King Street in 1851 and 1861

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King Street in
1851 and 1861

By Jerripedia editorMike Bisson, who lived in King Street when his parents brought him back to Jersey in 1949

Commercial directories from the first half of the 19th century can provide a picture of business life in King Street, but the 1851 census is the first document to provide us with details of people who lived in the street as well as those who did business there.

Although the 1841 census does list residents of King Street ten years earlier, it does not record the numbers of individual premises, so it is very difficult, if not impossible, to build up a full picture of who lived and worked where.

Abraham Le Cras' Guide to Jersey of 1834 provided us with our first detailed look at the commercial life of the street. but seven years later the comprehensive census of 1851 provided a far more detailed view of a thoroughfare which was at the heart of the dramatic growth in population which the town of St Helier was going through. Today relatively few people live in King Street. All the commercial properties stretch backwards from their frontages on the shopping precinct, every available square metre taken up with retail floors or warehouse facilities.

In 1851 life was dramatically different. Shopkeepers lived above their enterprises with their families, and, particularly on the north side of the street, many hundreds of families were crammed into tiny cottages squeezed between and behind the commercial premises.

We start our journey down the length of the street at the junction with Queen Street, Halkett Place and Morier Lane. The latter, now disappeared from the map, and remembered only in the name of the States office block at its upper end, Morier House, was the narrow road running between the King Street junction and Hill Street.

As building after building along its length was demolished for redevelopment, the road was widened to the full width which is found today, but in 1851 there was a very narrow gap between the Royal Square houses which backed on to this lane and the properties on the opposite side.

The north-west corner marked the beginning of what is now St Helier’s main shopping centre – No 1 King Street, which I have yet to locate in the 1851 census document. The various properties along the length of the street appear in a number of different St Helier districts in the census, some covering properties on both sides of the road, some only those on one side.

In 1861 No 1 was occupied by grocer John de Veulle, his wife Betsey and son Henry. No 3 was occupied by bootmaker Edward Gelender, wife Marina and three daughters and a son; No 5 was occupied by tobacconist James Cochrane and his sisters Rachel and Amelia, as well as his aunt Susan Sebire.

No 7 – Ramié/Gopil

The existence of two different census returns for No 7 in 1851, in different town districts, is somewhat bewildering. The District 6 return shows bookseller and stationer Susan Catherine Gopil as the occupant.

The District 25 return shows the property occupied by Charles François Ramié, a draper born in France but a naturalised British subject. He was living with his Jersey-born children Eliza Ann (24), Charles William (23) and Julie Marie Josephine (16), the latter shown as simply Julia in the census.

Charles’ wife Anne Le Brocq was evidently away from home at the time of the census. It is not clear whether the Ramiés were just tenants, or whether Charles owned from No 7. Their son Charles who, from 1870-1873, was the States of Jersey Architect, was surprisingly listed as a farmer, perhaps as his father had, in the previous decade, heavily invested in property, both urban and rural. This particular farm may not have been far away, though, because St Helier was still predominantly a rural parish and buildings did not stretch far to the north of King Street, 1851 being only 25 years after Halkett Place first opened. Charles François Ramié had also been, between 1834-1848, a shipowner, having taken over the shipping interests, both in Canada and locally, of his brother-in-law, William Le Brocq. By 1861 No 7 is home to merchant William Netten, his wife Emma and their five daughters.

No 9 – Dumaresq/Burman

Next to the Ramiés at No 9 lived 49-year-old merchant John Dumaresq, with his wife Jane and brother George, and their servant Betsey Ereaut. John was baptised Jean, in Grouville, in 1801, the son of Jean Dumaresq and Jeanne Pirouet, both of Grouville, but who married in neighbouring St Clement in 1800.

Jean was born in Grouville in 1772, the son of Jacques and Marie Payn, and Jeanne was born in the same parish eight years later, the daughter of Jacques Pirouet and Elizabeth Norman, who married in St Saviour in 1777.

But, there is a second census return for this property, as well, showing that Englishman George Burman and his Jersey wife Margaret were running a tobacconist’s shop and living there with their four sons and three daughters, a niece and a houseservant.

Ten years later, the 1861 census shows Nos 9 and 11 as unoccupied.

No 11 – Dr Lean and others

Moving down the street to No 11 it is not clear what business, if any, was being operated there. The house was occupied by general practitioner John Lean (56), shipwright John Vaudin (48) and his wife Jane (62), and the Leahon family from Ireland – labourer Patrick (52), his wife Sarah (57) and their sons Peter (24), a baker, and John (12). There is no second entry for this house.

No 13 – Wellman/Bentley

It is No 13 in which the writer has a particular interest, because that was where he lived for a short time in the 1950s. The census also has two separate records for this property, in Districts 6 and 25. The District 6 return fits with information from an earlier commercial directory and shows Ronald Wellman (23) operating a pharmacy there with his sisters Eliza Ann and Susannah and his 77-year-old grandmother Susanne Le Gallais.

But the District 6 return shows tea dealers James Bentley and his wife Mary, both from England, living there with a young servant.

Ronald and Ann Wellman are still at No 13 in 1861.

No 15

There is no mention of N o 15 in the 1851 census, and no return was made for 1861, but a note in the census suggests that this was a back entrance to the York Hotel, the main entrance of which was in the Royal Square.

No 17

In 1851 German jeweller Samuel Simon, a naturalised British subject, was living at No 17 with his wife Sarah, from England, and three young daughters and a son all born in St Helier. They also had two servants living in.

Ten years later the premises are occupied by bootmaker Peter Garnier, his wife Rachel and their niece Mary Rachel Hooper.

No 19 – Le Riche

Their neighbours at No 19 were linen and woollen drapers Thomas and Margaret Le Riche, son John, still a scholar at 17, Thomas’ parents Philip and Jane, his brother Francis John, a housemaid and a cook.

In 1861 the Le Riches have left and linen and woollen draper James Remon and his wife Jane are the occupants.

No 23 - Anderson

No record was made for No 21. At No 23 Charles Thomas Anderson and his St Helier born wife Betsey lived with a young son and Charles’ Guernsey-born niece. The Andersons ran a pharmacy. They were still at the premises in 1861.

In 1861 linen and woollen draper Philip Le Sueur, son of Francis, is living at No 21 with his wife Elizabeth (nee Waldron), daughter of John, five daughters and one son.

No 25 - Sinel

Although it is not clear whether he traded from the premises, auctioneer John Sinel (35), his wife Isabella (28), their two sons and two daughters and a servant lived at No 25. Isabella Ashton was John’s second wife and their family at this time consisted of two of his children from his first marriage, her daughter, and the baby son they had together a few months before the census. This baby son was named John, as was his elder half-brother. No 25 was unoccupied in 1861.

An advertisement of John Peagam's business in 1857

No 27 - Peagam

No 27 was occupied by hairdresser John Peagam (24) and his Jersey-born wife Mary Cole, also 24, who lived with John’s father John. The two Johns came to Jersey from Devon, and the father may have only been visiting his family because he is not shown in Jersey in the 1861 census and he died back in Devon in 1879.

John and Mary would soon start a family: Marie Louise was born in 1854 and Sydney Herbert two years later. But Mary died in 1856 and by 1858 John was married to Eliza Andrews, with whom he would have five more children between 1858 and 1866. He was still living at No 27 and in business as a hairdresser and perfumer at the time of the 1861 census.

By 1871 John, still only 44, was a widow again and was bringing up his family and running his hairdressing business a short distance away at 7 Queen Street.

No 29 - Walter

Another immigrant English family was living at No 29. Bookbinder William Walter (50), his wife Eliza (40) and their daughters Mary, Frances and Eliza, the latter the only one of them to be born in Jersey, in 1846, were living with William’s sister Maria (53). Eliza and Marie appear to have run the shop while William worked at his trade behind. Ten years later the family would no longer be in King Street, William having moved them, and his business, to 70 Colomberie.

No 31 - Alford

Bootmaker George Alford (21) and his elder brother William (25) lived and carried on their business at No 31 . They were the sons of George and Elizabeth, and had sisters Ellen and Emma, all four of them born in Jersey. By 1861 the brothers are no longer at King Street. Indeed, no trace of any of the siblings can be found in Jersey then.

An 1857 advert for Hamon and Vonberg

No 33 – Le Franc

Next door at No 33 another bootmaker, John Le Franc, born in Corsica, was living and working with his Guernsey-born wife Susan. They were still there ten years later.

No 35 - Grigriy

At No 35 we find draper Mathew Grigriy and his wife Lucy. The family was to remain in business here until the early 1880s, although nothing else is known about them.

No 37 – Hamon’s

Hamon and Vonberg, later Hamon and Sons, and still trading in 2013, are known to have been in business at Nos 37 and 39 in 1851, but may have opened just after the census, which shows No 37 vacant and widowed sisters Elizabeth Pritchard and Jane Picot, and Elizabeth’s grandson Thomas, living at No 39.

No 41 – Hamon

Further down the street at No 41 Clement Hamon was in business as a china and glass dealer with his wife Ann Esther, nee Le Feuvre. They lived there with their son and four daughters, Ann Esther’s sister Jan and a niece.

Clement was born in St John in 1818 and was the son of Philippe and Anne Le Moignan. He was still in business as a china and glass dealer in 1871, across the street at No 40. The advertisement on the left suggests that jeweller and watchmaker J Mallet took over at No 41 soon after the 1851 census.

An advertisement indicating that J Mallet was trading as a watchmaker and jeweller at No 41 in 1851

No 43 – Christie/Gates

No 43 must have been a busy premises because the census suggests that two businesses operated there – a pharmacy and a tobacconist. The pharmacy was run by James Christie, from Aberdeen, who lived at No 43 with his Jersey-born wife Mary Poingdestre, sons James, John and Matthew and daughters Mary and Eliza. By 1861 James is widowed and retired, and living in St Saviour’s Road with Mary and Eliza.

The tobacconist’s shop at No 43 was a real family affair. Robert Gates (52) was assisted by his 28-year-old son George, and Thomas (18), while Hannah (20) helped her mother Mary with household duties. Mary (14) and Eliza (11) were still at school. The two younger girls were born in Jersey but the rest of the famil had come from England. This family had also left No 43 by 1861 and the tobacconist business was being run by Mary Ann Belford.

Also living in a separate household at No 43 in 1851 were retired baker Thomas Cabot, his wife Susan and their daughter Elise.

No 45 – Huelin

No 45 was a very busy property, with five separate households. The business operated there appears to have been St Peter born Thomas Egbert Huelin’s grocery. Thomas (35) lived there with his wife Esther, nee Pepin, and their young family, two sons and two daughters ranging in age from one month to eight years.

Ten years later the family has not only moved to nearby Don Street, but Thomas has changed trade from grocery to become a tailor with 16-year-old son Thomas, while daughter Esther (17) has become a milliner. The other households at No 45 were widowed cook Harriet Owens (46) and her three lodgers, who included Chelsea Pensioners Henry O’Donell and Thomas Barnes; porter John Derwin, his wife Harriet and their son and three daughters; dressmaker Sophie Gallichan, who lived along; and coachman Henry Pillow (25, wife Jane (24) and their one-year-old son James.

By 1861 all of these housholds had left No 45, where Philip Hamon was in business as a draper with his wife Eliza. They would remain there until after 1880.

No 47 – Arnold

Guernsey chemist Eugene Arnold (29) was established in business at No 47 and lived there with his St Brelade-born wife Elizabeth, son Eugene and a servant. The couple would go on to have nine more children in the years to 1867.

By the 1861 census, with twins Julia Mary and Jessie Louisa just five months old, they had moved their family and business to nearby 30 Halkett Place. At No 47 James Guille, a linen draper, was then living with his wife Sophia.

No 53 – Jouault

Nos 49, 51 and 55 were empty at the time of the census. At No 53 Collas Jouault from Granville was in business as a shoe, glass and tea merchant, assisted by his French wife Berenice and 22-year-old daughter Claire, also born in France. Ten years later Collas, now a widower, was still trading as a merchant, but next door at No 51.

No 53 was then occupied by trunk maker John Andrews and his family, but they had moved to New Street by 1871 and No 53 was then empty.

No 57 – Benham

Philip William Benham, a 30-year-old hairdresser employing two men was living and working at No 57, assisted by his wife Susanna Vinecombe, and cousin Eliza Brake, while widowed mother-in-law Susan Vinecombe looked after the house. The family were still at No 57 in 1861, with Philip’s business having changed to that of glover and fancy dealer, but Susanna must have died some time after, because by 1869 Philip is married to Elizabeth Hannah Goodenough and they have started a family.

No 59 – Clarke

At No 59 Kosciusko H Clarke, from England, is a stationer, living with his wife Elizabeth Westear, daughter Mary, and brother-in-law Thomas Westear. By 1861 they have moved away and widower John Le Marquand is established at the premises as a grocer.

No 61 – Renouf

Next door at No 61 there was already a grocery in 1851, run by Philip Renouf (he described himself as a ‘merchant grocer’), who was living there with wife Elizabeth, daughters Mary Ann and Elizabeth and son Philip, and their servant Mary Lerivant. Ten years later this business had been taken over by Philip and Anne Le Conte.

No 63 – Madden

There was plenty of competition in this area of King Street for people’s grocery business because at No 63 ‘master grocer’ James Madden (48), from Ireland, was in business, assisted by his wife Eliza Le Breton, and eldest son John (16). The family seems to have moved away from King Street by 1861, when younger son James, is serving in the Royal Artillery at Fort Regent. Strangely, although he was born and baptised in St Helier, his birthplace in the 1861 census is given as Ireland.

No 65 – Sbire

At No 65 Helier Sbire (50) had a thriving business as a shoemaker. His wife Esther (nee Helleur) ran the household while he was assisted in the business by his son Helier (17) and four live-in apprentices. He was still in business ten years later, but had moved with his family to 28 Conway Street. Helier was still working with his father but had married and had his own separate household at 28 Conway Street.

No 67 – Asher

Isaac Benjamin Asher (68) was a broker and outfitter at No 67, where he lived with his wife Mary, son Solomon, who assisted in the business, daughter Esther, who helped her mother in the house, and youngest daughter Diana, who was still at school. The family had come to Jersey from London. An older son, Morris, remained in London and emigrated to Australia.

No 69 – Le Neveu

John Le Neveu was a master baker working at No 69, where he lived with his wife Betsey Nancy (nee Much), daughter Elizabeth and two of his four workers. There is no sign of the family in the 1861 census, when No 69 was occupied by tailor Edward Romeril and his family.

No 71 – Ascot

There were three households at No71. It appears likely that shoemaker Charles Ascot was trading there. He lived with his wife Mary, son Frederick and daughter Elizabeth, and the family had come from Yeovil, Somerset.

The Eve family were all born in Jersey with the exception of carpenter and builder John Eve’s English wife Susannah, nee Pearce. By 1851 they had three children, Margaret (9) and twins Robert and Charles (6). James, born in 1843 and Frederick William in 1848 appear not to have survived. Three further children, Susanna, Clara and John Pearce were to follow in the 1850s. By 1861 the Eves were still at No 71 but head of household John has now become a master baker

The third 1851 household comprised mason’s widow Ann Rafferty and her labourer son Philip.

No 73 – Gondon

Umbrella manufacturer Eugene Gondon (38), from Calvados, Normandy, lived with his wife Elizabeth and son Alfred (9) and daughter Eugenie (12) at No 73. Elizabeth appears to be Eugene’s second wife, because Alfred’s mother was Francoise Celina Laurence.

No 73 was unoccupied at the time of the 1861 census and the Gondons had moved to No 77, where Eugene was now trading as a linen draper. Alfred was a bookmaker’s clerk.

No 75 – Curran

Having so far been unable to trace Nos 77 and 79, which are at the Charing Cross end of the street, our journey westwards finishes at No 75 a public house run by innkeeper Thomas Curran (22), born in St Helier, and his 25-year-old English wife Whittar.

Ten years later the innkeeper is Guernseyman William Aspell, who is assisted by his wife Sarah Ann.

In 1861 No 79 was unoccupied, so perhaps that had also been the case in 1851.

House numbering

We now turn around to commence our walk along King Street in the opposite direction. There are two things we are going to encounter which are different from the side we have already covered in detail. The first is confusion in street numbering. Officially King Street’s final property on this side is No 78, which makes the corner with Pitt Street, and has come to be known as Rutland House. But No 78 rarely features in census returns or street directory listings and appears often to have been recorded either as part of Pitt Street, because the building stretches back along the full length of the street, or as part of Charing Cross.

Along this side of King Street there are further examples of house numbers which make only infrequent appearances in official records. The opposite is the case with the south side, some of whose buildings have been subdivided and are known (or have been known for periods) as 45a and 66½, for example, although this process had not started at the time of our survey.

The other notable difference between the two sides is that the properties on the north are much deeper, and although in the 21st century they are devoted almost entirely to commercial operations, in 1851 there were many units of residential accommodation behind the shops, and in lanes and arcades between them, and we are going to encounter many more families living on this side of the street.

No 76 – Sorel

James Sorel lived alone at No 76 but he must have been a prosperous businessman at 35, because he employed 14 males and females. Ten years earlier this property was occupied by Mary Chevalier.

No 74 – Falle

Next door at No 74 lived banker Edward Falle (74) and his 78-year-old wife Douce, (nee Bailliau) and 42-year-old son Philip. Not long before 1851 all properties on the north side of King Street were private residences, and it appears that this is one of the few which had not by then been converted to a shop.

Bailliau is a very unusual Jersey name. Only 13 baptisms are found in the church registers and the family appears to have arrived in the island at the end of the first half of the 18th century. Douce was the daughter of Philippe Bailliau and Douce Snow. His baptism is not registered in Jersey. It is likely that he was the elder son of Pierre and Catherine Bridonneau, who appear to have arrived in Jersey around 1750 and had four further children in St Helier where they settled.

There is a good chance that Jacques Bailliau, who was raising a family in St Helier with his wife Jeanne Le Brun at the same time was Pierre’s brother. The family’s orgins were possibly in the south of Normandy. It has not been possible to trace Edward Falle’s ancestry with any certainty.

The Falles had left by the time of the next census in 1861, and John Best was trading there as a hosier. He lives with his wife Mary and six children aged from 4 to 19. The family came from England

No 72 – Valpy

It’s not clear whether John Valpy ran his wine merchant’s business at No 72 or whether it was another house. If so, it must have been a posh one, because John is described in the census as ‘wine merchant to Her Majesty’. It has not been possible to discover whether John Valpy held an official Royal Warrant, but it seems unlikely that he would have described himself in this way had he not.

It is difficult to find an accurate ancestry for John. It weems most likely that he was the son of Jean Valpy and Esther Jolin, who married in St Helier in 1803. Jean was probably the son of Jean Valpy and Jeanne Averty. Jean was from Trinity and married Jeanne in St Clement in 1778. He appears to be the son of Philippe Valpy and Jeanne Amy, but there the trail goes cold.

In 1861 linen draper William Jones, a welshman, was living at and trading from No 72. He lived with his Jersey-born wife Anna and their children Anne, William, Alice and Bertha.

No 70 – David

Baker Thomas David from Guernsey and his English wife Tamzer were in business at No 70, living with Tamzer’s two children from a previous marriage, Frederick and Tamzer . Also living at the property in separate households were master mariner John Gaudin and his dressmaker wife Jane; and watch maker Henry Lee, his wife Eliza, and son Benjamin, who had followed his father’s trade.

No 68 – Piddington

The Piddington family – Boot and shoemaker Thomas (34), his wife Eliza (34), nee Withall, and children Thomas (6), Eliza (3) and William (11 months) lived at No 68. They appear to have lived in St Lawrence before, where the two children were born. Three further children, Anna, Samuel and James, would join the family between 1854 and 1857. However, there is no trace of the family in the 1861 census and 68 King Street also does not feature in the returns. This is strange, because in 1851 there were six other households listed at this address: Labourer John Rogers and his wife Marina; Painter Henry Jones and his wife Elizabeth; carpenter William Ray and his wife Mary; French blacksmith Aimable Bourgoise, his wife Esther and their two sons; mariner George Downer and his wife June; and widowed laundress Elizabeth Renier, her son, daughter and son-in-law.

Metivier Lane

No 66 was unoccupied in 1851, but then came Metivier Lane, named after the Metivier family, who owned the neighbouring properties. Today this is a narrow passage between large commercial premises, but in 1851 there were 14 numbered properties, home to 24 households – a total of 84 people.

And what a mixture they were. Shoemakers, dressmakers, cigar maker, ship carpenters, washerwomen, seamstresses, fruiterers, mariners, cordwinders, sail makers, labourers, cooks, hawkers, a butcher’s boy, a painter and musician and a scriptural reader. Most were born in Jersey, but others came from England, France, Ireland and Guernsey.

By the time of the 1861 census, Metivier Lane appears to have been subdivided, and parts renamed, but the order in which properties are listed in the census is confusing. Between 56 and 58 King Street are areas known as King Street Gardens and Barber’s Lane and Metivier Lane, now down to eight cottages, is shown between Nos 60 and 62. The area between Nos 62 and 64 is shown as Fructis Court and between Nos 66 and 68 is Confectioners Lane. The mixture of people living in these crowded rows of cottages is still much the same as it was in Metivier Lane in 1851.

Nos 64 and 62 – Metivier

The Metivier family occupied No 64 and No 62. James Metivier, the head of the household, was a 46-year-old draper employing eight staff. He and his wife Elizabeth (nee Perchard) had five children in 1851 and would go on to have seven in total.

In 1861 the Metiviers have moved out of No 64, which is now occupied by baker Francois Gruchy, his wife Mary Ann (nee Wilkes), their four children and three lodgers. Francois and Mary Ann would eventually have seven children, born between 1850 and 1863.

In 1861 No 62 was occupied by George Boielle, his wife Elisabeth, three daughters and a son, all under the age of eight. George was a toy dealer and lay reader. George (21), the son of Jean Boielle and Elizabeth Whittel, and Elisabeth (nee Le Boeuf), the daughter of Charles and Elizabeth Fruing eventually had a total of eight children, born between 1852 and 1872. Charles was the son of Jean Le Boeuf and Jeanne Alexandre.

No 60 – Benest

Master confectioner Caesar Benest (35) lived with his wife Susan at No 60 and employed four men in his business.

James Metivier and his family had moved to No 60 by 1861, still carrying on in business as a draper at the age of 56.

No 58 – Solomon

At No 58 we find tailor Joseph Soloman (47), his wife Rachel (30), from Berlin, and four young children. They have moved by 1861 and Charles Phinn (51) is established as a tobacconist, living with his wife Mary Ann Sarah, nee Hill, and their young son and daughter.

There are eight more households at No 58 in 1851, occupied by: carpenter Philip Le Geyt, his wife Susan and grandmather Susan Mourant; shipwright Lucas Ason and his sister; shoemaker Philip Melikin, wife sophia and four children; widowed washerwoman Elizabeth Le Gresley and her teenage son John; blockmaker Peter Voisin, his wife and two daughters; dressmaker Elizabeth Abbott and her daughter; shoemaker George Collas, his wife and son; and annuitant Urasa Connelly, her three children and two lodgers.

No other housedholds are shown in 1861 for No 58 and the suspicion is that these are now in the properties listed separately as King Street Gardens and Barber’s Lane.

No 56 – Slater

Jane Le Feuvre, living at No 56 in 1851 appears to be a successful businesswoman. She is described as a linen draper, employing ten persons. This is the former Elizabeth Perchard, who was married to John George Le Feuvre.

By 1861 William Slater, a bookseller is at No 56, living with his wife Caroline, sister Elizabeth Davies and her daughter Eliza and nephew William Slater, all of them born in England.

No 54 – Nicolle

Another draper, Francois Nicolle, was in business at No 54 in 1851, living with his wife Mary Ann 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. But in 1861 the Nicolles are shown as living next door at No 52.

52 – de Gruchy’s

No 52 was the first of the King Street properties acquired by Abraham de Gruchy, which would eventually constitute a department store with access from King Street, New Street and Dumaresq Street. He opened here in 1825, but never lived on the premises, so his name does not appear in the census returns.

In 1851 Susan (baptised Susannah Mary) Sohier, a 50-year-old fancy shop keeper is shown living at No 52 with her daughters Mary and Ellen, and 75-year-old Eliza Thompson, who is shown as the head of household’s ‘grandmother’. This is something of a mystery, because Susan, nee Boyne, was married to Thomas Sohier. Eliza was not old enough to be her grandmother, and had the wrong name to be the children’s grandmother. Whether Susan worked for Abraham de Gruchy or was a tenant of residential accommodation is not known.

As stated above, by 1861 the occupants of this property are shown as draper Francois Nicolle, and his family, who were living next door at No 54 in 1851.

50 – Fixott

In 1851 surgeon John Fixott was living at No 50, which was yet to be acquired by Abraham de Gruchy. With him were his wife Ann, daughters Adela and Lydia and two house servants.

This suggests that the premises might still have been a private house. By the time of the 1861 census the family had moved next door to No 48. The Fixotts are something of a mysterious family. They appear to have settled in Jersey in the first half of the 18th century, with the arrival of Denis, who married Jeanne Grandin, but to have left or died out within little over 100 years.

It would not be acquired by de Gruchy until 1863, but in 1861 its occupants are shown as master bootmaker Abraham Hutchings (35), who employed 12 men, his wife Arabella, and their son and three daughters. The family had arrived in Jersey in about 1855.

48 – Bulbeck

In 1851 No 48 had been occupied by confectioner John Bulbeck, who employed three men. He came to Jersey from England and married Eliza Clark. They had three children, Clara, William and Emily. By 1861, John, now described as a pastry cook, had moved with his family to No 32, and teenager Clara is now old enough to be working in her father’s shop.

Another household at No 48 in 1851 is headed by navy pensioner James Barrington, from Halifax, Canada, living with his wife Cartrite and son John, a boat builder.

Also at No 48 we find linen draper Philip Larbalestier, employing 12 persons.


No 46 will eventually become part of Abraham de Gruchy’s empire, but not until the 1880s. In the 1851 census William Woonton, a grocer’s assistant, is shown living there with his wife Sarah, nee Hawker, and children James and Louisa. The family came from England but Louisa was born in Jersey.

They have left by 1861and No 46 has been split into two for census purposes. At No 46 Edmund Le Brun, china and glass dealer, was in business and lived with his wife Ann, daughter Ada and stepson John Le Maistre. At 46½ William Redstone, a bookseller and stationer, was operating and living with wife Ann and stepdaughter Jane Long.


Next up the street came King Street Arcade, not the same as the de Gruchy’s Arcade we know today, but a residential area divided into five households occupied by a variety of tradesmen and their families. This was still there in 1868.


The picture become a little clouded as we approach the junction with New Street, and house numbers here appear to have changed, or even disappeared, over a period. The 1851 census shows No 44 occupied by Grocer Charles Nicolle and his wife Elizabeth, with an unoccupied house next before the junction. Ten years later No 44 is apparently empty and at No 42 master baker Charles Le Feuvre is employing two men and living with wife Susan and four sons aged from 3 to 8.

38 – Manning

At least one house number at the junction of King Street and New Street seems to have been lost through road-widening since the numbers were allocated, but census returns, commercial directories and even the property register seem confused over which. Most listings do not show No 38, but in 1851 it is No 40 which was missing, and No 38 is shown on the north-east corner of the junction, occupied by James and Fanny Manning and their children. James is listed as a ‘flat maker’.


No 36 has no clear commercial occupant in the 1851 census, but several housholds are shown as occupants. In the 1861 census No 38 is combined with 3 New Street and No 36 is the populous property, mysteriously described as Mercantile Simon (?) Bank and having a number of residential units.

34 – Brenfeldt

In 1851 we find Austrian Abraham Brenfeldt (57) at No 34, living with wife Amelia (nee Ruder), her sister Sally, and two daughters and a son. Although apparently born in Jersey, the children do not show in the St Helier baptism register. Abraham is mysteriously described as a Clock dealer and woolen draper – a strange combination.

By 1861 boot and shoe maker Johannah Shapcott, who has a staff of 12, is occupying No 34 with son John Queree (probably from a first marriage), and daughters Mary and Ada Shapcott.

32 – Desborough

The occupants of No 32 in 1851 were the Desborough family: Father John (24), mother Esther and two-month-old daughter Mathilda. John, from England, is shown as a ‘housekeeper’. They have left by 1861 and the head of household at No 32 is John Bulbeck, a pastry cook, who seems to have been operating a retail outlet at the premises.

24-30 – Voisin’s

No 30, soon to be part of Voisin's department store, which is still in business today, is not shown in the 1851 census. Perhaps it was vacant, before being acquired by Francis Voisin in 1860. No 28 had been acquired in 1840, and No 26 three years earlier, when the business was founded. No 24 would be added in 1857. In 1851 a number of staff appear to have been living at No 28, with the head of household shows as 23-year-old draper’s assistant Mary Taylor.

22 – Payn

At No 22 in 1851 we find jeweller Mary Payn, a 73-year-old widow, with five children, Alphonse, Mary, Armand, Alfred and Angeline, ranging in age from 9 to 19 – remarkable for a woman of that age.

Church records indicate that these are the children of John Payn and Marie Francoise Dufresne, although the census returns are not a complete match for the St Helier baptism register.

By 1861 fancy goods dealer Henry Cobb (42), from England, and his Irish wife Catherine have moved into No 22 with their children Mary Ann, Henry, John and James, who were born in St Helier but are not shown in the parish baptism register.

A second household is headed by dressmaker Margaret Thornton, also from Ireland.

20 – Beard

In 1851 Woollen draper Henry Beard (23) and his sister Sarah, both from London, are established at No 20, which makes the corner of King Street and Don Street.

14 – du Parcq

The vagaries of the census force us to jump two properties to No 14 where John du Parcq has his grocer’s shop, assisted by his wife Peggy Jane (nee Guiton) . They have a three-year-old daughter Alice, whose elder sister Esther appears to have died in infancy.

No 16 is mentioned in the 1861 census, occupied by tobacconist Sigimund Liebmann Leopold, wife Emma, daughter Jane and niece Teresa. This family will soon move across the street to take up residence at No 13, where they will remain until the writer’s family acquire the property after Sigismund’s death in 1903.

It is known that in 1834 there was a pharmacy at No 18 and a draper’s, or possibly grocer’s, at No 16 but we have not been able to find any information about the occupants of these properties in 1851.

Clement du Parcq

In 1861 another du Parcq family are in residence. This is John’s brother Clement, a chocolate manufacturer, wine and spirit merchant and grocer, the first of our 1851 King Street residents of whom we have a photograph. Clement was living with his wife Mary Pixley, whose father came to Jersey from Gibraltar, and daughters Mary, Esther , Helen and Clementina and sons Richard and Clement Pixley du Parcq. Clement Pixley du Parcq was the father of Herbert du Parcq who was a distinguished lawyer and judge in London and became Baron du Parcq.

12 – Quint

Mariner Joseph Quint and his family are living at No 12 in 1851, and the census does not give any clue to a possible commercial undertaking there.

No 10 - Gill

At No 10 in 1851 we find auctioneer Edwin Gill from England, wife Elizabeth from Pembroke and son Edwin, mother Mary Gill and brother George Gill. They are no longer there in 1861, when Matthew de Gruchy has his draper’s business there. He is living with wife Ann Jane (nee Bree), son Walter and daughters Edith Ann and Alice Maud.

There are four other households listed at the premises in the census: James Hope, gardener, and wife Hannah; labourer Michael Neville, his wife and daughter; laundress Elizabeth Much and her two daughters; and Royal Artillery Gunner Robert McCourt and his dressmaker wife Martha.

8 – King

Tailor John King (28), his wife Jane (nee Marie) and two-month-old daughter Delicia were at No 8 . The family was still living at No 8 in 1861, but Delicia must have died in infancy because John and Jane’s three children are listed as John Thomas, Jane Rachel and Delicia Margaret (2 months).

Also at No 8 in 1861, now called Old London House in the census return, was draper George Dumaresq, who had a staff of six.

6 – Hurdon

The last property on this side of King Street in the 1851 census is No 6, where James Hurdon is in business as a chemist. It is known that there was a pharmacy on the corner of King Street and Halkett Place for some considerable time and the 1851 census shows 1 Halkett Place as occupied by chemist James Aubin. These may have been separate businesses, or it is possible that the two addresses both refer to the corner property, No 2 being the only even-numbered property on the opposite side of the street.

By 1861 No 4 has made an appearance occupied by chemist Henry Allen (42). No 6 is called Halkett House and is occupied by draper Philip Dumaresq (38), who has a staff of no fewer than 17 men, 4 boys and 16 females.

That completes our journey up and down King Street in 1851 and 1861. The occupants of the street and their businesses in 1871 and 1881 are currently being researched for a further article.

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