Arthur Dorey

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Arthur Dorey (1867-1953), Jurat

Early Life and Education

Arthur Dorey was born on 7 March 1867 on New Road, St. Sampson's, to Josiah Dorey (shipowner and St. Sampson’s Weighbridge Master) and Judith Nant (née Renouf). He was educated at the Guernsey Grammar and Commercial School, St. Peter Port.
He was a keen cricketer, captaining the St. Sampson's Cricket Club in his early twenties.

Career in Business

Arthur initially followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming Weighbridge Master at St. Peter Port Harbour by 1891. In the 1890s, however, he went into the booming growing business, setting up his Belgrave vineries at the Halfway in St. Sampson’s (later to become "Arthur Dorey & Son"), and in 1904 was a founder member of the Fruit Export Company (later to become 'Blue Diamond') along with brothers John William Dorey and Philemon Fleure Dorey, as well as William Stranger, John Leale, Percy Dorey and Gervase Foottit Peek. (Other brothers included Guernsey shipowners Richard Josiah Dorey and Onesimus Dorey.)
In 1910 Arthur Dorey set up a market garden business in Elburton, Plymouth, with his sister-in-law's husband Francis Thomas Butterfield Lawson, growing tomatoes and grapes. It was incorporated as "Dorey & Lawson" on 5 February 1929.
In 1929 he was elected chairman of the Fruit Export Company, a position he held until December 1945.

Marriage and Family

He married Clara Leale, sister of Jurat John Leale (1865-1928) and settled down at ‘Rockmount’, Delancey. They had three children: Edward Arthur Dorey (1896), (Dr) Claire de Mouilpied Dorey (1898), and Elfrida Dorey (1900).
Like his father before him, Arthur Dorey was a life-long member and Trustee of St. Sampson’s Methodist Church.

Career in Public Service

Arthur Dorey was active at parochial level in St. Sampson's, later becoming a Constable and then a Douzenier.
After service as Deputy of the People, he was elected Jurat of the Royal Court in 1922.
In 1934 he became President of the Board of Administration, holding this position throughout the German Occupation. He was also president of the Board of Health for nearly ten years, and worked for the States in areas such as finance, water, recruiting, telephones, and the preservation of the natural beauties of the island.
In October 1941, Arthur Dorey was evicted from ‘Rockmount’ by the Germans and spent the rest of the war on his farm ‘Oatlands’.
He retired in 1946.
At his retirement, the Bailiff, Ambrose Sherwill, said of him:

His dignity and patience, his deep sense of justice and his unfailing courtesy and kindliness to all, in the exercise of that office, will long be remembered.[1]


Arthur Dorey died at his home 'Rockmount', Delancey, on 6 July 1953.

Arthur Dorey in ‘The Book of Ebenezer Le Page’

The posthumously published (1981) novel ‘The Book of Ebenezer Le Page’ by Gerald Basil Edwards (1899-1976) is a work of fiction, but features a number of real people, such as Ambrose Sherwill.
It is obvious from the novel that Ebenezer worked at the Belgrave Vineries and Arthur figures many times in this novel as Ebenezer’s boss. To give a few examples:

The Armistice came on without me knowing: the same as the War had done. I was clearing up inside one of the greenhouses down the Vineries when a chap rushed in and said ‘The War is over!’ and the sirens and whistles began going like billyo down St Sampson’s. The next minute every fellow was out of the Vineries and round the corner into Hutton’s pub, though Mr Dorey was temperance itself and didn’t like his men drinking. I had a couple and went home.
I have never known for sure who it was kicked up a shindy over Raymond’s sermon. The few people who spoke to me about it praised him. Reg Underwood thought he was grand and Mr Dorey, who always stopped and spoke to me when he saw me, said he had been glad to see me in the chapel and hoped I had enjoyed the service as much as he had.”


  1. Obituary ‘The Passing of Jurat A. Dorey’, Guernsey Evening Press, 8 July 1953
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