David Bandinel

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David Bandinel


Bandinel's signature

The Very Rev David Bandinel was appointed Dean of Jersey in 1620

David Bandinel was born in 1575 in Geneva, Switzerland. He died on 12 February 1644 after falling on to rocks below Mont Orgueil Castle

His wife who died a year later, was Elizabeth Stallenge. They were married on 30 March 1600 in St Olave, Hart Street, London.

They had seven children named Daniel, Jaques, David, Esther, John, Anne and Thomas.

In Jersey in the early 17th Century the style of worship was resolutely Calvinist. Queen Elizabeth I left Jersey and Guernsey more or less in charge of their own affairs, because of political expedience: Protestant islanders would be in opposition to Catholic France. It was not until the Governorship of Sir John Peyton in 1603, under James I, that control by the Anglican church was reintroduced in Jersey, leading to a power struggle between the Governor and those among the local clergy and inhabitants who were still wedded to Presbyterianism.

As a result of a report by Royal Commissioners Sir Edward Conway and Sir William Bird in 1617, David Bandinel was appointed in 1620 as the first Dean of Jersey since the Reformation with a view to bringing order to the Jersey Church. Although unpopular among a section of the Jersey clergy, the Dean reached agreement with most of them on 58 Canons and laid them before the King in Council. The Royal Court sent delegates to oppose some of them. A compromise was then reached and in 1623 the King affixed his seal to the final draft. So were the Canons of James I established as law, remaining substantially so until 1949 when an amendment changed four of them.

Clashes with Bailiff

David Bandinel was originally appointed Rector of St Brelade, but in 1629 he resigned that position and became Rector of St Martin, which had a far larger stipend because, as the parish church of Mont Orgueil Castle it was considered the most important at the time.

Bandinel was not popular and made many enemies, including Sir Philippe de Carteret, who was both Lieut-Governor and Bailiff.

In 1628 Sir Philippe supported a petition to the House of Commons entitled "Complaints against proceedings of David Bandinel, an alien, made Dean. Plea that a Commission may be issued under the Great Seal to enquire into the conduct of the said Dean". However, the petition was not taken seriously and nothing happened.

In 1641 Sir Philippe took an opportunity to sue the Dean. On his appointment King James I endowed the Deanery with the Great Tithes of St Saviour, to provide financial support. Since the Reformation the funds from these tithes (a tenth, in cash or kind, of all produce from the parish) had been paid to the Crown.

Sir Philippe, as Bailiff, claimed that old Letters Patent issued by previous Monarchs gave him the right to the tithes. He sued Bandinel for all the money he had received over the previous 20 years but lost his case in the Royal Court, and also his subsequent appeal to the Privy Council.


While Bandinel was in London during the hearing of the appeal, Samuel De La Place, whom he had some time before forced to resign as Rector of St Mary, lodged a petition against him with the House of Commons.

Although the petition was eventually not pursued, Bandinel failed to turn up to the enquiry and was imprisoned by the House of Commons for three months.

At the outbreak of the Civil War he returned to Jersey and discovered that de Carteret was supporting the King. As happened with so many of the Bailiff’s enemies, Bandinel joined the Parliamentarians and was soon the leader of what became the stronger faction.

In February 1643 they forced de Carteret to take refuge in Elizabeth Castle, where he died on August 23. But three months later the Royalists were back in power after George Carteret returned to Jersey.

Although Bandinel had writeen to Sir Philippe's widow in an attempt to make his peace with the Royalists, his offer was ignored and on 5 December 5 he and his son Jacques were imprisoned at Elizabeth Castle for six months and then Mont Orgueil for a further year.

They were well treated, but on 10 February 1645 they attempted to escape by climbing down the outside wall of the castle. Their makeshift rope proved to be too short and both fell on to the rocks below. David Bandinel was discovered there the following morning and died hours later. His son escaped but had been so badly hurt that he died from his injurieswhile in hiding about a year later.

Family trees


Further articles


  • The Rev G R Balleine, A Biographical Dictionary of Jersey
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