March 1811: from the newspapers

News from March 1811, 200 years ago in Guernsey. Action needs to be taken: flour, and therefore rents, are becoming too expensive and the poor are suffering; ships are being captured by the enemy in local waters and no defence is being offered. If this made you depressed, you could always go to the theatre—if you could afford it.

Scarcity of flour and price of corn; Miss and Master Pitt; Mrs Herbert; Fylla; Chevalier; St Martin's mill; Hicks, optician and book-seller; Berry's boarding school; British prisoners in France; day of fasting; Grut's Academy; farm implements; vessels at anchor in the Roads; vessels captured by the enemy; Alex Agnew wins the lottery; Pitter of Bath; Berry's Eidouranion

Gazette de l'Isle de Guernesey 2 March 1811

Last night but one.
Under the Patronage of the YOUNG LADIES of Mrs FIELD’S Seminary.

Miss and Master Pitt’s Night.

Theatre Guernsey
Tuesday, March 6th, 1811.

Singing and Dancing, by Miss and Master PITT.

Tickets to be had of Miss and Master PITT, at Mrs Bienvenu’s, Bordage.

Positively the last night of performing this Season.

Theatre Guernsey.

By desire of Colonel de Butt, Captain Hutchesson, and Officers of the Royal Engineers, and Royal Artillery. For the Benefit of Mrs HERBERT.¹

On Wednesday next, March 6th 1811. Will be performed the admired Comedy of

TOWN and COUNTRY: Or, WHICH is BEST. A peep at the Forty Thieves.

A Military Hornpipe by Miss Quantrell,
In the course of which she will go through the six divisions of the Broad Sword Exercise.

To conclude with the Grand Popular & Comic Pantomime of MOTHER GOOSE, Or the GOLDEN EGG.

With all the original scenery Tricks and Machinery in addition to the Tricks in the Pantomime, Harlequin will take a surprising and wonderful leap through a Cask of real Fire and Water, the Fire seen burning, and the Water running at the same time.

Tickets to be had of Mrs Herbert, No. 914, opposite the Royal Court, and of Mr Greenslade, where places for the Boxes may be taken.

¹ Mrs Herbert, whose husband was an bit-part actor, was primarily a singer and was active in London from about 1796 to 1807.


The Officers and Crew of His Majesty’s ship Fylla, who were on board at the capture of the two French sloops Marie and Marie Eliza, on the 13th Juy 1810, will be paid their respective proportions of the said captures, on board, on their arrival in Guernsey Roads. Recalled at Chevalier & Co., Agents, Jersey. Guernsey, February 10th, 1811.

For sale, at Plymouth, a very capital copper bottomed Brig, of the best French built, quite new, partially copper fastened, single decked, would do to rise upon, is pierced for 20 guns, stores abundant, and never made a voyage.—For further particulars apply to Harry Dobrée, of this Island.

The house belonging to the late Andre Blanchot, known as Chevalier, situated at the top of Cornet Street, consisting of a double-windowed shop, three floors of rooms, &c., on which only 17 livres tournois of rent is payable, is for sale or rent; apply J. A. Chevalier, Fountain Street.

Mercure 2 March 1811

The Last Night but Two of Performing this Season
For the Benefit of Messrs FRENCH, COLES, WALKER, GREGORY & COX.
On Monday next, March 5th 1811, will be performed the popular PLAY of the STRANGER.

To conclude for this Night only, with the GRAND DRAMA of BLUE BEARD.

It is reported that several Vessels have lately laden with Flour for Lisbon, and not perhaps clandestinely, but most probably regularly cleared out by the proper authorities. Such a Trade may no doubt prove beneficial to the individuals concern’d, but will ultimately prove very injurious to the Inhabitants of this Island. The scarcity of Flour was lately great, and were it not for the supplies occasionally received from Southampton, the want of that necessary article of life would be severely felt. Bread is now 4d. p. lb., a price much too high for the poorer class of inhabitants with large families. The price of Corn is now also excessively high, and not easy to be procured from the Framers and in proportion as it will advance, the rents must increase, and become an oppressive load already too heavily felt. It should also be remember’d, that only a certain Quantity is allow’d to come under Licence from Southampton for the use of the Island and therefore it is impossible to calculate the evil, which the exportation of so necessary an article of Life from the Island, might create to its vast population. It is hoped this will merit the attention of the Legislature.

T. HUNT is pleased to inform the public that he has taken on St Martin’s mill, where he intends to mill for anyone who will honour him with their custom; and he hopes he will come to deserve the public’s patronage.

We are happy to find that the Share of the Ticket No. 17256, drawn a Prize of £1000, (which was bought of Mr. Greenslade, and Registered in the fictitious name of MASSA,) belongs to Mr Alex. Agnew, Jnr.

Gazette de l'Isle de Guernesey 9 March 1811


Mr Berry, begs to inform the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Island, that he has removed to Miss Smith’s house, in Havilland-Street, near George-Place, New Town, a situation which he flatters himself will be found more convenient for the young Gentlemen attending his Academy.

Merchants’ Accompts by double entry, taught as well in the School as privately, and young men, who from a neglect of Education, or bad memory, feel themselves at a loss in business, may of an evening receive instruction, in Writing, Arithmetic, &c. with persons of their own age.


J. G. Hicks has just received a large number of spectacles, with convex lenses for weak sight, suitable for persons aged from 20 to 80, and concave lenses for short sight, all with different frames and prices, which he is selling at his shop next to the Bank in Smith Street.

He has also just got in for sale the following French books: Bibles, at diverse prices; Testaments in large type; Liturgies and Psalms; Everyday Prayer Books; Voyage to Bethel; A History of the Jews, and other religious works; Geographies; Gardening Books, &c., &c. Anyone wishing to acquire one of these titles, especially Bibles, are urged to apply to him quickly, as he has only a very few for sale, and they are impossible to get hold of in England.

There is no need for the Jurats to get alarmed at the Projet de Loi put before the Parish last Thursday. Since the new Justinian is a Grocer [Epicier], while subtracting from their authority he will not fail to add to their Groceries [Epices]. But hang on there, Mr Clove and Mace, stop before they get Pepper up their noses, take the most sensible course, keep grinding your Drugs in your mortar, but don’t expect to become President by tipping them over your head. Remember what happened to Midas.

Gazette de l'Isle de Guernesey 16 March 1811

We are happy to be informed that there is a very general intention to devote the Pulpit, on the Fast-Day, to the furtherance of the Subscription for the Relief of the British Prisoners in France.

By command of HRH the Price Regent.

On Monday next, will be Published by T Greenslade, a Form of Prayer, recommended to be used by all Persons on Wednesday 20th instant, being the Day appointed for a General Fast and Humiliation before Almighty God, to be observed in the most devout and solemn manner, by sending up our Prayers and Supplications to the Divine Majesty. [The King recovered from his ill health.]

Gazette de l'Isle de Guernesey 23 March 1811

At the Classical, Mercantile, and Mathematical Academy, conducted by the Revd. Thomas Grut, A.B, the ensuing quarter will commence on Monday next, March 25.

Mercure 16 March 1811

at Richmond House, near the Vauchidor, on Tuesday the 26th inst., a light Cart, almost new, with Harness for ditto, also a small Cart with three wheels, fit to be drawn by men or horse, an excellent good Cow, two Pigs, several tons of Hay, some Parsnips, Turnips, a quantity of Sacks, ten of which are almost new, a Box for keeping Pigeons, some Oak Posts, about two hundred Faggots of Furze and several other articles. The Sale to begin at 10 o’clock.

GUERNSEY, Thursday, March 14th.

It is reported here, that three Vessels belonging to this Island and one from Alderney, have been captured by a French Privateer, on their way homeward, from Tarragona.

List of His Majesty’s vessels riding at Anchor in Guernsey Roads. The Ulisses frigate, bearing Vice-Admiral the Prince of Bouillon’s flag, the Fylla, Albacore, Vulture, and (name unknown), sloops; Escort, Sharpshooter, brigs; Sandwich, lugger, and Queen Charlotte, cutter; Wind, E.N.E.


It is with concern we learn the confirmation of Four Vessels bound to this Island, with Cargoes from the Coast of Spain, have been captured by the Enemy and carried into Malaga, the loss whereof is the more severely felt, the greater part of their value, being Insured in the Island. By the packet which brought this truly distressing information, we also learn, that one of the Weymouth Vessels has been captured and carried into Cherbourg. Almost every Mail brings accounts of British Vessels being captured and carried into the neighbouring Ports: which we would almost be inclined to doubt the truth of, were it not that such accounts are but too often confirmed to their full extent. Several Ships of great value, from Jamaica, Honduras, and Buenos-Aires, have lately been captured, and have arrived in safety at Cherbourg and St. Malo. That none of these valuable Ships, should not have been recaptured from the Enemy, is certainly very extraordinary, and it is equally so, that these Privateers should be permitted to sweep the Seas, and hover about these Islands with so much impunity. From Alderney, the Cherbourg Privateers are frequently seen committing their depradations, free and unmolested in the bare face of day. – Surely there is a fault somewhere, and there can be no look out after the enemy, or these things could not happen. It would be in the interest of Individuals to fit out vessels to cruise off these Islands and the French coast. Three or Four small Privateers would alone block up, and prevent vessels entering the above Ports, they should save the British merchant his Property and reap from such service considerable Benefit!

Under the Patronage of the PRINCESS ELIZABETH, PITTER, Of Bath-Street, Bath:Gold and Silver Laceman to HER MAJESTY and the PRINCESSES, and dealer in Fancy articles, has commenced selling at Mrs R. MAUGER, Near the Market-Place:

An entire New and Elegant assortment of Jewellery, Gold and Silver laces Patent pearl, Beads, Fans, black, white, and grey Flowers, bugle Trimmings and Handkerchiefs, with an assortment of Caps, Habit-Shirts, &c. &c.

By Permission of the Royal Court.

An EIDOURANION, or Large Transparent ORRERY.

Mr. BERRY, of the Academy, Havilland Street, New Town, will, for a few nights early next Month, exhibit at the Theatre, Guernsey, an Eidouranion or large transparent Orrery, which he has prepared at considerable trouble and expense, and is similar to that now exhibiting by Mr Walker with so much applause at the Haymarket Theatre, London; representing by transparent Globes in actual motion, the Sun, Earth and Moon performing their Diurnal and Annual Revolutions; with an Appropriate Lecture on the Solar System, familiarly explaining by large Transparencies and Telescopic Views the particulars of the several Planetary Worlds. The whole forming an Entertainment both Instructive and Amusing.

Gazette de Guernesey, March 23rd 1811

We the undersigned, owners of properties in Cornet Street, assert that the rumours that we have agreed to the works and alterations taking place in this street are false, and are malicious falsehoods designed to turn the sentiment of the public which, at the moment, feels sorry for us, seeing the damage done to our properties. Far from having agreed, we have always protested against it and continue to do so:

J A Chevalier, Jean Grut, Robert Mourant, Amice Le Cocq, Hélier De Putron, Anne Le Fevre, César Priaulx, S Grut, widow, Carterette Salle, J Gougère, Nicolas Roussel, Joseph Champion, Marthe Guille, Jean Gallienne, Richard Kell, M Le Lacheur, Anne Dufeu, widow, J M Dubosq, Elizabeth Barbet, Anne Falaise, widow, Daniel Robert.