1851-1887 - the Du Heaumes
In 1998 I was asked to contribute towards a publication forming part of the parish of Grouville's celebration of the Millennium. In light of my frequent absences from the island, I had to limit my contribution to a number of articles on the history of several houses in the parish drawn from existing notes, most of which had been compiled during my research into the history of my father's family.
Stately old house
The one exception to this rule was a rather stately old house which had intrigued me for many years, and into whose history I had begun to research during a spare moment in 1991. Although a very concise history of Broadlands was eventually published in the resulting work, I believe that the broader details of the story are far too interesting to be left gathering dust in a folder.
This is particularly the case with the details relating to one of the island's great bank failures of the 19th century, an account of which is included in the following. It is my belief that the existing accounts of these financial crises are too cursory to provide sufficient insight into the true nature of these events and the people involved. Therefore, it is to be hoped that this article will encourage a more thorough examination of all these incidents and, in so doing, enhance our knowledge of our island's history as a whole.
Nestling in a leafy, tranquil spot opposite La Hougue Bie, Broadlands is now quite pristine and peaceful. Like Pontac House, however, its current appearance is quite deceptive, providing no indication of the troubles that befell those who lived in it. Its first inhabitants received more than their fair share of woes, while the second was far from being immune to its own share of misfortunes.
By the late 1970s it had ceased to fulfil the purpose for which it was designed, namely, a permanently occupied family home. Occupied by a solitary widow, and rarely disturbed, rumours began to circulate that only seemed to add to its allure. It housed a magnificent Victorian billiard table so large, it was claimed, that a part of the roof had been removed to haul it into place.
Or, worse still, that part of that roof had collapsed and rain poured in through the breach. Interesting though these whispers may be, they need not detain us, as the historic truth provides more than enough material of significance to occupy our attention.
Sale of field
The story began on 31 May 1851, when Mr Josue Aubin, son of David, stood before the Royal Court in St Helier to pass contract on the sale of what was then a triangular field called Le Clos de la Hougue (or de Machon) in the fief de la Hougue, Grouville. For Mr Aubin, who lived at the property now known as La Maison de la Hougue Bie in La Rue des Pigneaux, this may have been nothing more than the disposal of a surplus field. For the buyer, however, this would be the site on which he would build an ideal home for his only son.
In point of fact, besides the documented evidence for this event in legal records, further testimony can be found in the numerals ‘1851’ carved into a lintel in one of Broadland's outbuildings to the east of the main house.
However, though sitting in what was then regarded as: 'the most beautiful part of the island', Broadlands was also ideally located for the establishment of a cattle farm for, despite its Corinthian pillars and louvred shutters, a very smart little farmhouse was the purpose which it would serve for the first 35 years of its existence.
Indeed, though the adjective 'little' may seem inappropriate today, it has to be remembered that Broadlands - as conceived, built and inhabited by the Du Heaumes - was considerably smaller than the current structure. In 1851 it may have boasted only a single sitting room and study on the ground floor, and perhaps three bedrooms on the first, with some attic rooms in the loft. In fact, the whole structure extended no further south than the end of its ground floor verandah.
The buyer of these plots ofland in 1851 was one Philippe Du Heaume of St Saviour, a parish in which his family had settled by the last quarter of the 18th century. Immediately before the construction of Broadlands, his family appear to have lived on the southern side of Bagot Road in the vicinity of Carlton House. As it happened, the year in which Broadlands was built was also a census year, the record in question revealing that no fewer than three generations of the family lived in the same house at Bagot together with a single, resident servant.
Three Philippe Du Heaumes
The head of the household at that time was Philippe Du Heaume snr, father to the builder of Broadlands and younger son of Edouard Du Heaume and of Jeanne Aubin his wife. At that time he professed to be 80 years of age, but, obviously, his memory had faded with advancing age. In point of fact, the Church records of his native parish prove that old Mr Du Heaume was baptised at Saint Saviour's Church on 7th February 1770, making him thus around 81 years old at the time of the census.
His son, the second Philippe Du Heaume in that household, was then 56 years old and seems to have been the eldest male born to his father by his wife Anne Ahier. Anne, by all accounts, had died somewhat prematurely at the age of only 48, being buried in the cemetery at St Saviour on Christmas Eve 1823. Unfortunately, Anne's eldest son proved to be as star-crossed as his mother.
Married to one Mary Peggy Kerby at the Town Church on 20 June 1820, their only child - the third Philippe Du Heaume in this family - was baptised at the same place on 15 June 1821, eight days after his birth. However, on 22 February 1822, when their child was a mere eight months old, Mary Peggy Kerby, wife of Philippe Du Heaume jnr., was laid to rest in the Town Church cemetery only yards away from the font where her only child had been christened.
Some 30 years afterwards, when the census ennumerator came to call at the Du Heaume household, Philippe was still a widower, and there is no indication that he took a further wife after Mary's loss. However, in 1851 a further member of the third generation of this family would have been present at Bagot. As the census return reveals, the third Philippe Du Heaume, then a 29-year-old Second Captain in the Royal Jersey Artillery, lived beside his first cousin, Mary Ann Du Heaume, daughter of George Du Heaume and of Susanne Venernent.
But besides the basic structure of the household, the census also reveals that the first and second Philippe Du Heaumes claimed to be retired ship owners. Recent research tends to provide some corroboration for this claim, albeit to a modest degree. In particular, between 1807 and 1885 some five vessels were associated with the name Philippe Du Heaume, though there is no guarantee that all of the Philippes in question were, indeed, members of the family that built Broadlands.
Furthermore, the size of these vessels was fairly modest too, amounting to no more than 470 tons in total. Therefore, an image emerges of a modestly wealthy family, as the scale of Broadlands' original house implies. Moreover, the house's outbuildings, while neat and useful, were far from large, even by local standards.
Indeed, one would imagine that the monies used to fund the house resulted from the prudent and careful accumulation of income over a long period of time, rather than a sudden windfall, or the fraction of an even greater fortune, an impression which is greatly reinforced by the extent of the first Philippe Du Heaume's estate.
When the latter was divided between his two surviving heirs in September 1857, besides the old man's house at Bagot, the third Philippe Du Heaume and his own eldest son shared a little over 300 quarters of rentes between them, assets which would have had a cash value of roughly £6,000. Clearly, while this was a very significant sum of money at that time, it was far from being a prodigious fortune.
However, for the Du Heaumes, the first six years after Broadlands' completion were to be peppered with further losses. On Twelfth Night 1853, the third Philippe Du Heaume married his cousin Mary Ann at St Saviour's Church, subsequently becoming a father to his eldest son, Philippe-Charles Du Heaume, on 26 May 1854. Sadly, Mary Ann died a mere five days later of what was then described as 'puerperal convulsions', a diagnosis which leaves one in no doubt that the child's birth was the principal cause of the 26 year-old woman's demise.
Some two and a half years later, on 27 December 1856, his grandfather died at the venerable age of 86. His father followed only a fortnight later, dying in St Saviour at the age of only 56 on 12 January 1857. A little less than four months after that, on 14 May 1857, Philippe's cousin and brother-in-law, George Du Heaume jnr, died at Istanbul at the age of 33.
Therefore, by the very middle of 1857, all that remained of the ostensibly close knit family that had lived in the house at Bagot was Philippe himself. Perhaps by way of some consolation for all these bereavements, 1857 was also the year which witnessed Philippe's second marriage, again at St Saviour on 7 May that year. His second wife was Mary Ann Filleul, second daughter of Thomas Filleul, of Boulivot House and of Jeanne Perchard of what is now Le Petit Boulivot.
Eldest son of Thomas Filleul and of Jane-Sally Hubert, his new father-in-law had originally been raised at the old family home - Radier House, a charming old granite farmhouse which still stands today at the northernmost end of Le Chemin du Radier. Then three years into his 21-year tenure as Constable of Grouville, Thomas later rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Royal Jersey Militia.
Thankfully, the 22 consecutive years which spanned from the beginning of 1858 to the end of 1879 seem to have been comparatively peaceful. Philippe's family grew apace, the second Mrs Du Heaume adding a further seven children to the solitary child from his first marriage, including a further three sons: Alfred Philip, Herbert Thomas and Ernest Philip.
Furthermore, Philippe also had the opportunity to develop his reputation as a cattle farmer, a venture in which he succeeded to some significant extent. Nor, indeed, was this a merely recreational interest. In fact, the surviving evidence implies that Philippe developed a level of expertise in the matter of cattle breeding which helped single him out above all his contemporaries, a proficiency which can only have resulted from years of careful dedication.
Awarded two prizes for his cattle at a show held by the Royal Jersey Agricultural and Horticultural Society as early as May 1855, he appears to have been appointed to the Society's Board of Management as early as January 1856. Certainly, Philippe Du Heaume of Broadlands was present at the society's annual general meeting two years later, in January 1858.
In October 1863, when an inspection of farms and gardens was undertaken, it was said that the touring party: 'returned home by Grouville, visiting on their way Broadlands, the residence of Philip Du Heaume, Esq., whose fine cattle are beyond all praise'.
Moreover, in March 1866, when a special general meeting was convened to decide on the composition of the society's first Herd Book Committee, none other than one Philippe Du Heaume was chosen as a member.
Obviously, such a pursuit demanded not only meticulous attention to every detail of the subject, but suitable shelter and pasture for the cattle in question. Thus, by the end of Philippe's time at Broadlands the house stood in the centre of a farm covering a little over 39 vergees of land.
Philippe's reputation in his community would have also received a further fillip in 1868 when he was both elected to the bench of the Royal Court as a Jurat and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Royal Jersey Artillery. On the other hand, his election to the bench was not without its disadvantages, not least among which was the scorn he suffered at the hands of particularly sardonic journalists then in the employment of some of Jersey's newspapers.
This ordeal began on 9 March 1868, when Queen Victoria accepted the resignation of Jurat Philippe Aubin, the resulting Order in Council being read out before the States of Jersey a few days later. On the 28th of that month a meeting was convened at the Royal Hall in Peter Street, St Helier, for the purpose of hearing nominations for Jurat Aubin's successor. Owing to the apparently objectionable behaviour of a very vocal minority, this turned out to be quite a stormy session.
In particular, such was John Daniel Cabot's eagerness to nominate his own candidate that he even tried to hijack proceedings by butting in before his due time. Silenced rather petulantly by Jurat David de Quetteville, the latter proceeded to propose his own nominee.
"He had every reason to believe," he began: "that the candidate he would propose for their acceptance would never take advantage of his office to impair that privilege which had yet many long years of existence. He proposed a fit and duly qualified person for the place and office of Judge."
Cabot's followers thought otherwise, however, for when de Quetteville declared himself in favour of Philippe Du Heaume, he was greeted by a chorus of seemingly endless hisses from his opponents.
Suffice it to say, the assembly was a little more peaceful when Cabot and his supporters finally had their say. "1 have a man to propose who is a real Jerseyman," Cabot asserted, "a man who will sit down with any of us, and who hates to see a fellow-man touch his hat to him; - a man who will hear patiently all your grievances and will give you justice ... and that man is Edward Le Huquet."
Nevertheless, although Le Huquet's followers may have made more noise they were clearly outnumbered, for only Jurat de Quetteville's nomination received sufficient support to prompt the formation of a deputation that set off for Broadlands to ask for Philippe's acceptance. Cabot and his supporters were not so easily quelled, however, for as Jurat de Quetteville and his companions embarked on their trip to Grouville they were hissed at yet again.
As the deputation included two doctors among its numbers, the exclamation: "Let the Doctors feel Mr Du Heaurne's pulse!" prompted roars of laughter as Jurat de Quetteville and his company proceeded out the hall.
Jersey Times letter
An hour later, after the deputation had returned from Broadlands, the meeting was informed of Philippe's acceptance. Two days later a letter, from an anonymous individual styling himself an 'Independent Elector' who supported Mr Cabot's candidate, appeared in the Jersey Times. 'Electors!' it implored, 'Mr Du Heaume's only recommendation is cash". The editorial that appeared in the same paper the following day was even more disparaging. 'Who is Mr Philip Du Heaume?' It began:
- An awful personage strided a platform on Saturday for the purpose of proposing to the electors of the island a certain Mr Philip Du Heaume, of Broadlands, as a fit and proper person to fill the office of "Judge". We are not sure that we are one whit the wiser for knowing that the distinguished person for whose shoulders the fiery mantle of Juratdom is destined belongs to Broadlands, or Broadlands to him. Where is Broadlands? The only information that is vouchsafed on this point is that it is "a long way from town", or rather that "Mr. Du Heaume lives a long way from town", which, we suppose, means about the same thing .... and that therefore Mr Philip Du Heaume "lives a long way from" the haunts of men and the centre of civilization in our little Jersey world - which is a fact worth noting, nevertheless .... One thing, however, is very certain. There can be no manner of doubt that Mr. Philip Du Heaume thinks himself "a fit and duly qualified person for the place and office of Judge", for, it appears, he has not hesitated to accept that office ... It may be, however, that this Mr. Philip Du Heaume, whose name has ever and anon figured at the top of Prize Lists of Cattle Shows as one of the Judges at those shows, are one and the same person. If so, the whole enigma is solved. Mr Philip Du Heaume considers himself a competent judge of Bulls, Cows, Heifers, Pigs &c.: therefore - and a fortiori, we suppose - he considers himself competent to settle points of law, and to judge his fellow-men.
However, besides the mockery levelled at him by the Jersey Times, there seem to have been mutters of contempt in other quarters. 'I had heard he was a stupid fellow', Sir John Le Couteur wrote in his diary;" remarks which may have arisen from little more than hearsay, as Sir John was to take an active part in the supervision of the ballot held at the Weighbridge in St Helier. Nevertheless, despite the fervent convictions held by some, the majority of the electorate greeted the onset of the election with overwhelming apathy. 'The absence of all public interest,' the Jersey Times remarked.
- and the almost total indifference with which the affair was viewed, speak volumes for the low estimation to which Jurat elections have fallen in the minds of the public. Except for the unmelodious strains of a brass band which perambulated the streets, headed by a Jersey flag and large banner, the latter calling upon the electors for Mr. Du Heaume, there was nothing to indicate anything unusual was going on.
Sir John Le Couteur was much of the same opinion: 'No excitement,' he recorded in his diary, they told me they were mostly Rosers of the old school who voted', thus implying that Philippe drew his support from the older generation of liberals. Even so, Philippe routed his rivals. A total of 1,004 votes were cast in his favour, as opposed to only eight for his four opponents! He drew 122 votes from his own parish of Grouville, and 212 from St Helier.
After all the scorn aimed at him in the local press, Philippe must have felt duly relieved, if not elated, when writing his acceptance speech. Perhaps as a consequence, the resulting composition helped to counter the low esteem in which he was held by some of the islanders. Among these converts was Sir John Le Couteur. 'The neat little speech which he made after being sworn, with great self possession,' he wrote 'shows that he is a thoughtful person’, adding that after taking his oath of office a 'multitude' went to have cake and wine with him to celebrate his success. His speech also provides an interesting insight into his political convictions, thus helping to vindicate Sir John's assertion that Philippe was very much a member of the liberal faction:
- ”As long as I have the honour of sitting on the Bench, I hope I shall discharge those duties with integrity and impartiality, and award sound and ‘’briève’’ justice without exception of person. In the legislative assembly I shall give my support to the improvement of existing laws which may be found inefficient for the present state of things, and I shall also give my support to the introduction of any measure calculated to increase the welfare of the community. In doing so I shall, however, always have in view the preservation of those institutions which have made the island so prosperous, the maintenace of the existing insular privileges, and the support of the independence and autonomy of this island."
A little over six weeks later, on 21 May, the news broke that Philippe Du Heaume, who had been a Captain in the Royal Jersey Artillery since June 1851, was to be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, a rank in which he remained for the next 14 years, before he seems to have retired and been replaced, on 1 November 1882, with John J de la Taste.
As far as we can tell, the 1870s seem to have passed without incident for the Du Heaumes, though - as we shall see - not without its own share of events which were to have significant consequences in the following decade. In fact, for the Du Heaume family of Broadlands the 1880s got off to something of an ominous start.
As the civil registers of Grouville record, on 24 January 1880 Philippe Du Heaume's second son, Alfred Philip, died from 'ulceration of lungs', a disease that Alfred had ‘endured with Christian resignation'. Then a medical student only one month short of his nineteenth birthday, his premature and unnecessary death seems to have cut short a promising career, for he had already succeeded in passing his preliminary examinations at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London.
Nor, indeed, did this tragedy pass unnoticed by the island's liberal press. La Chronique published a fulsome obituary in its edition of 28 January 1880 which, besides paying tribute to Alfred's obvious talents, made the poignant observation: 'death always cruel, is crueller yet when it separates those who have barely reached the threshold of life, from those who have followed his every step from the cradle'.
As is all too often the case, tragedy seems to have struck at the very time when the Du Heaume's living standards were better than ever before. As the 1881 Census proves, the family were then served by a cook, housemaid and 'man-servant'. However, despite this apparent affluence, this was not a particularly stratified household, for while the domestic staff may have been lodged in the house's neatly finished attic rooms, they would still have had to use the same staircase as their employers.
Jersey Banking Company
Even so, as the 1880s wore slowly on the tremors of the growing economic crisis that would eventually spell the end of the Du Heaumes' prosperity, and expel them from the home they had inhabited during the previous quarter-century, began to intensify in distant Canada. As the whole family would be only too aware by the middle of the decade, the blame for this fall from grace can be lain at the door of only one commercial venture: the Jersey Banking Company.
Founded by the partnership of Nicolle, de Ste Croix, d' Auvergne, Le Quesne and Company, the Bank had first opened its doors to the public on 25 March 1828 at 'the house of Mr J P Collas, 23 Broad Street.
The claim that it then enjoyed the plentiful sum of £60,000 as security for the venture was undoubtedly designed to encourage prospective customers to entrust their savings and business with the new enterprise, a strategy which seems to have succeeded to some extent, for, eventually, the Jersey Banking Company seems to have won the custom of some of the island's wealthiest citizens: the' cod barons', including one of the most renowned and long established firms - Charles Robin and Company.
Moreover, in June 1858, a little over 30 years after its foundation, its then Manager, Philippe Gosset, was appointed Treasurer of the States of Jersey, a position he would retain for nearly 28 years. Consequently, the Jersey Banking Company would become the custodian of public funds and thus earn for itself the added kudos of the ‘States' Bank'.
However, such a prize was not won without demur. In particular, by the summer of 1858 the island's liberal press had already become wise to the manner in which local banks appeared to be bidding for custody of the public purse by fielding candidates for the post of States' Treasurer. Certainly, they argued, this appears to have been the case with Gosset's predecessor - Francois Godfray - whose appointment enabled the most senior of the island's banks - Godfray's Bank of Hill Street - to add the States' revenues to their deposits.
Consequently, La Chronique de Jersey harboured no enthusiasm for Gosset's candidacy. After all, why would the Jersey Banking Company propose such a young man for the post, they ventured, when so many of his more mature colleagues would have been more suitable? The only advantage they could gain, they concluded, was to maintain control of public funds, and the yield that could be gleaned from them, for the longest possible time.
Similarly, besides being the custodian for the States' revenues and reserves, it is also known that the Jersey Banking Company became the local paying agent for Grindlays Bank of Parliament Street, London, itself an army agent responsible for disbursing pay to officers and their widows.
Needless to say, in so doing it would have attracted the business of a significant segment of expatriate Britons. However, ultimately it would be the business of the Canadian cod barons that would prove to be the most pivotal. While these kings of the fishing fields of Canada prospered, so did the Jersey Banking Company. Equally, it would be true to say that it was the bank's inability to manage the consequences of their decline that would condemn it to share the same fate as its wealthier customers.
Moreover, the consequences would devastate more than just the bank's own depositors in Jersey, including the island's government. The bank's failure would also inflict considerable hardship on those least able to bear the brunt of the consequences on the other side of the Atlantic.
Du Heaume's involvement
Although it is impossible to be sure exactly when Philippe Du Heaume of Broadlands first became involved with the Jersey Banking Company, it seems probable that his participation in the company began shortly after the first major change in the ruling partnership in 1863, when the partnership that had dominated the bank since its inception in 1828 (with some minor alterations) was superceded by Gosset, de Gruchy and Co.
A list of shareholders was subsequently published in ‘’La Chronique’’ in April 1864, a notice that also proves that the bank had moved its premises to 17 Broad Street. The Gosset was undoubtedly the bank's manager and the States Treasurer, then described as Philip Gosset of Bagot, St Saviour.
The de Gruchy in question was William Philip de Gruchy, eldest son of Abraham, and thus the principal heir to the department store in King Street which still bears his name today.
While Philippe Du Heaume may have become involved with the bank through his family's existing links with shipping and overseas trade, it was his family's association with the tiny confines of Bagot, and its clutch of neighbours, relatives and friends, that would play the most fateful role. Ultimately, it would be this very intimacy, and the misplaced trust it engendered, that would be the ruin of the enterprise.
In October 1876 a public announcement was made to the effect that the second partnership of Gosset, de Gruchy and Company would be replaced by a new partnership the following January. On 13 March 1878 this new partnership also opted for incorporation under the same terms, the resolution in question being formally drawn up in the form of a deed and registered in that most traditional source of reference for creditors - the Public Registry - the following August.
Later investigations proved that, besides endorsing the appointment of Philippe Du Heaume - formerly of Bagot - as the bank's president, its then third largest shareholder was none other than the bank's manager, Philippe Gosset of Bagot Manor in Plat Douet Road, an old granite house that stood on the verges of Le Clos Gosset, a field which has since lent its name to the housing estate that was built there.
On the other hand, it would also be true to say that the extent of Gosset's commitment to the venture would play a similarly decisive role. As he had held the position of manager at the time of his appointment as Treasurer of the States at the age of around 27 in 1858, it may be true to say that he had dedicated much of his working life to the business.
The size of his shareholding - 40 shares at £50 each, being ten per cent of the total share capital with a nominal value of £2,000 - was equally significant, as was his association with the Robin family, a name synonymous with one of the oldest and most successful cod fishing businesses among all the local concerns with interests in Newfoundland and Gaspe.
In the latter respect, one should note that he was both a considerable shareholder and partner in both Charles Robin and Company and Philip Robin and Company. Indeed, his younger brother had been christened Charles Robin Gosset. This may explain why, by the 1870s and 1880s, when the bank's business turned sour, he may have resorted to deceit and embezzlement in a vain effort to keep it afloat. He may also have been too lenient towards the cod fishing firms that were to take such a critical role in its collapse.
Although a level of panic among its anxious customers erupted in St Helier at the time of the bank's failure in January 1886, the fact still remains that misgivings about the bank's solvency had been circulating for some time before.
'For some days past unpleasant rumours with respect to the stabiliry of this bank had obtained a certain degree of currency,' the Jersey Times noted: 'and on Saturday the rumour became more sinister, persistent and general.'
In the end, perhaps it was only apt that, for the States' bank, the final straw would be the interest that was due to be paid to the government's bondholders. Admittedly, while the inabiliry of the bank to pay the interest has already been commented on, none of the existing accounts have acknowledged that this was - indeed - the event that precipitated the company's collapse.
On Monday 11 January 1886, the Jersey Banking Company was due to pay a total of £20,000 in coupons on the States' securities. However, although the staff at the bank were engaged in frantic efforts to remedy the shortfall throughout the weekend, the money could not be found. Consequently, the now infamous notice was posted on the closed door of the bank's premises at the corner of New Cut and Library Place, an entrance which, though providing access to a building which was greatly extended by its successors, has changed very little since that time.
The notice was terse, but must have left its readers in little doubt that the island was about to undergo another financial convulsion: 'Unforeseen circumstances have compelled the bank to suspend payment'. In light of later revelations, some might regard the reference to 'unforeseen circumstances' as either ironic or yet another testament to the general dissemblance that had prevailed for years. The Press Association of London put the matter a little more candidly:
- ”The head of a well-known firm in London ... informs our representative that the work of the bank has been chiefly amongst persons in the Jersey fish-curing and shipping industries, and he expresses the opinion that the "unforeseen circumstances" alluded to in the posted notice arose out of the locking up of assets in this direction.
As was to become all too evident as the year wore on, the directors of the bank, from the very moment they took over from the previous set of partners, must have been aware that the debts of the cod firms were, at the very least, a cause for concern.
In fact, at the commencement of the new partnership's operation in January 1877, the bank's balance sheet was clearly in deficit, its liabilities outweighing its assets by some extent. However - and perhaps without the directors' knowledge - a decision had been taken to conceal the shortfall by indulging in a little financial fibrilation, a whole raft of irrecoverable debts being exhumed and declared as assets to compensate for the imbalance.
Furthermore, a transfer of £16,800 from the books of the previous partnership had been recorded as an injection of new capital when, in fact, no funds had been received. Therefore, the new partnership was insolvent from the outset, and would remain so, despite statements to the contrary, throughout the remainder of its existence.
From the very start, this predicament was exacerbated even further by the terms to which the new partners agreed when they assumed responsibility for the bank's business. Exactly why they agreed to both pay the outgoing partners all outstanding dividends and refund them all the capital that they had committed to the venture, can only be guessed at.
It may have been due to a mixture of misplaced optimism or just over-indulgence among the coterie of relatives and friends that seems to have dominated the bank's board of directors. As we shall see, it is now impossible to determine the exact extent of the directors' knowledge of these manoeuvrings, or the precise part they played in the manner in which they were addressed.
As the judicial investigation into the bank's affairs progressed during the course of 1886, it became evident that the Canadian cod businesses had been slowly declining since the 1870s. However, matters were said to have taken a particularly bad turn for the worse after 1882, when a combination of cholera in the ports and competition from Scandinavia began to undermine the fisheries' viability.
Although the firm of Charles Robin and Company may have been the more eminent of its Canadian customers, and has thus tended to be the focus of attention in the past, the fact remains that of all the Jersey firms that operated in the fishing waters of Newfoundland, the one enterprise that incurred the worst debts, and whose affairs took the most crucial role in the bank's collapse, was Le Boutillier Brothers.
Although it was said that the firm's account had shown a balance to the good of £14,000 as late as 1880, by August 1882 there had been a dramatic turn for the worse in Le Boutillier Brothers' affairs, the business falling into debt to the tune of £40,000.
In light of this dismal predicament, the Bank felt compelled to seize control of the operation. As the solicitor, John Francis Giffard, later testified, the firm was transferred into the hands of, first, Philippe Gosset, and then to the name of Du Heaume, Nicolle and Gosset: 'to avoid legal measures'.
By the December of that year the situation had worsened, the claim of the bank standing at £45,911, the liabilities thus exceeding the firm's assets by £16,593.
First, John Sutton Mourant and then Philippe Du Heaume's son-in-law, Charles John Nicolle, son of the bank's equal largest shareholder, Jurat Clement Nicolle, were sent to investigate the state of the firm's affairs.
Unfortunately, the picture that greeted them on their arrival in Canada in January and February 1883 was far worse than they had assumed. Not only had debts been concealed, but the firm as a whole had been over-valued. As time passed, the situation continued to deteriorate.
Reserve fund sale
Indeed, by June 1884 the bank was forced to breach the terms of its own constitution by selling the reserve fund, a portfolio of 'gilt-edged' bonds issued by the British government which was supposed to act as the bank's reserve of capital. In theory, this fund was supposed to gradually accumulate as £1,000 was added to it every year. In practice, it was dissipated in an effort to shore up the bank's failing finances.
When it came to the management of public funds, Gosset fared little better, the funds being used - like so much else that fell into his clutches - to shore up the bank's parlous balance sheet. Between February 1885 and January 1886 the Jersey Banking Company received a total of £37,046 from the States of Jersey. Of this sum, Gosset later admitted, £25,000 was placed on deposit with the bank, while £6,345 had been invested in Varna Railway Bonds and £5,000 in Assam shares.
However, it later emerged that the securities in question had fallen foul of Gosset's need to placate the bank's largest creditor: the National Provincial Bank of London. In a desperate attempt to provide collateral for the Jersey Banking Company's debts, Gosset had chosen to have all the securities deposited with the London bank registered in the name of the Jersey Banking Company, thus enabling him - or the National Provincial - to sell the investments in question to cover the Jersey Bank's debts.
Naturally, when the bank failed, the National Provincial sold all the shares it held to reduce the debts owed to it by the Jersey Banking Company. Moreover, these investments of public money - while well intentioned - had been undertaken without the States' consent. Furthermore, both the £25,000 deposited before January 1886, together with a further £23,000 received from the Chief Agent of the Irnpot, remained unaccounted for. In effect, the island's government had lost some £60,000 over the space of a year, sums that seem to have accounted for a significant portion of that entire year's revenue."
However, as equally significant was the manner in which Gosset's own debts to the bank had accumulated, rising from £27,876 at the time the new partnership was established in 1877 to £63,466 by the time of the bank's collapse in 1886, making him the bank's second largest debtor after Le Boutillier Brothers.
Accusations of gambling
Gosset never managed to provide an adequate explanation for this colossal increase in debt, an evasiveness that ultimately led his contemporaries to assume that he had been 'gambling' with the money. The source of this assumption appears to have been the testimony given by Jurat Edouard Mourant at Gosset's trial in May 1886.
When asked to clarify what Gosset had said before the Special Committee of States' members, convened on the day of the bank's collapse on 11 January that year, Jurat Mourant added that Gosset's response had led him to presume that Gosset had been: 'gambling with public money'. .But in point of fact, this was only an assumption on Jurat Mourant's part.
Admittedly, it was a very plausible and rational assumption, but it was also one which was never corroborated. Indeed, no hard evidence was ever produced to explain how Gosset drove himself deeper and deeper into debt. Nor did any proof emerge to confirm that public funds had been lost as a result of specific speculative transactions, rather than just being swallowed up by the bank's other debtors and institutional creditors.
Nevertheless, Mourant's assumption remained abroad, undoubtedly forming the basis of G R Balleine's equally speculative statement in 1950 that: 'Gosset had been gambling wildly with the funds'. Consequently, later accounts have tended to overstress Gosset's role in the difficulties experienced by the cod fishing firms at this time, blaming him entirely for the bank's failure and the consequent cash-flow problems they encountered.
However, this was not how the causes of the failure were understood at the time. Instead, it was seen as more a case of failing cod fisheries contributing towards the bank's failure, rather than vice versa.
Nevertheless, whatever the truth may have been with respect to his own affairs, Gosset's misuse of assets also extended to the bank's personal customers. In the latter case, it became his ploy to convince them to have their shares and bonds registered in the name of the bank in order to reduce the charges levied by its London stockbrokers, Eykyn and Company of Tokenhouse Yard.
Needless to say, these too fell into the hands of the National Provincial and were subsequently sold in an effort to reduce the bank's liabilities. In this instance, two plaintiffs came forward to press their case against the bank's officers: Leon Le Maitre and Philippe Gallichan of 13 David Place, St Helier.
Clearly, this was a fiasco that could not continue, and it was perhaps symptomatic of the bank's general malaise that by the beginning of 1886 its claim against Le Boutillier Brothers had risen to £83,619, almost twice the figure of only three years earlier. Although Le Boutillier Brothers' assets were said to be in the region of £51,699, it was claimed that: 'no great faith is attached to their realisation'.
Island economy affected
Besides the panic of its customers, journalists were quick to record the devastating effects of the bank's closure on the local economy. 'A walk through the streets of St Helier's suffices to show that the effect of what is now an immense financial crisis for Jersey has been in no degree exaggerated,' the Jersey Times observed: 'and in the prevalent uncertainty it is easily observable that economy is generally made the order of the day.'
However, what may have been even more distressing for the Du Heaumes of Broadlands, in particular, was the general surge of increasingly sensationalist gossip, and the comparisons being drawn with the two major bank failures of the 1870s: the Jersey Mercantile Union Bank and the Jersey Joint Stock Bank.
'The amount of gossip current anent the two bank suspensions', it was said, 'has attained an absurd degree.'" The ‘’Jersey Times’’ continued: 'the precedents of the Jersey Mercantile Bank, and the Jersey Joint Stock have so constantly been cited in conversations anent this last great disaster, that the feeling has perhaps been natural that justice might find it necessary to act upon the same lines.
While the paper intended these remarks to apply to the bank's manager, Philippe Gosset, speculation must also have swirled around the person of the bank's president, Philippe Du Heaume. After all, the president of the Jersey Mercantile Union Bank, Jurat Josue Le Bailly, had been found culpable in 1873, and there can be little doubt that these whispers about this all too recent precedent might explain why so many of his contemporaries were so quick to point the finger of suspicion at Jurat Du Heaume.
Within four days of the bank's closure, the very first meeting of its creditors - specifically, its customers - convened at the very same place which had witnessed Philippe Du Heaume's nomination as Jurat 18 years earlier: the Royal Hall in Peter Street, St Helier.
Anxious to retrieve their monies and savings, much emphasis was placed on the need to realise whatever assets could be legally claimed. However, as the island's Companies Law of 1861 had insisted on all local banks being unlimited liability companies, such a process immediately posed a threat to all the assets held in Philippe Du Heaume's name and, indeed, of all those assets - real and personal alike - held in the names of every single shareholder in the company.
For Philippe, this would have merely bolstered the battalion of troubles that now faced him for, unbeknown to the general public and the island's press, it is more than possible that the health of his eldest son - Philippe-Charles - may have been in mortal danger.
It is clear that Philippe-Charles had been living in the warmer climate of La Rue des Cordeliers in Poitiers since at least Christmas 1884, when his last will and testament was executed. In light of the fact that it seems somewhat peculiar for a man of only 30 years of age to compose a will, one can only assume that he knew that his death was close to hand, though 'its exact hour uncertain'.
Therefore, some months before the collapse of the bank, the Du Heaume family were already contending with yet another impending tragedy. This may explain why, at the beginning of February that year, an obvious case of mistaken identity had led to the speculation that Jurat Du Heaume was 'in France'.
Deputy Clement Le Sueur
Understandably, the bank's creditors continued to clamour for their money, the most vocal of their spokesmen at that time being the Deputy of St Helier, Clement Le Sueur. First in his sights was the appointment of Charles John Nicolle as the bank's acting manager, "son of one large shareholder," he remonstrated, "and the son-in-¬law of another".
The remainder of his protests at the meeting were equally furious. Clearly he was no enthusiast for rendering the local banks liability companies.
"It would be of very little benefit to have the banks as a corporate body," he asserted, "if they allowed the ten or 20 shareholders to ride about in their carriages, and carry their money with them."
When it came to the obligations of the shareholders, he was in little doubt that they should relinquish everything to satisfy the demands of the bank's customers: "they should have not only the real estates of the Du Heaumes and the Nicolles, etc., but their gilt edged bonds as well," Ignorant, then, of Philippe Gosset's misdemeanours, Le Sueur later aimed his accusations at the man who was the bank's titular head:
"Jurat Du Heaume had committed an act of commercial dishonesty if ever there had been one committed, in suspending payment and not placing the creditors in a position to protect their own interests," he railed;" But one Mr W Fitch was even more relentless: "Without wishing to introduce sentiment," he began, "there were tradesmen, widows and orphans beggared by the crash, and if criminality existed, as it appeared was the case, they should push it right home, and give 'plank-beds' to those who deserved them."
His credibility damaged beyond repair as, day by day, the extent of the bank's mismanagement was aired in the local press, Philippe resigned from the bench of the Royal Court on 8 February. The written statement that he issued by way of explanation for his resignation gives some insight into the general turmoil under which Philippe, then approaching his 65th birthday, was labouring at the time. The papers reported that: 'the effect upon his already failing health of the shock to his person and estate rendered him incapable of continuing to hold the office’.
If true, this reaction would tend to vindicate later claims that he was utterly ignorant of Gosset's felonies and only incompletely aware of the true state of the bank's finances.
But for those in Canada who had relied upon Le Boutillier Brothers for their keep, the collapse of the Jersey Banking Company, and the support it had given for the continuance of the enterprise, would be even more perilous.
Starving fishermen in Canada
By the middle of February 1886 reports were reaching the island that many Canadian fishermen had been reduced to starvation by the company's failure. Besides the riots that are known to have broken out, it was then estimated that a total of 6,000 people would be in need of subsistent relief from the Canadian authorities, the distress being at its greatest at Newport, Nouvelle, New Carlisle and Paspebiac, where the riots had occurred.
On 27 February Philippe embarked on a judicial ordeal that was to drag out for some seven months, when he was arrested and then released on a bail of £500. While he remained sequestered at Broadlands, the newspapers began to speculate as to how much the creditors would be able to retrieve from the dissolution of his estate. On 4 March the ‘’Jersey Times’’ published a net estimate of £18,632,77 and the initial assertions made during the course of the trial of the bank's directors and employees must have made Philippe fear that the trial would result in more than just the confiscation of his wordly goods.
At a meeting of creditors convened at St Helier's Town Hall on 30 March, some vague hope of at least partial reimbursement was held out to those who had placed their monies, savings and investments in the hands of the bank. In light of the fact that some £160,000 had been reclaimed from the wreckage of 'the States' Bank' to date, it was hoped that each creditor would received the equivalent of 50 pence for every pound that had been invested.
Coincidentally, some satisfaction must have been gained from the news that of the £160,000 recovered, some £62,000 had been raised from the estates of the bank's shareholders. As a consequence of a further creditors' meeting at the Oddfellows' Hall, a more detailed estimate of the extent of Philippe's own estate was published in the Jersey Times. While this amounted to the more fulsome amount of £23,611 (with Broadlands and a mistaken estimate of its '38 vergees’ of land being valued at £5,500), it was admitted that 'Mr Du Heaumes case was the most unsatisfactory of all.' It continued:
- ”It was felt that there was something in the background, but it could not be got at. He had what might be called the impudence to offer £11,000, but it had been brought up to £18,000. If any clue could be discovered the committee would be glad to pursue it.”
As we shall see, that Philippe had some hidden nest-egg tucked away in reserve is not in doubt. Indeed, had the 'Committee' been a little more thorough in their investigations they may have uncovered Philippe's hidden cache in the ledgers of the Contracts' Registry. However, such a discovery would have profited them very little.
The following day Philippe, and two other Jurats, found themselves in the dock of the very Royal Court over which they had presided only three months before. Appearing 'impatient' to the eyes of the journalists that attended the hearing, his counsel - Advocate Henry Edward Le Vavasseur dit Durell - asked for a postponement of the Jurats' trials until the July Assizes, a request that was granted, thus buying both Philippe and his family a further respite of some two and a half months.
Although it does not seem to have been publicly stated at the time, it is possible that Philippe's apparent 'impatience' may have been due to the gnawing anguish arising from his eldest son's rapidly declining health. Then, on 29 May, the news finally broke in the island that Philippe Charles Du Heaume had died at Poitiers on 28 May at the age of only 32.
On the following Saturday, his body arrived back in Jersey on the steamer ‘’Alliance’’, thus enabling his family to fulfil his wish to be laid to rest with his mother Mary-Ann in St Saviour's churchyard. A little over a month later, on 19 July, Philippe sank to a further nadir when he appeared before the Insolvency Court, providing the Court with the assurance that his creditors would be satisfied with a month.
His trial- together with that of Clement Nicolle and William Lawrence de Gruchy, the other two directors who made up the bank's board - finally began on 1 September. The charges were threefold.
First, and foremost, was that, at the general meetings of shareholders, they had deliberately allowed the publication of false balance sheets. Secondly, they had knowingly authorised the sale of bonds belonging to Leon Le Maitre and Philippe Gallichan. Lastly, they had acquiesced in the deposit of £50 by Edmund Francis Carrel and John Edmund Styles, knowing that the bank was on the brink of collapse.
Defended once more by Advocate Durell, he faced a prosecuting counsel consisting of the Attorney-General, William Venables Vernon, and the Crown Solicitor, Philip Alfred Roissier. As was reported on 3 September, the case for the prosecution made grim reading.
The Attorney-General was in no doubt as to who was ultimately responsible for the bank's fate, and thus for the fate of both the lost public funds and the funds and securities of its customers. Philippe Du Heaume, he argued, had been both the chairman of the Jersey Banking Company and a member of the committee of management, the body that was, in the last resort, answerable for the security of the enterprise.
Philippe Gosset's powers, he claimed, were 'strictly limited'. Responsibility rested instead with the managing directors. Citing the bank's own statutes, the Attorney-General continued that the bonds and shares of the bank's customers had been the ultimate responsibility of the committee of management, as indeed had the appointment of the bank's managers and clerks. In the case of misconduct or malpractice, the directors had also been empowered to dismiss its manager.
The bank's debts had all been stated as good, when it was clear that this was not the case. The accused, he continued, could not feign ignorance of this state of affairs as all advances over £500 had to gain acceptance from the directors.
The debts of the fishing firms which they had supported had increased year by year, and the interest that was supposed to have been paid on these debts, and declared in the bank's accounts as profit, had never been paid. In the meantime, he argued, the directors had continued to award themselves generous dividends which, in light of the non-existent profits, had only aggravated the bank's insolvency by depleting its customers' funds even further.
As a result of this negligence, the bad debts owed to the bank had steadily grown to twice the value of the total funds and investments deposited in its care. He was in no doubt that the directors were legally responsible for the bank's collapse. Surely, he continued, there could be no greater proof of their culpability than the state of the minute book of the committee of management? Apart from one entry dating from the establishment of the new partnership in 1877, he stressed, the minute book had been left completely blank.
The following day the counsel for the defence rose to sum up. On the first charge, Durell argued, Du Heaurne and his colleagues were clearly innocent. The balance sheets had been prepared in private by Mr Gosset, Mr Sorel and Mr De Ste Croix, and placed under the nose of the managing directors even with the formula 'examined and approved' ready inserted. The accused had had confidence, which had proven misplaced.
The articles of association unambiguously made it incumbent upon the directors, and not the managing directors only, to submit the annual statements to the shareholders, and if any blame had to be attached, it was to the entire body of directors, and the jury would pronounce upon the injustice of making the accused bear the whole brunt of the affair.
They had not concurred in any manner with the preparation of the annual statements, and while they might have manifested considerable negligence, the trial was on the strict ground of criminality. The Attorney General himself had shown that Mr. Gosset had most grossly deceived the accused towards the end of 1883. Mr. Gosset took precautions to meet a possible examination by the accused by greatly covering his own abominably inflated account by the transfer of funds belonging to the States. The only purpose of those measures was to throw dust in the eyes of the directors.
Consequently, Philippe Du Heaume and his fellow defendants had placed far too much trust in Gosset and had, as a result, been deceived. "Mr Du Heaume had been honoured with the title of chairman," Advocate Durell continued, "but he never had the commercial qualifications necessary for such a post, and was nowhere in presence of a sharp and experienced financier as was Mr Gosset." The purchase of Le Boutillier Brothers was not criminal, he argued, merely unfortunate. No one could have foreseen the failure of the Newfoundland fisheries, and he added:
- ”The immense sums paid paid into the bank by that firm during the last six years justified the bank in placing amounts to the credit of the interest and commission account. It was quite probable that Le Boutillier Bros would have made matters right when trade improved, and even commercially speaking there had been no lack of intelligence on the part of the bank. The same applied to Robin Bros, to whom every member of the jury would, a few months ago, have been glad to have made advances.
Therefore, on the first charge, Durell argued, it was necessary for the jury to be convinced that evidence existed that Du Heaume and the other two members of the board had acted with deliberate and criminal intent.
In support of this, Durell cited Sir Alexander James Edmund Cockburn, Lord Chief Justice, in the case ‘’Queen versus Overend, Gurney & Company’’: "a guilty mind was necessary to constitute the offence". Furthermore, he begged the jury to consider the evidence of Philippe Du Heaume's actions, actions which, he believed, spoke volumes for the extent of his misplaced trust.
He had deposited his own funds with the bank and had acquired realty in its name in the false belief that the business was sound enough to continue, if not recover. Moreover, the dividends claimed by him had remained with the bank, rather than being spent or invested elsewhere.
"He had subscribed £20,000 towards the liquidation," Durell added, "and now that his fortune and position had been taken from him, the prosecution aimed at also obtaining his body, and getting the jury to send him within prison walls."
Jurat Nicolle, he added, had gone even further and sacrificed £43,000 for the satisfaction of the creditors' rights. As to the other charges, it was evident that the directors had been completely ignorant of events. Indeed, Advocate Durell questioned whether it was even necessary for them to answer to them in the first place, an assertion with which the presiding judge - the then Bailiff, Sir George Clement Bertram - concurred."
In his own address to the Jury, the Bailiff largely echoed the sentiments expressed by the defending counsel. "They were directors as well as managing directors," he remarked:
- and in the latter capacity they were bound to see that the manager did not advance more than £500 in one year on one account, without their consent. They accepted the obligation to examine the annual statements, and when persons affixed their name to a document as having examined and approved it, the presumption was that they had conducted the examination, or had neglected their assumed duty in a manner which could not be qualified. Had the manager such an empire over the accused that they were prepared to sign whatever he told them to sign? If so, they had not accomplished their duty, and it was for the Jury alone to say if such non-accomplishment was a criminal act. Again, to justify a conviction, intention to deceive must be proved.
Nevertheless, he questioned Durell's interpretation of Cockburn's assertions:
- The Lord Chief Justice did not intend to say that the necessity of proving intention applied to all cases. On the contrary, criminal intent was presumptive in many cases, and with the knowledge they had of the circumstances, it was for the jury to interpret the intention of the accused in the event of their being clearly convinced that the statements were false, and that to the knowledge of the accused."
And on this slightly ill-ordered argument, the jury retired to deliberate. In light of the questionable pertinence of the second and third charges, the jurymen must have focused on one single issue: the directors' beliefs regarding the veracity of the balance sheets placed before them.
Ultimately, they were convinced that Philippe and his fellow directors had been guilty of nothing more than misplaced trust, consequently returning a verdict of negligence on the first count. The Bailiff, however, did not accept this verdict and asked them to reconsider. After deliberating for a further ten minutes, the jury returned a ‘not guilty’ verdict on the second and third counts, and divided on the first. However, in light of the fact that a sufficient majority existed in favour of acquittal on the first count, Philippe and his fellow directors were judged to be not guilty on all three."
Although further court cases were to be presented against both Philippe and his eldest surviving son, Herbert Thomas Du Heaume, during the course of October and November, Philippe's acquittal at least released him from the threat of imprisonment.
However, it is clear that this whole affair had taken a severe toll on Philippe's health or mental competence, for by 20 November 1886 he felt compelled to appoint Herbert his attorney to handle his affairs.
Moreover, there can be little doubt that a pall of anger and indignation must have continued to hang over the family for some time afterwards. This would have been especially the case a little more than a month after his acquittal, when the Judge-Commissioner appointed to settle the claims of the creditors declared that the bank's customers would receive an initial compensation of no more that five shillings, (25 per cent), for every pound deposited.
For Philippe, the end of the trial merely offered him the opportunity to concentrate on the liquidation of his estate. In October, the old family home at Bagot was sold for £475, and during the remainder of the year deed after deed was passed to strip Philippe of every ‘’sixtonnier’’ of rentes in his name, a liquidation that generated roughly £10,000.
Sale of Broadlands
Owing to the fact that Philippe's wife, Mary Ann Filleul, had been his second wife, the couple had thought it prudent to enter into a marriage contract shortly before their wedding in May 1857.
Besides guaranteeing Mary-Ann an annuity, a single clause - exempting Mary¬Ann from any of her husband's personal debts - proved to be the Du Heaume's refuge from an otherwise miserable fate. In light of the fact that Mary-Ann's father, Thomas Filleul, had owned a number of properties in Grouville, and had died in October 1881, the liquidators were unable to touch any assets that had come her way as a result of her father's death.
This was indeed the 'something in the background that could not be got at'. It seems most likely, therefore, that after their departure from Broadlands the Du Heaumes may have fallen back on Mary-Ann's legacy for support.
This inheritance was a modest but useful one: Radier House in Grouville, agricultural land to the value of a little over 66 quarters of rentes (roughly £1,188) and 42 quartes of rentes, annuities that would have raised approximately £38 a year in interest.
However, as one of the final clauses in the partage relating to the division of her father's estate reveals, these properties had been rented out to local farmers so, besides the interest on the rentes, Mary-Ann could also expect to receive a further boost to her earnings in terms of cash rents for the old Filleul farm and lands.
It was undoubtedly these funds, and whatever personalty Mary-Ann had inherited from her parents, that enabled Philippe and his family to move to the vicinity of Alrnorah Crescent in St Helier. At the time of the 1891 Census, the family were living at 6 Almorah Road - then called Stoneleigh - where they remained, in one way or another, until Mary-Ann's death.
They seem to have lived modestly but comfortably, Mary-Ann being able to rely on the assistance of a single resident maid or housekeeper. However, it was at Almorah Road, on 19 May 1898, that Philippe breathed his last. He was buried in St Saviour's churchyard, besides the other members of the family that had once lived so closely together at Bagot. He was then 76 years of age, a good age for a man of his time.
Unfortunately, his family was destined to gradually peter out as the 20th century progressed, leaving Philippe bereft of any descendants to bear his name today. His widow, Mary Ann Filleul, survived her husband by some 17 years before her death at the age of 78 on 2 December 1915.
His eldest surviving son, Herbert Thomas Du Heaume, followed his brother Alfred to St Bartholomew's Hospital in London after completing his education at Victoria College. A Member of the Royal College of Surgeons and a Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians, Herbert practised as both ship's surgeon and a general practitioner in Jersey.
Furthermore, he also followed his father into the Royal Jersey Artillery, being awarded a commission as first Lieutenant in April 1881 and a further commission as Captain in November 1884. However, although aged 50 at the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Doctor Du Heaume volunteered for home service with the Royal Army Medical Corps, with whom he served in Guernsey, Bristol and Devonport.
Unfortunately, on 5 August 1916, Herbert died of pneumonia at Devonport Military Hospital shortly before his departure for a spell of service in what was then described as Mesopotamia. He died childless and unrnarried.
Little is known of his sole surviving brother, Ernest Philip Du Heaume. A medical student at the time of the 1891 Census, he appears to have foregone a career in medicine and spent the rest of his life in some form of modest financial independence. Though married to Ellen Henrietta Stear, Ernest died childless at his home, St Aidan at La Rocque, on 17 June 1940. His widow Ellen survived him by a little under ten years before her own death on 2 May 1950. Both Ernest and Ellen were buried at St Saviour's churchyard in the same plot as Ernest's father.
Thankfully, Philippe's daughters appear to have fared a little better. In particular, the eldest, Maria Philippa, is known to have had at least a son and a daughter by her marriage to Philip John Falle of Sylvan Villa, Le Vallon, Grouville. Her husband served for three consecutive terms as Constable of Grouville after 1879, as well as being a commissioned officer in the Royal Jersey Militia and a solicitor of the Royal Court.
After her husband's death on 7 February 1907, Maria survived for a further 25 years before her own death on 7 January 1933. Her son, Major Wilfred Philip Falle, married but died childless on 20 June 1970.
While Florence and Laura also died childless and unmarried, Adela bore her husband Charles John Nicolle five sons. Though the eldest of these, Charles Clement Nicolle, predeceased her, he left at least one son and two daughters behind him. Similarly, another of the sons - Alfred Philip Nicolle - is known to have had at least two sons and a daughter.No doubt Philippe Du Heaume would have been pleased at the thought that the grandson that bore the same name as his ill fated second son would also follow his namesake into medicine and become a general practitioner, working in London, Cambridgeshire and Dorset.