No 13 King Street

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13 King Street


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Jimmy Rimington outside his shop at 13 King Street


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No 13 is a classic example of the shops in Jersey's main shopping street which have seen a remarkable diversity of occupants over the decades. It is particularly important to Jerripedia editor Mike Bisson, because his family owned the property for over 50 years and he lived there for a short time as a baby.

"It was my research into No 13 King Street which gave me the idea for an expanded project which would add histories of all King Street properties to Jerripedia. I lived there for a brief period in 1950-51 with my mother and father and grandmother and grandmother, after I first arrived in Jersey a few months old. It was then a fruit and vegetable shop, owned by grandfather Jimmy Rimington, and my father worked there for a few months after returning to Jersey."

1833 directory

The earliest mention of No 13 so far is in an 1833 commercial directory in Stranger's Guide to the Islands of Guernsey and Jersey. This shows the occupant as Charles Gallichan, a chemist. In the intervening 180 years No 13 has been home to a German tobacconist, the fruit and veg shop, an electrical retailer, a jewellery shop, a diamond dealer, and now an outlet for Pandora bracelets and charms.

Mr Gallichan was living at No 13 in 1841 with his brother Francis, and sisters Mary and Ann.

William Wellman

He was followed by chemist and druggist William Richard Wellman (1827- ), who was living there in 1851, listed in the census as head of household at the age of 23, with his older sisters Elizabeth Ann and Susannah, and his 77-year-old grandmother Susanne Le Gallais, nee Sorel.

William Richard was the son of William Wellman, who married Susanne Annr Le Gallais (1798- ) in St Helier in 1918. Although the marriage register shows him as from St Helier, it is believed that he was not born in the island.

William was still at 13 King Street in 1861, married to Anne Ching, with housemaid Mary Ann Mabire.

He was gone by 1871, living in St Clement's Road, but he was still in business at 16 King Street, in partnership with a Mr Finney, trading as Wellman and Finney. By 1881 he had been elected Deputy for St Helier and was described in the census as a wholesale export merchant.

His will, held by Jersey Archive, gives his address as Hotel de l'Europe, 4, Rue de Valois, Paris. It was dated 29 September 1886, but probate was not granted until 1895.

The census record for King Street in 1871 is very difficult to read. The occupant of No 13 was a 24-year-old linen draper from France, whose name appears to be Armand Audoin. He was married to 26-year-old Victorine, born in St Helier.

Two years later an advertisement was placed in the British Press and Times Almanac by hairdresser Guillaume Audoin and his wife. The wording of this advert was very similar to one in the same publication for hairdresser Felix Audoin at 8 Queen Street. It seems likely that Guillaume and Felix were brothers, or otherwise closely related.

The Audoin family are something of a mystery. There are very few records relating to them. It is known that Felix married Aurelie Ange in about 1866 and that she died in 1877. They do not appear to have had any children. Although there is no shortage of Felix and Guillaume Audoins in French records, we have not been able to find any who appear to have been related, and we have not found an Armand Audoin.

Sigmund Leopold

Their stay was a brief one because in 1877 Sigmund Liebmann Leopold , born in Bavaria, Germany in 1829, established his tobacconist's shop at No 13, where he would remain until 1903. He had been in business in 1871 at No 46, further down on the opposite side of the street, where he lived with his English wife Ellen West, two sons and three daughters. In 1881 the family was living above their shop at No 13, but only one son and two daughters were still at home.

The property was actually bought by Ellen, in her sole name, on 17 November 1877, from Ann Jane Graves, nee King, wife of Robert S Graves. Her husband must have retired by 1903, and died in May the following year, by which time the rebuilding of No 13 was well advanced.

13 King Street in 2014 - rebuilt in 1904 by Jimmy Rimington

Second occupants

It should be noted that the 1851 census, in which a number of King Street properties are listed twice, in different town Districts, also shows tea dealers James Bentley and his wife Mary, both from England, living at No 13 with a young servant.

Property sold

Sigmund died in 1903 and his widow sold 13 King Street to Jimmy Rimington, the tenth child of a Leeds publican, who was 21 years old, and had come to the island as a teenager. He paid £160 in cash, a not inconsiderable sum at the time, and took on the liability for rentes with a capital value of £540.

He then had No 13 completely rebuilt in 1904 [1], and apart from changes to the shopfront over the years, the property is little changed today, still bearing the date of reconstruction above the first floor windows.

In 1905 he opened his fruit and vegetable shop, although the exact status of the business is unclear, because a 1910 almanac entry shows the occupant of the property as A Smith. This was Arthur Smith, who became Mr Rimington's father-in-law in 1908, when he married his daughter Connie.

The Smith family were living at Highfield Vineries in St Saviour, which Arthur Smith bought on 27 February 1904 from Percy John Foster. He paid £2,437 for what was a going concern and it is probable that fruit and veg were grown in the Highfield greenhouses to be sold from the King Street shop.

Au Connaisseur

Highfield was saddled with debt, and although Arthur Smith paid off some of it, by 1910 he was clearly in financial difficulties and sold the property, with the consent of his two attorneys, Cyril Vyvyan Hawksford and Francis John Bois, to his son-in-law. Jimmy Rimington paid £700 for the property, and was to sell it in December 1922 to Philip John Davey for £1,500. It is probable that Mr Rimington bought Highfield Vineries so that his in-laws could continue living there and supplying his shop with produce. Arthur Smith died in 1918 and his widow Margaret in 1922.

By 1911, the census shows Jimmy and Constance Rimington as the occupiers of 13 King Street, living with Jimmy's 12-year-old niece Doris, also born in Leeds. The Rimington's first daughter, Marguerite Constance, was born in 1914. She was the mother of Jerripedia editor Mike Bisson.

Jimmy and Constance ran the business through both world wars, until he died in 1953. The business then closed and in 1955 the shop at No 13 was occupied by electrical retailers Metro Vending, while Mrs Rimington continued to live upstairs. After her death in 1961 the property was sold by her daughters in 1963 and for more than 40 years it was then occupied by jewellers Au Connoisseur.

It was then home to Bradley Diamond Grader. The owner of the business, Bradley Phillips, was the only Certified Diamond Grader in Jersey.

"My claim to 'fame' is that I commissioned a pair of gold cufflinks for HRH the Prince of Wales when he came over to Jersey in July 2012 to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. I had the pleasure of meeting the Prince with a personal chat about my past in the Paras and my work within the jewellery sector. A day I will always remember and very proud to receive a Royal letter of thanks and that Prince Charles said to say he will wear my cufflinks regularly."

Quite a change from a chemist, draper, tobacconist and fruit and veg ...

Today the shop is an outlet for Pandora jewellery:

"While on a visit to Jersey in May 2016 I decided that it would be appropriate to buy a couple of charms there for my wife's bracelet," said Mike Bisson. "The Eastern European staff were charming, and delighted to learn that their customer's grandfather built the building they worked in, but sadly this did not seem sufficient to qualify for a discount."
Rimington's just after the building was finished in 1904

Owners

No 13 King Street has been sold only four times since 1786. It was owned by Jurat David Patriarche, who died in 1784, leaving it to his sister Esther, wife of the Rev Jean La Cloche. She sold it on 6 May 1786 to Philippe Ahier, who in turn sold it only four years later, on 21 August 1790, to Jean Richardson. It passed by inheritance to his daughter Anne, wife of David King, and to their son Richardson King, and his daughter Ann Jane, wife of Robert Stannus Groves.

Ellen Leopold took over the property in 1877, and sold it to Jimmy Rimington on 16 July 1904. It was finally sold to Au Caprice Limited by his daughters in February 1963 for the princely sum of £25,000.

Mike Bisson comments:

"I know that my mother and aunt were very pleased to share that sum nearly 60 years ago, although it is sobering to realise that today No 13 King Street must be worth something like 200 times that amount. The mystery which remains is how my grandfather, as the youngest son of a Leeds publican, managed to acquire 13 King Street and have it rebuilt or remodelled in 1904."

Chronology [2]

  • 1833 - Charles Gallichan, chemist
  • 1851 - William Ronald Wellman
  • 1871 - Armand Audoin, draper
  • 1873 - Guillaume Audoin, hairdresser
  • 1877 - Sigmund Liebmann Leopold, tobacconist
  • 1904 - Jimmy Rimington, fruiterer and florist
  • 1955 - Metro Vending
  • 1963 - Au Connaisseur
  • 2005 - Bradley Phillips, diamond grader
  • 2016 - Pandora

Heritage entry

The Jersey Heritage Historic Environment Record website has this description of the property, which suggests that the work undertaken in 1904 was remodelling, rather than rebuilding:

'A building of late 18th century origins. This building contributes to the streetscape character, with its scale and decorative features. Three storeys with attic, three-bay. Front, north elevation: slate roof with 2 box dormers with 4 pane (2/2) sashes with horns. Iron gutter. Walls are rendered with ashlar effect. Architraves to all windows with scroll bases and eared tops. Foliate decoration medallions to sides, corners and moulded heads with flanking oak leaves and acorns to lintels. Moulded, bracketed cills. "1904" in render over central, first floor window. Windows are 2 pane (1/1) round headed sashes with horns.
'On the rear of the building is a fine datestone: IRCS♥♥ALBL, dated 1790, all in raised letters.' [3]
No 13 is in the centre of this 1970 picture, behind the Linscotts sign. The facade has been cleaned and painted, and the window mouldings gilded, since this photograph was taken

Notes and references

  1. The building's official 'listing' suggests that it was remodelled, rather than rebuilt
  2. Many of the start and end dates given for businesses are approximate. As more business advertisements and other records are discovered the dates can be adjusted
  3. Perhaps because it is hidden at the back of the building, this datestone seems not to have been recorded in the Jersey Datestone Register. It is a classic example of a datestone not being a marriage stone, as they are sometimes wrongly known. IRCS stands for Jean Richardson, and ALBL for his wife, Anne Le Bailly. Jean, born in St Helier, and his wife, from St Lawrence, were married in St Mary in 1776. Their daughter Anne Jeanne, who inherited the property, was born in St Helier in 1780, ten years before the family moved to No 13
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