In the course of a study of local domestic architecture we had come to regard an early 17th century date for Handois with veneration, and it was with something approaching awe that, following a clue in a notebook of the late Mr E T Nicolle, we went to Handois in search of a stone with the date 1580 inscribed.
The stone was found, broken and built into the end of a stable. But much else was found too, and so the property was examined and it was decided to endeavour to compose a history of the house and its associations.
The history of the property, inextricably interwoven with that of Les Saints Germains, because records of the Seigneurie, which is 'Les Saints Germains, Handois, les Quatorze Quartiers ou Garis may well go back to 1274. The house has at times been the residence of Governors and Bailiffs of both Jersey and Guernsey, including Helier de Carteret, who, with periods of confiscation, was Bailiff of Jersey from 1513 until his death in 1561, and his equally famous nephew and son-in-law Helier de Carteret, coloniser of Sark.
In medieval and Tudor times the fief was one of great importance and value, and it was, and still is, called next in seniority after the five Fiefs Haubert at the Assize d'Heritage. It has passed in and out of the de Carteret family several times, but is now back in the hands of the present Seigneur of St Ouen.
Handois Manor is in St Lawrence, between the Mont Cochon road and Handois reservoir, and is now called Handois Farm. The old manor is a small but dignified two-storey house, in some disrepair, and used by the present occupant, Mr G P Le Marquand, for potato storage.
It is the traditional four-room house of the past, with an additional room, or press house, added on to the west later. Fortunately we can ascribe a few definite dates. There is a lintel stone, J L G 1727 S L G, in the south facade, above what is now a window, but was previously the main door. The style and double syllabic initials are consistent with the date, as is the whole front facade, though the windows have been enlarged vertically since then and perhaps the roof raised. The initials are those of Josue Le Gros and his wife Sara Langlois.
Lying sideways, and used in constructing a niche in the press room at the side, is a gable stone carved with I F 1659, representing Jean Fautrat. This is consistent with the carvings inside the house and must have been moved at some time, 1727 or later, when some alteration was made to the roof, but it gives us a date for an earlier rebuilding.
Such dated gable stones are common throughout the 17th century, but it is unusual to find one with an initial. Inside upstairs is a fireplace lintel, probably the most elaborately carved one in the island. The date is the same as that on the gable stone and the various initials represent Jean Fautrat, Elizabeth Fondan, Elizabeth Le Marchant, Anne Fautrat and William le Marchant, and they tell us of the occupants, or at least the owners, of the house at that period, as will be described later in our historical survey.
Earlier, all is surmise, but the north and east walls of the house appear older than 1659, and they contain two fine windows. One is high up in the east gable, a four-piece construction chamfered and with chamfer stops, and of a style to which one would definitely ascribe an earlier date. The lower one, on the north, has almost certainly been made up of stones from elsewhere, very probably from the chapel, and the sill in no way conforms to the rest. The lintel bears a decoration which has only been found in two other instances in the island and is identical with them. One is at Vieux Menage in St Saviour, a house said by de la Croix to be the site of La Chapelle de Maufant, and the other at Le Ponterrin, sometimes known as the Monastery, nearby. This house is said to date from 1500.
So parts of the north and east of the house may well be remains of a house built there by Helier de Carteret, a son of St Ouen's Manor, when he obtained the fief in 1522. It will be seen that the manor house of St Germain, the sometime Seigneurie, was sold away from the fief in 1485.
Handois apparently became the manor, and could have been built earlier than 1522, but probably not later. Further back than that we dare not go as far as the house is concerned, but the same site may well have been reused for many centuries and many times over. We know from the British Museum manuscript that there was in 1583 "a water mill of little valewe" but no trace of that remains.
It was probably near the present reservoir, in a field with a dip, now drained, but which is remembered as being marshy in years gone by. As this was such an important seigneurie there must also have been a colombier, but unfortunately no sign of it can be found. We know that there was a seigneurial chapel, described thus:
- "Cette chapelle située dans la paroisse de St Laurent, etait une dependence de la Seigneurie de Handois, laquelle appartenait à Helier de Carteret au sixième siecle. Cette chapelle, dont nous donnons la representation, existe encore aujourd'hui. On y remarque le benitier a gauche de la porte d'entrée, lequel, brise en deux, laisse encore voir sa forme intérieure."
This was in 1859, and in 1892 a Societe Jersiaise excursion took place and the account says:
- "On nous a montré le petit edifice que de la Croix dit etre une ancienne chapelle. La porte d'entrée est en plein cintre, et d'apparence trop récente, mais les fenetres petites et tres evasées sont asset semblables a celles que presentent ordinairement ces anciens edifices. La maconnerie parait liée avec de l'argile sans melange de chaux, ce qui serait tout a fait exceptional. On a dit qu'il y avait autrefois un benitier pres de l'entrée, mais actuellement rien ne le prouve."
However, de la Croix' illustration shows the arch on the left corner of the building, whereas all that now remains is an arch next to the right hand corner. A well, which in the wood cut appears considerably to the right of the door, is actually to the left. It is therefore probable that the wood cut has been reversed. Thus we know that the chapel was still standing in 1859, and had a round arch and a broken benitier inside.
Mr Jean, who was brought up from childhood at Handois, believes this to be the entrance of the chapel, in its original position. Had we not seen that the chapel had a round arch, rough and inaccurate as the illustration is, we should have guessed this to be the 17th century round entrance arch to the house, which had been replaced by a straight lintel door in the next century, as was common practice. But the evidence for the chapel entrance is strong. If the arch is contemporary with the chapel it suggests a date not much earlier than 1500, though it could have replaced an earlier one found to be in disrepair.
The apparent site of the chapel suggests a normal east-west orientation, with the entrance arch on the north, as is the case at the Chapelle ès Pecheurs and various others. In the pigsties are several handsome carved stones, probably window lintels displaced at the rebuilding of 1727, or they may have come from the chapel; this is particularly likely in the case of one with a fleur de lys. In the end sty is a stone basin.
Although much larger, it bears a strong resemblance to the so-called baptistaire found from the chapel of Sire Augustin Baudains, the font in use in the chapel at St Ouen's Manor, and several similar receptacles now at the Museum.
A 1921 contract, referring back to one of 1910 between William Philip Jean and Walter Laurens, fils Jean, of Manitoba, mentions la pantie du grand coteau qui se trouve a l’est de ladite chasse a l'ouest and on other occasions les chasses are mentioned. Now only one approach is used, that from the east, but the western one can be followed. After a quarter of a mile or so it turns and runs south beside the reservoir and eventually comes out by Handois pumping station above King's (Quetivel) Mill; this is probably the older road of the two.
The field names in the area deserve attention. Le Quaignon is a curious name and may perhaps be connected with the Jersey-French word coignet for a corner stone, as this is in a sense a corner field; or it may well be a corruption of Le Coiesmon quoted in 1636 in a partage of the land of Symon Romeril's heirs, which was probaby adjacent.
The names quoted in 1699, when Josue Le Gros bought the property, are the same as those quoted in 1763, when a trespass case occurred, with the exception that, in the former, La Gallerie is said to be devant ladite maison and in 1763 it is La Gallerie de l’est de la maison. The latter is more correct.
Also in 1699 there is un petit becquet planté a fouteaux, but by 1763 the trees are not mentioned; perhaps they were saplings and had been transplanted.
In 1674, when William Le Marchand sold the property to Charles de Carteret, Jardin Richard appears, but has not been identified and does not appear in any other document; nor is La Bergerie mentioned elsewhere. This means a field with a corner walled or partitioned off for shearing sheep.
It also appears that at this date there was a path leading north to the main road, as Clos de Jouan au vouest de la grande cache du nord is mentioned and Grand Clos du Pretre a l'autre bord de la cache.
The Duke of Richmond's map (1796) shows a path running north here, but to the west, not the east of the Clos de Jouan. It also seems that at this date Chasse a l'Ouest followed a slightly different line from its present one; it is very likely that at that time it led straight to the mill. This clos has appeared with various spellings through the centuries: in 1674 it was Clos de Jouan, in 1619, 1699 and 1763 Clos de Jean, but in 1865 and 1921 it had become Clos de Geon.
Clos du Four is intriguing; the dictionary tells us that a four a chaux is a lime burning kiln or oven; we know there was such a lime burning kiln at St Cyr in St John, and it may be that we have thus found the site of another; the name Clos du Four appears in other parts of the island as a field name.
Clos Briard may record the residence of that family nearby, for in 1574 Marie Briard is quoted as dont les terres sont joignantes audit tenement de Handois.
There is a legend concerning Handois known to everyone living in the vicinity, but which it has not been possible to verify. It is, however, so widespread that there must be some truth in it. It is to the effect that a lady from Handois thought she owned 100 vergees of land, but that when it was measured up it came to only 99. She strove to acquire the one missing vergee but no one would sell it to her, and in despair she committed suicide, and as a result this land was forfeit to the Crown.
This block of land, lying on either side of Mont Gavey, and known as Les Moraines, does total 99 vergees, and is Crown land now. It is composed of Les Hammonets in St John, and the rest in St Lawrence, named Clos de St Malo, Parcq de Bas, Cloture du Sud, Cloture du Nord, Parcq Hotton, Parcq Godfray, Le Pre, Cotil des Moraines, and fields numbered from 1-7 Les Moraines.
No one knows who this sad lady was, nor when she lived; it seems likely that she was a daughter who inherited a lot of land while her brother inherited the main property, for had she been the sole heir the whole property would have become forfeit.
The story of the people who lived at Handois begins with the fief being held in the 13th century by a Gallichan, probably from Galicia, and members of this family were sometimes known as de Handois from their fief, which suggests that their manor may well have been on the same site. It also shows that the name Handois or Handoys (in 1613 it was written Handoues) has remained virtually unchanged through the centuries.
It has been suggested that the word may come from han (galingale) and douet, thus meaning the stream where the rushes grew. It is an unusual word, and unique in the island, the nearest approach to it locally being the the Hanois rocks off the coast of Guernsey, which may be spelt Hanways or Hanaways.
Raoul Gallichan, who held the fief in the reign of Henry III, married Jeanne, niece of Adam de Sottevast and Guillaume de Briquebec. These two uncles gave her their Jersey fiefs as dowry, the former giving ten summae of wheat in the parish of St Lawrence. These ten summae are said to equate to the quatorze quartiers, and to be the origin of that part of the fief's title, having been retained through the centuries, although the holding was confiscated by the Crown as ‘land of the Normans’ after the separation from Normandy, and in spite of an order for restitution, dated 1240, which appears to have been ignored.
Thus the present holder of the fief still has the quatorze quartiers in their original position in the title.
Some time between 1309 and 1324 the fief passed, it is not known how, to a Pierre de Garis, a Basque financier. A manuscript book of Dr P Langlois, president of La Société Jersiaise for some time in its early years, who corresponded with F W Collas concerning material for Payne's Armorial, quotes:
- "1324: Pierre de Garyz, Abbe de Bellozanne. En 1374 Jean de Garis etait inscrit pour une paire de blancs esperons parmi les rentes dues a la Couronne (probablement pour le fief de Garis connu aussi sous les noms de St Germain, Handois, les Quatorze Quartiers. Partie du Coin Hatain a St Laurent est sur ce fief."
Some of the de Garis emigrated to Guernsey, where the name still exists. Those who remained in Jersey held Handois for three generations, but when Edmund de Garis died childless in 1396, his property passed to his half brother, son of his mother by her second marriage.
She was Eleonore de Chesney and she married, secondly, Geoffrey Walsh. Eleonore, great-granddaughter of Guillaume de Chesney who, like Raoul Gallichan, had received the fief in the reign of Henry III (that is before 1272), was thus the cause of the immense litigation which followed the death at the Battle of Barnet of her grandson, Geoffrey Walsh, the last of his line. All his property was confiscated by the Crown as he had been a follower of Warwick the Kingmaker, and therefore a Yorkist adherent.
From 1471 for over a century claims were made by all the descendants of Eleonore's sisters, and of both her own marriages, de Garis and Walsh. But the Crown retained the fiefs, making temporary grants to numerous people. An interesting point arises as to which house, Les Saints Germains or Handois, was the residence of the Seigneur of the fief at various stages.
Les Saints Germains is quoted as the name of that house. Mr Balleine thinks it may refer to a chapel on the site dedicated to the two saints of that name. It may, alternatively, record the fact that at various times there have been two manor houses connected with the fief. There is also a third house called St Germains Farm, lying mid-way between Les Saints Germains and Handois, which has a dated corbel of 1699 and a double entry arch of 1683.
Former Société president C P Le Cornu quotes an extract said to have been taken from a letter patent of the reign of Charles II, which says that John Wallis or Walsh, after his manor (Le Manoir de la Brequette at L'Etacq) was engulfed by the sea somewhere about 1350:
- ”se retira dans la paroisse de St Laurent en ladite ile ou it fit batir un chateau, aujourd'hui en ruines, que l’on appelle le Chateau de St Germain."
It is believed to have been demolished in 1639 and in 1655 Gibbon is his Roll of Arms says:
- "St Germain, an ancient seat whose ruins yet remain... "
And a manuscript says that the present house was built in 1694 by Philip Le Hardy. These facts support the local tradition that the original owner had decided to build his house as far away from the sea as possible, and Colonel J Bichard, who lived there until his death in 1955, used to make the proud boast to his visitors, clapping his hand over the newel post of the stairs: "This spot is the centre of the island."
It is fairly clear that during the 16th and early 17th century the house of Les Saints Germains was in ruins and uninhabitable and Handois must have been the Seigneur's home. But Mr G de Gruchy thinks that the de Garis lived at Les Saints Germains, as in 1364 Edmond de Garis, then a child, is stated as having gardens 'at St Germain by the brook on the borders of St Lawrence and St John'.
This description fits the house of Les Saints Germains perfectly, but we have already seen that it was the Walshes who built it, probably before 1364 (if we are right in dating the inundation of La Brequette to about 1350) and the Walshes only obtained possession of the fiefs by marriage with the de Garis widow, Eleonore, mother of this Edmond.
Her first husband, Jean de Garis, died probably in 1361, so that 1362 is the earliest date when the Walshes could have claimed the fief. It seems quite possible that the de Garis lived at Handois, possibly renting a garden on the Walsh property. It seems clear that the Walshes built their house at St Germain before they acquired the fief through the marriage of Geoffrey Walsh to Eleonore de Garis, nee de Chesney.
After the Tudor accession the Walsh descendants reappeared and asked that the forfeiture of their estates be cancelled, and a Lancastrian king was bound to listen to their pleas. But from 1471, date of the forfeiture after the Battle of Barnet, many temporary grants had been made. Sir Richard Harliston held the fief until 1485, followed by his kinsman, William Hareby, Bailiff, who died out of the island. The notorious Governor Matthew Baker held it for a decade, and at one time it was held by a man named Winslow or Wynchels, as his widow was claiming it unsuccessfully in 1483. He had been garrisoned here before Maulevrier's occupation.
Mr Compton, brother of Sir William Compton, Privy Councillor, also held the fiefs at one time. In March of 1497 John Fauntleroy was recognised by a Royal Court order as the legitimate descendant and heir of Geoffrey Walsh's estates ”injustement detenues par Mathieu Baker”, but he ceded all his claims to his cousin, Lord Broke, descendant of Eleonore's brother Raoul de Chesney, in 1499.
It seems doubtful that these heirs ever got actual possession and the Crown appears to have "unjustly deprived the heirs of their inheritance and retained the bulk of the revenues in its hands, although the four fiefs were eventually separated and regranted or sold to third parties, while the Crown sold the demesne lands and Manor house of St Germain away from the fief" (in the words of Mr de Gruchy).
We cannot be sure which manor house is referred to at this stage; the four fiefs referred to are Pinel, Morville, Grainville and Handois, and they came to be known as the "fief and seigneurie of St Germain", which latter, as we have seen, itself included Handois, Les Quatorze Quartiers ou Garis as well.
It seems likely that these various holders were, so to speak, absentee landlords. Those who were Governors, such as Richard Harliston and Matthew Baker, would certainly not have lived there, and so it seems likely that any house erected there previously may have fallen into disrepair or ruins.
Helier de Carteret
Next we come to Helier de Carteret, probably the most famous holder of this fief or occupant of this house, who was Bailiff, with some breaks, from 1513 until his death in 1561. Much has been written of the life of this famous Bailiff, one of the few men who ever dared to challenge the dreaded Cardinal Wolsey in the Star Chamber, and whose courage in so doing was eventually rewarded by justice.
He was the son of Philip de Carteret, Seigneur of St Ouen, and Margaret Harliston, that most famous of all island heroines. It has always been accepted that he was their fourth son, but as he used the "annulet" for difference on his arms, he must have been the fifth, and it would seem that his parents had another son who has not been recorded, who perhaps died young.
The many colourful anecdotes recorded about him in Les Chroniques de Jersey have been found to be substantially correct, and we can lend some credence to the author's account of his upright and courageous character. For the purpose of this article we are only interested in his career in so far as it affects the manor house and fief of Handois and St Germain.
The accounts which have reached us show that he was a man of great character and charm, brave, impulsive, impetuous to the point of rashness, a firm friend, a good athlete, an inventor of firearms, and handsome withal; just the person one can imagine being a kindred spirit of Henry VIII in his early years, and it seems that Helier did make a very good impression at Court.
It was no small achievement, in addition to being on such friendly terms with the Sovereign, to make firm friends with members of the aristocracy and Privy Councillors, when one was an unknown person from a remote island, a squire on a very small scale compared with the haughty nobles of the Tudor Courts. The manor and fief of Handois and St Germain were granted to him for life in March 1522.
At this early stage in his career he spent much time in England, but in 1529 he returned to Jersey and made his home at Handois. He was probably accompanied by his daughter, Marguerite, and possibly by his illegitimate son Edouard, who was born in 1519, but possibly not by his wife.
A great deal of his life was taken up by the protracted quarrels and difficulties over the conduct of the Governor, Sir Hugh Vaughan, whom he first tried to support, but with whom he later quarrelled, and who was responsible for having Helier accused before Wolsey in the Star Chamber.
In 1560, when an old man of about 80, Helier travelled to England in the company of his second wife, and very probably their young son, to ask Queen Elizabeth if the grant of his Manor of Handois might be extended to this son, Hugh. If we accept the authority of Les Chroniques it would seem that he was not successful in obtaining the "Seigneurie de St Germain en ladite ile de Jersey, pour luy et ses hers a fin d'Heritage" because the author goes on to say:
"Le dit Bailly auroit facillement obtins la dite Seigneurie de St Germain pour luy et a ses hers a fin d'heritage de Sa Majeste la Royne si il eut vescu quelque peut de temps davantage qu'il ne fist, car il en avoit desja quelque asseurance…
However, Brevint, our other near contemporary writer, says:
- "Le fils d'Helier de Carteret Bailli nomme Hiou, vendit a Helier de Carteret, Seigneur de St Ouen, Handoy, d'autant qu'il ne vouloit demeurer a Gerzé."
This son Hugh had been named after Sir Hugh Poulet, his godfather, who was a cousin of the boy's mother, Jeanne Colles, and he was born probably in about 1553. The authorities for this second marriage are Les Chroniques, and the Rolls of the Cour d'Heritage.
This opinion is accepted by George Balleine, although Mr R R Lempriere in his article on Helier's illegitimate son Edouard, and quoting from the diary of Elie Brevint, covering 1612-1674, and therefore retrospective, mentions Jeanne Colles as the name of the first wife. But he also says that after Helier's death in 1561 she married Robert Courtney of Devon.
This marriage took place before 1564, and if she had been Helier's only wife, married in or soon after 1519, she would have been at least 60 at the time of his death, so it seems more probable that she was the second wife and a younger woman. Of his first wife nothing is known, not even her name.
We cannot even hazard a guess that her child was called after her, as the name Margaret or Marguerite probably came from the famous grandmother, Margaret Harliston. The episode recorded by Brevint, which does not conform with what we know of Helier's character, even by the rugged standards of the time, suggests that she was English and lived near, but not in, London.
Had she been a Jerseywoman her name would surely have come down to us. From these details we may assume that she married Helier in 1517 or 1518, and that their daughter was born in 1518 or 1519, if she was the eldest child of her parents. There must have been at least one other child in 1528, when, in his tirade against the injustices of Wolsey, and the interminable delay to which he was subjected before his case was heard, Helier said:
- "I am a poor gentleman with wife and children."
But either the other children were girls or, more likely, did not survive, for it was in the interests of the son of the second marriage that he asked for the extension of his seigneurial grant. There is never any mention of his wife at all, and no wife is recorded for him in Payne's Armorial of Jersey.
When, probably in 1551, thieves broke into his house at Handois, after he had been dining with the Governor at the Castle, there is no mention of his wife. They took various gold cups, as well as his gold chain and a quantity of money, showing that he was living quite a comfortable life there.
It is quite possible that Helier's first wife died in England before 1529, when he returned home, and the date of this theft was almost certainly before his second marriage. It is also very possible that his second wife never returned to Jersey after his death, which occurred in England. He was over eighty.
Helier De Carteret|Helier de Carteret]], Seigneur of Sark, as well as of St Ouen, was also at one time owner of Handois, having bought the house from his cousin, Hugh, son of Helier the Bailiff.
He was probably only about seven years old when his father died, and so it is more than likely that he stayed in England with his mother, when she remarried, and probably never returned to the island. It is thought that Les Chroniques and Brevint are the only authorities for his existence, and nothing more is known of him.
We now come to a tentative identification for our 1580 stone, the origin of this research and article. The overall size of the surviving part measures 20in x 50in, the chamfer is 5in wide and the raised letters 4½ in long, and it is of Mont Mado granite.
It was most tempting to think it commemorated the death of Helier de Carteret of Sark, the surviving part of the inscription reading L A N 1580 H D, but the date is one year too early for his death, and the evidence for the exact date of his death is convincing.
The remaining possible claimants are:
- Hugh de Carteret, son of Helier, the Bailiff, and Jeanne Colles. He was both cousin and brother-in-law of Helier of Sark, and was probably born about 1553. Although he does not figure in Island history, his death would have been known to his sister, and she and her husband, Helier of Sark, might well have put up a memorial stone to him at Handois where there was a Seigneurial Chapel and where he had been born and lived as a child.
- Henry Dumaresq, son by a first marriage of Marguerite de Carteret, wife of Helier of Sark. In some ways this identification seems less likely, for why should a Seigneur of Samares have a memorial tablet put at Handois, but there is such a strong family likeness between the stone and that of the Dumaresqs of Samares at St Clement's Church, that it is possible.
If so, Marguerite would have had it erected in memory of her son, whose date of death is not known. He was the father of Esther Dumaresq, recorded on the St Clement's Church stone, a further possible link. But unless we find the missing parts, we shall never know whether the missing letter to follow the D is C or M, which is tantalising.
There is however a broken fragment built into the west gable at Handois which appears to be the end section with chamfer, and with the latter E. If this is the end of the legend, much of which has been lost, it could be the last letter of either décédé, décédée, or morte.
When Helier de Carteret colonised Sark he built a windmill on which he inserted a lintel dated 1571. This is nine years earlier than the Handois stone, but is similar in having "LAN" before the date. The harbour arch in Sark reiterates the "LAN" with 1588 and may have been erected at that date, perhaps by Helier's son, eight years after the father's death. The actual lettering of the datestone appears to be later, but as it is above and not actually part of the arch it may record retrospectively the date of the erection of the arch.
The category of events given in Amias Poulet's letter to Lord Burleigh tells us that the reversion of the Manor was granted to Lord Somerset, then Earl of Hertford in 1522, shortly after its allocation to Helier de Carteret. This grant to Somerset was to be for life, but he did not outlive de Carteret.
We are told that that Edward VI granted "the same" to Sir Hugh Poulet into whose hands the fief thus fell at Helier's death in 1561. Queen Elizabeth then granted it for life to Sir Amias Poulet, his son, who goes on to ask that it be granted to him "in fee simple at a reasonable price” promising to use the resulting income on fortifications at Mont Orgueil Castle.
It seems that the Seigneurie was granted to these people, and Helier de Carteret did not, as has been supposed, gain it outright. It must have been the house only which his son subsequently sold to Helier de Carteret of Sark, his cousin.
Sir George Paulet
In 1602 Sir George Paulet was living in St Lawrence and probably at Handois, and his daughter Rachel inherited Handois at his death in 1621, and the Seigneurie passed to the de Carterets through her marriage to Philip. This cannot refer to the house, and must just refer to the fief.
There is also an obvious confusion between two men called Amias, the Amias Poulet who wrote to Lord Burleigh, and Amias de Carteret, son of Helier of Sark, who is quoted by Payne and other writers as Seigneur of Handois, as well as of Trinity, in 1608. He had become Seigneur of Trinity by marriage with Katherine Lempriere, he was Bailiff of Guernsey, and was also the brother-in-law of Rachel Poulet, but probably inherited Handois Manor from his father, Helier of Sark.
In 1615 this Amias' third but eldest surviving son, Josue, sold "l'imeuble de Handois cauxoris Jeanne Herault his wife" to Mathew Fondan. In the same year Jeanne Herault sold two small pieces of land, "le bout du nord d'un certain pré appellé le pré du Vivier" and "Le petit bout de cotil entre la fontaine et le muraille appartenants a Mathieu Fondan" to Symon Romeril, fils Collas "le tout au sud de la maison et messuage dudit Symon".
It is not possible to identify these small fields now, but the mention of a vivier, fontaine and meadow make it possible that they, and perhaps also Symon Romeril's house, are now flooded by the reservoir. A vivier near a chapel has occurred in field names too frequently to be a coincidence and may well indicate a fish pond to provide for fast days.
We cannot discover why Jeanne Herault's husband sold the house and these fields ca-uxoris instead of in his own right, nor why she is said to hold the fields "elle avant droit de Amice de Carteret” her husband's father. Perhaps he was particularly fond of his daughter-in-law.
The daughter of Mathew Fondan, Elizabeth, married Jean Fautrat. The Fautrats were a family of Jersey origin who had been established in Guernsey since Elizabethan times, when a considerable number of merchants moved to Guernsey, where trading facilities were better.
The Jean Fautrat who became a Guernsey Jurat in 1640 acquired Handois through Elizabeth Fondan, who was his second wife, and who herself had Guernsey connections, and who had also inherited the minor fief of Janin Besnard in Guernsey. Jean Fautrat can scarcely have spent much time living at Handois as he was Lieut-Bailiff and Jurat of Guernsey, but he evidently had considerable rebuilding done to the house, as a gable stone suggests rather substantial work, and he must have employed a competent artist and carver to work the great fireplace lintel.
His daughter Anne Fautrat married Jurat William Le Marchant, of l'Hyvreuse in St Peter Port, where they lived. This was an area now engulfed in the Town Arsenal and Cambridge Park.
In 1662 we hear that Charles II granted to Sir George de Carteret the right to hold a feudal court on his fief (at that date Helier Hue was Seneschal), quoting him as Seigneur of Handois, and Mr de Gruchy reminds us that it is most surprising that such a right did not exist long before this. At that date we know that the house belonged to the descendants of Matthew Fondan, so once again we must be aware of the confusion between the house and the fief.
Sir George was a grandson of Rachel Poulet, and he may possibly have inherited it through his father, who was not Seigneur of St Ouen, being a younger son. Sir George obviously owned much land and the fiefs in his possession are mentioned in the Extente of 1688.
In 1674 William Le Marchant, of L'Hyvreuse in Guernsey, son of Anne Fautrat, sold the house back again to the Trinity de Carterets, in the person of Charles de Carteret, Seigneur of La Hougue, husband of Marie de Carteret of Trinity, who herself was the grandaughter of Josue who had sold it to William Le Marchant's great grandfather in 1615, less than sixty years before.
But it did not remain in de Carteret hands for long this time. In 1697 Charles died, and it was inherited by his daughter, Mary, who married Raulin Robin, and she sold it on 17 July 1699 to Josue Le Gros.
Payne's Armorial tells us that "George Bandinel purchased of Lord Carteret in 1695 the large properties and manors of Melesches, Grainville, Handois, St Germain ou Garis". This George Bandinel married Elizabeth de Carteret, daughter of Francis de Carteret, and co-heiress with her three sisters of the Seigneurie of St Ouen. The eldest sister, Frances, married Elias Dumaresq, their descendants thus becoming the main seigneurial line of St Ouen.
This Elizabeth was not directly related to Lord Carteret, who is stated to have sold the property to George Bandinel, nor with the Trinity de Carterets, so one must assume that George Bandinel only held the fief for a very short time.
Josue Le Gros bought the house in July 1699, but he died in October of the same year. A statement that in 1702 Raulin Robin still possessed, through his first wife Marie de Carteret, "la maison et terres de Handois en St Laurent" must be mistaken as we have the authority of a Royal Court contract for the sale in 1699.
The name of Le Gros in St Lawrence is so numerous that it is not possible to be certain of the descent of this branch of the family, but it seems clear that Josue's son Josue, who would have inherited the house in 1699, married Sara Langlois in 1717, but it was not until ten years after his marriage that he erected the initialled stone of 1727, which is still in position in the house.
He probably altered the house then and gave it its present appearance. As his wife Sara died, a widow, in 1729, neither of them survived for long to enjoy the improvements they had made to their house.
We cannot be sure of their children, but in 1763 a remonstrance against Marie Baudains for trespass "sans droit de faire chemin et passage par dessus et au travers de ces terres" quotes ""Josue Le Gros fils Josue fils Josue"" and so shows that three successive generations bore the same Christian name.
The Josue born in January 1720 and the Elie born in December 1719 cannot both be sons of the same parents. But the descendants of Josue and Sara held the property until they failed in the male line, when it passed to Jean Laurens, who inherited it from his mother Marie Le Gros, daughter of Philip Le Gros, in 1865. They must have gone to live there before actually inheriting it, as in Godfray's map of 1849, the occupant of the house is shown at Laurens.
The Le Gros-Laurens connection is the longest tenure any family has had of the property. The present dwelling house was built, slightly to the east of the old house, sometime between 1860 and 1870, and the property remained in the Laurens family until it was sold to Mr Jean in 1917. It now belongs to his son and his daughter, Mrs B J Le Marquand, jointly, and the latter's son Mr G P Le Marquand farms it.
To return for a moment to the Seigneurie, in 1804 the Rev Amice Bisson (1746-1812) acquired the fiefs of St Germain, Grainville and Handois and in 1807 he, in the right of his wife, "fut admis a faire comparence a la Cour d'Heritage comme Seigneur du fief de St Germain". His wife was Jane Le Maistre, daughter of Elias Le Maistre, whose wife was the Lady of St Ouen.
A manuscript shows that the Seigneurial Court was held on 22 December 1805. The fief was inherited by the Malet de Carterets, and Colonel E C Malet de Carteret bequeathed it to his second son, Charles Edward, in 1914, and he in turn bequeathed it to his nephew, the present Seigneur.
The house of Les Saints Germains now also belongs to Mr Malet de Carteret, and so the name of St Germain would appear to have a homing instinct, and to be determined to be associated with St Ouen.