No 3 King Street

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3 King Street


Peirson Place leads from King Street through to the Royal Square. No 3 King Street is on the left-hand corner

King Street in 1903. The shopfronts in the left foreground are Nos 2 and 3.
P M Pearce jewellers today

No 3 King Street makes the corner with Peirson Place, and for over a century it has been home to the Pearce family of watch makers and jewellers.

Shoemaker in 1880

In 1880, however, it was occupied by shoemaker George Thomas Gellender, who lived there with his wife Cordelia and family. Ten years earlier the family was living at 15 Gloucester Street and George Thomas Gellender's elder brother Edward was living and trading at 3 King Street. He was one of the signatories to an 1871 petition by merchants and seamen calling on the States to improve St Helier's harbour facilities.

George remained at No 3 until the 1890s, but by 1900 the premises were occupied by Herbert Binet, the first watchmaker to trade here. In the 1901 census he is shown, aged 37, and living with his wife Selina, daughters Ethel, Olive and Matilda and son Cyril. Although Herbert and Selina were born in Jersey, all four of their children were born in Guernsey, suggesting that the young Herbert learned his trade in the sister island.

Pearce family

His stay at No 3 was a short one because by 1903 John Edward Hocquard was trading there, also as a watchmaker. Perhaps he came into money because by 1911, at the age of 32, he was no longer living and trading at No 3 King Street. He is listed in the census of that year as being of independent means and living at Lynton, St John's Road, with his wife Ada and twin sons John and Raymond.

Perhaps he was a descendant of the Jersey silversmith of the same name who is known to have been in business a century earlier.

The business at No 3 was taken over in 1909 by Herbert James Pearce, who lived at the premises with his wife Elizabeth Ann and children Paul and Barbara.

The business remained listed as H J Pearce until 1955, but by 1960 it was trading as P M Pearce, owned by Herbert's son Paul, and continues to be run by his sons Peter and Paul Pearce today.


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