The Channel Islands, 1370-1640

The Channel Islands, 1370-1640

Between England and Normandy

Tim Thornton


Boydell Press



Charts the history of Jersey and Guernsey, showing their crucial importance for England in the period.
This book surveys the history of the bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey in the late medieval and early modern periods, focusing on political, social and religious history. The islands' regular tangential appearance in histories of England and the British Isles has long suggested the need for a more systematic account from the perspective of the islands themselves. Jersey and Guernsey were at the forefront of attempts by the English kings in the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries to maintain and extend their dominions in France. During the Wars of the Roses and the early Tudor period, they were frequently the refuge for claimants and plotters. Throughout the Reformation, they were a leading centre of Presbyterianism. Later, they were strategically important during the continental wars of Elizabeth's reign. The book charts all these events in a comprehensive way. In addition, it shows how the islands' relationship with central power in England varied but never saw a simple subjection to centralised uniform authority, how Jersey and Guernsey maintained links with Normandy, Brittany and France more widely, and how politics, religion, society and culture developed in the islands themselves.

Tim Thornton is Professor of History and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) at the University of Huddersfield, having been previously Dean of the School of Music, Humanities and Media. He is the author of Cheshire and the Tudor State and Prophecy, Politics and the People in Early Modern England, both of which are published by Boydell & Brewer.


May 2012
4 line illustrations
208 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843837114
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS015000, HIS037010, HIS037030
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Table of Contents

War, Privilege and the Norman Connection, 1370-1435
Military Defeat and Civil Conflict, 1435-1485
Centralisation and its Limits under Henry VII and Henry VIII, 1485-1547
Political and Religious Strife, 1547-1569
War and the Development of Autonomy, 1570-1604
The Challenge of Uniformity? 1605-1640


Professor Thornton has discovered rare and unpublished archives, some privately held, and drawn them together in a magisterial work. This is a textbook and a sourcebook. It should be on every university reading list. SPECULUM

Tim Thornton offers here an important reassessment of the government of the Channel Islands in the years from the late-fourteenth-century decline of English fortunes in France to the outbreak of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms in the 1640s. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

The author has provided a clear account of the history of the Channel Islands (.) the author is to be congratulated for setting out the complex web of events in a way accessible to all those with an interest in the Islands and their affairs. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF NAUTICAL ARCHAEOLOGY, December 2013

Will be the foundation for future studies. SOUTHERN HISTORY

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