15th September 1831
The title Baron de Saumarez was created
Saumarez and Sausmarez, the first derived from the latter, are names threaded right through the history of Guernsey. The single family from which they spring played a large part in the island’s development – and in Britain’s success at sea.
James Sausmarez dropped the second S in his name when he joined the navy. He rose through the ranks and served alongside Nelson. In 1819 he was promoted to rear-admiral of the United Kingdom, to vice-admiral two years later and, in 1824, became commander-in-chief at Plymouth.
However, his longest-standing achievement, at least as far as his family’s reputation and standing are concerned, was his elevation to the peerage in 1831. On 15 January the title Baron de Saumarez was created in his honour – and he was naturally its first holder.
Baron de Saumarez
The title has passed down through the Saumarez family line, first to another James, who was a clergyman, then to John. The fourth Baron, another James, secured the family estate at Castel when he bought Sausmarez Manor (still with the second S) from his father.
Yet, even with that magnificent pile to his name, his attention was focused elsewhere. From the fourth to the seventh generations, the Barons de Saumarez spent much of their time on the mainland.
After buying Sausmarez Manor, James married into a moneyed English family and set up home at Shrubland Park near Ipswich. The next two generations – another two Jameses – followed his lead. However, the seventh Baron de Saumarez, Eric, sold up in 2006 and moved back to Guernsey.
Shrubland Hall, his home at the 92-acre Shrubland Park, had by that time been a health clinic for around 40 years. During that time it featured, under its own name, in the “unofficial” James Bond film, Never Say Never Again.