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Frank Cunningham Jaunay 1851–1912

Escape to Paradise The story of Frank Cunningham Jaunay

jaunay boysFrank Cunningham Jaunay was born in Londonderry Ireland on 22 June 1851. His mother was either determined that her first born would be Irish or wanted to be at 'home' for the birth! By 17 August 1851, he was back in London for his baptism at St Martin in the Fields Church on Trafalgar Square. Nothing is known about Frank's schooling although he clearly received a comprehensive education.

Pictured: Frank (right) with his brother Julius in 1863.

Prior to his marriage in 1882, Frank undertook many adventures. Apart from the usual grand tour of Europe, Frank spent much time in Britain visiting his mother's family. It is claimed he spent two years in Russia and Vienna before attending the University of Heidelberg in Baden, Germany where he was wounded in the forehead in a duel. Frank also spent a year in the monastery, the couvent de la Grande Chartreuse near Grenoble in the town of St-Pierre-de-Chartreuse. From a letter written by his brother, Jules, one suspects the monks may have indulged in the manufacture of wine and if this is so then it is likely that Frank was there for that earthly reason rather than a spiritual one! As a result of his travels he became fluent in German, Russian and English and developed a keen interest in history. In 1879 he was appointed United States Vice Consul for Reims.

By late 1879 Frank was living in Reims with his father at 10 rue de la Grue. He was already developing his skills in discerning good wines working with his father as a wine merchant, although Frank had undertaken studies as a young man in a course of analytical chemistry. Unfortunately there is little evidence that he was gaining experience in blending, the basic skill to make champagne!


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