Friday, 5 February 2016

Guide Book: St. Saviour.

St. Mannelier School

The 1834 Guide Book mentions the school of St Mannielier, St Saviour, in decline but still open. So where was it and what do we know about it?

In 1477 a report to the Island's first Governor, Sir Richard Harliston, stated that there were no good schools in the island and no suitable premises. He offered some land adjoining the Chapel of St Mannelier in his parish and promised to build a house for the Master, with a field as an endowment to finance the school. The school was duly built, and attendance at the school was free, even for boarders, winter and summer lessons lasted from 6 am to 6 pm, and it was a grammar school, which meant the teaching of Latin grammar.

The decline in the two grammar schools after the opening of Victoria College left the States with a dilemma. Could St Mannelier and St Anastase continue, or should they be closed and the funds diverted elsewhere? In 1864 a committee was appointed to consider the options, but four years later no conclusion had been reached.

On 29 February 1868 the committee came to the States with a re-commendation that the schools be closed and that Mr. Mallet be given a pension of £80 for life and Mr. Poingdestre one of £45. The matter was hotly debated and finally the Rector of St. Mary proposed an amendment instructing the committee to try again to see if they couldn't make the schools succeed. This was carried by 14 votes to 13 whereupon several members of the Committee resigned.

The British Press and Jersey Times in a leading article advocated the closing of these schools and the use of the balance of their revenue, after compensating the two Regents, to provide scholarships to Victoria College for boys who could not otherwise afford the fees. This suggestion was finally adopted in 1919.

Today its endowments provide bursaries to send boys to its victorious rival. The old schoolroom is now a tomato-box store. But the name lives on in the St. Mannelier & St. Anastase Medal for top marks in the Entrance Examination at Victoria College, and in La Rue De St Mannelier, St Saviour.

Quirky facts:

Regent: The usual mediaeval title in France for a schoolmaster, given in Jersey to the Headmasters of the Grammar Schools of St. Anastase and St. Mannelier.

Guide Book: St. Saviour.

St. Saviour.—The Government House is in this parish on the left, on ascending the hill from the Town, and is occupied by the Lieutenant Governor.

In ancient and more turbulent times these officers principally resided in either Mont Orgueil or Elizabeth castle, and in latter times some house has generally been granted to them. When the Island was invaded by Rullecourt in 1781, La Motte house was the seat of the Lieutenant Governor, and it was there that Major Corbet was taken prisoner.

Since that time the house now occupied by Mr. Ramier Le Brocq was the Governor's dwelling, and the new row of buildings called Halkett-place, opposite the market, has been raised on the site of the garden; this property having been sold in 1823, the present more commodious and appropriate residence was purchased of F. Janvrin, Esq., by whom it was built: nearly opposite is d'Hautree, the property of Colonel Touzel.

On the summit of the hill stands St. Saviour's church; it was consecrated on the thirtieth of May, 1154.

The cemetery of this church, from its high situation, is the favourite burial place of most of the respectable part of the English residing in St. Helier's of its neighbourhood, is the largest of the country churches, and, though the building is somewhat defaced by the bad taste displayed in many of the alterations and repairs it has undergone, it still possesses considerable beauty.

Its situation is picturesque, and from the church yard, which is ornamented with some fine and luxuriant trees, an extensive view, comprising the Town of St. Helier's, the bay of St. Aubin's, and the rich scenery of the surrounding country is obtained.

At no great distance from the church, on the same side, is the Manor house; this property belongs to the Poingdestre family.

In one of the bye roads that leads towards the North of the parish, is the free school of St. Mannelier or St. Magloire, founded and endowed in the reign of Henry the Seventh, by John Neel, a native of the Island, and Dean of the chapel to Arthur, Prince of Wales. The endowment consists of a house, with a small portion of land, and thirty quarters of wheat rent. The number of scholars is usually not great

Near the school, at a spot called Les Landes Pallot, there formerly stood a rocking stone of a large size, and so accurately balanced that it was moved with the slightest effort: it was destroyed some years ago and broken up for building purposes. The population of St. Saviour's parish is two thousand one hundred and ninety-six persons.

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