Crime & Punishment

Nicholas Roussel, Le Rimeur, 1807

From an editorial in the Star of December 12, 1836. The woodcut of a 'frisky' Guernsey pig is from Dr Thomas Bellamy's Pictorial Directory of 1843, in the Library collection. The writer comments on the credulity of those in the country parishes, who continue to venerate such impostors and quacks as Louis D'Orléan, about to face trial for imposition, and in doing so gives us details of the case of Nicolas Roussel which, although having occurred in 1807, 'is not yet forgotten, and just a few particulars respecting it will not, just now, be unacceptable'.

The notorious Frenchman D'Orlean, 1836

'I have cured persons whom the Doctors had given up; if I am guilty it is of that.' The King versus D'Orléan, the conclusion of a protracted case which opened in the Royal Court, Saturday, December 10th, 1836. Much of the evidence was heard in camera. D'Orléan was practising as a veterinary surgeon. The folk of the country parishes—Judith Lainé, the Bichards, Rihoys, Reniers, Mahys, Galliennes and Ogiers, in this case—are as usual regarded as ill-educated and credulous by Guernsey's sophisticated urbanites. The details of the case are reported in the Comet of February 6, 1837.

The trial of George Barrington, 1787

George Barrington was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 19th of January, 1787, at the parish of St. Martin in the Fields, a silk purse value 2d. and twenty-three guineas, value £24 3s. and one half-guinea, value 10s. 6d. the property of Havilland Le Mesurier, Esq. privily from his person. From the Lawyer's and Magistrate's Magazine, Vol. I., 1792.

Francoise Archenaux: Poisoner

Who put the rat poison in the wine? Françoise Archenaux, who on Saturday sennight was convicted by the Royal Court of having attempted to poison the family of Mr Daniel Grut LE MASURIER, underwent a part of her sentence by being placed in the cage in the public Market from half-past eleven to half-past twelve. On the four squares of the cage was fastened a printed label signifying the crime for which she was punished, it read thus, namely, Empoisonneuse. There was a multitude of both sexes present to witness the exhibition, whom she addressed at some length, but of the purport of her harangue we know nothing.

Jacques Le Batard

The Gazette de L'Isle de Guernesey, of which the Priaulx Library has copies to view, published an unusual announcement in July of 1795. The newspaper reproduced in its entirety the sentence passed in the Royal Court upon a Frenchman from St Germain in Normandy, called Jacques Le Batard. The results of criminal trials were not normally published in the early Gazettes. Why this one? The sketch of the pillory and cage in 1795 are from the Lukis memoirs in Edith Carey's Scrapbooks in the Library.

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