Philippe Le Boutillier, 1605

From Philippe Le Geyt's Manuscripts on the law, constitution, and customs of this island, (that is, Jersey); how you could legitimately be convicted on your reputation.

Le Boutillier, although he is said to have come from Guernsey, was probably of a family of Jersey origin. Le Geyt is giving examples of the islands' law allowing someone to be arrested for one crime, but to have their sentence increased for others they may have committed previously. This was something of a flaw in the old Guernsey and Jersey system; in effect, people could be have their punishments increased, or even, as Le Geyt demonstrated, be hanged, for crimes they probably comitted. 'N'est-il pas juste,' he asks, 'en tel cas que la mauvaise réputation ait ses usages pour l'accusateur, comme la bonne réputation les auroit en faveur de l'accusé?' 'Isn't it only right in such cases that the prosecutor can make reference to a malefactor's bad reputation in the case against him, just as much as a good reputation might be cited in his favour?' 'Warburton,' in his treatise1 of 1682 on Guernsey law, p. 127, remarked:

But if the party, accused of a capital crime, be of evil fame and appear to have committed other offences, not punishable by death, but by other corporal punishment at the discretion of the judge; in such case, the Court may inflict somewhat the more severe punishment, because of the evil character of the man and the vehement suspicion of a higher crime.

This applied in the case of the unfortunate Frenchman, Jacques Le Bâtard, in 1795, who lost his ear to the executioner, who used scissors.

On the last day of January, 1605, Philippe Le Bouteillier, of the island of Guernsey, broke into Jean Gibault's house. What is more, this breaking and entering took place on a Sunday, between the two services. He prised open the door with his knife, and was found hidden in the attic with a bucket he had stolen, and was imprisoned in the Castle as a criminal. The Officer will be able take advantage of this to keep him inside while he investigates his record.

En 1605, le penult. Janvier, Pierre Le Bouteillier, de l'Isle de Guernesey, ayant entré en la maison Jean Gibault, par furt et larcin et jour de Dimanche, entre les deux prêches, ouvert l'huis de son couteau, et trouvé là dedans caché au galetas, avec un sillot dérobé, est regardé au Chasteau en détention corporelle comme criminel, d'où l'Officier fera l'exploit, de cy à plus ample information de ses maléfices.

¹ For the identity of the author see Ogier, D., 'The authorship of Warburton's treatise', Report and Transactions of the Soc. Guernesiaise, XII 5 (1990), pp. 871 ff.