70 years of Halkett Place - Part 3

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Street History - Halkett Place, Part 3


This is the third of four articles in our set of histories of the businesses and residents of Halkett Place from 1841 to the end of the 19th century

We continue our stroll along Halkett Place through the 19th century and into the early 20th century, using census returns and other sources when available to trace the occupants of the properties along this important town street and the businesses they conducted.


This section starts at No 18, where the animal food business started in 1848 by corn merchant John Touzel is still trading today, albeit having been sold by a Touzel descendant a few years ago.

Saddles and candles

The property was occupied by saddler John Frost in 1841 and tallow chandler Philip Asplet was recorded as living there by the census ten years later. None of the Touzels appears ever to have ‘lived above the shop’, the upper stories being used for storage, and the premises do not feature in any subsequent censuses.


No 19 across the road first appears in the 1851 census, with nurseryman Bernard Saunders living there. He was perhaps the Bernard Saunders who founded the massive Caesarean Nurseries in St Saviour, probably in the 1830s. Bernard’s son Alfred, also shown as a nurseryman, was living at No 29 Halkett Place at the time of the 1861 census.


In 1861 No 19 was occupied by draper Philip Benest, who employed nine workers, including his sons George and Stephen. It was George Philip who was shown as head of household in 1871 and 1881, but no occupants are shown for the premises in 1891. By 1902 it was occupied by de Veulle's wine and spirits merchant.


Charles Biard ran a pharmacy at No 20 in 1841, and another Charles Biard, possibly his father, was in business opposite at No 21 as a draper, with his wife Elizabeth a milliner. By 1851 John Green had taken over the pharmacy at No 20 and Jacques Houquet, a dentist, was at No 21, followed in 1861 by Charles Renouf, a grocer employing six people. He was still there in 1871 and 1881.


Nobody was living at No 20 on census day in 1861. Ten years later draper Francis Valpy was there with his wife Jane and children Henry, Frank, Annie, Andrew , Louisa Maud and Charles, ranging in age from 13 down to three. Again in 1881 nobody was living there, but in 1891 Harriet Mesny, who was of independent means, was the occupant on census day.


Hugh Noel was a grocer at No 22 in 1841, followed by tailor William Chirneck in 1851, and, after having no occupant in 1861, Thomas Messervy had established a toy warehouse in 1871 and was living with his wife Eliza and a servant. They were still there in 1881, but ten years later the occupant was John Leonard.

Benjamin Fuller was a hairdresser at No 23 in 1841, followed by Hugh Noel, who had crossed the street and was now called a grocer and tea dealer. H was living with his wife Ann, daughter Elizabeth, baker son John, and two lodgers, a Swiss dentist, Edward Aleoud and his French wife Julia.

In 1861 the premises were occupied by music seller William John Milne (50), his wife Eliza, accountant son Frank (24) and daughter Kate Mary (19), who was a music teacher. Neither Frank nor his sister was married, but also in the household was William Henry a 2½ year old grandson of the head of houshold.

The 1871 census return suggests that his father was another William Henry who, aged 33 and married to Helen Pope (27) was now the occupant of No 23, trading also as a music seller and piano tuner. Ten years later he was described as a pianoforte dealer. In 1891 nobody was shown as occupying the premises.

Jeweller and watch maker John Pope Genge was at No 26 in 1891

Street number mystery

One of the mysteries of the census returns for Halkett Place is how the street numbers related to the area occupied by the Market. The history of Touzel’s suggests that No 18 was actually part of the original market, so it seems likely that no street numbers were allocated to the market and the even numbers continued beyond the junction with Beresford Street. It is also possible that even and odd numbers were used for part of the west side of the street.

Wherever it was situated, No 24 was occupied by baker Abraham Pallot in 1851, tea dealer William Masters in 1861, 1871 and 1881, and glass and china merchant Edward Kelly in 1891. He was living there with his wife Susannah Wright, daughters Fanny and Florence and sister-in-law Georgiana.

Painter John Perchard occupied No 24 in 1841 and No 25 in 1851, followed by chemist and druggist George Walker in 1861, and watchmaker F P Bertram in 1871. It was very unusual for census returns to refer to people by their initials rather than full names, but a check of baptism records suggests that this was Francois Bertram, born in Grouville in 1830 the son of Jean Bertram and Esther Touzel. There is no sign of a wife but the census does record the presence of an 11-year-old son and nine-year-old daughter, also only identified by their initials.

Another chemist and druggist, John Baker, had moved into No 25 by 1881, living there with his wife Barbara, mother Mary, and two young daughters and a baby son. They had left by 1891 when the property was occupied by hosier Charles Woods and his wife Elizabeth. They were still at what became known as No 41 in 1901 and 1911. Rachel Pallot ran a shoe warehouse at No 26 in 1851, having been listed in 1841 as of independent means. By 1861 the business had changed to a grocery and tea dealership run by George Falle. Another major change saw jeweller and watchmaker John Pope Genge established there by 1871 employing ‘2 men, 2 boys and 1 female’. He was still there in 1881 and 1891 but, although it is difficult to work out what number this property had been given by 1901, Mr Genge is no longer listed in Halkett Place.


George Amy was the occupant of No 27 in 1841 and 1851, his occupation listed as ‘currier’ which was a person who dressed the coat of a horse with a curry comb and/or tanned leather by incorporating oil or grease. In 1861 confectioner Nancy Le Touzel had moved in with her adult son and daughter, and she was still there ten years later.

In 1881 these premises were occupied by baker Elisha Ogier, who had married Nancy’s daughter Nancy. His mother-in-law was living with them, at 71 a retired baker. In 1891 the occupants were chemist John Baker, his wife Barbara, five daughters aged from one year to 17, and John’s widowed mother Mary. Ten years later they were still there, the property having been renumbered 45, but no occupants are shown in 1911.

No 28 enjoyed a variety of occupants. Watchmaker Emmanuel Paul, his wife Mary and daughters Eleonore and Marie were at there in 1841, followed by saddler Joseph Shave in 1851 and tallow chandler and soap boiler in 1861. No occupants were shown in 1871 and 1891, but at the intervening census 78-year-old widow Eliza Langmead, a fruiteress, was living there. An almanac advertisement in 1886 shows that the premises were occupied by the Scientific Dress Cutting Association, a branch of a London business, possibly run by a member of the Poingdestre family.

Grocer George Syvret, his wife Eliza and one-year-old son George were at No 29 in 1841, and also living there were artist Charles Le Bailly and his wife Mary. By 1851 George and Eliza had had four more children and now had a 15-year-old servant Mary Coutanche to help run the growing household.


They had left by 1861 when, as already mentioned, the occupant was nurseryman Alfred Saunders. In 1871 George Wardley, a 45-year-old Irishman described as publisher of the British Rep. There was no newspaper with this title, but other records show that the British Press and Jersey Times, the most important English language newspaper of the time in Jersey, had its offices at 29½ Halkett Place. George’s two sons worked for their father's newspaper as compositors. George and his wife Mary had seven children together, as well as Florence Smith, Mary’s daughter by a previous marriage. Her sister Ann Woodman was also living with the family.

The family had left by 1881, but the new occupant, Philip Esnouf, is also described as a publisher, ‘employing 33 men and boys’, and living at No 29 with his wife Louisa and two young sons.

It is not clear whether the newspaper moved after this because in 1891 the new occupants of No 29 were the Hennequin family, railway carpenter John, his wife Ann, son John and three daughters, and there is no mention of a newspaper or press employees. The British Press and Jersey Times was the longest-running English language newspaper of the 19th century in Jersey. It started publishing in 1860, following a merger between the British Press, which had been formed in 1822, and the Jersey Times and Naval and Military Chronicle, which started publishing ten years later, and did not close until 1910, making it the second longest-running English newspaper in the history of Jersey publishing, after the Evening Post/Jersey Evening Post.

Ironmonger Joshua Renouf (20) was at No 30 in 1841 with his wife Jane, followed in 1851 by Carpenter George Noel and his milliner wife Maryand in 1861 by chemist and druggist Eugene Arnold, born in Guernsey, his wife Elizabeth, six children including five-month-old twin daughters, and a nurse.

Saddler William John Vincent and his wife Ann were the occupants of No 30 in 1871, followed ten years later by a dealer in fancy and general goods, Edwin Matthews, his wife Elizabeth and son Edwin. In 1881 the fancy goods dealer at the premises was Mary Dumaresq (36), living with her 80-year-old father Helier and mother Jane (68).

The Red Lion was for sale in 1858

Red Lion Inn

We finish the third section of our walk along Halkett Place with a drink at the Red Lion public house at No 31 which was built some time between 1834 and 1845. There is no mention of any properties beyond No 30 in the 1841 census and in 1851 Philip Messervy, an ironmonger, is shown as the occupant.

By 1861 George Colas and his wife Mary are the innkeepers, to be followed at successive censuses by John Smallecombe Giles, William Giles, Jane Brett, H T F Cross and Philip Winter de Quetteville. These were the days of stage-coaches and the Red Lion was an important establishment because services to the west of the island started from here. Historian Philip Ahier believed that this service started as early as 1845.

Our journey continues in the fourth article in this series.

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