Tessier Gardens

A little history of the Tessier family

Mr Herbert and Mrs Amy Tessier moved from London to St Marychurch in 1903 when they purchased “Carribawn” a house in Stanley Road.

The Tessier family originally came from France and were Huguenots.  As French Protestants, to avoid official persecution, they were forced to flee from their homeland.  The Huguenots were very welcome in this country as many of them were skilled artisans and merchants who added much to the economy.  Our branch of the Tessier family was firmly established in the Soho area of London by the mid- eighteen century. The Tessiers were jewellers and successive generations of the family all followed in the same footsteps. Subsequently, the family greatly expanded their business into the Mayfair area of London where Louis Tessier, who was Herbert’s father, became a Court jeweller.  Herbert took over sole control of the jewellery business when his father died and became very successful by specialising in gold & diamonds.  After early retirement to Torquay, both Herbert and Amy Tessier quickly became very involved in local affairs to which they applied their dynamic energy.  Herbert became a County Councillor for St. Marychurch and later a Justice of the Peace; he was also the President and supporter of innumerable societies in the locality.  Amy Tessier was very active in her support of local horticultural societies and also renowned for her garden parties and fund raising activities.  Both the Tessiers were very generous with their time and money.  In 1942, when Herbert died, an obituary eulogising his contribution to local affairs ended by saying that “Torquay could ill afford to lose such men”.  Amy, died two years later, in 1944.  In her Will she generously left donations to All Saints’ Babbacombe, Torbay Hospital, Rosehill Children’s Hospital, Torquay League of Help, Dr. Barnardo’s Home and the N.S.P.C.C; with several personal bequeaths to friends and former employees.

It is perhaps fitting that the Tessiers were jewellers, as with the gift of their Gardens to our community have  left us with a priceless gem.

a thank you to Colin Roulstone for his research.

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