Thursday, 27 August 2015

A.C. Saunders: 1861-1938

A.C. Saunders: 1861-1938

In 2004, at a meeting of the History Section of the Société Jersiaise, George Langlois mentioned that A.C. Saunders gave his father an inscribed set of his four books on Jersey written in the 1930s and that G R. Balleine drew on them for his history of the Bailiwick.

Balleine’s History of Jersey is still in print, but Saunders is largely forgotten – and yet he incorporates details left out by Balleine. Currently I’m working through his Jersey in the 17th century for my blog to make it more widely available.

So who was A.C. Saunders? This obituary comes from the 1939 Annual Bulletin of the Société Jersiaise, Volume 13, pages 435-436, and gives some of his background; like Balleine, he was Honorary Librarian of the Société Jersiaise, a good place for research!

Victoria College also notes him as an entrant for the 1st Term 1875, register entry 1542:

Saunders, Arthur Charles. Son of C.B. Saunders, St Saviour’s Road. Brother of 1543. Afterwards. Avranches College (France) and at King’s College, London. Entered H.M. Customs. Served at Inverness, Ipswich. Collector Lowestoft (1900), Londonberry (1903), Collector Swansea 1908, Collector Portsmouth 1914, Collector Newport 1916. Retired 1921. Living at Cambrian Villa, Beaumont. Librarian of the Société Jersiaise.

A.C. Saunders: 1861-1938, Obituary from Bulletin
Arthur Charles Saunders, Honorary Librarian of the Société Jersiaise, died on June 23rd, 1938.

The son of Mr C B Saunders, whose Caesarea Nurseries, on Mont de La Rosière, St Saviour, were so justly celebrated in Victorian times, he became a pupil at Victoria College in 1875.

His education was continued at the College of Avranches, Departement de la Manche, and completed at King's College, London. He then entered HM Customs and was stationed first at Inverness and later at Ipswich.

On attaining the rank of Collector of Customs, he served at Lowestoft in 1900, Londonderry in 1903, Swansea in 1908, Portsmouth in 1914 and Newport in 1916. During the war he was given the rank of Commander. He sold the family home, Alphington House St Saviour, which he inherited from his father, in 1901.

In 1921 he retired from the service and settled in his native island. He became a member of the Société Jersiaise in 1926 and was elected to the post of Honorary Librarian in 1928.

Mr Saunders' long and active connection with maritime affairs inspired him to study the careers of many eminent Jerseymen who had spent their lives at sea.

Some of the results of his wide researches were embodied in articles written for the local press. Others, as the following list shows, were published in our annual bulletins:

1929 “Charles Robin. Pioneer of the Gaspe Fisheries”
1930 “The Corsairs of Jersey”
1931 “Admiral Philip de Carteret, Seigneur de la Trinite. Circumnavigator of the world, 1766”
1934 “Nicholas le Messurier, Master Mariner”
1939 “Vice Admiral Philip Durell, 1707-1776”
(This article was written early in 1938 but published posthumously).

In addition to all the above, he wrote:

“Jersey in the 18th and 19th centuries” Published by J T Bigwood 1930
“Jersey in the 17th century” Published by J T Bigwood 1931.
“Jersey in the 15th and 16th centuries” Published by J T Bigwood 1933
“Jersey before and after the Norman Conquest of England”. With an introduction by C T Le Quesne, Published privately, 1935
“Jean Chevalier and his Times”. With an introduction by Dr R R Marett. Published privately 1936

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