Friday, 19 February 2016

New Flight Information

Royal Square St Helier,  an extract from the Ouless Album on file BFA

We have some exciting new research results to share today.
For the last few months I have been looking to clarify the information transcribed from the Bartley headstone Plot 180 at Green St Cemetery, Jersey. This work was done for us in the late 1980s by CIFHS volunteers. They did a marvellous job with what was then operating as a postal request service. The headstone was very weathered on the seaward side even then and no photograph was supplied. All the same, some valuable information was collected.
In places the volunteers had to make educated guesses. In particular the entries for Judith Caplain and Ann Flight were obscure. I am happy to say we can now clear up some of the confusion and add to our family story.

Anne Flight is recorded as wife of William Bartley, which she was. They married on 22 April 1797 at St Peter Port, Guernsey. What happened next goes a long way to explaining that confusing headstone. William Bartley died some time between 1801 and 1806. This was war time and it is likely he was involved in some way. His death record has not yet been found.

Widowed Anne remarried in 1806 to Nicolas Le Cappelain. We now know their daughter Judith Nancy Le Cappelain is the lady also mentioned in the transcript. Her name is anglicised to Caplain.
It took some time to find Judith’s marriage. Her husband was not a Bartley, as the transcribers had guessed. Judith married one Robert BAKER, who was from St Austell, Cornwall.
Judith was not found in the 1841 census of the Channel Islands and nor was Robert. We are not certain where she was living before her death in December 1845. She was buried with her mother and step family so it is possible she was herself widowed by this time.

That is not the end of the story concerning Anne Flight though. We had her date of death from the transcription which suggested that she had died in St Helier. That seemed likely but I could find no trace of her in the burial records of any Jersey parish. I had no luck finding her testament or probate in British or Jersey courts. Where was she? In desperation I widened my search to include court reports of all kinds held at Jersey Archives. There I found something astonishing.

 In September 1836 one John Hemmett was prosecuted for the mistreatment of his wife Ann Flight. The documents concerning the prosecution are not publicly available, so I am not able to publish the scan supplied. We can, however, paraphrase from my amateur translation:
On the night of 24 to 25 August 1836 Hemmett returned home late. His wife was asleep in bed but he attacked her ‘with violent force’. During the attack her jaw was broken and other injuries sustained. A neighbour raised the alarm and he was arrested by the constable. It is likely that this incident was a culmination of a repeating pattern, as guilt was admitted on appearance at court on September 3.

The outcome was a separation.  In essence the Court ordered Hemmett to surrender his wife’s possessions in the presence of a constable, to pay a financial compensation and to leave her alone. The financial and legal ramifications of any failure to observe the terms of this non-molestation order were clearly delineated. (Ref JA D/Y/G1/10/274)
Anne died 2 years after this incident. A return to the burial records of St Helier found her entry, the expected 5 days after the death date recorded at the cemetery. Given the circumstances it is no wonder her son Robert saw to it that she was interred at their family plot under his father’s name.

Here is a summary of our information about Anne and Judith:
Anne FLIGHT born 13 Jan 1775 child of Thomas FLIGHT and Anne ROBERT, was baptised at town church St Peter Port Guernsey, Channel Islands on 15 January 1775. (ref. IGI B7133719 50. Film sighted 11/97). She died 17 December 1838 aged 63 and was buried 22 December 1838 at Green St Cemetery St Helier. (Ref Parish Record Index 22 Dec 1838 Ann Hemmett – original not sighted).
At age 22 Anne married William BARTLEY, son of John of St Austell, Cornwall (IGI 7132323). William died before 1806.  There were two sons Robert John (1798) and William James (1801). It is possible there was also a daughter Betsy born about 1804.
Anne married Nicholas LE CAPPELAIN (CAPLAIN) when she was 31, 0n 23 April 1806 at St Peter Port. (IGI index only sighted 2010.) Their daughter Judith Nancy Le Cappelain was born about 1807 at St Peter Port, Guernsey. Judith married Robert BAKER at the town church in St Helier, Jersey. (Parish record index states ‘Capelain’. Robert was from St Austell.
Judith died on 19 December 1845 and was interred in the Bartley plot 180, Green St Cemetery.

Some time before 1836 Anne married John HEMMETT. They separated in September 1836.