanked the four lecturers at the Section's Autumn 2000 series of lectures. In response to an enquiry he said that they are not published in the Bulletin; however the Library has a copy of Alec Podger's paper.

The calendar for the 2001 meetings will be sent out with the December 2000 minutes. In response to Georgia Le Maistre's enquiry about the new venue (the Arthur Mourant Room on the 3rd floor), David will ask about evening access to the SJ corridor from the Weighbridge for those with impaired mobility.

5 Members' contributions

5.1 Geraint Jennings has redesigned the Section's web pages and has added some information on Guy Fawkes. He is happy to receive contributions in MS Word.

5.2 Gavin Booth is to address the CI Occupation Society on January 9th 2001 on his father's wartime experiences.

5.3 Guy Dixon reported on his project to establish the number of people that one person might know in St Peter; his example is Marie Le Brocq (1784-1868) of The Yews, St Peter. She appears to have been related to all her contacts and none lived further east than Waterworks Valley. In response to an enquiry, he commented on first cousin marriages, which are legal and can take place in Church. He said that such marriages reproduced defects and reinforced good genes. Sue Hardy said that there was a Le Brocq village in the French Pyrenees. She also pointed out that new blood was brought in by inter-marriage with members of the British Garrison.

5.4 Frank Falle said that 95% of Viking names were found in the west of Jersey (1331 Extente). He also reported on animals 'à banon'(stray animals). Enclosures were regulated after the loss of common land and stray animals were put up for auction if the owner was unable to pay the fines. Martin de Gruchy (1666-1720), Jersey's first Notary Public, made notes on the subject.

5.5 Frank Le Blancq said that the CIFHS has now published the 2nd edition of The de Gruchys of Jersey by Walter Le Quesne & Guy Dixon. Guy Dixon said that part of the index was faulty, having been submitted in A4 format but published in A5 format.

5.6 Sally Coffin linked the Brocks of Guernsey and Canada with the Le Brocqs of Jersey. Guy Dixon said that the Guernsey Brocks might originally have come from Jersey via Sark in the 16th century.

5.7 Nicolas Jouault is recording fish strandings (particularly of the 19th century) and wants more information. Syvret's Chroniques de Jersey records 87 porpoises stranded in Grouville Bay (late 16th century). There are arches made from whale bones in Jersey (Vinchelez Lane arch of jaw bones).

5.8 Sally Knight said that the Gosselin crest featured a negro's head in profile (Payne's Armorial). Geraint Jennings said that a moor's head was an emblem used by North European traders as St Maurice was the patron saint of trade.

5.9 Alec Podger said that the database of the Friends of the Maritime Museum revealed some interesting gaps in seamens' careers. They returned to sea because of the agricultural depression in the 1850s and 1860s. Shipyards were closing down in the 1860s so shipwrights, carpenters, sail and rope makers also had to go back to sea.

5.10 Bob Le Sueur recalled the shipwreck of the steamer Rossgull of Plymouth (5/12/1900) off La Corbière. A sailor, George Misson, was one of those who drowned, within sight of his home at the Highlands Hotel.

6. Any other business

Four members had prepared Christmas party pieces. These were :

Gavin Booth : The origin of 'For he's a jolly good fellow'

Nick Jouault : A contested claim to valour in December 1867

David Le Maistre : Early 20th century Christmas cards

Bob Le Sueur : A cautionary tale

7. Date of next meeting

Tuesday January 16th 2001 at 5.15 pm, Arthur Mourant Room, 3rd floor

Please note the new venue