16th century

Michelle and the minister I: the case is presented

8th June 2016
A translation of an inquest conducted over several months in 1593 by the Colloque, or Assembly, of Bailiwick Churches. The Puritan ministers and elders had here to deal with a dreadful scandal. This piece had a genuine villain: Pierre Le Roy, known as du Bouillon, a church minister who had escaped the massacres of 1572. Formerly minister of the parish of Baron, in Calvados, he was now a refugee, in charge of the parishes of St Pierre-du-Bois and Torteval. The inquiry is full of the detail of the life of ordinary Guernsey people, who gave evidence to the assembly. Michelle Palot, a maidservant to Madame du Bouillon, the minister's wife, was the subject of continued harassment by du Bouillon. Having a baby out of wedlock was highly frowned upon, the mother usually having to do public penance and the father, once ascertained, jailed for a couple of weeks, and forced to marry the mother or at least support the child; but when Michelle was questioned by the authorities as to who had fathered her baby, she gave them a most unexpected answer. 

Safe-conduct for Alderney, 1513

20th July 2015
Letter to Monsieur de Pontaumont, archivist of the Société académique de Cherbourg.'My dear friend, I am taking the liberty of sending you a copy of a document which you might think appropriate to present to our colleagues at the Society. I feel it provides interesting evidence of the relationship between the people of Alderney and those of Basse-Normandie at the end of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th centuries. It is a document of safe-conduct from the French admiral, Louis Malet, Seigneur de Graville, dated 20 April 1513.  We were then at war with England, but, as had long been the case with the people of Alderney, even though they were  subjects of the English Crown, they were very keen not to be treated as enemies by French soldiers and sailors.'[The portrait above is of Louis Malet de Graville.]

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