Guernsey Weights and Measures, from Warburton's Treatise, 1682

Extracted from a review of Guernsey by the then Governor, Lord Hatton, known under the pseudonym of 'Warburton.'

The Pound is of 18 ounces, Rouen weight; greater than the Averdupois, by about 34 grs. Less than the Troy Ounce, by about 9½ do.

For Wheat, there is a great and a small measure. Five of each denomination of the great measure, make six of the like denomination in the small. The denominations are, the Quint, the Dénérel, the Cabotel, the Bushel and the Quarter.¹

The Guernsey bushel, great measure, contains about 6 gallons, Winchester measure, and consequently the dénérel, half a peck of the same measure. The quarter, great measure, 3 bushels of Winchester measure.

272 cubic inches equal to a Gallon Winchester measure.

213 do. equal to a Gallon Wine measure.

382 do. equal to a Gallon Ale measure.

Liquors of all sorts are measured by the pot, which contains something more than two English quarts of Wine measure, less than two quarts of Ale measure. The pot contains 121 cubic inches. Thirteen and a half of these pots, are esteemed to be equal to the Guernsey bushel.

They have a pint measure, which is, or should be, the fourth part of a pot, but it holds not quite so much, by their brass measures, which were all made in 1615, and which consist of a pint, a pot, a dénérel, and a bushel, in the custody of the King's prévôt, who stamps with his initials all the measures made upon these models.

Of sea-coals, ten bushels go to the quarter in this island.

For the inch and foot, the English measure is used in all things.

The aûne, or ell, which is four feet, is the measure for linen and most other commodities.

The verge-à-drap is but three feet, two inches.

For measuring of land, the only denominations in common use are the perche and the vergée: 21 feet square is a perche: 40 perches is a vergée. But in some particular fiefs, 36 perches make a vergée, and this is called petit perquage.

In the extent of the king's revenues, the bouvée and carnes are often mentioned and sometimes the acre. 4 vergées make an acre. 5 acres make a bouvée. 12 bouvées make a carnes.

Wheat is struck; all other grains heaped. Malt is also struck, though it is sold by the same measure with those sort of grain that are heaped.

The old species of money, mentioned in the books of receipt, are thus to be valued in Tournois: [there follows a table very similar to that from Berry, containing larger denominations, such as the Noble, Gros Monnoie etc., then this table:]

Des monnoies de cette ile de toutes sortes d'espèces, y usitées de tout tems.

2 Furluques valent 1 Denier Tournois.

5 Furluques valent 1 Fardin Sterlin.

7 Furluques valent 1 Liard monnoie de France.

10 Furluques valent 1 Maille Sterling.

20 Furluques valent 1 Denier Sterling.

9 Noires Mailles valent 1 Denier Sterling.

1 Sterling monnoie valent 3 Fardins Sterling.

1 Carolus monnoie valent 1 Denier, 3 Furluques.

In the Extent of Edward III, it is said, that the Constable or Lieutenant-Governor, 'prend par jour seize deniers de forte monnoie, en Latin, fortae monetae, desquelles quatre valent en estling.' Now, by the above account, 10 deniers tournois make but one denier sterling. And forte monnoie, or fortae monetae, does elsewhere signify no particular sort or species of money, but serves only to express, good or current money of any species whatsoever. Properly, that is called forte monnoie, which has the least of alloy: the adding more alloy is called affoiblissement.

See also Frederick Clarke's Tables des Monnaies, Poids, et Mesures en usage à Guernesey (Guernsey, States Arcade) and for a history of Guernsey weights and measures in English, T. F. Priaulx's 'Weights and Measures', Quarterly Review of the Guernsey Society, Summer 1974. For Warburton, see Clark, R.,'Mr Warburton's treatise', Report and Transactions of the Socété Guernesiaise 1984 XXI (4) p. 547, and Ogier, D., bid. 1990 XXII (5) p. 871, 'The authorship of Warburton's treatise'.

¹ The 'small measure' was used for a few specific transactions, but can also occasiionally be found in Bills of Partage (distributions of inheritance).