Oliver Cromwell died on September 3, 1658. The States sought to send an address of condolence and loyalty to his son, 'his highness' Richard Cromwell, but were prevented from doing so by the Lieutenant-Governor, Captain Charles Waterhouse, who found their petition 'too submissive.' The leader of the republican party, Pierre De Beauvoir des Granges (1599-1678) and William De Beauvoir du Hoummet, potentially a less committed republican, wrote a defiant letter to Waterhouse, pointing out the Guernsey public's many grievances against him, and proceeded to sneak out of Guernsey and present their petition to Cromwell anyway, taking the opportunity to plead for the unpopular Des Granges to remain as Bailiff. Their actions prompted the publication of a pamphlet, An epitomie of tyranny in the island of Guernsey, which can be found in the Library. It was published anonymously at the beginning of 1659, and accuses the De Beauvoirs of all kinds of misdemeanors.
John Kemp, John Kemp, so bad they hanged him twice! The strange case of John Kemp, and the mystery as to why the rock was named after him is solved.
From the Recueil d'Ordonnances de la Cour Royale, Vol. I, 1852, ed. R. MacCulloch. This seemingly repressive edict in fact represents the desperation felt by the authorities, who were unable to control the excesses of Guernsey youth, no matter how hard they tried.
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.
From the Guernsey Magazine of February 1885, p. 552.
From the Star of February 18th, 1836. Another way in which Jersey differed from Guernsey—the justice system; the Petite and Grande Enquêtes. The Star's readers must have been assumed to be unfamiliar with legal procedure in the sister isle, as the newpaper explains it at length. Marin was sentenced to transportation for life.
A report from The Guernsey and Jersey Magazine of 1837. Historical Notices of the Channel Islands, 8, taken from Pierre Carey's private papers. This Pierre [Peter] Carey is the Parliamentary Commissioner who later made a daring escape from imprisonment in Castle Cornet. A transcription of his letter book is in the Library.
Cock-fighting in the churchyard after morning service on Easter Day had once been acceptable, because, according to folk-lore expert J. Linwood Pitts, in 1891, it had a religious origin, 'but became in time to be a scandal, and an Act of Court was passed, forbidding any but gentlemen paying tax on fifty quarters of wheat rent to indulge in the same.'
From the Gazette de l'Isle de Jersey, January 8, 1791. The autocratic Le Marchants—the Bailiff and his two sons—and their provocative behaviour. The original is in French. The illustration is from Augustin Grisier's Les Armes et le duel, 1865, from the Library collection.
Reminiscences, from The Star, Tuesday December 9, 1890. The reaction of the population to the shocking event: a translation of an Ordinance of the Royal Court of 11 January, 1673; and an account from Roger North's Life of Dr John North, a 17th century Cambridge academic who was related to the Hattons. The illustration of the Castle before the explosion is a print published by Richard Godfrey in 1779, taken from a painting then in the possession of a [Mr] Carey.