'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. The watercolour is from Alphonse Mas' Le verger (The kitchen garden), 1865.
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.'
'It has been truly said that the history of Guernsey, for the last fifty years of his life, was in fact the history of Daniel de Lisle Brock (A New General Biographical Dictionary, 1857).' The article reproduced below is from the Eclectic Review of 1845.
Almanac Journalier: Guernsey, Chevalier & Mauger, 1820
In the mid-19th century Frederick Clarke produced in his establishment in the States Arcade this little booklet, attempting to distil in four pages the labyrinthine system of weights and measures at that time employed in the island. Its difficulty was compounded by the sheer number of currencies that island merchants and traders had to deal with. The information is taken literally from schoolmaster Thomas du Frocq's Nouveau Precepteur of 1818, which is a (mainly) applied mathematics primer of tortuous complexity and much greater length.
The History Section of the Societe Guernesiaise has produced a set of pedigrees of houses taken from Guernsey's Livres de Perchage, which list the owners of a particular house from the earliest times at which it was rated, together with a glossary of French terms found in these documents. These will prove very useful for genealogists and can be consulted at the Library, as can our collection of original Livres de Perchage.
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.
An excerpt from the Magasin Pittoresque, 17, of 1849: 'Les Iles Anglaises de la Manche.'
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.
How to get the best from Guernsey's unique church registers.