Peter Stafford Carey

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Sir Peter Stafford Carey (1803-1886) was Bailiff of Guernsey 1845-1883.

He was born in Guernsey on 1 April 1803, the only son of Peter Martin Carey and Frances Jane Stafford, at La Brasserie[1].

During 1816-17, his parents took him on year-long tour of France, ostensibly to find a school for him to attend. They did not find a suitable school, but his mother published her journal with the story of this period[2]

He married Emily Aubrey Warren (1810-1881).

He was a Professor at University College, London, and was called to the Bar in 1830. For the next fifteen years he pursued a legal career in England: between 1836 and 1845, he was Recorder of Dartmouth; and Judge of the Borough Court of Wells, 1838-45[3].

He was appointed Bailiff of Guernsey in 1845, succeeding John Guille, who had died after less than three years in office. It is believed he was appointed following some of the challenges with his predecessors, in particular Peter De Havilland and Daniel De Lisle Brock, who were not professional judges. He was chosen to introduce some much-needed reforms in local judicial procedure. As a Guernseyman, he achieved this without compromising Guernsey's historic privileges[4]

As Bailiff, he oversaw the significant growth in population and prosperity of the island during the mid-19th Century. He sponsored many public works, and amongst other things, laid the foundation stones for the new harbour in 1853, Les Hanois Lighthouse in 1862 and St Barnabas Church in 1872.

His residence as Bailiff was Candie House, Candie Road, St Peter Port, which he leased from the Priaulx family.

He was knighted by Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle on 23 Nov 1863. On his return to the Island with Lady Carey they were warmly cheered on landing and their arrival was greeted by a peal of welcome from the bells of the Town Church.[5]

In May 1883, he resigned as Bailiff due to failing health, and died in 1886.

Bailiffs of Guernsey
Predecessor Successor
John Guille
Sir Peter Stafford Carey
John de Havilland



  1. Hugo, GWJL, Guernsey as it used to be, 1933
  2. Salzman, Joan, Frances Jane Carey's Journal, 1816-17, Quarterly Review of the Guernsey Society, Spring 1960
  3. Carey Roots > Peter Stafford Carey
  4. Hocart, Richard, Peter De Havilland: Bailiff of Guernsey, La Société Guernesiaise (1997)
  5. Guernsey Star, 17 Dec 1863
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