Jacques Stocall

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Jacques Stocall (1620-1665) was a prominent Parliamentarian during the English Civil War.

Family

The family descended from a Nicolas Stocall, one of the garrison of Mont Orgueil under Henry VIII, who married a de Ste Croix. Their son John became a Jurat, and lived in "the great house of Stocall" in the Market Place. His younger son, Aaron, settled at Longueville, St Saviour, and became Constable. Aaron's son, Aaron, who was also Constable, (1629-45) married Elizabeth, sister of Michel Lempriere, Parliamentary Bailiff.

In March 1645, when Michel Lempriere went to the States to arrest Sir Philippe de Carteret, Jacques marched the St Saviour Militia into Town to support him; but Sir Philippe heard of this move in time, and withdrew to Elizabeth Castle. In November, when the Royalists recovered Jersey, Stocall fled with Lempriere to England, and his father's property was confiscated by the Crown.

In de La Rocque's manuscript (undated, but between 1647 and 1651) it is said that, while in Jersey, he was arrested on suspicion of coining, that in England he became an Anabaptist, and that he was then teaching French to the young Duke of Gloucester, son of Charles I, a boy of about ten. In 1651 he was employed at Worcester House, the office of the trustees for the sale of the King's Property. In October, after eight years exile, he sailed with Blake in the expedition that recovered Jersey for Parliament.

"He voluntarily ventured himself with the first at the landing", wrote Lempriere to the Speaker, "and hath been very serviceable in assisting the Parliament's forces. I cannot but recommend to your Honour his abilities and good endowments, most particularly for the 12 learned speeches he made to the 12 parishes, when the inhabitants subscribed the engagement, when he shewed most ingeniously the great difference of the late and the present Government".

Militia reorganisation

His first task was the reorganization of the Militia, which Carteret had filled with Royalist officers. These were deprived of their commissions, and new officers appointed. "Col Heane at our first coming", wrote Lempriere, "did put the Militia at the disposing of Col Stocall, Capt Norman, and myself".

Meanwhile Lempriere feared drastic changes in the island's constitution. This, Jersey Parliamentarians were quite as determined as their opponents to resist. In February 1652 he wrote a long Account of the Civil Government of this Island and gave it to his nephew to take to the Speaker, adding: "I refer the enlarging of this summary to this gentleman, Colonel Stocall; he is also able to recommend unto Parliament some able persons, who are fit in this island to serve really and truly the commonwealth".

In London in March 1652 Stocall published a 14-page pamphlet addressed to Lieut-Gen Fleetwood, Freedom or the Description of the Excellent Civil Government of the Island of Jersey, by James Stocall Esq, Colonel of a Regiment of the Trained Bands of the said Island, consisting of 1,500 men, giving a very rosy picture of the Jersey constitution, leading up to the conclusion: "There is no need of change in the form of the Civil Government", though it "might be desired" for the islands to have "a Representor or two in Parliament to the end of a speedier expedition of necessaries unto our people".

He returned to Jersey, but occupied no official position except that of Colonel of the East Regiment of Militia (St Saviour, Grouville, and St Clement), which he held till the Restoration. His brother Aaron became Solicitor-General. He died about 1665. His wife's name was Lucie.

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