Scandal! Le Hardy vs Bonamy, 1697

From Edith Carey's extracts from the Acts of the Ecclesiastical Court, Library 41B, pp. 29-30. John Bonamy was made Vice-Dean on the 14th February 1700, and Dean in 1717.

Letter from Ben. Ellis to Lord Hatton, May 1694. Mr. Bonamy is pursued in both courts for reparation of an injury done to Captain Hardy's¹ [niece] in getting her with child and refusing to marry her after, according to custom. It is now in debate, and I believe your Lordship will have complaints against the Dean's Court, to hear relations to do justice. (Hatton MSS.)

29 April 1697. Damoiselle Marie Le Hardy, daughter of Jean, Gentleman, of the Island of Jersey, actions Monsieur Jean Bonamy, Rector of St Pierre du Bois to keep his promise of marriage she claims he made to her, and under pretext of which he slept with her many times. Monsieur Bonamy has made no comment and so must appear before the Court to answer the charge.

10 May 1697. Monsieur Bonamy having appeared before me, Vice-Dean Nicolas Le Mesurier, and having pointed out to me that as I am his uncle, I should not judge this case, which brings dishonour upon him, as I would feel obliged to support him, I have therefore left it to Damoiselle Le Hardy to make application to whomever she chooses to preside in this matter.

19 July 1697. Having received a direct order from the Bishop of Winchester and from the Dean to preside in the case of Damoiselle Marie Le Hardy vs. Monsieur Jean Bonamy, the Vice-Dean, despite having made a declaration that he could not take part in this case due to the reasons given above, was asked by Damoiselle Le Hardy to preside in her case, and he agreed to do so. She wanted Monsieur Bonamy to keep the promises of marriage he had made to her. Monsieur Bonamy did not turn up to answer the accusation and so was formally charged to answer before the Court.

5 August 1697. Monsieur Jean Bonamy, Rector appeared before the Ecclesiastical Court today to answer the charge made against him by Damoiselle Marie Le Hardy, that he should keep his promises of marriage he made to her and which he had used to seduce her. He declared before the Court that he was under no obligation to do so outside term-time, and had brought as evidence a ruling made in the time of Henry VIII: nevertheless to avoid further delay to the case he agreed to answer voluntarily. He then denied ever having made any promise of marrige to the said Le Hardy, or having ever seduced her. She was then told to prove those of her claims she still maintained to be true.

1 June 1698. Monsieur Philippe Le Hardy and Damoiselle Marie Le Hardy, his niece, actioned in this Court Sieur Helier de la Marche, Porter of Castle Cornet, to appear as representative of Monsieur Thomas Ireland, who had been imprisoned at the request of the aforementioned parties. This was pursuant to an Act of the Royal Court of 19th January 1697/8 which referred the parties to this Ecclesiastical Court; the said de la Marche did not turn up and was summonsed to appear to answer the charge.

24 November 1698. The Ecclesiastical Court has decided that the above case does not fall under its jurisdiction and returns it to the civil courts to be settled.

Same date. Damoiselle Marie Le Hardy did not turn up to the proceedings of the case she is bringing against Monsieur Jean Bonamy, Rector of St Pierre du Bois, because she is ill, so her Proctor and Procureur represented her in her absence. The Court ordered that Monsieur Faudrier, Rector of the Câtel, and Doctor Bocage, should visit her at her house to ascertain her state of health, and to report back to the Court on the 28th of this month.

28 November 1698. The case was postponed to the next session owing to the absence of Damoiselle Le Hardy's Procureur; this was after she herself had made a personal appearance, following the report made by Monsieurs Faudrier and Bocage that she was capable of so doing.

12 February 1700/1. Monsieur Jean Bonamy, Rector of St Pierre du Bois, appeared before the Court to request that all the charges that had been fabricated against the honour of his person and his ministry in this Court by Damoiselle Marie Le Hardy should be dropped, seeing as she had given up her proceedings against him two years ago, as it seemed from the (terms?) of the last two rulings that had been made on this subject. The Court judged this request to be just and reasonable and to conform with normal court usage, so it declared the action of the said Le Hardy to be completely defunct and Monsieur Bonamy to be entirely exonerated of all the accusations she had made against him, and gave him permission to pursue Damoiselle Le Hardy in any way he wished for costs and damages.

14 February 1700/1. Jean Bonamy is appointed Vice-Dean. [From the French.]

September 26, 1581. Declaration of Collette le Fauconnerre, before Nicholas Carey, judge delegate, and John Blondel, John De La Court, William Beauvoir, and Edward Le Fevre, jun., jurats, that Leonard Compton is the father of the child of which she is pregnant.

This excerpt from the Calendar of State Papers may not seem like much, but Sir Thomas Compton was twice Lieutenant-Governor of Guernsey from 1538, and when he wasn't Governor he was the Bailiff.

1 A well-connected set of people. Philip Le Hardy (1651-1701), was Commissioner of the Garrison in Guernsey. He was son of Jerseyman Jean Le Hardy (b. 1606), and Rachel de Beauvoir of Guernsey (d. 1682, daughter of Samuel de Beauvoir and Rachel De Carteret). At least two of his sisters married Guernsey De Beauvoirs: Anne (buried at St Saviour's in 1694) married Pierre De Beauvoir, Sieur Du Bosq, and Jeanne married William De Beauvoir, Sieur Du Hommet; these were not people to be trifled with. Philip's nephew Thomas Le Hardy (1666-1732), was stationed at Guernsey in 1694 and later became Rear-Admiral of the Blue. In 1695 Thomas left Guernsey as commander of the Pendennis and took his cousin the Reverend William de Beauvoir, Rector of St Saviour's, son of his sister Anne Le Hardy and Pierre de Beauvoir with him as chaplain; William did not return to his incumbency for 30 years. He was effectively replaced, between 1695-99 at least, by none other than John Bonamy. At this period William De Beauvoir du Hommet was an Advocate and Comptroller. Philip's brother John Le Hardy was Advocate and Solicitor-General of Jersey and married Marie Dumaresq in 1663. Their unfortunate daughter, Philip's niece Marie, was baptised on 29th September 1672. John Bonamy in action as Dean, 1736; the De Beauvoir family firm protecting one of their own: Mutiny in St Peter's, 1704.