No 54 King Street

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This photograph showing Brooks and Pinching, stationers, must have been taken between 1900 and 1910, because No 54 was occupied before by Mrs Le Sueur, widow of draper Charles Le Sueur, and after by the Wood Carving Studio

This is the first property on the north side of King Street heading west after A de Gruchy and Co. Today is is occupied by Marks and Spencer, and over the years it has been home to a wide variety of businesses.

In an 1837 commercial directory a Mr (or Mrs) Slater is shown trading there as a baker and confectioner, but so is a Mr de Gruchy, a draper and tailor. This appears to be the founder of A de Gruchy and Co, Abraham de Gruchy, who was living at No 54 with his family at the time of the 1841 census


They were followed in 1851 by draper, Francois Nicolle, living with his wife Mary Ann, nee Filleul, (1816- ) and children Mary Ann and Francis, and his sister Elizabeth. The transitory nature of many of these town centre businesses is again demonstrated by the Nicolle’s departure before the 1861 census to be replaced by another draper, Charles Le Sueur, his wife Mary Sophia Luce, her sisters Ann and Harriet. Shortly after the census Charles and Mary Sophia’s first child Florence Mary was born, to be followed over the next decade by Amy Maud, Reginald Charles and Clarence Edgar.

In 1861 the Nicolles are shown as living next door at No 52. Francois was the son of Francois Nicolle of Trinity and Elizabeth de Gruchy, who married in St Helier in 1816. He may have been a relative of Abraham, given that his mother was a de Gruchy.

In 1861 draper Charles Le Sueur (1832- ) was in residence at No 54 with his wife Maria Sophia, nee Luce, (1834- ) and sisters-in-law Ann and Harriet Luce. These are the same Ann and Harriet who were in business across the street at No 73 King Street at the end of the 19th century. The business was advertised in 1861 as 'P and C Le Sueur'. They were brothers Charles and Philippe, sons of Charles and Elizabeth Le Sueur, of Trinity. Charles snr, who married Elizabeth in Trinity in 1828, was the son of another Charles (1789-1811), who married Sara Marie Chevalier in Trinity in 1808.

Charles and Mary were still at No 54 in 1871, with daughters Florence (1862- ) and Amy Maude (1864- ) and sons Reginald (1869- ) and Clarence (1870- ). Charles was the son of Charles and Mary Betsy Ahier, and grandson of Charles and Sara Marie Chevallier, all of Trinity.

In 1881 the majority of the Le Sueur family was still at No 54, with Ann Charlotte Luce and her sister Jane Falle. By then Charles had gone into partnership and Le Sueur and Le Seelleur, but not much is known about this short-lived partnership, because by 1885 Charles is shown as trading on his own. The family are still at No 54 in 1891, but ten years later the property is shown as uninhabited and unoccupied. Only the year before the property was listed in Mrs Le Sueur's name, so Charles appears to have died and the business closed.

Briggs in 1973
Henri Ricordeau

A l'Alliance

By 1903 the property was home to Brooks and Pinching, stationers, and their shopfront features frequently in pictures taken at the time.

They were followed by the Wood Carving Studio, whose tenure must have been very brief, because from 1913 onwards Henri Arthur Ricordeau was advertising his business selling clocks and watches, spectacles, jewellery and ornaments under the name A L'Alliance. He was still in business in 1920, but some time between than and 1930, the premises were taken over by one of King Street's most popular shops, Briggs and Co. In the 1970s the premises were acquired by the Le Riche group and rebuilt as Maison Le Riche, which later became Jersey's first Marks and Spencer store.

Mr Ricordeau was born in Vivoin, Beaumnont-sur-Sarthe, France in 1876 and came to Jersey from St Malo in 1895. He married Louise Cecile Novert, born in St Helier in 1880, on 14 February 1901 and their daughter and only child, Yolande Cecile, was born the following October. Henri set up in business as a jeweller at 24 Queen Street in 1900. After their move to King Street the family lived above their shop, and in 1920 the moved to La Reve, Beaumont.

As the wife and daughter of a French national, Louise and Yolande were registered alongside him as 'aliens' in 1920. Henri went on to be naturalised as a British subject in 1935. He died in 1944, and his wife died nine years later, leaving all her property to Yolande in her will.

As the advertisements below show, Henri advertised extensively, mainly in La Chronique de Jersey, in a strange mixture of French, Jèrriais and English. Many of his adverts followed the French tradition of promoting New Year presents, rather than Christmas.


  • 1837 - Slater, baker and confectioner
  • 1837 - Mr de Gruchy, draper and tailor
  • 1841 - Abraham de Gruchy and family
  • 1851 - Francois Nicolle, draper
  • 1860 - British Warehouse drapery, run by Mrs Jane Le Feuvre closed 8 September 1860, moved to No 10 King Street
  • 1861-71 - Charles Le Sueur, draper
  • 1874 - Le Sueur and Le Seelleur, tailors
  • 1885-1890 - Charles Le Sueur, tailor and draper
  • 1900 - Mrs Le Sueur
  • 1903 - Brooks and Pinching, stationers
  • 1910 - Henry Ricordeau, watchmaker and jeweller, trading as A L'Alliance; Madeleine, costumier (probably first floor); Wood Carving Studio also probably above the shop
  • 1930-1970 - Briggs and Co
  • 1980- Maison Le Riche

A French band from Fontenay, visiting for a Concours musicale outside Nos 54 and 56, probably in 1911, when Henry Ricordeau, watchmaker and jeweller, was established at No 54
Briggs staff outing in 1951


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