De Rue family history

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De Rue family history

This article by the Rev J A Messervy was first published in the 1899 Annual Bulletin of La Société Jersiaise and has been translated from French by Mike Bisson

De Rue family page

This name, probably of French origin, to judge by the ancient spelling de Ryeulx or de Rieulx is not found in the Extentes of 1274 and 1331; it is not until the 15th century that we find it in Jersey.

1444 contract

In 1444 Philippe de Rue and his wife, daughter of Guillaume Labey, of St Saviour, are mentioned in a contract. In 1466 Sire Guille de Rues, priest, signed several wills as a witness. Pasquerel de Rues, father of Jean, was buried at St Saviour's Church on 8 January 1470. Philippe de Rue, father of Sire Guille, was buried at the same church on 3 February 1470.

In the 16th century two branches of this family can be clearly defined: one, established in St Saviour, in the Vingtaines of Grande and Petite Longueville, then in Grouville, in Vingtaine de la Rue, is still represented today in St Clement. This branch possessed the Fief de la Houguette at St Saviour; a contract of 8 January 1539 shows that Jeanette, widow of Jannyn Morant, son of Jean de Ryeulx, the elder, sold to Jean Nicolle, Seigneur of Longueville, her rights to this fief.

The other branch had settled in St Lawrence for a short period, but it was the source of roots in St Mary which gave to that parish several Constables, and to the island, a Jurat.

Civil War

During the Civil War of the 17th century, the head of this family, Jean de Rue, declared for Parliament, along with a good number of senior parishioners. Arrested as one of the principals of the party, at the end of March 1644, he was imprisoned at Mont Orgueil Castle and condemned by the Royal Commissioners in 1646 to pay a fine of 1000 écus. Rather than pay this sum, considerable at the time, he preferred to remain in prison, where he had a long illness. His wife and his doctor, Jacques La Loe, obtained permission from the Court to visit him.

However, it was not long before Jersey fell to the Parliamentarians, and their returnh with Admiral Blake's fleet in 1651, led to the prisoner's release. He had been sentenced for the Parliamentary cause; it was just that he was now honoured. Cromwell compensated him by elevating him to the Magistracy on 28 February 1655, He took the oath on 12 May 1655, but he does not appear to have sit much: his colleagues having to stand in for his frequent absences. He survived ten years after the Restoration, which forced him to return to private life.

An Act of the Court of Heritage of 1692 informs us that Jean de Rue, son of Nicolas, nephew and principal heir of the Jurat, obtained 10 vergées of land and "allowance for two muskets", which suggests a significantly important property, which exact extent is difficult to evaluate from the information available.

The de Rues of St Mary are now represented by the heirs of Francois Jean Le Couteur, Seigneur of St Jean la Hougue Boëte, Solicitor-General 1817-24.

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