Clement de Quetteville

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Clement de Quetteville

By A C Saunders - Mr G T Messervy, past president of the Société Jersiaise, has been good enough to call my attention to an incident well worth recording

”Clement de Quetteville of St Martin's parish, with five or six others, was gathering vraic at Chausey, at that time a no-man's-land. They and their boats were seized by a Parliamentarian vessel from Guernsey and they were taken off to the neighbourhood of Cap Frehel, where a squadron was assembled to convoy vessels from St Malo to England. The next day, 12 July 1657, the boats with their crews were sent off to Guernsey and two or three sailors placed on board each boat.
”De Quetteville, who was sailing his craft, managed to lose sight of the rest during the night and quickly steered for Jersey, and at daybreak was off the Corbiere Rocks telling the soldiers that they were the Hanois, which are to the south-west of Guernsey. When, however, Elizabeth Castle shortly came in sight, the fat was in the fire, and the irate soldiers up and smote Clement full sore and made him put about for Cap Frehel again. Watching his opportunity, however, while one of the men was changing his jacket, he wrenched out the tiller and dealt him a hefty blow on the nape of the neck and then tackled the other men and disarmed them. He then cut down the sail and with pistol in one hand and the helm in the other, he made the unwilling soldiers take the oars while he steered the craft for home and grounded at St Clement.
”Here the Constable, Helier Dumaresq, and police came on the scene and took the prisoners to Mont Orgueil into the custody of Philip de Carteret, brother of Sir George, who was in command there. The next day, when he had recovered from the effects of his wounds and exertions, he related his story to Sir George who praised him for his valour, gave him half a crown and promised him further rewards, while Lady de Carteret bathed his wounds.
”He apologised for not throwing the men overboard, but he was afraid of the possible consequence, viz martial law and the gibbet, but Sir George assured him he need have no fear as ‘all's fair in war’."

Is it any wonder that with such men, Jersey privateers were so much feared?

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