La Maison de St Jean

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Jersey houses

St John:

Maison de St Jean


The Lempriere/Le Couteur datestone above the front door, with Lempriere eagles above

This house stands on the fief of Boutevillon, and its owners were, for some time, Seigneurs of the fief. This led to the property sometimes being mistakenly called St John's Manor.

Third storey

Unusually for Jersey country properties, this house has three storeys, but the third, added fairly recently, is a dummy with only attics behind the windows.

The house, which has been rebuilt on several occasions over the centuries, was owned by the Sarre family in the 16th century. In 1540 Michel Sarre, a very rich man and Constable of St John, died in very suspicious circumstances, thought to have been murdered by Edouard de Carteret, illegitimate son of the Bailiff of the time. Edouard married Michel Sarre's widow Marguerite, nee Journeaux, in secret, immediately after his death, and although de Carteret was imprisoned on suspicion of murder, he was never convicted. Perhaps his father had something to do with this; perhaps it was because he held the office of Viscount.

Distinguished family

As their family tree shows, the Sarres were a distinguished family, holding several important public offices in the 16th and early 17th centuries. The Sarre daughters invariably married into important families and Michel, whose son followed him 30 years later as Constable of St John, had three sisters who married Constables of St Helier, St Lawrence and St Peter.

The last of the family to own La Maison de St Jean was Rachel, Michel's great-granddaughter. She married Thomas Lempriere of Les Augres in about 1594. Their great-grandson Josue (not Jean as stated Old Jersey Houses) Lempriere (1674-1712) the son of Thomas and Marguerite Pipon , who married Esther Le Couteur in 1693, must have been responsible for one of the many changes to the property, because it is their initials ILP ELC 1696, which are above the front door. A plaque with the three Lempriere eagles was added later.

In keeping with the best traditions of his house, Josue was Constable of St John from 1694 to 1698. His wife was the daughter of Dean Clement Le Couteur.

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