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Nathaniel Westaway & Ann Alexandre (Winkleigh to Jersey)

Julia Westaway

John Nathaniel Westaway

Nathaniel was born 1790 in Winkleigh, Devon, the third son of Richard & Temperance Westaway. By 1811 he was living in Jersey and married Anne Alexandre that year. He was a builder, and in Don Street, St Helier is a building owned by Langlois Auctioneers and called Westaway Chambers, and set into the front of this building is a plaque of white limestone, bearing the initials N W over A A and the date 1811 and this is where they were living in 1841. Nathaniel became a well known builder and built many of the houses in St Helier, including most of the north side of Belmont Road which still stands today. Nathaniel had so many houses because he never wished to dismiss his men in the winter and he had a very large number of masons working for him, When he had no work for anyone else he used to build for himself. Ann and Nathanile had five children, John Nathaniel, Anne, Julia, Harriet, William who died as a baby and Charlotte who died in her late teens. Nathaniel died aged sixty two, leaving a considerable amount of property equally to his three surviving children and Anne died eleven years later at the age of eighty eight, both are buried in the churchyard at St Saviours Church.

1841 Census St Helier, Jersey - 24, Don Street
Nathaniel Westeway
441
a1
abt 1791
England
St Helier
Jersey
Builder
Ann Westaway
442
a2
abt 1781
Jersey, Ch. Isl.
St Helier
Jersey
Wife
Harriet Westeway
443
a3
abt 1816
Jersey, Ch. Isl.
St Helier
Jersey
Daughter
Julia Westeway
444
a4
abt 1821
Jersey, Ch. Isl.
St Helier
Jersey
Daughter

Julia Westaway Back to top

Harriet & Julia never married and lived at 1, St Saviours Crescent, a very lovely house that still stands today, with three main floors, attic and basement. Harriet was the stronger willed of the two sistersm whilst Julia was fairly intelligent but very kind, although in later years she would ramble. After their father's death, their brother, John Nathaniel presumed that he should look after their affairs, collecting rents and overseeing their properties. For this he expected to be paid and when they refused he took them to court, Rather than pay this the two sisters preferred to be sent the Debtor's prison. So on October 14th, 1861 Harriet and Julia went to prison. As next of kin their brother was required to pay for their keep and such was the animosity between them that on November 1st John reduced their keep to "short commons", the least amount he need pay. Harriet became ill and so the sisters were forced to pay the debt. Julia and Harriet never forgave their brother and were determined that none of his family should ever benefit from their considerable wealth. When Harriet died she left just 1s to her brother and the rest to Julia. Julia used the money to finance charity projects such as educating Jersey boys to become gardeners and fruit growers and clothing for the orphans in Dr Barnado's home at Teighmore, Gorey, She also presented a painting by John H Lander called "Assize d'Heritage" to the States of Jersey and this now hangs in the Court House, When she died she left everything, (an estate worth £80,000 - £90,000) to charity. Julia gave £10 to the founding of the Creche for poor children in St Helier and £4,000 towards its maintenance, She left money to set up a charity to provide "poor christian childrenwith shoes" and to this day most Jersey schools have a cupboard full of Gym shoes provided by Julia. The will was contested by her nephew John on the grounds she was senile at the time the will was written, however he failed to win and the money went towards helping the poor children of Jersey.

John Nathaniel & Anne Guillet Back to top

(Click on image or here for larger image)

1841 Census - St Helier, Jersey - 10 Vine Street
John Westaway
abt 1816
Jersey, Ch. Isl.
St Helier
Jersey
Merchant
Ann Westaway
abt 1811
Jersey, Ch. Isl.
St Helier
Jersey
Wife
John Westaway
abt 1836
Jersey, Ch. Isl.
St Helier
Jersey
Son
Ann Westaway
abt 1837
Jersey, Ch. Isl.
St Helier
Jersey
Daughter
Henrietta Westaway
abt 1839
Jersey, Ch. Isl.
St Helier
Jersey
Daughter
Charles Westaway
abt 1840
Jersey, Ch. Isl.
St Helier
Jersey
Son
1851 Census - St Helier, Jersey - 20, Belmont Road
John N Westaway
abt 1813
St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands
Head
House Proprietor & General Merchant
St Helier
Jersey
Ann Westaway
abt 1810
St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands
Wife
Wife
St Helier
Jersey
John Westaway
abt 1836
St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands
Son
Son
St Helier
Jersey
Harriet Westaway
abt 1839
St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands
Daughter
Daughter
St Helier
Jersey
Ann Westaway
abt 1838
St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands
Daughter
Daughter
St Helier
Jersey
Charles A Westaway
abt 1840
St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands
Son
Son
St Helier
Jersey
Maria Westaway
abt 1841
St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands
Daughter
Daughter
St Helier
Jersey
Nathaniel Westaway
abt 1843
St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands
Son
Son
St Helier
Jersey
James E Westaway
abt 1844
St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands
Daughter
Daughter
St Helier
Jersey
Alexander H Westaway
abt 1845
St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands
Son
Son
St Helier
Jersey
Charlotte Westaway
abt 1847
St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands
Daughter
Daughter
St Helier
Jersey
Susan Westaway
abt 1848
St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands
Daughter
Daughter
St Helier
Jersey

John Nathaniel married Anne Guillet in 1833 and they had ten children between 1835 and 1848. The first two, John Nathaniel, jun and Annie married and had children, The next was a daughter, Henrietta who died aged 23, Charles Alexander was a master mariner's apprentice and died on board ship between England and China when he was only fifteen years old. Maria died aged sixteen and Nathaniel, a Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers, died aged thirty in Ceylon. Their seventh child, James C., was Captain & Adjutant in the 13th Light Infantry. Awarded a gold medal for saving a man from drowning, he died aged thirty from injuries received in Zululand, Alexander Henry, the eighth child became a stockbroker and was later declared bankrupt and imprisoned. He returned to Jersey and was paid money by his Aunt Julia, but then stole £100 from her, However she paid all his hospital expenses until he died in 1900. Charlotte & Susan were the youngest and married respectively, Roger Miles & Ernest Collas around 1900. Poor Anne was unaware of the early deaths of most of her children as she died in 1856 at the age of forty six,

John Nathaniel died in 1870 when the ship he was sailing in was in a collision. A newspaper reports:-

On March 17th 1870 the Southampton Mail Packet Normandy, having come into collision with the screw steamer, Mary, sank soon after. The collision occurred at 3.45 Thursday am. The Mary was a Baltic Trader on her passage from Odessa to London, There was a dense fog that had prevailed for days. The Normandy when struck on the starboard side, was in a very heavy sea, and the Mary, raised by the swelling of the surge, fell across the deck of the Normandy, breaking her in two, Twenty minutes after she floundered, Captain Harvey never left the bridge. His orders were "Ladies first!". Great difficulty was experienced in prevailing upon the ladies - some without clothing - to enter the boats. When the Havre brought the saved to St Helier words cannot describe the anguish of those that learned of the loss of those nearest and dearest, Mr Advocate Westaway, on hearing of the death of his respected father, was so overcome that his friends had to remove him. It was Mr Westaway who very humanely assisted in saving Miss Clara Godfrey of Jersey. Captain Harvey's last words were "row fast and clear off, for we're sinking!". The man at the wheel was called upon to jump into a boat as she passed to stern of the fast sinking ship. "No, I stick to my ship" he replied. We hear from the last man who left the ship that no person exceeded in coolness and courage or in attempts to save passengers than Mr Westaway. The passengers, until within three minutes of when the boat sank, were expecting the boats from the Mary, but these arrived too late, The Mary was very much damagedm and the big lifeboats of the Normandy entirely smashed. Only two boats were intact, The two boats were manned by five seamen and one fireman and eighteen of the passengers (11 females and 7 males) got into them, When the two boats left, the Captain was still standing on the bridge giving directions to the engineers and those under his command. There are eleven widows, twenty children, one mother and one grandmother who have been deprived of means of support, by this terrible calamity. The Normandy was only six years old, a paddle steamer propelled by engines of 238h.p. She was not insured. It is certain that Mr Westaway and Mr Kinlock might have saved themselves if they had preferred their own safety to that of others. Mr J. N. Westaway, at his last moment when standing on the ill-fated ship, and asked to get into the boat of rescue, he exclaimed "No, I am in God's hands". How manfully Mr Westaway & Mr Kinlock saved others; how truly gloriously they died!, At the feet of the Captain stood a boy under the bridge called Clements. "We are sinking", called the Captain to him, "Go with the Ladies, there's room for you!" "No Sir" was the boy's reply. "I stay with you". Mr Cox and his firemen remained in the engine room faithfully obeying the Captain's orders, and all died, Not a seaman left the ship, save those detailed by the commander to row boats. Greater discipline, sublimer abnegation of self, is not on record."

A Monument to this trgedy was erected in 1871. Money was also raised by public subscription for a memorial to John Nathaniel Westaway. It has a stone base with a cast relief of the head of John Nathaniel on the side, Above this is a large cast dolphin entwined around and anchor. The whole appears to have been designed as a fountain although never used as one, It originally stood by the weighbridge, but was later moved to be on the Victoria Pier beside the Harvey Memorial. John was also a public figure and at the time of his death the President of the Jersey United Club, where his portrait hangs above an upstairs fireplace.

John Nathaniel, jun was an advocate and in 1874 married Emma Jane Tregear, born in Plymouth, Devon who had come to Jersey as a house servant, John built a lovely house called Rocqueberg after the large stone outcrop in the middle of the drive which is referred to as the witches rock, Here they lived for a short while, and children, John, Henry Charles, Emma Beatrice and Nathaniel Radmore were born there, However in 1879 John became Solicitor General of the Island and whilst giving a speech in French and English to the Estates General of Jersey in October he had a fit of apoplexy and was obliged to give up his practice. He died shortly after and Emma was left desolate. The house was sold and Emma and the children returned to England.

(Acknowledgements and thanks to Elizabeth Ottaway for information extracted from her book "The Westaways of Jersey". Elizabeth is a direct descendant of Anne born 1837, daughter of John Nathaniel & Anne Guillet)

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  © 2003-6 Sheila Yeo | For more information on the Westaway family and the research contained in this site email sheila@yeosociety.com or call me on +44 (0)1626 360978