Charles Lempriere and descendants
Charles Lempriere, Seigneur of Rosel, Chief Magistrate and President of the States of Jersey for upwards of 30 years, was esteemed the representative Jerseyman of his day. The bare enumeration of the offices he filled in connection with his native island would fill pages, and a detailed account of his career, volumes. His public actions bore chiefly on the great necessity of the times — the protection of Jersey from French invasion.
He is found in London as a Deputy, procuring arms and artillery for the militia, of which he was subsequently the great disciplinarian. Then, establishing, at his own expense, a system of secret intelligence in France, whereby information of the greatest moment was obtained regarding the forces and intentions of tbe enemy at Cancale Bay, Brest, St Malo, and Havre-de-Grace. He procured, for all the operations of the British Navy that required them, pilots for the French coast, and, in 1758, he subsidized the shipping of Jersey from his private purse, and organized an expedition to tbe island of Chausey (now again being fortified, to the dismay of tbe English press, by Napoleon III) under Lord (then Commodore) Howe, when the existing fortifications were entirely destroyed, and the Channel swept clear of French cruisers.
Honoured witb the friendship and approbation of the Earl Granville, the Marquesses of Bath and of Landsdowne, and of tbe Privy Councillors of his time, and with the gratitude and respect of his countrymen, death closed his memorable and patriotic exertions, in the ninety-fifth year of his age.
His son, William Charles Lempriere, who succeeded his father in his estates and the greater part of his public employments, injured a delicate constitution by a too rigorous fulfilment of military duties, in almost daily inspecting tbe fortifications then in course of progress throughout the island. He died at Pézenas, in Languedoc, in 1783, in the flower of his age.
His son, the late Philip Raoul Lempriere, Seigneur of Rozel, was a Jurat of tbe Royal Court, from 1819 to 1835, and was Colonel of the North Regiment of Militia. In early life he thought of settling permanently in England, and to that end purchased the estate of Clere Park, Hants, but subsequently sold it and returned to Jersey, busying himself in improvements in his Seigneurie, and in the cultivation of polite literature, to which he was much addicted. He married Elizabeth, daughter of John Poingdestre, Jurat of the Royal Court, by whom he had seven children:
Charles, a Major in HM 53rd Regiment, who died at Madeira in 1855; William; Henry, of the Royal Artillery; Philip, died young; Emily, who died in 1833; Helen, who married the Rev Augustus James Brine, of Boldre, Lymington, Hants (who, 30 July 1860, assumed the surname and arms of Knapton); and Maria.