16th century

Walter St John: a background

A short introduction to the main characters in the 16th-century tragedy of Walter St John and Isaac Daubeney, pupil and teacher. The portrait is of Walter's younger brother, John, aged 17; he was very close in age to Walter. The portrait was kindly provided by Lydiard Tregoze house.

A Herm tragedy: the drowning of the teenaged Walter St John, August 1597

An inquest into the death of the eldest son of Sir John St John, of Lydiard Tregoze, in Wiltshire, and his young tutor, who died trying to rescue his charge. They were swept away by the current, probably off Belvoir Bay, 18 August, 1597. Walter St John was under the protection of the Governor, Sir Thomas Leighton, and living at Castle Cornet. It is extremely unusual for evidence in a case like this to survive; this was retained because Walter's family connections meant an account of the inquest had to be sent to Chancery. The French text is given in the Second Report of the Commissioners into Criminal Law in the Channel Islands of 1848.

Notes from reports of Historical MSS Commission: II. Notes from inquisitions post mortem

Section II from the Notebook (40) XI, Staff, in the Library. MSS transcriptions: inquisitions post mortem. These lists almost certainly predate the publication by the Societe Jersiaise of the islands' royal extentes and rolls etc. in 1902-3. Additions from Edith Carey's Family notes & pedigrees which begins with a transcription of Nicolle's volume.

A Guernseyman is duped, 1590

A cheeky tale, suspiciously similar to Boccaccio's Decameron, from The Stranger's Guide to Guernsey and Jersey, 1833, pp. 128 ff., written by Dr Thomas Bellamy. 'In an old book, now out of print and very scarce, published in 1590, entitled Morgan's Feats of the Cardinals, is the following ludicrous account of the midnight ramble of a gentleman, sent from the island of Guernsey to Naples, in Italy, to buy horses.' The detail is from the frontispiece of the Library's 1566 edition of the Chroniques et Annales de France, Vol. I.

La Discipline ecclesiastique, 1576 et 1597

In 1885 was published the original French text of the Ecclesiastical Discipline for Guernsey, edited by the Reverend G.-E. Lee of the Town Church and published by Thomas Bichard of the Bordage. The Police et discipline ecclesiastique was a set of regulations for the management of the Church and its congregation in the island, established by consensus in 1576 and which, despite the severity of its rules, remained in force until the Restoration in 1660, when Charles II imposed a form of Anglicanism on the island.

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