This account of the wreck of the Pourquoi Pas, an event greeted with immense dismay in Guernsey, where Commander Jean-Baptiste Charcot was a great favourite, was kindly written by Cédric Bail, assistant curator at Hauteville House, for the Priaulx Library 'Hauteville House and the Hugo family' exhibition of summer 2018. His original French text is included below.
Jean-Baptiste Charcot, ‘the Polar Gentleman.’ Doctor, sportsman, Olympic medallist, polar explorer, friend of Captain Scott, and husband of Victor Hugo's grand-daughter Jeanne, this admirable French hero reserved a special place for Guernsey.
The Governor of Guernsey to Mr Carey, concerning Newfoundland. From Chefs Plaids &c p. 88.
‘April 1748. A prize, with wine and brandy, and a ransomer of £1000, taken by the Hanover privateer of Guernsey,’ reported in The Gentleman's Magazine, 1748. Ransoming captured prizes was a practice favoured by Guernsey privateers in the earlier years of privateering, often with an eye to selling on a valuable cargo, but frowned upon by the British authorities, who preferred prizes to be brought into port to be officially 'condemned.' When challenged upon the reason for their not having followed the authorized procedure, the Guernseymen would often answer that at the time they had been prevented by 'a contrary wind.'
A list of the photographs in Carel Toms' book, Guernsey's forgotten past, published in 1992. Many of these photographs are in the Library's Carel Toms Collection; please contact the Library for further information.
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.
Winston Churchill visits the island. From La Gazette de Guernesey, 30 August 1913. The photograph from the Star shows him landing at the White Rock and in conversation with Colonel Macartney, Government Secretary.
28 May 1753 Nicolas Lawrence, probably Nicolas Laurens [Old Bailey].
State Paper Office, December 18, 1627. Present: Earl of Totnes, Earl of Dorset, Lord Viscount Conway, Mr Treasurer, Mr Secretary Coke. From De Guérin's MSS notes in the Library's Forts and Fortifications file.
The Library has a complete set of the Calendars of Patent Rolls, except for the years 1248-1280, (this volume can be accessed online.) Those below, of the last quarter of the 13th century, refer to the activities of the infamous Otto de Grandison, amongst other things.