The years following the French Revolution in 1789 were dramatic in the history of the island. Many emigres found refuge in Guernsey and the island even ended up as a centre for a spy network operating against the newly formed republic. In this article we look at this pivotal period in Guernsey history.
The Bayeux Tapestry tells one of the most famous stories in British history. It has survived revolution, war, clumsy restorations and even ‘kidnapping’ and has been threatened with destruction at every turn of these events. So how has it survived for nearly 1,000 years?
The Battle of Trafalgar was to witness both the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte’s plans to invade Britain, and the death of Admiral Lord Nelson. It was never going to be any ordinary battle, and quickly acquired a heightened, almost magical, reality.
1918 – At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month an armistice, signed 6 hours before in French marshal Ferdinand Foch’s railway carriage at Compiegne, France, took effect between the Allies and the Central Powers, bringing the First World War to a close after 4 years, 3 months and 9 days of fighting.
Guernsey and the Channel Islands were very much at the heart of the old Duchy of Normandy and then in 1066 we were propelled into the wider world when our Duke, William the Bastard defeated the English King Harold at Hastings. In this artilcle we outline some of the defining moments in the history of the Norman dynasty.
The Bayeux Tapestry is an historical artifact that never fails to impress depicting as it does such a pivotal moment in British and Channel Island history, that of the invasion & conquest of England by William the Conqueror in 1066. But look closely and you will come across oddities that are hard to explain, mysterious characters, some named, some not, appear in the main body and borders. Add to that some of the cuirious rather theatrical gestures they appear to be making and there emerges a sense of mystery.
4 Alderney Militiamen Vs 200+ Frenchmen : Conclusion = obvious – the French lost
For nearly 150 years making a living, quite a good living actually, in Guernsey took a pecular turn. It was possible to become very rich via the dubiously ‘legal’ practices of Privateering and the less than legal smuggling trade.
History can often turn on the actions of a single individual. April the 3rd 1203 was such a day when King John committed murder. If he hadn’t committed this heinous crime then the whole history of Guernsey and the Channels Island could have been radically different.
We tend to think of the Dark Ages as a period of unending European misery. A period after the fall of the Roman Empire of cultural and technical stagnation. However there was at least one high point humanity in Europe raised it’s head out of the ‘darkness’ to witness something truly remarkable.
The cult of celebrity may be a modern phenomenon but the interest in the love lives and romances of others has always been a human curiosity. If the gossip magazines of today had existed 860 years ago they would have been full of the lurid details of one of the most famous romances in history; that of Abélard & Héloise.
The Bayeux Tapestry is a beautiful historical artefact that never fails to impress. However this thousand years old embroidery, has a secret. It’s ending is missing! That is until the residents of Alderney crafted a new ending for this iconic artefact.
Guernsey Patois is a very ancient tongue indeed. A descecdant of old Norman French and developed in splendid isolation within the island it has become a true ‘language apart’.
We use the terms ‘Left wing’ and ‘Right wing’ in politics without really thinking about it. It’s a pretty odd thing to say. So how did these expressions come about ?