Jean Thomas Corbet
Jean Thomas Corbet (1836 – 1926) was a Guernsey-born quarry owner, grower and painter. He was also a founding member of the Guernsey Rotary Club.
Corbet was the eldest son of Jean Corbet and Rachel du Port in Vale Parish. He was educated at the Vale Sunday School and the Vale Primary School. He lived in Guernsey his entire life. He was the owner of Le Catelain Quarry and La Corvee Quarry and later moved into growing, excelling with the use of the then new use of glasshouses. His was the second family in Guernsey to build glasshouses, following his son-in-law Henry Bichard. He was largely a self-taught painter who worked in the style of Impressionism. He had some lessons in painting from his cousin Denys Corbet.
Corbet married Louisa Sebire (1832-1895) in 1859. They had seven children. The family settled at "Clospains" in the Vale Parish. Corbet remarried in 1899 to one of his servants by the name of Mary Le Maitre, a widower, they had no children.
Corbet was a deeply religious and private man who worked hard to ensure that his children and relatives were "Knowing of God and comfortable." He amassed substantial wealth which is managed today for his third great grandson Christian Cardell Corbet living in Canada.
Corbet saw that what with the advant of 'glasshouses' he and his family could succeed further in thier endeavours so he moved away from quarrying and ensured that his three sons would follow that occupation; the sons namely John Henry Corbet, Alfred John Corbet and William "Melon King" Corbet. While John Henry Corbet would move into growing and later become a major Fruit Merchant and his youngest brother William Corbet would establish a successful name in the Channel Islands and England the middle brother Alfred John Corbet decided to not follow suit and moved to Canada. There Alfred John moved in his early 40's, retired and lived the remainder of his life as a 'city gentleman'. It is from Alfred John Corbet that Jean Thomas Corbet would have grandsons and carry on the senior line of the family name in Canada.
Corbet was the subject of several formal portraits during his lifetime by Photographic Artists Garnier Arsene, R. Dumaresq to include an important four generations superimposed portrait by T.A Grut.
Despite the fact that Corbet was known to be very shrewd with his money he conceived the idea and ensured that he donated the principle sum of funds for a major stained glass window at the Vale Methodist Church in memory of his brother Helier who died in 1917. This major work of art is the single largest principle stained glass art work in the Vale Parish.
Corbet died on 12 June 1926 at New Place in the Vale. He was interred along with his first wife and several other relatives in Independant Cemetery, Vale Church.
The Corbet Family Channel Islands Collection has in their archives several original heirlooms from the Estate of Jean Thomas Corbet's to include personal effects and paintings.