Social History

Second Report of the Commissioners: The State of the Criminal Law in the Channel Islands: Guernsey

We whose hands and seals are hereunto set, Commissioners, appointed by Your Majesty's Commission, bearing date the 16th day of May, in the ninth year of Your Majesty's reign, for inquiring in to the Criminal Laws in force in Your Majesty's Channel Islands and into the constitutions and powers of the Tribunals and Authorities charged with the execution of such laws, humbly certify to Your Majesty that, having completed our inquiry so far as the same related to the Island of Jersey, the result of which we have already laid before Your Majesty in our First Report, we forthwith proceeded, in further obedience to Your Majesty's gracious commands, to the Island of Guernsey.Second Report of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into The State of the Criminal Law in the Channel Islands: Guernsey: London, William Clowes and Son for Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1848.

L'Archipel de la Manche

We asked the question: who wrote the following and when? 'Cross a ravine, go down and across Mill Street, into a sort of fissure between two tall houses, climb up a narrow and interminable set of tortuously winding steps with loose paving stones, and you find yourself in a Bedouin village; hovels, cracks in the roads, dirt alleys, burnt gables, ruined houses, deserted rooms, windowless and doorless with grass growing inside them, beams across the road, ruins blocking the way, here and there an inhabited cottage, little naked boys, pale women; you would think you were in Zaatcha.' And gave you a clue: the original is in French.

Letters and fashion plates from the time of Jane Austen

Some fascinating letters from a young Caroline Guille Le Marchant to her friends in Bath and London, from Edith Carey's Scrapbook, and some contemporary winter ladies costumes for Christmas, from two bound volumes of fashion-plates, entitled in French Figures. The plates are hand-coloured; some are from The Fashions of London and Paris, a monthly magazine that began publication in 1798, published by Richard Phillips.

Boots and shoes

Receipt made up in 1796 by the shoemaker John Edwards for the footwear of Carteret Priaulx and his brothers. Anthony Priaulx, a 'bad boy,' wore out his dancing shoes as he was 22 at the time. The brothers, sons of Thomas Priaulx and Rebecca Le Marchant, were: the oldest, Carteret (1758-1822), Thomas (1762-1844), John (1768-1829), and Anthony, the youngest (1774-1820). A J T Edwards was a shoemaker in the Commercial Arcade in Guernsey in 1841. He had a large family; the census gives him as being born in England c 1800, and his wife Charlotte, aged 33, as also born in England. From a Scrapbook of receipts in the Library.

Victor Hugo and Guernsey: Victor Hugo's coachmen

9th June 2017
Victor Hugo had a couple of favoured coachmen whom he used to drive him on his excursions around the island. Hugo had a few strictly prescribed routes, and would become almost anxious if pressed to deviate from them. This would sometimes prove tedious for his familial entourage, who would often accompany him; but Mme Drouet was always happy to indulge him. This is part of the Victor Hugo and Guernsey project.

Les Miserables de Guernesey: Servants

21st April 2017
In the early 1860s Hugo completed and revised his novel Les Misérables, a work that he had started in the 1840s. As he wrote about Cosette, Eponine, Fantine, Gavroche, Javert… he could not help but observe the poor, the suffering, and the wretched all around him in Guernsey. He had an active compassion and tried to help. Part of the Victor Hugo and Guernsey project.

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