A translation of an inquest conducted over several months in 1593 by the Colloque, or Assembly, of Bailiwick Churches. The Puritan ministers and elders had here to deal with a dreadful scandal. This piece had a genuine villain: Pierre Le Roy, known as du Bouillon, a church minister who had escaped the massacres of 1572. Formerly minister of the parish of Baron, in Calvados, he was now a refugee, in charge of the parishes of St Pierre-du-Bois and Torteval. The inquiry is full of the detail of the life of ordinary Guernsey people, who gave evidence to the assembly. Michelle Palot, a maidservant to Madame du Bouillon, the minister's wife, was the subject of continued harassment by du Bouillon. Having a baby out of wedlock was highly frowned upon, the mother usually having to do public penance and the father, once ascertained, jailed for a couple of weeks, and forced to marry the mother or at least support the child; but when Michelle was questioned by the authorities as to who had fathered her baby, she gave them a most unexpected answer.
1593. Pierre du Bouillon's story unravels as witnesses speak out and brave Michelle Palot refuses to waver. The illustrations are from 'Le Cantique de Geneviève de Brabant' and 'Le vieux Château des Ardennes,' in Chants et chansons populaires de la France, Paris: Garnier Frères, 1854, in the Library collection.
In Guernsey the authorities could, if they wished, make use of the jehennet, or 'Jenny,' better known as ... the rack. It appears, however, that they preferred strappado. The illustration is from Fox's Book of Martyrs, revised John Malham: London, Thomas Kelly, 1814, in the Library Collection.
The good citizens of St Martin's are asked to give evidence in this tragic case. Transcribed by Edith Carey into her notebook, Jehanne Becquet's trial for child murder, with her annotations. From Sir E MacCulloch's MSS. Livre ès Crimes I 60. Jehanne would have known that it was essential for her to show her baby to witnesses, even if it had been stillborn, but she was unable or unwilling to do so. Make your own mind up about her. Do you agree with the court's verdict?
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.]
From Philippe Le Geyt's Manuscripts on the law, constitution, and customs of this island, (that is, Jersey); how you could legitimately be convicted on your reputation.
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.
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.
From the Acts of the Guernsey Colloquy, a document of exceptional local importance in the Library Collection. The Gathering of Ministers and Elders gives its judgment.
From The Sarnian Monthly Magazine, July, 1815. The illustration is from My Sketch Book, part of the Library's extensive collection of works illustrated by George Cruikshank, which can be viewed on request.