La Pierre Des Femmes Wednesday, Apr 23 2014 

Pierre Des Femmes

Pierre Des Femmes


Many will be aware of the largest rock on the south eastern side of Les Ecrehous called Pierre des Femmes which translates into Ladies rock, it is common knowledge about how the rock came about its name, but I had never come across an account of it until I stumbled upon it last year when I was googling for something else and to my surprise there is an account in French which I will roughly translate: The passage between France and and the Channel Islands was a passage for commercial vessels plying their trade between Portsmouth and the islands. The cutters would leave for the Channel Islands and often stop at Cherbourg before tackling the Alderney Race (Le Raz Blanchard), the current would carry them between the islands and sometimes past the Ecrehous before making for the main Jersey port of St Helier. In this period of time things were not good in Liverpool with epidemics and unemployment etc., at the same time Jersey was maunfacturing clothes and pottery and taking on workers. Many young and elderly women left their homes and family to seek work and provide for them. emmigrated to St Helier. One year at the end of summer the brig “Minot’s Light” as usual took on some forty women bound for Jersey They were making good way with a north east wind and were passing Les Ecrehous when the rudder became damaged, perhaps it broke under strain as it passed the shoals, or hit a submerged object, nobody did or will ever know. The Captain called for the ships carpenter to fix it, and this was not the best time for this to happen as they were now being driven towards the Ecrehous reef, the sails were let fly so as to allow the rudder to be fixed, and the flapping of them caused some alarm among the passengers. The captain went below and found the carpenter and his assisant strugglig to repair with the bar flying around in the confined space and their faces were bloodied where they had been struck by it. The captain called for the experienced boatswain to see if he could fix it. The captain went back on deck and then there was an awful shudder and he ran up onto the bridge and saw the sea foaming around them with the out of site rocks below them, he decided to haul in the sails in the hope that the boat would heel over and clear the reef, but it only pushed them more onto the rocks, panic amongst the women set in. A large wave bigger than all the others pushed them hard against the rocks and the dreaded sound of water entering the damaged hull was immediately heard. This was the end and the captain gave the order to lowere the boats in the hope they would get off before the mastes broke and fell down upon them, the boats though were stuck with on one side they were stuck onboard and the other they were being hit by the waves and the rock, they did manage to get one in a useable condition. The ships carpenter was no where to be seen and presumed lost below, two women had been crushed and killed by a falling boom, and one of the crew had been lost trying to free a boat. The sea settled slightly and the second in command ordered everyone to try and make their way onto the nearby rock, half of the women had been washed away and weighed down by their waterlogged garments. Eventually some of the younger, fitter or just lucky ones managed to mount the rock, and the boat was continually being bashed on the rocks and then their was a large crashing noise as the main mast broke and fell. In all 23 women and 9 crew had survived on the rock that was out of reach of the waves but had no vegetation upon it. The women starting drying their clothes although it was not cold but night time was not far away, the crew were concerned as they watched their vessel break up as they had no fire or water and no apparent means of gaining safety.

The young officer suggested they swim to the vegetated island visible not far away stating that the rock they were on would be covered by a couple of metres of water, and that it would not be too difficult a swim as the tide would take them that way, then the women stated most of them could not swim, and even some of the crew admitted likewise. With the “Minot’s Light” breaking up and becoming covered by the tide those that were able had no option but to strip to their underwear and attempt the swim and the others sat their desolate and sobbing awaiting their fate. They made good progress over a short distance but the women were not accustomed to swimming in such a sea and were soon lost to it, eventually only six of the men managed to reach the shingle and the island. Then men tried as best they could to dry their clothes and warm themselves, then tried to get some sleep, not long after the cries and screams of those being taken by the sea could be heard, eventually the survivors fell asleep and awoked in clear sunshine with not a sign of anyone else or the remains of “Minot’s Light”  Nothing reamined to be seen at Pierre des Femmes and no one would ever want to venture near this site of such an unfortunate tradegy.

The author was never sure of the tradegy that is related above but one day he related the story to friends father from Morlaix who had been a Merchant seaman and he said it is true as he had seen a plaque in Liverpool which commerated those on the “Minot’s Light” lost off the French coast.

translated from an account by Gilles Letournel

The version I have heard but from whom I do not recall was that there was an English vessel that struck a rock and was taking in a great deal of water and expected to sink, and so the captain put the women on Pierre des Femmes thinking it would not be covered by the tide, and during the night the vessel managed to make its way into the sheltered waters of the reef and remained afloat but the woman had been washed from the rock never to be seen again. Given that this was such a disaster it is surprising that I have not come across any substantial record or mention of this episode, but given the name of the rock has lasted one suspects the account must be true, as is the rock La Balance at les Dirouilles which happened in 1816 when a French transport ship “La Balance” on its way from St Malo to Canada met its fate and 40 perished and 70 survived and reached the barracks at Rozel where they were given food and shelter.

Zeno Swietoslawski 1811 – 1875 Monday, Apr 21 2014 

Zeno Swietoslawski

Zeno Swietoslawski

Zeno Boleslaw Swietoslawski was born in Warsaw and was said to have participated in the November Uprising in Poland, the first record of him in Jersey is with the 1841 census when he was living at 13 Dorset Street, St Helier. The University of Gdansk have a character profile of him which notes the following:  He was the son of an apparently fairly wealthy noble originally from Ukraine. He started his peregrinations in the early 1830s presumably after the so-called Novemeber Uprising and was for a time in London, writing letters to his father complaining about his poverty. His father would continually send him funds. He ended up in Jersey and reported to his father that Jersey produced a lot of eggs. His father deduced from this that wheat or rye must also be grown and asked about the local serfs and if there was a large Jewish community in Jersey. (There are a lot of such comments about cultural differences, e.g. son complaining he had to eat oysters in London, whereas in Warsaw they were then considered a delicacy.) He first wanted his son to buy land, but eventually he gave him money to buy a printing press. He was very religious and deeply committed to his socialist cause, so was his wife. His political pamphlets, however, were not popular among other activists. The author Teodor Tomasz Jepary met the couple some time in the 1850′s and said everything was pretty neglected and run down in their house because they were both so engaged in the cause. They helped other insurgents get passports to France, including one that also fought in the January Uprising. There was a whole network or cells of Polish insurgents, revolutionaries, socialists, anarchist and religious zealots. Zenon’s cell? commune? (gmina) was origanally called Lud Polski (Polish People) later to be called Humañ (a town in Ukraine and site of 1768 massacre of Polish nobles and Jews). Like pretty much everything else in this Polish religious noble socialist’s life, the commune or cell was thought by some who also noted Zenon was a thoroughly decent man committed to the cause (whatever that was), but hadn’t really achieved much.

He purchased a steam printing press from the French abolitionist Victor Schœlcher who stayed for a short period in Jersey with their mutual acquantaince Victor Hugo, the press published from Dorset Street under the name L’Imprimerie Universelle and published the weekly paper L’Homme which was edited by militant poscrits. In the late 1856 he co-founded the Gromada Rewolucyjna Londyn a Polish social democratic  revolutionary group.

He is buried in the south east corner of Green Street Cemetery in the family grave which is in a state of neglect.

Swietoslawski grave

Swietoslawski grave

Notes on Polish in Jersey Saturday, Apr 5 2014 

Polish Festival 2005

Polish Festival 2005


The following is a list of Polish people that lived in Jersey:

O kształceniu Serca

O kształceniu Serca

Felix (Feliks) Nowosielsk 1800-1864 died London, he fought with distinction in the November Uprising 1830-31, and was awarded Polands highest military award the Order of Military Virtue. The Russian Tsar published an order which named Nowosielski, and was sentenced to death by hanging on the gallows or exile forever from the Polish Kingdom. Whilst in Jersey Felix wrote and published in 1853 O kształceniu Serca


 List of Poscrits in Jersey:  Lud. Kordecki, Joachim Leiewel, Roch Rupnienshi, Zeno Swietolawski, K. Balinskiegu, Tchozeswki

1841 census

John Dzierbinski 35 living Chapel lane with Nico Rupniewski. 1851 age 54, refugee, living Havre des Pas

Nico (Nicodemus) Rupniewski 35 took part in the November Uprising brother of Roch (see below), October 1836 recorded as an alien arriving at Southampton from Jersey with a fellow Pole Kisiel, he died in Poland 1878.

Amb Smolinski 30 living Chapel Lane, only noted as from foreign parts but presuming his name and associated with those above make him possibly Polish.


Francis Badet 48, living in St Peter, servant to Abraham Asplet

Anthony Bernstroff 53, Polish Officer (1871 – Government Annutant)
Living in the same house in Trinity were Joseph Malerewski 54, and Joseph Malerewski 42 also Polish Officers. 1871 Old St John’s Road Joseph Malczeweski age 71.

Ignotio Butkousis 51, Trinity Road, St Helier, visitor

John Dzuabanski 54, refugee, living Havre des Pas
Rebecca Elias R 64, living with her nephew Saul Samuels, Parade Place
Juda Harris 65, general dealer, living Hosiptal/Workhouse
Rachael Harris 64 Hawker, living Cheapside with sons Israel (born England), Henry and Solomon
Charles Janierviez 51 born Poland, Major in Polish Army and Elizabeth Janierviez 38 born England. Living “Belle Vue”, St Saviour
Florian Mikulowski 46, annuitant, living Philip Street

George Mikulowski 43, Refugee, Major in Polish Army wife Emilie Fauchet ? born Paris, sons Emile 9 born France, Edward 6 born Jersey. Living at 19 Belmont Road. 1861 German Professor, living still at 19 Belmont Road, described himself “an honest exile who is obliged to work due to the weight of immense misfortune” and one of the first photographers in Jersey, eventually ran Hotel de L’Europe, Mulcaster Street (1)

John Michelowski 49 also 1861 & 1871 census Visitor Immigrant, in house of John De Gruchy 44 New Street.

Heres Neaton 52 and his wife Esther both hawking Jewellery, living 2 Philip Street

John Newman 36. living Conway Street

Auguste Ruashicrofiege 65 exile, visitor – “Priscilla Cottage” Poonah Road

Roch Rupinieski 47 Refugee, living as a lodger with Mrs Jane Warren near or at “Belle Vue” (neighbour Charles Janierviez), took part in the November Uprising and awarded the Military Cross of Virtue. 1861 & 1871 census has him living at Mount Pleasant, Liverpool with widow Jane Warren of Jersey, died in Liverpool 1876.

J Ryoski 24 Pastry Cook, 3 Snow Hill

Saul Samuels 31, with English wife Hannah 26, and children Joel, Tobias, and Selina, living Parade Place, dealer in Jewellery and Hardware.

Grave of Albert Schmitt Almorah Cemetery

Grave of Albert Schmitt Almorah Cemetery

Albert Schmitt 52 (also on 1871 age 62?) Will in Jersey Archive left money to Polish Institute in Paris. Refugee 69 Stopford Road – Clement Le Sueur, also Hospital bienfaiteur for the sum of £20

1861 census

Anthony Bernsdorff 61, former army officer, Victoria Village

Julian Besnaski 57, refugee, inmate General Hospital/Workhouse

Louis R De Monte Drury 32, M.D. not practicing, Beaumont, St Lawrence, 1871 Ludvig R Drury, born Russia, British subject, Ship Chandler, living in Kingston upon Hull

Israel Harris 75, Merchant, widower, boarding at 1 Colomberie Cottage

Charles Jancewiez 66, Army Major, living with his English wife Elizabeth 50, at 13 Clarence Road

Joseph Malezewski 61, Officer in the Polish Army, Victoria Village, 1881 Joseph Malezewski 81 Polish refugee, 3 Old Street, St Helier, 1891 census Joseph Mabzeulki age 91, pensioner

Susan Nathan 62, Shop Assistant, living Pier Road with nephew John Corbel 24, born Cape of Good Hope

Joseph Nowakouski 50, Officer Polish Army, 1881 70, Joseph Nowakouski exile, ex military, Victoria Village, Trinity

Isaac Samuels 68, widower and visitor at Oxford Cottage, Oxford Road

Moses Samuels 29, Pharmacist, wife Rachael 29 English, living 9 Broad Street

Albert Schmitt 57, living Green Street, in exile since 1831

Theophile Tzdebski 50, Military Officer, living Don Road

John Sobolewski 60, Polish Refugee Maupertuis, St Clement, 1881 John Sobolewski 80, retired Army Officer, boarder Maupertuis Road, St Clement

Martin Szymanowsky 59, Captain in the 10th regiment of the Polish Cavalary, 39 Parade, 1871 Marchin Szymanowsky 69 Refugee, Captain in the Polish Cavalry. 39 Parade Place

Jacob Wolf 60, widower, traveller, living 26 Hue Street

1871 Census

Anthony Bernsterft 70, living Trinity, Government annuitant

George Bolheron born 1798, living “Rose Cottage” St Saviour

Alexandre Breanski living St Martin, annuitant

Jean Michalowski born living Cheapside, St Helier, born 1791, annuitant

Alexander Holinski 54 born Warsaw. Annutant. Merinda 38 daugher?, born Suffolk, son Anthony 10, born Paris. Boarding House David Place

Charles Malawski

Charles Malawski

Charles Malawski, Inn Keeper age 60, with Rosalie Malawski (Nee Parish) age 36 born France and Jules S Malawski age 8 born Jersey.

Joseph Malczeweski age 71. (same person on 1851?)

Marchin Szymanowsky 69 Refugee, Captain in the Polish Cavalry. 39 Parade Place

1881 census

George De Bulharyn

George De Bulharyn

George De Bulharyn 82 Polish refugee, boarding at “Milton House” George Town, St Saviour
Jules Marylski 66, Gentleman, born Mazovic, Poland, wife Florence 35 (born Florence, Italy) (when she died she was buried at Almorah Cemetery, the body was exumed and buried at Mont Matre, Paris)

Joseph Nowakouski 70, exile, ex military, Victoria Village, Trinity

Adam Pistu 78, annuitant, lodger 36 Aquila Road

George Zerboni (Artist) 48, and wife Mary 45. 1891 living 1 Queen’s Road, 1901 living in a chalet

1891 census

Vanda C Mowerynski 37 and daughter Sophie 17 both born Poland, 3 more daughters, and a son born England living “Horizon View” St Aubin’s Road, St Helier. Appears in the 1911 census as Vanda Casimir 49 married, living at “Font Hill” St Saviour, daughter Haydee 24 born Poland, 3 daughters and a son all born Greenwich.

1911 census

Marks Rosebaum age 58, tailor, 30 Don Road, St Helier

Zeno Swietoslawski was born in Warsaw and was active through printing during his time in Jersey, there is an article of his works in the Bulletin of the Societe Jersiaise. I will do another post on him and his work.

On the 1851 census
Dorset Street
Zeno B 39
Julia G born Devon 29 his wife?
Raphael T 6 – Jersey
Adolphus J 4 – Jersey
Francis A 2 – Jersey
Julien E 9m – Jersey

1861 Zeno is in the Hospital/Workhouse

1871 Julia and Zeno (59) are still here with grandchildren

1881 in Liverpool we have Vessel:”Ullock”
Master AlexanderSwietoslaski  44, and married

Jersey Archives have the following:

1944 Zofia Jeziorna, 18 Gloucester Street, Polish National

Registration Card of Wanda Janik

Jersey Evening Post 1980

Polish artist Felix Topolski left the Island after a four day stay in which he completed 38 paintings, best known for his work for the Royal Family, he stayed with Mrs Sally Le Gallais.

Pictures of banners used during the 2005 Festival –

(1) Notes on George Mikulowski early Jersey photographer:


Minister fails to protect rare St Helier granite arch Wednesday, Mar 5 2014 

17th century Jersey arch

17th century Jersey arch

It has just been announced that Planning Minister Deputy Duhamel has passed the plans for the building of a modern six storey office block on the former works site of my building ancestor Thomas Le Gros and sons who built a number local harbours and undertook the hospital rebuild after a major fire, these I documented in a previous post

The following is part of my submission to the original plans:

I strongly agree and support the learned comments submitted by Mrs Kerley on behalf of the National Trust and Mr Ferrari regarding this and the other related buildings and so will not repeat their statements, and I add the following:

My concern is regarding the fine and very significant granite Jersey arch within No.70 Esplanade a proposed listed building which will end up in “storage” under the current plans and one presumes with an uncertain and probable insignificant and unprotected  future, which I feel is contrary to 3.1, 3.2,3.5,3.6,3.7,3.20,3.21,3.22,3.23, of the “Historic Environment” of the Island Plan. The later initials on the arch T.C.L.G. 1879 stand for Tom Charles Le Gros 1825-1885 an ancestor of mine whose building works were on this site, the 1861 census has him as a building contractor employing 100 men.

The following statement in the applicants supporting documents EIS 2, the site and the proposed development: 2.1.9 “features an impressive semi-circular carriage entrance and reused date stones from an earlier building” this comment has not been substantiated in any way, the date stones may well be from the existing building and have certainly been part of it for over 130 years if not more, it may be possible that these stones have been used from somewhere else but there is no mention of this, and one possible connection is that the father of T.C. Le Gros as initialled on the Jersey arch may have come from Mont au Prete a property once owned by his father Thomas Le Gros 1797-1881 which does have columns missing the voussoirs these have a slight resemblance in design to those at 70 Esplanade. If this was the case I would suggest the arch does then have even more cultural and heritage significance. There is also no comment on the other initials on the arch: PLS (Le Sueur?) 1674 inside a shield, IN CB on either side, and another PLS.  Before any decision on its future is made I propose that the history and providence (provenance) of the arch be fully and properly examined. It is worth noting that the adjacent seawall that recently gained a great deal of media and public attention most notably from “Save our Shoreline”  was rightly given protection as a listed building and saved was in fact built by Tom Charles Le Gros.

Old Jersey Houses Volume 1, Joan Stevens: Page 92 Listed as a surviving arch of what would appear only one of four in the south of St Helier. Page 87,89 “the vocal point of the local house, and its most spectacular feature, the round arch…the round arch usually called Norman, and shown on very small houses depicted in the Bayeux tapestry, is the very epitome of the early farmhouse in Jersey, and there is infinite variety in its details. It appears in different forms in both Jersey and Guernsey, and both spring from a common ancestor in France, but in each island a distinctive form has developed. It is sometimes claimed that the Guernsey arch came from Brittany, and ours from Normandy. See also images from pages 112 to 113. – which includes Mont au Prete where Thomas Le Gros senior lived, or near to and what appears to be an altered road side arch without the voussoirs.

As it is now only neighbouring residents who commented on the initial plans who can appeal to the Royal Court against the Ministers decision unless the Parish of St Helier arrange a meeting and parishioners decide to appeal, as St Ouen are currently in the process of doing with the Plemont development.

Previous post on the arch and the buildings of Thomas Le Gros and sons:

Ancient peat and clay continued Friday, Jan 31 2014 

Le Port peat square

Le Port peat square

The most significant exposure of peat was at Le Port in the middle of St Ouen’s Bay which stayed in view until a few days ago (it may well uncover with the current weather), I had seen peat in the area before in the early 80′s a little more off the sea wall.

post 2 port

In this second picture of the area you can just see the hoof marks animals on the near and right corner, with a slightly sunken path starting to run diagonally down, but not continuing along the peat. It has been suggested that these are early cattle marks which they may well be, but I do wonder if they also may belong to horses that were engaged in vraicking and travelled along here before the sea wall was built and the shoreline would have been a dune system with paths giving access to the beach.

Remains of tree stumps

Remains of tree stumps

At the northern end of the bay there was an area that I had not personally seen before which was south of exposures I have noted previously, there was a considerable amount of tree remains as can be seen in the picture above and the one below showing a good length of a beech tree a specices that sems to be fairly common here.

Remains of beech tree

Remains of beech tree


This picture is of an area to the south of Les Laveurs slip which showed an area of base grit and a considerable amount of stone flint which is not a local stone.

A couple of days after seeing the area I was contacted by someone concerned that someone had been digging the peat up, on visiting the area it was evident that a digger had driven over and dug up a considerable amount of area adjacent to a groyne that had suffered some storm damage, I have been informed that the incident is being investigated, and BBC Jersey did publicise the damage, as I said to them its lasted for 7,000 years and the local government department (TTS) have destroyed it in a day.

Digger damage

Digger damage

The incoming tide washed the peat and several stumps away

The incoming tide washed the peat & several stumps away

I have browsed the internet for other similar interesting areas and related information and came across this blog Micoburin which discusses the area around the Tees and a possible Tsunami and states the following ” a marine transgression recorded in a single pollen profile at around 8,200 years ago (and see below). A silty-sandy limus (detrital muds) at greater depth nearby yielded a date of 8900-8100 cal BC (89.8% probability). Perhaps this transgression represents the climatic cooling period around 6200 BC (the “8ka event”) that saw the collapse of North American ice sheets, disturbance of the Gulf Stream and rapid sea level rise?”

At Borth, Cerdigion a wattle walkway dating back to the Bronze age has recently been revealed again, it was studied in 2012 and covered in this post by “Heritage of Wales News”

Further north of Borth is Tywyn Beach which has a large area of peat some of which has been cut out, and includes WW 2 tank tracks, pictures on the local photogahic site the area gives rise to the legend of the lost Kingdom of Wales “Cantre’r Gwaelod”

Previous posts on the subject:

“Hercules” reveals ancient coastal peat & clay Thursday, Jan 30 2014 

At the start of the year we had the storm “Hercules” that gave the US severe weather conditions arrive on our shore, coupled with spring tides of 11.7 metres this made from some intense beach movement, this was evident mostly on the west and south coast, the following photographs detail some of the exposure:

Exposed clay with trench of lighter clay in the centre

Exposed clay with trench of lighter clay in the centre

Pictured above is part of a length of clay than lines the south east coast, this bit by Le Hurel slip appears unique in that it has either a drainage ditch or early field boundary (or both), the Societe Jersiaise archaeologist Robert Waterhouse and his team did some excavations on the area and a report will be published shortly.

La Mare with La Motte in the distance

La Mare with La Motte in the distance

I had been informed that some peat had been previously seen in the Greve D’Azzette area and had a look and only found this small exposure of a tan coloured clay which is similar to finds elswehere in the island and Les Ecrehous.

post1 hdp clay

Pictured above is part of a small area uncovered by the foot of steps at Havre des Pas which was a mixture of tan and grey clay.

post 5 pulente gravelines

I was informed of an interesting exposure at La Pulente and it turned out to be one of the more interesting that I have seen in that it was lower down the beach compared to other exposures, I suppose being part of the headland may have something to do with this. I am not sure if the colours of clays and grits on these base layers as pictured are this colour naturally or have been stained by the rotting kelp that accumulates in the area, but they make pretty images if nothing else.

La Pulente with dark base layer

La Pulente with dark base layer

Also interesting is that this gritty base layer is just that a base and usually associated with start of our early ice age geology, but here we have the addition of another darker gritty layer.

Horse & cart tracks

Horse & cart tracks

I was lucky enough to see these exposure which only showed for a couple of days and had hoof prints and cart tracks which I presume are from 19th century vraicking attivity that the area is well known for, so it would appear this clay has shown little or not at all over the last hundred and fifty years or so.

Peat remains

Peat remains

This small piece of worn peat is part of the La Pulente clay area with the lighter clay just visible below it.

Base grit

Base grit

Further up the beach north of the Bunker a large area of hard base grit was uncovered there was no other signs of any other layers in the area.
I will do another post on the peat found in the bay.

Sarah Belzoni Wednesday, Jan 1 2014 

Grave of Sarah Belzoni

Grave of Sarah Belzoni

Sarah Bane thought to have been born in Bristol in 1873 and died St Helier, Jersey the 12th January 1870 and pictured above is her grave at Mont a l’Abbé cemetery. Sarah married Italian born Giovanni Battista Belzoni 1778-1823  One of the most colorful personages in the annals of early 19th century exploration in Egypt, Belzoni trained as an engineer, then becoming a barber in the Netherlands where he fled in 1803 to England to avoid going to jail. There he married Sarah and for a short time they became street entertainers and joined a circus, Giovanni at 6 foot 7 inches did a strong man act  .

Belzoni went to Egypt in 1815, intending to build hydraulic irrigation systems for Muhammad Ali, the Pasha of Egypt. To arrange introductions, he contacted the former French consul at Alexandria, Bernardino Drovetti, who had served in Napoleon’s military. Belzoni at length, however, abandoned his hydraulic project, since local farmers and officials were reluctant to abandon long-held, traditional methods of oxen-drawn irrigation machinery.

Giovanni Belzoni

Giovanni Belzoni

Belzoni, who had explored much of the Nile region by then, turned to the collection of antiquities on commission. In this, he was often in competition with the collection agents of Drovetti. Among other accomplishments, Belzoni mapped the passageways and tombs in a Giza pyramid, as described in his book, Recent Discoveries in Egypt.  In 1818 he transported many Egyptian sculptures, including a large head of Ramesses II, to England. These remain in the British Museum collections. Belzoni’s exploits are chronicled in a book by Brian Fagan, The Rape of the Nile.

After Giovanni’s death in 1828 Sarah went to live in Brussels. She received donations fran several masonic lodges, the Duke of Sussex, and the Duke of Sussex, and a subscription fund was set up and chaired by the publisher John Murray, after much lobbying she a Civil List pension of £100 in 1851 ” In considerationof the services rendered to science by the researches of her late husband the celebrated African traveller, and of her own circumstances. In trust to Thomas W. Waller, Esq., and Simon Salter Esq.” In 1857 she moved to the Channel Islands and appears on the 1861 census in Guernsey living at New Place, St Peter Port as a a boarder of Mrs Harriet Ozanne. In Jersey she lived and died at Hautbois Gardens, Bellozane. Two days before her death she wrote a will leaving her possessions to her God-daughter Selina Belzoni Tucker from Cheltenham. Local research of the Jersey details was undertaken by Societe Jersiaise Librarian Anna Baghiani.
Sources and further reading:

Jersey connections with Honduras and slavery Thursday, Dec 26 2013 

24ANTIQUES1-popup                                      Felling Mahogany – Honduras

The following are Jersey men connected with Honduras as a follow on from the notes of the previous post, the countries chief trade was mahogany which employed slaves. Mahogany and logwood was shipped from Honduras to London, Jersey, and occasionally to other ports in Europe.

Jersey mahogany & logwood imports for 1833 87 and 71 tons and for 1834 71 and 27 tons.

 John Jean in his “Tales of Jersey Tall Ships” mentions early connections with the “Tyral” of 200 tons, with Captain Michel Dupré being at Honduras in 1766. Captain Jean Collas in 1768 made at least one voyage to Honduras with the Boston built “Triton” of 155 tons owned by a John Brunet.

Ten years later in 1778 the “Venus” owned by Richard De Carteret, master Jean Collas was taken by an American Privateer when returning to Jersey from Honduras.

1786 James Poingdestre writes from Honduras to John Fiott regarding the shipping of wood to Great Britain and the purchasing of a boat. Captain Poingdestre in command of the “Harriot” of 150 tons arrived back in Jersey from the Colony in 1789 with another fine cargo of mahogany destined for London. September 1792, and March 1793 saw the same vessel at London from the Colony, in June that same year the “Harriot” was taken by the French only to be retaken and sent into Liverpool. In July she left London for Belize, and returned in the beginning of October.

Report in the Honduras Gazette papers arrived with the “Ocean” dated August 18th 1826 with London merchants John and James Poingdestre having attended a meeting for a call for a memorial to the Earl of Bathurst (Secretary for War and the Colonies) who had been involved in putting forward proposals on the treatment of slaves. Thomas Pickstock shipped Mahogany to the merchants (1817). John and James dissolved the partnership by mutual consent. In 1834 John Poingdestre a merchant living in Guilford Street shot himself in Tivoli Gardens, and died within half an hour, there was no apparent reason for him taking his life (Spectator)

 Captain Elias De Ste Croix went to Honduras with the “Betsy” in 1786, later there was to be a partnership between De Ste Croix and Poingdestre. Aaron De Ste Croix lived at the “Limes” Green Street, he was a shipbuilder and owner, ropemaker and Jurat of the States, he married Jeanne D’Auvergne and they had three sons: Philip 1798-?, Francis 1799-?, and John 1801-?.

 In 1832 P. F. & J De Ste Croix owned the following vessels “D’Auvergne” 440 tons, “Ste Croix” 413 tons, “Ceres” 250 tons (1827 loaded Honduras with mahogany), “Calista” 203 tons (1827 loaded in Honduras for Jersey, Pallot ( and 1852 Honduras to Jersey with mahogany and rosewood), “Crusader” 127 tons.

The 1834 Slave Registers (available on have Robert Miller a mulatto age 40, a mahogany cutter owned by Philip Francis and John De Ste Croix.

On the 1851 census we find Philip De Ste Croix, 53 a shipowner living in London, and Jean De Ste Croix 50 a shipowner living at “Homestill” Green Street, St Helier.

The “London Gazette” 19th November, 1861 mentions Jersey merchants Philip and Francis De Ste Croix trading as P & F De Ste Croix and Co. merchants and mahogany cutters and a claim to be entitled in fee simple to – lands in Honduras situated on the River Sarstoon.

Francois Valpy in charge of the “Ceres” returned to Jersey from Honduras in 1809. In 1810 Philip Valpy in charge of the “Nelson” having left Honduras was attacked by a French Privateer and Valpy and one of the crew were killied, the vessel did eventually make its way back to Jersey. In 1828 Francois Valpy was a Lieutenant of the Honduras Militia, First Company – Blacks. He signed petition against the former Superintendent Colonel George Arthur to the Secretary of State Earl Bathurst Honduras 24th July, 1822. The 1829 Honduras almanac mentions Francis Valpy & Co. and the company flag yellow and blue halves.

George Le Geyt is mentioned in the following: March 1827 the death of his daughter Martha. 1829 named on legislative list of Honduras. Parliamentary Papers on a report on the Portuguese schooner “Carlota” also known as the “Mosquito” a slaver, Miguel Paulo master was signed George Le Geyt master builder in December, 1836. The Slave Register has Le Geyt owning several slaves in Honduras. The 1851 Jersey census has his wife Elizabeth living in Great Union Road with son Philip 6 born Jersey and daughter Ann 11 born Honduras, Elizabeth is recorded as Captain’s wife. The property is now known as Belize house. Philip the son later owned a property in Beach Road called Belize alongside Honduras.

Frederick Alexandre born Jersey 1809 died New York 1899 he chose a career at sea and took command of his first vessel aged 21. When about twenty-eight years old, the young captain settled in New York City, establishing a small commission house in South Street, paying at first as annual rental the sum of $25.  In 1842 he  established a line of sailing vessels between New York and Honduras, and subsequently between New York, Vera Cruz and South America.  In this enterprise he succeeded so well that, in 1867, he sold the sailing vessels, substituted steamers, and for nineteen years carried mails, freights and passengers between New York, Havana and Mexico.

WaterlowBritishHonduras-144-ArmsColony-9-1-53_zps74f504a3Honduras armourial said to have been designed by Thomas Pickstock


John Luce 1758-1827 Sunday, Oct 13 2013 

John Luce was born in St Helier, Jersey on the 3rd of November 1758 to John Luce a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy and Elizabeth Matthews. John Luce senior had a distinguished career having been been involved in the land forces at the “Plains of Abraham” 1759, at Quebec, and the attack of Belle Isle in 1761.

He used his contacts to obtain a place for his son at Greenwich School which was of great repute in this period. He left there to enter the mercantile service again with contacts of his father Captain Collas and Clement Durell trading in West Indies and the Bay of Honduras,  with British settlements in the area it was a new and lucrative place for enterprise. He was received well in Belize with his family having connections with the settlers, especially Major Joshua Gabourel  of the royal local artillery, whose wife settled and resided in Jersey for some years when she became a widow.

Luce on his return to Jersey after a long absence was advised by his  godfather John Thomas Durell 1733-1800 the King’s Solicitor General of Jersey, to continue his career at sea and join the King’s navy, and within a few weeks he was serving in the small squadron then protecting the Channel Islands. He afterwards found his way to the West Indies, his favourite station, and served in the fleet opposing the Comte de Grasse;- he also served in the naval battalions conquest of Martinique, on the 22nd March 1793, and St Lucia;- he was further employed in several arduous situations in the transportation of Caribs from St Vincent to the island of Ruatan, but who subsequently deserted from that delightful and advantageous spot to Trujillo, on the Spanish Main.

Returning to Europe, Mr Luce joined the “Crescent” a frigate of 36 guns, the crew of which were mostly fellow islanders from Guernsey and Jersey, who were delighted to serve under that able commander Captain Saumarez.

After passing through the subordinate departments of the service, and having distinguished himself in the capacity as master’s mate on various occasions, that demanded considerable skill and intrepidity, when at Spithead, in the beginning of 1793, he got permission from his chief to visit London, and was favoured by Captain Saumarez with a strong recommendatory letter to Paul Le Mesurier, then MP for the borough of Southwark, and afterwards chief magistrate for that city.

Proficiently educated, Mr Luce soon passed the necessary examinations for the post of Lieutenant, being one of only seven out of the fifteen to pass.

"Crescent" capturing the Réunion off Barfleur

“Crescent” capturing the Réunion off Barfleur

He rejoined his ship in good time to share in the glory of the action fought with the Réunion, which was recaptured off Barfleur, in which conflict his distinguished conduct was particularly noted by his chief, and was rewarded with the rank to which he had for so long aspired to. Sir James Saumarez retained Lieutenant Luce for many cogent reasons. Familiar with the French language, he was a great acquisition to the service on the expedition on the aid of the Royalists at Quiberon Bay, and was frequently employed on the shore, not without imminent danger of falling into the hands of the Revolutionists, who never failed to slaughter their captives, without trial or mercy.

"Crescent" "Druid" & "Eurydice" engaging the French

“Crescent” “Druid” & “Eurydice” engaging the French

On the 7th of June, 1791, the “Cresent”, “Druid” 32 guns, and “Eurydice” 20 guns, fell in with the French fleet off Jersey. The vast superiority of the enemy prevented their coming to close action, but they occasionally engaged the French ships until they got off, into Guernsey roads, which was witnessed by a large crowd of islanders, and so bold and masterly a manoeuvre was displayed, that the then Governor issued a general complimentary order of the day, conveying the public approbation of the distinguished and consummate professional skill displayed on the occasion by British seamanship, most flattering indeed to the feelings of the crews attached to the small squadron.

Lieutenant Luce continued serving with Sir James Saumarez on board the “Orion” as first Lieutenant. The vessel was to take a prominent and distinguished role in the the Battle of L’Orient, being one of the first into action; this took place on the 23rd of June, 1795, for which Lord Bridport expressed his acknowledgements to the officers and seamen, for their intrepidity, courage, and skill during the battle.

The “Orion” continued cruising in different parts of the Channel. Whilst attached to the fleet off Brest: in the Bay of Biscay she made several captures of the enemy’s Privateers, that were sent into the nearest English ports; meanwhile in the early part of February, 1797. An order was received from the Lords of the Admiralty, directing the ship to proceed, and reinforce the squadron of Sir John Jervis, which they joined only a few days before the Battle of St Vincent against Admiral Jose Cordova took place on the 14th.

Early on the morning of that memorable day, it was known on board that the enemy’s force counted twenty seven sail of the line, exclusive of frigates and other armed vessels. At noon the fleets were closely and warmly at work, when the action became more general two hours afterwards; it was half past three when the Spanish ship “Salvador del Mundo”, of 112 guns, got desperately engaged with “Orion” of 74 guns, but was soon compelled to strike her colours, followed by hoisting of the English Jack, this was a happy omen for the English fleet, particularly for those on board the “Orion”, the ship’s cutter was then immediately lowered, and with the rapidity of lightning, First Lieutenant Luce, whose privilege it was, jumped into the boat and quickly took possession of the prize, with the formalities observed on such occasions.

The following morning the fleet anchored in Lagos Bay, when Lieutenant Luce proceeded for England in charge of the “Salvador del Mundo”, which he safely conducted to Spithead.

On the 7th of March of the same year, Lieutenant Luce was honoured with a commission of commander, as reward for his distinguished merit in the battle off Cape St Vincent, a reward which was justly entitled, after the hard earned victory for which, in common with the rest of the officers of the squadron, he received the thanks of Parliament.

In his active career for his country Captain Luce cause in many hard fought actions and skirmishes, in which he sustained variously bodily injuries; fortunately, however, for his family and friends, the most inconvenient was that which occasioned his deafness, arising from the concussion of a canon shot in his last engagement , which at the moment blew off his speaking trumpet whilst giving orders on board the “Orion”, the shock of which he never completely recovered.

He married in 1800 to Miss Scarvel, at Gosport. He had formed an attachment with her in Antigua, during his sojourn in the West Indies. The resided some time at Greenwich, whilst building a cottage of his own choice at Walworth, where he always felt a humble pride in entertaining his former shipmates and companions. Including his old captain the late Admiral Saumarez.

After a painful illness lasting three years he passed away on the 7th of May, 1827. He remains were deposited in Trinity Church in Newington, Butts, Surrey on the 14th of the same month; flowed by Colonel Waldegrave Fane, of the Royal Marines;  Lieutenant Charles B. Stockdale R.N.; Messrs Guillet, Walker, and other intimate friends.

Leaving no issue Captain Luce appointed his nephew, and heir at law, Mr Pickstock, a merchant of Honduras, the sole executor of his will, bequeathing to him the greatest portion of his property.

The above is from an article in the Guernsey and Jersey Magazine of 1837


Notes – Mr Pickstock was Thomas son of Thomas Pickstock a Privateer who died of fever in Surinam in 1800 and his mother was Elizabeth Luce. In the same Guernsey and Jersey magazine of 1837 an article states he was a magistrate and judge of the supreme courts of Honduras (also mentioned in Honduras Gazette), and resided in London in the 1830′s.


1841 census London has Thomas Pickstock 50 merchant and presumeably his wife Mary 45 both Jersey born and children Augustus and George born Honduras, and Thomas born England. (Leonora De La Taste age 20 born Jersey in household), And Leonora’s father Edward is in Jersey with a John Pickstock – merchant (foreign 15) staying with him.


Jerripedia gives us a summary of the Gabourel family stating they were involved in the slave trade, the 1851 Jersey census has John Joshua Gabourel age 54 born Honduras and his wife Harriet Benest 53 born Jersey.


We have mentions of Gabourel’s owning a plantatition at Cape Fear in North Carolina with: Joshua Gabourel with an American will registered in London 1726, died at Cape Fear, bachelor, master of the “Maxwell”. Another mention is of a Joshua Gabourel who came to the Cape Fear region from Jersey before 1734.


The “Honduras Alamanack” of 1829 mentions the following as subscribers: John Gabourel, William Gabourel, Thomas Pickstock, E Neel & Deslandes, Ph De Ste Croix, Francis Messervy of London, John Poingdestre it is known that he and James Poingdestre traded in mahagony and based themselves in London.


A search in under Pickstock and Gabourel with Honduras as country a number of British slave registers come up.


Jersey involvement in the slave trade (bottom picture link to PDF) “A respectable trade or against human diginity” by Doug Ford:

“La Pêcherie à Vraic et à Poisson” Thursday, Oct 10 2013 

This walk takes several miles over mostly shingle and the odd bit of seaweed covered rock so if your decide to go make sure you have appropriate footwear, and check the weather and tides before hand, it does not take in the low water mark so you have some lee way with the incoming tide. You can park at Seymour slip or closer La Rocque harbour.

Head towards the refuge beacon and enter a small gully on the right as you pass (the second one) and after a few metres you will come across this unusual stone which is conglomerate “pudding stone” which is usually found several miles away at St Catherine’s. You can back track or I walk back a few steps then cut across and you may seem some base clay of the land of times past, it is worth looking out for anything unusual as a mammoth tooth was found near the refuge tower several years ago.

Conglomerete "Pudding stone"

Conglomerete “Pudding stone”

We now head down towards Seymour Tower passing a ridge of shingle and sand that forms part of La Petite Avarison a bit further along we come to the first engraved “P” mark this forms the western boundary of the “La Pêcherie  à Vraic et à Poisson” established by a judgement of the Royal Court on the 28th of April 1747 which confirmed the rights to the fishery of L’Avarison to Francis Payn Seigneur of La Maletière (Les Prés Manor) which he and his forebears had long enjoyed. On the 13th May, 1747 the Député Vicomte recorded the meeting when the limits of the fishing and vraicking rights were specified, the Cour de Samedi ordered this to be ratified and for the report of the experts, which names the rocks and “P” marks specified whose engravings still exist today bar one that is presumed to have been lost to quarrying when the tower was built. The area gave the Seigneur rights to collect vraic in the marked area when he wished, this absolved him of the law that we know today as the “1894 Loi sur la coupe et la pêche des vraics”  It appears that the rights were implemented almost immediately with a case being brought to the Royal Court by Centenier of Grouville and Procureur du Roi Thomas Labey against Francis Payn who had claimed a fine against Clement Quérée and five others who had been vraicking against the orders.

 The 1894 law is currently under threat of being lost with a Projet 114 of the States of Jersey so as to allow the questionable interests of those rearing ormers to take seaweed when and where they desire which they say the 1894 law which advocates sustainable use of the seaweed hinders their activities.

West of Roche Forts or Perrots

West of Roche Forts or Perrots

Les Settes Samson

Les Settes Samson

Le Nez Courant

Le Nez Courant

Rock to left (SE of La Petit Avarison) has an engraved "P" on its east face.

Rock to left (SE of La Petite Avarison) has an engraved “P” on its east face.

"P" on the north face of La Petite Avarison

“P” on the north face of La Petite Avarison


Seymour Tower or La Grande Avarison where it is said that Saint Samson in the 6th century stayed when passing through the island and is survived in name by the rock Les Settes Samson, to the south you will see more clay remains and is one of the more significant areas to be exposed on the south east coast. The current tower replaced an earlier structure was built in 1782 after proposals from Sir Henry Seymour Conway 1721-1795 to Lord Weymouth in 1778 and received approval and funding from King George III, the States of Jersey purchased the tower in 1923 and Jersey Heritage took it over in 2006. During the occupation it was manned by German troops and when an exchange party was returning they got cut off by the tide and locals raised the alarm and requested they be allowed to go to assist which was delayed and the party were washed away. To the south you usually see several areas of exposed clay which has a similar appearance to that found at Les Ecrehous.

Exposed clay to the east of Seymour Tower

Exposed clay to the east of Seymour Tower

The area is home to a variety of marine life, commercial fishing, and aquaculture and was designated a Ramsar wetland site of international importance in 2005 noted for being one of the largest intertidal sites in Europe, unfortunately this has seen increasing human pressure and decline of species and the habitat. The area is home to a wide variety of shorebirds both local breeding and migrant birds and the Societe Jersiaise ornithology section undertake surveys of the area on a regular basis, the marine biology section has produced a report on the ecological importance of the area, and undertake regular surveys in the area especially on the big spring tides at the equinox.

Empty half of Matra glauca "Five shilling shell"

Empty half of Matra glauca “Five shilling shell”

Some species worth looking out for are the Matra glauca “Five shilling shell” which is very rare in the U.K. but likes the sand banks of the area, it obtained its common name due to the high price that the shell demanded by Victorian collectors who enthusiastically collected and recorded sea shore species, and Jersey supplied a number of scientific collections through the work of Joseph Sinel 1844-1929 and his son in law James Hornell 1865-1949

Symagittifera roscoffensis a small (2-5mm) worm that is found is pools of water or damp areas bordering ridges or sandbanks, it is widely studied by biologists because of its endosymbiotic relationship it has with the phytoplankton  Tetraselmis convolutae which it harbours in its body cavities and so gives it green “mint sauce” appearance.

Notes and references:

One possible meaning of the word Avarison is a dangerous place, there is a place of the same name in South America.

Book “Grouville, Jersey, The history of a country Parish” page 154 out of print.

Jersey Geology Trail – submerged forests:

Ice age island –

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