Mr Cecil de Sausmarez guiding two tourists round Sausmarez Manor, Guernsey, 1980

De Sausmarez

The Durells are a Jersey family; the de Sausmarez a Guernsey family.

Matthew de Sausmarez
Sausmarez Manor

The fortunes of the de Sausmarez family of Guernsey began to revive in 1705 when Matthew de Sausmarez, 1685-1761, married Anne Durell, born 1689, daughter of the Jersey Lieutenant-Bailiff. Although Mr Cecil de Sausmarez was uncomplimentary about her beauty, right, he indicated to me that this marriage was, in his view, a wise move.

The chart above shows a number of the descendants of Jean, or John, Durell and Anne Dumaresq, of Jersey. Jean Durell died in 1722, aged 80, having been Constable of St Helier, Jurat and Lieutenant-Bailiff of Jersey. He married Anne about 1673, and they had at least seven, and perhaps nine, children. Three sons, Philippe (1676-1740), Nicolas (1684-?), and Thomas (1685-1741), all became Captains in the Royal Navy. A daughter, Anne, married Matthew de Sausmarez of Guernsey, and their son Philip Saumarez (1710-1747), his name slightly anglicized, was the first of four brothers to enter the Navy in the footsteps of their uncles Durell. From 1726 onwards, for over 200 years, there was always at least one officer on the Navy list named Saumarez. The Durells of Jersey produced seven Captains, a Lieutenant and a Vice-Admiral of their name during the 18th century alone.

Times change. From the day in 1642, August 22nd, when Charles I declared war on his Parliament, until VE day in 1945, May 8th, the British were steadied in their trials by a type of person they called the middling sort, also known, formerly, as the backbone of the nation. They were conservative in their conduct, and liberal in their consciences.

They were independent in thought and deed, while remaining fundamentally tolerant of others. This mentality has now been replaced by one of subservience, which parrots those more powerful. All organic life is subject to a process of rise and fall.

click on picture

adapted from sotheby sale catalogue

The lumber of one family's past, epitomizing the essence of times gone by, was auctioned in September 2006. A sketchy outline of its Channel Island paternity is presented above. The key to its prosperity, as that of its nation, was its associations with the sea. A few of its pictorial souvenirs are shown below.

Unidentified in the auction catalogue, the man portrayed at left turns out to be the founder of this family's fortunes. Another version of this portrayal can be found at Sausmarez Manor, Guernsey. The attribution to Joseph Highmore's "follower" is interesting. Highmore was the painter who once remarked that: "... every man is a Judge of the Representation, in proportion as he is of the Original Subject; a Sailor, for instance, is a better Judge of the principle Circumstances which enter into the Composition of a Seapiece, than the best Painter in the World, who was never at Sea ..."


Below: Matthew de Sausmarez and his wife Anne Durell at Sausmarez Manor, Guernsey

Also unidentified in the sale catalogue was the portrait at right.

The Witt Library identifies him as above. The catalogue attribution of the portrait painter as Isaac Whood is surprising, to say the least.

Captain George Durell

George Durell's inclusion in the Shrubland collection is well explained by his marriage to Elizabeth de Sausmarez. His career was apparently short, since he died in 1754. His date of birth is not yet discovered, but perhaps he was born between Philip (1707) and Thomas (1717) --- let's say 1712, so he may only have been about 40-45 when he died. What age is the man in the portrait? Whood's death date is given as 1752, aged 64.

The scroll held by Durell appears to display a ship-draught, and perhaps this indicates an involvement or interest in ship-building. Further research could no doubt discover something of his naval activities. He does not appear to have figured significantly in battle, but I may be wrong. Had he been more prominent in action, perhaps he would have been portrayed in naval regalia.

Among the varied selection of oil paintings was nothing by Scott, nor Brooking. Francis Swaine was married to Monamy's daughter, however, and his canvas, below, was a major feature of the sale, fetching a high price.

Francis Swaine

Also in the sale was a "Peter Monamy", unsigned. I doubt that this painting is by Monamy, but it is not impossible. It belongs in a category I am increasingly coming to think of as pseudo-Monamys. These are marines that may or may not have passed through the Monamy studio, by various painters. If they are not signed they are more likely to be by painters for whom Monamy would have acted as a middle-man.

The painting below is quite certainly by Monamy: and almost certainly his last.

philip & other durells
durell & louisbourg       durell & porto bello
porto bello picture tiles       louisbourg picture tiles
philip durell's maps
monamy/cornwall/durell family background
article 1981       article 1983
nottingham v mars
monamy site index

sausmarez manor 1980

© Charles Harrison Wallace 2006, 2017
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