Family of Capt Jean Pinel

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Family of Captain Jean Pinel


Jean Pinel

This family history is based on notes complied by Bernard Pinel, the grandson of Captain Jean Pinel, from an autobiography written by his father, John Pinel, during the last four years of his life. This was written in minute detail, covering approximately 90 pages of an exercise book, which is now in the possession of his grand-daughter, Mrs Kelcey Edwards.

It tells the story of the lives of the family of a younger son from a large farming family. It was probably typical of many young Jerseyman at the time who, being unlikely to inherit the family farm, sought their fortune by going to sea.

Capt Jean Pinel (1819-1895)

Capt Pinel was descended from the branch of the Pinel family who were thought to have built the farm La Vallette at Mont Mado, St John, which is now owned by the National Trust. His line comes from the second marriage in 1700 of Clement Pinel (1666- ) to Jeanne Mauger. His father was farmer Philippe Pinel (1785- ) and Marie Hocquard.

They had 10 children; Mary (1811- ), Elizabeth (1813-1823), Philippe (1814- ), Jeanne (1817- ), Jean (1819- ), Nancy (1921- ), Thomas (1824-1824) Elizabeth (1825), Marguerite (1829- ) and Josue (1831- ). All were baptised at St John's. Parish Church.

Mary married Josue Blampied. Philippe, the eldest son inherited the farm, which he lived on and cultivated up to the time of his death at the age of 93. This was La Grande Maison in St John. He married Esther Dorey and their youngest daughter Mary Ann (1848- ) married John Arthur Vaudin in 1871 and they lived at Le Marinel, St John, where their descendants still live.

Nancy married Capt Philippe Le Masurier in 1850. He had inherited La Vallette from his grandmother Elizabeth Pinel (1767- ), who was the last in line of the senior branch of her family who had lived there since about 1675.

Elizabeth married Edward George Le Boutillier and lived at Oakdale, St John. Marguerite married Pierre Fenouf in 1849. Josue, the youngest, took to the sea and became part-owner and master of a small trading schooner. He fell overboard and was drowned at quite a nearly age.

Jean served an apprenticeship in cabinet making, but that was too slow for him and he went to sea. About the year 1842 he found himself in India and joined the North Fast India Company as a carpenter on a small paddle steamer, which formed part of the fleet sent to China.

In 1842 he was present at the attack on the Woosung forts, during which he was wounded in the leg. The wound, which was a bruise on the shin, got very inflamed and he was invalided to Calcutta. A doctor decided to amputate the leg, but he got an attack of fever and was too weak to stand the operation, so it was delayed and, by the time the fever left him and he began to regain strength, the wound showed signs of healing and the leg was left on and did him good service for the rest of his life.

On his return, he joined with some friends in building a small schooner, called Pandora for the trade to the West Indies and took command of her. After a short career, she was wrecked on one of the West Indies islands, after which he got command of a full-rigged ship and made several voyages to Australia and India. About 1853 he got command of a ship out of the Port of London, the Great Britain, which made him think his future was made.

Jean Pinel and Rebecca, nee Hart

His first wife was Rebecca Hart (1813- ), of Gloucester. Her father was a cloth manufacturer in Wootton-under-Edge. She died in Scotland in 1865 at the age of 52. Their two children were John (1849- ) and Oswald Henry (1856- ).

Jean made several voyages to Australia and, in 1862, he was presented by the Committee of the Sydney New South Wales Anniversary Regatta with a silver candleholder for his 'valuable services rendered in carrying out the objects in view'.

The following year the same committee presented him with a silver jug inscribed with the words 'In acknowledgement of the courteous manner in which on that occasion he placed his ship the Tiptree at the committee's disposal and of his valuable aid in contributing generally to the sucess of the Regatta - Sydney 26 March 1863.'

In 1863 he built the Sea King which was used as troopship in 1864 to take troops to New Zealand for the Maori War. Later it was sold and was refitted and used by the Confederates as a gunboat in the American Civil War, having been renamed the Shenandoah. It was later sold to the Sultan of Zanzibar and, eventually, wrecked in a hurricane.

His second marriage was in 1869 to aHarriet Johanna Terry, who died the following year without issue and was buried in St John.

The Sea King being sold, he and the other owners decided to build an iron auxiliary steamer, somewhat larger, for the China trade and a contract was made with A and J Inglis, shipbuilders and engineers of Glasgow, for its construction.

The new steamer, named the 'Erl King', was of 1,044 tons gross. She was barque-rigged, with a full poop and accomodation for about 50 first-class passengers.

Jean Pinel's Master's Certificate

His third marriage was in 1872 to Mary Frances Risebrough and they had four children; Arthur Risebrough (1874- ), Lillian Mary (1875- ), Ernest John (1878- ) and Frank Herbert (1880- )

Jean and his nephew Philip Le Masurier founded Pinel and Le Masurier Wine Merchants, which they ran for the three years, 1884-1887, and which later became known as Ann Street Brewery.

Arthur was at one time a priest in Jagersfontein, South Africa but returned to Jersey. He was living at The Ferns, Don Road, when he died In 1920. When Jean died in 1895 the family were living at Sans Souci, St Saviour's Road, which was next to Ann Street Brewery.

John Pinel (1849-1930)

John was born on 14 January 1849, at a house in Lempriere Street, in St Helier.

Up to the age of nearly six he lived with his mother in Jersey, occasionally making trips to London when his father arrived there from his voyages. He remembered little of what happened during those years, except that he had two illnesses; one was typhus fever of a very severe type and the other a mild attack of smallpox.

He went to school in England until he was 16, interspersed with one or two sea trips for health reasons. He had ideas of also going to sea. Although he had other ideas, his father signed him on in a semi-official capacity on his own ship, after which John jnr gave the idea away.

In 1868 he got a job in the tea business, as a shipping clerk in Shanghai and later had various postings up and down the China coast in the tea business, also in the Yokohama, Japan.

Because of poor health, in 1874 he returned to England. The following year his half-sister, Lillian Mary, was born, his father having remarried. He returned to China, in the tea trade, until 1877, when he returned aaain to England and was in the tea business there with a Mr Oliver.

He married Emily Cremer in May 1880 at St Luke's Church, Lower Norwood. His business did not prosper as well as it should have and in 1889 he decided to emigrate to Australia.

They went on board the Rodney on 29 May 1889. The ship left Gravesend on 31 May, arriving in Sydney Harbour on 22 August. He had letters of introduction to people in Sydney, but, as there were no opportunities for work there, they left for Tasmania on ss Oonah on 13 September, arriving in Hobart on the 16th. Here he obtained a job with the Examiner, a Launceston daily newspaper. His wife contracted typhoid fever and died the following January.

He relinquished his position with the Examiner and proceeded to New Zealand, but things did not go well there and he later returned to Launceston. His future father-in-law, Alfred Field, was working at the Examiner as a collector and that was how he came to know the family.

Before leaving New Zealand, John had written to him and he had arranged for him to work as an accountant with Alfred Harrop and Son, commencing on 29 May 1891, in their Wool and Real Estate section.

In Launceston John boarded with the Field family at Beacon Lodge, Hillside Crescent, and met his second wife, Ada Elizabeth Field. They were married on Wednesday, 22 June 1892, and had a brief honeymoon in Hobart, returning to Launceston on the 29th of the month, and taking up their abode at Devon Cottage, Howick Street.

John had started work with Alfred Harrap and Son at the age of 42 and continued there until July 1926, when failing health made it imperative for him to give up at the age of 77 years. The family wanted him to retire much earlier, but he persisted as long as ho could. He died on 18 March 1930 at the age of 81. Ada had died from pneumonia on 17 January 1921 at the age of 55.

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