Samuel Falle

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Samuel Falle
Samuel Falle 1907

Samuel Falle (1854-1937) came from a family of clergymen and became Dean of Jersey.


He was the son of Ward Falle, for more than 50 years Rector of St Brelade and Carterette Le Couteur Balleine, daughter of George, Rector of St Martin. Born at St. Brelade on 15 July 1854, he was educated at Thompson's School, Jersey, and Balliol College, Oxford. He was ordained in 1877 and became Curate of St George's, Hulme, holding the post for three years before moving to Holy Trinity, Hulme for four years. In 1884 he was appointed Vicar of Brampton, Cumberland, remaining there for 5 years.

Here his sturdy independence of character soon asserted itself. The country town was on the Haworth Castle estate, then ruled by the redoubtable Rosalind, Countess of Carlisle. With many of her views, political and temperance, Falle was in full sympathy, but he was not prepared to accept orders from the castle, or to support every crusade which the patroness of his living sponsored. So she used her powers as landlord of his house, and gave him notice to quit. Before the time expired, the Bishop of Carlisle offered him the living of St James', Barrow-in-Furness, which he held until 1906. He had a number of church appointments in the Carlisle area and became chairman of the Carlisle Diocesan Temperance Society. He was member of the Barrow School Board from 1899 to 1906, and of the Barrow Education Authority from 1905 to 1906.


On 5 May 1906 be was appointed Rector of St Helier and Dean of Jersey. His tireless energy soon began to get things done. As Rector he completely restored the Town Church without asking for any help from the parish rate. As Dean he found a solution for three thorny problems. The first was the private ownership of pews in the parish churches, which had been for centuries a fruitful source of disputes. By the Law on Pews passed by the States in 1908 this difficulty was overcome. Another was the Enabling Bill, passed in 1919 by the British Parliament, which gave the Church of England a new constitution.

This Bill did not incude the Channel Islands, and Jersey with its own Laws and Canons was difficult to fit into the new system of church councils and Church Assembly. For ten years conferences on this subject were held in Winchester and London. At one time the English Authorities suggested taking the islands out of the Diocese of Winchester, and transferring them to the Bishop of Northern Europe. Falle strenuously resisted this. At last in 1931 a solution was found, which brought the Jersey Church into the new system, while safeguarding the island's independence, the rights of the States, and of the parish assemblies. The Channel Islands Church Legislation Measure and the Channel Islands Church Representation Measure were passed with the consent of the States.

A third knotty point was the future of the Church schools. The earliest schools in the island had been charitable institutions, founded by the Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Methodist Churches, and supported by voluntary subscriptions. But as education grew more expensive, the churches were unable to keep their schools up to the desired standard. They had to be absorbed into a national system. But on what terms? Churchmen attacked Falle for surrendering Church property. Secularists attacked him for demanding too much in return for the buildings.

But eventually it was agreed that the denominations should retain use of the buildings out of school hours and the right to give half an hour religious teaching every morning, if ten parents asked for it; but that all secular education should be controlled and financed by the States. As a citizen he made his influence felt in innumerable directions. At Barrow he had been one of the founders of the Barrow Eisteddfod and its chairman for seven years. In 1908 the Jersey Eisteddfod was started at his instigation, and he became its president. He founded the successful St Helier Church Literary Society, a Jersey District Nursing Association, and the Jersey Maternity and Infant Welfare Centre. He was chairman of the Jersey Dispensary. There were few good causes in the island that did not owe part of their success to the Dean's enthusiasm and drive.


He was married in 1880 to Elizabeth Minna, daughter of Austen Gardner of Ash next Sandwich, and they had three children, Amabel de Carteret, Harold de Carteret and Theodore de Carteret. He was married again in 1922 to Mildred Amy, daughter of Walter Vibert. He died at St Brelade on 23 July 1937, and was buried in Mont-a-l'Abbe Cemetery.

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