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The Bailiwick of Jersey is a Crown dependency which is situated near the coast of Normandy, France.

The Bailiwick is made up of the island of Jersey, which is the largest island in the Channel Islands, as well as nearby uninhabited islands and rocks which are named Les Dirouilles, Les Minquiers, Les Pierres de Leq, Les Écréhous, and other reefs and rocks.

The Bailiwick of Jersey and the Bailiwick of Guernsey are collectively called the Channel Islands, however the Channel Islands are not a political unit, but a geographic one. Hence, the two Bailiwicks are quite different. For example. Jersey has its own relationship to the Crown than other Crown dependencies, including Guernsey.

Jersey is a self-governing parliamentary democracy which is under a constitutional monarchy. It has its own legal, financial, and judicial systems and the right of self-determination.

The farming on the island focuses on dairy and the breeding of dairy cows, which are entirely Jersey cattle, given that no other breed of cattle has has been allowed on Jersey since 1789. Seaweed is the fertilizer used for the farms which raise potatoes and tomatoes for export. Woolen jerseys were traditionally knitted on Jersey, though the production of them has dwindled.

Jersey's Parliament, the States of Jersey, is made up of 49 elected members who are elected as independent people, as there are no parties in the Assembly. The monarch has as his or her personal representative the Lieutenant Governor. Jersey citizens have British nationality.

Like the Bailiwick of Guernsey, the Bailiwick of Jersey is not part of the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom, however, is responsible, constitutionally speaking, for the defence of Jersey.

In the ninth century, the Jersey was invaded by the Vikings, and in 933, Jersey, was annexed to what would become part of the Norman Islands by the Count of Rouen, William Longsword.

In 1066, William Longsword's progeny, William the Conqueror vanquished England, and for a while, England and the Duchy of Normandy were under one king. In 1204, King John lost all of his territories in the mainland of Normandy to King Philip II Augustus. King John was able to retain the Channel Islands. In 1259, the Treaty of Paris had the King of England surrender the Duchy of Normandy. The Channel Islands became self-governing territories of the English crown.

In 1406, approximately 1,000 Frenchmen invade Jersey by way of St. Aubin's Bay. They defeated the 3,000 islanders who were defending the island, but still they failed to capture the island.

Because of the strategic location of the Islands, the British fortified them quite heavily, and in 1781 the French tried again to invade Jersey, sending 2,000 soldiers to capture the island. Only 1,000 of them actually made it to Jersey, and they initiated what is known as the Battle of Jersey. That battle lasted about thirty minutes, and the British soldiers prevailed. Each side lost about thirty men, all of the French commanders were among them, and the British took about 600 French soldiers prisoner and sent them to England.

The Jersey economy was built on shipbuilding, fishing, agriculture, milling, and manufacturing of woolen goods. Trade with the bailiwick ushered in not just prosperity, but neutrality between France and England. The nineteenth century marked better transportation to and from the islands, and with that came tourism.

Then came World War II, and Germany occupied Jersey from July 1, 1940 until the German surrender on May 9, 1945. Some of the people in Jersey were evacuated to England, but unlike Guernsey, most of them remained behind. Using slave labour by prisoners of war, a large number of fortification. Supplies from mainland France were crucial to Jersey, and after the D-Day landings, food was in short supply. Red Cross provisions finally arrived, along with news of the advance of the Allied troops in Europe. But Jersey and her sister bailiwick were among the last places liberated. Today, Jersey celebrates Liberation Day on May 9 of each year, with huge celebrations in Liberation Square.


Getting From Here to There


Les Ecrehous

Les Minquiers

Les Pierres de Lecq



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