Some letters of Charles II to Jersey

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Letters of Charles II to Jersey

This article was first published in the 1952 Annual Bulletin of La Société Jersiaise

Sir George Carteret, the Royalist leader during the Civil Wars, who for eight years held Jersey for the King, was rewarded after the Restoration by two appointments in England. He became Treasurer of the Navy and Vice-chancellor of the Royal Households.

Hawnes Manor

When his son Philip married in 1665, Sir George bought for the young couple the fine old manor of Hawnes (now called Haynes) in Bedfordshire. But seven years later Philip was killed at the Battle of Solebay, and as his young bride had died in the previous year, their three babies were left alone in this great house.

So Sir George and Lady Elizabeth went to live there, and there eventually they died. Three more generations of Carterets lived and died at Hawnes, and then this branch of the family became extinct, and the Manor passed to the Thynnes, who held it for more than a century.

In 1886 they sold the contents of the library, and an immense amount of material that would have been of enormous interest to Jersey historians was scattered, no one knows where, including 18 chests full of papers belonging to Sir George Carteret.

But one small bundle survived. Recently, when Peter, Peter, and Sons, the Carteret-Thynne solicitors, were turning out a safe, they found a packet of documents that referred to Jersey, and very amiably they presented these to the Bailiff and the States, who have kindly given our Societe permission to publish the most interesting of them. All except the last belong to the Civil War period.

Charles I

Charles I letter

The earliest of these is a letter, not from Charles II, but from his father. This may not be the original document, for someone has written on the back in more modern handwriting "Copy of a letter from His Majesty".

If it is a copy, it is obviously a contemporary one, for the letters are formed in an old fashioned way which in Charles' reign was fast going out of use; and, if the King's signature is an imitation, it is a remarkably good one. But, whether copy or original, the letter is undoubtedly genuine. In November 1643, Carteret had recovered Jersey for the King, and on 10 February 1644, Charles wrote to him as follows:-

"Trusty and welbeloved wee greete you well. Whereas divers ill affected and malicious persons, taking occasion from ye present Rebellion to disturbe the peace and happines of our Isle of Jersey, have of late encited a dangerous Rebellion even to the levyinge of Armes against the authority derived from our selfe and the besieginge of our Castles; to the great prejudice of our Crowne and Dignity, and to the terrour and depredation of our Liege people there ; Wee therefore to prevent the like mischiefe in the tyme to come, have thought fitt by these presents to authorize you, to suppresse, as much as in you lyes, all tumults, Seditions, Ins urections , and Rebellions whatsoever within the said Isle ; not only by compellinge them that shall hereafter appeare in a warrlike manner without your warrant, by force to lay downe the same, but likewise by seizinge upon the persons of any that shall have a hand in waging of those Tumults, Seditions, Insurrections, or Rebellions, either by counsellinge, assistinge, or any other way countenancinge the same or any practice leadinge to it ; And placing them in safe coustody, till you shall have received from us more particular directions herein. And so we bid you heartily farewell. Given at our Court at Oxford the tenth day of February in the nineteenth yeare of our Raigne.
By his Majesties Comand, George Digbye
To Colonell Carteret

Carteret largely financed his government by privateering. Till the practice was stopped by the Declaration of Paris in 1856, every country in time of war issued Letters of Marque to private shipowners authorizing them to arm their vessels and capture enemy shipping. These letters transformed what would otherwise have been a pirate into an auxiliary vessel of the Navy.

Letter of Marque

At one time Carteret had 12 of these ships at sea, each carrying eight guns and about 80 men. Among the Hawnes papers are two Letters of Marque, signed by Charles II, when he was King, but with blanks left for the names of the Captain and his ship. Charles evidently sent a bundle to Carteret to give out to his Captains, and these are two that were never used. We print one of them next, out of its chronological order, because it explains the letters that follow, and shows the conditions under which privateers had to work:

Charles by the grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland; Defendor of the Faith, etc.
"To our trusty and welbeloved Captaine ........ and to all others to whom these presents shall come Greeting: Know ye that we reposing trust and confidence in the courage experience in Sea affaires and good affection to us of you the Captaine Doe by these presents nominate, constitute and appoint you to be Captaine of the good ship, frigate or vessel of warre called the ........ Giving you hereby power and authority to Order and command in all things the Officers, Mariners, and Souldiers of the said shipp or frigate as belongeth to ye power and Office of a Captaine.
"And we further give you hereby power and authority with the said ship or frigate compleatly mannd, equippd and armd for warre to enter into any River or Port of England; and either there, or at Sea to take, apprehend and possesse and in case of resistance to sinke fire or otherwise destroy all Ships and Vessels, together with their men, goods, lading and marchandize belonging to any place or person of our Subjects in England in actuall rebellion against, or not in present obedience to Us, Together with the ships, vessels, persons, goods and marchandize of all their aiders, abettors and assistants whatsoever.
"And to bring all such ships, persons, goods, and marchandize as you shall take by vertue hereof without breaking bulke, or altering the property of any of the said goods into our Island of Jersey; and there to cause the same to be adjudged lawfull prize by such Judge of the Admiralty as is settled there by us or by the King our late Royall father, of blessed memory.
"And after such adjudication to pay the tenths and fifteenths to our use to such person as shall have authority to receive the same: But in case you shal be constreined by contrary winds, by distresse at Sea, or poursuite of the Enemy to carry such prize as you shall take into some other Port or place, you shall then carry the same into our Islands of Sorlings or Silleys or into some other Port or place now in obedience to us, if you can without evident danger: Or in case of such danger into some Port or place belonging to our Allies or friends, where you shall cause an exact Inventory to be made of all the said goods and marchandize, and shall send the same to our said Island of Jersey, together with the Envoices, Charter parties, bills of lading, letters and all other writings that may evidence to the Judge of the Admiralty that the said goods belong to some of our Subjects now in actuall rebellion against us.
"And shall not sell dispose or alter the property of the said goods, untill the same be there legally adjudged to be lawfull prize. In which case you shall pay the tenths and fifteenths to such person as shalbe appointed to receive the same in the Port where you are in case there be any so authorized from Us; or to such person as shalbe appointed to receive the same as Deputy to the Receiver of the said tenths and fifteenths in our said Isle of Jersey; Provided that by pretence hereof you doe not permit or suffer any violence or injury to be done to any Ships, goods or marchandize whatsoever belonging to the Subjects of any Prince or State in league or amity with us.
"And that you make the said Island of Jersey the constant place of your abode, And obey the Orders of the Governor there whilst you shall enjoy the benefitt of this our Commission, Which we intend shalbe in force for three whole yeares from the date hereof unlesse we shall for just reasons thinke fitt to revoke the same in the meantime, and provided you enter into a bond of the penall summe of one thousand pounds sterling to us, for the performance of all these particulars before you put this our Commission in execution Given at Breda, the fourth day of June, 1630: In the second yeare of our Reigne."
Charles II

Ownership dispute

The main function of the Admiralty Court was to make sure that the ship and its cargo were really enemy property. The following letter shows the kind of case the Court had to settle. A privateer had brought in a barque called the Dorothy, laden with tin and pilchards. But an English engineer named Purling, who claimed to be a Royalist, asserted that he had a half share in the ship and its cargo, and had evidently appealed to the Prince of Wales in person, who was now in France; and the Prince wrote to Carteret ordering further inquiries to be made before the ship was condemned.

"Trustie and well beloved Wee greet you well. Our trustie and right wellbeloved Henry Lord Jermyn, having formerly in our name recommended unto you a Petition of Erasmus Purling Engenier, presented unto us for ye restitution of one halfe of the Barque called the Dorothie of Bristoll, now in Jersey, and one halfe of the goods laden therein. Wee have beene informed of the particulars of your letter, written in answer to ye said Lord Jermyn: but because nothing as yet appeares to us, but that ye said Purling hath carried himselfe faithfully and loyally in ye service of ye King our Royall Father: and because by a letter of ye second of February last, it appeares hee had then taken a resolution of transporting his wife and goods into France; and by another instrument of the date of ye 18th of December last, it appeares that hee bought to his owne use for his part of the summe of ninty five pounds sterling, one halfe of ye said Barque called the Dorothye of Bristoll of William Croome, then owner and Master of ye said barque: and by a note of the date of ye 27th of ye said December, that hee bought twoe Tunnes and a halfe of Tynne of one John Gobeli, and paid the money for ye same; which tynne was by the said John Gobeli delivered aboard the Dorothie upon ye Accoumpt of ye said Purling; and by another Note under ye hands of ye said William Croome, and others now in Jersey it appeares that ye said tynne together with Pilchers and other goods were delivered aboard ye said barque ye Dorothie as the goods of the said Purling; and because by ye endorcement upon a bond dated the 15th day of November last, whereby Hugh Browne and Joseph Jackson of Bristoll marchands, are bound to pay to Anthoine Harrison and the said Purling the summe of fower hundred pounds sterling upon the 18th day of December last, it appeares that ye said bond was given as in payment of 400 ll mentioned to bee paid before hand in certaine Articles indented bearing date ye 16th day of November last, betweene the said Jackson and Browne of ye one part, and ye said Harrison and Purling of ye other ; which summe was not then indeede paid before ye Sealing and deliverie of ye said Article conteyning the contract for ye sale of ye said tynne and Pilchers to Jackson and Browne as ye said Purling alleadgeth. And forasmuch as by these Instruments (whereof wee heerewith send you ye severall Copies) it seemes probably, That one halfe of the said barque and lading, doth truely belong unto the said Purling as his owne proper goods, nothing appearing to us to ye contrarie, but that you affirme in ye said letter, to ye said Lord Jermyn, that by ye Originall Letters, bills and contracts remaining with you, it appeares that ye said Purling and Harrison were factors for ye said Jackson and Browne and received money from them for ye tynne and Pilchers in ye said barque the Dorothie, and for a greater quantitie : Wee have therefore thought fitt, heereby to desier you to certifye us particularly and fully, with as much expedition as you may what proofe you have that ye said Purling and Harrison, or any other to ye use of ye said Purling, hath received money from ye said Jackson and Browne for ye said tynne and Pilchers, now claimed by ye said Purling as his owne, proper goods; And likewise to examine the severall peeces, whereof wee now send you the copies, and to certifye us any exception or answer that you conceive may bee made to them or any of them, together with all other things, which you shall conceive necessarie for our better information, and for ye better cleering of this business: to ye end wee may give such further Order therein, as shall be just and reasonable. And in ye meanetyme you are required not to dispose of ye tynne and Pilchers claimed by said Purling untill further order from us, which wee will immediatly send you, after ye receipt of your answer to these particulars.
Given at St Germain en Laye the 6th of May, I648.
To our trustie and wellbeloved, Sir George Carteret, Knt Baronet, Lieutenant Governor of his Majesties Island and Castle of Jersey.

King's Agent's claim

A later letter deals with another privateering detail. Three privateers had brought into Jersey a ship laden with cloth and other goods, but Whittington, the King's Agent at Dunkirk, who had a half share in one of the privateers, was worried as to how he was to receive his sixth of the spoils. So Charles wrote to Carteret:

"Trusty and welbeloued. We greet you well. Whereas Capn Garnett, Capn Sadleton, and Capn Skinner, haue by vertue of Our Commissions lately taken att sea a ship loden with Cloth and other goods and Merchandize belonging to ye Rebells of our Kingdome of England, as We are informed, and have carried the same to ye Isle of Jarsey to receaue Adjudication. And for asmuch as Luke Whittington Esq. Our Agent for Our fleet and Maritime affaires at Dunkirke is halfe Owner, and halfe victualler of Capn. Garnetts man of warre ; Our Will and pleasure is, and we hereby require and Command you yt, if the sd Ship and goods so taken hath beene adjudged lawfull prize by the Judges of the Admiralty of Our sayd Isle; you cause presently the full sixt part thereof to be remitted to Our trusty and Wellbeloued Sir Richard Browne Baronet Our Resydent at Paris for his owne use in the behalfe of the sayd Luke Whittington the same by right belonging unto him for the reasons aboue alleadged".
Given under Our Signett at Bredas the sixt day of june 1650 : and in the second yeare of our Reigne.
To our trusty and welbeloved Sir George Carteret Knt and Baronet Lieut-Governor of our Isle of Jersey.

The rest of the letters we will print in chronological order. In November, 1648, Charles I was a prisoner in the Isle of Wight. What was called the Second Civil War had proved a complete fiasco. The sporadic Royalist risings had been easily suppressed, and the whole thing was over so quickly that one of the Royalist forces never came into action.

Fourteen years before, the Duke of Lorraine had been driven from his Duchy by the French, but he had taken his army with him, and had lived ever since by letting out his men to whoever would hire them. Lord Jermyn and the Queen had hired 900 of them, who were waiting in the Dutch island of Borkum for ships to take them to the Isle of Wight to release the King. This might have been possible, while the Ironsides had their hands full with Royalist risings all over the country. But now it was out of the question. So the Queen decided to send her Lorrainers to Jersey, and use them to recover Guernsey, where the whole island except Castle Cornet had been in Roundhead hands since the beginning of the war.

Letter to States

The Prince of Wales wrote to the States :-

"Trustie and well beloved, wee greet you well. It is a cleare evidence of Gods singular goodnes unto you, That whilst other parts of the King our Royall Fathers Dominions, greone under a heavie yoake of bondage and oppression you alone have yt happinesse, both to enjoy the blessings of Peace and plentye under his Majesties gratious government and protection, and by his especiall bountye and favour, likewise to possesse larger immunities and privileges then any Subjects else in the whole Christian World: And wee doubt not you will remember, that in thankfull acknowledgement of so transcendent benefitts you are reciprocally obliged, upon emergent occasions (such especially, as the distressed estate his Majesty is now in, doth require,) to indeavour with the hazard of your lives and fortunes, the rescue and preservation of his Majesties sacred person, and the maintenance of his just and lawfull power and authoritye. To which ende, you cannot contribute more usefully, or doe that which may fmde better acceptance with his Majesty and Us, then in affording att the tyme such reall ayde and assistance unto our trustie and wellbeloved Sir George Carteret Knt. and Baronett, Vice Chamberlaine of our Household as may enable him effectuallye to proceed in an entreprise wee have intrusted unto him, for the advancement of his Majestys service: the legallitye whereof cannot be questioned, soe long as it only aymes att the recoverie of the next parcell of his Majesties ancient inheritance, which hath beene rebelliouslye wrested out of his hands, and is still unjustly deteyned from him. Wherein your owne interest being neerely concerned, in respect of the securitye which will accrewe to you thereby, wee hope that as in former occasions of his Majesties service you have shewed much readines, soe in this you will bee noe lesse forward to expresse your helpfull concurrence, since without it, wee cannot promisse our selfe that happy successe which otherwise wee are confident may with Gods blessing accompany the said Sir George Carterets undertaking. The furtherance whereof with your uttmost power, wee shall take as a testimonye of your dutifullnesse to his Majestye and Us, and shall bee readie upon all occasions of your good to expresse our aboundant satisfaction for ye Same.
Given under our hand and seale att ye Hague the 22th of November in the 24th yeare of the raigne of the King our Royall Father.
To our trustie and wellbeloved, the Estates of his Majesties Isle of Jarsey.

Carteret did not welcome this commission. Two months before, he had made great preparations for an attack on Guernsey; but, just as the expedition was about to sail, the Royalist Governor of Castle Cornet had vetoed the attempt, saying he wanted no help from Jersey. After this snub it would not be easy again to secure volunteers; and he certainly did not want 900 Lorrainers dumped in his island, whom apparently he would be expected to pay and feed, for they were notorious throughout Europe as mercenaries of the worst type, who lived by looting every district in which they were stationed. By the help of his friend, Sir Edward Hyde, he got this Order withdrawn.

Charles II

St Aubin pier

On 30 January 1649 Charles I was beheaded; so in all subsequent letters his son signs 'Charles R' (ie Rex, the Latin word for King). On 5 March he sent two Orders to the island, an Order to start a collection for building a pier at St Aubin, to which he promised to give 500 pistoles (ie £425), and an Order confirming a Patent given by his father for imposing an import duty on wine, even though it had not passed the Great Seal:

"Trusty and welbeloved We greete you well. We have soe great a trust of the Loyalty and Affecons of that Our Island of Jersey and retayne in Our Princely memory those particular expressions of their Affecons to Our Person at the time of Our being with you, that We are very solicitous to promote any thing that We conceave may prove for the benefitt and security of that important Place, which We have heretofore to Our singular contentment made ye Place of Our Residence, and where We may againe, for Our conveniency, chose for some time to stay ; We doe therefore earnestly recommend to you the building and errecting of a Peere at St. Albans, which would prove of great benefitt and advantage to the trade of the Island, which we shall endeavour to promote and advance by any favours and grants We can confer upon you ; And for the better encouragement of you in this good W orke towards which We doe hereby authorise you to make any Collections, or to do such other Acts as in your discuscons you thinke necessary, We will ourselfe allow five hundred Pis tolls ; And We doe assuer you that We intend, as soone as God shall enable Us, to fix some signall marque of Our favour upon that Our Island, as a Record of their constant Loyalty to Our late dear father and to Us. And soe We bid you heartily farewell. Given under Our Signe Manuall this fifth day of March in the first yeare of Raigne, 1649.
To our trusty and welbeloved the Bayliffe and Estates of our Island of Jarsey.
"Trusty and Welbeloved We greet you well. Whereas there was heretofore in the Reigne of Our late dear father of ever blessed memory with and upon the consent of the Bayly and States of that Our Island of Jersey a Pattent for one soule upon the Pott of Wyne, to be employed to the severall uses mentioned in the sayd Grant: which Pattent passed the Signett and Privy Seale, and had the Recepi to it at the Greate Seale, but by reason of the late troubles and dissenceons in England the same passed not yt Great Seale; Our Will and Pleasure therefore is, And We doe hereby require and authorise you, since We are well assured that the execucon of the said Graunt and Pattent will redound much to the advantage and benefitt of that Our Island, that you forthwith cause the same to be put in execucon, in as full and absolute a manner as if it were passed Our Great Seale of England : And that the Money raysed thereupon be collected in that manner, and issued to the ends and purposes menconed in ye said Graunt : And We doe promise to passe or confirme the same under Our Great Seale as soone as the same conveniently can be done, And in the meane time this shall be your Warrant. Given under Our Signett this 5th day of March in the first yeare of Our Reigne 1649.
To our trusty and welbeloved Bayliffe and Estates of our Island of Jersey.

Loan for castle

In April Charles wrote to the States urging them to raise a loan to replenish the magazines at the Castle, as Carteret had exhausted his own estate, and promising "in the word of a King" to repay what was lent.

"Trusty and welbeloued, We greet you well. When we consider the eminent Affection of that Our Island of Jarsey, so often and so notoriously expressed to Us and consequently that the malice of those inhumane rebells, will be equally enraged against them; We are not more troubled at the streights and necessities We are in, with reference to any particular, then we are not able to send such an assistance and supply thither, as the Importance of the place, and the season of the yeare, would require us to doe. Yet the Experience we have had, of your affection in Generall, and the particular knowledge Wee have of many of you, gives us comfort, and assurance, that you will not now faile Us, and your selves, when by the goodnesse of God We have reason to believe our Affaires to be past the worst, and in a growing condition. We doe therefore very earnestly recommend it to you, that by your seasonable care and prouision, the dangers which may threaten you this Summer may be preuented, or prouided for; and that you will assist Our Lieutenant Governor there (who, you will know hath exhausted his owne Estate in Our service) with the Loane of such Moneys, or in such other way as you shall thinke fit, as may both supply the Magazines, and further strenghten him in such manner, as the Rebells may have no incouragement to attempt you. And whatsoeuer you shall upon this occasion disburse, We doe promisse you in the Word of a King to repay it to you; And That you may not belieue that the Aide you shall now giue us, upon this extraordinary occasion shall be drawne into example to your prejudice, We doe assure you that we hope after this Summer, to make so good a prouision for that Our Island that the care thereof shall be no further burthensome to you; and that assoone as We arrive in Ireland, we will consult how that Kingdome may be best applied to the benefitt and advantage of Jarsey; and from thence we doubt not, assoone as we have composed the differences there, to be able from time to time to send a proper supply to that Our Island: and we wish you, to aduice and consider, how a Trade with that Our Kingdome may be so settled, from and to Jarsey, as may be of most benefit to you; and upon any Propositions, you shall make to Us, in that particular, you shall find us very willing and ready to gratify you: We expect a speedie accompt of this our letter, and what you have done thereupon, that We may as well know the state you are in, as to what particular persons We are most engaged for that Assistance in this exigent. We shall adde no more, but that we doe not forgett the Money which we borrowed at our being there, which We will not faile to repay, with our thankes, assoone as we shall be able. And so we bid you hearty farewell. Given under our Signet, at the Haghe, the 27th day of Aprill 1649. And in the first yeare of our Reigne.
To our trusty and welbeloved the Estates of Our Island of Jarsey.

Martial Law

In May Charles sent Authority to proclaim Martial Law, if it should become necessary:

"Charles by the grace of God King of England Scotland France and Ireland; Defendor of the Faith etc. To our right trusty and welbeloved Henry Lord Jermyn Governor of our Island of Jarsey, and to our trusty and welbeloved Servant Sir George Carteret Knt. and Baronnet Lieutenant Governor of the same, and to either of them, and to all others to who me these presents shall come, Greeting. Know ye that we reposing speciall trust and full confidence in the wisdome fidelity and good affection of you the said Lord Jermyn, and Sir George Carteret, and of each of you, And for the greater Security of the said Island, and of all the inhabitants thereof, and better government of all garrisons and Souldiers there, or in any of the forts or Castles belonging to the same, Doe by these presents give you jointly or severally full power and authority to erect, and hold a Councell, and Court of warre as often as you or either of you shall thinke fitt, and to proceede therein for the punishment of all crimes misdemeanors and offences whatsoever according to the Law Martiall and Custome of warre, be it by death, bannishment, imprisonment, fme, or otherwise, upon all offendours whatsoever, as the nature and quality of the Offence shall deserve, Further authorising you jointly and severally, as aforesaid, to nominate, and appoint all persons that shall be of the said Councell and Court of warre, and all such Officers and Ministers as shall be necessary for the holding and keeping of the same, and to proceede for the deering the matter of fact in all Cases by examination of witnesses upon oath, or otherwise as you, or either of you shall thinke fitt, and to doe and execute all other acts and things whatsoever that shall be necessary for Our Service in this behalfe. Given under Our signet, at the Haghe, the first day of May 1649. And in the first yeare of our Reigne.
My Lord Jermyn and Sir George Carteret.

Visit to Jersey

On 17 September the young King came to Jersey, and stayed for five months in Elizabeth Castle. In October he wrote to the Bailiff and Jurats suggesting an alteration in the rate of exchange of English gold to bring it into line with the price paid for it abroad:-

"Whereas we understand that English Gold as it is now usually received in this Island goes at a lesser value then it doth generally through France it selfe and other forreign parts, Which wee conceive to be a matter fitt to be well looked into: Our pleasure therefore is, that you immediatly take the same into your consideration, And whither it may not be of important advantage to Us, and the Inhabitants of this our Island likewise, to have the said Gold run here at the like rates and value as it doth at Paris, and elsewhere through France, Requiring and authorizing you in case you fmd it convenient to settle the rates accordingly, That is to say the old Piece of Twenty two shillings sterling, at fourteen Livers Tournois, The Twenty shillings piece sterling at Thirteen Livers Tournois, And after that rate all subordinate species of English Gold and Silver Coynes : And this to continue till our further Order. For which this shalbe your Warrant. Given at our Court at Castle Elizabeth in our Isle of Jersey the 6th day of October 1649, In the first yeare of our Reigne.
To our trusty and welbeloved the Baylif and Jurats of our Isle of Jersey.

Certificate of homage

On 11 January Charles signed a certificate that Carteret had done homage for his three Fiefs of Meleches, Grainville, and Noirmont:

"Charles par la grace de Dieu Roy d'Angleterre, d'Escosse, de France, et d'Irlande ; Defenseur de la Foy etc. A tous et chacun nos Capitaines Baillis, Leurs Lieutenants, Jurets, nos Procureurs, Officiers, et tous autres nos bons Sujets en nos Isles de Jersey, Guernesey, qu'ailleurs en quelconque part de nos Dominions, tant par deca que dela la mer, Salut. Scavoir vous faisons, et a plein vous certifions par ces presentes, qu'aujourd'huy l'onzieme jour du mois de Janvier, de nostre grace speciale, il nous a pleu, et de fait avons receu de nostre cher et bien arne le Sieur George de Carteret Chevalier et Baronnet l'hommage qu'il nous doit pour a cause des fieus et Seigneuries de Melesche Grainville et Normont en nostre Isle de Jersey, parcelle de notre Duche de N ormandie, Lesquelles Seigneuries il tient de nous au droit susdit indivisiblement a foy et hommage en service de Chevalerie. A raison duquel hommage, de la feaute qu'il nous a promise, nous est bien, et l'acceptons a homme ausdites Seigneuries, et autres Tenements et Dependances, avec tous leurs droits franchises, et privileges, en toute telle forme et maniere comme ses Deuanciers et predecesseurs au nom susdit Seigneurs desdites Seigneuries de Melesche, Grainville et Norimont en ont jouy, ou deu jouir par cy deuant. Partant voulons et expressement vous commandons que pour tel il soit reconnu et receu en pleine et entiere possession et jouissance de toutes et chacune les premisses, nonobstant choses quelconques a ce constraires, Car tel est notre plaisir, Tesmoin nous mesme. Donne sous nostre main et seau, au Chasteau Elizabeth a Jersey, Le jour et mois susdit, Le premier an de notre Regne 1649.
Sir George Carteret

Establishment of mint

Two days before Charles left Jersey he issued an Order to establish a mint in the island. Four years earlier, when he had been here as Prince, an attempt had been made to do this, but the man put in charge had proved a rogue who turned out spurious money, and this effort had to be hurriedly suppressed and hushed up. But a King ought to have a coinage, and Jersey was the only part of his dominions that still acknowledged him; so on 11 February 1650 he issued detailed orders for the Mint to be re-established:

"Charles by the grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defendor of the faith, etc. To our trusty and welbeloved Sir George Carteret, Knight and Baronet, Lieutenant Governor of our Isle of Jersey, and to all others to whom these presents shall come, Greeting. Wheaeas we conceive it very necessary for our Service and for the good of that our Island of Jersey, that a Mint should be presently erected and established there for the making and coyning of such sortes and species of money as are by these presents hereafter specified. Know ye now, that we reposing trust and confidence in discretion, integrity, and good affection of you the said Sir George Carteret, Doe by these presents give you full power and authority to establish and erect a Mint in our said Isle of Jersey, in such place or part thereof as you shall thinke fitt, And to cause the severall species of Gold and Silver moneys hereafter mentioned to be minted, coyned, and stamped there ; That is to say one peece of gold of the value of twenty shillings sterling; one piece of the value of ten shillings sterling; and one other piece of the value of five shillings sterling; and of Silver one piece of the value of five shillings sterling; one other piece of the value of two shillings six pence sterling ; one other piece of the value of one shilling or twelve pence sterling; and one other piece of six pence sterling. All the said severall species to be of the same weight and fmenesse with the like species, usually heretofore minted and coyned in England, That is to say the gold money according to the weight and fmeness of the same species usually heretofore made in England and of the silver money every pound weight thereof to contain eleven ounces, two penny weight of fme silver, and eight teene penny weight of alley; The said species above mentioned to be made and stamped with our image and inscription in such manner and forme as we have now sent the same unto you, Further heereby authorizing you to make choise of such Officers, Moneyers, and W orkemen, as you shall conceive must necessarily be employed for the governing, ordering, and directing the said Mint, and for the making and coyning the said severall species of Moneys above mentioned. Provided that for such gold and silver bullion, as shall not belong to Us, or to you the Lieutenant Governor for the use of the Garrison but shall be brough in by others to be coyned for their particular advantage, such dues and rights of Signorage be made payable to Us upon the coyning of the said moneys as shalbe just and reasonable. Giving you further power to doe, settle, and establish all such other things concerning the premisses, as shalbe necessary for our service, and for the good, and benefit of our Garrison, and other subjects in that Isle. Given at our Court in Jersey, the r rth day of february, r649. In the second yeare of our Reigne.

But whether Carteret felt 'once bitten, twice shy', or whether he was overwhelmed with problems of defence, or whether the King omitted to send any gold or silver to be coined, no steps seem to have been taken to obey this command."

Oxford Fellowships

The last letter belongs to a much later period, 18 years after the Restoration.

In 1636 Charles I had founded three Fellowships for Channel Islanders at Oxford. In 1678 Bishop Morley of Winchester had added five Channel Island Scholarships. In that year the King wrote to the Bailiffs, Deans, and Jurats of the two islands, to whom the nomination of the Fellows was entrusted, ordering them to choose as Fellows those who had held the scholarships satisfactorily :-

To Our Trusty and welbeloved the Bayliffs, Deanes and Jurats of Our Islands of Jersey and Guernsey.
"Trusty and Welbeloved, Wee greet you well. Whereas Our Royall Father of happy memory for the encouragement of Learning in Our Islands of Jersey and Guernsey did found and endow three Fellowships in Our University of Oxford to be from time to time supplied by persons borne in Our said Islands, and upon all Vacancys to be nominated by you the Bayliffs, Deanes and Jurats of the said Islands under such Rule and Limitations as by his Charter of Foundation it doth more at large appeare. And whereas the present Lord Bishop of Winchester for the aforesaid end and purpose hath lately founded and endowed five Scholarships in the said University to be from time to time in like manner supplied by the nomination of you the said Bayliffs, Deans and Jurats, of the said Islands, and under the like Rules and Limitacons as are above menconed: For the rendring both Foundacons most subservient to their designed end, Our will and pleasure is that in the nominacon of Fellows into places, which shall hereafter be vacant, such shall be preferred as have been formerly nominated to the respective Scholarships, and have by their good carriage and emprouvements in Learning fitted themselves for those employments which belong to Fellows in their respective Societys and have given hopes of their future proficiency. And so Wee bid you farewell. Given at Our Court at Whitehall the r rth day of December r678 in the thirtieth year of Our Reigne.
By his Majestys comand
Henry Coventry.

Other documents

Other documents of a similar kind exist in the island. The Societe Jersiaise has for many years possessed ten letters of Charles II, which were printed in the Bulletin for 1890.

In the Exhibition of Notable Documents organized by the Historical Manuscripts Commission in Lincoln's Inn last year there was a Patent issued by the King from Elizabeth Castle in February 1650, granting Richard Steward permission to make an addition to his arms, which was sealed with the great seal which Charles had just had made in his exile, and the catalogue stated that the only other known example of this seal is in the Bodleian Library. But we have two good specimens of it in the island, one in the Museum attached to the Patent issued to Elie de la Place on 22 January 1650, when he bought from the King the manors of Anneville, Everat, and Lempriere, the other at Hamptonne, St Lawrence, on the Patent making that estate indivisible.

Personal message

But the most intimate of all the documents is a letter preserved at St Ouen's Manor. All the others are written by a Secretary and only signed by the King. This one begins in the same way, as a formal order for the exchange of prisoners; but at the foot the King himself has scrawled a personal message:

"Carteret, I will add this to you under my owne hand, that I can never forgett the good services you have done to my father and to me, and, if god bless me, you shall find I doe remember them to the advantage of you and yours; and for this you have the word of your very loving freind,


Letter purchased

Note: Since the above was in type the Societe has purchased another letter written by Charles from Elizabeth Castle. Chevalier notes in his Journal:

"The King sent two men to Prince Rupert before his departure from Jersey, Mr Elliott and Mr Patison, to St Malo to take passage for Spain, to carry letters to Prince Rupert, who was at Lisbon. He had taken in the Channel some rich prizes from the English." Here is one of the letters:
"Most Deare and entirely beloved Cosen, Wee greete you well. We desire you to give order that Our Servant Thomas Elliott (one of Our Bedchamber) be forthwith paid Two hundred pounds out of the proceeds of Prize Goods towards his Expences in his imployment to you from Us for Our Service, We being not soe well provided to supply him otherwise with that Summe. For which this shall be your Warrant, Given at Our Court at Castle Elizabeth in Our Isle of Jersey the second day of February in the Second yeare of Our Raigne 1649."
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