Charles Malet

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Charles Maret (1618-1666) was Receiver-General. He was the eldest son of Jean Maret of Trinity, also Receiver-General, and Marie Machon.

Civil War

At the beginning of the Civil War in March 1643 he brought to Jersey from the Close Committee the order appointing five Commissioners to arrest Sir Philippe de Carteret. He then "assisted the Committee with all his power in rebellion against His Majesty's fortresses". On 26 September he was sworn in as Parliamentary Receiver.

On 5 October the King at Oxford issued a warrant for his arrest. On 21 November he fled to London when the Royalists recovered the island. In 1644 his father was arrested for receiving letters from him. In 1645 he was condemned to death in his absence for high treason. Meanwhile he was hanged in effigy and his goods confiscated.

In 1646 he brought to Sir Peter Osborne, who was holding Castle Cornet in Guernsey for the King, an offer from the Earl of Warwick of generous terms of surrender.

"He waited in a small boat flying a white flag midway betwixt Town and Castle, till Sir Peter sent his shallop to demand his errand. He had brought two bottles of wine, one Spanish, the other claret, with which to regale those who came for his dispatches. They drank to the King and Parliament, and then toasted one another. When the bottles were empty the men from the Castle returned to refill them to show that they too had no lack of wine, and they brought them back and drank healths as before. Meanwhile Sir Peter mustered his troops, and told them the terms offered, and asked if they were still willing to keep the Castle with him. The greater part made answer that they would guard the Castle with their lives" (Chevalier).

In 1651, when Parliament had recovered Jersey, he resumed his work as Receiver. On 2 August 1652 he was appointed a member of the County Committee for Jersey and on 15 August one of the four Commissioners for Compounding.

Violent quarrels

He now quarrelled violently with his colleagues. He "notoriously affronted" Michel Lempriere, the Bailiff, perhaps because he thought him too lenient in fixing the fines which Royalists paid to recover estates, fines which came to Maret's department; and Lempriere imprisoned him in Mont Orgueil until he found security for future good behaviour.

In July 1655, when a new Commission for Compounding was appointed, Maret was left out, and Colonel Robert Gibbon, the Governor, was ordered to "take into your own hands the accompts of Charles Maret, the present Receiver of our Revenue".

This led to another explosion. On 29 November Gibbon wrote to Cromwell:

"Since my last gave you an accompt of the dangerous letter of Mr Maret, I secured him, and so he remains, refusing to give security to live peaceably toward the Government and those entrusted here".

The offensive letter was apparently written to Philippe Messervy, Seigneur of Bagot, who was arrested at the same time. Gibbon added that he had learnt

"of Maret's giving public affronts, as now, to all formerly in authority here, as Major Littcot and Major General Heane. The man is of a very ill conversation as well as levellingly stubborn. I beg your Highness' pleasure concerning him".

Restoration

At the Restoration in 1660 Maret fled to Coutainville in Normandy, taking his ledgers with him. These he eventually restored, for in 1665 the Lieut-Governor was authorized to "examine and pass Chas Maret's accounts".

He was then allowed to return to Jersey under the Act of Indemnity. He died in 1666, and was buried in Trinity churchyard.

He had married Sara Streeter, but left no children. His brother was his heir.

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