21st October 2015
The contents of the 19th-century notebook in the Library. Transcripts of the following letters:
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.
13th October 2015
According to this note, or cédule, Jean de la Mare of Le Hurel in St Saviour's borrowed several lots of money from Jean Le Mesurier de la Fontaine. This note is for a relatively small amount, 5 livres tournois. The note is dated 27 April 1757, and is part of the Le Hurel Collection donated to us by Esther Hatton.
9th October 2015
A printed account of the defendants' response to an appeal to the Privy Council, March 1715, concerning the retrait lignager of a house at the Tourgand. From Petitions and trials, in the Library. For Mr. James de Havilland, Mrs. Rachel Briard, Represented by Mr. Henry de Saumarez, her Son, Defendants. Versus. Mrs. Jacquina de Saumarez, Appellant.
5th October 2015
'Réflexion sage, mais un peu Tardive de Madamoiselle Biard,' by the Reverend Elie du Fresne (b. 1692), from his collected poems, Poésie, written c. 1713-1745. Be prepared for 18th-century attitudes! On the flyleaf of the cover is written, 'These pieces of poetry were copied by her late regretted Father, John de Havilland;' the identity of the Miss de Havilland in question is not known. The illustration is from 'La vieille,' or 'The Old Woman,' a song on just this subject, from Chants et chansons populaires de la France, Paris: Garnier Frères, 1854, in the Library Collection.
28th September 2015
By the writer and prolific journalist, Basil Campbell de Guérin. From The Scots Magazine, XLVIII (5), February 1948, in his Scrapbook H, in the Library. Although this is a fascinating article, the premiss upon which De Guérin wrote it is fundamentally flawed; the 92nd Foot did not become the Gordon Highlanders until 1798. This version of the 92nd Regiment was raised in Ireland by George Hewett on 31 December 1793. Also known from October 1794 as Colonel Hewitt's Regiment of Foot, it lasted less than two years, until it was disbanded in October 1795.
15th September 2015
List of the contents of the bound volume entitled only MSS 1309-1464. The transcriptions are by various hands, and mostly appear to be late 17th century. The individual documents are in Latin or French and most have been published elsewhere.
24th August 2015
'The evolution of an aeroplane designed, built and flown in the Channel Islands.' A cutting from the magazine Flying, January 3, 1934, written by local journalist and aviation enthusiast, Basil C de Guérin, in his Scrapbook 1919-1934, p. 91, in the Library. The photograph, from the Guernsey Press, shows the aeroplane ready for a test flight on Vazon in September 1933, with its designer and builder C W Noel at the controls. The Library has just received a very interesting donation from a descendant of Harry Kaines, who was one of the builders of the Wee Mite. The scrapbook contains cuttings and several fine photographs. The plane eventually crashed and was written off; its story is told by Bill Green in his autobiography, Guernsey Green.
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.
20th July 2015
Letter to Monsieur de Pontaumont, archivist of the Société académique de Cherbourg.'My dear friend, I am taking the liberty of sending you a copy of a document which you might think appropriate to present to our colleagues at the Society. I feel it provides interesting evidence of the relationship between the people of Alderney and those of Basse-Normandie at the end of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th centuries. It is a document of safe-conduct from the French admiral, Louis Malet, Seigneur de Graville, dated 20 April 1513. We were then at war with England, but, as had long been the case with the people of Alderney, even though they were subjects of the English Crown, they were very keen not to be treated as enemies by French soldiers and sailors.'[The portrait above is of Louis Malet de Graville.]