Le Fief du Buisson

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Le Fief du Buisson

This article by the Rev J A Messervy, was originally published in French in the Annual Bulletin of La Société Jersiaise. It has been translated by Jerripedia editor Mike Bisson

This fief without doubt is named after the Bisson family which must have possessed it in ancient times, and whose name was otherwise Du Buisson or Du Bysson. In 1331, for example, Colin du Buisson was a property owner in St Brelade. In the division of 1382 between Guillaume Payn and Drouet Lempriere, of the inheritance of de Barentin acquired in 1367, the fief in question was called Fief du Bisson.

It should also be noted that the arms of this ancient family are composed principally of a bush. The patois pronunciation of this word elsewhere is Bisson, so the final change from Buisson to Bisson should not surprise us. But for a long time the two versions were employed side by side to designate the same fief. In a document of 1524, for example, it is called fief du Bysson.

This fief was also known sometimes by another name: In 1524 John Nicolle, Seigneur of Longueville, claimed that the fief du Bysson was one of the dependencies of that of Longueville, whereas Clement Lempriere (Jurat, then Lieut-Bailiff) called himself Seigneur of this fief du Bysson, maintaining that the two fiefs were distinct from each other, thus it appears in the Extente, where this fief is called Fief aux Lemprieres (Manuscript believed authentic). Clement Lempriere remained , however, in possession of the fief despite the claims of Jean Nicolle, as evidenced by an Acte de Cattel, Book 2 p 21, 1524.

In the division of the inheritance of Nicholas Lempriere, of St Helier, in 1611, the Fief du Bisson, of which he had been seigneur, is included in the portion of his eldest daughter, Jeanne Lempriere, who had married Thomas de Soulemont. (Register of Contracts, Book 3, p287). On 12 December 1612, Thomas de Soulemont transferred the Fief du Buisson to Benjamin La Cloche for two quarters of wheat and 10 sols total rent. The fief was then considered as a branch of that of Longueville of which Benjamin La Cloche was already seigneur (Register Book 4, p15). The latter obtained a Patent of Incorporation on 29 April 1617 of the Fiefs of Longueville and Buisson.

From the La Cloche family the Fief du Buisson passed successively, by inheritance, to the families Durell and Burrard, and it is curious to note that in an Order in Council of 14 April 1813, giving Mr Philippe Burrard permission to transfer the fiefs of Longueville, etc, the fief which concerns us is once again called le fief du Bisson. (Orders in Council Vol 5, p25. The spelling Buisson has, however, prevailed and is found in an Order in Council of 1846 which permitted Francois Godfray to transfer the fief. (Orders in Council, Vol 6, p204).

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