Jardin D'Olivet (1549 Battlefield site)

Jardin D’Olivet is a little known battlefield site dating back to the Anglo-French and Anglo-Scottish wars of the 1540s. In July and August 1549, and as a precursor to re-opening of renewed war between the new French King Henry II and the new boy King Edward VI, the French took advantage of the weakened English Crown following the death of Henry VIII, occupied the island of Sark in the Channel Islands and launched attacks on the other islands. Henry II’s main objective was to rid the English from northern France where they held towns including Calais and Boulogne. A attack in the Channel Islands as well as assisting England’s enemies in a rebellious Scotland would divide and stretch English forces. After an attack on the English fleet in Guernsey, the French led by Captain Francis Breuil de Bretagne landed at Bouley Bay in Jersey.  The invading force was met by the local militia at Jardin D’Olivet, where after a fierce fight, in which the latter’s leader Jurat Helier de la Rocque, the Lieutenant-Bailiff of Jersey, was severely wounded, dying a few days later, the French forces were overcome and routed from the battlefield. The French retired to St Malo to repair their damaged fleet and bury their dead.

The expedition of French was not, however, a complete failure, as they captured the Lieutenant Governor, Henry Cornish’s barque as it lay at anchor off Gorey on the way back to St Malo. They also retained Sark, the closest other Channel Island to Jersey, for the next nine years, causing constant menace to Jersey.