Reginald Raoul Lempriere

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Reginald Raoul Lempriere (1851-1931), Seigneur of Rosel and twice elected Jurat was the only son of the Rev William Lempriere, Seigneur of Rosel and Dielament, and Julia Anne Wayne, daughter of Thomas.

Early years

He was born on 8 December 1851, at Wolverstone, near Ipswich. In 1859 his father inherited Rosel Manor, and the family moved to Jersey. Reginald Raoul entered Winchester College in 1864; Christ Church, Oxford, in 1870, and transferred to Hertford College, Oxford, in 1873, obtaining his BA in 1875.

In 1873 he became Lieutenant in the East Regiment of the Militia, and was promoted Captain in 1881. He was called to the English Bar at the Inner Temple in 1875, and practised for a time, then becoming private secretary to Sir R Herbert, Permanent Under-Secretary of State at the Colonial Office. He was offered an appointment in the Fiji Islands, but decided to return to Jersey, where he became an Advocate in 1880, and Constable of St Martin from 1880-83.

In 1894 he was elected Jurat, but resigned the same year on being appointed Viscount, a post which he held until 1917. In 1918 he stood for election as Deputy of St Helier No 2 District, but was defeated. In the same year, however, he was for the second-time elected Jurat.

He took a deep interest in everything connected with the island, knew its history and constitution intimately, and was specially keen on agriculture and the navigation of local waters. He protected the Ecréhous from French interference by building houses on Marmotier and Blanque Ile and frequently visiting the islands.

Société

As a member of La Société Jersiaise he obtained from the States in 1894 a vote of £100 to enable the Chevalier manuscript to be transcribed, and as president from 1918-20 he took a leading part in acquiring La Hougue Bie.

He wrote valuable articles for the Société’s Bulletins, and was an authority on French poetry and English literature of the 17th and 18th centuries, and was proud of his library. He had a good knowledge of the Jersey dialect. He was noted as an after-dinner speaker and a witty story-teller.

One of his exploits in his youth had been to ride on horseback down the Snow Hill steps. The varied nature of his interests can be seen from the fact that in addition to the public posts already mentioned he was president of the Royal Jersey Agricultural and Horticultural Society, the Island Cricket Club, the Jersey Dog Club, the Jersey Race Club, the Jersey Drag Hunt, the Jersey Rowing Club, the Gorey Regatta Club, the Jersey Radio Society, and the Jersey Motor Association, which was formed at his suggestion.

He was Rear-Commodore of the Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club, and also a Freemason.

By the conditions of his feudal tenure the Seigneur of Rosel, when the King visits Jersey, is bound to meet him on his horse in the sea up to his saddle-girths, and to act as his butler, while he is in the island. Lempriere could not fulfil the first condition literally on the occasion of the King's visit in 1921, as he landed in the harbour, but he met him at the quayside, and served him with punch at Mont Orgueil.

When he asked permission to resign his Juratship in 1929 owing to advancing years, the King conferred on him the order of Commander of the British Empire.

He married at Paris in 1891 Clementina Justina Fanny, Baroness von Guttlingen of Stuttgart, and had three daughters, Yvonne, who married Charles Robin, of Steephill and then Major Christopher Riley, son of the Seigneur of Trinity; Roselle, who became the wife of Captain R J B Bolitho; and Olga. He died on 4 September 1951, and with him ended the male line of the Lemprieres of Rosel.

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