3rd June 1845

Bailiff John Guille died in Plymouth

John Guille died on 3 June 1845. After a successful military career, he had become one of Guernsey’s most notable Bailiffs, and in that position he was a tireless defender of the rights of the Royal Court.

Guille was orphaned at an early age and brought up by his aunt. He joined the Guernsey Militia and was promoted to the rank of captain aged just seventeen, and colonel by the time he turned 23.

The year before his elevation to colonel, he had been elected to the Royal Court, where he served as a Jurat until 1835. At that point he became Lieutenant-Bailiff.

In this role he would have met often with other Lieutenants-Bailiff. They would each have discussed and decided on legal matters on behalf of the Bailiff. Naturally, this would have been an ideal proving ground for what would come next: his appointment as Bailiff in 1842.

Bailiff John Guille

He was appointed in December after Daniel de Lisle Brock had died three months earlier. Brock is remembered for building many of Guernsey’s earliest roads. He financed them by printing the island’s own currency and appears on the £1 notes issued from 1980.

Guille took his oath of office in early January 1843. It was an oath he was to take seriously, even if it should bring him into conflict with the Lieutenant-Governor, Major-General Sir William Napier. As Bailiff, Guille considered it his duty to defend the powers of the Royal Court – particularly when Napier seemed to believe that he had primacy.

The two men were locked in a political battle for much of Guille’s term of office. After less than two years, the strain of it started to show. Guille was forced to take a brief break on the mainland for the sake of his own health. He went to Plymouth, but rapidly declined.

When it became obvious that he wasn’t going to live long enough to make it back to Guernsey, his family rushed over to join him. They arrived in time to be with him when he died, aged 57, on 3 June 1843.


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Other events that occured in June

Cricketer Charles Grieve died in Shropshire 1st
St Johns undertook its first Guernsey rescue 2nd
Bailiff John Guille died in Plymouth 3rd
GUNS writer Joseph John Gillingham was deported 4th
First arrests were made at Guernsey Airport 5th
Jethou was put on the market 6th
The king and queen celebrated Guernsey’s liberation 7th
Occupying forces confiscated Guernsey’s radios 8th
Guernsey Railway company ceased operations 9th
Guernsey welcomed its first steam ship 10th
Laura Kennington kicks off Channel Islands triathlon 11th
Dame Sibyl became a dame again 12th
Guernsey voted to legalise local abortions 13th
Victor Hugo’s house is opened to the public 14th
The Channel Islands were demilitarised 15th
Guernsey was invaded by Colorado beetles 16th
States Telephone Department was established 17th
Pollet guest house fire claimed its third victim 18th
Aurigny founder Derrick Bailey died 19th
Guernsey joined the Football Association 20th
Guernsey’s school children were evacuated 21st
Guernsey celebrated Queen Victoria’s jubilee 22nd
Princess Elizabeth opened Guernsey’s hospital 23rd
Guernsey chose England over France 24th
First meeting of Guernsey’s Controlling Committee 25th
Guernsey bought Fort Grey from the War Office 26th
Guernsey coffee trader William Le Lacheur died 27th
G-JOEY completes his last flight 28th
Guernsey suffered its first and only air raid
The Star was published for the first time 29th
Two deserters were shot after landing on Guernsey 30th