5th November 1929

Sibyl Beaumont married Robert Hathaway

Robert Hathaway might very well never have heard of Sark before 1929. That was the year when he first its Dame, Sibyl Beaumont. Their initial encounter was in the October – and just one month later they were married. Suddenly, Robert Hathaway was the island’s de facto ruler.

He had been born in New Jersey, USA, on 20 October 1887. He graduated from Yale University and joined the Royal Flying Corps in Canada. He didn’t meet the Dame until after the war. By then he was working in London and had become a naturalised British citizen.

Like many of the best couples, they’d been introduced by a friend. Sibyl was due to sail to New York, but before she left she was introduced to her future husband by Mona Linton. Linton assured her she would like him and, besides, “Bob” could write her some letters of introduction to his family in New York.

But Bob did more than just write letters. He cabled her daily throughout her trip and, upon her return, asked her to dinner every night for three weeks, at the end of which they wed. Sibyl herself described it as a “whirlwind courtship” in her autobiography, The Dame of Sark.

The new ruler

As soon as they were married, they moved back to Sark. There, Bob Hathaway assumed his responsibilities as its leader, the Seigneur. He ruled the island for 25 years, at one point being deported to Germany during the occupation as a reprisal for the abortive Operation Basalt raid.

Although the Dame ruled in his absence, she was always aware that any decrees she signed were, technically, not fully authorised, since they should have been actioned under his authority. Nonetheless, she was very much the figurehead and was treated with respect by the German forces.

Following Robert Hathaway’s death on 15 December 1954, Dame Sibyl continued to rule until her own passing in 1974.


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Other events that occured in November

Car plane air crash caused airport fireball 1st
A hospital worker stood accused of murder 2nd
Sark’s vineyards were vandalised 3rd
The original Torteval church was consecrated 4th
Sibyl Beaumont married Robert Hathaway 5th
The papers were excited by a Guernsey execution 6th
The States agrees to pay the Bailiff 7th
States of Guernsey hired its first independent vet
The Little Theatre was reprieved… for a while 8th
Guernsey was declared free of cholera 9th
Guernsey optician Specsavers was founded 10th
The court considered a Guernsey porn dealer’s testimony 11th
Guernsey Yacht Club was founded 12th
Guernsey aimed for equal adoption rights 13th
Jethou’s tenant fell off his own cliff 14th
Dad’s Army actor John le Mesurier died 15th
A Guernsey recruit regretted signing up 16th
Horticultural painter William Caparne was born 17th
German forces confiscated Guernsey’s radios 18th
A plane crashed on Crevichon 19th
Sark featured in the music charts 20th
Guernsey recruits caused concern in Parliament 21st
First Guernsey competitor took part in Miss World 22nd
A Lancaster bomber crashed on Sark 23rd
Sark women get the right to inherit 24th
Spanish flu arrived on Guernsey 25th
Guernsey held its first full marathon 26th
Admiral Thomas Le Marchant Gosselin died 27th
HMS Boreas sank at Hanois 28th
Radio station Contact 94 went off the air 29th
Royal Guernsey Light Infantry memorial was unveiled 30th