George Philippe Crill

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George Philippe Crill


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This biography is based on the entry in A Biographical Dictionary of Jersey Vol 2 by Francis Corbet


George Philippe Crill (1855-1932), son of Philippe Crill and his second wife, Mary Anne Godeaux, was born in St Clement.

He became a solicitor and served as Deputy of his home parish of St Clement from 1889 to 1907, and again from 1910 to 1912. He was then elected Jurat but this led to the controversial decision of the Royal Court to refuse to swear him into office, until ordered to do so by the Privy Council.

Career

He entered the Hill Street office of Clement Lerrier Aubin and served an 11-year apprenticeship before qualifying as a solicitor in June 1880. He would eventually found the prominent law firm of Crill and Benest.

After 20 years as Deputy of St Clement, spread over two terms, he was elected unopposed as Jurat at a meeting at the Town Hall on 22 July 1912. On 3 August the Attorney-General moved that he be sworn into office but the Court refused, and decided to refer the matter to the Privy Council because of an earlier judgment against Mr Crill.

"Taking into consideration a certain decision of the Royal Court on 18 January 1902, by which the said Mr Crill, on the representation of His Majesty's then Attorney-General was, on account of the charges then brought against him and by him admitted, deprived of the post he occupied as curator of the property and person of a Mr Francois Mollet and condemned to a fine of £30 sterling.
"The Court, having heard the conclusions of His Majesty's Attorney-General, unanimously decided to submit to Your Majesty in Council the question whether the said Mr Crill is admissible to the office of Jure Justicier of the King having regard to the said judgment and fine."

All protests by Mr Crill and his lawyer were rejected and he then counter-petitioned the King in Council explaining in detail the reasons for the judgment against him.

In 1893, as a solicitor, he had been executor to Francois de Faye who was curator of his 'inadequate' nephew, Francois Mollet. De Fay bequeathed £20 to his nephew and Crill had accepted the curatorship of Mollet to enable him to benefit, leaving him in the care of his brother-in-law. When the latter died Mollet was admitted to the General Hospital while in the care of other relatives. In 1902, much to his surprise, Crill was summoned before the Royal Court to hear that Mollet had been neglected. He was fined and deprived of his guardianship.

The Privy Council ruled in his favour and he was sworn in as Jurat on 27 May 1913.

As a member of the States he was president of the Jersey Mental Hospital Committee, the Public Instruction Committee and the Legislative and Private Bills committees. He was an upholder of Jersey traditions and opposed the introduction of English into States debates.

Family

After the death of his first wife, Eliza Jane Le Neveu, he married Minnie Perchard Touzel (1882-1953), daughter of Thomas in November 1917 and had two sons, George Touzel Crill and David Hocquard Crill.

His great nephew, Peter Leslie Crill followed him into the legal profession and eventually became Bailiff. Two grandsons, Geoffrey George Crill and James Philippe Crill, also followed in his footsteps and became solicitors of the Royal Court.

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