18th century

A prince of their own choosing: the proclamation of George I, 16 August 1714

A translation of part of Laurent Carey's manuscript On the Customary Law of Guernsey, from the Guernsey and Jersey Magazine, Vol. V, 1838, edited by F. B. Tupper. Carey's Essai, written around the 1750s, formed the day-to-day reference for the proceedings of the Royal Court, under whose auspices it was eventually published in 1889. Here he was illustrating the fact that the inhabitants of Guernsey can choose to accept the proposed sovereign or not, who, once accepted, becomes 'un prince de leur propre choix'—and display absolute loyalty when they do so. The photograph below shows the proclamation of George V in Guernsey in 1910. The letter above is an invitation from the Governor to the constables to attend the proclamation of 1714. Library collection.

January 1793: Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand finds a Guernsey guardian angel

The Romantic author and politician François-René de Chateaubriand, wounded and weakened by dysentery, became extremely ill on a crossing to Jersey, on the way to his native Brittany to join royalist rebels. Chateaubriand managed to make it to Jersey, where he was delivered into the care of his uncle, the Comte de Bédée, but remained very ill for several weeks. He eventually went into exile in London. This is an extract from his memoirs, Les Mémoires d'outre-tombe, Book 10, Chapter III. The 1808 portrait by Girodet-Trioson is in the Museum of Saint-Malo.

Easter 1780: Children shall not profane the Sabbath!

One of many complaints about children; an Order of the Royal Court from the Easter Session of 1780. Chief Pleas, Session after Easter, held 3 April, 1780, William Le Marchant, Esq., Bailiff, presiding, in the presence of etc. Children shall not profane the Sabbath. The Law Officers having brought it to our attention that for some time past Children, instead of attending Church on a Sunday, are spending their time playing together and amusing themselves in the streets and other public places, thus profaning the day, offending their Faith and prejudicing their morals,—THE COURT, having heard…

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