Friday, 21 June 2013

The Suspension and Re-instatement of Bailiff Herault

Something historical today. Here is an extract from "Jersey in the 17th century" (1931),  by A.C. Saunders. There is a lot of social history in Saunders, which throws up some quirky details that are often overlooked in the history of Jersey.
A few notes on legal terms.
"Moiety" is a legal term meaning "one half"
"Deodand" is a legal term derived from Deo dandum, to be given to God; and is used to designate the instrument, whether it be an animal or inanimate thing, which has caused the death of a man.
The Suspension and Re-instatement of Bailiff Herault
By A.C. Saunders
In the last chapter attention was called to Bailiff Herault's petition to the King. In August, 1622, Herault is still detained in London, and, in writing to secretary Calvert, he points out that he " cannot be justly charged with injustice or corruption ; the chief persons of the country have attested his fidelity. Is reproached with being poor and irritable but his poverty has never led him to a base act, nor irritability to violence. Begs that if he is to resign, that he may do it with honour, and have his pension assigned on some sure ground."
Then on the 15th March, 1624, he again writes to the secretary : " My debts and necessities compel me to sue to you. I have been always ready to resign my place so that my reputation might be spared, having given no just cause of offence and executed my office well. I should not be condemned without being heard." He understood that Sir William Parkhurst had been appointed Bailiff in his place.
But prior to that the King issued an Order from Whitehall, dated 13th January. 1624, to the justices of Jersey and to Sir John Peyton, in which it was stated that a Commission had been appointed to enquire into the charges against the late Bailiff-, and, as long-as his patent is in force, they are directed to pay him his pension and allowances.
On the 23rd February, 1624, Sir John Peyton writes to Secretary Conway that he cannot wait upon him about the fees due to Mr. Herault as he is lame and seventy-nine years of age, and that part of the fees had been paid to Sir William Parkhurst, " whom I have never seen," and that he had made six voyages " between Jersey and England about Church discipline, that his salary is only four hundred pounds a year, less than former governors, that he had sold land worth four hundred pounds a year and am still four thousand pounds in debt and finally that he has nine grandchildren to provide for."
Hugh Lempriere, the Bailiff's Lieutenant, and four Justices stated that they had ordered Jean Maret and Jean Bisson, the King's Receivers in Jersey, to pay the arrears and wages of the Bailiff to John Durell, his Procureur, but Maret said he is willing to pay all arrears up to Midsummer 1621, but since then all moneys due have been paid to the Governor. Herault was absent from the Island and the Lieutenant-Bailiff had died, so on the 28th April, 1624, Sir Philip de Carteret calls attention to the unsatisfactory state of affairs. Sir John Peyton was directed to pay Herault his arrears of wages and fees, but he points out on the 5th May, 1624, that he had previously been ordered to pay them to the new Bailiff, Sir William Parkhurst, but evidently the secretary was not satisfied, for he, on the 7th May, ordered Sir John to pay Mr. Herault all wages and fees which he had not paid to Sir William Parkhurst and to continue the said payments until the decision of the Commission on the suspension of the Bailiff had been given. He intimated that the Commissioners had to enquire also into the reason for his " sequestration from office."
Evidently the tide was turning in the Bailiff's favour and on the- 18th August, 1624,- the council gave their decision : " His Majesty finding no matter of charge against the Bailiff and holding it not suitable to remove an officer without sufficient cause is pleased that John Herault be restored to the office of Bailiff with all perquisites, and that the arrears due since his sequestration be forthwith paid to him."
But the Bailiff had great difficulty in getting his arrears of wages and fees paid. Maret and Bisson appealed to the King that they had already paid part of the fees to Sir William Parkhurst, but by order of the 10th October, 1624, the Receivers were ordered without further delay or subterfuges to pay the said pension and arrears, and to give pledges for their so doing.
So Herault, fully re-instated, returned to Jersey and was re-introduced into the Assembly of States by the Seigneur of Trinite, the Rector of St. Helier and M. de la Hague amidst the acclamation of the members. They were glad to see him back notwithstanding his autocratic methods, for they realized that with him as Bailiff the laws of the Island would be upheld with justice. He was not afraid to assert the dignity of his office and when Mons. de Rosel insulted the Chair, the Bailiff ordered him to be made prisoner and sent to the Castle until he confessed his error and asked for pardon.
But Herault did not live long to enjoy his victory for he died in          1626 at his home in St. Saviour's, very much respected by the people. He died a poor man and no monument has been erected to his memory. Very little is known about him personally except his fight against the tyranny of the Military Governors, and the reputation he has left behind as a just and good Bailiff. He was well acquainted with the laws of the land, and even to this day some of the laws are very difficult to understand. The lawyers were not always very well educated and we hear of a petition of Sir Philip de Carteret to the Council calling attention to the legal confusion and ignorance which had arisen in the preparation of deeds by some of the lawyers practising in those days.
On 10th July,   1620, the Privy Council gave a decision which throws considerable light on the question of " Deodand."
Mr. John Baillehache was the owner of a certain barque which was in need of overhauling and so the vessel was drawn up on the shore to be " calked and shoread." Unfortunately the vessel fell on one side and falling on two of the workmen " slewe them."
The matter came before the Court and adjudged a Deodand (a thing forfeited to God for the pacifying of his wrath) and Baillehache was condemned to lose one moiety of the Barque. Baillehache evidently considered that he had been unfairly treated as he was not responsible for the accident, caused possibly through the carelessness of the workmen. He appealed to the Privy Council and they gave judgment that the whole ship was forfeited and that the " said Baillehache who hath carried himself with some obstinence and pervers in the persecution of the case do pay unto the King for his charges the sum of thirty pounds stirling."
So Mr. Baillehache not only lost his ship and his money but was provided with a grievance to comfort him for the rest of his days.
In 1608 the States passed an Act dealing with knitting and it was approved by the Privy Council.
" Forasmuch as one cause of the scarcity of corn arises from the neglect of agriculture because the landowners cannot procure assistance at the time of tilling and because many persons strong and in good health, dispising the labour of the field, employ themselves in the knitting of stockings whilst others choose rather to beg than to work. For this reason knitting and such employment in the Island be laid aside at vraic and harvest time by every person above fifteen years of age under pain of confiscation of the knitting found in their hands at such time and they are condemned to aid the husbandmen at the seasons mentioned receiving the current wages under pain of such punishment as shall be awarded by the Court. "
" As to beggars they are forbidden to wander out of their own parish under pain of being punished as vagabonds and it is enjoined that none be permitted to beg who are able to work and only such as are authorised by the Connetable and other respectable persons of the parish in conformity with the ordinances established."
We might learn a lesson from our forefathers in their decision that none should be allowed to beg who are able to work, but the times are changing and recent discussions in Parliament tend towards making the pay of the non-worker better than that earned by the honest independent man.

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