Clement Hemery (1776-1851)

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Portrait of Clement as a young man

Clement Hemery 1776-1851 was baptised 20 March 1776 in Jersey. He married Ann Susan Durell, daughter of Elias or Elie Durrell and Marie Dumaresq on 30 April 1808. The Durell family had arrived in Jersey from France in 1530 or 1531.

Family heirlooms

Portraits of Ann Susan's parents by Hudson are still in the family in Australia and are mentioned in several wills as heirlooms. There is also a large locket which commemorates the death of two Durell children, which are probably a younger brother and sister to Ann Susan. The locket incorporates hair in the front and woven into a mat at the back. They are Hester Julia died 15 March 1800 aged 11 and John died 28 March 1800 aged 8. How sad for the family to lose two children within two weeks of each other.

They had 12 children. He made a will in 1850, and died on 23 May 1851. In 1810, the year after his father had died, and two years after his marriage, he began work to remodel the family home – Colomberie House. It is interesting that he looked to England for inspiration, contacting the famous architect Sir John Soane.

Photo by Henry Mullins of an oil painting of Clement by Cope. He is pictured in the library at Colomberie. The original painting is still owned by the Hamilton family, descendants of Clement

Archive contents

In the Jersey Archives there is a year-end account by Clement Hemery for 1832, for the Hemery Brothers business.

Inventory written by Clement Hemery 31 December 1832, attached to the wills of Peter and Elizabeth Hemery in the Jersey Archive. The properties mentioned are Colomberie House ("Town house") vaults, the two company warehouses on the Quay, the office at Hill Street ("Counting House") a field, and the two farms owned by the Hemery family in Grouville, the Carteret and Mallet farms.

Merchants' quay

Either his father, or Clement himself, was one of ten merchants who bought in 1804 from the Vingtaine de la Ville the foreshore which then extended to the base of Le Grand Mont de la Ville. It was waste land, covered at each high tide, but the merchants erected on it a new quay for the harbour of St Helier. In 1823 it was described as a solid and commodious quay. By then the present quay wall had been built, the infilling behind the wall completed, and the 1000 foot long, 30 – 40 foot high wall supporting Pier Road, then the only road to Fort Regent, completed. The area was laid out in lots, Hemery owned lot 18. With his partner Thomas Mallet he managed a ropewalk.

With his fellow merchants he led a spirited action against the British Government representatives in Jersey via the courts, regarding unlawful trespass on their land during the building of the Fort Regent fortifications, among other things the drains for Fort Regent passed through the land.

Legal action

His business premises, believed to be at the top end of Hill Street, and valued at £2,970, backed against a Fort Regent supporting wall. It collapsed and his store (vaults) and contents were seriously damaged. He sued the British Government and got such a poor settlement – including a ruling that both sides should pay their own costs – that he took other action. He wrote a ‘well presented and soundly reasoned’ seven-page letter, on 21 September 1827 which arrived in London three days later. Within a month he received an ‘acceptable settlement’ from the Board of Ordnance, Whitehall, London.

Soon after 1830 when the new Market was built, Clement Hemery laid out two roads named after his children, to connect the Rue de la Commune and the market with St Saviour’s Road. They were called Ann and Charles Street. Ann Street later became the site of Jersey’s largest brewery, who named one of their beers ‘Mary Ann’ – another one of Clement’s daughters was a Mary Ann.

Farms

Clement Hemery bought two farms, Carteret Farm and Mallet farm in Grouville. Carteret Farm, originally owned by the Carteret family, was bought from its bankrupt owner by Clement in April 1821, for 200 quarters of wheat, roughly £3600. It was rented to the Labey family until the 1870s. Carteret Farm was inherited in 1851 by Clement’s son Charles Hemery, who rebuilt it in 1884, and it remained in the hands of his descendants until about 1980.

Mallet Farm was owned by the Mallet family, but they also went bankrupt and Clement bought the farm in September 1827. It was rented to Jean Hocquard, brother-in-law to the Labey who rented Carteret Farm. Hocquard’s nephew Jean Labey succeeded him, and his son bought the farm from Ann Margaret Hemery (described as formidable) in 1875.

Militia

Clement also served in the Jersey Militia, in the Town Regiment. He is mentioned in General Don’s Militia survey of 1815 as a Captain in St Helier. On 19 July 1822 he is mentioned as a witness in the dispute between Captain Aaron de Ste Croix and Major General Sir John Halkett, which resulted in de Ste Croix being removed from his post.

Several of the Hemery brothers, including Clement, are included in a painting by Frederick George Reynolds to celebrate the laying of the foundation stone of a new pier of St Helier harbour in 1841.

The 1841 census records Clement at Colomberie House, his occupation merchant, living with his wife Ann and his children Ann, Peter (merchant) Julia and Ellen.

In 2004 a housing development in Ann Street was named Clement Court as he once owned that land.

Death

Apparently Clement suffered from illness before he died on 25 March 1851. Mourning rings were made with the inscription ‘Clement Hemery ob. Mar. 25. 1851’

Clement Hemery
Ann Hemery

Will dated 5 July 1850 in English

I Clement Hemery of the Island of Jersey, merchant, bequeath :

  • To such poor persons and charitable institutions as my executors may think fit £100
  • One third of all my moveables and personal estates to my dear wife.
  • One third of the same to my children.
  • Of the remaining third of the same (which by law I have a right to dispose of, one half to my dear wife and the other half to my children.)
  • The share of my property which would have gone to my lamented son James should go to his son James to be vested in trustees. When he is of age the trustees shall pay to him the said annual income, reserving from it £100 to pay to his mother. If he dies before coming of age the trustees shall pay his mother £150 sterling per annum. The residue of his share of the property to go equally to my children on his decease, as well as the £150 for his mother at her decease.
  • My dear wife and my sons Clement and Peter to be executors. Clement and Peter to be trustees for James my grandson and his mother.

Note : his son James, Dean of Jersey, predeceased him in 1849.

His widow Ann died in 1865. The Le Couteur diary mentions her in 1861, living at Colomberie : ‘old Mrs Hemery and her daughter called to see me. The old lady is about 78 and looks vastly well; it was very kind of her. She is still so cordial and warm hearted and it does one good to see such a bright evening of life.’

Her mother was a Dumaresq. The portraits of her parents were left by her daughter Julia Hemery to Jack Lindon in Adelaide. There is also a painting of her with a fire screen. Both painting and fire screen are still in that branch of the family.

She died a very wealthy woman, the money going to her many children. Ellen Mary had obviously had several loans to buy furniture and for other purposes after she was married, and so was not given any furniture from Colomberie.

Will of Ann Susan Durell widow of Clement Hemery dated 20 March 1865

  • As much as possible in accordance with the wishes of my dear husband.
  • £30 to the National School.
  • £10 to St Marks School.
  • £10 to St Lukes School.
  • £10 to the Church.
  • £10 to the Dorcas Society.
  • £50 for charitable purposes to be placed in the hands of my daughters Ann and Julia.
  • £10 each to my servants who have been with me over 10 years, £5 each to those a shorter time.

The sum in the hands of Hemery Brothers I bequeath as follows :

  • To each of my sons Clement, Peter, John, Charles and Edward I give £3000.
  • To each of my daughters Ann, Julia and Ellen I give £2000.
  • What I have in the French 3 percent I make over to my daughters Ann and Julia.
  • What I have in the 4% French I give in equal shares to my sons Clement, Peter, John, Charles and Edward.
  • What I placed in American (Securities) in the name of my daughters becomes theirs at my death both capital and interest.
  • Of the 70 shares in the London and County Bank, although in John’s name, I give 13 shares to each daughter, 10 shares to my son Peter, 11 to John and 10 to Charles.
  • The plate to be divided equally between my sons and daughters. Half of the furniture in Colomberie House I give to my daughters Ann and Julia in equal parts. I also give them the whole of the table linen and chamber linen, and half of the bed linen, the rest to be divided as well as half the house furniture between my 5 sons.
  • I give to my daughters all my clothes and trinkets.
  • The 2 marble tables in the drawing room I give to my son Clement, with the looking glass standing between them. The portraits of the late uncle James Hemery by Opie, and those of my father and mother by Howard, I desire to be considered heirlooms and always to remain in the senior branch of the family. My likeness and that of my dear husband now in the drawing room I give to Ann and Julia to dispose of after their death.
  • The £2000 in the hands of Hemery Brothers bequeathed to my daughter Ellen Mary, wife of Thomas Lindon, and the shares shall be held in trust in the same way as her marriage settlement. What is hers in American Securities I give to her without any reserve.
  • Various sums given to Ellen Mary at various times for furniture and other purposes I give to her for ever, in consideration of which I do not wish her to claim any furniture, linen or books from Colomberie House, plate to be divided equally between with her brothers and sisters.
  • The plants in the greenhouses to be divided equally between all brothers and sisters living in Jersey at the time of my death.
  • Any other property including capital and interest of my share in the Commercial Bank to be divided equally.
  • My sons Clement and Peter to be my executors, receiving 6 months interest and 6 months rent of Colomberie House to pay legacies and debts etc.
  • The books to be divided between my sons and daughters.
  • The horse and carriages to be sold and the proceeds divided between all my children.
  • The globes I give to Peter for the use of his children.
  • My silver bread baskets I give to Emily Ann Hemery my only god daughter.
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