Falle family of Maufant - 2

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Falle family of Maufant


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Josue George Falle


This history of the Falle family was written by the Rev J A Messervy, and first published in French in the 1906 Annual Bulletin of La Société Jersiaise. It has been translated by Mike Bisson


An article on the Falle family in general appeared in the 1904 Bulletin: we will not repeat here the details already of given of its oldest representatives. The lineage with which we are occupied descends, we believe, from Matthieu or Macy Falle, who was alive in 1452, and whose ancestors in the branch of historian Philippe Falle have not been determined.

Grandson Jean Falle

Jean Falle, probably the grandson of Macy, lived in St Saviour in 1542 in Maufant, within the border of St Martin. In 1556 , summoned with many others to appear before the Ecclesiastical Court, to ‘give advice on all unusual activities, etc’ Jean Falle was, without doubt, because of his advanced age, replaced by Edmond Falle, one of his sons.

Jean Falle died in October the following year. The record of his death carries the following comment: ‘either he while still alive or his principal heir promised to give a certain sum of money to the Tresor for his burial’.

In fact, sometime afterwards, at another sitting of the Ecclesiastical Court, Benest Falle eldest son of Jean, ‘was obliged to pay Sire Michel Estur, Treasurer of the Parish of St Saviour, the sum of 15 ‘gros’ within a fortnight. Was this the sum promised at his father’s funeral?

Richard Falle, grandson of Jean, had two sons, Jean and Phiippe. The latter was the founder of a branch which remained at Maufant until the end of the 18th century, and of which the heiress married Edouard Millais, of Tapon, ancestor of the celebrated artist Sir John Millais.

Jean Falle, eldest son of Richrd, married late and only had one son, to whom he gave the name Laurens, already held more than a century before by another member of the family. After the death of his mother at the age of two, Laurens found himself orphaned soon after with the death of his father. He married at the age of 20.

At the time of the Civil War, Laurens sided with the Royalists. Of strong and independent character, he was not afraid to defy the Jurats of the Parliamentary era and at the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 he was sworn in as a Roads Inspector for the Vingtaine of Maufant.

From Laurens Falle were descended six Elie Falles, from father to son. Elie, eldest son of Laurens, is mentioned in the Appariement des Prevotes et Charriages of the Fief du Rou at St Saviour in 1671, for hishouse and the house of Touzel, and 16 vergees of land, etc. It emerges from the context of this extract that his home must have been the neighbour of that belonging now to John Godfray, which is situated close to the Three Mile Stone, not far from Morin, on the main road from St Helier to St Martin.

Elie Falle

Elie Falle, son of Laurans, took over land in Grouville between Le Clos et l’Enclos de la Hougue and others, from Edouard La Cloche, tenant after decree of the inheritance of Thomas Gauvin and his wife Marguerite Falle, on 12 September 1700.

His son Elie settled after his marriage at Vingtaine de la Rue, Grouville, close to La Hougue Bie. From 1706 to 1713 he acquired from a Le Lievre family, the inheritance on which his direct descendant, in senior direct line, John Bishop Falle, is still living today.

The chapel of La Hougue Bie was included in the acquisition in 1700 by Elie Falle, son of Laurens; this religious building was apparently in ruins at this time, and Elie Falle was on the point of demolishing it when the Royal Court forbade him.

An act of 28 July 1708 prohibited of Elie Falle, son of Elie, from demolishing the Hougue Bie chapel.

In January 1736 Elie Falle obtained from Clement de Quetteville a house on the fief au Guenetier at St Saviour.

His grandson Elie – fourth of the name – married for the first time the eldest daughter and principal heiress of Julien Bree, son of Julien, of Dessous la Hougue, St Saviour and his wife Jeanne Estur. Elizabeth Bree was, through her mother, grand niece of the Rev Philippe Falle, Jersey historian.

A dispute which took place in 1790 permits us to determine the approximate situation of the property inherited from the Bree family by the Falles. In the course of the action it was established that in 1759 Julien Bree, father-in-law of Elie Falle, hadobtained permission to close and takeover a lane from Rue du Carrefour au Lievre to Julien Bree’s house. The court case, relating to a neighbouring fountain, took place between Elie Falle, father and son, and Jean Payn, on behalf of his wife Jeanne Mallet.

Elie Falle, the fifth to have the name, married, first, the heiress of a branch of the Nicolle family of Trinity, and second, in 1782, another Trinity heiress, Elisabeth Blampied. He settled at La Croiserie, Trinity, in a house which now belongs to A G Messervy, of Brabent, eldest son of Jurat Messervy. In 1802 Elie Felle moved from Trinity to St Saviour, where he died at an advanced age. As a Captain in the Militia he had taken part in the Battle of Jersey.

Jean Falle

Jean Falle, the eldest son of Elie Fale, settled in about 1816 in Grouville, and his descendants in senior direct line live in this parish today.

Jean Falle was a Lieutenant in the East Regiment but ceased to be following his refusal, for motives of conscience, to take part in military exercises on Sundays. In 1840 Jean Falle, eldest son of Elie, son of Elie, undertook an action against Helier Fauvel and his wife Anne Falle, granddaughter and principal heiress of Francois Falle.

She was the owner of a house in St Saviour and had the right, passed from her grandfather, to a fountain situated on Jean Falle’s land in a place called Creux Gauvain, on the fief of Guenetier. ElieFalle, snr and Francois Falle, had agreed to this in December 1789.

One of the younger brothers of Jean Falle, son of Elie, Josue Falle, bought the paternal home which had been inherited from the Bree family, and now called Hambie. In 1819 he married Esther Bertram, daughter of Jurat George Bertram, of Grafford, St Martin. He was the father of the late Jurat Josue George Falle, one of the benefactors of La Societe Jersiaise.

Born at the endof November 1820, Josue George Falle was baptised at St Saviour on 12 December and had his maternal grandfather George Bertram and his second wife Jeanne Cabot as godparents.

After success in his youth in a commercial career, Mr Falle entered the political arena at the beginning of 1864 as Deputy of St Helier. Nine months later he was elected Constable of St Helier, replacing John Gibaut, and sworn in on 26 November 1864.

He undertook these important municipal functions for nine years, and under his skilful administration of the town of St Helier, some happy transformations took place. It suffices to mention the construction of a fine Town Hall, the improvement ofourpublic parks, the restoration of the parish church, etc.

Finally on 2 August 1873 Mr Falle was elected Jurat. The memory of the services he rendered to the island of his birth is ever present.

Profoundly attached to the secular institutions of his island, convinced patriot and highly ingelligent, he always gave courageous support to the rights, liberties and privileges of the island and even those who did not entirely sharehis views, were forced to pay tribute to the firmness and vigour with which he defended them.

Longtime president of many States committees, such as Harbours and Ports, Markets, Finance and Public Library, he proposed and had adopted many useful laws, among them the law on the frequency of sittings and the law relating to rights of disposal of acquisitions by will.

He was also president of the Chamber of Commerce and several other local societies. But we remember that above all Mr Falle, one of the founders of La Societe Jersiaise, had acquired the right to the gratitude of the Societe, and of the public in general, by his magnificant gift of 1893.

Museum

The museum and library of the Society was cramped in modest premises in Hill Street, and the executive committee was preoccupied with finding a larger room when Mr Josue George Falle conceived the generous project of donating a large and beautiful building to the Society, where it could display its important collection and its library, which was growing non-stop.

There was no delay in proceeding with the project and thanks to its generous benefactor, the Societe has been installed in its dignified premises for a dozen years. One reads with interest in the Bulletin of 1894 the history of this gift and the minutes of the festivities held to inaugurate the new museum and library.

Josue George Falle married Miss Marie Elisabeth Godfray, daughter of Francois Godfray, son of Hugh, Seigneur of Meleches and Advocate, and there were two daughters of the marriage, the eldest of whom married Alfred John Le Cornu.

Josue George Falle died at Plaisance on 15 February 1903 and was buried on the 20th of the month in his native parish of St Saviour.
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