22nd August 1643

Bailiff Philippe de Carteret II dies

Philippe de Carteret II was the third Seigneur of Sark (his grandfather, Hellier de Carteret had been appointed the island’s first Seigneur) and from 1627 until his death was also Bailiff of Jersey. Born in Sark in 1584, de Carteret studied at Oxford and graduated from the university with a Batchelor of Arts degree when aged just 17. By then he had already been Siegneur of Sark for seven years, following his father’s death in 1594.

Most important family in Jersey

The fact that the de Carterets were the most important family in Jersey may well have assisted Philippe in his meteoric rise to power. Three years before being appointed Bailiff, he had been appointed the first Lieutenant-Governor of Jersey, and he kept that role until his death. Thus, he held two of the most important political roles on the island simultaneously, concentrating a great amount of power in one man’s hands.

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography states that, during the Civil War, de Carteret, who was a royalist and lived at Mont Orgueil, was not universally liked, in part because holding these two offices simultaneously gave him the opportunity to appoint his own family members to other positions of authority – something of which he frequently took advantage.

He lived out his last days in Elizabeth Castle, in the chapel of which his heart and intestines were buried following his death. The rest of his body was buried at St Ouen’s Church the following year.


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