Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Other Noted Jerseyman of the 17th Century by A.C. Saunders

Some more from A.C. Saunders “History of Jersey in the 17th Century”.

Other Noted Jerseyman of the 17th Century by A.C. Saunders

Among other Jerseymen who distinguished themselves during the 17th Century, we find the names of Philip Le Geyt, Philip Dumaresq, Dr. John Durell, Reverend Philip Falle, and Peter Monamy and others, and short sketches of the careers of these men, will no doubt be interesting to those studying the history of the period.

Philip Le Geyt

Philip Le Geyt was born in the parish of St. Helier, at Mont-a-L'Abbe in the year 1635, and like many other young men at that time he went to study in France, at the Universities of Saumur, Caen and Paris where he showed great promise. Returning to his native Island, his abilities and character were soon recognized, and we find him appointed the Greffier of the Court.

His father had been a Royalist, and was one of those who had sought refuge in Elizabeth Castle with Sir George de Carteret when General Haines landed in Jersey. During the siege, we hear that his house was broken into, and his furniture stolen, and that during Parliamentary rule he had to compound for his estates. Philip was twenty-three years of age at the time of the Restoration, and on the death of his father, he succeeded him as one of the Jurats of the Royal Courts of the Island. In due course he became the Lieutenant Bailiff. 

His judgments were always recognized as those of a learned and just judge, and he has come down to posterity as a great Lawyer whose work " Sur la Constitution, les Lois, et les usages de cette Ile " has in the past been recognized as a standard work by Jersey Lawyers. Le Geyt was much esteemed by his countrymen, and died much regretted on the 31st January, 1710.

Philip Dumaresq
Philip Dumaresq was the son of Henry Dumaresq and his wife Margaret Herault, and became in due course Seigneur of Samares. His father, Henry, had been a great friend of Michael Lemprière, and had followed the fortunes of the Parliament. 

During Sir George Carteret's tenure as Lt. Governor of Jersey, he had been tried, and condemned to be hanged as a traitor and his property confiscated. He had returned to Jersey in 1651, but his son Philip, who was born about the year 1650, did not follow in his father's political footsteps but joined the Navy and eventually became a Captain in His Majesty's Service. He was a great friend of Philip Falle the historian, and just before his death he gave Falle his map of Jersey which he had drawn on a large skin of vellum.

His naval training stood him in good stead when he retired from the Service, for he spent his time in writing a description of the Island with its bays, rocks, currents and possibility of defence. This manuscript was considered of such value that it was treated as a secret document, and Dumaresq presented it to King James II in the year 1685.

Dumaresq was elected a Jurat in 1681, and Sir Edward de Carteret complained that when Sir John Lanier was appointed Governor he became very" acquainted one Philip Dumaresq, otherwise called Saumaresq, which your Majestie doth know that his father was hang'd in Effigie according to our laws as a Traitor, which said Dumaresq gave him such Councell that has caused all our defferences."

In the chapter on Sir John Lanier, we realized that the Bailiff and the Lt. Governor were not getting on very well. They carried their disputes to the Council Chamber in London, where Sir John, supported by his Secretary and Dumaresq, lost their case. Sir John, before Sir John Nicolls (probably Secretary to the Privy Council) said to Sir Edward de Carteret. " You and I will decide this business presently, and took me (Sir Edward) by the hand, and soe down we went to the Court, where he told me we will take a coach and goe to Hide Parke, and coming to Whitehall gate I call'd a coach and opened the door of it, when presently Sir John Lanier, his Secretary and Dumaresq leapt therein and did run away and left me behind."

However no duel was fought. The Lord Chamberlain, hearing of the quarrel, sent first for Sir John, and then for Sir Edward, and forbade them " in His Majie's. name to give noe challenge to anybody nor to receive any."

But whatever Sir Edward had to say about Dumaresq, Falle, in the preface to his history of Jersey, acknowledged the valuable information he had obtained by the perusal of Dumaresq's manuscript on the defence of the Island.

Durell in his notes doubts whether Falle ever saw the manuscript. It was kept as a very confidential record until the time when Admiral D'Auvergne, Duke of Bouillon, was in charge of the naval forces in the Channel Islands, when it was sent to him for his information. The Admiral allowed several copies to be made, and it was considered by those who had the privilege of seeing it, as containing the most valuable and practical suggestions for the defence of the Island.

Dumaresq died quite young, in the year 1690.

Reverend John Durell, D.D.

Another distinguished Jerseyman was the Reverend John Durell, D.D., who belonged to one of the principal families in the Island. He was born in St. Helier in the year 1625.

At the early age of fifteen he was student at Merton College, Oxford, but times were very unsuitable for study, and, when in 1643, the town was besieged by the Parliamentarians, Durell went over to France. On the 8th July, 1644, he took his degree as a Master of Arts, at the University of Caen. From Caen he continued his studies at Saumur, and returning to Jersey in 1647, eventually became Chaplain to Sir George Carteret at Elizabeth Castle.

Evidently Sir George thought much of Durell, for when the Castle was besieged by General Haines, and matters were looking very black for the Royalist cause, he sent his Chaplain to the young King in France, to ask for assistance or instructions as to what should be done. The King could not grant what he had not, and Durell returned to the Castle and told Carteret that the King advised him to surrender on the best terms possible.

So Elizabeth Castle ceased to be a Royalist stronghold, and Durell started on his travels, and after many vicissitudes of fortune, he became Chaplain to the Duke de la Force, father of the Princess of Turenne. He remained there until the restoration, when he returned to London and was appointed to the newly established Episcopal French Church in the Savoy. Durell was a man of great personality backed by considerable ability, and he soon was appointed Chaplain in ordinary to the King, a prebendary of Salisbury Cathedral, a Canon of Windsor, a prebendary of Durham Cathedral, and on the 27th July, 1667, he was installed as Dean of Windsor.

He translated the Book of Common Prayer into French, and by an Order in Council dated 6th October, 1662, it was directed that the book should be used in all the parish churches, and chapels, in the Islands of Jersey, and Guernsey, and the French church at the Savoy. The King gave him authority " to have his booke printed in what place, by whom, and in what volume he shall think fit and forbidding any other to print the same booke."

Here we have a foreshadowing of the Copyright Act, and his prayer book helped to keep his name before his fellow islanders as a great and distinguished Jerseymen. He was reported to have been a man of great learning, and very charming manners, a great courtier, who was held in great favour by those who held high office in the State. He died in the fifty-eighth year of his life, and was buried in one of the chapels at Windsor, and the following inscription can he read on the marble stab over his grave :


Reverend Philip Falle

We now come to a man who was the first known historian of Jersey. He was born in the year 1656, in the parish of St. Helier of a respectable family. At the age of thirteen he was entered at Exeter College, Oxford, and, after obtaining his degree, was ordained in 16 77. Sir John Lanier presented him with the Rectory of Trinity in the year 1681 with the stipend of forty pounds per annum.

His parish work did not prevent him being tutor to the son of the Governor, who in 1689, presented him with the Rectory of St. Saviour, then one of the best paid livings in the Island.

The people of Jersey about this time were very much troubled with rumours about the French preparations to invade their Island, and it was decided to send a deputation to London, to submit to the Privy Council and ask for sufficient forces to be sent to the Islands so that they could repel any possible invasion. The States appointed as their representatives, the Reverend Philip Falle, and Advocate Durell.

Evidently King William was favourably impressed with Falle, for shortly after the deputation had arrived the King appointed Falle one of his Chaplains, and, on the death of Queen Mary, he preached her funeral sermon.

When in 1700 he was appointed a prebendary of Durham, he ceased his connection with Jersey as a member of the States and resigned his living of St. Saviour- He became Rector of Shirley, a very well endowed appointment.

It is said that Falle wrote his history to support the application before the Privy Council from the Royal Court in connection with the possible dangers of invasion, and, for many years, his history was the standard work on the subject. 

It is an extraordinary thing, that living as Falle did, so near those wonderful years when first one side, and then the other was in power, he gives so scant an account of the doings of those days, but he knew his Jersey and her laws, and we are indebted to the historian who first told us the story about our forefathers. 

The first edition of his book was printed in the year 1694, and is now very scarce. In his later years, he remembered his native land, by presenting his collection of books to the States of the Island, and thereby enabled our Jurats to start a public library.

He died on the 7th May, 1742 at the age of eighty-six, after a long and useful life.

Peter Monamy
In the loan exhibition of pictures from the Macpherson Collection held at the Guildhall in London, in the Autumn of 1928, there were no fewer than eight pictures by this Jersey Artist. Among them was one which attracted considerable attention " Sundown, Man of War Saluting." It is a picture of wonderful balance, and the sea, the two men of War and other vessels are very true to life. He painted many vessels belonging to the Navy, and was considered a master in detail.

Peter Monamy was born in Jersey in the year 1670. Early in life his parents moved to London, where the son was apprenticed to a house and sign painter near London Bridge. We do not know how long the apprenticeship lasted but Monamy's attention was evidently fascinated by the movements of vessels passing up and down the River and in his spare time he acquired that knowledge of ships which was to be so useful to him in his after career.

He probably tried his hand at painting ships as they lay at anchor, and thereby earned small sums of money from those masters or owners who wanted pictures of their vessels. He possibly may have watched the Van der Veldes and other marine painters at work. It has been suggested that Monamy was probably a pupil of one of the Van der Veldes, but the elder died when Monamy was only 23 years of age and most probably at that time Monamy was still at work as a house painter.

In the illustration of a picture now in the possession of the Societe Jersiaise, we have a typical specimen of his work. There are several Monamies at Hampton Court, and other collections, and in the Old Vauxhall he was employed in painting scenes depicting Admiral Vernon's victories.

In 1731 his portrait was painted by H. Stully and shows him at 61 to be a man of good appearance and intelligence. However he does not appear to have been a good businessman, or perhaps the prices paid at that time for his pictures did not do more than support him, for, when he died at his house in Westminster in 1749, he was a poor man.

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