Biography

The death of Mary Saumarez, October 1812

A letter from the Library's Mann-Dobrée collection, edited by Julia de L. Mann: Anne Dobrée to Henry Routh, October 8, 1812. Nineteen-year-old Mary Dobrée Saumarez was the eldest daughter of Admiral James Saumarez and his wife, Martha Le Marchant; Anne was her cousin. Henry 'Harry' Le Mesurier, son of Havilland, had just lost his arm at the Battle of Salamanca.

An Eternal Stranger: Harman Blennerhasset

'Like mournful echo from the silent tomb, That pines away upon the midnight air, Whilst the pale moon breaks out with fitful gloom, Fond memory turns, with sad but welcome care, To scenes of desolation and despair, Once bright with all that beauty could bestow, That peace could shed, or youthful fancy know.' From The Deserted Isle, by Margaret Blennerhassett. Harman Blennerhassett was a clever but eccentric Irish republican who 'married' his niece, became involved in an abortive but notorious plot to make Texas independent, and ended up buried in Guernsey. The photograph above is from the Library Collection and shows the Cimitière des Soeurs, or Sisters' Cemetery, in 1870. The modern photographs in the article are of the Strangers' Cemetery as it is today.

Thomas Fiott De Havilland court-martial

The details of De Havilland's court martial, resignation, and restoration in India. 'Lord Minto, in his general orders from Madras, respecting the late defection or quarrel, published a list of twenty-two officers who were to be tried by court martial, or optionally to resign the service; my name was among these, and therefore I now avail myself of this opportunity to explain the grounds upon which I was implicated; in the hope that such explanation, faithfully given, may reach my descendants.'

Autobiography of Thomas Fiott De Havilland, engineer and architect

Builder of the now lost 'De Havilland's Bulwark', St George's Cathedral, St Andrew's Kirk and many other buildings at Madras, now Chennai, and here in Guernsey, Havilland Hall. From his book, The De Havillands of Guernsey, published in 1854. He died in 1866. The woodcut is by Dr Thomas Bellamy from his Pictorial Directory of 1843, in the Library collection.

Views of James Saumarez in 1801

'A good deal of the grimace of a Frenchman'. A short biography from The European Magazine, and London Review, for October 1801; and a less kind opinion of the Admiral, written by Admiral Thomas Byam Martin, a veteran of his campaigns who had fallen out with him, parts of whose account are often regarded as at the least fanciful. Saumarez was prone to depression, however.

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