30th August 1879

Philip de Saumarez was discharged as a Jurat

Philip de Saumarez was elected as a Jurat of the Royal Court following a successful career in the Navy. By 1879, though, aged 68, his hearing was going. This was perhaps through years spent bellowing commands at sea.

It was starting to cause problems, as it meant he couldn’t hear what was happening in meetings. So, he did the honourable thing, and applied to the queen – Victoria – for permission to be discharged.

The request for his discharge didn’t come from Philip himself, but the Lords of the Committee of Council for the Affairs of Guernsey and Jersey on his behalf. They explained that “in consequence of a growing infirmity the said Mr De Sausmarez’s [sic] faculty of hearing has become so impaired as to interfere seriously with the discharge of his official duties… on this ground Mr De Sausmarez [sic] addressed a letter to the Bailiff as President of the States requesting him to submit to the States his resignation.”

They said that although Philip would no longer be a serving Jurat he should be allowed to keep all of the privileges that the role brought with it.

The queen considered the request at her home on the Isle of Wight, Osborne House, on 14 May. It was granted 16 days later, on the 30th. An election was held on 10 September to choose his successor.

Philip de Saumarez’s career

Philip de Saumarez was one of several in his family to head to sea. He was also the second Philip to do so. The earlier Philip de Saumarez had been born on 17 November 1710 in St Peter Port and died in battle against the French in 1747. He was buried in Plymouth with honours.

This particular Philip de Saumarez entered the Navy in 1823 and served until 1866, when he retired with the rank of captain. His last commission was to command Dasher, a paddle-driven wooden packet ship operating from Portsmouth. Previously in his career he had served in Greece, Africa, Lisbon, China and the Mediterranean.

He died on 3 May 1895 at Oaktrees, his home in Guernsey. He was 84.


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Other events that occured in August