Du Parcq family history

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This family of French origin settled in Jersey at the beginning of the 15th century and were, quite probably, colateral descendants of the senior branch of the Marquis de Locmaria, du Parc Brelidy etc, in Brittany.

Political refugee

There is no foundation for the tradition of a flight from Normandy for religious motives. Circumstantial evidence, however, tends to support a theory that Abbey (or Bernabey) du Parc was a political refugee.

When Louis XI died in 1483 the Crown passed to his youngest child Charles VIII, who was an ugly, stupid and very delicate boy of 13.

Louis, recognising the limitations of his successor. expressed the wish that his daughter, Anne of Beaujeu, should act as regent during the period of his minority.

Anne accepted the regency and immediately collected the discontented nobility and guaranteed redress for all the wrongs they had been subjected to in the last reign. But she did not keep her promises and probably had no intention of doing so in the first place.

War was a natural sequence. The nobles under Louis of Orleans and the Duke of Brittany rebelled against her, but at the ensuing battle of St Aubin du Carmier in 1488 were heavily defeated by the celebrated royalist general Le Tremouille and as a result, many of their adherents fled the country to avoid reprisals.

It is quite probably that the Seigneur du Parc was on the side of the losing army, as the date approximates with the arrival of Barnabe du Parcq at Jersey.

Mont Orgueil

His son Jean, one of the defenders of Mont Orgueil mentioned in the Commissioners’ report of 1531, married Catherine Gibaut, daughter of the Constable of St Lawrence.

Jean du Parcq, the only grandson, moved from Gorey to Grouville about 1589 and lived at a house next to La Malletiere soon after his marriage to the only daughter and heiress of Richard Mallet, younger son of the Seigneur de la Hague.

There were two male issue of this marriage, but the elder branch became extinct in 1659 and the family continued through the second son, Richard du Parcq, Constable of Grouville (1655-1660), who inherited by right of his wife, Marie Regnault, La Ville es Renaults, situated between Grouville Church and Gorey Village.

This family continued to reside on the property and produced a succession of parochial officers, among whom were five prominent centeniers who repeatedly assisted the States during their periods of office:

  • Richard du Parcq 1660-1686
  • Amice du Parcq 1716-1730
  • Amice du Parcq jnr 1740-1743
  • Richard du Parcq 1785-1792
  • Richard du Parcq jnr 1807-1810

The senior line, however, became extinct on the death without male issue of Richard du Parcq about 1850. His uncle, the Rev Jean du Parcq, successively Rector of St Ouen (1763-1784) and Grouville (1784-1787) and Chaplain of the 6th Regiment, having predeceased him in 1788.

The surviving branch moved to a house in Rue d’Egypt (Broad Street), St Helier, in 1743 when Richard du Parcq inherited the Lerrier property through his wife Jeanne Lerrier, sole heiress of Philippe Lerrier and Jeanne Amy.

Philippe du Parcq in the succeeding generation does not seem to have taken any active interest in either States or parochial affairs. By his wife Sara de Ste Croix, sister of Jurat Aaron de Ste Croix, the influential merchant and shipowner, he had three sons and two daughters.

Of these, Jean du parcq emigrated to Ireland and he probably died without issue, because nothing further is known about him.

Battle of Jersey victim

The remaining son, Richard du Parcq, who died in 1873 at an advanced age, was husband of Esther Guillaume, daughter of Clement Guillaume and Marie Rachel Arrive.

This marriage introduced an interesting relationship with Pierre Arrive, the first civilian shot by Rullecourt on 6 January 1781. Pierre was Marie Rachel’s brother.

He was aged about 60 on that fateful morning when on opening his front door in the Rue es Couchons he was amazed to see the Royal Square filled with foreign troops. They at once brutally murdered him to prevent any possibility of him raising the alarm.

Clement Du Parcq, the only surviving son of Richard Du Parcq and Esther Guillaume, was appointed Librarian of Jersey in October 1877. He lived over the library, which later became the States Treasury Offices, and are now used by the Social Assurance and Motor Traffic Committee.

He was grandfather of Sir Herbert Du Parcq appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal in 1938.

Sir Herbert, admitted to the Jersey Bar in 1906, became Recorder of Portsmouth and Recorder of Bristol 1929, and was directed by the Home Secretary to hold an enquiry into the Dartmoor convict disorder of 1932.

A Knighthood was conferred upon him in virtue of his elevation to a Judgeship of the King’s Bench Division in the same year. Sir Herbert married Lucy, daughter of the late Deputy John Renouf of St Helier, and has a son John Renouf du Parcq, born in 1917, and two daughters.

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