Trained in the Seafaring Arts?
Application Records from the
Royal Hospital School, Greenwich
The Royal Hospital School, Greenwich [England], was established by Royal Charter in 1712. Wikipedia suggests that "the original purpose of the school was to provide assistance and education to the orphans of seafarers in the Royal and Merchant Navies, and it was once the largest school for navigation and seamanship in the country."
By 1848, 'Two Classes of Candidates' were admitted - the 1st Class was comprised of "one hundred sons of Commissioned and Ward Room Warrant Officers of the Royal Navy and Marines".1 The 2nd Class was comprised of "three hundred sons of Officers of the above or Inferior Rank, and of Private Seamen or Marines, who have served, or are serving, in the Royal Navy; and of Officers or Seamen of the Merchant Service".
Qualifications necessary to gain entry to the Upper School, in 1848, were the ability... "to read fluently; to write small text well; to perform the rules of addition, subtraction and multiplication, with facility and accuracy; and to be free from any infirmity of body or mind".
Another Qualification for admission to the school was that a candidate be 10 to 11 years of age.
Within the collection of items at The National Archives in England, within the ADM Series - 'Records of the Admiralty, Naval Forces, Royal Marines, Coastguard, and related bodies', is a sub-set of records - 'ADM 73 - Records of Royal Greenwich Hospital, and the Chatham Chest'. Within ADM 73, is another very large sub-set of records which contain in roughly alphabetical order, affidavits, certificates, declarations and other documents which pertain to individuals (mostly boys) for whom a placement in the Royal Hospital School at Greenwich, was sought between about 1728 and 1870. 'ADM 73 / 267' holds such records for boys named JEATT, Augustus through JEUNE, Edward.
Item No. 'ADM 73 / 267 / 114' is such a set of records for Edwin JEUNE.
The file contains six items, which are:
- Qualifications for the Upper School of the Royal Hospital, Greenwich, 2 pages, printed, black & red ink. This details everything that was to be considered in order to apply for a placement, and the documents that were to be appended to an application.
- A Certificate completed by James HEMERY, Minister of the Parish of St Helier, Jersey, detailing that Edwin Jeune, was the son of Philip Jeune and Eliz'th Le Veslet, both of Jersey, both still living, who were married on 31 July 1826, all of whom were residing at the Union Hotel in Jersey. Philip Jeune was noted to have served on four merchant vessels - Dolphin, Mentor, Pallas and Iris. Hemery wrote that no child of Philip's had ever been in residence at the School, and no child had ever applied for admission to the School. Hemery certified that Edwin Jeune was "a proper object for the Charity". The certificate was dated November [9 ?] 1848, and signed by Hemery and 2 churchwardens of the Parish of St Helier, in the Island of Jersey. This item was apparenly folded at some point, and the outside of one of the folds was docketed with the following: 806 / Edwin Jeune / 4 January 1843 / Regular [ ???? ] / Master MS / 806. which clearly had some significance in the School's record keeping system.
- A Certificate from the Customs House, Jersey, dated 7 November 1848, which stated that Philip Jeune was master of the ship 'Iris' of this Port from 1823 to 1830 inclusive. Two signatures were applied to the Certificate, but at this point, it's not known who they were made by.
- A Certificate of Marriage, produced by James Hemery, Rector, Parish of St Helier, Island of Jersey, being an extract from the Register of Marriages - Mr Philip Jeune and Miss Elizabeth Le Veslet both ot this Parish were married on the thirtieth day of July one thousand Eight hundred and twenty Six, by [ indecipherable ], Rector; No. 145.
- An Extract from the Register of Baptisms of the Parish of St Helier in the Island of Jersey, certified by James Hemery, Rector, on 8 November 1848. Edwin, son of Philip Jeune, gentleman, and Elizabeth Le Veslet his wife, was born on 4 January 1843, and was baptised 25 January 1843, by H L Pullman; No. 1053. The boy's Godfather was the said father, and Elisabeth Jeune, sister, was the Godmother.
- A Declaration, by Philip Jeune, that Edwin Jeune, a Candidate for admission to the upper School of Greenwich Hospital, was born on the fourth day of January in the year of our Lord 1843; Sworn before Phil: Le GALLAIS, Magistrate, Jersey, on 7 November 1848; and signed by Philip Jeune.
Edwin Jeune was just shy of only 6 years old in November, 1848, when his parents applied for a place for him in [apparently] the Upper School at the Royal Hospital School. The Qualification document clearly states that a successful candidate had to be 10 or 11 years old to be eligible for Admission. Was there such demand for places in the School, that his parents decided they should apply early for a place for him? Who knows! But there the application for admission documents are.
The National Archives Description of these papers has the following notation: "When Admitted to Greenwich Hospital School: Not Stated". So, Philip and Elizabeth [nee Le Veslet] Jeune appear to have sought a place for their son Edwin, in 1848 when Edwin was only 5 years old, but there is apparently nothing in the file which indicates whether Edwin ever actually entered the School, or not, when he was 10 or 11 years old.
There is also at The National Archives, a series of records which are catalogued as 'School Registers: Boys, Admission of'. ADM 73 / 411 is one such Register, which covers the years 1821 through 1865. If Edwin was ever admitted to the Upper School, it would have been when he was either 10 or 11 years old, so Admission Register entries made between about 1853 and 1854 might need to be examined, to see if he was in fact admitted.
If Edwin Jeune was admitted to the School, two 'respectable Housekeepers (of whom the Father, if qualified, should be one)' were required to post a bond of Fifty Pounds, "that the Boy shall not abscond from the School, nor embezzle or injure any of the Clothes, Books, Instruments, or other Property of the Institution".
The Qualifications for admission document states that "At the age of fifteen (or sooner if the usual course of Education is completed) all Boys in the Upper School shall be sent to Sea, either in the Royal Navy or Merchants' Service, or otherwise disposed of as may be determined".
However, with a survey of ADM 73 / 411, the School Admissions Register entries from 1850 through 1856, inclusive, having been completed, no evidence has been found that Edwin Jeune was in fact admitted to the Royal Hospital School during the years that seemed most likely for admission to the Upper School.2
The name 'Edwin Jeune' appears in an enumerators' schedule from the 1861 Census of the Islands in the British Sea, identifying him as a 14 year old residing in his parent's household at No 1, Victoria Place, in St Helier, Island of Jersey, on Census Day (7 April).3 But Edwin would have been 18 years old on Census Day in St. Helier in 1861, not 14. He did have a brother named Edmund who would have been 14 years old on Census Day that year. Was it in fact Edmund who was residing in St. Helier in 1861, and not Edwin - did the census enumerator, or whomever responded to his questions, get things mixed up? If so, where was Edwin on Census Day in 1861!
This all raises another question - the age for admission to the Upper School was stated to be '10 to 11 years', but was there a 'Lower School' to which a younger boy could be admitted, prior to attaining a standing and age that would allow him to be admitted to the Upper School? Additional research indicates that there was indeed a 'Lower School'. Known from 1805 as the distinct and separate 'Royal Naval Asylum', it merged with the 'Greenwich Royal School' in 1821, and after 1825 the 'Asylum' operated as the 'Lower School'. Initially boys were admitted to the 'Lower School' aged between 5 and 12 years. A significant donation in 1806 from Lloyd's "Patriotic Fund" made it possible for children from broad seafaring family situations to attend the 'Royal Naval Asylum', and it was probably in this connection that Edwin Jeune's application for admission was generated in 1848.
So, was Edwin Jeune admitted to the Lower School following the filing of his application documents in November of 1848? If so, he may not have remained there for long, because he was enumerated with many of his siblings in his maternal grandparents' home in St. Saviour, Jersey, on Census Day in 1851.4
Follow this link to see what Edwin Jeune looked like later in life. Details about other aspects of Edwin's life can be found here.
1. See 'Qualifications for the Upper School of the Royal Hospital, Greenwich', one of the papers contained within [ADM 73/267/114] at The National Archives in Richmond (Kew, London), England. Note: the entire contents of this file were accessible as digital images, prior to 23 February 2022. As of this date, the Discovery details indicate that this particular file 'has not been digitized'.
2. Email from contract researcher Carole Steer, who examined these entries on my behalf at The National Archives on 26 March 2022.
3. 1861 Census of Islands in the British Seas, Island of Jersey, Parish and Town of St Helier, Enumeration District No. 31 (Joshua John Hubert, Enumerator), Page 25 & 26, [Stamped Page 16, face & reverse]; The Philip Jeune Household, Household 166. Edwin Jeune is shown to be the 14 year old son of the Head of the Household, with no 'Rank, Profession or Occupation' noted ['scholar', for instance]. The National Archives, Richmond, England: RG 9 / 4398.
3. Register of Baptisms, 1841 - 1848, Parish of St Helier, Island of Jersey; Edmund Jeune, son of Cap'n Phillippe Jeune & Elizabeth Le Veslet, born 21 October 1847, Baptised 3 November 1847, No. 4552, Page 569. Jersey Heritage Reference: G/C/03/A2/14.
4. 1851 Census of Islands in the British Seas, Island of Jersey, Parish of St. Saviour, Vintaigne of Sous L'Eglise, Enumeration District 2 ([G P Collas ?], Enumerator), Page 25 [reverse of Stamped Page 51], Household No. 85; The Elie Le Veslet Household. Edwin Jeune was shown to be the 8 year old grandson of Elie & Elizabeth Le Veslet, born in St. Helier, with no 'Rank, Profession of Occupation' noted ['scholar', for instance]. The National Archives, Richmond, England, HO 107 / 2528.
Do you know of any other records which concern Edwin Jeune?
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Was one of your relatives ever presented for admission to the Royal Hospital School, Greenwich?