Letters & Diaries

Etienne Gibert to Nicolas Rabey, 1800

28th January 2016
By George Rabey, in The Guernsey Free Churchman, Vol. VI (3) March, p. 27. 'A good 126 years ago now ...' The detail is of Etienne Gibert (1736-1817) amongst the crowd in Matthias Finucane's Market-Place, Guernsey, 1809. He is here aged about 73. For a somewhat less quirky portrait of him see Nicolas De Garis, conscientious objector; there is a third portrait of him, exhibiting considerably more dignitas, in the Library collection.

To Madame Andros from Peter de Jerzey, 1662

19th October 2015
A letter transcribed in Andros correspondence, a 19th-century notebook which belonged to Charles Andros. To Madame Andros, en la Court de sa Majesté de la Grand Bretaigne. Peter de Jersey was the minister of the Town Church from 1659 through the Restoration until the turmoil of 1662, when he was replaced by Huguenot refugee Pierre Jannon. Mme Andros was the wife of the prominent royalist Amias Andros. She was Elizabeth Stone; her brother Sir Robert Stone was cupbearer to the Queen of Bohemia and captain of a cavalry troop in Holland. In the early years of the war she left the island for St Malo, but on the way was captured by the parliamentary forces and returned to her enemies in Guernsey. In 1645 she managed to escape from the beseiged Castle Cornet to Jersey, leaving her husband behind; they did not see each other again for nine years.

On board the Tulloch Castle to Melbourne, 1852

27th July 2015
The 1850s gold rush in Australia attracted thousand of immigrants and would-be prospectors, and Guernsey was by no means immune to gold fever. 18-year old William Francis Nicolle recorded his voyage to Melbourne in the summer of 1852 in his Journal, which was generously donated to the Library by Stephen Foote. Nicolle followed this with an account of his return from Australia in the freezing cold on board the Avon. His Journal also includes a substantial amount of family history material (Nicolle, De Garis, Lainé, Lamble &c.), as well as other accounts of later voyages made on board cargo ships. He was a carpenter by trade, and the book also includes carefully written instructions for calculations, presumably for reference purposes. Finally, his poem in memory of Nicholas de Mouilpied, who died on the voyage out, aged 22.

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