Lord Jermyn

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Governor 1644-51, 1660-1666
Lord Jermyn


Henry Jermyn succeeded his father as Governor. His term of office was interrupted by the English Civil War

Henry, Lord Jermyn - Governor of Jersey 1644-51, 1660-1666

Succeeded father

Henry Jermyn succeeded his father, Sir Thomas Jermyn as Governor of Jersey during the Civil War. He was his father's third son. At an early age he won the favour of Henrietta Maria of France, Queen consort of Charles I, whose vice-chamberlain he became in 1628, and Master of the Horse in 1639. He was a consummate courtier, a man of dissolute morals, and much addicted to gambling.

He was a member of Parliament for Bodmin from 1625 to 1626. He was member for Bury St Edmunds in the Long Parliament and an active and reckless royalist. He took a prominent part in the army plot of 1641, and on its discovery fled to France. Returning to England in 1643, he resumed his personal attendance on the queen, and after being raised to the peerage as Baron Jermyn of St Edmundsbury in that year, he accompanied Henrietta Maria in 1644 to France, where he continued to act as her secretary.

Charles II

In the same year he was made governor of Jersey, taking the Prince of Wales (subsequently Charles II) from there to Paris. He conceived the idea of ceding the Channel Islands to France as the price of French aid to Charles against the parliament; and in other respects he meddled with foreign politics, his great influence with the queen being a continual embarrassment to royalist statesmen, especially after the execution of Charles I.

When Charles II went to Breda, Jermyn remained in Paris with Henrietta Maria, who persuaded her son to create him Earl of St Albans around 1660.

His governorship was interrupted briefly in 1650 when Charles II appointed his brother James, Duke of York, to the position when he left Jersey on 13 February after spending five months in the island, but when the Duke himself left the island on 21 August, the office reverted to Jermyn. He arrived in Jersey on 15 May 1651 and was formally sworn into office on 2 June, but within weeks Colonel James Heane had taken the island for Paliament, forcing Jermyn to flee.

He resumed his role at the Restoration in 1660, remaining in office for another six years.

His Lieutenants during this period were Captain Thomas Jermyn, 1660-1664; Sir Philippe de Carteret, 1661; George Raleigh, 1661; and Benjamin Henshaw, 1665. Jermyn was succeeded in 1666 by his nephew Sir Thomas Morgan.

An early miniature of James when Duke of York

Wine bottle

A wine bottle has been on display at Mont Orgueil castle since the 1920s, stamped with the Jermyn coat of arms, which is believed to have been owned by Henry Jermyn. This would make it the oldest datable wine bottle in the world.

James, Duke of York

Governor of Jersey, 1651

James, brother of Charles II and the future King James II, visited Jersey with his brother in September 1649 and remained after he left in February the following year. He was appointed Governor (a position held at that time by Lord Jermyn, but only held the post for six months, handing it back to Jermyn when he left Jersey on 21 August 1650.

Col Heane's signature and seal

Parliamentarian Governors

Colonel James Heane

On 20 September 1651, the Council of State commissioned an expedition against Jersey. Colonel James Heane was appointed military commander of the Commonwealth Invasion. It was to take nearly two months to subdue all resistance, Sir George de Carteret having taken refuge in Elizabeth Castle and his brother Philip in Mont Orgueil. Col Heane, later promoted to General, became de facto Governor but, although some lists show him as holding office for four years, it is more likely that he was replaced in December 1651, immediately after delivering the island to Commonwealth control.

Robert Gibbon

Robert Gibbon replaced James Heane in 1651 and was Governor until 1657. The two-year gap until the appointment of John Mason is probably explained by the appointment of several Lieut-Governors.

John Mason

Governor of Jersey 1659-1660. Mason was appointed Governor by Parliament on 28 June 1659 and sworn in the following year on 19 January. He was colonel of one of the Regiments stationed in Jersey but did not stay long, because at the Restoration of the Monarchy, Charles II restored Lord Jermyn to the Governorship he had held before the Commonwealth Invasion in 1651.

Predecessor Successor
Sir Thomas Jermyn
Henry, Lord Jermyn
1644-1650, 1650-1651, 1660-1666
Sir Thomas Morgan
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