Edouard de Carteret, Bailiff 1665-1682

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Bailiff of Jersey 1665-1682
Sir Edouard de Carteret

The fourth member of the de Carteret family in a row to hold the office of Bailiff, he started a trend for absentee Bailiffs, who appointed a Lieut-Bailiff to run the island on their behalf while they pursued careers in England

Edouard was to be followed by six more members of his family as the office passed from father to son, or close relative, over the next 185 years.

Civil War

The younger son of Lieut-Bailiff Josué de Carteret and Jeanne Herault, daughter of the Rector of St Clement, Edouard Herault, and he was born at Trinity Manor on 17 February 1620. He was in Jersey during the Civil War and went with George Carteret to Paris in 1649 to arrange for the visit of the future Charles II to Jersey. He was at Elizabeth Castle when it surrendered in 1651 and then went into exile with Charles, moving with his from Paris to Cologne, Bruges, Brussels, Brittany, Spain and back to Brussels.

After the Restoration in 1660 he obtained a position in the King's Court and by 1665, when he was sworn in as Bailiff of Jersey, he had been knighted. For the majority of his time in office he was absent from the island and did not preside over the States, appointing successively Jean Pipon, Jean Poingdestre and Philippe Le Geyt as Lieut-Bailiffs.

He had a number of positions in London and in 1676 he became Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod. He was also Usher to the Order of the Garter.

Because of fears of a French invasion, a career soldier, Sir Thomas Morgan had been sent to Jersey as Governor in 1665, but by 1679 he had so upset the States that they petitioned for his removal. By the time the King had issued an Order in Council supporting the States, and, as well as confirming the island's privileges, declaring that "no Governor shall disturb the inhabitants in the peaceable possession of their privileges", Morgan had died.

But the new Governor, Sir John Lanier, proved just as much of a problem, and he sought to get the Order in Council suspended until he could establish exactly what the islanders' privileges were. Sir Edouard returned to Jersey to take charge and his namesake, who would eventually also be appointed Bailiff, was asked to argue the island's case before the Council.

In 1682 Sir Edouard resigned in favour of his son-in-law, Sir Philippe de Carteret, who had married his daughter Elizabeth, and a year later he died.

He had married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Johnson, Alderman of London and in addition to Elizabeth, they had two sons, Charles and Edward.


Sir Edouard was to have been buried in St Ouen's Church and parishioners and prominent islanders gathered at St Ouen's Manor to pay their last respects. The coffin was on the hearse and the coachman was about to set off when a flash of lightning startled the six horses, which bolted. They headed east through St Peter, St Mary and St John and came to a halt outside the entrance to Trinity Church.

His family decided that this was a sign that the deceased had wanted to be buried in his native parish and the mourners crossed to Trinity Manor to await the digging of a grave in the churchyard. Late that night the funeral service was conducted by torchlight.

Bailiffs of Jersey
Predecessor Successor
Philippe de Carteret
Edouard de Carteret
Philippe de Carteret
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