My name is Nicholas Thorne and this is home.

It was built sometime between 1893 and 1900. I know this as Jersey Water replaced the mains pipe that runs down the alleyway between my house and the Dry Cleaners a couple of years back. Their records showed that the pipe they were digging up and replacing was put down in 1893!

My deeds are written in legal French which, until this year, 2007, was the official language for conveyancing in the Bailiwick of Jersey. Translating the deeds seem to say that the house was first owned between 1896 and 1922.

Incidentally, when anyone buys a freehold property here in the island the contract is "Passed" through the Royal Court of the Island of Jersey. No matter if a complicated financial case, murder or just a case of assault is being heard, this is always just after lunch on a Friday and the vendors and the purchaser will attend the court to swear that they will carry out the contract on pain of being held in contempt and risk punishment. A night or two at H.M.Prison La Moye perhaps?

You can pay your lawyer to do the swearing for you but I have, on the two occassions that I have bought property, stood up for myself and raised my right hand in front of the Bailiff or the Deputy Bailiff in his red robes, nodded when asked if I knew the contents of the document before them and enjoyed the age old tradition of one of the last land courts in Europe.

I should perhaps explain here that the Bailiff is not a man who comes to reposess your furniture. He is the Chief Justice and Speaker of the States, appointed by the Crown. Constitutionally we are a Bailiwick. The man who reposses your furniture in Jersey is the Viscount's Officer, and he works for the Viscount, who is not a type of Lord, but is an officer of the Royal Court!

The law comes down to us from Normandy, with new ones being passed all the time by our very own leglislature, the States of Jersey (Etats de Jersey when the islanders all spoke French). We are entirely self-governing with the UK only responsible for defence and international affairs. By the way the Westminster government de-militiarised the islands in WWII and the Nazi Germans occupied them until 1945, a whole year longer than the nearby coast of France which had been liberated in 1944.

In spite of this Jerseymen remain loyal to the Crown as Elizabeth II is the descendant of their Liege Lord, The Duke of Normandy... Yes, the last time England got invaded Jersey was on the side of the winner, William The Conqueror. So England belongs to them and not the other way round!

A true Jerseyman is insulted if you suggest he is English. I myself am only "Jersey-born", a sort of acceptable alternative to the real thing - I do not dare to claim to be a "Jerseyman".

Confused? Well it is some of what makes Jersey different... and I love it!

Nicholas Thorne's Family History Pages. days in Scotland-Introduction.html Castle.html Cartwheel.html House.html Castle.html
Elizabeth Castle in St.Aubin's Bay.

Elizabeth Castle in St.Aubin's Bay

West, across St.Aubin's Bay.

West across St.Aubin's Bay

Pointy end of Beauvoir Cottage.

Pointy end of Beauvoir Cottage

The House when I bought it.

The House when I bought it

Inside my tiny house.

Inside my tiny house

Kitchen and Bathroom pointy end.

Other pointy end.

Front of house, two up two down.

Two up two down

Victoria Avenue (dual carriageway to town).

Victoria Avenue (dual carriageway to town)

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What, you live in a tri-angular Victorian cottage on a busy road facing into the prevailing South westerly wind from the Atlantic?
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Nicholas Thorne


Beauvoir Cottage, 5 West Lea.

Beauvoir Cottage, 5 West Lea.

Old Post Card featuring 5 West Lea.

5 West Lea