Extra-parishioners, 1770

Locals who live outside their native parish.

At the Christmas Chief Pleas, held 22nd January 1770, Samuel Bonamy, Ecuyer, Bailiff, presiding, &c.

Parish settlement

The Court has considered the Requête brought forward by the Collectors of the Town Poor,¹ asking that the 2nd article of the Ordinance issued the 18th April 1726, on the subject of Extra-parishioners, be clarified. Given the many difficulties that often arise in the understanding and implementation of this article, THE COURT, having taken in to account the opinion of the Law Officers, in clarifying and reforming this article, order that no Resident [Habitant] who has reached their majority will be deemed as having acquired any Settlement [Etablissement] in that parish in which he may come to reside, until he or she has lived in that parish for a term of seven consecutive years. These said Extra-parishioners, or their children who may be born in that parish in which they have come to reside, will not be regarded as Residents of the said parish and will not be able to ask for assistance from the parish authorities, but are to be returned to the parish of which the father is a native to be given welfare there. This will apply even where these Extra-parishioners have paid taxes to the parish in which they have been resident, or have bought a house or land within the said parish. When the case arises that such Extra-parishioners have completed the term of residence of seven consecutive years within a parish, the Poor Officers of that parish are bound whenever need arises to provide for and see to the welfare of these said Extra-parishioners and their children.

And as for those Extra-parishioners of whatever age who have resided in a parish as domestic servants or apprentices for the term of seven consecutive years, such Extra-parishioners will be deemed to have acquired Settlement in that parish in which they completed the term of seven consecutive years' residence. And should they become beggars they will be provided for by the Poor Officers of that parish.

As for Strangers who are not born in Guernsey, the Ordinance of 18th April, 1726, remains in force.

1 The Churchwardens were originally known as Trésoriers; in the 16th century they were called Collecteurs ('du Trésor', that is, of church funds), as they were responsible for administering the money received from parishioners as poor relief; they are also referred to in records as 'Procureurs' or 'Attorneys' of the Church. In the Calvinist period the title Trésorier passed to the lesser post of Deacon, or Diacre, who assisted the Churchwardens, and the Churchwardens were then known as 'Anciens', or Elders. The Anciens also fulfilled a religious function. In 1632 the title Trésorier was restored to the Churchwardens; the Deacons then became known as Collecteurs. In 1662 the titles of Ancien and Diacre were dropped altogether, the Churchwarden Trésoriers, formerly Anciens, being officially known from then on as the Curateurs du Trésor. The deacons remained as Collecteurs; the term means in effect a raiser or collector of funds or taxes. See Priaulx, T. F., 'Les Pauvres', Quarterly Review of the Guernsey Society, XXIV (2), Summer 1968, pp. 32 ff, and 'The Ecclesiastical side of Parish administration', QRGS, XXIV (1), Spring, 1968, p. 3.