Pierre Bernard de Pynsole and Laurens de Gaillard

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Pierre Bernard de Pynsole and Laurens de Gaillard joint Warden of the Isles 1330-1331

These two French knights were appointed joint wardens in 1330, required to pay King Edward III an annual farm of 500 livres. At the Assizes which were held in the islands in 1331 they were accused of selling false measures and sedition. It was no surprise to see a successor named the same year.

Honorary Police

However, de Pynsole and Gaillard have a special place in history because they are credited with the formation of Jersy'sHonorary Police system.

On 27 July 1331 a visit was made by Robert de Norton, Guille de la Cour and Alias de la Rue, Justices, as Commissioners on behalf of Edward. This was the fifth such visit in 22 years and islanders’ were suspicions as to why so many visits were taking place.

Balleine’s "History of Jersey" relates how "23 men met in St Helier’s Priory on the Islet and bound themselves by a tremendous oath to resist to the death any interference with the ancient liberties of the Island.”

“The leaders were Pierre Bernard de Pynsole, Laurens du Galars or de Gaillard and two French monks from Mont St Michel.”

The leaders met the Justices and claimed confirmation of the ancient laws and customs of the Island and disputed any right of interference in them.

The Justices may have considered the Statute of Winchester of 1285 when making their decision as, in England, the Statute began to formalise law enforcement arrangements and “was a milestone in the development of policing in England” according to the Parish of St Martin’s parochial book.

Possibly with this Statute in mind, the Justices decided that a Constable would be in charge of each parish, assisted by centeniers and vingteniers and that all the officers would be under the command of the Seigneur de Haubert, de Carteret, of Saint Ouen.

Perhaps it was their role in this "rebellion", rather than any supposed misdemeanours, which led to the removal of de Pynsole and Gaillard as Wardens.

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