St Aubin shipyards

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This picture, which was Jerripedia's Picture of the week in July 2011, shows St Aubin in the 1840s. It was also used as a cover picture for the 25th anniversary edition of the Channel Islands Family History Journal No 100, in October 2003. It is a magnificent drawing, showing the little port of St Aubin before the arrival of the railway from St Helier in the autumn of 1870, when shipyards occupied the area where the railway terminus was to be built. The row of fine houses along the Bulwarks had already been in existence for nearly 100 years. They were built by prosperous merchants at a time when St Aubin's harbour was far more important than St Helier's, but by the middle of the 19th century the roles had reversed and few if any vessels discharged their cargoes at St Aubin. Although Gorey, Havre des Pas and the eastern end of St Aubin's Bay are probably better known for their shipbuilding activities, the largest vessels were built at St Aubin. Scottish shipbuilder Edward Allen, who owned a house on the quay, built the 747-ton Evening Star, the largest ship built in Jersey, in the yard which can be seen in the picture behind the outer jetty, which was completed in 1819. THe ship was launched in May 1854. Many shipwrights lived in the growing town of St Aubin, including Philip Hocquard, John Poingdestre, George Jeune, Nicholas, Elias and John Briard, Abraham Le Brun (father and son), Thomas Leigh and Thomas Land. Jean Le Bas, who commissioned the vessel, ws its master on its maiden voyage to Australia in August 1854 with 200 emigrants. This was one of only four direct emigration voyages from Jersey, and some of the emigrants are known to have worked on the construction of the vessel to earn money to pay for their passage.

Ships built at St Aubin

  • Charles Arthur built three vessels between 1822 and 1827
  • Edward Giffard and Philip Laurens built six vessels between 1826 and 1832
  • Philip Dean and John Leigh built three vessels between 1833 and 1837
  • Amice Du Val built seven vessels between 1833 and 1848
  • Philip Laing built eleven vessels between 1834 and 1838 at St Aubin's fort
  • Edward Allen built eight vessels between 1837 and 1854
  • Francis Luce built two vessels between 1838 and 1840
  • Charles Orange built one vessel in 1840
  • Francis Philip Sauvage built four vessels between 1849 and 1851
  • Fr and J Le Feuvre built four vessels between 1849 and 1860
  • John Farley built three vessels between 1866 and 1888
  • Thomas Leigh Bartlett built 20 vessels between 1840 and 1848 - some at St Aubin and others at Beaumont
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