5th October 1812

Painter John Le Capelain is born in St Helier

There’s a debate over the birthplace of Jersey painter John (later Jean) Le Capelain. What is known is that the event occurred on 5 October 1812 and, as his father was the Jersey lithographer Samuel Le Capelain, he naturally became a renowned painter in his own right.

The States of Jersey commissioned an album of watercolours from Le Capelain to commemorate Queen Victoria’s visit in 1846, a copy of which was sent as a gift to the queen herself. She was so impressed that she commissioned Le Capelain to paint a series of views of the Isle of Wight where she frequently spent time living at Osborne House.

Le Capelain’s death in Jersey

Unfortunately, Le Capelain developed tuberculosis while working on the queen’s commission, and this would ultimately be the cause of his death in Jersey, aged 36, on 17 October 1848. He was buried in St Helier. The commission was incomplete at the time he died.

Le Capelain’s painting of Mont Orgueil, as viewed across the water, featured on the back of Jersey’s £20 note first issued in 1976.


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