October 1892

From the local newspapers.

General Booth; Butchers' licenses; Scott Harley; Cholera; Asylum; Le Page and Guille, stabbing; Guernsey currency; Deluging a cat (Edmunds vs Condon); Alderney; Weygang; Major Adamson; Tower Hill Mission; Guernsey Hermit.

The Star, Saturday, October 1, 1892


Just as he was going off to England today a Star representative was fortunate enough to catch up with the 'General' on board the Weymouth steamer. 'Well, General, and how have you liked your visit to the Channel Islands?' 'Ah! Very well, thank you,' was the quick rejoinder spoken in the North country dialect which gives emphasis to his platform utterances. 'And how did Jersey receive you?' 'Positively overwhelmed me. Thought I should have choked, the heat was so intense, but we had a glorious meeting.' 'And what about the financial department of which you spoke so hopefully?' 'I don't think we can grumble. Roughly we collected between the Guernsey and Jersey meetings something like £100. Not bad for two days.' 'Well, thank you, 'General', au revoir. By the way, have you any messages to send?' 'No, I think not. Ah! Yes—please give my respects to Mr Grimes, and tell him that I hope that if he cannot mend his wits, he, will, at least, try to mend his manners, before I meet him again.' Just then, the shout of 'any more for the shore,' compelled us to exchange hurried salutations, and the hoarse whistle told intending voyageurs to be ready for a roughish passage. Back to top


At a meeting of the Markets' Committee held this afternoon it was decided that the four butchers: namely Messrs. R. Best and Co., 13, Market, William Duffet, Vincent Gardner and Fred. Robins, recently found by Market Constable Lihou with hooks attached to their scales, should cease to hold stalls in the Market from the 12th October 1892, the date when the current year ends.

History of Guernsey Butchers

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The Star, Tuesday, October 4, 1892

The SS Scott Harley. This steamer is now in St Julian's pier, having a larger and heavier propeller fitted. This is calculated to increase her speed. Back to top

CHERBOURG NEWS. The Shipping Gazette of yesterday, quotes from a Times correspondent: The English Consul at Cherbourg has interdicted and notified the suspension of the maritime service between Guernsey and the northern French ports. [Cholera outbreak.] Back to top


At the monthly meeting of the Board held on Monday, Oct. 3rd, 1892, the following returns were given: HOSPITAL: Number of inmates: On 31st August 1892, 169: Admitted during the month of September, 1892, 8 -177: Discharged, 8: Died, 3 -11. Total on 30th Sept., including Lunatic Asylum: 166. Being 3 less than the preceding month, and 6 less than on 30th September, 1891.


Admitted during the month of September, 0; discharged, 1; remaining; 32: assistants, 4: total, 35. Being 2 less than the preceding month and one more than on 30th September, 1891. Back to top


John Le Page was produced before the Royal Court, by Constable H. A. Dorey charged with having, on the night of Saturday, September 3, stabbed and wounded James Guille, in the left thigh, the act having been committed with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

HM's Comptroller opened the case by reading the depositions of the witnesses taken in camera, and from this it appeared that a feud had existed between the prisoner and complainant, for some time past, until it culminated in Le Page following, and stabbing Guille, which would, probably, have had a serious termination were it not for the manner in which the blow was turned aside.

[...] James Guille the complainant said he lived at King's Mills, and was a labourer working in the Castel parish. On Thursday, Sept. 1st, he was milking the cows near the windmill when he heard a gun fired and soon after a small number of grains fell around him. Another shot was fired at the same time the next day and while he was engaged in the same occupation. A man named Theo. Batiste was in the road. He told witness that Le Page had fired the shots.

On the Saturday evening witness was going to his brother's house at Grands Moulins and while on his way saw the prisoner standing at his gate; this was about 9 o'clock. He did not speak to Le Page. The latter, however, said Tu es menteur; c'etait pas moi qui a tiré sur toi. He continued on his way and Le Page threatened to give him a good licking. When he saw Le Page following he turned back and noticed a knife in the prisoner's hand. Le Page endeavoured to strike him in the stomach with his knife. In self-defence he had given Le Page a blow on the arm which caused the knife to strike him on the thigh. Guille again struck him twice in the arm in the endeavour to knock him down and take the knife from him.

In cross-examination witness denied having spoken to Mrs Le Page about her husband, or called him abusive names. Witness could not now recall what the prisoner's wife had said to him. In the course of his cross-examination Mr de Mouilpied [advocate for the defence] elicited the fact that Guille had, in 1875, been sentenced to two days imprisonment for brawling.

Yves Guillon, a Breton, said he resided at Mrs Dorey's, and at about 10 o'clock he heard a noise as of some altercation going on opposite Le Page's house. He went out and saw Le Page following Guille. The accused endeavoured to strike the plaintiff with a knife in the stomach. He did not hear what was said as he did not quite understand Guernsey French.

The other witnesses corroborated the fact that the assualt had been made, with the exception of Mrs Dorey, who endeavoured to show that the knife was in the hands of Le Page for the purpose of cutting grapes for her sick sister.

Mr de Mouilpied for the defence, made a speech lasting 50 minutes. His contention was that the knife had accidentally struck Guille upon the leg, as the prisoner had in no way premeditated the assault. He brought forward all the various statements to prove this contention, and asked the court to acquit his client. HM Comptroller, in his conclusions, said that it was a very 'curious' accident which caused a knife to penetrate a man's trousers, drawers, vest, &c., and wound him in the leg. If the Court found that the prisoner had committed the assault and wounded Guille purposely, he would ask for six months' imprisonment at hard labour, half the time solitary on bread and water.

The full bench unanimously found in accordance with his conclusions. Back to top

The Star, Thursday, October 6, 1892


Truth, of September 29, contains the following remarks anent the pressing question of local currency.

The traveller who goes to Guernsey for a change is likely to get more than he bargains for, for Guernsey has a currency of her own and—not content with a copper coinage of doubles and with a collection of greasy, dirty, fusty, evil-smelling notes circulated by the States and the local banks— circulates the silver coins of well-nigh every nationality in Europe, as well as those of a few South American countries to boot. A guileless stranger who in a weak moment changed a £5 Bank of England note in to five franc pieces, found that among the coins he just received were those of two French emperors, three French kings, three Republics, two Italian kings and a Sardinian monarch, to say nothing of two Peruvian and Chilian dollars. It is all the more strange that Guernsey should persist in clinging to the use of this eclectic and cosmopolitan coinage, seeing that the sister island of Jersey adopted British money some years ago to the manifest advantage of tourists and the satisfaction of islanders at large. A correspondent suggests that it is only the Guernsey bankers who, for obvious reasons, wish to retain the current system; but surely if Guernseymen generally are in favour of a change they should have no difficulty in accomplishing what they desire. The clamour of the coppersmiths which we read of in the Acts, would have prevailed little had it run counter to the pronounced wishes of the Ephesians.

This is the second London weekly of importance [the other was Modern Society] which has taken up the 'Guernsey currency' question, which is proof positive how timely the Star's articles on the subject have been.

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The Star, Saturday, October 22, 1892


Mrs Edmunds was produced in Court charged with having deluged a cat with water. The cat belonged to John Condon, of the Bouet.

Condon was also produced, on a counter-charge, of having insulted the other prisoner, Mrs Edmunds.

From the evidence it seemed that Condon was more to blame of the two, so H.M.'s Comptroller asked that the male prisoner be fined the sum of 2s 6d or, in default, one day's imprisonment, the two parties to be bound over to keep the peace for six months. The Court found accordingly.

Mrs Edmunds and Mrs Beaucamp were then charged by Mrs Condon with having insulted her and called her 'out of her name' on Wednesday last. During the examination Mrs Condon withdrew the charge of insulting language by Mrs Edmunds on that particular day. It appeared that these women all lived in the same house and that unseemly epithets did, occasionally, pass between the parties. It looked rather like the pot calling the kettle black. The Court bound the women over to keep the peace towards each other and the rest of her Majesty's subjects for six months. Back to top

The Star, Tuesday, October 25, 1892


Under the heading of 'Impressions,' in the Weekly Times and Echo of last Saturday, Arnold White writes as follows:

'The surrender of French rights in Newfoundland, and the ending of a long and bitter controversy with our ancient rival, would be cheaply bought by the cession of Alderney. France will never evacuate Newfoundland in exchange for a merely money payment. To deal with France we must recognise her national sentiment. The religion of the best of the English is to do their duty. The rekigion of the best of the French is to minister to the glory of their patrie. Our English and insular want of imagination make it difficult to persuade the electorate to take precautions against war - when those precautions involve removing the sources of irritation in time of peace. Back to top

AN AFTERNOON IN A JEWELLER'S WORKROOM. A very detailed account of a guided tour of the workshop of Mr. L. G. Weygang, watchmaker &c., in Smith-Street. [Contact the Library for details.] Back to top


SIR. As so much misunderstanding appears to have arisen with respect to my petition to the Royal Court, in re Trawling, I would be obliged if you would publish the following explanation.

The Ordinance provides that no steam vessel shall trawl within three miles of the coast of the Islands of Guernsey, Sark, Herm, or Jethou. There is, however, off the coast of SARK, a Bank named Les Godaines, which Bank lies partly outside and partly inside the three mile radius, the nearest point to the coast being distant over 2½ miles, leaving less than half a mile protected by the present law. The whole Bank on account of currents can only be trawled on neap tides, at most some eight days in a month, and then only if the wind is favourable on account of its narrow width. (At the time I write, no boat has been able to trawl there for the last two neap tides.)

Outside the three mile limit the Bank can be trawled by any boat, steam or sailing, French or other foreigner. There is, however, no mark to show where the three mile limit comes in, and the petition presented to the Royal Court in my name, but on behalf not of myself only, but on behalf of the Officers of my Regiment, who own the steam yacht, White Rose, is merely to ask that the law may be amended so that this particular Bank alone may be declared free for steam yachts to trawl for pleasure only and not for profit. [The Court refused the petition.] Back to top

The Star, Thursday, October 27, 1892


This ancient institution has become a thing of the past, and the old-fashioned stuffy meeting-room has been replaced by a conveniently fitted room, about 30 feet long, by 18 feet wide; well lighted by three large windows. A portion of the room has been boarded to keep off the consequent coldness of the wall. The old roof having been taken off, and the walls having been raised about 8 feet, thus giving ample height for another large room, of about the same proportions as the lower one. Altogether the premises are well suited for club-rooms, etc. The masonry work has been carried out by Mr. N. Rabey, and the carpentering by Mr. T. Gore. Back to top


A remarkable discovery has lately been made of a real hermit in our island. We are informed that on Sunday last as a party of gentlemen were exploring the cliffs near the 'Pepper Pot' over Fermain Bay, they came across a singular excavation in the side of the cliff. This excavation was partially closed in by a rough wall of turf and stones; on peering inside they saw the recumbent figure of a man, covered with some old coats and a tarpaulin. Although addressed in loud tones by several of the party, the inmate of this strange dwelling condescended to return no answer, and he was left in his solitude. Of course, this incident led to a great deal of conversation amongst the party as to whom the man could be and why he had taken up so singular a habitation, which recalled the title of the old song, 'My dwelling is on the cold, cold, ground.' A little while afterwards they met a fisherman, we believe of the name of Pipet, and the story of the discovery of the 'hermit' was related to him. To the surprise of all, they heard from the fisherman that this 'hermit' had been living there five or six weeks, and as far as he could judge, all that time he had subsisted on raw limpets. No doubt the truth will soon transpire and we shall be acquainted with the man's name, and the reason for taking up a dwelling-place on the cliffs.

November 1st: We regret to hear that the dwelling place of the unoffending Guernsey 'hermit' was invaded by some persons a day or two ago, during his temporary absence, and his personal effects, consisting of a few old coats, a fern bed, and a tarpaulin, set fire to and reduced to ashes. Back to top