Seigneurs of Longueville

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Seigneurs of Longueville Manor


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This article by Charles Langton was first published in the 1930 Annual Bulletin of La Société Jersiaise


The Assize Roll of 1300 states that the Manor of Longueville belonged to the De Barentin family but that generations before, it had been in the possession of the predecessor of Renault de Carteret. No specific mention of the manor is made, and it must be assumed that, at this period, it remained a subsidiary holding of a greater Seignioralty; but it does not seem clear whether the overlord was the Seigneur de Melesches, or the Seigneur of Rozel.

The fief de Melesches, originally granted to Thomas Paisnel, was presented to Renault de Carteret in 1306. It descended to his grandchildren, and eventually passed to the St Martin family, probably by purchase, in the latter half of the 15th century. De Carteret, Seigneurs of Longueville, appear in the latter part of the contemporary pedigree, and it is quite possible that the division of the family property among the three sons of the original Re nault entailed the disposal of a dependant manor to a De Barentin.

If, however, Longueville Manor was a subsidiary manor to Rozel, it may have come into the possession of De Barentin either in 1247, when they were presented with the forfeited holdings of Eymery Buch, or when Henry III granted them the property of the defecting knight Enguerrand de Furner.

That the De Barentins, Seigneurs of Rozel, held Longueville in 1300 and 1367 is abundantly clear, not only from the Assize Roll entry, but also from the fact that it was specifically included in the sale between Philip de Barentin, Raoul Lempriere and Guilles Payn. The tenure during the intervening period is complicated by a solitary contract preserved in the Thomas Le Maistre manuscripts concerning a dispute between Julienne de Vinchelez and Renault de Carteret, in 1353, over the holding of the Court of the fief of Longueville.

Julienne complained that Renault had seized her court in the fief de Melesches. Renault said that his uncle, Guillot de Vinchelez, and Julienne held two courts at Longueville, fief de Melesches, but their predecessors held only one. Julienne argued that she and her predecessors had peacefully held the Court in fee for the space of 40 years and more and won her case.

The dispute shows that Renault de Carteret possessed part of the fief from his uncle, but it is equally clear that it had reverted to the De Barentin by some means prior to 1367.

Chronological notes on the history of the Seigneurs cannot commence, with any degree of certainty, before this latter date, and it is better perhaps to start the sequence of successions from Philip de Barentin, leaving the earlier Seigneurs as a subject for future research.

1366: Philippe de Barentin

Philippe de Barentin succeeded his father as Seigneur of Rozel. He was accused by his relatives of being tainted by leprosy, but there is no evidence of such an hereditary ailment, and the accusation may have been originally associated with the fact that his ancestor, William de Barentin, had founded a chapel and hospital for lepers at Cheveres.

He had two sons, Phillip and Gilbert, who in revenge for a scandalous imputation against their mother, seized John de St Martin, and, at her instigation, brutally murdered him on the road from St Martin to Trinity at a spot called La Croix au Maitre. Both murderers fled to France, Gilbert the younger was pursued, apprehended and hanged at Caen, but Phillip was more fortunate and eventually settled peaceably at Rouen.

An internecine feud seems to have ensued, and Phillip de Barentin, to disappoint his heirs, hastily sold his lands to Raoul Lempriere and Guilles Payn. The possession to their estates was disputed by Peter Payn, Rector of St Brelade, nephew of Philip de Barentin the elder, and afterwards by members of the Lovell family, but both these claims appear to have been disallowed, as the descendants of the original purchasers remained in peaceful possession of the property.

1367: Raoul Lempriere and Guilles Payn

The sale contract includes the manors of Rozel, Longueville, La Hougue Boëte, Samarès, Houmet, La Fosse, Ponterrin, Diélament and other fiefs, for the price of 800 livres sterling. But as both Lemprière and Payn were 'strangers and natives of Brittany', they were compelled to pay a fine of 70 livres sterling to Richard II before they could obtain the necessary license permitting them to enter into possession.

There is a contract of 1367 by which they were allowed conjointly to faire comparence at the Assize d Héritage for their fiefs, but they did not agree to make a definite division of the holding untill 1382, when Raoul Lemprière took Rozel, Longueville and La Hougue Boéte and William Payn took Samarès, Houmet, La Fosse, Ponterrin, Dielament and other fiefs. Curiously the presentation to the cure of Longueville Chapel and the maintenance of the edifice was given to Payn. The mutual arrangement was probably a family convenience since they were related, each having married a daughter and co-heiress of the contemporary Bailiff, Geoffrey Brasdefer.

==1382: Renauld de Carteret. Renauld de Carteret is mentioned as a Seigneur of Longueville, but it is not known how he came into possession of the fief. He succeeded his father to the fief de Melesches, which he sold to his brother William de Carteret in 1354, making the reservation to himself of the 4 qrs de froment which Richard de St Martin had held jure uxoris.

If he obtained the manor by purchase the deed can scarcely have been signed before his death in 1382. His son Philip was left a ward of the King, and did not come of age until 1385.

1445: Renauld de Carteret

Philip de Carteret probably continued in peaceful possession but no mention is made of a Seigneur until the reappearance of another Renauld de Carteret, Bailiff 1446-51, who had married Jenette, daughter of Jenette de St Martin. The Armorial states that Renauld de Carteret of 1354 was father of Renauld de Carteret, Bailiff of 1450 — a century covered by only one generation — and it seems more probable that another generation intervened, and that the second Renauld was son of Philip the minor of 1381.

1470: Renauld de Cartere

The succeeding Seigneur disposed of the manor between 1470 and 1480 to John Nichol, a Cornishman.

1470-1496: John Nichol

John Nichol held the Crown appointment of gentleman Porter of Mont Orgueil from 1470 to 1479, when he became Viscount. From 1488 to 1493 he was a Jurat, and finally became Bailiff in 1494. In 1470 he purchased 2 quarters of rent from Renauld de Carteret, and in succeeding years there were many further transactions between them, which culminated in his acquisition of all the heritages in 1480.

On 10 August 1493 his three sons agreed to a division of the entire family estates: Henry Nichol, the eldest, and Peter Nichol, the second son, took their father's English estates, on which they resettled, and the youngest son, Hostes Nichol, was ceded the Manor and fief of Longueville.

1496: Hostes Nichol, Jurat 1501

On 20 February 1496 John Nichol confirmed by deed the gift of the manor to his youngest son, and the contract was presented and passed by the Court. The Crown Officers raised the question of the payment of fouage, a triennial habitation tax, by the tenants of the fief in the same year, but the dispute was settled amicably by a legal judgment that they were not liable.

c 1524: John Nichol

In 1524 there was a lawsuit between John Nichol, Seigneur of Longueville and Clement Lemprière, Seigneur of the Fief du Buisson, regarding a tenant, Mary Gosselin, who claimed to be a vassal of the latter fief. Nichol contended that the fief du Buisson was a dependancy of Longueville, but Lemprière, basing his claim on the Extente of 1381, stated that the two fiefs were separate, and evidently won his case.

The case is unimportant except for its establishment of a fact that this John Nichol had succeeded to the Manor prior to 1524. A contemporary John Nichol, Constable of St Helier, circa 1580, was unrelated to the Seigneur, and care has to be exercised to avoid a confusion of identities.

John Nichol, the Seigneur, had at least one claim to particular notice by posterity because of the numerous and sometimes incompatible offices he held, for he was Viscount from 1527-1533, Procureur General 1535-1545, during which period he was also Receiver General (1540) and Constable of St Saviour (1540-1545). He died in 1546.

1546-1564: Hostes Nicolle

Hostes Nicolle was Attorney General circa 1553, Procureur Général 1560, on the nomination of the Governor, Hugh Poulett, and Bailiff in 1560, as successor to Hélier de Carteret. Although prominently associated with the States for some years, his only claim to notoriety lies in the diabolical outrage, originally recorded in the Chroniques, which labels him as an avaricious unprincipled man. The incident, embellished with superstitious legend, has been handed down the centuries.

About the year 1860 the Rev Bateman, then Seigneur of Longueville, endeavoured to collect legend and fact and sift the grains of historical accuracy from an amazing array of demons, wild horses and ghosts. The result of his uncompleted research appears in the 'Memorabillia' attached to his journal.

The curious story is an interesting addition to his journal, because it records the local supertitions, handed down through centuries, that still held sway among the credulous peasantry, up to a period of less than 100 years ago. Many ghostly visitations originated with acoustic vagaries, and Bateman’s explanations seem to account reasonably for the noctural galloping of horses, which ceased after the structural alterations to the manor, and the construction of the new road.

His investigations definitely laid to rest another ghost that nightly walked around the mill—a very solid and material being, who regularly appropriated a sack of corn with impunity, until his long standing enterprise terminated in imprisonment for theft. The historical evidence in support of the strange story is weak; the strongest affirmation being afforded by the mute testimony of the parochial records.

If he was buried at the crossroads like a dog, suicide is not only indicated, but anathema as well, and it is perfectly in keeping with contemporary custom that political and social whitewash would be advocated, and a conspicuous reinterment, or at least the placing of a commemorative stone in a prominent position in the Church be subsequently made, as a necessary corollary.

Perhaps Hostes Nichol has been unduly libelled for four centuries, but the fact remains that he is still held up as an example to the wicked, and a continual bogey to refractory children.

1564-1595: Hugh Nicolle

Hugh Nicolle was the only child of the marriage of Hostes Nicolle and Elizabeth, daughter of Edmond Perrin, Seigneur of Rosel. He took no part in the administrative affairs of the Island, but through hereditary failings, or other inherent weakness, became involved in serious financial difficulties which forced him finally to sell the fief and manor and migrate to England where he died unmarried.

1594: Thomas Bertram

Thomas Bertram, Receiver General 1598-1600, enjoyed an exceptionally brief tenure of the fief, which he bought on 10 March 1594 and in the following year sold it to the heirs general of Hugh Nicolle.

1595: Aaron Messervy, Benjamin La Cloche, Thomas and Jean H erault

These joint purchasers were related to Hugh Nichol and became in time the heirs general. It seems evident that these sales were some kind of family arrangement made necessary through their cousin’s financial difficulties. On 23 March 1595 a division of the estate was made, definitely allocating portions of the manor to each party.

Thomas and Jean Herault took (a) La maison de devant, jusqu’un pignon d’entre les chambres appelée la chambre du Bailli et la salle de haut, etc. (b) La Chapelle de St Thomas et toutes les issues de devant tant de ladite maison que: les étables et le belle de devant les dites étables jusqu’un mur qui sépare Ie viel belle d’avec celui, de devant les dits étables, etc. (c) Half the fief with its emoluments and rights and certain specified rentes to receive and pay.
Aaron Messervy and Benjamin La Cloche took (a) La vieille maison dempuis la grange jusqu’a à la chambre appelée la chambre du Bailli, qui est comprise en cette partie, etc. (b) The remaining half of the fief with emoluments and rights and other specified rentes to receive and pay.

At the end of the deed is a supplementary clause whereby the Heraults took la chambre du sud du manoir de Longueville appelée la chambre du Bailly, le haut et le bas, avec le viel parleur et la chambre de dessus et le galletas, etc.

The moitié acquired by Thomas Herault and his son Jean was subsequently purchased by Jean le Febvre, son of Germain, who, in 1602, resold his portion of the manor and fief to Benjamin La Cloche. Le Febvre had also acquired the quarter share obtained by Aaron Messervy, and this passed to La Cloche at the same time, enabling the fief in its entirety to become once again consolidated under single proprietorship. Carteret La Cloche is mentioned as Seigneur in 1594, but this entry appears to be an error owing to the evidence afforded concerning Benjamin La Cloche junior.

1612-1654: Benjamin La Cloche

On the partition of the heritage of Nicholas Lemprière of St Helier in 1611, the fief du Buisson, of which he had been Seigneur, was part of the heritage of his eldest daughter, Jeanne Lemprière, wife of Thomas de Soulemont. On 12 December 1612 de Soulemont sold the fief to Benjamin La Cloche for 2 quartiers de froment et 10 sols le toute de rente.

The fief thereafter was considered jointly with Longueville and a patent of incorporation was obtained on 29 April 1617. The patent distinctly states that these fiefs, so incorporated, are held directly from the Crown and owe suit of Court at the Chief Pleas of Heritage.

Benjamin La Cloche left a journal which has been published by the Society.

In this diary will be found many interesting references to Longueville. It opens with an account of a dispute which took place between Dumaresq, Seigneur of Samarès, Gorges and Bagot and the Seigneur de Longueville, as regards a church pew in St Saviour’s Church.

Dumaresq claimed precedence of Nicolle, alleging social superiority, and seniority as Seigneur of Gorges, or de Bagot, in the parish. Nicolle replies that:

'He is a gentleman of race, the descendant of a noble house in the Kingdom of England, county of Cornwall, which had served the King loyally from time to time, even during the time when the English held possession of part of Normandy — that his predecessors had been employed and held office there and in other places in his Majesty’s service—that as for him, according to his rank and standing, he will never allow Dumaresq’s right as his superior — that he will never cede his right and that Dumaresq’s arguments and allegations will never have power to do so.
'The Seigneur of Samarès can sit, when he attends service at St Saviour, on the chairs, which are at present in the church, used by Philippe Messervy of Bagot, with the arms of Dumaresq and Vinchelez inscribed on them. The seat of John Nicolle, my predecessor in the church of this parish, was in the South Chapel by the south side in the cloister at the end of the High Altar by the south — Saumaresq next above Lemprière — and Lemprière followed in the north aisle. '

The burial place of Regnault de Carteret and Nicolle was before the High Altar at the south of the chapel. Perhaps at this date chairs were being replaced by pews — Nicolle particularly mentions them as being 'at present' in the church, thus signifying the possibility of pending departure — and the whole cause of the dispute savours of some reconstruction in the church tending to upset the established customs of the parishioners.

The entry opens with a record of the fact that at the King's Court in this Island, the affair remains in statut, and Nicolle is in his right.

Two entries bearing on structural alterations at the manor are of particular interest:

1631 in July. I began to rebuild the gable of the drawing room of Longueville Manor where is the fenier (?fenestre).
1637, 4 July. While placing the cornerstones in front of the roof of the new gable of the house by John de la Lande senior, John de la Lande, junr, son of the aforesaid, with thtrr masons their mates, the chimney of the said house fell and broke in pieces injuring so severely John de la Lande, junr, that he lived only seven hours and died in the drawmg room of the Manor of Longueville the same day and was buried in St Saviour's Churchyard the day following, awaiting the happy resurrection which God gives to all who honour and fear him. This happened in the time of Benjamin la Cloche, son of Benjamin La Cloche, Seigneur of Longueville.

Heylin mentions him as a Justice of St Mary in 1628 and he seems to have lived to an advanced age, as he relinquished part of his public activities on account of infirmities on 25 April 1644 (Acte d'Héritage) and on 30 November 1648 was requested to retire as Jurat for the same reason. He died in 1605.

1655 to 1665: Carteret La Cloche

Carteret La Cloche, the only son, inherited the fief, but did not have peaceful possession until the successful termination of the family disputes in the action brought by Philip Messervy and his sister on 25 September 1662. He was appointed Jurat on 27 September 1660 and was buried at St Saviour on 11 January 1666. By his will the field and côtil of Charles Poingdestre were bequeathed to the parochial poor.

1665-1681: George La Cloche

George La Cloche married Jane, daughter of Philip de Carteret Their joint initials are on a corbel at the west end of the manor house. He was a Jurat from 1676 to his death on 5 October 1681 at the early age of 37 years. A large commemorative stone erected in St Saviour's Church eulogises his ancestry and personal services, but is marred by a ludicrous heraldic device intended to represent the Nicolle family escutcheon.

1681-1712: George La Cloche

George La Cloche, the elder son, Jurat 1698-1712, died without issue and was succeeded by his brother Amice La Cloche. In 1692 the Colombier, of which mention is first made in the Roll d’Assize of 1299, had fallen into ruin and the Royal Court gave special permission to George La Cloche to rebuild it in the garden of St Thomas, to the north of the manor.

1712-1725: Amice La Cloche

Jurat 1712-1725. On 15 September 1715 William Dumaresq, John Hardy, and Charles Marett sought to obtain an injunction against Amice La Cloche to prevent him from erecting a windmill on Mont Millais in the fief of Longueville. The Court decided in favour of La Cloche but on appeal to the Privy Council the judgment was reversed, and an Order-in-Council dated 13 September 1716 promulgated the decision, which set aside the finding of the local Court. He married Ann Seale, daughter of the Seigneur of Samarès, and left one daughter who thus became the sole heiress.

1725—1741: Anne La Cloche, John Durell

Anne La Cloche, Dame of Longueville in 1727, married John Durell, Advocate General, and grandson of John Durell, Lieut Bailly, who became jure uxoris, Seigneur of Longueville and died 20 May 1741.

1741-1800: John Thomas Durell

He succeeded Mr Le Maistre as Advocate General on 4 April 1771, but died unmarried in 1800. When the manor passed to his only sister Mary Durell.

1800-1812: Mary Durell., George Burrard

By her marriage with George Burrard, the manor again passed, through an heiress, to the temporary possession of another family and the long period of hereditary successions, extending over 300 years, terminated in the next generation.

1813: Philip Burrard

Philip Burrard, the only son, obtained permission by an Order- in-Council to alienate the Longueville and Buisson Fiefs. The petition dated 14 August 1813 recalls the humble petition of Benjamin La Cloche of 29 April 1618 wherein the estates, fiefs, manors, etc. were to remain impartable; neither the whole, or part, to be sold, dismembered, mortgaged, or alienated for any cause, or under any pretext, without Royal permission

  • The manor and signory of Longueville and the Fief du Buisson with their members... dependencies... and courts... and other privileges prerogatives... and rights, etc
  • A water mill with sluices, ponds and riviliets
  • A windmill—fallen into ruin * A pidgeon house
  • A warren
  • A chapel and parsonage house of St Thomas
  • 100 vergees of land including the field called Ie Parcq
  • 30 quarters of wheat
  • 12 couples of fowls
  • One pot of Gascony wine
  • 100 sols rentes

All this property of Benjamin La Cloche descended to the petitioner by right of inheritance — and he prayed permission to sell all, or part, for the best price he can obtain. HRH the Prince Regent, on behalf of His Majesty, approved the request. From this date the manor passed through many hands by frequent sales.

1813: Mr Baudains

Purchased in 1813 and resold to Philip Arthur at some date previous to 1835.

c 1835-1S63: John Arthur

At this period the Seigneur was not called to the Cour d’Héritage, for some reason unknown, and John Arthur tried to obtain reinstatement. At the Assize d'Heritage held on 9 May 1861, Advocate Godfray asked on behalf of Philip Arthur, Lord of the Manor of Longueville and Patier, that that gentleman be admitted to make his appearance, as these manors were held by Knights service. The Bailiff said that the Patent must be read, and the Greffier produced an Act of the Assize d’Heritage of October 1617, wherein the titular Lord of Longueville had been allowed to make his homage.

Advocate Godfray contended that no difficulties existed, but the Attorney-General replied that he had had no opportunity of looking into the matter and there was always a possibility that some later Patent existed setting aside the right of the Seigneurs of Longueville to pay homage to the Assize d’Heritage. Within his memory the Seigneurs of Longueville had never been allowed to pay homage.

The Court ordered the produced patent to be lodged au Greffe, and there the matter seems to have ended—Arthur did not trouble to pursue the matter further but decided to sell the Manor at the first opportunity.

1863: The Rev Christian Bateman

When Mr Bateman purchased the manor in March 1863 it was in a state of ruin, dilapidation and decay. Details of the contemporary condition are given at length in his journal, together with an account of the restoration and alterations during his tenure. This journal, the manuscript of which is now in the possession of Mr Venables, seems to have been intended as a prelude to a more complete work embracing the history of the manor and its seigneurs, but for some reason unknown it terminates with the introductory account covering approximately the first half of the 19th century.

Bateman was not enamoured of his neighbours, and his journal contains caustic and uncomplimentary comments, which could well have been omitted. Exasperation at the initial condition of his property may have prompted his Irish temperament to generalise unjustly—yet it remains a fact that he did more to renovate the manor than many of his predecessors, and his Journal, with all its literary and other faults, is an important addition to Longueville history. [The Rev Christian Bateman, referred to by the writer as W B Bateman, was not Irish, but was born in Yorkshire. The initials shown in this history were entirely incorrect – Ed]

1873: Charles Kipling

The Bateman occupation terminated abruptly. About the year 1873 the manor was sold to Charles Kipling who remained there for two years and then resold it to:

1875-1920: Mr Venables

An English merchant from Wellington, Shropshire. He died in 1877 and his widow continued in residence until the end of her life, when her son Mr C Venables succeeded (1889).

1920: Wyndham Henry Williams

The late Mr Williams purchased the manor in 1920, and, at the auction held in October of that year, acquired most of the valuable French and Flemish Marqueterie and carved furniture that was there. The illustrated catalogue issued by the auctioneer, G Le B Benest, contains the interesting note that the old furniture was at the manor at the previous sale in July 1873, conducted by G Le B Benest’s predecessor, when it was acquired by Mr Venables senior. It seems probable that most of it has remained at Longueville since the days of the 17th century Seigneurs.

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