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Herault/Ereaut family page


Frank Ereaut, Bailiff of Jersey

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Origin of Surname

Herault meant a herald. But there were few professional heralds. Only great Princes kept one. So probably this name was given ironically to a loud-voiced person who expected everyone to listen to him.

Herault—Harold—Herald—signifying a courageous person. In old French documents, the name of King Harold, slain at Hastings, is always spelt Herault.

It has been suggested, and we previously repeated the assertion on this page, that Herault and Ereaut are one family, and that the spelling changed in the 18th century. However, we are now entirely satisfied that this is not the case, and that the Ereaut family which first appeared in Jersey church records in 1714 with the baptism of the first of three children of Jacques Ereaut and Louise Beremaux, were new arrivals from France, with no connection to the Jersey Herault family.

The name 'Ereaut' is, however, believed to have the same derivation as 'Herault'.

Early records

Herault appears in the Short Inquisition of 1274. Is still fairly common in Normandy today.

Herault/Heraut/Heraux first appear in the St Helier baptism records in 1597.

Payne's Armorial of Jersey

So early as 1331 this name is found appertaining to a landowner of the parish of St Mary, whose dues to tbe King are enumerated in tbe Extente of that year. The family, however, does not appear ever to have been a rich or even an important one; and having been long extinct, its members, and perhaps even its name, would slumber in oblivion, save for the memory of John Herault, sometime Bailly of Jersey.

He was previously Greffier of the Royal Court, and was connected by the marriages of various members of his family with some of the best insular houses. He was specially recommended to the notice of the Royal Commissioners, Gardiner and Hussey, as the one most fitted, by his extensive local and legal knowledge, to assist them in compiling the Extente drawn up under their superintendence.

He was preferred to the office of Bailly in 1611, and soon after his appointment rendered himself conspicuous by a spirited resistance to the encroachments of the Governor, Sir John Peyton, of which the histories of Durell and Le Quesne contain full accounts. In tbe various struggles for superiority that ensued, the civic defender was always victorious over his military antagonist; and during the proceedings that terminated the dispute, being obliged to repair to London to protect his interests, and to claim the good offices of James I, (to whom, it appears, he was personally known), he was received in triumph on his successful return by a congratulatory deputation from the States of the island.

Tbe cause of the disagreement between these two beads of departments may be summed up in a few words. From the known adherence of Sir John Peyton to tbe Church "as by law established", and from his suavity and courtesy of manner, he was entrusted with the government of Jersey, mainly to correct the vagaries of the strong Calvinist party in the island. His zeal for reform, however, carried him beyond the limits of his office, and among other encroachments, be was desirous of being recognised as patron of the post of Bailly. This Herault energetically resisted, and the grand result of this dispute was effectually to curtail the jurisdiction of future Governors within the bounds provided by the ordinances of Henry VII. Herault, although haughty and overbearing in character, was conscientious in the discharge of his duty, and won not only the respect of his contemporaries, but the lasting gratitude of his countrymen, for the spirited manner in which he defended his official prerogatives; pride was perhaps his weakest point, a failing ludicrously exhibited by his assuming the title of Monsieur de St Sauveur, from a small patrimony he held in that parish, but which, it should be stated in justice to himself, Heylin, without quoting his authority, says was conferred on him by the King.

During the rebellion, Abraham Herault rendered himself particularly obnoxious by his partiality for the Republican cause, and to him, Michael Lempriere, and Henry Dumaresq is ascribed the joint authorship of a pamphlet, entitled "Pseudo-Mastix," intended as a refutation of the "Lyar Confounded," of the famous William Prynne, both works founded on the state of insular politics at that period.

The name occurs in the parochial registers until about a century later, when it appears to have become quite extinct.*

  • Later note as to this surname in Jersey: The name has twice been re-introduced into the Island; firstly in the early 18th century by Jacques Ereault-later Ereaut-of France, a religious refugee and secondly, in the same century, by bearers of the English surname Harold, rendered locally Herald and then further localised into Herault. The latter family formed a part of the sea-going community in St Brelade and the western parishes, before itself becoming extinct, in the early 19th century. The Ereaut family, in the meantime, flourished in the Island, producing a Bailiff and other dignitaries, becoming extinct in the male line only very recently. It exists still, outside the Island, as does a junior branch, which in the start of the 19th century adopted the spelling Eraut.

Jersey`s original Herault family may, in all probability, still survive, in the United States of America.


  • Herault, 1624
  • Herauld 1528
  • Heraud, 1274
  • Heraut 1299
  • Heraux
  • Heralt
  • Ereaut
  • Ereault
  • Ereaux
  • Eraut
  • Eraux

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Two biographies of a 17th century Bailiff


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