Ouye de paroisse 1463

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This article by Ralph Mollet was first published in the 1959 Annual Bulletin of La Société Jersiaise

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The 1463 document

In the Island of Jersey the centre of each parish was the church with the cemetery.

Services were held daily and the parishioners were baptized, married and buried at their church. All important judicial acts were announced each Sunday at l'Ouye de Paroisse; the congregation met at the cross in the cemetery.

All transfers of land and other contracts were passed before 12 oathworthy witnesses, sometimes a twig was given by the seller to the purchaser as a testimony. The clergy acted as notaries and drew up deeds, which were often confirmed by a contract passed and sealed by the Royal Court of Jersey.

The Ouye de Paroisse came to an end in 1842, when a law was passed discontinuing the announcement in the churches and cemeteries on a Sunday at divine service of any notice or advertisement of holding parish meetings, public elections or any other notice either of a civil or criminal nature, with the exception of the publication of banns of marriage or notices concerning the church services.

An artist's impression of the 1463 Ouye de Paroisse

This Law further ordered the constable to erect a box with a grill (boite aux annonces) at the principal gate of the cemetery for the publication of all notices required by law.

1463 Ouye

In the year of grace 1463 on the Monday immediately preceding the feast of the Annunciation of Our Lady (March 21) were present in the hearing of the parish of St Lawrence, Nicolas Le Moigne and Jennete, his wife, of the one part, and Colin Le Cornu and Perete, his wife, of the other part, which Jennete with the authorization of her said husband, leased, ceded and surrendered in perpetuity for herself and for her heirs to the said Cornu and to his said wife to the survivor of them and thereafter in perpetuity to the heirs of the said Cornu, to wit, the house and holding of Le Hurel, formerly inhabited by Johan Le Moigne, together with the fields above the said house and the field before it, the verges, valleys and slopes as the said fields are situated, together with three vergees ofland or thereabout situate along the road by which .... .... goes to the Church towards the north to the .... .... of the big field above the said house and holding; and the said lease was made for the price of six and a half quarters of wheat rente and the said wife bound herself, with the authorization aforesaid, for herself and for her heirs to assure and guarantee the said lease free and exempt from all rentes and encumbrances, from prevoté, from sergenté, from servage, from fumage and from suit at mill and from every other servitude whatsoever to the said Colin, wife and heirs .... .... on penalty of all her movable and real property present and future and she promised on the faith of her body that she will never act against the above-mentioned by claiming wrongful alienation of her marriage-portion or otherwise.

Present: Raulin Pain, Drouet Pain, Richard Pain, Guillaume Teg, Guillot Reg, Janyn Le Cheminet, Johan Norbert, Robert Lengles, and Pierre Le Serques and several others.

And the said Colin will enter into the said lease on St. Michaels day in the year 1464 and he will be at liberty to gamer his sheaves in the month of August and he will have the lands in such a state of cultivation as they are.

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