From the second half of a long but entertaining two-part article from the Dublin University Magazine of 1846. 'Let us now hasten to the proper subject of this paper, the state of society in Guernsey.'
Shame and humiliation, the penalty for not conforming: the Amende Honorable, or Porter le linceuil.
'There is a pear which is peculiar to these islands, the Chaumontel, which grows to an extraordinary size, and sells very frequently for a shilling each for exportation.' From Cochrane's Guide to the Island of Guernsey, 1826. 'Guernsey supplies to London, besides granite pavement and chaumontelle pears, megalithic theories and watercolour paintings.' The Channel Islands Magazine, May, 1853.
From the Supplement to the Memorial of the Jersey Reform Committee to the Commissioners apppointed by Her Most Gracious Majesty to enquire into the civil, municipal, and ecclesiastical laws of Jersey and for other purposes, 1859, p. 39. The Jersey upper classes appropriate a Guernsey Order in Council, to ensure they are correctly addressed by the lower orders.
The sprightly Muse her wing displays. And the French islands first surveys—Drayton's poetic description of Britain, written in 1612, opens with the Channel Islands. This is the 1813 rendition into modern English by Robert Southey. The Library has a facsimile of the 1622 edition, published for the Spenser Society in 1889.
The poet George Métivier's family home, St George in the Câtel (the painting of the house is by Young, 1821), was planted with cherry trees, about which he fondly reminisced, along with the birds that feasted on them. Here are some excerpts from the Guernsey Magazine of November 1884 about cherries, taken from a series called 'Guernsey Popular Names of Plants, as compared with those in other places,' No. 8, 'Based on Mr Métivier's Glossaire.'
From the Eclectic Review of 1845.
In 1885 was published the original French text of the Ecclesiastical Discipline for Guernsey, edited by the Reverend G.-E. Lee of the Town Church and published by Thomas Bichard of the Bordage. The Police et discipline ecclesiastique was a set of regulations for the management of the Church and its congregation in the island, established by consensus in 1576 and which, despite the severity of its rules, remained in force until the Restoration in 1660, when Charles II imposed a form of Anglicanism on the island.
The Priaulx Library holds a small suite of rare books on the subject of Italian Comedy, the most desirable of which is probably Luigi Riccoboni's Histoire du theatre Italien, depuis la decadence de la Comedie Latine; avec un catalogue des tragedies et comedies Italiennes imprimees depuis l'an 1500, jusqu'a l'an 1660, et une dissertation sur la tragedie moderne Paris : Imprimerie de Pierre Delormel, Rue du Foin, Sainte Genevieve, 1728. 60p.,  leaves of hand coloured plates, one folding. (8vo). Bound with Dell'Arte rappresentativa; Capitoli sei, London, 1728.
From Redstone's Royal Guide to Guernsey, written by Louisa Lane Clarke, who produced a new edition in 1856 following Queen Victoria's visit to Guernsey. A rather rosy description of vraicing—the gathering of wrack seaweed—which was in fact a highly competitive scramble for a valuable and free commodity, much prized by the islanders.
How to get the best from Guernsey's unique church registers.
We asked the question—who or what were they?