The various editions of Falle's history

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The various editions of Falle's history


First edition

This article by T G Hutt was first published in the 1980 Annual Bulletin of La Société Jersiaise

Third edition

First history

FaIle's Account was the first real attempt to write a history of Jersey; although he himself did not consider himself an historian, the book is often referred to as the History of Jersey. The first edition – 1694 - the centre piece of the collectors of books on Jersey, has become very rare, especially as the fine map published in it is often lacking - the map in itself is valuable.

This account, a classic of its day, was the basis for the history of Jersey for over 100 years and was written mainly to fill a vacuum, because there was no book on the Island, and the English were very ignorant of its position.

FaIle had noticed this while in England in 1692, when on a visit on behalf of the States to put the case of the Island to the authorities. "I was desired to draw up a Humble Address to their Majesties [William and Mary] which I did," he says. He came back to Jersey to tell the States of his efforts, which had produced some reply from the Government - that they would help protect the island from the French.

All the while Falle had been searching out material for his book; he had consulted Poingdestre's Chronicles and the Survey of Philip Dumaresq, which had been made in 1685. (This was first published in 1889 by the Société.)

He knew, too, of Heylin's A full relation of two journeys, the one into France, the other into some of the Adjacent Islands first printed in 1656, the journey having been made in 1629; however, as Falle says, "He [Heylin] sojourned but six days in Jersey, he could not thoroughly acquaint himself of our constitution." Camden's Britannia he also saw.

In a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury giving his reasons for being in England, he says: "I am considerably out of purse, though the State allowed me 4 shill a day," but he had finished his draft of the book - the licence for it to be printed which appears before the title-page, is dated 1693 - so after reporting to the States he returned to England and stayed there for the rest of his life.

In the letter to the Archbishop, in seeking preferment, he says: "I wrote and printed my Account of Jersey, which your Grace's predecessor vouchsafed to peruse in manuscript. I dedicated it to the King, who received it graciously from my hand. What the design of that Book is it needs not to be set forth here, the book itself being made Publick."

Loyal island

FaIle in his book paints a picture of Jersey, "the ancient Patrimony of the Crown", as very loyal and the French a rascally nation eager to jump over and capture it. Later he believed that "it had been fortified by my efforts" and that light frigates of the Navy were cruising round the island.

The map of the 1694 edition is from the one drawn up by Dumaresq in 1685 and dedi¬cated to their Majesties, a near professional work, "equally calculated for a sea chart and a land map". Each vingtaine is marked and a number included indicated the number of houses in that vingtaine. The Public Library has a copy of this work, a present from Lord Portsea, including a letter from Rudyard Kipling, who says of it, "The little book's a treasure". There are some illustrations in the text - two showing the 'declivity' of Jersey compared with that of Guernsey - also a plan of the States Chamber showing where the various members sit.

After the King had rewarded him with a chaplaincy and a comfortable living had been found for him, FaIle devoted himself to the preparation of the second edition of his work. In this he was helped by his compatriot Philip Mourant (later Morant) the historian of Colchester and Essex.

The second edition, now called Caesarea came out in 1734 and is much revised and enlarged. FaIle says of it: "The Book being long since out of print and a continuing demand made for it; the Bookseller has been encouraged to request a second edition and entreats the reader to think back to when the first edition was published."

This edition has the map and one engraving - a folded panorama of Elizabeth Castle. The map is now coloured and has on it the anchorages and depth of water indicated - perhaps because now France and England were at peace.

The dedication has been changed - "their" carefully taken out and "His Majestie's" substituted (King George II). The dedication from the first edition is still there, though King William is deceased, followed by the preface to the first edition, and a new introduction.

The 55 pages of the 'History' section has grown to 137 pages; chapters have been juggled around, 'Religion' now relegated to Chapter VII. Also included are 'Sailing Directions' taken from Seigneur de Samares Survey. FaIle acknowledges the kind assistance he has had from his friend, Mr Morant, who searched the offices at London "whither I was not able to go", and had added a letter concerning Mr Selden's Mare Clausem, which concerns the position of the island and its relation with England.

Sun shines on the island

The graphics showing the sun shining on the island now have the sun on the right and the little boat on the sea has gone. Alteration has been made to the Plan of the Convention of the States; the seating differs slightly, the size of the table is reduced and a scale in feet added.

An important addition is the Appendix of Records - mostly in Latin - over 120 pages, beginning with the Constitution of King John, with the note that the original is lost but that it is extant in an Inquest of Henry III. On the last page is the Errata: "These are the errors occasioned in the author's distance from the Press”.

It is in this edition that FaIle mentions the lack of any Public Library in Jersey, which later he was to supply himself, both in money and books. He ends his book with the quotation: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth - peace!" which in his first edition is in Greek.

There is an interesting comment by J Stead in his introduction to his Caesarea’, 1797: "Unhappily that excellent publication [ie FaIle of 1734] has long been out of print; very few are fortunate enough to possess it - the few who do, hoard it as a relick, a treasure, with a niggardly and jealous vigilance so that there are many, even natives of Jersey who never saw it, many perhaps who never heard of it."

Presumably Stead himself had never heard of the edition of 1795 which was part of Warner's History of Hampshire, nor of the so¬ called 3rd edition of 1797, but he had based his own history on that of the 1734 edition of FaIle.

The edition found in Warner's volume IV is acknowledged in small print, saying on the title page "containing the Islands of Jersey by Mr Fall, a new edition with great additions". This statement is exaggerated, for the only additions are the engravings, some dated 1777, from Grove's Antiquities of Britain; the text is amended by using the errata listed on the last page of the 1734 edition, and small alterations made to the grammar, ie "It's" is now "It is".

Mr Camden is called Cambden. The Dedication, the prefaces to the first and second edition, the map and the plan of the States Chamber have all been withdrawn and some of the documents in the Appendix have been deleted - most of those dealing with the neutrality of the islands.

Again at war

Did the editor of this edition, printed and sold by Messrs Rivington, have some advice about this? England was now at war with France again and the Battle of Jersey had happened 14 years ago.

Though quarto in size, the 455 pp of the second edition are now compressed into 238 pp. On the title page the publishers say that only 225 copies have been published, of which 25 are on 'large paper'. The large paper edition has a mistake: "containing the Islands of Jersey by Mr Hall." The date given by the British Library is 1795 - a copy has been seen with this date on the spine of the volume.

This edition of 1795 is very rare, as most copies have been broken up for the plates which are sold separately and eagerly sought after. The title of the plate of the Notre Dame des Pas Chapel gives it as being in Guernsey.

In 1797 this part of Warner's History was issued by another company as a book in its own right with a new title page, but otherwise an exact re-issue in every way, print, pagina¬tion, paper, size, and number and identical engravings. Did the publisher of Warner find it did not sell and then sell off the various parts to other booksellers/printers, or were more copies printed by them and then sold?

Septimus Eglin and Sarah Pepys, the new publishers, added a small map of the island facing the title page. This company went bankrupt in that year and possibly the stock was sold, as another publisher, Isaac Herbert & E Harding, booksellers and printsellers, re¬issued it in 1798.

Curiously this time not only a newly designed title page, but the prefaces to the original 1734 edition were added, but the announcement that the accurate map and prospect of Elizabeth Castle will be included is not correct.

Evidently someone still had the copy of FaIle's 1734 edition in front of them when setting up this edition, which is accurate except where some references to pages of the 1734 edition have been left in which have no relevance to the pagination of the 1797/98 text. Herbert and Co went bankrupt this year too. Only two copies of this edition have been located.

A critical review of this edition of FaIle appears in the British & Foreign Review 1831; no mention is made of the date of the edition, although it is plain by references to the pagination that the 1797 edition is the one under review. It is curious that there should be a review of a book published 34 years before, and that book only a re-issue of the 1734 edition.

Fourth edition

After another 39 years, and 143 years since the original 1st edition, the fourth edition appears. Edited and added to by the Rev Edward Durell, this has two title pages, one at the beginning and another fuller title 24 pages further on, dated 1835.

In the preface Durell says that as "the 2nd edition had become very scarce and bore a high price, a new edition was absolutely necessary". Durell had been years collecting new material, which he incorporated as notes and illustrations at the end - these being of more importance than the original, for his research was most painstaking and thorough.

The first part is the original 1734 edition, and included in the text are numerals which refer to the notes at the end. Left out are the diagrams of the declivity of the islands and the seating arrangements of the States. Now included are: a new dedication - this time to King William IV; and a new preface in which he alludes to the edition of FaIle 1797 published in French (of which more later) by Fr Jeune.

The prefaces to both first and second editions, the sailing directions and FaIle's text of 1734 in full with errata corrected in text take up 273 pages; the notes in much smaller print take up 203 pages. Some of the history concerning the Battle of Jersey is taken from Plees' Caesarea which relied on the account in Fr Jeune's Caesarea.

Durell admits that Fr Jeune's 'Appendix' was a slight improvement of the 1734 edition and that the 1798 English edition was merely a reprint. He includes all the Charters and Bulls on Neutrality omitted from the 1798 edition, and 'Poindextre' now reads 'Poingdestre'.

The supplement (letter of King Edward III) is now included as a note in the text and translated into English from the Latin on p 43. The oath administered to a Jurat is now Appendix No XV.

All earlier editions, in English, were printed in England, but this one was both printed and published in Jersey.

In addition to these in English, two editions were printed in French, one in Paris, one in Jersey. In 1757 Mr Le Rouge printed Histoire detaillée des Iles de Jersey et Guernesey, traduit de l'Anglois. FaIle is only mentioned in passing on page 120. This edition is much abridged from FaIle's 1694 edition - the 1734 edition had not arrived in France by 1757, it seems.

Pirate French edition

Dedication to Louis

The dedication to Louis, roi de France, with the licence that it may be printed, is found at the end of the book. There is no original dedication, but a new preface mentioning that the author was un zele Patriote Anglois.

It is not surprising in this pirated edition that the article on the Church of England is left out, and the chapter on Religion is now only six pages where it had been 76, and the Appendix which contained all the Charters, etc. has gone, the inclusion of which would overload the volume, says Mr Le Rouge.

The seven other chapters are there, but all reference to the Dark Ages of the Popes, etc are eradicated, so is the story of Capt Mauze who was hanged in Guernsey for betraying the island to the French.

After Chapter VII there is a supplement giving figures of the number of fortifications and numbers of troops in Jersey and Guernsey, supplied by ‘un curieux’, whose figures the translator says are more up to date than those of FaIle.

The map of Jersey is a poor copy of the 1694 edition, but has the names now in French and is "par Dumaresq, Seigneur de Samares", and St Ouen is now so spelt in bay and parish, and being a copy of the 1734 there are no anchorages or depth of water marked, but the numbers of houses marked in each vingtaine are there¬, except for that of Le Rocquier, but even that is in the list where all are added up together (which is not in the original) to give a grand total.

There is also a second map - a poor one of the Channel Islands and the drawings in the text showing Jersey's superior position over Guernsey because of its slope to the south and the plan of the seating in the States. Despite the title, Guernsey has only a small mention.

The Jersey edition in French has the title, Cesarée, ou I' Histoire generale et description de l'Ile de Jersey, traduit de I'Anglois de l'Histoire de Mr Faile par Mr H ... This was issued and printed in parts, 1798-1799, by Francis Jeune, and consists of the first chapter only with continuation by Jeune from page 282 and the Appendix, so it is commonly called Jeune's History.

The Mr H may have been J Hemery, a member of the States who had produced a pamphlet in 1789 in English and quotes FaIle's History. There is a new dedica¬tion - to the States - and the Preface is a translation of the 1694 edition with some explana¬tions. The reason for the edition is stated on the cover of the first part issued, saying that Falle did not write for the Jersey people, he [Jeune] wrote" pour nos concitoyens".

The contents of the Appendix of Charters is not in the same order as the English edition, some new material is added and some left out.

Jeune edition

Société's unique copy

The copy in the Société's library is unique: it is the only copy known where the covers of the 15 parts are bound in at the end - blue flimsy paper - and has in manuscript the last part (No 16?) of which no printed copy has been seen, and there is also, in the Museum, a set of the 15 unbound parts.

On each cover is an announcement to the subscribers where they can obtain their copies - giving directions in finding addresses, eg "à la maison de Cap Renouf sur Les Mielles ou demeuront ci¬devant Mr Amice Laugie”.

The printed pages end at 382 in the middle of a sentence and the manuscript addition is all about the Battle of Jersey, seemingly written by someone who had witnessed it.

The Appendix is paginated separately, containing the Charters as in the 1734 edition - someone had translated them into French from the Latin. It was issued in Part 8 (pp 1-12) to Part 12, 152 pages in all - sometimes found bound in the order it was issued.

Some references to pages in the original are still there and not relevant.

Incidentally there were no engravings issued with this edition - those in the copy in the Société Library have been added when the parts were bound many years later, and come from Stead's History of Jersey, published in 1809.

There are some additions showing some diligent research by Jeune or Mr R; for instance on page 137 is a letter not mentioned in any other edition of Falle, from "Olivier, Lord Protecteur de la Republique d'Angleterre" and after the "Constitutions of Queen Elizabeth" are the words "par l'authoritéu Parlement" which does not appear in the original English edition.

Jeune leaves out the 'Constitution of King John' and the long section of the 'Canons of the Church of England' and the list of 'Wheat Rents' so that only 10 headings of the 15 in the Appendix remain. Now included in the Appendix are:

(a) a Patente concerning the Seigneur of Samares of 1095

(b) the terms of the capitulation of Elizabeth and Mont Orgueil Castles in the Civil War,and

(c) other interesting local items, including the terms of the Don Baudains and the bequest of Mrs Bartlett - none in any chronological order


Not quite the end of the Falle story: 88 years later John Sullivan issued L'Histoire de la Bataille de Jersey, narration tiree de 'Cesaree' par Frs Jeune. This was as stated issued in 1798, a translation from the original English by FaIle, the text continued by Jeune including the story of the Battle of Jersey. Sullivan has taken his extract from the continuation by Jeune and has added the piece seen in the manuscript in the Société's copy; at the end of this he says, "lei finit L'Histoire de Francois Jeune" and then adds his own "annotation" on the Battle of Jersey.

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