Extraordinary Editions

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Legge’s report itself is concise and to the point, outlining the action the Crown must take to safeguard the Islands. He also includes documents entitled “Brief State of Guernsey” and “Some short observations on the Island of Jersey”.

The text covers the ecclesiastical, legal and civil administrations of the Bailiwick including the Royal Charters, the Papal Bull of 1480, the roles of the Crown Officers and the standing orders for manning the garrison. There are lists of the clergy, the masters of all vessels belonging to the Islands, the officers of the court and the governors to the year 1680. The result is a fascinating collection of old Channel Island names many of which we recognise today: de Sausmares, Guille, Le Mesurier, Gosselin, de Beauvoir, Falla, Mansell, Le Marchant, Carey, de L’Isle, Mahy and many more which resonate down the ages.

The King's copy, produced from the artist's originals was completed in early 1680. It now resides in the British Library and the perfect conditions in which it is kept means that each image is in pristine condition and the colours are as vibrant as the day they were painted. Later a copy was made for Guernsey's Royal Court. This facsimile edition comprises of images taken from all three sources to produce a definitive, first, comprehensive edition, containing all of Thomas Phillips illustrations.

the vale in guernsey

head band detail from the King's Survey of the Channel Islands