'Donkey' series II

18th July 2016
Index to the people ilustrated in the photographs in the Donkey series of books by George Torode. Part II: Donkeys at work, Donkey's serenade, Donkey's tails, and The donkey rides out. Please contact the Library for further information (these photographs are under copyright.) With thanks to Olwyn Shorey.

Guernsey patois and its preservation, 1905

7th July 2016
The introduction to 'The Guernsey dialect and its plant names,' by E D Marquand, Associate of the Linnean Society of London, and Membre Correspondant de la Société des Sciences Naturelles et Mathématiques de Cherbourg. 'The old Norman language which is still spoken in the Channel Islands deserves more study than it has yet received, because in all its main features it is the same that was used by the cultured classes of England as far back as eight centuries ago.' From the Transactions of the Guernsey Society of Natural History and Local Research, V (1905-1908), pp. 32 ff. The illustration is of the Haye du Puits, Castel, by Celia Montgomery, c. 1832.

Prehistoric remains in Guernsey, from the Lukis MSS

28th June 2016
In the early 20th century, local historian Edith Carey made copious notes from various manuscripts belonging to the Lukis family into scrapbooks which are now in the Library collection. She collected the following observations about early island archaeology together and copied them again into the notes she made to the book Guernsey Folk Lore, intended to aid her as its editor in a putative new edition, which she never completed. The Lukis family (Frederick Corbin Lukis and his children) were all deeply interested in archaeology, and these journal notes give a very Guernsey flavour of the beginnings of archaeology as a science. The photograph is of 'Frederick Lukis, Esq., at the Du Tus cromlech, Guernsey' from an album in the Library's Harvey collection (the Harvey and Lukis families were related.)

Michelle and the minister I: the case is presented

8th June 2016
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. 

Spirit of adventure: Violetta Thurstan

25th April 2016
'Guernsey readers will read with interest of the adventure of Miss Violetta Thurstan, who is managing an ambulance unit in Spain.' This article, from the Star newspaper of April 1, 1937, recalls her war service and brings readers up to date with her activities in the Spanish Civil War. Violetta received the Mons Star, the Russian Royal Cross of St George, and, twice wounded, was awarded the Military Medal.

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