A SEIGNEUR has sold his feudal title to an American citizen to raise funds for Jersey Overseas Aid’s humanitarian relief work in Ukraine.
Sam Le Quesne sold the title of Seigneur du Fief ès Poingdestre’ to James Kaye, from Colorado, for an undisclosed sum.
Mr Kaye travelled across the Atlantic to appear before the Royal Court in person to officially complete the transfer.
The sale of the title was conducted by sealed bids through lawyers appointed to handle the transaction, and there was a £25,000 reserve price. The title of Seigneur du Fief ès Poingdestre is one of the few in the Island never to have been sold, passing down 19 generations by natural descent.
While the title – attached to the Island’s most northerly fief from Sorel down to Sion – no longer comes with land, residential rights or property, it retains significant ceremonial value. Its holder is required to attend the prestigious annual Assise d’Héritage ceremony in the Royal Court in September where title-holders acknowledge their duty to the Crown, known as ‘comparence’, in a ceremony normally presided over by the Bailiff with the Lieutenant-Governor in attendance.
The completed sale of Mr Le Quesne’s title did not require the formal consent of the Crown but it did need to be formalised by a unique contract passed before the Royal Court.
On completing the purchase, Mr Kaye said: ‘I’m incredibly honoured to be a small part of the rich and beautiful history of Jersey and very much look forward to building a future with the Island.’
He has also agreed to lend the Jersey Archive a parchment detailing the family tree of the Le Quesne family, who held the title of the Fief since the 1400s. Towards the end of last year, Mr Le Quesne advertised the Seigneurship to donate the proceeds of the sale, once legal fees and other costs had been deducted, to Jersey Overseas Aid’s humanitarian relief work in Ukraine.
‘I have such incredible admiration for the way the Ukrainian people have responded to what’s been happening to them,’ he said at the time.
Advocate Carl Parslow, managing partner of Parslows, added: ‘We were delighted to represent our client in what was a very out of the ordinary transaction. It was a privilege to be involved in this interesting legal matter, especially as our client was willing to travel all the way across the Atlantic in order to appear before the Royal Court in person to acquire an important part of Jersey’s history.’