Le Trésor

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Le Tresor, St Lawrence


This article by Brian Pipon and Jean Artur was first published in the 1978 Annual Bulletin of La Société Jersiaise


The word Trésor conjures up exciting possibilities. It is indeed possible that some of the fields bearing this name do record some long forgotten treasure or, simply, a very productive piece of land, a treasure. Fields with this name are recorded in seven parishes but it seems likely that most, if not all, belonged to, or owed rente or dues to the Church and that the name refers to the Trésor. This is the fund of money available to the Church Officers for the upkeep of the parish church, cemetery and rectory buildings.

St Lawrence house

Le Trésor, whose history is given here is a small property in St Lawrence. The present house seems to have taken its name from another, now demolished, which stood on the opposite cotil.

It is with the latter site that the story begins, In December 1731, the Parish of St Lawrence sold by auction Le Costil appartenent aux Tresoriers, commonly called Les Tresoriers. It is described as lying to the south of the land of Raulin Le Gros junr and south-west of Les Moraines, which belong to the Crown, and on the Fief des Quatorze Quartiers, in the Parish of St Lawrence. It is not known how the cotil came into the possession of the Trésor of St Lawrence, but it was probably a gift to the Church at an early date of which no record remains.

The purchaser was Raulin Le Gros junr. who had to pay 4 livres tournois de rente annuelle to the Constable and the Procureurs du Bien Public. This annual income would be used to pay for the services due on the land to the Church. They were d'aller querir le pain et le vin des communions and Balleer L'Eglise dans les temps accoustumes.

In March 1788 at a Parish Assembly in the Church, tenue dans le Temple, it was announced that the Procureurs du Bien Public had sold by auction La Maison et Costil dont ils se seroient rempossedes pour et au nom de ladite Paroisse dans le Decret qui a ete conduit sur les heritages des Enfans de Jacques Le Gros (fils Raulin) ... Catel 1787, quelle Maison et Cotil serait demeure a Moise De Ste Croix au prix de six cabots de froment de rente et 83 livres 6s 8d d'ordre une fois payer. (Decret is a judicial term meaning bankruptcy) The Constable and Procureurs du Bien Public had to pass a contract before the Royal Court stipulating that the six cabots de froment were to be paid into the Tresor funds.

During the period of repossession the trees on the cotil must have been felled, for it was further stipulated that the money from the sale of the wood was to be held by the Constable until he was able to purchase de l'heritage pour le Benefice du Tresor. The 4 livres de rente payable au Lecteur (clerk) pour ballayer l'Eglise et aller chercher le vin de la communion was annulled by the repurchase of the cotil by the parish and, therefore, in future the Surveillants (Churchwardens) would have to pay annually to the Lecteur 4 livres d'ordre from Tresor funds to cover these services.

In 1787 the Moise de Ste Croix, fils Jean, mentioned above as having bought la Maison et Cotil des Tresoriers also owned the adjacent small farm now called Le Tresor. This farm was formed in 1661, for there is recorded in that year the sale by Amice Norman to Jean de Ste Croix, fils Jean, of three pieces of land. The first two were Les Paroye and un certain Costil which had formed part of the inheritance of Catherine Esnouf, wife of Amice Norman. Catherine was the sister of Mabel Esnouf who married Jean de Ste Croix in 1662. [1] The third piece of land was called le Petit Neuf Clos and described as being near Les Moraines belonging to the heirs of Thomas Esnouf, father of Catherine and Mabel. In addition the contract states that a house must be built and the land planted, probably with apple trees, within a year, Et s'oblige ledit de Ste Croix de bastir une maison et planter sur lesdites terres dans un an prochain venant.

Note that the X representing Croix is only a short line through the top of the S. The MB apparently stands for Mabel. It is most unusual, if not unique, for a baptismal name to be recorded with syllabic initials. The forename only for the wife on a stone has been noted elsewhere. [2]


The property descended through the de Ste Croix family until in 1768 Rachel de Ste Croix, fille et principale heritiere de feu Josue, fils Josue, sold it to her son, Abraham Amy, son of Abraham. Some time later he must have sold it to his elder brother Francois. This is shown in a contract, dated 1780, in which Abraham Amy, curateur de Francois son frere, aiant droit par retraite dudit Abraham Amy, lequel avait droit par prise et acquet de Rachel de Ste Croix leur mere, sold the farm to Moise de Ste Croix, son of Jean, probably a cousin and also the owner of La Maison et Cotil des Tresoriers.

Until 1818 both properties continue in the ownership of Moise de Ste Croix. In that year he sold the farm, now known as Le Trésor, to Philippe Dupre, who in 1827 sold it to Pierre Laffoley, son of Philippe.

In 1822 Moise de Ste Croix sold Maison des Tresoriers to Richard Le Feuvre, who sold to Anne Payn, daughter of Philippe, who in turn sold to Marie Bisson, wife of Philip Hardy. In 1829 Marie Bisson sold it to Jean Hamon, from whom it passed to the Rev Francois Perrot, who finally sold it in 1843 to Pierre Laffoley, son of Philippe.

Few properties can have changed hands more often than these, but from 1845 onwards they have been treated as one whole. Pierre's eldest son Peter Frank Laffoley inherited, but in 1858 he sold to his brother, Jean. Another stone records this event, 18 ILFL CBS 58, Jean's wife was Caroline Esther Bisson. In 1874, through his attorneys, Jean sold to his wife. This contract shows that the house on the cotil des Tresoriers had been demolished for it is described as le petit Jardin au se trouvait autrefois une maison communement appelee la Maison des Tresoriers. In 1892, Caroline Esther Bisson sold the farm and cotil to Philip David Le Cornu. A third stone, 18 PD LCN MALB 96, records the second marriage of Philip David to Mary Ann Le Brun.

Le Tresor et le Cotil des Tresoriers still belonged to the Le Cornu family during the Occupation, when the deliciously crisp watercress from the beds there helped, each spring, to put new life into us.

Notes and references

  1. This is completely wrong. The datestone at the property (see box above) does not record a marriage, as has been assumed by the authors. There was no marriage of a de Ste Croix to an Esnouf in this era. The stone, inscribed IDSX MB 1662, marks work undertaken on the property by Jean de Ste Croix and Marie Briard, who married in St Helier in 1655. The attempt to establish a link to Mabel Esnouf by identifying MB as standing for Mabel is fanciful, and such an approach does not correspond to any other known datestone
  2. In the absence of an example, this suggestion should also be dismissed
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