8: The Jersey Years I

13th and 14th Centuries

Posted on April 27, 2019 by Craig Cameron deQuetteville

St Martin parish church, Jersey; original stone edifice built about 1042

The first time a deQuetteville appears in the documentary records of Jersey is in the 1274 Extente. A Raoul, or Radulphus, deQuetteville has tenure over the fief de Houndeuoys in St Lawrence parish, along with Pierre Malet: “Raoul de Keytivel and Pierre Malet & leurs parchonniers tiennent 7 quartiers de froment qui sont d’échètes & sont dûs au Roi du fief de Hondeuoys de surcroit.” (A few lines further we see that a Laurent Payn and Raoul de Hundeweys also owe rents to the fief of Houndeouys on behalf of Ada de Sotuward, whose fee has been forfeited to the King for having taken the part of the Normans.)

By 1331 the fief de Houndois, which may have comprised a carucate of land (ca. 50 acres), including a mill, will have become a fief de Roi, escheated to the crown like that of Anneville, Everat and Lemprière in St Martin parish[i]. We do not see a connection at this point between Raoul or any other deQuetteville and the parish of St Martin, where the family will come to reside for centuries. Likewise, a reference to a fief es quetiveauls in St Martin does not yet exist, which does not necessarily mean that the fief did not yet exist. However, there is mention of a ‘caruéé de Faldouet’, which would have existed alongside the carucate of Anneville and Everat. Did the carucate of Faldouet, or a portion of it, escheat to the crown? Perhaps it is out of this land that the fief es quetiveauls was created and named after the deQuetteville to whom it was granted. For it seems that from the 1331 Extente the fief es quetiveauls is a fief du Roi. What also bears notice is the role of the Quetivel Mills in the life of the island at this time.   

Two sets of documents from the period help to understand the position of the deQuetteville family in Jersey; the Extentes and the Assize Rolls. The Extentes of 1274 and 1331 record the rents due to the King by tenants of his crown possessions on Jersey. While originally all of jersey was a crown possession, several fiefs haubert were carved out and apportioned to senior families, such as the de Carterets, the Lemprières, the Soulemonts, the de Martins and the de Barantyns, in return for certain special services to the King. Military service abroad was not required by Islanders, a privilege obtained under the old Dukes of Normandy. In lieu of that, they were required to pay rents and taxes for the upkeep of the island’s defences and for the nine mills belonging to the crown. The Assize Roll of 1309 records Crown Pleas heard by the circuit court of eyre that involved any infraction by an Islander against the crown, including the failure to pay rents or taxes, as well as the resolution of certain civil and criminal disputes between Islanders. A third set of documents are letters to the crown from Islanders wishing to plead for royal intervention in judicial proceedings that are considered to be unjust by the island’s residents.

In the 1274 Extente of the 2nd regnal year of King Edward I, there is no mention of a deQuetteville in relation to St Martin parish. This fact is noteworthy, as the deQuettevilles will otherwise come to be associated with St Martin parish for the next 650 years. (In about 1977 and again in 1986, I was able to see at the house of my great-uncle George deQuetteville and his wife Jean in Canada, a type-script history of the deQuetteville family – author unknown — in which it was stated that a deQuetteville (name forgotten) received from the King in 1311 ‘all the land an ox could plow in a day’. (Note: whether the reference to oxen is an anachronism for that time is an open question: were farmers not using horses to plow in Jersey in 1311?) There seem to be more reasons to doubt this claim rather than accept it. For example, the king – who would have been Edward II at the time — would not have directly issued a grant of what amounts to one acre of land to a man on Jersey. And there is no documentary evidence from this time for such a grant. However, it is perhaps worth mentioning as indirect evidence of land acquisition around this time; at least for possible further investigation. For example, the carucate of land in St Martin stipulated in the 1309 Assize as being owned by Richard deQuetteville would amount to all the land a team of eight oxen could plow in a season. Otherwise it is difficult to see any connections)

In 1830, Payne speculated that the deQuettevilles had “settled from a very early time in the eastern parish of St Martin”. Payne goes on to say that the “family has continued to reside in its old ancestral house, and is now represented there by Francis deQuetteville. Another branch also residing in St Martin is represented by Joshua-Dumaresq (deQuetteville)”. From the Godfray map of 1849, we see that Francis’ old, ancestral house was the one called La Bachauderie and is part of a large property that extends across the borders of St Martin, St Saviour and Grouville parishes. (Note: La Bachauderie is located at the southeast corner of rue de la Bachauderie and rue Saint-Julien; the house is said to be in St Martin parish, while the barns are in St. Saviour, which has led to some confusion in the past; there is relatively close proximity to the old chapel of St Agathe near Archirondel, to La Hougue Bie, to Queen’s Valley, to Faldouet, to Gorey and to Mont Orguil; J.F. Le Cornu’s 1940 article on “Jersey Placenames”[ii] lists La Bachauderie as one of the names whose origin remains unknown; ‘Bachaud’ is a family name today mainly in SW France, perhaps now extinct in Jersey, though the etymology of the word is difficult to discern; there are at least two possibilities that I have found in relation to it – 1) a bachaud is a Jersey word that was once common in St Ouen and St John (see a La Bachauderie in St John) for a type of cart used to haul the sea-weed for fertilizer, known as vraic[iii]; so, a ‘bachauderie’ may have been a site where these carts were manufactured or developed, or simply the seat of the family who first built this type of cart; it is not clear, however, how far back in time we can trace the name of the property or the name of the cart? – 2) there is an area with a farm named ‘Bachaud’ in the commune of Dordogne, in the Perigord region of what is now Nouvelle-Aquitaine; there is a farm and road name La Bachaudière in the commune of La Bussière in the region of Poitou, now Nouvelle-Aquitaine, near the river Gartempe; any association between Jersey and the Poitou region most probably derives from the Angevin epoch between 1154 and 1204; there is a tangential possibility that the etymology of bachaud[iv]is related to viniculture – like bachelier — meaning there was a family involved in Jersey in the trading of wine, which was common in the era, or the growing of grapes on Jersey (it is known that some wine was being made in the south of England during the warm period).)

The entire line of Francis’ known forbears are baptized and buried in St Martin parish church. Joshua-Dumaresq, on the other hand, resided at La Hauteur (named so in the Godfray map), a manor house and farm located on the south-west fringe of Faldouet village. Joshua’s forbears are baptized in St Saviour’s parish church, though they are all buried at St Martin’s. As far as I can tell at this point, the deQuetteville association with La Hauteur extends only to the 17th century, when it was probably purchased or obtained by marriage.

That the 1274 Extente does not mention a deQuetteville in St Martin parish is not proof that there were no deQuettevilles owning property or living there at that time, only that there were none who were tenants of the crown. In the 1309 Assize Roll, we see the first appearance of a deQuetteville in St Martin.  In a list of the Rents and Farm of the lord the King, which details many fiefs that have escheated to the crown (several in the aftermath of war with France and treason against England), the jury says “also that Richard de Quetteville holds of the lord the King 1 carucate of land of the fee of Quetteville (Lat. ‘feodo de Ketevill’) and pays 15 s. by the year to the aforesaid farm & owes full relief when it shall occur” (p. 312)[v]. What is not so clear is when this fief was acquired or for how long it had been in the possession of a deQuetteville.

Is Richard the first of his name to own property in St Martin, or could he be one in a line of deQuettevilles that stretches back to a grant of land that precedes 1204? If the fief of Quetteville, a caruée (12 bovées = 60 acres) in size, which equals that of Anneville and Evart, exists as a fief of the King before 1309, why is it not mentioned in the 1274 Extente? A fief of Faldouet is mentioned there, but it is referred to again in 1309 as well, so it cannot be that the fief of Quetteville was created from that, though they are in proximity (and the fief of Quetteville might have been carved out of the fief of Faldouet). (Likewise, the fief of Quetteville is not mentioned in the 1331 Extente.)(Could a deQuetteville have come from England along with Drogo de Barantyn, who was granted Rozel in about 1220?).

In the name of Richard deQuetteville of St Martin parish, mentioned in 1331, we hear the faint echo of the Richard deQuetteville who witnessed a charter in Yorkshire in 1154. For the two to be connected, the Jersey Richard would have had to have been a great-great-great grandchild of the earlier Richard, a Richard IV as it were. This seems improbable, but not impossible.

The deQuetteville who is mentioned in the 1274 Extente is Radulphus (Raoul in French; Rauf in English). An entry for the chancery records for the parish of St Lawrence reads that Rauf shared possession of a portion of the fief of Hondois, which had escheated to the crown in the same manner as that of Anneville and Everat in St Martin: “Item dissent que Raoul de Keytivel & Pierre Malet & leurs parchonniers tiennent 7 quartiers de froment qui sont d’échète & sont dûs au Roi du fief de Hondeuoys de surcroit” (p.19). (Farther down we see another entry that reads “Item dissent que Laurent Payn & ses parchonniers tiennent 8 quartiers de froment & que Raoul de Hundeweys tient 10 quartiers de froment qui sont une échète du sire le Roi pour la forfaiture d’Ada de Sotuward qui tint le partie des Normands, & sont dûs de fief du Hundeweys, & sont en la main du sire le Roi parce que les avant-dits Laurent et Raoul n’ont rien montré pour eux-mêmes, mais ont allègué la longue possession seulement »).

This entry could lead one to believe that Rauf de Quetteville and Pierre Malet, like Laurent Payn and Raoul de Hundeweys had long been tenants of the fief of Hundeweys, which had escheated to the crown in the decades after 1204. (The 1274 Extente refers to a mill in St. Lawrence that is not the Tesson Mill. Could this unnamed mill be what was later referred to as the Keytivel Mill in the parish of St. Lawrence? And that one is not to be confused with the Keytivel Mill in St Peter.) For Rauf to have been of legal age to own property in 1274, he would have had to have been born in at least 1255, and most likely some years sooner. In the 1309 Assize Rolls that list the Crown Pleas for the parish of St Helier, a Rauf deQuetteville is listed among the bakers who have amerced on account of unlawfully selling bread made from wheat that has been milled in a mill other than the King’s mill.

Also on this list of bakers is another deQuetteville, named William, who is possibly a brother or a son of Rauf. In around 1312, during the reign of King Edward II, Rauf and William deQuetteville lead the bakers of the island in a complaint to the King demanding their rights against the unjust treatment by Otto de Grandison, Lord of the Isles of Jersey, Guernsey, Sark and Alderney: “To the King and his Council show & complain Rauf de Keytivel and William de Keytivel with many other bakers of the island of Jersey, & William le Segersteyn and William Columbe & many other taverners of the said island that the bailiffs & attorneys of the said Otto de Graunson have imposed grave fines upon them at their will without the 12 jurats, which is contrary to the custom, the which custom is that no fine can be made until it be judged by the 12 jurats assigned by the King in the said island to guard the rights of the King; wherefore the said bakers & taverners pray for remedy & that they may be treated by the custom; (Endorsed) Let them go the Chancery & show the wrongs done to them, & let them have a writ to the justices when they shall come into those parts” (p. 23). All of the entries for the Extentes and Assize Rolls in relation to Jersey and Guernsey must be scrutinized in the context of Otto de Grandison’s rule and the many complaints against it. It is not certain that this Rauf is the same one from the 1274 Extente. Rauf would have been 60 years old or more.

However, another Rauf deQuetteville appears in the 1331 Extente for the parish of St. Lawrence. This time Rauf is seigneur of the fief of es quetiveauls, which is the first time this fief is mentioned in relation to St Lawrence parish: “Les tenants du fief Esqeutiveauls que Raoul de Quetivel tient avec parchonniers doivent de relief après la mort du tenant, qu’il y en ait plus ou moins, pour chaque acre 6 deniers tournois. Et ledit fief contient une bouvée et deux acres avec appartenances; et de ce fief apparaîtra plus pleinement au rental des froments » (p. 79 – Le Feuvre, 1876). This must certainly be a son or nephew of the Rauf we find in the 1274 Extente; otherwise, he is a very old man of 81. What is interesting is the development of land that, if the same as in 1274, was once part of the fief of Hondois and is now a separate fief Es qeutiveauls. Was this fief named after Rauf sometime after 1312, perhaps in recompense for his leadership on the complaint against Otto de Grandison? And can this fief be located somewhere between the town of Hondois and the Le Chemin des moulins? As it is in this Extente that we see for the first time a Quetivel Mill mentioned in the parish of St Lawrence, it raises the question whether that mill is one of the appurtenances of the fief.

In a broader sense, it should be mentioned that the Channel Island customs and laws as enshrined in the so-called constitutions of King John, which first appear in writing in 1248, are almost identical in structure as those imposed by King John on his domains in Ireland in 1199. Though there is no evidence that Regnaud de Ketevil is in Ireland or Jersey at that time, it is a happy coincidence. That the Channel Islanders claimed customary rights that extended back in time to as far as the reign of William the Conqueror does not contradict the reality of King John’s legal reforms. Administrators conversant in the principles of King John’s administrative system would have been able to move between jurisdictions easily. (Note: A seigneurial farmer in France, and by extension Jersey, was considered to be part of the petty nobility and deserving of the title, écuyer, or (e)squire. However, the same person in England was not deemed to be of the same status. One can see why Channel Island land-holders preferred to maintain their French distinctions and to think of themselves as such, despite being English subjects.) 

[i] https://www.theislandwiki.org/index.php/The_Fiefs_d%27Anneville,Everat_and_Lempriere).

[ii] https://www.theislandwiki.org/index.php/Jersey_placenames; see entry for La Bachauderie

[iii] https://www.theislandwiki.org/index.php/The_Jersey_Hay-cart

[iv] See bac, bachot, bachotte, bachelier in Le Grand Robert

[v] (https://archive.org/details/rollsassizeshel00islagoog/page/n633).

Keytivel and Ketevill

Posted on April 26, 2019

It is possible that the Keytivels of St Peter and St Lawrence parishes are not related to the Ketevills of St Martin parish. The es quetiveauls and ketevill fiefs would, then, also be separate and unconnected. What mitigates against that conclusion, however, is that both families are referred to with the ‘de’ prefix. This means that they both originated from one of the Quetteville communities in the Cotentin, as there is no such place-name on Jersey or in England. Nor, it should be underlined, is there a village anywhere named Keytivel. There is, as we have seen, the ancient sandbar of Cattivelle in the Seine near Paris, which had long since disappeared. And there is one mill near Cherbourg-Octeville that was once named something like Keytivel. (Unless we are to see in this spelling a sign of its pronunciation as homologous to the Hibero-Norse ‘Caitill’, there is not much to go on to explain this variance.)

A French source attributes the meaning of the suffix –vel to an origin in the Scandinavian word, velr, or ‘field’; hence, ‘Ketel’s Fields’. But there are other possibilities, as well.[i] If we accept that the family is named after the fief, which was called es quetiveauls, we must also accept that this fief may be named after a Viking settler named Ketel. (No evidence of fiefs being named as such at such an early date). To date there is no evidence of place-names on Jersey derived from a Viking settler, with the possible exception of Geirr, after whom the island is named. On another tack, depending on roughly when each family might have migrated to Jersey, it might be possible to compare the spelling of the family name with that of the place-names in Normandy. (However, the rate of orthographical change of all those names is significant enough to make any conclusions to be cautiously drawn at best.) In both cases, the ‘de’ argues for a seigneurial name with a provenance in the mid to late 11thcentury, if not earlier. Of note, as well, in this context is a potential connection of the nearby fief Hundeweys/Hondoeuys with a Viking named Hundeis who is known to have been active in the Seine estuary in the 890s.

On the other hand, it may be that these are two branches of the same family. In either case, the question becomes who preceded whom? Did the de Ketevills arrive in St Martin from Quettreville-sur-Sienne in the 11th century and establish a chapel on the Bay of St Catherine where they were engaged in ésperquerie? Did they then take advantage of circumstances after 1204 to extend their holding in Jersey to the parish of St Lawrence, establishing a cadet branch there in the service of the Kings Mill, whose surname then became a variation of the spelling due to a scribes’ misunderstanding? Or were the de Keytivels the original family to arrive on Jersey, perhaps as an extension of holdings on the mainland, all of which had a mill as an appurtenance? Did they even maybe originate in Jersey, being named after the fief es quetivel, which was itself named after Ketel Valley? The similarity of the Jersey mill-names with that of Cherbourg, for instance, lends credence to this interpretation (though, not the one near Helleville). Though, again, it is difficult to distinguish precedence in these cases. From the relative financial success of their mills on Jersey, perhaps they in turn took advantage of the circumstances after 1204 to purchase property in St Martin, and even on the mainland?     

[i] Le qualificatif du moulin est-il tiré du nom d’un lieu ou du nom d’une famille ?

Le premier élément Queti- est possiblement le nom de personne norrois Ketill « Chaudron » que l’on retrouve aussi sur le continent normand dans Quettehou (Manche, Chettellehou 1042), Quettetot (Manche, ketetot vers 1200), Quettreville-sur-Sienne (Manche, Chetelvilla 1124 – 1133), Quetteville (Calvados), etc. Il survit dans les noms de famille Quétil, Quetil, Quétel, Quetel restés fréquents en Normandie1.

La nature du second élément -vel est plus problématique :

  • On écrit souvent qu’il s’agit du vieux norrois vellir « plaines » (pluriel de vǫllr), thèse difficilement soutenable puisque le moulin est situé dans une vallée près d’un petit champ. En outre, ce terme vieux norrois n’est pas en l’état de nos observations, attesté au pluriel dans la toponymie normande (Il est possible cependant, qu’il constitue au singulier le second élément du nom de lieu cotentinois Brévolle).
  • Il est possible qu’il s’agisse d’un nom en -ville « domaine rural », dont la diffusion est avérée sur l’île puisqu’on y trouve Grouville ou Longueville par exemple. Cette idée est renforcée par l’existence d’une famille de Quetteville à Jersey, dont l’origine géographique exacte (continentale ou insulaire) est toutefois obscure. Le nom serait alors un équivalent des Quetteville, Cretteville du continent.
  • Une explication par l’appellatif -val est évoquée, dans la mesure où il est parfois associé à un anthroponyme (cf. Grainval avec GrimrGraval avec Guérard ou Ignauval avec Isnel) et surtout parce qu’il est fait mention des tenants d’un fief es Quettevaux (vaux ancien pluriel de val)2, difficile à localiser.
  • Enfin, on note un parallèle avec les noms de lieux normands continentaux en -vel(les), appellatif issu du vieux norrois vella ou du vieil anglais wella « source, cours d’eau » cf. Caquevel (Manche, Le Mesnil-RoguesCaquevelle 1757), Éprouvelles (Seine-Maritime, Cany-BarvilleEsprouvelles 1229) et surtout Quénarville (Seine-Maritime, PavillyMoulin de Quenavelle 1539)3 qui s’applique également à un moulin. La référence à un cours d’eau en rapport avec un moulin fait sens. Les formes anciennes d’une ancienne île de la Seine appelée île Cativelle reliée maintenant à Freneuse (Seine-Maritime) présentent un certain nombre de concordances avec Quétivel, à savoir : Ile de Caitivel en 1276 (Arch. S.-M. 14 H. cart. Gasny f. 3 v.), Ile Quetivel en 1519, 1651, 1692 (Arch. S.-M. G. Fab.)4

The Mills of Quétivel

Posted on April 27, 2019 by Craig Cameron deQuetteville

From the 1331 Extente, we see that there are two mills of the King named Quétivel, or Keytivel, Mill; one in St Lawrence parish and the other in St Peter parish. It is not clear how long these two mills had been in existence, or so named, before 1331. A King’s mill in St Lawrence is referred to in the 1274 Extente and this could possibly be the same one that is near Handois. It is curious that beside the two medieval mills in Jersey named after Quétivel, there were two such mills in La Manche. One is located on the outskirts of Octeville-Cherbourg. In the Inventaire-Sommaire des archives départémentale (p. 418, 427) there are several references to records ranging from the late 13th century to the early 15th century involving ‘une vallée nommé le val de Quetivel, assise en Esquedreville et Octeville’ (pp 338, 428, 436,440, 446) that include a Quetivel Mill (pp 416, 423, 428) and a Quetivel Lock (416). In proximity to Quettot, but several kilometers northwest of it, is a hamlet that today gives the name Quetteville to a road (D65) near Helleville. That road crosses a stream that has a road running parallel to it called Rue de Moulin de Quetteville.  

If there is indeed a connection between the Norman and the Jersey mills, are we safe to conclude that the deQuettevilles were one of those families that “had purchased from the seigneurs or the Crown the rights to operate grain mills. The ordinary people were prevented from owning mills and thus the monopoly enabled these milling families to become very wealthy”[i]. Is this what enabled the purchase of a fief in St Martin? Or is it more likely that a Norman seigneur of Quetteville had developed a special technique for building mills in the 12th or 13th century that led to them being named after him? (Check the naming patterns of fiefs and mills).   

[i] (https://www.theislandwiki.org/index.php/History_of_the_Channel_Islands_-_Population_and_Social_system).