Philippe L'Evesque

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Philippe Levesque, Bailiff of Jersey 1277-1289, 1299-1309

Levesque is shown in some lists as having been Bailiff from 1277-1289 and it is suggested that he is the earliest Bailiff of Jersey about whose role there is any certainty. However, the Assize Roll of 1309 shows him as Bailiff then, and the only Bailiff to have been in office since the previous Assize, which was held in 1299.

A Philippe Levesque, almost certainly the same person, is listed as a Jurat in 1292, and Philippe de l'Evesque is shown in the earliest list of Jurats known, from 1274. Raoul Gautier is shown in Edward I's Assize Roll as Bailiff in 1299, Nicolas Hastein appears to have held office in 1298, and Thomas Payn, who was Lieut-Bailiff under Pierre Darcys (mentioned several times in the 1309 Assize Roll as a former Bailiff without any dates) is shown in the Assize Roll of 1309 as "filling the office of Bailiff in the stead of Pierre Darcys" in 1290.

All these records point to Philippe Levesque as having succeeded Nicolas Hastein, probably in 1299, and remaining in office ten years later.

In his widely respected list of Bailiffs published in the Bulletin of La Société Jersiaise in 1898 the Rev J A Messervy shows Philippe l'Evesque as Bailiff from 1277-1289 and says that he died then. He also lists a Philippe Levesque as Bailiff in 1309 with a question mark. It is possible that Messervy believed that there were two people of this name who held the office. The translation from Latin of the Assize Roll was undertaken between Messervy's two lists of Bailiffs, so he may not have been aware that this document confirms that a Bailiff by the name of Philippe Levesque was in office from 1299 to 1309. He is referred to in the original Latin text as Phus Levesqe (short for Philippus), and elsewhere as Phus Leveske.

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