La Ferrière

Some years ago I looked rather unsuccessfully into the history of this property as a Ralph Thompstone had lived here with his Aunt, Ralph had been at school at Victoria College with my Uncle Richard Jouault DFC 1920-1942

Ralph Thompstone circa 1930

Ralph Thompstone circa 1930

I recently had the chance to look around the building and became a bit more intrigued about its past so the following is a work in progress:

La Ferrière consists of a large three storey Victorian house and adjoining converted farm buildings there are a number of datestones to be seen mostly on the farm house:

Damaged Keystone from former arch, TME 1661 Thomas Mourant married Elizabeth Ahier St Saviour 24-1-1637/8

1732 above door east side, northern end.

Above the main garden gate – IMR.MF.1755. Jean Mourant m. Marie Falle (St S) 10.1.1720

I M 1835 on northern end of old farm building and in a similar style 1841 on west facing farm building.

Godfray Map of 1849

Godfray Map of 1849

On the Godfray map shown above between the O and the G we find R (Robert) Brown 1792-? born in St Helier, who was involved in a lot of property transactions but as yet I not aware what his trade or business was. In 1851 he handed over his affairs to his brother Daniel 1802-?  a baker, and we do in fact find Daniel living at the property which was then called “Hillsborough House” in 1852 Daniels sells it to Jean Le Gallais son of Nicolas of St Helier a silversmith and it is presumed this is when the name “La Ferrière” which means a smith in French originated. two weeks after the sale Daniel purchases a property of Jeanne Wimbée 1805-1870 wife of Julien Jouault 1895-1879 my great great granparents, as Julien was a French national he was not allowed to have property in his name, although later he did become a British National and returned to France!

It is said that Jean Le Gallais had La Ferriere built but I do wonder if it was actually Brown who did so. It would appear that Le Gallais did not live here till post 1861 as we find the following on the census: Edgar Bayley 54 England, late Captain 12th Regiment, wife Elizabeth K Bayley 47, daughters: Georgina 19, Fredrica 17, Charlotte 15, son Boné 14.
Farm has Thomas Baudains 39 widower, son Thomas 10, daughters Jane 9, Ann 7.
The building certainly looks new when Le Gallais is pictured here with his son Theodore 1853-1903 who went on to become receiver general, and his nephew Henri Le Bailly, his daughters Rebecca and Naoemi, Rebbecca married a Canadian the Reverend Josiais Jesse Roy 1849-1931,  Rebecca died in the 1880’s and her sister then went on to marry her brother in law. Jean died in 1872 and although I think the family continued to own La Ferrière the daughters remained in Canada, and Theodore lived in St Helier.

Jean Le Gallais & family

Jean Le Gallais & family

On the 1881 census we find Army Major Henry Charles Spearman born Baden, Germany 1836 died Battersea 1891, and his family.  The Farm has Francis C Mourant age 33 born St Helier, and family a farmer of 24 acres.
On the 1891 census John Claudius Raven 59 born Jersey a retired Army Officer, wife Isabella (McPherson) 49 N.S.W. Australia & children born Victoria, Australia. 1901 living at “Beverley Lodge” Colomberie
Farm: Francis C Mourant 44 and wife Jane 49

On the 1901 census Thomas Payn 54, retired Magistrate-Barrister wife Jeanne Payn 61
Farm: F C Mourant 53 and wife Eliza 59

On the 1911 census Marie Warin 41 married, French, Aline Gaudefroy 67 mother, widow.
Walter Le Gros (farmer) 40 born Clairfield, St Saviour, wife Jane E Le Gros 34 born Les Fontaines, St Martin, daughters Irene 7, and Marjorie 4.
1923 Testament of Francis Gaudin La Ferriere, St Saviour
1923 Kellys Handbook: Thompstone, Sydney Wilson C.M.G. (1906)

There is also mention of a Charles Jones of La Ferrière in that his daughter Catherine Elizabeth 1830-? married Naval officer Charles Burney and there son Sir Cecil Burney 1858-1929 became Admiral of the Fleet.

La Ferrière circa 1880 by Badoux

Le Gallais family photographs

Jersey Silversmiths