Jean Poingdestre

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Jean Poingdestre, Bailiff of Jersey 1452-1453, 1468-1477

Which Jean (or Johan) Poingdestre was Bailiff of Jersey in the 15th century, and exactly when, is in some considerable doubt. It may be that there was more than one person of this name from the same family who held the high office.

Some records show Jean Poingdestre as Bailiff from 1452 to 1453 and again from 1468 to 1477. However, the most recent publication to refer to this Bailiff was an article in the 1970 Annual Bulletin of La Société Jersiaise, which refers to documents in the collection of the Marett family of La Haule and states that Jean Poingdestre was Bailiff in 1452-53, in 1467 and 1476.

The Poingdestre family tree shows six Jean/Johan/John Poingdestres in successive generations:

  • Johan (Jean) Poingdestre (1270- )
  • Johan (Jean) Poingdestre (1305-1389) m Johanna des Augres (1310- )
  • Johan (Jean) Poingdestre (1340-1375) m Johanna (1344- )
  • Johan (Jean) Poingdestre (1375-1453) m Jeanette Le Lorreur (1380-1440)
  • Johan (Jean) Poingdestre (1411-1477) m Helen Morin (1425-1476)
  • Johan (Jean) Poingdestre (1445-1500) m Alinor (1436- )

It is possible that the Johan (Jean) Poingdestre who lived from 1411 to 1477 was the only member of the family who held the office of Bailiff, but the dates tend to support the view put forward by earlier researchers that his father, who married Jeannette Le Lorreur, was Bailiff from 1452 to 1453, when he died, and the son, who married Helen Morin, was appointed Bailiff in the 1460s and remained in office until his own death in 1477.

A Jean Poingdestre was appointed Lieut-Bailiff in 1420 and served in this position for at least five years. In 1450 one of the Poingdestres was appointed Jurat. This is believed to be the son of the Jean who was made Bailiff two years later.

The first Bailiff was seigneur of the Fiefs ès Poingdestres, ès Hormans and Diélament, and owned substantial other property. He was succeeded as Bailiff by Nicolas Morin, whose daughter Helen married his son Jean, who went on to become Constable of St Saviour in 1462, before succeeding his father-in-law as Bailiff at the end of the French occupation of Jersey in 1468.

His son married Alinor, whose surname is not known, and they had two sons, Jean and George. Jean became a cleric and forfeited his rights of inheritance, so George became Seigneur. He was Constable of St Helier but was not as politically active as his father and grandfather.

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