Legal

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.

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.

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.

Chefs Plaids, Jugements, Ordonnances &c, 16-19th centuries

Bound MSS, staff E. Metal fastening engraved: 'LF 1773.' Contact the Library for further details. The material falls into several sections: the first, detailed below, is in two hands and lists in rough date order Acts of the Royal Court in which the judgment passed down is of some legal interest; the last Act noted is from 1719. Then follows an interesting set of documents covering the Civil War period and the reign of James II, some of which are Lord Hatton correspondence and may be unpublished. Finally a later hand has transcribed Acts relating to the Militia; the last of these dates from 1769. The back of the volume was reversed and charters and other early Acts and Ordonnances have been transcribed.

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