Papers of Lieutenant-Colonel Kenneth Rankin Campbell, DSO, 1863-1930, when Seneschal of Sark

21st April 2015

Donated 2015 by his granddaughter, Fiona Havergal. Working papers from the early 1920s, and a photograph of the Lieutenant-Colonel. Lt-Col. Kenneth Campbell moved to Sark in 1919, and was sworn in as Seneschal of Sark on the recommendation of W F Collings, the Seigneur. He had left Sark by 1923.

A feudal court is held three times in the year, for the purpose of enacting by-laws for regulating the affairs of the island, which are in force when carried by a majority of the forty tenants, and confirmed by the consent of the seignior. The executive power is vested in a seneschal, who has cognizance of civil cases, and from whose decision an appeal lies to the Royal court at Guernsey. [Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England &c, 1831.]

These documents are many and various. They include:

    • Papers concerning purchase of La Genetière and La Vallette from Mrs Mollet, description of the extent of the property and negotiations. 'Mrs Mollet's designation for the purposes of contract is 'Agnes Mollet fille de Philip Guille, veuve de William Mollet.' 'Interview with W F Collings 23 July 1919. Rent payable to him 30 cabots wheat 5s each for fowls, a further rent of 10s 3d in cash. Farm in poor condition, fields require cleaning, thinks well of common on east side for breeding horses on account of stream of water which runs down it.' Places: La Genetière, 'clift' or common known as La Cornellerie, field called 'Closet', pièce de Collas, &c.
    • Contract of purchase of La Vauroque and land known as Orgereil, 9 August 1919, includes copy of contract of 1680 between Jean Noel junior and his brother-in-law Thomas Le Masurier in right of his wife Salomé Le Masurier, re tenement and land, following death of Jean Noel Senior, refers to earlier contract of 1632. Post-war details of same house for sale. [See The will of Claire Blanche, widow of Jean Noel, 1663.]

Elie Brévint on this property:

Noel Vaudin’s tenement at Beauregard initially contained about 155 vergees, and only paid the tenant 12 quarters of wheat rent. But now it pays 15 of wheat and 5 of corn, even though it only contains less than 105 vergees. 50 vergees were taken from it, including the Orgerils that once belonged to Jean Noel and Jervais Mahie and now belong to Thomas De Carteret and Thomas Le Masurier. Samuel du Val also possesses 10 vergees of the land of that tenement.

Thomas Le Masurier, native of the island of Sark, was buried in St Peter Port in 1709, 'having been killed by the French while serving as Lieutenant in a Guernsey privateer.' [E Carey's Notes on Sark, Staff.]

  • Extract of Sark Registers, Chief Pleas 13 April 1825, and papers re controversial power of attorney for proxy attendance at Chief Pleas, e.g. deputation of Alfred Baker Junior to represent his father, 5 October 1920 &c, ending of such representation &c.
  • Privy Council 24 January 1917 re Petition concerning importation of alcohol and tobacco to Sark, authorises levying of duties.
  • Revocation of 1914 Defence of the Realm Regulations August 1920; Sark Motor Act 1920; 1921 Ordonnance Provisoire relative au changement du Cours Légal de la Monnaie en cette Ile et les Iles de Serq, Herm & Jethou, relevant papers &c.
  • Papers re Inquiry 1920-21 into the administration of Sark.
  • Death of Betsey Rouxel.
  • Perrier family.
  • Letters re Ordinance of 1698 concerning importation of dogs.
  • Petition from fishermen of Sark, April 1920, re 'swivel' moorings in the Mer des Laches, requesting that fixed moorings not replace the existing 'va et viens' in-and-out type moorings. Many signatures.
  • Includes correspondence with Professor A J Eagleston re Sark Charter; Typescripts of Translation of Letters Patent granting the island of Sark to [Hilary] Helier de Carteret and Note on the Constitutional History of Sark.