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Lists of the Rectors of the Island of Jersey; Rectors of Grouville (1342-1733)

Bulletin Societe Jersiase 1912: Article by JA Messervy,
(translation by AM Bellows)

c -1342 Sire Nicholas Fabre

This parish priest is the earliest of those traced for this parish. He had died either in or before 1342, as emerges from a document printed in the "Ancient Petitions of the Chancery and Exchequer" (Special Publication of Societe Jersiase, 1902). The Church of St Martin of Grouville (which was once the same title as that of the parish, to distinguish it from its neighbour, St Martin the Old) was found to be empty upon the death of Sire Nicholas Fabre, the benefice being granted, by the Holy Office, to Sire Jean Chevalier, from the time when Thomas de Ferriers was Warden of the Islands. In times of peace, the right of nomination of the Parish Rectors of Grouville belonged to the Abbot of Lessay, and the benefice fetched 40 pounds per year at this time.

1342 Sire Jean Chevalier

It seems that he was appointed in a time of war between England and France by Thomas de Ferriers, Warden of the Islands, on the recommendation of the Holy Office.

1343-—Sire Johan Russel——-

Introduced to the benefice of Grouville on 5th August 1343 by Thomas de Hampton, Warden of the Islands, in the name of King Edward III (Close Rolls, 17 E(3w. Ill, memb. 83).

1348- Sire Thomas de Aldham

Appointed by King Edward III, 1st March 1348 (Patent Rolls, 22 Edw. Ill, Part I, memb. 20)

1359- Sire Johan Olyver

Chaplain. Appointed 10th October 1359.

c1490- Maitre Jean Dolbel (or Dollebel)

c1505 This Rector, whose name appears in many documents on the subject of the establishment of Schools of St Mannellier etc. 1496 and 1497, was dead before the 26th May 1505. He is probably the same Maitre Jean Dolbel who had been Chaplain of the manorial chapel of St Thomas, at Longueville (ASJB 1889, p. 427).

1505-17 Maitre Anthoine Mallet

Appointed by the Bishop of Coutances on the 26th May 1505, on the recommendation of the nobleman Hugh Vaughan, Governor of Jersey. Maitre Anthoine Mallet, of the Parish of Grouville, has been admitted to the orders of Sub-Deacon and Deacon at Coutances, on the 27th February 1495-6, and to the priesthood on the 23rd September 1496. On the 1st November 1517, the Bishop of Coutances gave him a licence or permission to go "to study for three years" (probably at an University) and the same day, Sire Thomas Le Gros, Priest, was appointed Curate to serve the Parish in the absence of the Rector. Sire Anthoine Mallet died towards 1532. Richard Mallet (Jure-Justicier) was his main heir.

Maitre Thomas de Soulemont

This ecclesiastic is mentioned as Rector of St Martin de Grouville in a letter of Pierre Vanne, Latin Secretary to King Henry VIII, and Collector and Ecclesiastical Receiver-General. That letter, dated the 5th February 1533, gave Maitre Thomas de Soulemont a certain exemption. Thomas de Soulemont was made French Secretary to Henry VIII at same time.

On 13th September 1541, John de Soulemont came into the estate of Maitre Thomas de Soulemont (Heritage I, part 2, fo. 126).

On 30th June 1546, Sire Thomas Le Gros attended a session of the States as "Curate of the Parish Priest of Grouville", but the name of the Parish Priest is not known to us; it was perhaps already Sire Jacques Chevalier.

Sire Jacques Chevalier

Mentioned as Rector of Grouville together with the names of Martin Jutize, Connetable, and Johan Payn, son of Charles, Procureur de Bien Public, in a manuscript dating from 1550.

His name appears again in the spring of 1576-7, and was then in connection with another Jacques Chevalier who was doubtless one of his parents.

-1577-80 M. Mathieu de la Faye

Master of the Wine. At first. Minister of St Lo,, he took refuge in Jersey in 1568. If 1580, he returned to France, but was forced to take refuge in Jersey for a second time in 1585, and became Rector of Grouville,

c1580-1583 M. Martin Chrestien (called Bonespoir)

Refugee who came to Jersey during persecutions. An Act of the Assembly of 12th September 1583 tells that "M. de Bonespoir moved from Grouville to St Brelade."

1583-1585 M. Edouard Herault

Rector of St Clement for many years, he was appointed to serve the Parish of Grouville as well by an extraordinary Act of the Assembly. He became Rector of St Helier in 1587.

1587-96 M. Thomas Olivier

"Received into the Ministry", and "dropped" on Grouville by the Lieutenant-Governor (Act of the Assembly of 15th July 1587). On 26th March 1596, he-was appointed Rector of St Helier. But he promised to "come to the Parish of Grouville close to St Michel" so that the church there would not remain "bereft of a minister" •

The Assembly of 17th September 1596 ordered M. Faultrart (Rector of St Martin from 1587) to "come to the need of the Church of Grouville until further notice." On 24th June 1597, the Assembly asked him to continue at Grouville as the Church of Grouville had demanded an incumbent.

At the session of the Assembly on 2nd September 1597, the "Elders" of Grouville declared "to have a particular liking for M. Jean Pinel". Eventually, on 23rd June 1598, after having observed that M. Jean Pinel had "been suggested for a long time", the Assembly appointed him Minister of the Church of Grouville, and ordered that M. Faultrart give "laying on of hands" to him.

1598-1620 M. Jean Pinel

Son of Clement Pinel of St John.

By Act of 17th December 1593, the States noted that the Governor had promised to meet alone "some son of Clement Pinel" who was fresh from his studies.

In September 1602, M. Jean Pinel was "lent" for 3 months to the Churches of Guernsey, who were lacking in ministers, and had, on many occasions, asked the States of Jersey "to rescue them by a charitable theft of one of the ministers of the Assembly." M. Olivier Gruchy was appointed to serve the Church of Grouville in the absence of its Rector. Several times after this, M. Pinel was ordered to serve other Parishes in the absence of their respective Rectors - for example, St Clement (9th April 1605 and 23rd September 1614), St Martin (28th March 1606).

M. Jean Pinel married Susan Romeril, daughter and co-heiress of M. Jean Romeril, Advocate of the Royal Court. He died in January 1620 (or 1621) and was buried in Grouville on the 26th of that month. His widow married M. Helier Faultrart, Rector of St Martin, in 1623.

In passing, let us note that Jean Pinel, elder son of the Rector, was also married to a Romeril.

M. Jean Pinel, Rector of Grouville, had taken from Francois Amy, by contract of 12th January 1611-12, for the term of his life, a house located near Grouville Church "to the West of the Church cemetery" (Register, Book 4, fo. 245). Was this house located or the same place as today's Rectory?

c1623 -45 M. Elie de la Place

Son of M. Pierre de la Place, Rector of St Ouen. He seemed at first to be destined for a military career.

He became Seigneur of the fiefs of Anneville, Everard and Lempriere, by Royal Licence dated 12th January, and in consideration of the sum of 4335 pounds per annum paid by him to the Receiver.

He had a large enough fortune by the standards of his day, but suddenly had, as a chronicler says, "some large and widespread losses, and had provided 2000 francs for King Charles II.'

However, he left a fortune of 100 quarters of froment of rente (Journal d'Elie Brevint).

On 13th March 1627-8, M. Jean Payn leased to M. Elie de la Place, Rector of Grouville, and -to those holding the benefice after him, a small herb garden, located in Grouville, on the fief of the King, and joined to a Church house, alongside the cemetery of the that Parish. In this contract, there is also mentioned the "Champ des Alleurs", located very near, and forming part of the same benefice (Registre des Contrats, Livre 8, fo. III).

He was a zealous partisan of the cause of monarchy; nevertheless, he kept close to his son in law, Philip de Carteret (brother of St George) so that he returned Mont Orgueil Castle on the arrival of the Parliamentarians, in October 1651 (Chevalier MS).

In 1645, M. de la Place became Rector of St Martin, but became Rector of Grouville again in 1652.

1646-47 M. Pierre Payn

Elder son of Jean Payn of St Ouen, he went to study in England. We find, in the Journal of Elie Brevint, entered for 1635: "Pierre, son of Jean Payn of St Ouen, stayed for some time in London and is at present at Cambridge, at Emmanuel College."

He only became Rector of Grouville for "three quarters of a year" and was buried in the Parish Church on 26th June 1647 as is indicated by the Registers of St Martin! His will, dated 22nd —June 1647, was presented to the Royal Court towards the 24th July 1647, by Philip de Carteret and M. Elie de la Place, executors of the will (Ex. 48). A short time after, this will was revoked by Marguerite Payn, sister and principal beneficiary of the deceased.

1648-52 M. Daniel Brevint, M.A.

"Fellow of Jesus College Oxford."

Born in St John in 1617, he was the son of Daniel Brevint, Rector of St John.

It is notable that for about two years, the father and the son were Rectors of Parishes at the same time. Brevint ceased to be Rector of Grouville at some time in 1652; then he clearly left Jersey, and lived in France for several years. After the Restoration of Charles II, he settled in England, and became, in January 1681-2, Dean of Lincoln, where he died in 1695, aged 78.

For fuller details on this distinguished Jerseyman, who married one of the daughters of the famous Philip de Carteret, see the Article on him in the Bulletin of 1910.

Let us add that, during his lifetime, he gave a quarter of the froment of rente to the poor of Grouville (see the Journal of Elie Brevint, 1662).

1652-1660 M. Elie de la Place

Seigneur of Anneville etc. (The same as above). Became Rector of St Martin from 1645-51 (see Bulletin 1913). It is notable that from 1653 to 1660, there were three Rectors of the name of "de la Place" - at Grouville, Trinity and St Mary.

Although Royalist, he nevertheless kept his pastoral duties in Jersey; however, Pierre d'Assigny, returning with the Parliamentarians towards the end of 1651, was appointed to the important Parish of St Martin. M. de la Place was newly appointed to Grouville, where he stayed in charge until his death.

He married twice. First, Jeanne Dagobert and after her death, Jeanne du Bois, who died in 1652 and was buried at Grouville.

His only daughter (of his first wife) Marie de la Place, was born at Grouville in 1623, and married, in 1642, Philip de Carteret, younger brother of George.

M. Elie de la Place died in 1660 "at a great old age" and was interred in the Church of Grouville on 9th October. According to the Journal of Elie Brevint, "the Rental drawn up by Matthew Dore after the death of M. Elie de la Place showed 100 quarters of froment in annual revenue. The books were carelessly kept for the last years of his life."

1660-72 M- Francois Le Couteur

Brother of Deans Philip and Clement Le Couteur. He had been Rector of St Helier from 1657-60, and became Rector of St Martin in 1672 (Bulletin 1913).

1672-93 M. Josue Pallot

He had previously been Rector of St Clement, both from 1643-52 and from 1660-72. For more detailed information of him, see Bulletin of 1913. He married at the first wedding Marguerite, daughter of Jean Aubin of Grouville; from this marriage there were, amongst other children, a son Josue, born in 1647, who became Captain of the Parish of Grouville and died a year before his father, in November 1692.

The Rector was married a second time to Rachel, daughter of Nicolas Journeaux of St Saviour. She died in January 1694 or 1695 and was interred in the Church of St Saviour. He died in October 1693, and was buried at Grouville on the 6th of that month.

1693-1733 M. Jean Lempriere

He was, we believe, the son of M. Hugh Lempriere, and descended from the Lemprieres who were Seigneurs at Augres, Trinity.

At the "Visit of the Presbytery" of Grouville, which took place on 19th April 1694, the heirs of M. Josue Pallot asked from M. Jean Lempriere, the new Rector, "the press, the block and the millstones."