No 63 King Street

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63 King Street


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Au Paradis promotional plate


There was plenty of competition in this area of King Street for people’s grocery business in 1851. At No 63 ‘master grocer’ James Madden (48), from Ireland, was in business, assisted by his wife Eliza Le Breton, and eldest son John (16). Next door Philip Renouf was in competition at No 61.

During 1852, shortly after the birth of her last child, Eliza became ill and died. The cause is given as gastritis. She is buried in Green Street Cemetery, St Helier.

Au Paradis des Touristes, run by L P Amalric and his wife

James was devastated by her death; he was overwhelmed by his loss, trying to care for his grieving children and run his business, which began to suffer. He neglected to keep up payments with which he had dealt meticulously in the past. His main creditor pushed for bankruptcy and there was a trial. James paid off all his debts thanks to the help of friends.

He died three years later from a chest infection and the children were given a home by family and friends. By 1861 younger son James was serving in the Royal Artillery at Fort Regent. Strangely, although he was born and baptised in St Helier, his birthplace in the 1861 census is given as Ireland. He is believed to have died from wounds in the Afghanistan Campaign of 1879/80.

Finnie family

No 63 is shown as unoccupied in the 1861 and 1871 censuses and also the 1880 almanac, but a year later the census shows the occupants as chemist and druggist James Finnie (1848- ), his wife Lucy (1851- ), and their 4-year-old daughter Edith. Their stay was very short-lived because by 1885 Louis Amalric (1843- ) had established his toy warehouse at No 63. It would remain there until at least 1919, and his wife Marie (1851- ) would also run a tobacconists from 1912 to 1919.

The Amalrics were from Marseille in France and they ran their business as Au Paradis des Touristes, promoting it directly at French visitors to the island and offering their speciality of holiday souvenirs made from granite mounted in silver, as well as Sheffield steel cutlery and 'the best scissors and razors'. They also offered to change money without charge, but only for tourists. They had a second branch of the business at Menton on the French Riviera.

Although the Amalrics were initially resident over their shop, they do not appear anywhere in the 1901 census (perhaps they were visiting France) and the premises are shown as occupied but without residents.

In 1911 Mrs Amalric appears again at No 63 as a widow, but now calling herself Louise.

Whether her successor at No 63, J G Marett, continued the fancy goods business is uncertain, but by the start of the Occupation W R Gee was running a fancy repository at the premises, and he was followed in 1965 by Kendall. From 1990 to 2000 Next clothing store operated there and more recently No 63 has been home to Sure telephones. Gone are the days when every other King Street shop was a drapery.

Chronology

  • 1833 - F Connelly, boot and shoe maker
  • 1851 - James Madden, grocer
  • 1881 - James Finnie, chemist
  • 1885-1919 - L P Amalric, toy warehouse, also tobacconist 1912-1919 Mrs Amalric
  • 1930 - J G Marett
  • 1940-1960 - W R Gee, fancy repository
  • 1965-1980 - Kendall
  • 1970 - Dentist
  • 1990-2000 - Next
  • 2010 - Sure telephones
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