Jacques Bandinel (1602-1645) Rector of St Mary
The eldest son of David Bandinel, the first of the family to arrive in Jersey and subsequently Rector of St Brelade and Dean of Jersey, Jacques was, like his father, a supporter of the Parliamentary cause during the English Civil War and the two of them were imprisoned after the Restoration of King Charles II. Both lost their lives following an attempt to escape from imprisonment in Mont Orgueil Castle.
Appointment as Rector
Jacques was born in St Brelade's Rectory in 1602 to the Dean's wife Elizabeth Stallenge and was educated at Oxford, obtaining his BA in 1622 and his MA three years later. He returned to Jersey in 1626 and was appointed Rector of St Mary at the age of only 24. This was not a popular appointment. Dean Bandinel had clashed with the previous Rector, Samuel de la Place, who had refused to recognise his authority. The Constable, Hugh Hue, locked the Church on early health and safety grounds, claiming that he might be a carrier of the plague, and the miller was ordered not to grind the new Rector's corn.
Matters grew so tense that on one Sunday Hugh prevented Elizabeth Bandinel from entering the church "thrusting her out with a halberd in the face of her son" and he was also complained:"Hue presumes that all is lawful to him, because he is Constable, as lately the profaning of the CHurch or Communion Table with the blood of a dog, which he stabbed with a knife, while the Minister was preaching".
Dean Bandinel intervened and censured the parish officials from the pulpit. His Ecclesiastical Court then excommunicated Hue and another senior parishioner for "railing against their minister". Hue took the matter to the Royal Court, forcing Dean Bandinel to get the Privy Council's support.
In 1634 Jacques Bandinel, now married to Marguerite Dumaresq, daughter of Jurat Elias Dumaresq, a lieut-Bailiff, was appointed vice-Dean by his father. He was involved in a legal action against the Constable in 1640 over a communion cup bequeathed to the parish.
But greater political issues took centre stage and Jacques sided with his father in the run up to the Civil War, which meant clashing with the Bailiff, Sir Philippe de Carteret, who accused father and son of libelling him. Jacques became a member of the Parliamentary Committee and played an active role in the conflicts which ensued. He was one of five Parliamentarians who were not granted a royal pardon after Sir George Carteret reimposed Royalist rule and he was brought to trial. He was accused of assisting in the arming of his parishioners to attack Mont Orgueil and Elizabeth Castle and of riding to St Helier to warn of the landing of Royalist forces.
He and his father were imprisoned in Elizabeth Castle and then in Mont Orgueil, awaiting a full trial before the Royal Commissioners. They were well treated and their wives were allowed to bring them food, but fearing that they would be executed in reprisal for the beheading of Archbishop Laud, on 10 February 1645 they attempted to escape at night, during a storm, using an improvised rope, which was too short.
The event was recorded by diarist Jean Chevalier:
- "They waited for a night when it was blowing great guns, and trees were torn up by the roots, and one could scarce keep on one's feet inside the Castle. The son climbed down first, but the cord was too short, and he fell on the rock, and every limb was injured. His father would fain have followed, and squeezed through the window sideways, but, when he essayed to descend, grasping the rope with his hands, it broke at the top, ere he was half way down, and he crashed on the rock head over heels, and lay unconscious with bones and body broken. His son marvelled much to see his father in so sore a strait. At first he deemed him dead, but, perceiving that he was still breathing, he turned him on his back, covered him with a cloak, and fled. Though badly injured he made his way into the country to seeki a hiding place among friends. His mother, his brother and his brother-in-law durst not receive him, forseeing that their houses would be searched, but they passed him on elsewhere. The same day a warrant was issued for his arrest at sight: orders were sent to all the Constables to make a house to house searc, and to close the harbours, so that no boat could depart. The Governor offered a reward of 200 francs for his detection. Whereupon there was great hue and cry night and day for him, and after two days he was found and arrested in the house of a widow in St Lawrence, where he lay abed suffering from his fall. The Lieut-Governor himself came to arrest him".
Jacques Bandinel, whose father had died the day after their attempted escape, died of his injuries in Mont Orgueil on 20 March 1646 and was buried near his father in St Martin's Churchyard. He left two children, supposedly banned by the Commissioners from holding public office. But David became Constable of St Martin in 1666, Greffier in 1670 and Jurat in 1676. Elizabeth married Clement Lempriere.
A Biographical Dictionary of Jersey by the Rev George Balleine