Vinchelez family

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Vinchelez family

This article by Julia Marett was first published in the 1931 Annual Bulletin of La Société Jersiaise

The history of the family de Vincheles, ending, as it does, in the 16th century, is naturally full of obscurities, owing to the imperfection of the documentary record. Nevertheless, although little known to history, the family was an important one, holding a fief equal to that of St Ouen and superior to any other lay fief in Jersey, and also possessing the island of Brecqhou, near Sark.

12th century

In the 12th century we have mention of Alain de Vincheles who, in 1156, made a gift of his chapel to the Abbey of Mont Saint Michel, and in 1157 we hear of his being present when Philippe de Carteret gives the church of St Ouen and the chapel of Ste Marie (de Lecq) to the Abbey.

He is likewise a witness to a charter of William de Vernon about 1160. A William de Vincheles also witnesses a charter of Reginald de Carteret about 1180, giving land in the Val de la Mare to the church of St Helier.

13th century

In the 13th century, in 1218-1219, we find Thomas de Vincheles serving as witness to the acts of Philip d' Aubigny. This Thomas was probably the father of Nicolas (or Colin) de Vincheles, and of his brother Alain.

In 1286 Regnaud de Carteret, Seigneur de St Ouen, confirms the gift made by Colin de Vincheles, son of Thomas and Felicia his wife, to the Abbey of Mont St Michel, of three vergées of land, situated between the Priory of Wik and the land of John Henry, with the guarantee of land in the Val de la Mare, belonging to Nicolas.

In 1286 a younger Nicolas, son of Alain, confirms this gift of his uncle to the Abbey. Nicolas de Vincheles held from the King one vergée a la forfaiture de Richard le Corlu, in St John, and also the fief d'Orlandes in St Ouen, de I'echete de certain chevalier Normand en la main du Sire le Roi.

Nicolas evidently died without heirs, as his niece Jeanne, dit l'Englesche, married to Jourdain Norman, is his heiress and in 1298 she leaves her aunt Felicia a life interest in la mi-part du manoir par devers Vincheleis, et des terres dudit manoir selon l'assiette dudit manoir, a savoir: par les trois chemins au milieu du manoir, et par Ie milieu du ruisseau qui au-dessus coule jusqu'a la mer, and one half of the revenues.

Felicia must have been the wife of Nicolas de Vincheles, and of her we read that she was struck near the eye by Arnaud Guillaume, brother of the Bailiff.

In 1235 we find Alain de Vincheles and Philippe de Vincheles among the men at arms put at the disposal of Gerard de Lambarsard, Guillaume de Lamperre and Guillaume Blom, to whom the King had given the guardianship of the Iles. This is no doubt the Philippe de Vincheles who held part of the fief of Vincheles.

The Cartulaire gives a sentence of the Royal Court at the end of the 13th century, by which Philippe de Vincheles, Guillaume Soyn, and others are ordered to do hommage and pay the accustomed services to Jean de Carteret, who held the main fief in the right of his wife Lucia de Vincheles.

The lane running through the Fief de Vincheles

14th century

In the 14th century we find no fewer than seven of the de Vincheles names mentioned in the Rolls of the Assizes of 1309, and some of them also appear in the Cartulaire as resident in other parishes besides St Ouen.

There is Guillot or Guillaume de Vincheles, Jurat 1315-1329 who in 1329, attests the Vidimus of Pierre Hugon, Bailiff of Jersey, and in 1331 is assessed at 16 sols for 2 bouvées, and 7 sols for a bouvée in St Brelade.

He is robbed by night on the seashore, and again he stands bail for Martin de Vincheles, who had struck Rauline la Maynan, and been fined 18 sols.

A Guille is also archer in 1337-40. A Philip de Vincheles, with John de Vincheles, struck this same Rauline la Maynan, and threw her down, and the Clameur de Haro was raised. The said John and Philip came and compounded for this transgression, by the pledge of William Payn, called the clerk.

A Philip de Vincheles was Bailiff between 1309 and 1324, at which time it is thought that the office of Bailiff was only held for a year at a time, and probably by the Jurats in turn. He was Bailiff when the Justices Itinerant were in Jersey in 1324, and in 1331, he appears before the Justices with his Rolls.

A Philip de Vincheles was resident in Guernsey, though holding lands in Jersey. His wife's name is Gwyllometta, she was a kinswoman and next heir of William Payn, son of William, and the Vicomte was commanded to go to the Church of St Saviour and put Philip and Gwyllometta in possession of their estate.

In 1306 in a letter from the Dean of Jersey, relative to a dispute between the Priory of St Pierre au Desert and the Rector of the Church of St Pierre, about the tithes due on four fields, the second field, near the Marais de Crapedoit (St Peter's Marsh) is stated to belong to Geoffrey Anley and Jacquet de Vincheles.

In the Rolls of the Assizes James de Vincheles is mentioned as belonging to St Brelade and a Jacques de Vincheles accuses Drouet de Barentin of assault. Also among the payments and receipts of the Priory of the Vale, in Guernsey for 1314, is 10 livres for Jacques de Vincheles.

Jacques de Vincheles is also mentioned as one of the heirs of Philip de Carteret in St Peter. A Jacquet de Vincheles was Bailiff of Guernsey in 1310.

In 1338 a Stephen de Vincheles is among the archers mentioned in the accounts of Thomas de Ferrars, Guardian of the Islands.

John de Vincheles

There are at least two, if not more, persons of the name of John de Vincheles. In the Rolls of the Assizes a plea of trespass is submitted to the decision of William Payn, Peter Le Marquand, Robert Brasdefer and John de Vinchelest, and the latter is fined for calling Philip de Carteret a murderer, deceiver and perjurer, and for withdrawing his vassals from pleading in Philip's court.

John de Vincheles is mentioned as having animals stolen, and as a taverner breaking the assize of bread and wine, and also for making an encroachment on the King's road with his plough. John de Vincheles, jnr, is mentioned with another John de Vincheles. Also there is John de Vincheles of St Saviour, who was Jurat in 1326.

A Thomas de Vincheles also owns land in St Saviour, and in 1309 there is a letter empowering Thomas de Vincheles to act for the Abbey of Mont St Michel at the King's Court in England. In the Rolls of the Assizes Thomas is fined for detention of rent.

In 1358 there is a dispute between Julienne de Vincheles and Regnaud de Carteret about the holding of a court on the fief of Longueville, in St Saviour, fieu de Melesches. Julienne complains that Regnaud has seized her court, and he replies that his uncle, Guillot de Vincheles, and Julienne held two courts at Longueville, fieu de Melesches, but that their predecessors had only one.

Julienne argues that she and ceux de qui elle a cause have peaceably held the court and fee for the space of 40 years, and she wins her case. This Julienne was a relation of the Fondans and appears to have been either their mother or aunt, and one of the two heiresses of the fief of Philip de Vincheles.

Turning from the family to the fief, we find that it is of particular interest, being subject to greater vicissitudes than any other feudal tenure in the island. The fief in very early times was evidently divided among males, since two of the portions are named after a Philip and a Colin, so that either the original holding of Alain, or that of some predecessor was a group of feudal tenures, or else was a fief of such high importance that it could be divided not only among daughters, as could a fief Haubert, but likewise among sons, whereupon these portions of the fief were again divided.

The lane running through the Fief de Vincheles

Fief divided

By 1331 the main portion of the fief had been divided into three, and a contract of 1371 shows that the fief that once belonged to Philip de Vincheles, was also subdivided. the original subdivision being between two daughters.

These portions of the fief seem to have had their own feudal privileges, so that we hear of the Fieu de Bas, originally a portion of the fief of Philip de Vincheles, having its own court, while, in 1370, a Philippe de Vincheles and his brother Roger, holding portions of the same fief, seem to have both held a court. One wonders when the names of Vincheles de Haut and Vincheles de Bas were first used, seeing that in the earlier contracts, Seigneur de Vincheles was the only title.

Before entering into the history of the fief, it is interesting to note that to it belonged the island of Brecqhou near Sark, which, in 1309, Lucia de Vincheles claims to have belonged to her ancestors from time immemorial.

It seems quite likely that they may have held it, before 1204, from the Vernons, Lords of Sark, since Alain de Vincheles witnessed one of William de Vernon's charters. It was specially exempted from the sale of the chief Vincheles fief to Jacquet Hascoul in 1363, though evidently considered a part of it. It seems later to have passed into the hands of the Le Marchands of Guernsey, as it was called I1e aux Marchands.

The fief of Vincheles was already divided as early as 1274, and in the Extente of that date the 10 sols due on it were paid by Jean de Carteret, who, by right of his wife, held the chief part of it, and evidently collected the other holders' shares.

This Jean de Carteret was husband of Lucia de Vincheles, probably the only daughter of the eldest branch of the family. Another branch belonged at the time to Philippe de Vincheles, (not to be confused with the Bailiff of the same name, still alive in 1331) and another to Colin de Vincheles, while the franc fief of Portinfer was held by Guillaume Soyn. The Rolls of the Assizes of 1309 state that the King has the fee of 9s 8d of ‘cert farm’, and 5s of ‘greverie’ from Vincheles.

1331 Extente

In the Extente of 1331 we read that the fief had become still further divided. The 10 sols due on the fief are now paid by the following:

Sols Deniers
Guillaume de Cheney, having right from Lucia de Vinchelez 4 0
Guillaume Soyn or Song, for the Fief of Portinfer 2 6
Thomas Fondan ca ux (probably a Vincheles) for the Fief once belonging to Philippe de Vincheles 2 6
Philip Hascoul 0 5
Guillaume du Marese 0 5
Robert Norman, for the fief once belonging to Colin de Vincheles, which had come to Jeanne Lenglesche, his niece 0 2
10 sols

Jean de Carteret and Lucia had sold Vincheles to Nicolas de Cheney, and in 1342 his heir, Guillaume de Cheney, as Seigneur de Vincheles and Morville, agrees with the Seigneur of St Ouen about their respective rights in the esperquerie at l'Etacq.

In 1363 Alienor de Cheney, wife of Geoffrey Wallis, and heiress in Jersey of Guillaume de Cheney, sells her Manor of Vincheles in St Ouen to Jacquet Hascoul, probably a descendant of the Philip Hascoul who already had part of the fief in 1331. So he now possesses two parts and is the overlord.

This Alienor had been married before, and in 1364 she and her son Edmond de Guarris wish to annul the sale, but as Edmond's guardian does not reimburse the money to Jacquet Hascoul at the appointed time Edmond losses his right.

The lane running through the Fief de Vincheles

Thomas Fondan

The Thomas Fondan who holds a part in 1331 was a Jurat at that date, and probably descended from Philip Fondan, Jurat in 1269, who, with Jean de Carteret and Colin de Vincheles, owned a dime des bles, in St Ouen, to the monks of Mont St Michel in 1291.

Thomas is mentioned as attesting the Vidimus of Pierre Ugon, Bailiff of Jersey. This Vidimus, attested in conjunction with Guillaume de Vincheles was that of a letter of Edward III to Jean de Roches, Gardien des Iles in 1329.

In 1362, Regnault, Philippe and Jourdain Fondan, evidently the sons of Thomas, sell to Roger de Vincheles all that they have inherited from Julienne de Vincheles. It seems fairly obvious that at the same time they sold their fief to Roger de Vincheles and to his brother Philippe.

On 30 May 1370 Jacquet Hascoul claims que il debouit avoir la court de Philippe de Vincheles disant que ledit Philippe estoit son homme reseant. Philippe replies that Ie dit Jacques ne debuoit avoir la court dudit Philippe, n'estoit ledit Philippe homme dudit Jacquet, mais estoit ledit Philippe homme du Roi et tenoit du Roi notre Sieur sans nul main excepter son esnay, c'est a savoir Roger de Vincheles.

This suggests that Roger and Philippe were brothers and shared a part of the Vincheles fief, over which Jacquet Hascoul claimed lordship, as possessor of the chief part of the fief, through which the 10 sols due to the King were paid, but Philippe's fief was subordinate to that held by Roger.

This Philippe de Vincheles seem to have been deprived of his fief for a time, as, in 1371, the King's Receiver sues Robert de Vincheles for 6 livres of relief, pour ce que Ie cas estoit escheu et que iceluy de Vincheles avoit este piecha remis en son dit fief, et en grace de notre Sieur le Roy des malefices que Philippe de Vincheles, son pare, avoit commis o les alliens et ledit de Vincheles comme aisne audit fief fist appeller Jacquet Hascoul, Drouet de Lecq, Richard le Breton, tenant une moitie dudit Fieu de Vincheles o ses appartences pour Ie decharger d'ugne moitie dudit Relief vers ledit Seigneur, etc.

This is an interesting contract, for it seems to show that Jacquet Hascoul, while holding parts of the original fief, also holds part of the fief of Philippe de Vincheles. Philippe must have regained his fief for, in 1383, John Bagot, heir of Roger de Vincheles, Philippe's brother, sells le court de Vincheles et toutes ses appartences et le colombier to Philippe de Vincheles and all seems to belong to Philippe.

In 1390 the King's Receiver wants Philippe de Vincheles to pay fouage. Philippe replies qu'il en estoit et devoit estre quitte luy et ceux de qui il a cause demeurant au Fieu ou il demeure l'espace de 40 ans et de plus par la franchise dudit lieu et par 2 sols 6 deniers payer de greverie. Philippe wins his case.

It is worth noting here that Philippe pays 2 sols 6 deniers of greverie to the King, the same amount as was paid for the fief qui fut a Philippe de Vincheles in 1331, a fact which makes it clear that these two fiefs were identical.

Jacquet de Vincheles

Philippe was probably succeeded by Jacquet de Vincheles the King's Receiver. He is not mentioned anywhere as Seigneur, but he was the father of John de Vincheles, who undoubtedly was Seigneur. A contract of 1441 states that John de Vincheles, receiver of the rentes due to his father Jacquet de Vincheles, formerly Receiver of the Duke of Bedford, sues James Le Feuvre for 14 quarters, 6 cabots of wheat rente and 6 sous of "greverie de rente censive" due to the Duke of Bedford.

Jacquet is mentioned also in a contract of 1400, when he is sued for the possession of a vergée of land in St Ouen in a field belonging to him, and he replies that he and his father always used the land peacably as their own, and proves that it does belong to him.

Jacquet was still alive in 1425 but in 1427 John is mentioned as Seigneur of Hault de Vincheles. There was another son, Barnabey, who in 1453, sells all that he has in St Ouen to his brother John. John, in 1441, buys from a Guille de Vincheles le Fieu de la Capelle in St Ouen et toutes ses appartences, c'est assavoir la court, la ferme de mer, poullayelles, ceufs, etc. for 48 escus d'or.

John de Vincheles married Peronelle Lempriere, daughter of John Lempriere of Rozel, and they had an only daughter, Katherine de Vincheles, who, in due course, inherited this fief of Vincheles.

The history of this portion of the Fieu de Vincheles is mostly gathered from a valuable manuscript book of contracts copied out by John de Carteret, a later Seigneur of Vincheles de Haut, and left to the Société Jersiaise by his descendant, Mrs Rubert. A similar book of deeds referring to Vincheles de Bas once existed, and at one time was in the possession of Sir Robert Marett, but is now lost.

The parts of the original fief, which had, in 1370, belonged to Jacquet Hascoul belong, in 1405, to Michel Le Feuvre, Jurat, who, at that date, is styled Seigneur de Vineheles, the property having come to the family either by purchase, or probably by marriage with an heiress of the Hascouls.

Before this, in 1382, Jourdain Nicolas had sold to Michel Le Feuvre a pair of spurs and a pair of gloves, rentes due on the fief Alescot, (a l'Escot) and these spurs are mentioned in the Le Feuvre partage of 1479, and are still due to the Seigneur of Vincheles de Bas.

Minor children

At the death of Michel Le Feuvre (perhaps a successor of the one mentioned) his children are still minors, as, in 1433, Pierre Nicolas, (who had married the elder daughter and heiress of Guille Dumaresq of La Haule), was tuteur to his children with the consent of Jean Lempriere, Renault Lempriere, Denis Le Marchant, Drouet LaMarchant and John Bette.

In 1435 John de Vincheles sues Michel Le Feyvre, evidently the eldest son of the other Michel, for having built une volliere a pigeons, ce que ne luy appartenoit disant ledit de Vincheles qu'il tenoit l'ancien mannyer, fief et chef mante de la Seigneurie de Vincheles, avec Ie Colombier lequel Colombier avoit este apprecie par l'ancien partage de ladit Seigneurie entre deux filles, et qu'il estoit her de I'aisnee, aussi qu'il paye a notre Sire Ie Roy pour Ie Relief dudit mannyer et Seigneurie 3 cabots de froment de rente, une paire d'esperons dorees, et les autres deubtes deubs a cause de ladite Srie. ce que ledit le febvre ne voulut pas nyer, mais disait avoir par ledit partage de ses prede¬cesseurs Ie fief de bas avec to utes ses franchises et libertes, et portant qu'il ne s'estoit mesprins d'avoir fait batir ladite volliere.

The Court decides that Le Feubvre cannot have a volliere a pigeons attached to his house.

This most interesting contract shows that at some much earlier date the fief qui fut a Philippe de Vincheles had been divided between two daughters, the elder of whom received the court of Vincheles and the Colombier of what is now known as Vincheles de Haut, while the younger received a fief called the fief de bas.

This fief de bas had evidently come to the Le Feyvres from the Hascouls, and was part of the fief qui fut a Philippe de Vincheles which belonged to Jacquet Hascoul in 1371, when it was evident from the contract of that date quoted before that he held part of the fief.

The fate of the fief de bas may perhaps be best told here. At the death of Michelle feyvre in 1479, it came to his third daughter, and was sold by her son in 1486 to John Dumaresq and Jehanne, his wife, ancestors of the Dumaresqs of La Haule, and in 1596, Helier Dumaresq of La Haule sold it under the name of ‘’fieu d'a val’’ to John de Carteret, then Seigneur of Vincheles de Haut, as it was membre dependant et mouvant du fieu de HauIt de Vincheles, separe par vieu et ancien partage entres filles, the reference being to this ancient division between two daughters, mentioned in the contract of 1485.

It was to be impartable from Vincheles de Haut in the future. The pigeon loft referred to in 1435 in the dispute between John de Vincheles and Michel Ie feyvre must have been attached to some house on this fief de bas, and not to the manor house of Vincheles de Bas.

The gardens of Vinchelez de Bas

Boundary dispute

In 1661 there was a law suit between the Seigneur of St Ouen and the Seigneur of Vincheles de Haut about the boundary between the fief of Morville and this fieu de bas in St Ouen's Bay.

In 1479, Michel Le Feyvre, who was Seigneur of Vincheles de Bas, died, and his property was divided into three parts between his three daughters.

His eldest daughter, Jeanette, had married a de Bagot, and their daughter, Jeanette de Bagot, had married Thomas Dumaresq. All were dead in 1479, and their heir was John Dumaresq, son of Thomas. He was a minor, and did not come of age until 1485.

His guardians chose for him the third share of the property, the first going to Peronelle, the second daughter, who had married Nicolas Morin, and the second share to the youngest daughter, Marguerite, married to John de Beauvoir of Guernsey.

However, when John Dumaresq came of age in 1485, he claimed the first share, which his guardians had rejected, and by arrange¬ment with Peronelle, received it. He then got the fieu de hault de Vincheles, avec Ie manoir, Ies deux jardins, Ie vivier, le clos de la court, la fosse frenelle, Ie clos de Ia tourelle, les vallettes et les pastures de I'un coste, et de l'autre du Mont Huet, la ferme (droit feodal) dudit feu, les gans et les eperons, la court a deux quartiers et demie, etc. 60 sous de relief du Franc fief de Portinfer, les tiers de l'estrandes des deux fieux de Vincheles.

Marguerite, the third daughter, received the fieu de bas de Vincheles, le clos de Rauline, Ie clos de pores, Ie vivier de bas, Ie clos de Journeaux, la vallette du pare, et toutes les pastures des deux cotes, Ie clos de nulques, le camp de Ia forfaiture, la terre de la hougue, 40 perques sus Ie clos thomas bichard, les esnars et 10 perques a pleinmont, le mesnage de hault a St Pierre, le clos du pyn, le petit clos d'aprss, le clos dassette, la court dudit fieu, la chasse et 30 sous de relief du fieu a lanchestre, le tiers de l'estrandes des deux fieux de Vincheles.

Confusing terms

The division here stated, taken from a contract at St Ouen's Manor, is slightly different from that copied out by Thomas Le Maistre. What is to be noted are the confusing terms of haut and bas, referring to the fief now known as Vincheles de Bas.

In 1486 Marguerite's son, Guille de Beauvoir, sold all that had come to him from his mother, and all that might come to him in the future, to John Dumaresq, son of Jacquet, and to Jehanne, his wife. This John was the father of the Thomas Dumaresq who, in 1513, bought La Haule from Nicolas Valpy.

This portion of the Fief of Vincheles, under the title of fieu d'auall, is mentioned in his will, together with the clos Rauline, Ie clos de pores, Ie clos de la fosse frenelle, and la clos a la Iorfaiture.

The John Dumarest, son of Thomas, who now possesses the principal part of the fief of Vincheles, and John Dumarest son of Jacquet, who possessed the fieu de bas or fieu d'aval were probably both descended from the Guille Dumarest, who held a part of the fief in 1331.

In 1484 this latter John Dumarest received from his grandfather, Nicolas Dumarest, Ie clos Guille Dumarest and 30 perques a la forfaiture, and in the contract between him and Guillaume de Beauvoir, in 1486, he is called John Dumarest of St Ouen. The two Johns seem to have been related, but there is no evidence to show that their relationship on the Dumarest side is very close.

We have shown before that what is now known as Vincheles de Haut had come to Katherine, the only child of John de Vincheles and Peronelle, his wife, daughter of John Lempriere. Her first husband was Geoffrey Wallis Jurat in 1440. This Geoffrey Wallis, by right of his ancestors, was possessor of the fiefs of St Germain, Morville and Pinel, which had come to him from Eleanor de Chesney, his great-grandmother, daughter of William de Chesney, who had received them from King Henry III.

This Eleanor, or Alienor de Chesney, held part of the fief of Vincheles in 1359, and sold it to Jacquet Hascoul.

Death in battle

After the death of Geoffrey Wallis, who was killed at the Battle of Barnet in 1471, Katherine married Phlot de la Hougue, and she lived till 1522, for, in 1532, one of the witnesses, Jean Picot, called by the Procureur de Roi, Richard Pain, in the case dealing with the inheritance of Geoffrey Wallis, said that he was 80 years old and remembered Geoffrey Wallis and his marriage with Katherine de Vincheles, and that she lived 50 years after his death, and that she married Phlot de la Hougue, and survived him.

Katherine's will is dated 1504. In it she calls Thomas de la Court of Guernsey nepos et consanguineus meus and says that be approved, in 1484, of her deed of gift of all her property to her godson Richard de Carteret. If he were her nephew, and did not inberit from her father, John de Vincheles, of whom she was the sole heiress, it looks as if her mother, Peronelle Lempriere, had been previously married, and that a daughter of tbis marriage had married Thomas de la Court, son of the Bailiff of Guernsey (1433-1466), who bought Trinity Manor, and married Jeanette de St Martin, daughter of Guille de St Martin and Jeanette Payn.

de la Court lineage

  • 1 Thomas de la Court, Bailiff of Guernsey 1433-66 m Jeanette de St Martin, d of Guille and Jeanette Payn
    • 2 Thomas de la Court m Jeanette Nicolas, d of Pierre and the elder d of Guille Dumarest of La Haule. She m (2) Raulin Lempriere, s of John, Seigneur de St Jean, and brother of Peronelle Lempriere wife of John de Vincheles, and mother of Katherine.
      • 3 Thomas de la Court, Bailiff of Guernsey 1468-70 m d of Peronelle Lempriere
        • 4 Thomas de la Court ‘Nepos’ of Katherine de Vinchelez m Jeanette Tyault, d of John
          • 5 Thomas de la Court
      • 3 Perrotine de la Court m Pierres Thehy

Gift to godson

In 1484 Katherine de Vincheles, with the consent of her husband, made a deed of gift en pur charite of all her property, which included her fief of Vincheles, to her godson Richard de Carteret, a younger son of the Seigneur of St Ouen, on condition that she had no children, and from this arose very lengthy litigation, as the Dumarests and others claimed a retraite on the property. The following are the steps in the long dispute: :-

In 1487 Philip de Carteret claims this gift for his son Richard, a minor, but Phlot de la Hougue, Katherine's husband, objects, as Katherine may still havs children. In 1488 however, in the presence of Clement Le Hardy, Bailiff, and Mathew Baker, Richard, through his father, is put in full possession, and a contract of 1489 shows a dispute between Richard, as Seigneur du fief de Haut de Vincheles, and John Dumarest, a cause du fieu de bas to decide on whose fief has been washed up a ship's mast, driven ashore near Ie petit becquet

Twelve men of St Ouen are appointed to decide on this matter, and the youngest man is aged 92. They decide in favour of Richard.

On 23 November of the same year, the King's Procureur, Lonys John, says that when Katherine made the gift to Richard of her inheritance, she received from his father Philip, a great quantity of gold and silver, worth more than the value of the estate for one year. This is a marche frauduleux, as no mention had been made of a money transaction in the deed of gift.

Philip de Carteret acknowledges that he gave Katherine 40 gold escus and 30 escus in gros de Bretagne. Katherine says that she has received the money, but that it was a deed of gift with which to buy a good dress. The King's Procureur maintains that the money belongs to the King, and twelve men are appointed to value the inheritance, and it was decided that if the sum given exceeded the value of the inheritance for one year, the money should go to the King.

John Dumaresq, son of Thomas, being present as heir of part of the inheritance, protested, as he had done before, that this should not be prejudicial to his claim, and in December, he and his fellow claimants make a remonstrance that the 12 appraisers had valued the inheritance at 48 quarters, 3 cabots of wheat rente, a less sum than the sum of money given by Philip to Katherine, and he and his fellow claimants were ready to pay the sum to the King at the Parish Church of St Ouen, so that all who claimed on the payment should be present, and each pay according to his right.


John Dumarest tells the Vicomte that those who claim to pay are:

On the father's side John Dumarest, fils Thomelin, John du Marest fils Jacquet du Marost, Phlot Horman, Pierres Horman, son frere, John Du Pont, Guille du Pont, son frere, John Journeaux, Procureur des Godefroys, et ledit Journeaux ca: ux:.

On the mother's side, John Pain fils Guille Pain, John Amy ca: ux : , John Ie feyvre ca: ux:, filles dudit Pain.

All these haying paid the money to John Levesque, lieutenant of Matthew Baker, the Vicomte sells to John Dumarest and his fellow claimants la possession et remise desdits heritages. Philip de Carteret is told to give up all papers which he possesses relating to the gift and the inheritance.

It is impossible to tell exactly what was the relationship of the Dumarests and the others to John de Vincheles, but evidently John de Vincheles' mother was a Pain, and very likely the Dumaresqs were descended from a sister or sisters of Jacquet de Vincheles, John's father, as their relationship was on the father's side.

In 1491 John Dumarest asks the Vicomte to make Philip de Carteret give him all the contracts about the gift. The Vicomte replies that he has done his duty, and told Philip de Carteret to do so. Philip de Carteret says that he will not appear until warned by the Sergent or by the Vicomte, if he has no sergent. Dumaresq replies that the judgement has been given, and that Philip de Carteret has been told to return the contracts, and de Carteret is warned that he will be imprisoned in the castle if he does not give them up.

In 1492, de Carteret, not haying restored the contracts, is again brought before the court. He now says that it is impossible to restore the papers, as he does not know where they are, but he renounces the gift entirely on behalf of his son.

The Dumarests and their fellow claimants now really think that they have got Vincheles, and in 1496, John Dumarest, son of Thomas, and Thomas Dumarest, son of John, son of Jacquet, pay to the latter's brother Guillot, two quarters of wheat rente, his share of the retraite, though he had not appeared at the original partage, and therefore could not claim it.

The two Dumarests also as heirs principaux et personniers of John de Vincheles, in 1503, give Sire John Le Cornu, for his life, three-quarters of wheat rente to celebrate mass every Monday, for the souls of their ancestors, in the Chapel of St George, or, if the Chapel is not in sufficient repair, in the Parish Church of St Ouen, and afterwards the said rente is to belong to any chaplain coming after him. This mass had been founded by John de Vincheles.

In 1506 John Dumarest even sells to Thomas Dumarest and Georgette, his wife, his half of the Manor of Hault de Vincheles, for 20 cabots of wheat rente, Thomas already being owner of the other half, so that Thomas Dumarest is now owner of Vincheles de Haut.

Dispute recommences

In 1512, however, Richard de Carteret had come of age, and soon all the trouble begins over again. Richard claims Vincheles de Haut from the original deed of Katherine de Vincheles. Against him come John Dumarest, John Payn, Thomas Dumarest, John Dupont, John Journeaux, and Janette, widow of Allard Digman, and daughter of Guillot Dumarest.

They state that they are prochains lignagers to Katherine de Vincheles, and that "ladite Katherine se estoit defaite generallement de tous ses heritages en la ligne de son pere et de sa mere sans le conseil et accord de aucuns ou nuls desdits parens et successeurs audits heritages, memement que ladite Katherine n'avait cause par indigence ou pauvrete, ne autre cause raissonable que ses dits parens et successeurs lui eussent fait ou donne cause pourquoi elle les deust expulser et dejetter en temps advenir de leur dite succes¬sion et droit naturel pour le delivrer et bailler audit Richard disaient aussi que ledit Richard avoit este atteint par frau de de bourse desliee qu'il avoit donne luy ou ceux representant son nom a ladite Katherine, lesquelles sommes d'argent n'avoit jamais este exprimes en les lettres dudit don ou transport par quoy par bonne justice et bon don et titre lesdits Dumaresqs et parchionniers avoient este mis en possession reelle et corporelle par la justice de ladite Isle et jouissaient et possedaient sans qu'il eust este doute ou appel de la part dudit Richard.

Sir Hugh Vaughan and Thomas Lempriere, appointed as arbiters, give as their final decision that Richard should enjoy possession only during the life of Katherine de Vincheles after Richard has paid what the property is worth for a year, and that after Katherine's death the Dumarests and other claimants shall come to their collateral and natural possession.

Notwithstanding this decision, in June of the same year Richard obtains, by the good grace of King Henry VIII, a letter, sealed by the Privy Council, and addressed to Sir Hugh Vaughan and Thomas Lempriere, Bailiff, commanding them to bring the parties together, and Hichard is to receive the property according to the original gift, and all later papers and deeds are to be des¬troyed.

So Richard becomes Seigneur of Vincheles de Haut, and the next year, 1513, he is sued by the Procureur du Roi, and the Maistre des Chasses for shooting all over the island without leave or licence, on the King's fiefs, with dogs, ferrets and birds, and with nets, and taking rabbits, partridges and other game.

He replies that he holds the manor of Vincheles in chief a foy et a homage et par relief et lequel paye une paire d'eperons dorses et autres deutes anciens audit Sr et que par la dignite et noblesse de son manoir fieu et Seigneurie de Vincheles luy et ses predecesseurs tenant ladite Seigneurie de Vincheles en avaient use si long temps que n'est memoirs au contraire and he wins his case.

Thomas Dumarest, having been turned out of Vincheles, in 1513, proceeded to buy La Haule, but he still held the fieu d'ayal, and in 1516, we read of him that while under the protection of the King and of the Bishop of Coutances for fear of Richard de Carteret, he annoyed, both by words and deeds, Richard's servants, pre¬venting them from taking water for their cattle, from the spring of the douet, and from the pond, which were common to both manors. In this he is backed up by John Dumarest.

de Carteret marries Dumarest

They must later have been on more amicable terms, as Richard married Jeanne, the daughter of Thomas Dumarest.

In 1523 John Dumarest, son of John, as nearest of kin, after his father, to John de Vincheles, apparently while his father was still alive, makes an agreement with Richard de Carteret that the latter should pay John Dumarest and his fellow claimants 17 cabots of wheat rente, and that also John Dumarest snr should keep the 10 cabots of barley which he had been receiving on John le Cerf, and the grinding of the corn; this seems to be a final agreement and compensation to the Dumarests for being turned out of their inheritance.

John Dumarest snr had married Mabel Payn, heiress of Samares, so, at his death, his eldest son John inherited Samares, and Vincheles came to his second son, Richard, who, in 1528, also has a dispute with Richard de Carteret. This is on which fief is a piece of land called les places de St George, qui est les issues et pastures du manoir de Vincheles and in this case the judgment is given in favour of Richard Dumarest.

Though Richard de Carteret had now made a settlement with the Dumarests with regard to the property of Katherine de Vincheles, he was not left in peaceful possession.

John le feyvre of Southamp¬ton, probably the one who had claimed part of Katherine's inheri¬tance ca: ux: in 1489, in 1529 now again makes a claim, and he and Louis Hamptonne priest, Attorney of Richard de Carteret, are summoned before court to hear and execute a command of the King, to examine a sentence given by Clement Lempriere, Lieut-Bailiff, Richard Mabon, priest, and Helier de la Rocque and Clement Messervy, Jurats, which sentence was given in the presence of the parties concerned, and in favour of John Ie feyvre.

Richard's attorney opposes the sentence, saying that it was of no consequence, nor of value according to law, first of all that, beforehand, he had declared the judges suspect, especially Clement Lempriere, who was co-heir and fellow-claimant with Le Feyvre and near relation of several of the co-heirs who claimed some portion, and in the same way he made allegations against Messervy, Mabon and de la Rocque, that they were enemies of Richard and of his brothers, and that they favoured Le Feyvre.

The Attorney also said that the reasons had been given before, and that the letter of the sentence contained many errors and obscurities contrary to equity. Also he said that the sentence had been given in the absence of Richard, who had gone to seek a remedy from his Majesty the King and the Privy Council, after he had notified the judges his reasons for suspecting them, and that the judges had not really examined Richard's claims.

Also the attorney of Richard wrote the reasons why none of the Jurats present were admissible or competent to discuss the matter between Richard de Carteret and John Le Feyvre as towards John de Maresqs, Richard Mallet, John Payn and Nicollas Journeaux who were co-heirs, therefore he did not recognise any litigation between them.

The next month John Le Feyvre again appears before court, and says that the Vicomte, sergeant and messenger of justice should summon Richard to appear personally in court. The Vicomte said that he had summoned Richard personally, having gone to his house and seen his wife, who said that he was not at home, and that she thought he was out of the Island.

Arbiters chosen

In 1533 Richard de Carteret and John Le Feyvre do meet to try and settle this long dispute, and having chosen arbiters, agree to take their decision on pain of a fine of 100 mares sterling. The arbiters wish to put off the matter so that they may send to Rouen to consult gens Iettres et de pratique. De Carteret suggests that the parties should choose either, two, four, or six men, who could not be suspected of partisanship, but Le Feyvre refuses.

John Le Feyvre must have died soon after, for in 1535 James Le Feyvre, his son, also of Southampton, presents this commission from the King, before the court.

”Whereas we are credibly informed that long and tedious strife and controversies have been between John Favour, late of our town of Southampton, now deceased, and Richard de Carteret, of the Isle of Jersey, and other parties, for the possessions of certain lands and revenues in our said Isle, sometime belonging to Katherine de Vincheles, as, by your process, sentences and orders, whereupon made, which we send you here inclosed more plainly do appear, and although diverse and many our letters and Commissions have been granted and made at several times by your sinistre suits of both parties, and as yet no demissions thereof concluded that by frivolous and crafty delays and differing of justice prolonged to our no little displeasure, for the final determination of your said contentions we desire that you call the said de Carteret and the said James ffavour or their attorneys together, and to induce them to come to some good concord or final agreement, or else bring the cause before the lawcourts of the Island.

The arbiters assigned are Matthew Thomson, Lieutenant of Sir Arthur Darcy, Commander of the Island, John Larbalestier, Rector of Trinity and St Peter, on one side, and Lonys Hamptonne, Commissioner of the Dean, and Rector of St Lawrence, and Richard Payn, Jurat.

Richard refuses to appear before the Commissioners, saying that he is ill. The two arbiters appointed on his side visit him at his house, but he refuses to appear, or give any evidence. All of them, including Le Feyvre, also go to his house, but again Richard refuses to appoint a Procureur, or to appear in any way before the Commissioners.

James Le Feyvre then brings forward all the deeds and evidence brought forward before by the Dumarests, and in October Richard is ordered by the Commissioners peaceably to give up the inheritance of Katherine to James Le Feyvre. He never seems to have done so, and died soon after.

He left two sons, Nicolas and Francis, and the latter, in 1570, sold whatever share of Katherine's property came to him, to his nephew, John, the only son of Nicolas.

Continual disputes

The de Carterets and Dumarests, owners of the two parts of Vincheles, continued constantly at law. For instance, in 1595, Richard Coustances, as Procureur of John Dumarest, raises the Clameur de Haro against Jean de Carteret for holding his court on a place on le grand Becquet des Tenets of which the posses¬sion is in dispute between the parties.

Many witnesses are produced on both sides, and Jean de Carteret brings forward the aveus of his fief in which the piece des Tenets is mentioned. A Com¬mission is appointed in 1597 to settle the matter. In 159B Dumarest's Procureur is so bad with gout that he asks that the matter should be put off, but at last, in August 1598, Jean de Carteret delivers a letter from the Privy Council demanding that judgment should be given, and the Commissioners decide that the Clameur de Haro has been wrongly raised, and that the Tenets was on de Carteret's fief.

In 1599 John Dumarest decides to appeal, but does not do so within the three months limit, so the appeal is quashed, and John Dumarest jnr, who stood guarantor for his father has to pay the costs.

At last, in 1605, John de Carteret and Elie Dumaresq, for himself and his elder brother John and others, to avoid the great trouble and costs entailed by these frequent disputes between themselves and between their ancestors, appoint the Governor, Sir John Peyton, Hugh Lempriere, and Philip Journeaux, (afterwards replaced by Aaron Messervy ) as Arbiters.

They decide that John de Carteret shall be called Seigneur de Hault de Vincheles, and Elie Dumaresq Seigneur de Bas de Vincheles, and that neither shall usurp the title of Seigneur de Vincheles; that both shall hold their fiefs directly from the King, and not one from the other, and each pay their Relief; that Elie Dumaresq shall cede to John de Carteret the fieu de laicq in return for 13 poulles and 71½ sols de ferme of annual rente on the Prevot of Leoville. Twelve men are chosen to make out the boundaries between the fiefs.

In 1606 John de Carteret sells Elie Dumaresq the ditch on the west of clos maresq and Elie Dumaresq sells John de Carteret the clos de Reuches near the road, and in consideration of John de Carteret giving up to him any right which he may have to pasturage, vivier, water, etc, on the manoir de Bas, he makes over to him a strip of land, joining that which he had just sold, except that de Carteret can use une recorbe a l'endroit du source de l'eau devant la porte dudit manoir de Haut, led it recorbe allant a val que ledit Seigneur du Bas laissera hors sa closture d'une perq, tant au long comme en l'aise pour la commodite du manoir de Hault pour etre appliquee pour un abbruveur pour Ie bestail.

The Seigneur de Hault de Vincheles retains half of the Chapel and of the Cemetery of St George with the use of the steps in the south wall of the Cemetery, by which the Seigneur de Hault can come and go at any time, and the chapel and cemetery will be theirs in common as it is la chapelle domestique des dits manoirs de Vincheles and they will share its upkeep.

The Seigneur de Hault can make a road between the two manors in the same way as the present road runs, and the Seigneur de Bas can close the remainder of the places de St George and use them as he wishes. The Seigneur de Hault must make a bank between the two properties and across the clos es Reuches.

Though the Chapel of St George has now entirely disappeared, the steps leading to what was the cemetery still remain near the entrance gate to the drive.

Vincheles de Bas remained in the possession of the Dumaresq family until the marriage of Sara Dumaresq, Lady of Vincheles de Bas, to Amice de Carteret, a cadet of the house of Vincheles de Haut, in 1663.

This Sara Dumaresq was the only daughter of John Dumaresq, Seigneur of Vincheles de Bas, and Suzanne Dumaresq, heiress of La Haule Manor, who, after the death of John Dumaresq, married Elias Marett.

The property remained in the de Carteret family for about 200 years. The last Seigneur was Charles Montgomery de Carteret, who died unmarried in 1859. He was succeeded by his sister Marie Anne, married to Edward Tuohy. She died without heirs in 1875, and Vincheles was inherited by a distant cousin, Eliza Le Couteur, married to Abraham Le Sueur.

de Carteret lineage

  • 1 Anne de Carteret (1740- ), Lady of Vinchelez de Bas m John de Carteret
    • 2 John de Carteret (1758- ) Seigneur of Vinchelez de Bas
      • 3 John Daniel de Carteret
        • 4 Charles Montgomery de Carteret ( -1859)
    • 2 Elizabeth de Carteret m Philip Le Couteur, of Hamptonne, St Peter
      • 3 Philip Le Couteur, Constable of St Peter
        • 4 Philip Le Couteur m Ann Duheaume, d of Rev G Duheaume of St Lawrence
          • 5 Eliza Le Couteur m Abraham Le Sueur

The latter was killed at Vincheles by a blow from the key stone of the little arched doorway leading to the manor grounds. This stone fell as he was passing through the doorway.

The manor was sold by his son on 23 April 1885 to Edward C Malet de Carteret, Seigneur of St Ouen and now belongs to the latter's son, the present Seigneur.

Vincheles de Haut remained in the possession of the de Carteret family, till sold about 1826, by John de Carteret, Seigneur, having been in the possession of the de Carteret family for over 300 years. The purchaser was Philip Le Cornu of Les Landes, St Ouen, who left four sons, the youngest of whom purchased La Hague Manor. Philip, the eldest son, inherited Vincheles de Haut, and left it to his eldest son, Philip. This Philip was succeeded by his elder son, Philip, an artist. He died without heirs in 1919, and his brother Charles then sold the property to Mrs Morse, who thoroughly repaired the manor house. Mrs Morse sold the place later to Mr Bull, who again sold it to its present owner Mr H Roberts.

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