Grouville Court

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Jersey houses


Grouville Court


Although the property has clearly changed considerably since the early 16th century, this house is claimed to be the place where the Royal Court sat in 1518 when forced out of St Helier by the plague.

Bailiff and Governor draw swords

Joan Stevens' Old Jersey Houses Vol I also notes that this was the place where a Bailiff and a Governor drew swords on each other:

"The incident is recorded in Les Chroniques and it is reasonably sure that this is the house concerned. The plague was raging in St Helier, and the Royal Court sat here, the house of Jean Payn, Jurat from 1502-36, and the date was 1518.
"The Bailiff at the time was Hélier de Carteret, son of the Seigneur of St Ouen and his famous wife, Margaret, nee Harliston, and the Governor was Sir Hugh Vaughan, one of the two worst Governors we have ever had.
"The Governor and Bailiff were on very bad terms, as a result of Vaughan's misconduct and oppressions, and on this occasion the Governor was striving to obtain possession of Trinity Manor, claiming that the uncle of the previous owner, from whom it had been inherited, had collaborated with the enemy during the French Occupation of 1461-68, and that it was therefore forfeit on grounds of treason. He overlooked the fact that Edward IV had pardoned this offence in 1490.
"The claim came before the Royal Court, sitting here, and when Vaughan, a most violent man, saw that it was going against him, he ranted and tried to intimidate the Jurats and threatened that if the Bailiff did not find in his favour, he would plunge his sword into de Carteret's stomach, up to the hilt.
"The Bailiff was not dismayed, and ordered that the doors be opened and the people admitted, and drawing his own sword, grasped Vaughan firmly by the wrist, and said that no matter how many supporters the Governor might have there, if he moved he would be a dead man.
"The crowd poured in and the Jurats decided against Vaughan, who then threatened to depose the Bailiff, and with much strong language, left the Court; but not before de Carteret had reminded him that he held his Bailiffship direct from the King. Vaughan replied that he was determined to oust de Carteret from his office, even if it cost him all he had, down to his shirt."
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