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The position of the islands affords an interesting detail which will call for consideration in any scheme of Imperial Federation.

The constitutions of Guernsey and Jersey were formerly identical, but important distinctions have been made in the course of centuries. It would seem that the Royal Court was the source of government as well as of justice. The States are now the legislative assemblies, but in Guernsey the Royal Court still retains a concurrent power of enacting legislation. Acts of the Imperial Parliament do not acquire the force of law in either island until they have been registered by the Royal Court. The members of the Royal Court, the jurés justiciers, therefore, both make the laws and interpret them. The President of the Court is the Bailiff appointed by the Crown, and it is sometimes contended that the functions of the jurats correspond to those of jurymen, but the language of ancient documents, especially the Précepte d'Assize, which is the Magna Charta of the island, does not justify the contention. Among the jurats of Jersey the five Seigneurs holding manors from the King were entitled to precedence. The exact position of one of them, the Seigneur de la Trinité, was the subject of frequent litigation before the Privy Council," but the order recognized by the Royal Commission which reported upon the laws of the island in 1864 was as follows : St. Ouen, Rozel, Melesche, Trinité and Samarés. Unfortunately the rights and privileges of these feudal lords, who enjoy the title of Hauts Justiciers, are not now of the same importance as when they resided upon their property and took an active part in the affairs of the island. The earlier records suggest that the Seigneur would as a matter of course be a jurat of the Royal Court by reason of the influence derived from his position. In Jersey the jurats are popularly elected, so that their position as legislators and administrators tends to overshadow their judicial functions. In Guernsey the choice

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See Ordres du Conseil, i. 549, 327, 366 (1663–1670); ii. 398 (1715); iv. 78 (1781); v. 151 (1818). The possession of the manor was in dispute in 1832 (Ordres du Conseil, v. 450) through the failure of heirs to the seigneurie.

of the jurats rests with a specially constituted body called the States of Election, which is a larger assembly than the States of Deliberation. In both bodies the jurats and the rectors of the ancient parishes have seats, but in the latter only delegates, and not the whole number of the elected parochial representatives. In Guernsey, trial by jury does not exist. The Royal Court has full civil and criminal jurisdiction and performs the duty of a coroner. Matters of local government are dealt with by the douzaniers and the constable, who also fulfils the function of a magis trate. A characteristic feature of the government of both islands is the large amount of honorary work which is freely and zealously given to the service of the community. From the jurats downwards the offices are almost without exception unpaid, and it is only within recent years that there has been a paid constabulary.

The independence of the islanders is frequently ascribed to the effect of their environment. The turbulent disposition of the narrow belt of sea between the islands undoubtedly renders it an effectual barrier, and still more does the roughness of the crossing from the mainland present a serious obstacle to many who would be glad to know more of such near neighbours, and to enjoy the invigorating pleasure of a stay in the islands. Nevertheless, the unpleasantness of the portion of the journey by sea is unduly magnified, for it is quite possible to make the passage time after time without experiencing any discomfort. At the worst the inconveniences are trifling compared with the conditions of a century ago, when it was not an uncommon thing for the crossing to take thirty-six to forty-eight hours between England and Guernsey, and twenty-four hours for the short distance separating the two islands. The passenger was called upon to provide his own provisions, though under such conditions probably he experienced little desire for food. The islands first became a resort for visitors in 1824, when a steamer from Southampton, and another from

"A comparison of the position of the jurats in the two islands is contained in an article by C. E. Ą. Bedwell in the Law Magazine and Review, February 1909.

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Portsmouth, commenced to ply weekly. Now during the summer months there is a service by day from Weymouth, and at midnight from Southampton. The new boats which are being built for the latter should add to the comfort of the longer sea-passage. Neither service runs direct to Jersey, so that by either the visitor will call at Guernsey.

The town of St. Peter Port, which is the centre of government and the port of call, stands on a hill sloping down to the sea with Castle Cornet in the foreground. For centuries the Castle guarded the island as Mount Orgueil Castle did Jersey, and was maintained for the Royalists during the nine years of the Civil War, which, with other encounters, has enabled the Castle to provide sufficient material for a small volume by the late Mr. Tupper, the historian of Guernsey. But since the erection of Fort George towards the end of the eighteenth century it has ceased to have any military importance.

The chief feature of the town is the fine old parish church, which takes a foremost place among the several noble ecclesiastical buildings in the Channel Islands. It dates from the beginning of the thirteenth century, and was carefully restored in 1886, when the removal of the high pews added spaciousness and dignity to the interior. The earliest reference to a church is contained in a charter dated 1048, by which it was given with five others in the island to the Benedictine Abbey of Marmoutier near Tours. The ascription of the date of consecration to the year 1312 is due to a document, now generally believed to be spurious, called the • Dédicace des Eglises.' The patronage passed into the hands of the King of England in 1414. The Guernsey people are said to be very proud of the ‘Town Church,' and to regard it as the Westminster Abbey of the island.?

Behind the parish church lie the markets, for which

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" A short story connecting the Clameur de Haro '—the appeal to justice peculiar to the Channel Islands-with the removal of the pew's from a church on its restoration, was published in The Treasury for May 1908.

• An illustrated brochure, written by the Rector, the Rev. G. E. Lee, F.S.A., gives visitors the chief facts about the church.

the local guide claims that they have few, if any, equals in Europe. Visitors also have been generous in their praise.

* There are many markets in the world whose quaintness haunts one for life,' writes one of them ; but of all the markets ever seen, the one in St. Peter Port is most crammed with pictures. Wherever the eye might rove, it falls on a picture ready for the painting. ... Never, surely, were the necessary essential vegetables so cunningly displayed. Your Guernsey vegetable-seller is an artist in disguise, selling for the fun of the thing, and to show that vegetables can look as any flower that blows. .. Everything set out with such artistic perfection of its colour and form, its value in the picture and with such immaculate cleanliness. Truly a market worth getting up early for.'?

Near to the French market is the Guille-Allès Library, which is probably unsurpassed for scope and utility in any town of the same size in the British Isles. Thomas Guille belonged to Jersey, and Frederick Mansel Allès to Guernsey. The two friends made a fortune by their own industry in America, and after thirty years' business partnership in New York returned to combine again their activities in the establishment of a library and place for popular lectures and students' classes similar to an institution for apprentices by which they had benefited in New York. The Library is a fine building to which visitors are welcomed on payment of a small subscription, and contains seventy thousand volumes besides a museum. In their generosity the founders provided an endowment fund, so that there is adequate income for the addition of new books and the Library is thus kept up to date. It seems unfortunate that arrangements have not been made for the management under the same control of the Priaulx Library, which is another generous benefaction comprising a house and twenty-five thousand volumes. A further duplication has occurred more recently by the bequest of a museum by Colonel Lukis. The States have purchased the residence, and it would seem as if the Education Committee should be entrusted with the oversight of these 1 Guérin's Almanack, 1908, p. 162.

Dearlove, by Frances Campbell, pp. 23-26. (Hodder and Stoughton, 1906.)


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different institutions in order to secure co-ordination and economical administration.

The greater part of the island is spoiled by the glasshouses for the cultivation of grapes and tomatoes. In fact, the commercial instincts of the community are tending here, as they do elsewhere, to ruin the natural beauty of their home. Towards the south and south-west, however, pleasant walks are plentiful, and around Moulin Huet are the

water lanes,' which make a charming break and are characteristic of the island. The lanes are paths bordered by hedges, with little streams trickling at the side until they reach the sea-shore. In any survey of the country there cannot fail to be noted the small plots into which the land has been divided in order to carry out the rules of inheritance. Where a light hedge or a ditch would be considered sufficient as a dividing line in England, the Guernseyman has thought it necessary to place a solid earthen barrier, perhaps a yard or even more in width. It is stated that at one time nearly one third of the land of the island was wasted by these dividing earthworks, and the space lost in that way at the present day must be considerable.

'The appearance of the land under cultivation is very singular. : . . It is all laid out in narrow strips, producing different sorts of crops. These lie in a number of different directions, and are so narrow that in watching a proprietor ploughing his scrap of land, it is sometimes difficult to see how he will find space enough to turn his plough on his own land.'?


In connexion with the transfer of land, whether by inheritance or sale, there is an admirable system of land registration, dating from the sixteenth century, by which

· Falle's History of Jersey, p. 101. Mr. Durell adds in his edition of the History : It is very doubtful whether these fences occupy so large a proportion of the island as Mr. Falle supposes. . . . Our ancestors must have entertained a very high opinion of their utility (for protection of orchards, for example) as they could not have been raised without a great deal of expense and perseverance.'

Rambles among the Channel Islands, p. 75. This small volume contains a great deal of interesting information about the island, and some pleasant little illustrations. It has long been out of print.

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