Guernsey girls

27th April 2015
A rhyme describing the girls of each Guernsey parish, given to Edith Carey at the beginning of the 20th century by 'the late Isaac Le Patourel, of St Martin's;' and a ditty from Fanny Ingrouille describing the average week of a Guernsey country girl. 'Monday, Tuesday—Party!, Wednesday, Hangover. Thursday, Hard work.' From Guernsey Folk Lore, pp. 507-8. The photograph is part of the Library's Carel Toms' Collection, and is a detail from a postcard sent to Miss M Hinson in 1909. The rhyme is attributed by George Métivier, in his notes to his poem 'L'Revillon d'une vielle chifournie,' published in Rimes Guernesiaises (1831), to a contemporary poet-songster called 'Eléazar.'

Mrs William Sharshaw

A brief obituary of a pioneering woman, from The Monthly Illustrated Journal (the Guernsey Magazine), February 1889. Mary Esther Sharshaw, born in October 1821, daughter of Henry Cumber and Mary Gallienne, was a pharmacist. The obituary does not mention that she came from two families of prominent Quakers. The two photographs of Mary, which are reproduced courtesy of their owner, both show her with a book. In the lower picture she is sporting a fine calabash, a typical Guernsey ladies' hat; the photograph is by her sister, the Guernsey photographer Sarah Louise Cumber.

Flouncing: July 1834

Vive la Flounce! A comic piece in the form of a letter to the Editor of the Star newspaper of July 24, 1834, on the islands' peculiar custom of 'flouncing,' or affiancing, by a visiting wit who called himself 'Time-killer;' and a description of flouncing in Alderney, from Captain Wood's Subaltern Officer, published in 1825. The pictures are from Cruickshank's Sketchbook of 1834-6, part of the Priaulx Library's extensive collection of work by this illustrator.

Wasting the Court's time in Guernsey French: folles adjonctions, June 1826

Frivolous actions for defamation, from the Gazette de Guernesey of June 24, 1826. The newspapers liked to print letters and other examples of Guernsey French, but even the French language newspapers such as the Gazette often seemed to be scoffing at the 'rustics' of the country parishes: these antagonists were from the Forest.

A letter to his aunt: April 1834

From the Star of April 28th, 1834. A light-hearted letter to the Editor, purportedly to his aunt, from a frequent correspondent to the newspaper, a military officer resident on the island who went by the name of 'Time-Killer,' with his observations on houses, high society, and the behaviour and looks of Guernsey ladies and gentlemen. The illustration is from Cruikshank's 1834 My Sketchbook, part of the extensive collection held by the Library.