Sark Letters Patent of 1611
James by the Grace of God King of England Scotland France and Ireland Defender of the Faith etc. to Our right trusty and right well beloved Sir George Carewe Knight, Baron of Clopton, Governor of the Isles of Guernsey and Sark, and to the Governor of the said Isles for the time being, and to Our well beloved subject Amice de Carteret, Esquire, Bailiff of the said Isle of Guernsey and to the Bailiff of the said Isle of Guernsey for the time being, and to Our well beloved subject Philippe de Carteret, Esquier, of St. Ouen and Lord of the said Isle of Sark, and to Our loving subjects and inhabitants of the said Isles of Guernsey and Sark, and to all other Our loving subjects to whom these presents shall come, greetings.
WHEREAS the said Isle of Sark, being parcel of the possessions of the ancestors of the said Philippe de Carteret, Lord of the said Isle of Sark, was not partable amongst the sonnes of the said ancestors, but descended only to the eldest sonne:
AND WHEREAS the Lords of the said Isle of Sark have, of late, granted away some parcels of the said Isle to others to hold of them, although the said Lord cannot in any way change the ancient form of descent of the same:
AND WHEREAS, because the possessions of the ancient undertenants of the adjacent Isles have been and do yet continue partable amongst all the sonnes and daughters together, though in several portions, the inhabitants of the said Isle of Sark have an affection to that form of descent and would, as much as in them is, bring their said lands so lately purchased to the like descent, which is both against the law and to the great damage and danger of the said Isle of Sark, as the said Philippe de Carteret and his heirs are, by covenants contained in their Letters Patent, bound to people and inhabite the said Isle with a certain number of men with provision of arrnore and other necessaries for the defense of the said Isle of Sark; which charge of men to be from time to time so furnished, as aforesaid, for the defense of the said Isle of Sark, hath been used to be borne by the tenants and occupiers of the lands lying within the said Isle, according to such rates and proportions as by covenant and agreement between the Lord of the said Isle and the said tenants and occupiers have agreed upon in that behalf: in respect whereof it is found very necessary that the lands lying in the said Isle of Sark, and now remaining in the tenure of occupation of the several tenants and occupiers thereof, should as much as may, be kept whole and entire and not to be divided or parted amongst bretheren or other coheirs, but that the same, as much as may be, do always remain and continue impartable and undivided without any other charge than such as by reason of their several tenures they are bound to perform for the occasions aforesaid:
AND WHEREAS also it is a matter of great consequence and necessitie to restrain by all good and wholesome ordonnances and provisions the incombring and over charging of the said land with extraordinary and new charges, whereby the ancient services, tenures and duties, originally and foundamentaly charged upon the said Isle of Sark, for the preservation, safety and defense of the same, and for the common good of the Lord and tenants thereof, should be hindered diminished or abated:
AND FOR AS MUCH as neglect of good and timely provisions, in a case of so great importance, would prove very prejudicial to our service, as with the passage of time by often partitions and extraordinary charges layd upon the said land there would remain only a number of poor men, unable to defend the same:
KNOW YE that We, having had consideration of the premises and greatly desiring the safety, quiet and welfare of the said Isle of Sark, and of the said Lord and tenants thereof, and to the intent that all Our good and loving subjects of the said Isle of Sark may, by commandment and direction from Ourself, willingly bind themselves to the observation of that which may be most for their own benefit and good, and enable them the better to perform the services, tenures and duties wherewith they are all ready charged, as is aforesaid, of Our especial grace, certain knowledge and meer motion, have willed ordained and appointed, and by these presents, for Us, Our heirs and successors, do signify and declare to all Our loving subjects, as well of the said Isle of Sark, as allso of the Isles of Guernsey and Jersey, that no lands or tenements situate lying or being within the said Isle of Sark or any parts thereof shall or ought to be partable or parted amongst any sonnes and daughters together by force or by reason of any descent of inheritance of or from any ancestor or ancestor which bath or shall at any time hereafter die seased of any state in fee simple or fee entail or other state of inheritance of any lands tenements and hereditaments lying or being within the said Isle of Sark, but ought and shall, from time to time, descend and come wholy and directly to the eldest sonne and other heirs of the sonne in such sort as the rest of the Signorie of the said Philippe de Carteret in the said Isle of Sark and also ir the Isle of Jersey doth or ought to do:
AND WE DO FURTHER, for Us, our heirs and successors of Our especial grace, certain knowledge and meer motion, declare and signify our mind and pleasure to be that all and every tenant owner, farmer or occupier of any lands, tenements or hereditaments in Sark aforesaid for the time being shall forbear and utterly cease to rise, sept or impose, upon any, his or their said lands, tenements or hereditaments, any other charge, payment or incumbrances than such charges, payments, services and duties as they are bound to perform by their or any other of their tenures of their or any of their said lands to the Senior of the said Isle of Sark or otherwise for the defense or preservation of the same:
AND, for the more safety of the said Isle of Sark and for the better settling of loyal and obedient subjects therein, being a place of importance and subject to danger of Our especial grace, certain knowledge and meer motion, We do will and ordaine by this present, that no strangers borne out of this Isle of Sark shall at any time be hereafter suffered to dwell, inhabite, remain, continue or make any longer abode within the said Isle of Sark, unless every such stranger shall, at such time as he shall be there unto required by such persons as We shall authorise and appoint to that behalf, take the oath called and known by the name of "The Oath of Alegeans to Us" Our heirs and successors, according to the form of the Statute made in the third yeare of our Reigne of England, and unless the license of consent of the Lord of the said Isle of Sark for the time being be, within the term of six weeks, procured and obtained in that behalf:
AND THEREFORE WE DO, by these presents, charge and command that none of the inhabitants of the said Isle of Sark do at any time hereafter receive unto his or their houses any strangers not borne in the said Isle of Sark, either as their servant, undertenant or otherwise, to make abode with them, but only such who shall, whensoever they shall thereunto be required as is aforesaid, take the "Oath of Alleageans," and also procure the consent of the said Lord of the said Isle, as aforesaid, upon peine of our indignation and heavy displeasure to be inflicted upon such as willingly leglect Our Royal Commandement herein.
AND WE DO by this present authorise and command our well beloved subject, Robert Slowley, Judge of the said Isle of Sark and the Judge of the said Isle of Sark for the time being, to accept and take the said oathe of allegeance of all and every such stranger borne out of the said Isle of Sark and coming to make his or their abode there, any law, statute, coustume or restrain not withstanding.
AND FURTHER we are well pleased, and for the more ease and quiet and contentment of all our subjects, the inhabitants of the said Isle of Sark, we do by these presents for Us, our heirs and successors, grant that it shall and may be lawful to and for all and every the inhabitants of the said Isle of Sark and all other, at all time and times, at their wills and pleasures, to bargain, sell, convey, let, lease, demis or assigne by writing or writings, seal with the seal granted to Helier de Carteret and to his heires Lords and possessors of the Seinory of the Lordship or Fee of Haubert de St. Ouen, whose heirs the said Philippe de Carteret is, any lands, tenements or heriditaments, parcels of the said Isle of Sark, for such states, during such terms, as the tenants, farmers and occupiers of the said Isle of Sark, heretofore have been used, or at this present may bargain, sell, convey, let, lease, demise or assigne the same lands, tenements or heriditaments to any person or persons there, under the seal or seals of the said Isle of Guernsey and Jersey or either of them; and that all and every such bargains, sales, conveyances, demises, leases and assignments, sealed with the said seal of the said Philippe de Carteret, and of such of his heirs as aforesaid shall be as vialable effectual and strong in the law as if the same had been made or granted under the seal or seals of the said Islands of Guernsey or Jersey or either of them.
AND WE DO FURTHER straightly charge and command you, the said Lord Carewe, Governor of the Isles of Guernsey and Sark, for the time being, and you, the said Amice de Carteret, Bailiff of the said Isle of Guernsey, and the Bailiff for the time being, and you the said Philippe de Carteret, Senior of St. Ouen, Lord of the said Isle of Sark and your heirs being Lords of the said Isle of Sark, that you and every one of you do, from time to time, do your best endeavour to cause these Our Letters Patent and Our goodwill and pleasure therein declared to be from time to time duly executed, performed, and put in use within the said Isle of Sark, according to the true intent and meaning of these presents, as you and every one of you answer to the contrary at your peril although express mention of the true yearly values or of the certainty of the premises or of any of them or of any other gifts or grants by Us or any of Our progenitors or predecessors to the said Philippe de Carteret Seignor of St. Ouen, Lord of St. Ouen, Lord of the said Isle of Sark, heretofore made, is not made in this presents; any statute, act, ordinants or provisions or restraint to the contrary heretofore had made, published, ordained or provided, or any other thing, cause or matter whatsoever in any wise notwithstanding.
In witness whereof we have caused these, Our Letters to be Patent.
Witness Ourself, at Westminster, the twelfth day of August, in the ninth year of Our Reigne of England, France and Ireland, and of Scotland the five and fortieth.