Benjamin Bisson (1601-1647)
The second son of Edouard Bisson, Constable of St Lawrence, and Elisabeth, daughter of Jurat Nicolas Lempriere, Benjamin went to Cambridge University but when he returned to Jersey he found himself on the wrong side at the wrong time in the middle of the English Civil War, because along with his cousin, Michael Lempriere, he sided with the Parliamentarians.
Like his father, he became Constable of St Lawrence, in 1629. Indeed, it would have been strange had he not, because it was something of a hereditary right in his family. His father and elder brother had both held the position, and two of his sons were later to become Constable. In 1631 he was elected Jurat.
When the Civil War reached Jersey he took the Parliamentary side and was one of five Jurats appointed by Parliament to arrest Sir Philippe de Carteret, Royalist Bailiff and Lieut-Governor, and when he took refuge in Elizabeth Castle the five effectively controlled the island. Benjamin Bisson was not a healthy man and was not fit enough to escape with his colleagues when George Carteret returned to the island to resume Royalist control in December 1643 and he was arrested and held in Elizabeth Castle and then Mont Orgueil for a total of 18 months before he was brought for trial with other Parliamentarians before Royal Commissioners.
Attorney-General Helier de Carteret demanded that they should be hung, drawn and quartered as being guilty of treason of the gravest kind, but they were pardoned and required to pay heavy fines, which resulted in Benjamin having to sell a property and leaving his wife and five young children to face very difficult times when he died four years later.
G R Balleine's Biographical Dictionary of Jersey
Benjamin Bisson was the 10th great-grand uncle of Mike Bisson, who wrote this article