The Last Will and Testament
Written on 19 July 1817
Proved in the Cour Royale, St Helier, Island of Jersey
on 9 August 1817
- - and - -
in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, England
on 15 September 1817
With a final Grant of Administration
in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, England
on 8 May 1855
Philippe JEUNE was living in the Town and Parish of St Helier, in the Island of Jersey, when he wrote his Last Will on 19 July 1817. He was married at that time to Jeanne / Jane Le GALLAIS - they had been married in the St Helier Parish Church on the 3rd day of January 1793 [see the Register of Marriages, 1752-1818, Page 118; Jersey Heritage Reference: G/C/03/A3/1]. Philippe was born in St Helier, and baptised there on the [10th ?] day of November in 1765 [see the Register of Baptisms, St Helier, 1753-1771; Jersey Heritage Reference: G/C/03/A2/4]. He was the son of Philippe Jeune and his wife Jeanne QUEREE.
Something dire must have happened to Philippe just prior writing his Last Will and Testament on the 19th of July, because his mortal remains were buried in the St Helier church yard on the 25th of July, only 6 days later [see the Register of Burials, 1810-1823, Page 144; Jersey Heritage Reference G/C/03/A4/3]. When it was subsequently translated we see that the original Will was written in a somewhat 'standard' form, and Philippe declared at the outset that "altho' weak of body yet of a sound judgement memory and understanding, knowing that death is certain and its hour uncertain, have thought proper to make my Testament....".
Philippe's Last Will was written in French, most likely written as he dictated his instructions. An original copy of the Will, on one sheet of paper (with three folded faces), signed by Ph: Jeune, resides in the Jersey Archive collection in St Helier [Reference D/Y/A/18/180]. Two men witnessed Philippe's signature - Jean Le Gallais and C[l]ement Mallet. A notation docketed on the outside of the folded document notes that it was 'Apprové le 9th Juillet Août 1817', and that it was duly enregistered in 'Liv: 3 Fol 121 167'.
By his Will, Philippe bequeathed one third of his Estate to his 'dear & beloved wife' Jane Le Gallais. To the "most needy of the Parish of St Helier" he bequeathed 12 livres, to be distributed by his Executor. And he wished the residue of his Estate to be divided equally between his children, after the 'decease of his said wife, to whom he gave the enjoyment of the interest during her life providing that she did not remarry'.
Philippe Jeune appointed Jean MILLAIS to be the executor of his Last Will. Jean Millais was a solicitor who had been born in St Helier around September, 1769. He and his wife Sarah Mary [nee MATTHEWS] stood as Godparents when Philippe & Jeanne Jeune's son Jean was baptised in St Helier on 25 April 1800 [see the Register of Baptisms, 1799-1809, Page 28; Jersey Heritage Reference: G/C/03/A2/7]. Jean & Sarah Mary were married in St Helier in 1796, and they had 5 children by 1804. Neither Philippe Jeune nor his wife Jeanne presented as Godparents when any of these five Millais children were baptised. Sarah Mary [nee Matthews] Millais died in St Helier in 1834. It's certain that Jean Mallais would have been the one who channelled Philippe's Will through the Cour Royale in St Helier in July and August of 1817.
Philippe's Will was duly recorded in full, in French, in July of 1817, on less than one full page [Page 121] in the 3rd Volume of the Register of Copy Testaments [Jersey Heritage Reference: Judicial Greffe, D/Y/A1/4]. In the registered copy, we see that the second of the witnesses noted above was indeed Clement Mallet, and one wonders why he might have left the first 'l' of his forename out of his signature on the original Will. Was he so upset or distraught about what might have happened to Philippe, that he mis-wrote his name? This 'true copy' can be seen at <https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-L169-VXH?i=595&cat=213212>.
And, while the docketing on the outside of the original Will shows that it was enregistered in 'Liv: 3 Fol 121 167', no trace of a relevant entry can be found on Page 167 in Book 3. The entire text of the Will was in fact copied in French again on Page 167 in Book 4. The only signal difference between the two entries is the fact that at the foot of Page 167, below the text of the Will, is the notation "Apprové le 9th Août 1817" [Jersey Heritage Reference: Judicial Greffe, D/Y/A1/4a]. Being absolutely true to the original Will, the individual who copied the document to Page 167 wrote the witness Clement Mallet's first name again as 'Cement'. This 'true copy' can be seen at <https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-8169-93LW?i=114&cat=213212>.
Then a curious thing happened - J William DUPRE, Greffier in the Island of Jersey, prepared both a 'True Copy' and a 'Translation from the French' of Philippe Jeune's Will. On the 25th of August, 1817, Matthew Le VAVASSEUR dit NOEL, a Notary Public at St Helier in the Island of Jersey provided affirmation that both documents were 'true and faithful'. These documents were then taken to London, England, and John Millais presented them at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury for validation [see The Will of Philippe Jeune, mariner, of St Helier, Jersey, proved at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 15 September 1817; The National Archives (Kew), England: PROB 10 / 4342, No. 5]. An added notation shows that John Millais stood 'before the judge' in the Prerogative Court, duly swore 'by common duty' to administer, and the Grant of Administration was issued on 15 September 1817 - not even two months after Philippe Jeune had died. The Inland Revenue's Death Duty Register entry concerning the Estate shows that a total valuation of £600 was assigned to Philippe Jeune's Estate in 1817 [England, Inland Revenue, Death Duty Registers, PCC, 1817, Volume 3, Page 813; The National Archives: IR 26 / 711. Indexed in IR 26 / 161, Folio 71].
The acceptance of the 'True Copy' and 'Translation from the French' of Philippe Jeune's Will by the judge of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury caused the details - an 'English only' rendition of the text of the Will, to be entered in to the English Will Registers [see The Will of Philip Jeune at The National Archives in the Will Registers of PROB 11, 1815-1818, Piece 1596 (Effingham, Quire Nos 454-500), 1817, No. 5, Page [stamped] 256 & reverse].
The fact of this second proving of Philippe Jeune's Last Will and Testament, in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in England, suggests that Philippe owned property in England, as well as in the Island of Jersey. Where this property might have been situated, and the form it might have taken - whether land, buildings, financial, or related to shipping, is not known.
Then an even more curious thing happened - according to an addendum notation in the above mentioned [English] Will Register, the right to administer Philippe Jeune's Estate was granted in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on the 8th day of May, 1855, to Philip Jeune, the decedant's son. An addendum notation in the 1817 Death Duty Register shows that the Estate was valued at £450 on 26 April 1855.
What was going on here? Jean Millais - he who had been granted rights of Administration over the elder Philippe Jeune's Estate in 1817, died early in December of 1854 [see the Register of Burials, St Helier, 1849-1857, Page 535, No. 4276; Jersey Heritage Reference: G/C/03/A4/7]. He was still technically the Executor of the elder Philippe Jeune's Estate because the elder Philippe Jeune's widow was still alive in December of 1854, and still entitled to all of the rights that had been laid out in the Will. Indeed, after Jean Millais died, Jeanne/Jane [nee Le Gallais] Jeune, took upon herself the obligation of administering her deceased husband's Estate. But then Jeanne/Jane [nee Le Gallais] Jeune also died - on the 8th of March in 1855 [see the Register of Burials, St Helier, 1849-1857, Page 563, No. 4499; Jersey Heritage Reference: G/C/03/A4/7].
The elder Philippe Jeune and his wife Jeanne/Jane Le Gallais had 8 children in their lifetimes, as follows:
- Philippe, baptised 17 November 1793; buried 2 December 1793;
- Philippe, baptised 8 October 1796;
- Jeanne, baptised at home 1 July 1798; buried 24 April 1805;
- Jean, baptised 25 April 1800; buried 16 August 1801;
- Jean, baptised 3 August 1802;
- Francois, baptised 19 October 1804; buried 17 September 1805;
- Jeanne, baptised 3 August 1806;
- Francois, baptised 11 June 1808; buried 25 December 1810.
Only 3 children are known to have been living when the elder Philippe Jeune died in 1817 - Philippe, born 1796; Jean, born 1802; and Jeanne, born 1806.
It was the child named Philippe, born in 1796, to whom a Grant of Administration over his father's Estate was issued in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on 8 May 1855. The 1855 addendum notation does indicate that the younger Philippe was one of the natural and lawful children of the elder Philippe and his wife Jeanne, and it does specify that the younger Philippe was one of the residuary legatees, so it would seem that siblings Jean, or Jeanne, or both, were still living in 1855. But, it is not presently known what the situations and circumstances of the other two children were, in 1855.
The 1855 addendum notation found with the 1817 Register Copy of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury Will, contains the almost invisible words which indicate that the elder Philippe Jeune was a 'mariner'. This attribution is, however, also included in the Death Duty Register entry noted above. The addendum notation further indicates that the son named Philippe (or Philip in English) was at that time (1855) employed as a 'wine merchant'. He was, in fact, at that time, the manager of the Union Hotel on the Royal Square in St. Helier, a property which his wife Elizabeth Le VESLET owned.
A further notation in the Death Duty Register suggests that the Death Duty payable on the elder Philippe Jeune's Estate had been left unpaid as late as 1870. A decision was apparently made then by Inland Revenue staff - that the amount owing was 'not a fit amount to follow further'.
Do you have any knowledge of Philippe or Jeanne [nee Le Gallais] Jeune?
Or any of their children - particularly Jean and Jeanne?
We would love to learn about what you have, and add your details to this collection.
Thank you for your help!