Letters & Diaries

Mutiny in St Peter's, 1704

From the Library's militia collection. A transcript by Edith Carey of a letter in French from a worried Lieutenant-Bailiff, Eléazar Le Marchant, to the absent Lieut.-Governor, Sir Edmund Andros, (here translated), and a contemporary copy of a petition concerning the same mutiny from William De Lisle in the St Peter's militia, to the Privy Council. Complicated family ties and nepotism, and a reflection of the bitter factional resentment felt towards Edmund Andros.

October 1836: Duncan Allez of the Anglo-Spanish Legion

A letter from the Star, October 31, 1836, describing a skirmish at Emetza. The Adjutant-General of this Legion at this time was Gaspard Le Marchant, son of Major General John Gaspard Le Marchant, and it is presumably he who had his horse killed under him, as the letter describes. The Priaulx Library recently acquired an Order Book of this regiment which covers the period during which the Legion was at San Sebastian, a town on the north coast of Spain; Le Marchant signs all the orders. The Anglo-Spanish Legion was a voluntary force put together by the British army at the request of the Spanish to help them in a civil war which arose because of a contested succession to the Spanish throne. The Orders in our book are dated 4 Jun 1836, until 30 March 1837 and are all issued from San Sebastian.

Flouncing: July 1834

Vive la Flounce! A comic piece in the form of a letter to the Editor of the Star newspaper of July 24, 1834, on the islands' peculiar custom of 'flouncing,' or affiancing, by a visiting wit who called himself 'Time-killer;' and a description of flouncing in Alderney, from Captain Wood's Subaltern Officer, published in 1825. The pictures are from Cruickshank's Sketchbook of 1834-6, part of the Priaulx Library's extensive collection of work by this illustrator.

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.

A letter to his aunt: April 1834

From the Star of April 28th, 1834. A light-hearted letter to the Editor, purportedly to his aunt, from a frequent correspondent to the newspaper, a military officer resident on the island who went by the name of 'Time-Killer,' with his observations on houses, high society, and the behaviour and looks of Guernsey ladies and gentlemen. The illustration is from Cruikshank's 1834 My Sketchbook, part of the extensive collection held by the Library.