A variety of vicars

A list of the incumbents of Alderney covered in Ernest Bigg's chapter of the same name in An Alderney Scrapbook, pp. 118 ff., published by the Alderney Society in 1972, and snippets about other ministers of the island.

Bigg's article has since been supplemented by Peggy Wilson's 'The Pastors of St Anne's,' Alderney Society Bulletin, 29 (1994), pp. 69 ff. A comprehensive list of Alderney officals and ministers (Jurats, 'Juges' (oldest Jurat), Greffiers, Procureurs du Roi, Contrôleurs du Roi, Sergents du Roi, ministers incl. Roman Catholic and non-conformist), is to be found in Appendix 1 of A H Ewen's 'The town of St Anne, Alderney', in Report and transactions of the Société Guernesiaise, XVI (4), 1958, pp. 333 ff.


Simeon Maçon (d. 1652); Elie Picot (1628-c. 1687); Jean Germain (d. 1662); Jacques Taspin, Sieur des Barhays; P. Silvieux; Laurens Payne; Henri De Merveilleux de Neuchâtel (1662-1749); Isaac Vallat de Lausanne (d. 1773); Pierre Solier de Micelet (Languedoc) (1725-1808); Jean Vibert; Jean Charles Bernel (1728-1812); Jean-Chrétien Ubélé.

The case of Henry de Merveilleux, presbyter of the Church of England, rector and sole minister of the parochial church and island of Alderney, in the British Channel. ... The answer of Thomas Le Mesurier, commander in chief of the island of Alderney,and late farmer of the revenue of the Crown, in the same island, in vindication of his reputation, wrongfully aspersed by Mr. Henry de Merveilleux, ... in his printed paper, published in April, 1713. As this very rare pamphlet indicates, De Merveilleux had become embroiled in the well-known quarrel between the Le Cocqs and the Le Mesuriers, and as a result was often away from Alderney at court as petitioner. Edith Carey's original copy of this seems to no longer be in the Library collection: if you are aware of its whereabouts please do let us know.

From Pierre Mollet's Notebook, MS in the Library Collection:

1714. George Andros of Guernsey entitled by the last will and Testament of the Hon. Sir Edmund Andros Knt, late deceased, to the island of Alderney, and the rights, perogatives, &c &c thereof, appoints the Reverend James Prelleur as Chaplain or Minister of the said island of Alderney.

Minutes of an extraordinary Colloque of the Guernsey Churches, assembled at St Peter Port Friday 12 October 1591. In the presence of Monsieur the Lieutenant and these minsters and elders:  The minister and one elder of St Peter Port. St Andrew and the Castel, the minister and two elders. The churches of St Martin and the Forest, the minister and an elder. St Saviour, the minister. St Samson and the Vale, the minister and two elders. St Pierre-du-Bois and Torteval, absent. Monsieur Roulles acting as Moderator.

Jacques Bernard [de la Fontaine], minister of the Word of God, sent by the Colloque into Alderney on 22 December 1587 to exercise the Holy ministry, appeared before us, having been given leave by the church authorities in Alderney on 11 July to return to France, the [written permission] having the signatures of nine Alderney residents, requesting us to sign it off. However, just at this point members of the assembly brought it to our attention that, to the great scandal of the church, he was accused of having made an Alderney girl pregnant. He was warned that he must be cleared of this charge before he could leave for his own country. At which, Bernard produced an Act of the Alderney Consistory detailing the girl's accusation against him, and his defence, with the charge set out in principle dated 15 and 16 of last September, with the signatures of Guillaume Pezet and Jean le Coq. However, this Act neither gave grounds to convict nor to exonerate Bernard.

The assembly did not wish to make another judgment on this case, but decided to gravely and seriously censure Bernard for his relaxed attitude and his over-familiarity with women and girls. So to find out the truth of the matter, Bernard and an elder of the Church were to travel to Alderney, taking with them letters from the Lieutenant to the church authorities in Alderney, asking the brothers there to inform him and the Guernsey Colloque to the best of their ability of the truth of the affair, and to certify that the text of the Act shown to the assembly by Bernard was indeed the same as they drew up; the Act was sent over to Alderney along with the Lieutenant's letters. 

Minutes of an extraordinary Colloque of the Guernsey Churches, assembled at St Peter Port Friday 5 November 1591. In the presence of Monsieur the Lieutenant and these minsters and elders:  The minister and one elder of St Peter Port. St Andrew and the Castel, the minister. St Saviour, the minister. St Samson and the Vale, the minister and an elder of the Vale. The churches of St Martin and the Forest, absent. St Pierre-du-Bois and Torteval, the minister. Monsieur Roulles acting as Moderator.

Jean Queteville, elder of St Pierre Port, made a report of his trip to Alderney, where he had been sent by the Colloque accompanied by Monsieur de la Fonteine, minister of Alderney, to make inquiries concerning the charges brought against de la Fontaine in that island. Queteville had brought back written testimony, signed by Jean Le Coq, Laurens Symon, Jacques Fabian and Guillaume Pezet, all of whom had knowledge of the affair. He gave a verbal account of what he had been able to discover concerning this case, both from the girl who had accused de la Fonteine, and from interviews he had had with people on the island.  He had not been able to find evidence to support any other charge against de la Fontaine than the one brought against him in the Act of the Alderney Consistory of last 15 and 16 September; this Act and a written report remained in the possession of the Colloque of Guernsey.

Having given this due consideration, taking into account the evidence given by the Church authorities in Alderney in support of de la Fonteine 11 July last, and the confirmation given by the Church and brought from there in writing and by de Queteville's verbal report, [all of which] show that the girl was inconsistent in her accusations and allegations, the assembly does not find sufficient cause to condemn de la Fonteine, and commits the parties to God's judgement. As a result, de la Fonteine is free to return to France when he wishes, in accordance with the leave given to him by the Alderney church authorities.

[For a similar case where the vicar does not get away with it, see Michelle and the minister, 1593. Ironically, this very same minister, Pierre du Bouillon, was judging this case.]