Important English pieces

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Jersey's Royal Mace

The Royal Mace

During the Civil War Charles II, then Prince of Wales spent two periods in Jersey where he could rely on the fiercely royalist island leaders. In 1663 he presented a silver gilt mace to the Island as a token of his appreciation. This mace is borne before the Bailiff to this day as a symbol of his Royal authority and, on the death of a sovereign, it is covered in black chiffon and laid flat on a table in the Royal Court.

The mace is identical to the mace given by Charles to the Royal Society. It weighs nearly 240 ounces and is over 4½ feet in length. The mace bears the following inscription on the foot:

"Not all doth he deem worthy of such reward. Charles II King of Great Britain France and Ireland as a proof of his royal affection towards the Isle of Jersey (In which he has twice been received in safety when he was excluded from the remainder of his dominions) has willed that this royal mace should be consecrated to posterity and has ordered that hereafter it shall be carried before the bailiffs in perpetual remembrance of their fidelity not only to his august father Charles 1 but to his majesty during the fury of the civil war when the Island was maintained by the illustrious Philip and George De Carteret Knights, Bailiffs and Governors of the said Island"

The mace was regilded early this century and whilst it bears no maker's mark it can be assumed it was made in London.

Communion plate at Elizabeth Castle presented by Governor Sir Thomas Jermyn in 1641

The Elizabeth Castle plate

The Elizabeth Castle plate comprises a flagon, chalice and paten. The flagon weighing 35 ounces was made in London and bears the date mark for either 1606-7 or 1608-9 . The maker's mark W.R. may be that of William Rawson and this mark also appears on the “John Masfield Cup” of 1610-11, a flagon of 1613-14 and a tankard of 1618-19. This flagon or stoop was probably originally made for secular use.

The arms are likely that of Lord Capel of Hadham Hertfordshire who accompanied Prince Charles to Jersey during the Civil War. In 1648 Lord Capel was beheaded for his support of the royalist cause. The chalice and paten were part of the sets of plate given to both Elizabeth and Mont Orgueil castles by Sir Thomas Jermyn in April 1641 to be used for the bread and wine at the celebration of the Holy Communion in their Churches. Sir Thomas Jermyn was appointed Governor of the Island of Jersey in 1631. In 1634 he appointed Sir Philip de Carteret as Lieutenant-Governor and it is recorded that by 1643 Thomas Jermyn had left Jersey.

The earliest English church chalices date from the 12th century and many survive, providing us with an unusually detailed knowledge of their stylistic changes and their chronological development. The chalice weighs 16 ounces and is nearly nine inches in height. It is typical of the design of the second quarter of the 17th century. The maker's mark is too defaced to be determined. The chalice bears the London mark for either 1640-1 or 1644-5 although the former is much more likely. The arms have been identified by the Somerset Herald as used by Sir Thomas Jermyn. The paten on foot weighs over 11 ounces. It takes the Anglican form, having a slightly concave top and central foot. Patens were generally reversible, used the correct way up to carry the wafers in the Communion service and used upside-down as a cover for the chalice.

It is therefore generally regardedthat patens were made to match chalices. As the arms of this chalice are on the underside it is likelythat this paten was so used. The paten bears the London marks for 1621-2 however the maker's mark is too defaced to be determined. As in the case of the chalice above, the arms have been identified by the Somerset Herald as used by Sir Thomas Jermyn.

The Elizabeth castle plate was lost for many years. In 1906, however, the Dean of Jersey discovered the chalice, paten and flagon in a store room at Elizabeth Castle in an unlocked wooden box. The Dean informed the War Office of the find. They immediately laid claim to the items and arranged for the plate to be transported to London for identification.

The Dean disputed the War Office’s entitlement to the plate and it was eventually agreed that they would be returned to the care of the Dean on the understanding that they must be made available to the Chaplain of the forces for the purpose of holding Church services for troops stationed in the Island. The silver did not return unscathed from London as it was at this time that the items were stamped with the War Office mark W^D.

The Bandinel alms dish

This alms dish in the Jersey Museum collection has an interesting associated history. The dish, made in London in 1684-5 bears an indistinguishable maker's mark. The construction is of a plain raised bowl with reeded border. The arms consist of a fleur-de-lys atop two stars and the dish bears three sets of initials GB, IB and PAH.

It is most likely that the initials GB refer to George Bandinel, the great-grandson of Dean David Bandinel, the Protestant of Italian origin who became Dean of Jersey in 1620. James' eldest child George (died 1741), became Seigneur of Mélèches and Viscount of Jersey. He was married twice, first to Elizabeth Poigndestre and subsequently after her death in 1697, to the daughter of Francis de Carteret the Seigneur of St Ouen, who died in 1727.

The youngest child Rachel married George Le Fevre of Guernsey whose arms the dish bears.

The Le Couteur bowl

The Le Couteur bowl

This bowl on pedestal foot was made by Paul Storr and bears the London mark for 1811. The bowl was presented to Major-General John Le Couteur by the States of Jersey at a cost of £100 guineas. The presentation on 27th July 1811 read The States, taking the opportunity of their first sitting since the promotion of Colonel Le Couteur to Major-General in His Majesty’s Army, and his subsequent resignation from the office of Inspector of Militia of this Island, express to him their awareness of the important service which he has rendered to the country in instructing and perfecting the young men in their training and military discipline, following a scheme which he himself formulated.

Le Couteur served in the Battle of Jersey in 1781, just prior to his transfer to the 100th Foot Regiment and service in India where he was taken prisoner. After the disbanding of his regiment Le Couteur returned to Jersey on half pay and became a Centenier in the Parish of St John.

In 1787 he was appointed Adjutant of the North West Regiment in the Jersey Militia and was elected Jurat in 1790. In 1792 Le Couteur was appointed Brigade-Major and resigned from his position as Juratto devote himself entirely to the improvement of the militia forces. In 1797 he was sent Scotland, returning to the island in 1799 having been appointed Inspector of Militia. Le Couteur was appointed Colonel in 1808 and Major General in 1811 at which point he resigned as Inspector of Militia.

Le Couteur was also responsible for the introduction of the presentation of silver Militia prize spoons (described earlier) by the States of Jersey.

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