Sark Letters Patent of 1565
Elizabeth, by the Grace of God, of England, France and Ireland Queen, Defender of the Faith etc. to all to whom these Presents shall come, greeting.
WHEREAS our Island of Sark, situate near our Islands of Guernsey and Jersey, within our Duchy of Normandy, is now and hath been for a long time past. void, waste, uninhabited and not cultivated, manured or occupied by any of our subjects— during which time not only We and Our Progenitors have lost the ancient and accustomed profits, rents, revenues, incomes and emoluments. from thence long since, and of old time, due to our Progenitors and Precedings- —neither has any of Our beloved and liege subjects, for many years past, had any advantage, emolument or profit from thence upon that account, but also the same Island, by reason of its being waste and deserted, hath, therefore, during the same time been and still is, in time of war, a convenient place, access and cover to conceal and confederate Our enemies. attempting hostilities on Our said Islands, and others of Our Dominions; and in time of peace, pirates, thieves and such like, endeavouring to lay wait for and plunder Our beloved subjects. inhabiting Our aforesaid Islands of Jersey and ;Guernsey and others adjacent to them, frequenting them or trafficking among themselves to the great harm and no small damage of all Out’ subjects inhabiting the aforesaid Islands, to Our certain knowledge:
WE. therefore, maturely consulting and providing for the safety and tranquillity of the State and weal-public of the aforesaid Islands and also, greatly weighing and pondering all things and circumstances to he considered in that behalf, arc persuaded that nothing will be mere proper or more expedient for the subduing, expelling and rooting omit such enemies, pirates and thieves I from the aforesaid Island of Sark than, as much as may he, to order, take care and provide that Our above-mentioned Island of Sark be. for ever in time to come, occupied. possessed, and inhabited h~ Englishmen and others of Our natural subjects.
KNOW YE, therefore, that We, as well fir, as in consideration of the sum of fifty sols of good amid lawful money of England. beforehand well and truly paid at the receipt of our said Island of Guernsey into the hands of our well beloved subject, Nicolas (Carey’, Esq., our Receiver-( ;General in that Island, by Our beloved subject Helier de Carteret, Esq., Lord of the Seignory and Fee Haubert of St. Ouen in the said island of jersey, of which we acknowledge ourselves to he fully satisfied and paid, and that the said Helier de Carteret, his heirs, executors and administrators, are acquitted and exonerated thereof and of every parcel thereof, give and grant by these presents for Us. Our heirs and successors, unto the aforesaid H. de Carteret, Esq., Seigneur of St. Ouen in Jersey, or by whatever other name or surname he may be called or known, all that aforesaid Island of Sark, with all its rights, members, liberties and appurtenances, and all and each of its castles, fortresses, houses, buildings, structures, ruined or collapsed with age, lands, meadows pastures, commons, wastes, woods, waters, water-courses, ponds. fees. rents, reversions, services, advowsons. presentations, right of patronage of rectories, vicarages, chapels and churches of every kind, and also all manner of tithes, oblations, fruits, obventions, mines quarries, ports, shores, rocks, wrecks of the sea, farms, fee-farms. knight's fees, wards, marriages, eschcats, reliefs. heriots, goods and chattels waived, goods and chattels of felons, fugitives or pirates, felons, outlaws, and the forfeited or confiscated goods of persons condemned or convicted in any other way whatsoever; also all forfeitures, rights of pannage and warren, courts leet, views of frank pledge, assizes and assays of bread, wine and beer; all fairs, markets, customs, rights of tolls, jurisdictions, liberties, immunities, exemptions, franchises, commodities, profits, emoluments, and all the Queen's heredits whatsoever with every of their appurtenances, situate within the seas or sea-coasts contiguous or appertaining to the Island or within its shores, limits or precincts, and whatever were held, known or accepted as members or parts of the Island of Sark.
‘WE grant and concede by these presents to the said Helier de Carteret, and to his heirs, the aforesaid Island with all its rights and privileges (as listed above) in as ample a manner and form as any of Our Progenitors, Kings of England, or any other having possession or seized of the said Island, ever lawfully had, held or enjoyed, to have, to hold and enjoy for his sole and personal use "in capite" for ever for the twentieth part of a Knight's Fee, and by paying for the same annually on the Feast of the Archangel St. Michael to Us. Our Heirs and successors, fifty sols of good and lawful money of England to Our receipt in the Island of Guernsey:
PROVIDED that if the said Helier de Carteret, his heirs or assigns, do not cause or procure the said Island within two years, and so hereafter from time to time to be continually inhabited, dwelt in or occupied by forty men at least, our subjects, or such as shall oblige themselves by oath to Our Captain of Our Island of Jersey or Guernsey that they will be faithfully true or obedient to Us, the Queen, Our Heirs or successors, the said Helier de Carteret, his heirs or assigns shall forfeit to us by way of punishment or penalty ten pounds, to be taken and levied out of his lands, tenements and goods by an order of seizure from the Governor of Our Island of Guernsey or his duly authorised representative.
AND if after such first default, and after an admonition given the said Helier de Carteret do not within six months then next following make up the aforesaid number of forty men at least he shall forfeit twenty pounds . . . The next forfeit after a further six months shall be forty pounds.
AND if a third admonition be not obeyed, then these the Queen's Letters Patent shall cease and be void, and it shall be lawful for Us, Our Heirs and successors, to re-enter in the said Island of Sark.
THE SAID Helier de Carteret and his heirs or assigns shall not give, sell or alienate all his whole Estate without the express license of Us, the Queen, or Our Heirs and successors. At the same time by Our will and good pleasure We grant to the said Helier de Carteret or his heirs and assigns that it shall be lawful for him and them at all times, for the future, or from time to time, for ever, during the force and virtue of these Our Letters Patent, at his or their pleasure, to lease, grant and farm some parts or parcels of the said Island of Sark, by indentures to be sealed with his seal or theirs, for term or terms of life, lives, years, for ever, or otherwise in as ample and in the like manner and form as the said Helier de Carteret or his ancestors or any others, seized in fee simple, or other lands held of Us in capite, have made use to lease, grant or farm. Such leases and letting out to farm to be made under the seal of the said Helier de Carteret, to be as equally valid, firm and effectual in law as if they were made or granted under the seals of Guernsey or Jersey.
WITNESS Ourself at Westminster the sixth day of August in the seventh year of Our Reign (1565).