Arms from the Royal Court of 1648

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Arms from the Royal Court of 1648

This article was first published in the 1965 Annual Bulletin of La Société Jersiaise

Leaning up against the south wall of La Haule Manor is a granite heraldic plaque, 35in by 23in, bearing de Carteret arms. Its presence at La Haule Manor has always been a mystery, but it seems likely that its origin has now been ascertained.

de Carteret arms

It shows the de Carteret fusils, 5in high and 9in across, and above them on the left, a hand 5in by4 in, indicating a Baronet, and on the right, a crescent, 3in square, indicating a member of a junior branch of the de Carteret family. Sir George Carteret, the famous Royalist, and defender of the Island for the King, is the only possible candidate for these conditions. As he married his first cousin Elizabeth, who was also a de Carteret, the identification is supported, as he would have no different arms to quarter to represent his wife. The shield containing these insignia is surmounted by a helmet, with the visor open, and a squirrel, the de Carteret crest, and flanked by deeply carved and much weathered mantling.

When Sir George had a new Royal Court built, his own arms, and those of the Governor Lord Jermyn, were erected, flanking the Royal Arms, and Chevalier records the event thus in his journal, on 11 November 1648:

"Ce samedi 11 iesme de nouembre sire gorge fit apposzer les armoirie du roy et celie de millord germain et les siennes aux de sus de lhuis de la cohue royalle, sire gorge avoit fait venir en Jersey de saint mallo vn maistre ouvrier tailleur de pierre et graueur sur la pierre pour faire les dites arrnoirie et anvoya a paris a millord germain pour quil Iuy anvoyast le pour trait. de ces arrnoiries aux quel ouvrier i1 donnoit 20 S5 p. Jour et ses despans Ie quel y fut plus de six mots a faire les trois arrnoirie ales tailler et grauer com(m)e on faissoit la cohue royalle sire gorge avoit fait lesser les trois places vides pour y mettre les dites armoirie tant pour les gages de louvrier q(ue) pour ses despans il eut 25 pistoles pour 25 sepmaines q(ui)l y trauailla." (On Saturday the 11th day of November Sir George had the arms of the King, and those of Lord Jermyn and his own, put up over the door of the Royal Court. Sir George had a master-mason and stone-cutter brought here from St Malo to make these arms, and sent to Paris to Lord Jermyn to get a drawing of his arms. He gave the said workman 20 Sous per day and his expenses. The man took more than six months making and sculpting these arms. When the Royal Court was being built Sir George had three spaces left to receive them. For his wages and expenses (his workman earned 25 pistoles for the twenty-five weeks that he worked).

The supporting arms of Lord Jermyn have long been identified as those now in the rear of 17 Le Geyt Street. The measurements of the two plaques approximate closely.

One cannot be sure how either of these stones got to their present positions, but the Royal Court concerned was replaced by another which was being built throughout the decade 1760-1770. Edouard Marett of La Haule was a Jurat from 1740-58, and it is quite likely that he saved the de Carteret stone from destruction when the building was being demolished. Some other Jurat may have lived in Le Geyt Street, then a superior suburb of the town, at the same time, and done likewise. There is, as far as is known, no record of the fate of the Royal Arms.

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