Thursday, 31 December 2015

# 32 Read Balleine's History of Jersey

Or, that damn book as I now like to call it. Ok, that's a bit unfair. I did find myself choosing it over other reading material from time to time. Although saying it was a more interesting read than Pension Regulations Update 2015 is possibly not that much of a compliment.

I'm exaggerating a bit of course. Jersey is an interesting place with a very interesting history. But this book is 300 pages of close printed text so requires quite a lot of commitment on the part of the reader to get through it. Usually at bedtime I have a 10-15 minute window between picking up a book and having it fall on my face as I fall asleep so not surprisingly it took several months to work through the whole thing.

I am glad I got through it though and did learn some new things, for example...

* The stuff I was taught at school about perquage paths is NOT TRUE. They don't necessarily start and end in the same parish and are more likely to follow valleys or streams to the sea.
* During elections in the 1700s, hostile voters were sometimes taken from their beds and dumped on the Ecrehous for a day! (which doesn't sound so bad to me - see number 20).
* Just before the Battle of Jersey in 1781, Jersey actually surrendered to the French (who were bluffing about the number of troops they had). Luckily Major Pierson (an Englishman) decided otherwise and stepped in to save the day.

All in all it was a worthwhile read. But not one I'll be adding to my favourites pile!

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