E J Gallichan

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Founded in 1845, E J Gallichan, on the corner of the Royal Square and Peirson Place, can claim to be Jersey's longest established jewellers

The shop on the corner of Peirson Place and the Royal Square, The blue plaque commemorating writer Walter Gallichan's birth there in 1861 can be seen to the right of the downpipe


Although this business is known as E J Gallichan and Company, it was not founded by Edward John Gallichan - he was not born when the business opened in 1845.

It was presumably founded by his father Jean, but he was only 19 when the business started. The history of the Gallichan family's involvement in the jewellery and silver trade is somewhat confused. Silver in the Channel Islands, the definitive work on the subject, records that 'in 1790 Matthieu Gallichan advertised that he would sell by auction at The Duke of York silver chandeliers, coffee-pots and other articles, presumably imported from England for the purpose. He was perhaps an antecedent of John and Edward John Gallichan. A Matthieu Gallichan, a banker trading in 1817, may be either this man or his son'.

Both these suggested family connections seem unlikely. The only Mathieu Gallichans (there was no Matthieu) born at the right time to have been dealing in silver in 1790 were the son of Philippe and Judith Baudet, born in St Lawrence in 1747, and the son of Jean and Elizabeth Pirouet, born in St Helier in 1878. We believe that it was the second of these who married Anne Picot in Trinity in 1773. They had two sons, Jean and Philippe, but neither had any connection with the ancestors of Edward John and his father Jean.

There is a further mystery some years further on. journalist and author Walter Matthew Gallichan was born above the jewellery shop in 1861, and is commemorated on a blue plaque on the side of the building. But he does not appear to have any close connection with the jewellers.

The only established dates when Jean was in business as a jeweller and watchmaker, according to Silver in the Channel Islands, were 1852 to 1874. The authors add that Edward John is believed to have succeeded his father Jean by 1894. But Almanac entries suggest that the transition from father Jean to son Edward John was between 1880 and 1886.

Neither of the Gallichans was a silversmith. Although pieces have been found with a Gallichan mark, they are believed to be of Guernsey or UK origin, and to have been overstamped by the Gallichans.

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