Philippe Baudains – Constable of St.Helier

 Created in bronze by Archibald McFarlane-Shannon of Glasgow, and set on a plinth of Ronez diorite, provided by Philippe Baudains himself. Designed by Adolphus Curry, the plinth was cut by the firm of F.T.Carter – Monumental Masons, while the iron work was done by Mr.H.Webber of Aquila Road and painted by Mr.J.Thatcher .

Over 1000 people subscribed to fund this celebration of the five-time elected Constable of St.Helier.

Baudains was born at Les Mouriers in St.John. At fifteen he went to work, as a clerk, for solicitor Moses Gibaut. He studied at the Ecole du Droit in Paris between 1858 -1868, and when he came back to Jersey, he worked as a solicitor for 7 years. He was called to the Jersey Bar in March 1858, being only the second Advocate to qualify.

Philippe Baudains was a Freemason. He founded a new lodge for the many French Proscrits who had fled to Jersey, which was called Les Amis de L’Avenir, but as many were aethesists, they were excluded under the English Freemasons’ constitution. He affiliated them to a French Lodge, but the exercise was doomed to failure and Baudains himself returned to La Loge Cesaree in 1888.

In 1869, he won a silver medal from the Royal Humane Society for saving someone from drowning, and in 1873, he was a founder member of La Société Jersiase. He served in the Town militia for twenty years, despite the length of his hair.

In 1878, he made his first unsuccessful attempt at being elected for the States. However, he tried again in 1881, and this time was elected unopposed. In total he served 5 terms as Constable of St.Helier, only retiring in 1896, due to ill health.

It was just after this, that this statue went up in his honour. He regained his health, and went on to be Constable of St.Helier again in 1902. During his tenure as Constable, he brought over one hundred bills to the States, including the introduction of voting by ballot.

©   Arthur Lamy

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