Dumaresq Street

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Picture by Francis Foot of his shop with his wife standing with their child under the HMV sign

Dumaresq Street is one of the oldest residential streets in St Helier, and there is considerable concern in 2013 over plans to demolish a row of cottages which date back to the mid-18th century.

They are now owned by the Channel Island Co-operative, who want to demolish them as part of their plans to create a giant store stretching from Charing Cross to Dumaresq Street. Not only would the cottages have to make way for this grand scheme, but also historic shops in adjoining Pitt Street.

Also under threat is the much-faded HMV dealership logo on the building which makes the corner of Dumaresq and Pitt Streets, and showed where the Foot family's shop was in Pitt Street. It was one of the first gramophone and record dealers in the island.

Road names and street numbers

The road names of Dumaresq Street and Pitt Street appear in contracts from c1830, prior to which they are referred to only as public roads (chemin public). The use of house numbers appears by 1869; in this regard it is noticeable that the States passed a law in 1843 (Loi sur la Numérotage des Maisons etc) by which property owners were to agree on the numbering of the houses or, in default of agreement, numbers would be allotted.

Dumaresq Street

Dumaresq Street would appear to have been named after Guillaume Dumaresq who opened it across his lands, or possibly after his father, though whether it was so named in his lifetime or later remains uncertain.

Guillaume Dumaresq was baptised on 17 January 1685. He was a Jurat of the Royal Court (1723 - 1746) and Receiver General of the Crown revenues in Jersey (1716-34), and also an Advocate of the Royal Court (sworn 1708), Constable of St Helier (1709-12) and Sénéchal du Roi (1710-16). He died without heirs in 1746. In the 1730s, during troublesome times over coinage, Dumaresq was of a group from the States who took refuge in Elizabeth Castle and later was one of a party who travelled to England on the same matter to his Majesty in Council.

Pitt Street

The origin of the name Pitt Street is more obscure. It rarely occurs in the single ‘t’ form of ‘Pit Street’, which may perhaps be dismissed. It is known that there were at least two Mr Pitts in Jersey in the early 19th century (André and James Francis), but neither has any known connection with this end of town.

William Pitt the Elder was a major statesman in England at the time and linked with Philippe d'Auvergne, Duc de Bouillon, from Jersey; at a meeting in Paris, D’Auvergne took a Major Dumaresq with him. There in no known local connection with either Pitt the Elder or his son Pitt the Younger.

However, although he is rarely mentioned in the Island and may never have visited, William Pitt’s elder son John, Lord Chatham, was appointed Governor from 1807 to 1821, when he was appointed Governor of Gibraltar. Although there is no known connection with the Pitt family and Pitt Street, a curious episode in Jersey history does make a tentative link and a possible suggestion for the name. During Chatham’s governorship, the States of Jersey proceeded with the construction of a new prison, which was built in Newgate Street, to replace the late 17th century prison in Charing Cross and against the garden on to which the houses in Dumaresq Street backed.

Jean Sorel, of 8 Dumaresq Street, acquired part of the site of the old prison and was involved in the development of the new prison and adjoining properties. The estimate for the construction of the new prison was £5,000. Chatham, as Governor,credited £200 per annum for five years out of the Crown Revenues towards the expected costs. Could the road, perhaps unnamed, running alongsidethe old prison have been named after Chatham’s family as a result?  

An artist's impression of the threatened buildings

Dates

From the research summarised above, provisional dating can be deduced for the first building of the houses in Dumaresq Street and Pitt Street. However, particularly in the case of 4 Pitt Street, the property may have been subsequently rebuilt.

  • 6 Dumaresq Street new in 1754
  • 7 Dumaresq Street 1740 - 1749
  • 8 Dumaresq Street 1743 - 1746
  • 10 Dumaresq Street/ 6 Pitt Street and 5 Pitt Street 1829/1830
  • 4 Pitt Street 1736 - 1749

The street layout can also be ascertained from the summarised contracts. The roads were laid out by Guillaume Dumaresq on lands acquired by him and his father between 1700 and 1714. Dumaresq Street was opened prior to the sale to Thomas Rouet in 1725 (at least in part on the land acquired for Anthoine Bailhache) and Pitt Street prior to the sale to Louise Rousset in 1736, but after the sale of the property to the east in 1710 (at least in part on the land acquired from Abraham Aubin) and after the arrangements with Michel Poingdestre in 1717.

Although these roads were set out by Dumaresq, the property depth south of Dumaresq Street was not set by him. The south boundaries of the properties in Dumaresq Street related to the prison; this in turn was inherited from the earlier title, and thus bore no direct relationship to the later roads.  

6 and 7 Dumaresq Street
The faded HMV sign on the corner of Dumaresq Street and Pitt Street
8 Dumaresq Street
4 Pitt Street
Pitt Street and the HMV sign
A reception room inside one of the threatened Pitt Street properties

Owners

Summary of ownership of 6, 7, 8 and 10 Dumaresq Street and 4, 5 and 6 Pitt Street.

6 Dumaresq Street

  • 3 July 1998 - Channel Islands Co-Operative Society purchase from John Helier Foot
  • 20 February 1995 - Will - Stanley John Foot
  • 17 July 1970 - purchase from - Susannah Roselle Fox wife of Ernest Edward Matthews
  • 21 July 1965 - Will - Eric Barnard Fox
  • 11 April 1953 - division of estate - Ada Lilian Fox
  • 19 June 1926 - division of estate - William Henry Fox
  • 9 February 1907 - purchase from - William Le Feuvre Chevalier
  • 3 December 1898 - division of estate - John Thomas Chevalier and Henriette Susan Best Le Feuvre, his wife
  • 3 November 1869 - purchase from - Jane Remy wife of Philippe Bisson
  • 12 May 1869 - division of estate - Nicolas Remy
  • 1 November 1851 - purchase from - Philippe Le Gallais
  • 27 February 1851 - purchase from Marie Betfer repossessed in Décret of Elizabeth Davau from the children of the late William Jacob
  • 27 June 1846 - purchase from - Henry Pim
  • 6 June 1846 – purchase from - William Jacob
  • 19 March 1842 - purchase from - John Hanvil Pryor
  • 14 September 1839 - purchase - from Elizabeth Davau
  • 29 August 1829 - purchase from - Jean Benest & Marie Betfer, his wife
  • 13 December 1823 - purchase from - Frederick le Vavasseur dit Durell
  • 19 February 1820 - purchase from - Michel Roussel senr
  • 9 February 1811 - purchase from - Frederick Le Vavasseur dit Durell
  • 24 September 1803 - purchase from - Marie Sara Hubert only daughter and heir of Joseph Hubert eldest son and principal heir of Joseph Hubert
  • 26 May 1764 - purchase from - Rachel Poingdestre wife of Jean Le Gros division of estate - one of the younger daughters of Josué Poingdestre
  • 7 September 1754 - Josué Poingdestre contract of arrangement with Michel Rousset (7 Dumaresq Street)
  • 4 February 1737 - purchase from - Abraham Rouet principal heir of Margaret Le Gallais, his grand mother tenant after the bankruptcy of Thomas Rouet
  • 25 July 1725 - purchase from - Guillaume Dumaresq

7 Dumaresq Street

  • 3 July 1998 - Channel Islands Co-Operative Society purchase from - John Helier Foot
  • 20 February 1995 - Will - Stanley John Foot
  • 7 December 1966 - Will - Francis Helier John Foot eldest son and principal heir of Louisa Betsey Hunt with Francis William Foot, her husband
  • 19 October 1889 - purchase from - Elizabeth Jane Gautier heir of Elizabeth Roussel, her mother and purchase of shares from co-heirs, only heir of Michel Charles Roussel
  • 18 January 1834 - division of estate - Michel Roussel, his father
  • 7 May 1829 Sale of shares of estate - Michel Roussel, father
  • 13 July 1811 - Michel Roussel contract of arrangement with Thomas Sorel (8 Dumaresq Street)
  • 7 September 1754 - Michel Rousset contract of arrangement with Josué Poingdestre (6 Dumaresq Street) Michel Roussel/Rousset.
  • 19 March 1749 - purchase from - Louise Rousset
  • 16 August 1740 - purchase from - Nicolas Le Vavasseur dit Durell
  • 25 August 1739 - purchase from - Guillaume Dumaresq

8 Dumaresq Street

  • 3 July 1998 - Channel Islands Co-Operative Society purchase from - John Helier Foot
  • 20 February 1995 - Will - Stanley John Foot
  • 7 December 1966 - Will - Francis Helier John Foot
  • 13 January 1962 - purchase from - Kathleen Horacestine Pett, widow of Frederick Fitch
  • 6 October 1951 - Will - Frederick Fitch
  • 20 November 1948 - purchase from - George Amy Romeril
  • 22 September 1945 - purchase from - Violet Lillian Gruchy, sole heir of Douglas Sorel Gruchy, her brother
  • 12 June 1943 - division of estate - Sorel John Gruchy, eldest son and principal heir of Sorel Gruchy
  • 30 April 1859 - division of estate - Jean Gruchy, his father
  • 6 February 1830 - Jean Gruchy contract of arrangement with George Talbot Ahier (10 Dumaresq Street 5 & 6 Pitt Street)
  • 19 February 1820 - purchase from - Thomas Sorel
  • 13 July 1811 - Thomas Sorel contract of arrangement with Michel Roussel (7 Dumaresq Street)
  • 13 July 1811 - Thomas Sorel contract of arrangement with Elizabeth Falle (10 Dumaresq Street/Pitt Street)
  • 12 November 1808 - purchase from - Jean Sorel
  • 2 May 1795 - Jean Sorel contract of arrangement with Jean Le Moignan (site of 10 Dumaresq Street , 5 & 6 Pitt Street)
  • 6 March 1776 - purchase from - Jean Le Moignan, heir of Helier Le Moignan, his brother
  • 28 January 1743 - purchase from - Nicolas Le Vavasseur dit Durell for earlier title see 7 Dumaresq Street

10 Dumaresq Street and 6 Pitt Street

  • 20 January 1995 - Channel Islands Co-Operative Society purchase from - Dora Margaret Louisa Foot
  • 13 June 1986 - division of estate - Reginald Francis William Foot, her brother
  • 7 December 1966 - Will - Francis Helier John Foot sole heir of Louisa Betsy Hunt, widow of Francis William Foot
  • 19 December 1885 Clara Maria Ahier
  • 1 July 1865 - division of estate - Charles Ahier, her father, eldest son and principal heir of the late Charles Ahier
  • 17 December 1864 - purchase from - George Talbot Ahier, principal heir of the late Daniel Ahier, his brother
  • 25 October 1834 - purchase from - George Talbot Ahier
  • 6 February 1830 - George Talbot Ahier contract of arrangement with Jean Gruchy (8 Dumaresq Street)

5 Pitt Street

  • 3 July 1998 Channel Islands Co-Operative Society - purchase from - John Helier Foot
  • 20 February 1995 - Will - Stanley John Foot
  • 7 December 1966 - Will - Francis Helier John Foot
  • 1st June 1912 - purchase from - Maria Justine Hunt, wife of John Underwood Harper Sale to Charles Pallot cancelled
  • 5 April 1862 - purchase from - Charles Ahier, eldest son and principal heir of the late Charles Ahier tenant after bankruptcy of Elizabeth Blampied
  • 15 April 1846 - purchase from - Charles Ahier
  • 25 October 1834 - purchase from - George Talbot Ahier

George Talbot Ahier I

  • 6 June 1829 - purchase from - Susanne de Ste Croix
  • 11 April 1818 - purchase from - Thomas Laurens, heir of François Laurens principal heir of the late François Laurens
  • 16 May 1795 - François Laurens contract of arrangement with Jean Le Moignan (within 10 Dumaresq Street and 6 Pitt Street)
  • 18 April 1795 - purchase from - Jean Le Moignan
  • 2 May 1795 - contract of arrangement between Jean Le Moignan and Jean Sorel (site of 8 Dumaresq Street) [After the sale to Laurens!]

George Talbot Ahier II

  • 12 December 1818 - purchase from - Jean Le Moignan heir or tenant after bankruptcy of Elizabeth Falle, his mother, widow of Jean Le Moignan
  • 13 July 1811 - Elizabeth Falle contract of arrangement with Thomas Sorel (8 Dumaresq Street)
  • 12 December 1807 - purchase from - Jean Le Moignan
  • 21 June 1800 - purchase from - George Ahier
  • 13 April 1799 - purchase from - Jean Le Moignan
  • 16 May 1795 - Jean Le Moignan contract of arrangement with François Laurens (within 10 Dumaresq Street and 6 Pitt Street) for earlier title see 8 Dumaresq Street

4 Pitt Street

  • 17 May 1996 - Channel Islands Co-Operative Society purchase from - James Henry Cabot, son and sole heir of the late Harry Arthur Cabot
  • 11 December 1943 - gift from - Ann Dorothea Luckarift
  • 10 December 1832 - purchase from - Muriel Clare de la Haye
  • 6 September 1930 - purchase from- Lilian Harriet de la Haye
  • 31 October 1925 - division of estate - Jane Mary Huelin, wife of George Thomas de la Haye
  • 17 July 1909 - division of estate - John Huelin, her brother
  • 10 April 1873 - division of estate - Philippe Huelin, his father
  • 7 July 1798 - purchase from - Michel Rousset
  • 23 June 1798 - purchase from - Charles Matthews
  • 5 May 1798 - purchase from - Michel Roussel
  • 19 March 1749 - purchase from - Louise Rousset
  • 12 February 1735 - purchase from - Guillaume Dumaresq

Source

This information is drawn from a report drawn up by the Paul Drury Partnership in January 2005, jointly commissioned by the Planning Services Department and Jersey Co-operative Society to undertake an analysis of the origins and development of the historic properties owned by the society in Pitt Street and Dumaresq Street.

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