Library Document Collection

Little Wit, 1374

17th July 2017
The Guernsey garrison of men-at-arms and archers in 1374, a time of fear. From a transcript in the Library colleciton of an original document [Royal Court Library, Records and Documents, III 248.]. In August 1373, Bertrand de Guesclin attacked the islands, occupying part of Gorey Castle in Jersey and causing destruction in Guernsey and Sark; the islands had only recently recovered after a previous French invasion led by Owen of Wales.

Unvoluntary escapes, 1719

19th January 2017
Daniel Girard, Castle Porter, that is, prison warden/jailkeeper, lost his prisoner, George Pellew, who had been committed to his care by Jean Dobrée. Pellew owed Dobrée money. The Royal Court, under the auspices of the Juge-Délegué, William Le Marchant, had ruled on 8 March 1719 that Daniel Girard should not be required in any way to compensate Dobrée. Dobrée appealed to the Privy Council, who requested a report on precedents to the Royal Court. The following letter is what the Royal Court produced in reply; on reading it, the Privy Councillors confirmed the Royal Court's initial judgment and dismissed the appeal.

The Queen Charlotte Inn

28th October 2016
From Old Guernsey Exhibition and Fair Souvenir Guide and Programme, St Martin's Parish Hall, Guernsey: T B Banks & Co., 1908, p. 29. The painting of the Queen Charlotte Inn above, a detail of a larger view of Cow Lane, dates from c. 1800; it exists only as a photograph, as its whereabouts since WWII are at present unknown. The colour image is a detail of a painting by Captain C Montague Jones, possibly based up on it, painted 50 years or so later. The original of the Jones watercolour is in Candie Museum, Guernsey.

The New Daphne, 1798

1st September 2016
Carteret Priaulx & Co set out the terms and conditions for agents for their privateer the New Daphné, in the Library's MS notebook 'List of privateers and prizes,' perhaps belonging originally to Ferdinand Brock Tupper.  The same source lists the Daphne as a lugger captained by A Queripel in 1790, Patrick Harry in 1795, and then by John King.  'Agreed between Messrs C Priaulx & Co. & Messrs Ninian Douglas & John Dadson, the former on the one part acting for the owners of the New Daphné letter of Marque Capt John King bound from this port, to the Earl of St Vincent’s fleet & Gibraltar & the latter, for themselves going out, as Supercargo’s on the above letter of Marque on the voyage stipulated Viz:'

Relative disadvantages, 1709

31st August 2016
An Act of the Privy Council concerning jurats, defining a quorum. In 1709, so many of the jurats had had to stand down in a case concerning prizes awarded to the Marlborough privateer that none had been left to judge the case. They had been stood down because they were related to either the plaintiffs or the defendants. This transcription comes from a MS notebook, Lists of privateers and prizes, in the Library collection.

Prehistoric remains in Guernsey, from the Lukis MSS

28th June 2016
In the early 20th century, local historian Edith Carey made copious notes from various manuscripts belonging to the Lukis family into scrapbooks which are now in the Library collection. She collected the following observations about early island archaeology together and copied them again into the notes she made to the book Guernsey Folk Lore, intended to aid her as its editor in a putative new edition, which she never completed. The Lukis family (Frederick Corbin Lukis and his children) were all deeply interested in archaeology, and these journal notes give a very Guernsey flavour of the beginnings of archaeology as a science. The photograph is of 'Frederick Lukis, Esq., at the Du Tus cromlech, Guernsey' from an album in the Library's Harvey collection (the Harvey and Lukis families were related.)

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