Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Le Quesne, Charles

LE QUESNE, CHARLES (1811–1856), a writer on the constitutional history of Jersey, a native of Jersey, was eldest son of Nicholas Le Quesne, a jurat of the Royal Court. From early youth he showed a strong predilection for the study of political economy, and his first publication was a series of articles on commercial questions relating to the Channel Islands, which were contributed to Jonathan Duncan's ‘Guernsey Magazine’ (1836–8). In 1848 appeared a remarkable essay by Le Quesne, entitled ‘Ireland and the Channel Islands, or a Remedy for Ireland.’ He attributed the discontent in Ireland mainly to the system of land tenure, and suggested the application to Ireland of the land system of the Channel Islands, which divides the land among many small proprietors. In 1856, the year of his death, Le Quesne published a ‘Constitutional History of Jersey,’ a standard work, from which quotation has frequently been made in lawsuits relating to the Channel Islands heard before the privy council. The ‘History’ is written in English, and prints for the first time many valuable documents. Part of its contents was borrowed from Edward Durell's edition of Falle's ‘History,’ 1837.

Le Quesne was elected a jurat of the Royal Court of Jersey on 2 July 1850; was officer in the island artillery, and president of the Jersey chamber of commerce.

Le Quesne was an active and liberal member of the states of Jersey, and, though attached to the constitution of the island, was a staunch supporter of useful and progressive reform. He died on 18 Aug. 1856 at St. Helier. He married Kate, daughter of Colonel English, R.E.

[Payne's Armorial of Jersey, p. 250; local newspapers.]

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