wanweipedia

History of Jersey

A map of Jersey dating from 1783

Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands, an island group part of the British Isles. The islands are the last remnants of the medieval Duchy of Normandy that held sway in both France and England. The island remained loyal to the English crown after the return of Normandy to France in 1204 and has enjoyed self-government since.

The island is notable for being the only part of the British Isles to be occupied by Nazi Germany during World War II.[1]

The most widely regarded history of Jersey is Balleine's History of the Island of Jersey,[2] written by G. R. Balleine in 1959, and later adapted by the Société Jersiaise, most notably two of its members Marguerite Syvret and Joan Stevens.

Name of the island

Although Jersey was part of the Roman world, there is a lack of evidence to give a better understanding of the island during the Gallo-Roman and early Middle Ages. The tradition is that the island was called Caesarea by the Romans[3] as laid down in the Antonine Itinerary, however this is disputed by some, who claim Caesarea, Sarnia and Riduna are the Scilly Isles, nevertheless Sarnia in particular has a large cultural influence as the historic name of Guernsey (for example the national anthem of Guernsey is Sarnia chérie). Andium however is also mentioned on the list and this name is very often attributed to Jersey. Therefore, it is possible another island, such as the Minquiers were in fact Caesarea and Jersey Andium.[2]

The name is claimed to be the source of the modern name Jersey, -ey being a Norse signification of an island, and Jer- possibly being a contraction of Caesar, similar to Cherbourg, therefore the island meaning Caesar's island.[3] Another claim for the origin of the name is as Geirr's Island from the Norse name Geirr or as the grassy isle from the Frisian gers.[2]:16 The Roman name for the Channel Islands was I. Lenuri (Lenur Islands)[4]:4

Some claim that the pre-Roman name for the island was Augia (alternatively Andium), and it was given by this name by King Childebert of France to Archbishop Samson of Dol in 550 CE. In the past the island's name has various variations of its spelling, such as Gersey, Jarzé, Gerzai and Gersui (including re-latinisations such as Gersoium and Grisogium)[3] Andium has considerable popularity as the former name for Jersey, being for example the name of the island's social housing corporation.[5]

Origins of other place names on the island

L'Etacq is of Norse origin, a derivative of L'Estack, from the Norse stakkr, meaning high rock. This word also gives name to various places called Etacquerel.[2]:16

Prehistory

La Pouquelaye de Faldouet was constructed on a site on the east coast looking across to the Cotentin Peninsula.

The earliest evidence of human activity in Jersey dates to about 250,000 years ago (before Jersey became an island) when bands of nomadic hunters used the caves at La Cotte de St Brelade as a base for hunting mammoth and woolly rhinoceros.[6]

Due to rising sea levels, Jersey has been an island for approximately 6,000 years. At its current extremes it measures ten miles east to west and six miles north to south. Evidence of Ice Age period engravings dating from at least 12,000 BC has been found,[7][8] showing occupation by Homo sapiens.

Evidence also exists of settled communities in the Neolithic period, which is marked by the building of the ritual burial sites known as dolmens. The number, size, and visible locations of these megalithic monuments (especially La Hougue Bie) have suggested that social organisation over a wide area, including surrounding coasts, was required for the construction. Archaeological evidence also shows that trading links with Brittany and the south coast of England existed during this time.

Hoards

Evidence of occupation and wealth has been discovered in the form of hoards. In 1889, during construction of a house in Saint Helier, a 746-g gold torc of Irish origin was unearthed. A Bronze Age hoard consisting of 110 implements, mostly spears and swords, was discovered in Saint Lawrence in 1976 - probably a smith's stock. Hoards of coins were discovered at La Marquanderie, in Saint Brelade, Le Câtel, in Trinity, and Le Câtillon, in Grouville (1957).[9]

In June 2012, two metal detectorists announced that they had uncovered what could be Europe's largest hoard of Iron Age Celtic coins. 70,000 late Iron Age and Roman coins. The hoard is thought to have belonged to a Curiosolitae tribe fleeing Julius Caesar's armies around 50 to 60 BC.[10][11]

In October 2012, another metal detectorist reported an earlier Bronze Age find, the Trinity Hoard.[12]

Gallo-Roman and Early Middle Ages

Although there is no evidence of a Roman occupation of Jersey, historians consider that it is entirely feasible it was occupied by the Romans. Various Roman archeological artefacts have been found on the island, such as coins discovered on the north coast at Ile Agois. There are several sites attributed to the Romans on the island, such as Caesar's fort at Mont Orgeuil.[2]

Roman influence has been found, in particular at Les Landes, the coastal headland site at Le Pinacle, where remains of a primitive structure are attributed to Gallo-Roman temple worship (fanum).[13]

When Augustus Caesar divided Gaul into four provinces, Jersey was part of the province headquartered at Lyons. Roman influence has a strong grounding in the development of Jersey culture, bringing vernacular Latin to the isle, which would later develop into Standard French and Jèrriais (and influence English).[2]

During the migration of the Britons from Britain to Brittany (c. 5th - 6th century AD), specifically during the invasion led by St Samson, Bishop of Dol, it is believed the Channel Islands came to be settled by them. There are numerous references to the habitation of Jersey by Breton people. This likely brought Christianity to the island.[2]

Various saints such as the Celts Samson of Dol and Branwalator (Brelade) were active in the region. Tradition has it that Saint Helier from Tongeren in modern-day Belgium first brought Christianity to the island in the 6th century, part of the walls of the Fishermen's Chapel dates from this period and Charlemagne sent his emissary to the island (at that time called Angia, also spelt Agna)[14] in 803. A chapel built around 911, now forms part of the nave of the Parish Church of St Clement.

Normans

From 873, the Normans began a piratical war on the western coast of France, and the islands were exposed to their incursions. During these conquests was the life of Helier, the patron saint of Jersey. He was a hermit and holy man who lived a life of solitude at the Hermitage on Elizabeth Castle, established by at least 543.[2] He was put to death by the Normans, gaining him a reputation as a martyr.[3]

Being part of Neustria – a diminution of West-France – Jersey was originally part of the Kingdom of France, and not linked to the British Crown as today. During the reign of Charles III the Simple, Normandy was yielded to Rollo, the leader of the Normans at the time, held in fief to the Crown of France, with the title of Dukes. The Channel Islands remained politically linked to Brittany until 933, when William Longsword, Duke of Normandy seized the Cotentin and the islands and added them to his domain. The island, along with the rest of Normandy, was distinct from the Crown of France, which only had limited rights in the province. [3]

During Norman rule, the island likely redeveloped after the devastation brought by the Vikings and developed agriculture. This period saw the establishment of various fiefdoms, such as the de Carterets, and the establishment of feudal rule in Jersey. Norman cultural influence is evident in the island is likely an indicator of large Norman migration to the island. Norman law is still the basis of Jersey law (although it now has large influence from English common law).[2]:19

In 1066, Duke William II of Normandy defeated Harold at Hastings to become the King of England; however, he continued to rule his French possessions, including Jersey, as a separate entity,[15] as fealty was owed as a Duke, to the King of France.

According to the Rolls of the Norman Exchequer, in 1180 Jersey was divided for administrative purposes into three ministeria:[16] de Gorroic, de Groceio and de Crapoudoit (possibly containing four parishes each). Gorroic is an old spelling for Gorey, containing St Martin, St Saviour, Grouville and St Clement; Groceio could derive from de Gruchy, and contains St John, Trinity, St Lawrence and St Helier; and Crapoudoit, likely referring to the stream of St Peter's Valley, contains the remainder of the parishes in the West.[2]:23 This was a time of building or extending churches with most parish churches in the island being built/rebuilt in a Norman style chosen by the abbey or priory to which each church had been granted. St Mary and St Martin being given to Cerisy Abbey.[2]:21 By Norman times, the parish boundaries were firmly fixed and remain largely unchanged since. It was likely set in place due to the tithe system under Charlemagne, where each property must contribute to the church, so each property would have had to be established within a parish. The parish system is much more important in Jersey than in England or post-Napoleon France.[2]:15

After the death of William the Conqueror, Normandy and England were under separate rule and Robert, Duke of Normandy, sold Cotenin and the isles to Henry, who would eventually become King of England and Duke of Normandy by 1106.[2]:22 The islands remained part of the Duchy of Normandy until 1204, when King Philip II Augustus of France conquered the duchy from King John of England; thanks to Pierre de Préaux, a governor of Rouen who possessed the isles, who decided to support King John, the islands remained in the personal possession of the English king[2]:25 and were described as being a Peculiar of the Crown.[17] The so-called Constitutions of King John are the foundation of modern self-government.

The feudal age

Mont Orgueil dominates the small harbour of Gorey and guards Jersey from attack from the French coast opposite

Establishment of self-governance

In the Treaty of Paris (1259), the King of France gave up claim to the Channel Islands. The claim was based upon his position as feudal overlord of the Duke of Normandy. The King of England gave up claim to mainland Normandy and therefore the Channel Islands were split from the rest of Normandy. The Channel Islands were never absorbed into the Kingdom of England and the island has had self-government since.

The Channel Islands ceased to be a peaceful backwater, now being located on the edge of the territory of the King of England, and became a potential flashpoint on the international stage between England and France. Therefore, the Warden, de Suligny, constructed a castle at Gorey, known as Mont Orgueil, to serve as a royal fortress and military base. This was needed as the Island had few defences and had previously been suppressed by a fleet commanded by a French exile, Eustace the Monk working with the English King until in 1212 he changed sides and raided the Channel Islands on behalf of the French King.[2]:25–8

The administration of the island was handled by an insular government. The King appointed a Warden (later "Capitain" or "Governor", now the Lieutenant-Governor of Jersey), a position largely occupied with the defence of the island. Despite the end to Norman rule, the churches of the island were permitted to continue to be under the Diocese of Coutances for another 300 years to appease islanders, however at times of war the liberties of the clergy were often restricted.[2]:27

The existing Norman customs and laws were allowed to continue and there was no attempt to introduce English law. The formerly split administrative system was replaced with a centralised legal system, of which the head was the King of England rather than the Duke of Normandy. The law was conducted through 12 jurats, constables (Connétable) and a bailiff (Baillé). These titles have different meanings and duties to those in England.[2]:27–8 Any oppression by a bailiff or a warden was to be resolved locally or failing that, by appeal to the King who appointed commissioners to report on disputes.

The role of the jurats when the King's court was mobile would have been preparatory work for the visit of the Justices in Eyre. It is unknown for how long the position of the jurats has existed, with some claiming the position dates to time immemorial. After the cessation of the visits of the Justices in Eyre (and with the frequent absence of the Warden), the Bailiff and jurats took on a much wider role, from jury to justice.[2]:28

Due to the island's strategic importance to the English crown, the islanders were able to negotiate, over a number of centuries, the right to retain privileges and improve on certain benefits, such as trade rights, from the King.

In 1541, the Privy Council, which had recently given a seat to Calais, intended to give two seats in Parliament to Jersey. Seymour, the Lieutenant-Governor of the Island, wrote to the Jurats, instructing them to send two Burgesses for the isle. However, no further steps seemed to have been taken since the letter did not arrive in front of the States Assembly until the day the elected persons were required to arrive in London.[2]:70

Events of the period

Under the wardenships of Philippe d'Aubigny (1212-1224, 1232–1234), the island was attacked by Eustace the Monk, a pirate, while the warden was fighting for the King in the Barons' war. An inquest was held into the loyalty of the Jersey landowners, and as a result only the de Carterets remained of the important Norman families. The old aristocracy gave way to a new one, with landowners drawn from royal officials, who soon came to think of themselves as islanders rather than Englishmen. This saw the firm establishment of the feudal system in Jersey, with fiefs headed by Seigneurs.[2]:30

During the Hundred Years' War, the island was attacked many times[18] resulting in the formal creation of the Island Militia in 1337, which was compulsory for the next 600 years for all men of military age. In March 1338, a French force landed on Jersey, intent on capturing the island.[19] Although the island was overrun, Mont Orgueil remained in English hands.[20] The French remained until September, when they sailed off to conquer Guernsey, Alderney, and Sark. In 1339, the French returned, allegedly with 8,000 men in 17 Genoese galleys and 35 French ships. Again, they failed to take the castle and, after causing damage, withdrew.[21]

It was 1348 when the Black Death reached the Island, ravaging the population. The change in England to a written language in "English" was not taken up in Jersey, where Norman-French continued until the 20th-century.[2]:44 In July 1373, Bertrand du Guesclin overran Jersey and besieged Mont Orgueil. His troops succeeded in breaching the outer defences, forcing the garrison back to the keep. The garrison came to an agreement that they would surrender if not relieved by Michaelmas and du Guesclin sailed back to Brittany, leaving a small force to carry on the siege. An English relief fleet arrived in time.[22] On 7 October 1406, 1,000 French men at arms led by Pero Nino, a Castilian nobleman turned corsair, invaded Jersey, landing at St Aubin's Bay and defeated the 3,000 defenders but failed to capture the island.[2]:50–1

The rise of Joan of Arc inspired France to evict the English from mainland France, with the exception of Calais, putting Jersey back in the front line.[2]:54 The French did not succeed in capturing Jersey during the Hundred Years' War, but after a secret deal between Margaret of Anjou and Pierre de Brézé was made to gain French support for the Lancastrian cause during the Wars of the Roses, the French captured Mont Orgueil in the summer of 1461, and was held by the French until 1468 when Yorkist forces and local militia recaptured the castle.[23]

In 1496, King Henry V obtained a Papal bull to transfer the islands from the Bishop of Coutcances to Salisbury (and later to Winchester), although for nearly 50 years after, due to the proximity of the isles to Coutances, the Bishop continued to act as the de facto bishop of the islands.[2]:67

In 1540, there was an outbreak of plague on the island, and the Lieutenant Governor, Robert Raymond, ordered the closure of all markets, fairs and public assemblies.[2]:70

Reformation to the civil war

During the 16th century, ideas of the reformation of the church coupled with the split with the Catholic Faith by Henry VIII of England, resulted in the islanders adopting the Protestant religion, in 1569 the churches moved under the control of the Diocese of Winchester.[2]:81 During the reign of Edward VI, the Government issued a new prayer book, which was translated into French, however did not arrive in the island until the throne had changed hands to Queen Mary, who led the restoration of Catholicism in England. However, Jersey did not have any death sentences issued for Catholicism, due to the island being kept out of the limelight by its Governor Poulet. The island did not become Catholic, with numerous anti-Papists still in position.[2]:79

During the reign of Elizabeth I, Calvinism took hold in Jersey due to the immigration of French Huguenot refuges. This meant that life became very austere: laws were strictly enforced, punishment for wrong doers was severe, but education was improved - a school was started in every parish and support was given for Jersey boys to attend Oxford. Each elder knew every family within his vigntaine, 'whether they have household prayers morning and evening, say grace after meals and live in peace and concord.'[2]:83–6 The excommunication of Elizabeth by the Pope increased the military threat to the island and the increasing use of gunpowder on the battlefield meant that the fortifications on the island had to be adapted. A new fortress was built to defend St Aubin's Bay, the new Elizabeth Castle was named after the queen by Sir Walter Raleigh when he was governor. The island militia was reorganised on a parish basis and each parish had two cannon which were usually housed in the church - one of the St Peter cannon can still be seen at the bottom of Beaumont Hill.

During the Elizabethan Era, Europeans began to explore and establish colonies in the Americas. The Jèrriais were no exception to this. Jersey was a notable trading port, on the route linking the Netherlands to Spain and between England and France. A number of locals were colonialists to Newfoundland from its discovery by Europeans in 1497.[24] By 1591, Jerseymen were sailing small boats across the Atlantic in the spring and not returning to the island until the autumn ploughing. In 1611, St Brelade's Church was allowed to hold Communion early, such that the travellers could communicate before sailing from St Aubin. Southampton was also an important port for the Jersey people, with a number of them settling and taking important roles in the town.[2]:88–9

This map of Jersey, published in 1639, shows interior details such as Le Mont ès Pendus (the gallows hill, now called Westmount). At first sight, the coastline appears wildly inaccurate, but if the image is rotated a little clockwise, the shape becomes much closer to what is known today.

One of the favourable trade deals with England was the ability to import wool (England needing an export market but was at war with most of Europe).[25]:108 The production of knitwear in the island reached such a scale that it threatened the island's ability to produce its own food, so laws were passed regulating who could knit with whom and when. The name jersey being synonymous for a sweater, shows its importance.

James VI of Scotland became King of England, and hence of Jersey, after the death of Elizabeth I in 1603. The Governor of the time, Sir Walter Ralegh, was tried and imprisoned for conspiring against the King after the death of Elizabeth and replaced with Sir John Peyton. Peyton strongly disliked Presbyterianism, including Calvinism, and attempted to abolish the religion in Jersey. The king initially allowed the island's to continue under their present faith system. However, Calvinism was increasingly unpopular among islanders, which aided Peyton's caused. When St Peter's recotry became vacant in 1613, Peyton appointed Elie Messervy to the position. The Colloquy called a Synod to meet to discuss, however Peyton banned the meeting. Both sides sent parties to Westminster - the Colloquy sending George Poulet, the Bailiff - however a compromise was found locally, with Messervy agreeing to continue using the Huguenot prayer book.[2]:93–4

To this day, the tradition that the Bailiff wears red robes remains

Peyton was also against democracy in the form of the States and the freedoms of the Courts in Jersey. In 1615, Jean Hérault was appointed Bailiff, having been promised the role by Letters Patent in 1611. Peyton appealed against the decision, claiming it was his jurisdiction to appoint the Bailiff, but the King's orders triumph that of his Governor's. Hérault strongly believed in the importance and high position of the role of Bailiff, claiming it to be higher than that of the Governor. He ordered his name to be placed before the Governor's in church prayers and was the first Bailiff to wear red robes (in the style of English judges). To back his claims, he cited that in the Norman administrative tradition, the Bailiffs had "noone above them except the Duke". He frequently reported neglect of duty by Peyton, such as the reduction in the guard at Elizabeth Castle. This dispute led to one of the most major turning points in Jersey's constitutional history, as the powers of the Governor were clearly demarcated as military only, while civil and justice affiars were entirely in the jurisdiction of the Bailiff.[2]:96–7

In 1617, the Royal Commissioners Sir Edward Conway and Sir William Bird visited the island. This led to the recommendation that the island should have a Dean. The appointment was David Bandinel, the Italian Rector of St Brelade's, taking office in 1620. This was not popular with the States, with some Rectors stating they would not recognise the position of the Dean. He took office nonetheless and, by order of the King, Anglicanism was hence effectively established as the state religion of the island. The Book of Discipline lost its validity and the prayer book was changed to a translated version of the Book of Common Prayer, and all future Ministers had to be appointed from then on by a Bishop. Bandinel enforced these changes, including removing the Rector of St Mary from office for speaking against the prayer book, however the order that Communion should be taken kneeling was not.[2]:94–5

Aside from religion, the Commissioners also ordered that the island's garrisons be increased and for better training for the militia. They did not recognise the Bailiff as being the island's true Governor, ordering that the States must receive permission from the Governor before being permitted to meet, however did also affirm the precedence of the Bailiff in the civil administrative spheres.[2]

Civil War, interregnum and restoration

During the 1640s, England, Ireland and Scotland were embroiled in the War of the Three Kingdoms. The civil war also divided Jersey, and while the sympathy of islanders lay with Parliament, the de Carterets (see Sir George Carteret and Sir Philippe de Carteret II) held the island for the king.

The Prince of Wales, the future Charles II visited the island in 1646 and again in October 1649 following the trial and execution of his father, Charles I. In the Royal Square in St. Helier on 17 February 1649, Charles was publicly proclaimed king after his father's death (following the first public proclamation in Edinburgh on 5 February 1649).[26] Parliamentarian forces eventually captured the island in 1651 and Elizabeth Castle seven weeks later. In recognition for all the help given to him during his exile, Charles II gave George Carteret, Bailiff and governor, a large grant of land in the American colonies, which he promptly named New Jersey, now part of the United States of America.[27][28]

After the restoration

Towards the end of the 17th century, Jersey strengthened its links with the Americas when many islanders emigrated to New England and north east Canada. The Jersey merchants built up a thriving business empire in the Newfoundland and Gaspé fisheries. Companies such as Robins and the Le Boutilliers set up thriving businesses.

The perquages are a series of routes that offered sanctuary to malefactors to leave the island. All except St Ouen and St Martin lead to the south coast. For example, St Mary, St John and St Lawrence leave via St Peter's Valley and Beaumont (today a cycle track leading to the south coast).[2]

18th century

'Martello' towers were built along the coasts to protect the Island from French attack. Pictured is First Tower on Victoria Avenue.

Public unrest

By the 1720s, a discrepancy in coinage values between Jersey and France was threatening economic stability. The States of Jersey therefore resolved to devalue the liard to six to the sou. The legislation to that effect implemented in 1729 caused popular riots that shook the establishment.[29] The devaluation was therefore cancelled.

By 1750, the Bailiffship had de facto become a hereditary position in the de Carteret family. Earl Granville held the post at the this, but he nor his son never visited the island. Therefore, the Lieutenant Bailiff Charles Lempière (in office 1750–1781), appointed that year, became the de facto Bailiff. During his time in office, the Governor and his Lieutenants were also absent, so Lempière effectively had full control over the island. Lempière was a Parliamentarian, but by temperament was autocratic. His family had significant power with a number of high-ranking roles in the island. Lempière issued ordinances through his court and quashed protest through the same.[2]:195

This led to a series of riots in 1769. Nicholas Fiott, a merchant settled in Jersey, had a number of personal squabbles with Lempière which soon morphed into public disunity. During the Seven Years' War, a number of prisoners were kept on the island and suffered "disgraceful" mistreatment. Fiott himself was imprisoned for objecting to being tried by Jurats with whom he had personal quarrels. A petition was sent to the Privy Council demanding his release by principaux (men with the right to attend Parish Assemblies) and he was released.[2]:195-7

Between 1767 and 1769, the island suffered food supply shortages due to corruption from the ruling classes, which led to insurrection from the populace. On 28 September 1769, men from the northern parishes marched into town and rioted, including breaking into the Court House in a threatening manner. The protestors demands included reductions in the price of wheat and tithes, as well as the abolition of the champart (the feudal right of the Seigneur to every twelfth sheaf of corn), the banishment of all aliens and the complete withdrawal of charges against Fiott. The new Acts were proclaimed that Saturday.[2]:197-8

The States met at Elizabeth Castle, a meeting place of better safety, and decided to sent a party to report to the King. The report claimed that the mob had ordered the removal of the King's Laws from the statute books, which the council saw as anarchy against royal power, ad ordered the removal of the Acts and a reward of £100 for information that could lead to the arrest of the rioters. The Council also sent five companies of Royal Scots to restore order, commanded by Colonel Bentinck. They found however another side to the story and invited those with grievances to set it down in writing. Moyse Corbet, a former army officer, read a petiton at the Town Hall demanding reforms, which he took to England to present to the Bailiff, the Government, Parliament and the King. Charles William Le Geyt did similar for the country parishes. Le Geyt had the States and the Royal Court behind him.[2]:198-9

Reform and Religion

After the petitions of Le Geyt, the English authorities instructed that peace and reform should be brought to the island. Bentinck became Lieutenant Governor and introduced important reforms. He secured amnesty for the rioters and Fiott was allowed to return home. The Royal Court was no longer a lawmaking body and all legislative power was vested in the States. Farming outwith Crown revenues was forbidden, with the Receiver paid a fixed salary to prevent corruption. The Code of 1771 laid down for the first time in one place the extant laws of Jersey.[2]:199

The Chamber of Commerce founded 24 February 1768 is the oldest English-speaking Chamber of Commerce.[30]

The late 18th century was the first time political parties in some form came into existence on the island. Jean Dumaresq was an early Liberal who called for democratic reforms (that the States should be democratically elected Deputies and should have vested in them executive power). His supporters were known as Magots ("maggots", initially an insult from his opponents, which the Magots reclaimed as their own term) and his opponents as the Charlots (supporters of the Lieutenant Baliff Charles Lempière). Dumaresq is quoted as saying "we shall make these Seigneurs bite the dust". In 1776, he was elected as Connétable for St Peter.[31]:200

Methodism arrived in Jersey in 1774, brought by fishermen returning from Newfoundland. Conflict with the authorities ensued when men refused to attend militia drill when that coincided with chapel meetings. The Royal Court attempted to proscribe Methodist meetings, but King George III refused to countenance such interference with liberty of religion. The first Methodist minister in Jersey was appointed in 1783, and John Wesley preached in Jersey in August 1789, his words being interpreted into the vernacular for the benefit of those from the country parishes. The first building constructed specifically for Methodist worship was erected in St. Ouen in 1809.

Battle of Jersey

The 18th century was a period of political tension between Britain and France, as the two nations clashed all over the world as their ambitions grew. Because of its position, Jersey was more or less on a continuous war footing.

During the American Wars of Independence, two attempted invasions of the island were made. In 1779, the Prince of Orange William V was prevented from landing at St Ouen's Bay; on 6 January 1781, a force led by Baron de Rullecourt captured St Helier in a daring dawn raid, but was defeated by a British army led by Major Francis Peirson in the Battle of Jersey. A short-lived peace was followed by the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars which, when they had ended, had changed Jersey forever. In 1799–1800, over 6000 Russian troops under the command of Charles du Houx de Vioménil were quartered in Jersey after an evacuation of Holland.

The first printing press was introduced to Jersey in 1784.

19th century

Post-Napoleonic Wars

Jersey cattle were developed as a breed during the 19th century. Judging the quality of cows remains a feature of rural life.

The post-Napoleonic War period was a divisive period politically for the island. In 1821, there was an election for Jurat. The St Laurentine Laurelites (conservatives, the eventual name for the Charlots) attacked the Inn in their village where Rose men (the progressive descendants of the Magots) were holding a meeting. They damaged the building and injured both the innkeeper and his wife. On election day in St Martin, the a number of Rose voters were attacked, after which most Rose men refrained from voting. Although the Rose candidate won overall, he faced a number of lawsuits over claims of voter fraud, so in the end the Laurel candidate George Betram took office.[2]:232

In the early 18th century, the military roads were constructed (on occasion at gunpoint in the face of opposition from landowners) by the governor, General George Don, to link coastal fortifications with St. Helier harbour. These had an unexpected effect on agriculture once peace restored reliable trade links. Farmers in previously isolated valleys were able to swiftly transport crops grown in the island's microclimate to waiting ships and then on to the markets of London and Paris ahead of the competition. In conjunction with the later introduction of steamships and the development of the French and British railway systems, Jersey's agriculture was no longer as isolated as before.

The early 19th century was a period of growth of trade for Jersey. An English Custom House was established in the island in 1810. A key turning point in Jersey history was the introduction of steamships. Previous to that, travel to the island was long and unpredictable. In the mid-1820s, the post office switched to steam as well. The first paddle steamer to visit Jersey was the Medina on 11 June 1823. In 1824, two shipping companies were established, each operating weekly steamship services to England.[2]:239

This brought thousands of passengers to the island. By 1840, there were 5,000 English residents, who some say did not mix well or interact deeply with the native Jèrriais. The number of English-speaking soldiers stationed on the island and the number of retired officers and English-speaking labourers who came to the islands in the 1820s led to the island gradually moving towards an English-speaking culture in the town. This new immigration had a large impact on local architecture, with a number of mainland Georgian-style houses and terraces erected on the main roads out of St Helier. The town also expanded with many new streets, such as Burrard Street, first developed in 1812. In 1831, street lighting was first used.[2]:239–40 In 1843 it was agreed to erect street names.

An important growth for St Helier in the early 19th century was the construction of the harbour. Previously, ships coming into the town had only a small jetty at the site now called the English Harbour and the French Harbour. The Chamber of Commerce urged the States to build a new harbour, but the States refused, so the Chamber took it into their own hands and paid to upgrade the harbour in 1790. A new breakwater was constructed to shelter the jetty and harbours. In 1814, the merchants constructed the roads now known as Commercial Buildings and Le Quai des Marchands to connect the harbours to the town and in 1832 construction was finished on the Esplanade and its sea wall. A rapid expansion in shipping led the States in 1837 to order the construction of two new piers: the Victoria and Albert Piers.[2]:242

Victorian Era

A Victorian 1/13 shilling coin issued in 1858

Queen Victoria was crowned Queen of the United Kingdom in the right of Jersey in 1837. The first notable event of the Victorian era for Jersey was the change in currency. The livre tournois had been used as the legal currency for centuries, however it had been abolished during the French Revolutionary period. Although the coins were no longer minted, they remained the legal currency in Jersey until 1837, when dwindling supplies and consequent difficulties in trade and payment obliged the adoption of the pound sterling as legal tender. Keen to prevent a repeat of the Six-sou Revolt, the authorities wanted to ensure a fair exchange rate; 520 sous would be the equivalent of one Pound sterling.[2]:244 Jersey issued its first coins in 1841,[25]:178–185 including the 1/13 shilling coin, which was closer in value to the old sou than the English penny.[2]:244

Abraham Le Cras was an outspoken new resident of the island. A retired colonel, Le Cras was opposed to Jersey's historic self-government and represented a group of people who not only thought Jersey should be integrated into England fully, but disputed the right of the States to even make its own laws. He is noted as saying 'The States have no more power to make laws for Jersey than I have'. In 1840 he won a court case challenging the States' ability to naturalise people as citizens. The Privy Council determined that the long-standing precedent of the States doing so had been invalidated since Jersey had been ruled under civil law since 1771. In 1846, he persuaded the MP for Bath to push for a Parliamentary Committee to enquire into the law of Jersey, however HM Government instead promised a Royal Commission. The Commission advised the abolition of the Royal Court run by the Jurats and the replacement of it with three Crown-appointed judges and the introduction of a paid police force. Le Cras left the island to live in England in 1850.[2]:247

The obelisk to Le Sueur

In the 1840s, the Rose leader Pierre Le Sueur was elected as Connétable of St Helier. From 1845, he orchestrated the construction of a complete sewer system for the town. He remained in office for 15 years and on his death an obelisk was erected in the Broad Street square.[2]:249

The population of Jersey rose rapidly, from 47,544 in 1841 to 56,078 20 years later, despite a 20% mortality rate amongst new born children. Life expectancy was 35 years. Both immigration and emigration increased.[25]:186

The Hermitage Rock, St. Helier, Jersey amidst a fantastic landscape - by Victor Hugo (1855)

In 1852, the French author and poet Victor Hugo arrived to seek refuge in Jersey, as had many other revolutionaries and socialists from the Continent, facing exile from France and Belgium. If any of these proscrits died on the island, they were buried in Macpela cemetery in Sion, St John. In 1855, these refugees republished in their weekly paper L'Homme an open letter from a number of French socialists living in London, which stated 'You have sacrificed your dignity as a Queen, your fastidiousness as a woman, your pride as an aristocrat, even your honour.' The Lieutenant-Governor banished the three editors two days later. Although Hugo had disapproved of the letter, he joined a protest against the expulsion, and hence too was exiled from the island. He and his family left for Guernsey.[2]:251

The Theatre Royal was built, as were Victoria College in 1852 and exhibited 34 items at The Great Exhibition in 1851, the world's first ever Pillar box was installed in 1852 and a paid police force was created in 1854.[25]:178–185[25]:181–5

In 1852, the Privy Council issued three Orders in Council: establishing a police court, a petty debts court and a paid police force for St Helier. This started a constitutional crisis, with both parties united against the move and around 7000 islanders signing a petition. By 1854, the Council had agreed to revoke the Orders, on the condition that the States passed most of the Council's requirements. In 1856, further constitutional reform brought deputies into the States for the first time, with one deputy from each country parish and three from town.[2]:251

Map of the former railway lines of Jersey

Two railways, the Jersey Western Railway[32] in 1870, and the Jersey Eastern Railway[33] in 1874, were opened. The western railway from St Helier (Weighbridge) to La Corbière and the eastern railway from St Helier (Snow Hill) to Gorey Pier. The two railways have never been connected.

Jersey was the fourth-largest shipbuilding area in the 19th-century British Isles,[34] building over 900 vessels around the island. Shipbuilding declined with the coming of iron ships and steam. A number of banks on Jersey, guarantors of an industry both onshore and off, failed in 1873[25]:193 and 1886, even causing strife and discord in far-flung societies. The population fell slightly in the twenty years to 1881.

In the late 19th century, as the former thriving cider and wool industries declined, island farmers benefited from the development of two luxury products - Jersey cattle and Jersey Royal potatoes. The former was the product of careful and selective breeding programmes; the latter was a total fluke.

The anarchist philosopher, Peter Kropotkin, who visited the Channel Islands in 1890, 1896, and 1903, described the agriculture of Jersey in The Conquest of Bread.

The 19th century also saw the rise of tourism as an important industry (linked with the improvement in passenger ships)[25]:196 which reached its climax in the period from the end of the Second World War to the 1980s.

20th century

Elementary education became obligatory in 1899, and free in 1907. The years before the First World War saw the foundation of cultural institutions, the Battle of Flowers and the Jersey Eisteddfod. The first aeroplanes arrived in Jersey in 1912.

In 1914, the British garrison was withdrawn at the start of the war and the militia were mobilised. Jersey men served in the British and French armed forces. Numbers of German prisoners of war were interned in Jersey. The influenza epidemic of 1918 added to the toll of war.

In 1919, imperial measurements replaced, for the most part, the traditional Jersey system of weights and measures; women aged over 30 were given the vote;[35] and the endowments of the ancient grammar schools were repurposed as scholarships for Victoria College.

In 1921, the visit of King George V was the occasion for the design of the parish crests.

In 1923, the British government asked Jersey to contribute an annual sum towards the costs of the Empire. The States of Jersey refused and offered instead a one-off contribution to war costs. After negotiations, Jersey's one-off contribution was accepted.

The first motor car had arrived in 1899 and buses started running on the island in the 1920s, and by the 1930s, competition from motor buses had rendered the railways unprofitable, with final closure coming in 1935 after a fire disaster (except for the later German reintroduction of rail during the military occupation). Jersey Airport was opened in 1937 to replace the use of the beach of Saint Aubin's bay as an airstrip at low tide,[9] and the railways could not cope with the competition.

English was first permitted in debates in the States of Jersey in 1901, and the first legislation to be drawn up primarily in English was the Income Tax Law of 1928.

Occupation 1940-1945

As part of the Atlantic Wall, between 1940 and 1945, the occupying German forces and the Organisation Todt constructed fortifications round the coast of Jersey such as this observation tower at Battery Moltke.

Following the withdrawal of defences by the British government and German bombardment, Jersey was occupied by German troops between 1940 and 1945.[36] The Channel Islands were the only British soil occupied by German troops in World War II. This period of occupation had about 8,000 islanders evacuated, 1,200 islanders deported to camps in Germany, and over 300 islanders sentenced to the prison and concentration camps of mainland Europe. Twenty died as a result. The islanders endured near-starvation in the winter of 1944–45, after the Channel Islands had been cut off from German-occupied Europe by Allied forces advancing from the Normandy beachheads, avoided only by the arrival of the Red Cross supply ship Vega in December 1944. Liberation Day - 9 May is marked as a public holiday.

Post-Liberation

After five years of occupation, the people of Jersey began to rebuild the island. In 1944, a group of exiled islanders, called Nos Iles, set out what the Channel Islands would need after the war. Examples include better education, development of the economy, especially tourism, and greater cooperation between the islands. They also emphasised the need for efficient land management.[37]

We have a limited amount of space and much to fit into it.

Some Jersey men were enlisted in national service in occupied Germany. The UK donated more than £4 million to clear Jersey's occupation debt, as well as sending gifts of essential items. There were over 50,000 mines to be cleared.

Many islanders called for the reform and modernisation of the States Assembly. The Jersey Democratic Movement campaigned for either the incorporation of the island as a county of England or at least the abolition of the States. However, in the 1945 Deputies' election, they did not find success. The franchise was extended to all British adults, previously voting rights in Jersey had only been to men and women over 30 according to property ownership). The largest reform came in the form of the 1948 States reform. Jurats were no longer States members and were to be elected by an Electoral College. It also introduced a retirement age for Jurats of 70. In all cases, the Bailiff shall be the judge of the law, and the Jurats the "judge of fact". The Jurats' role in the States was replaced by 12 senators, four of whom would retire every three years. The Church also lost most of its representation in the States, with the role of Rector being abolished and the number of Deputies increased to 28.[2]:278–9

The island adopted free, universal secondary education and a social security system. There was also a slum clearance programme involving States-funded homes (either for social housing or sale) and States-funded mortgages.[38] The bill for the social security system was passed in May 1950.[2] A paid police force to cover the whole island was established to work alongside the honorary police.[38] Divorce was legalised in 1949.[39] In 1952, a state secondary school for boys was opened at Hautlieu and a girls' secondary was opened at Rouge Bouillon. Ten years later these would combine to form a single co-ed grammar school at Hautlieu, and two other schools: one for boys (d'Hautrée) and another for girls (at the Rouge Bouillon site) were opened. Later the two St Helier schools were combined into one comprehensive school and two other comprehensives were opened at Les Quennevais and Le Rocquier. Highlands College was purchased by the States in 1973 to provide further education.[2]:280

The population saw growth from wealthy immigrants looking for lower taxes and seasonal essential workers from the Continent and mainland.[38] Jersey was particularly attractive to retired civil servants in former British colonies as these obtained independence throughout the 20th century.[40] This created a need for new infrastructure. Street lighting began to spread to the country parishes and a new sewage farm was built at Bellozane.[38] Mains drainage was extended beyond St Helier and new water production facilities were constructed.[2]:281 The island saw a growth in tourism and the reopening of the Battle of Flowers parade (for the first time since World War I) as well as new cinemas and the International Road Race.[38]

The military establishments of the island were handed over by the British Government to the Island and Jersey's Militia abolished. For the first time since Edward III, there was no permanent military presence on the island. The arsenals, forts are castles were converted to museums and housing (or in the case of Fort Regent, into the main leisure centre for town). There was a dispute over the ownership of Jersey's islets - the Minquiers and the Ecréhous - between the UK and France. The International Court of Justice ruled in favour of British ownership of the reefs.[38]

Between 1945 and the Queen's coronation in 1952, there were outbreaks of polio and tuberculosis and the opening of the Jersey Maternity hospital and St John Ambulance headquarters. Agriculture was hit by a series of foot-and-mouth outbreaks.[38]

The event which has had the most far-reaching effect on Jersey in modern times is the growth of the finance industry in the island from the 1960s onwards.[2]:287 With the release of the Paradise Papers, it was learned that two non-U.S. subsidiaries of Apple were domiciled in Jersey for one year (2015).[41]

See also

Other Histories of the Channel Islands

Related articles for Jersey

References

  1. ^ "Discover Jersey's Occupation Story". Visit Jersey. 5 August 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb Syvret, Marguerite (2011). Balleine's History of Jersey. The History Press. ISBN 978-1860776502.
  3. ^ a b c d e Falle, P., & Durell, E. (1837). Cæsarea: or, An account of Jersey. To which are added, Notes and illustrations, by E. Durell. . Retrieved from https://books.google.je/books?id=z4AHAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA127&dq=Jersey+-%22new%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi9xYCvxvHtAhXhyIUKHULGCtwQ6AEwCXoECAgQAg#v=onepage&q&f=false
  4. ^ Rule, Margaret (1993). A Gallo-Roman Trading Vessel from Guernsey. Guernsey Museums & Galleries. ISBN 978-1871560039.
  5. ^ "Andium Homes | Andium Homes". Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  6. ^ Cunliffe, Barry (1994). The Oxford Illustrated Prehistory of Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198143850.
  7. ^ "Ice Age engravings found at Jersey archaeological site". BBC. 2 November 2015.
  8. ^ "Over 3,000 stone tools have been found here". Jersey heritage.
  9. ^ a b Balleine's History of Jersey, Marguerite Syvret and Joan Stevens (1998) ISBN 1-86077-065-7
  10. ^ Morrison, Ryan (13 September 2012). "BBC News - Jersey coin hoard left by Celtic tribe in flight from Caesar army". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  11. ^ "Celtic Tribe Fleeing Caesar Army Left Behind Thousands of Coins Reports CustomCoinStore.com | Oct 2, 2012". Sbwire.com. 2 October 2012. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  12. ^ "BBC News - Bronze age pottery find in Jersey". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  13. ^ "Countryside Character Appraisal – Character Area A1: North Coast Heathland". States of Jersey. Archived from the original on 19 March 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2006.
  14. ^ "History of stamps". Jersey Post. Archived from the original on 22 October 2006. Retrieved 24 October 2006.
  15. ^ "A Short Constitutional History of Jersey". Voisin & Co. 18 May 1999. Archived from the original on 6 December 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2009.
  16. ^ Stapleton, Thomas (1840). Magni rotuli scaccarii Normanniæ sub regibus Angliæ.
  17. ^ Liddicoat, Anthony (1 August 1994). A Grammar of the Norman French of the Channel Islands. Walter de Gruyter. p. 6. ISBN 3-11-012631-1.
  18. ^ Including twice in the 1338-39 Channel campaign
  19. ^ Watts (2007), pp. 8-17
  20. ^ Ford (2004), pp. 18–25
  21. ^ Ford (2004), p. 22
  22. ^ Ford (2004), p. 23
  23. ^ Watts (2004), pp. 16–17
  24. ^ Ommer, Rosemary E. (1991). From Outpost to Outport. McGill-Queen's University Press. pp. 13–14. ISBN 0-7735-0730-2.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g Lempriére, Raoul. History of the Channel Islands. Robert Hale Ltd. ISBN 978-0709142522.
  26. ^ Jansso, Maija (10 September 2015). Art and Diplomacy: Seventeenth-Century English Decorated Royal Letters to Russia and the Far East. BRILL, 2015. p. 204. ISBN 9789004300453.
  27. ^ Weeks, Daniel J. (1 May 2001). Not for Filthy Lucre's Sake. Lehigh University Press. p. 45. ISBN 0-934223-66-1.
  28. ^ Cochrane, Willard W. (30 September 1993). The Development of American Agriculture. University of Minnesota Press. p. 18. ISBN 0-8166-2283-3.
  29. ^ *Balleine's History of Jersey, Marguerite Syvret and Joan Stevens (1998) ISBN 1-86077-065-7
  30. ^ "Jersey Chamber's History". Jersey Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  31. ^ Syvret, Marguerite (2011). Balleine's History of Jersey. The History Press. ISBN 978-1860776502.
  32. ^ "Jersey Western Railway - theislandwiki". www.theislandwiki.org. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  33. ^ "Jersey Eastern Railway - theislandwiki". www.theislandwiki.org. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  34. ^ "Tourism schooner plans unveiled". 24 December 2003. Retrieved 24 February 2018 – via news.bbc.co.uk.
  35. ^ Heritage, Jersey (31 January 2018). "What's Her Street's Story?". JerseyHeritage.org. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  36. ^ Bellows, Tony. "What was the "Occupation" and why is "Liberation Day" celebrated in the Channel Islands?". Société Jersiaise. Archived from the original on 3 April 2007. Retrieved 24 October 2006.
  37. ^ "Nos Iles. A Symposium on the Channel Islands". International Affairs. 20 (4): 574–574. 1 October 1944. doi:10.1093/ia/20.4.574. ISSN 0020-5850.
  38. ^ a b c d e f g "From Liberation to Coronation" (PDF). Jersey Heritage. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  39. ^ "Matrimonial Causes (Jersey) Law 1949". www.jerseylaw.je. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  40. ^ www.switchdigitalagency.com, Switch Digital. "Jersey Immigration - Start your family history search here". JerseyHeritage.org. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  41. ^ "Paradise Papers: Apple's secret tax bolthole revealed". BBC.com. Retrieved 6 November 2017.

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