Rene Le Porc de la Porte de Vezins, 1590

A well-known tale of intrigue in Renaissance Brittany, in one of its earliest and near-contemporary versions, from The Monthly Illustrated Journal (Guernsey Magazine), February, 1873. The Editor describes this as 'a free translation of an interesting account of a disputed identification case, which occurred in the latter part of the 16th century, and in which Guernsey figures; it is taken from a work entitled La Vie de François, Seigneur de la Nouë, kindly lent to us by Mr Thomas Lenfestey, des Fontaines, for the purpose.' The illustration below is a detail from Sydney's Arcadia, published by Ponsonby in 1589, in the Library collection; the portrait above is of François de la Nouë, dit Bras-de-fer, from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

Major Byng

Major William Byng is the best-known Guernsey dueller; there is a stone in Cambridge Park commemorating his death in 1795. Guernseymen were forbidden to duel in Guernsey and would usually travel to Jersey to fight it out, so the majority of duels that have taken place here in the island of which we know any details occurred between locals and a member of the garrison; in this case a quarrel arose between two serving soldiers.

The trial of George Barrington, 1787

George Barrington was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 19th of January, 1787, at the parish of St. Martin in the Fields, a silk purse value 2d. and twenty-three guineas, value £24 3s. and one half-guinea, value 10s. 6d. the property of Havilland Le Mesurier, Esq. privily from his person. From the Lawyer's and Magistrate's Magazine, Vol. I., 1792.

Views of James Saumarez in 1801

'A good deal of the grimace of a Frenchman'. A short biography from The European Magazine, and London Review, for October 1801; and a less kind opinion of the Admiral, written by Admiral Thomas Byam Martin, a veteran of his campaigns who had fallen out with him, parts of whose account are often regarded as at the least fanciful. Saumarez was prone to depression, however.

The Journal of Jane Maria Barlow, 1833-38

Primary concern: Prettiness of self and other girls. Where are all the beaux? Were all the men really either tall or handsome in the 1830s? Obviously not: 'De Beauvoir De Lisle renewed his attentions which I am sorry for, I shall be obliged to draw a line.' A very annoyed Savery Brock bursts a blood vessel. Guernsey has very bad pavements. The photograph from the Library Collection shows a very benevolent-looking Jane in her old age, many years after this diary was written.

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