Full story of Charles II's Proclamation

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The document by which Charles II was first proclaimed King in 1649

The most famous Proclamation of a new King in Jersey was that of King Charles II in 1649. Following the execution of his father, Charles I, the Parliamentary Government made it clear that there were to be no proclamations.

Threat to traitors

"It hath been found by experience that the Office of King is unnecessary, burdensome, and dangerous to the public interest. Any person who shall presume to proclaim Charles Stuart, commonly called the Prince of Wales, to be King, shall be deemed a traitor and suffer accordingly."

When the news reached Jersey 18 days later the Bailiff, Sir George Carteret ordered the Viscount to proclaim Charles II King in the normal manner, and this was duly undertaken in the Market Square on 17 February 1649. The document, written in French, was then read in Elizabeth Castle after morning service the following day, at Mont Orgueil the following Wednesday and was then nailed to the door of the Royal Court for several days, survives and is held by La Société Jersiaise. Jersey was the first place in the British Isles to proclaim Charles King.

Proclamation document

Translated, the document reads:

"Whereas the rebels have by a horrible outrage laid violent hands on the person of King Charles the First of glorious memory, by whose death the Sovereign Crowns of the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, France and Ireland belong to and wholly and legally devolve upon His Highness the very high and puissant Prince Chrales
"We the Lieutenant Governor and Bailiff and Jurats of this Island of Jersey, assisted by the King's Officers and by the principal inhabitants of the said Island, with one heart and voice publish and proclaim that His Highness, the Very high and pussant Prince Charles, has now by the death of our late Sovereign of glorious memory, lawfully become by right of legitimate succession and direct descent, our only and Sovereign Lord, Charles the Second, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc, to whom we acknowledge our duty of implicit obe3dience and fidelity, nohour and service. And we pray God by whom Kings reign, to stablish and confirm King Charles the Second in all his just rights, and on his Throne, and to grant him a long and happy reign over us."

Signatories

The signatories to the proclamation were G Carterett (Lieut-Governor and Bailiff), Ph Carteret, F Carteret, J Carteret, J Pipon, P Fautrart, J Pallot, A Biggs, A Carteret E Dumaresq, Ph Le Geyt, B La Cloche, H de Carteret, J Le Hardy, D Gruchy, P Dumaresq, E Romeril, Jean Scelle, P Carteret, J Guillaume, Nicoll Richardson, N Journeaulx, J Le Couteur, Isaac Herault, and L Hamptonne (Viscount, who read the Proclamation).

Jersey was to undergo a number of years of Parliamentary rule before Charles was restored to the throne in 1660, and on 2 June he was proclaimed King for a second time in Jersey.

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