Leader of Alderney

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Alderney is a dependency of the Bailiwick of Guernsey. Its leader has traditionally been appointed by the British Crown and has been known by various titles including Lord of Alderney, Governor of Alderney, and the current President of the States of Alderney. The President the States of Alderney is directly elected every four years and there is no constitutional limit to the number of terms served. The current president, Stuart Trought has held the post since 2011.[1]

Current function[edit]

The Leader of Alderney is the highest civil figure in Alderney. The President as leader currently is elected by all of Alderney for a four-year term. The President is also the chairman of the States of Alderney and entitled to vote; however, this is usually only done in the event of a tied vote, where he has the deciding vote.[2]

Historical role[edit]

Alderney was initially part of the Duchy of Normandy from 933 AD. In 1042, possession of Alderney passed to Mont Saint Michel Abbey and from there, passed to the Bishop of Coutances. In 1182, the first individual leader of Alderney was William L'Ingenieur who was ennobled as Lord of Alderney. During L'Ingenieur's time as Lord of Alderney, possession was granted to him as a fief. As a result of this, Alderney was invaded and occupied by the French twice in 1204 and 1205 before being reclaimed by England each time. Under his successor as Lord of Alderney, Peter L'Ingenieur, ownership of Alderney was divided between the King of England (as the Duke of Normandy) and the Bishop of Coutances. In 1228, the title of the Lord of Alderney became extinct as Peter L'Ingenieur had no lawfully begotten male heirs. During this time France invaded Alderney again before being expelled by English forces, with King Henry III of England stripping the Bishop of the rights to Alderney and taking sole ownership as a result of the French actions. Under the Treaty of Brétigny in 1260, the Bishop's rights in Alderney were restored.[3]

In 1559, George Chamberlain was appointed as the Lieutenant-Governor of Alderney and later bought the title and lease of Alderney from the Crown.[4] In 1586 Queen Elizabeth I of England ordered the Bishop of Coutances surrender the rights to Alderney to the Bishop of Winchester, which was done shortly after the leadership of Alderney had passed to Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex despite the Earl of Essex never visiting Alderney.[4] During the English Civil War and the Commonwealth of England, leadership of Alderney changed hands several times between the Royalists and Parliamentarians with Nicholas Ling being appointed as the Lieutenant-Governor of Alderney by Oliver Cromwell.[5] In 1660, during the Restoration of the Monarchy, Edward de Carteret was granted the title of Governor of Alderney by King Charles II of England as a reward for loyalty to the Crown and became the leader of Alderney as a result.[5] The governorship went into abeyance after the death of his son, Edward de Carteret before being sold to Sir Edmund Andros by de Carteret's widow. Andros then was granted the governorship on a 99 year lease from the Crown in exchange for an annual 13 shillings payment of rent to the Crown. The Governor of Alderney became a hereditary position and later passed to the Le Mesurier family through marriage with the Andros family. The lease was later extended by King George III of Great Britain.[6] In 1825 the governor, John Le Mesurier III resigned the grant of the island and returned it to the Crown in exchange for an annual pension of £700. (approximately £48,700) This agreement eventually expired in 1862.[7]

After the office of Governor of Alderney was abolished, the Judge of Alderney assumed the role of leader of Alderney as the highest ranking appointed representative of the Crown on the island.[3] The Judge of Alderney was the leader of Alderney as well as the head of Alderney's judiciary.[8] This lasted up until the Second World War when Alderney and the rest of the Channel Islands were occupied by Nazi Germany and the leadership of Alderney was assumed by German officials. Most of Alderney's population had been evacuated and the Nazis used Alderney as a base to build the Atlantic Wall and the Alderney concentration camps. Thus during the war, the concentration camp commandants and administrators took over as leaders of Alderney.[3]

When the Channel Islands were liberated, the Judge of Alderney regained leadership of Alderney. However, by 1947 less than 50% of Alderney's population had returned to the island. This led to the Parliament of the United Kingdom discussing what to do with Alderney as land ownership markers and official papers had been destroyed in the war and Alderney's economy was stagnating as a result of more than half of the islanders not returning. The United Kingdom's Home Secretary, Chuter Ede recommended "Guernseyfication" of Alderney. In 1948 His Majesty's Privy Council decided that Alderney would become a part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey. Later in the year, both the States of Alderney and the States of Guernsey voted through the Alderney (Application of Legislation) Law, which made Alderney a part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey and removed its sovereignty from 1949.[9] The law also provided for a democratically elected President of the States of Alderney to be the Leader of Alderney as the Judge of Alderney had been superseded as the representative of the Crown on Alderney by the Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey.[10]

List of Leaders of Alderney[edit]

Ruler Reigns of rulers
Lords of Alderney
William L'Ingenieur 1182 – c.1222
Peter L'Ingenieur and Mayn L'Ingenieur c.1222–1238
Vacant 1238 - 1546
Raoul Eudes (Guardian) 1290–af.1302
Thomas Porteman 1376–79
Robert de Turberville 1546–15..
Lieutenant governors
George Chamberlaine, Baron of Guernsey 1559–84
John Chamberlain of Longcombe, Baron Oxfordshire 29 May 1584 – 30 September 1585
Vacant 30 September 1585 – 26 March 1590
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex 26 March 1590 – 25 February 1601
Vacant 25 February 1601 – 1604
Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex 1604–07
William Chamberlain I 1607–08
John Chamberlain I 1608
William Chamberlain II 1608 – c.November 1615
John Chamberlain II 161. – c. March 1618
Chamberlain 16..–163.
Mary Colles (f) 163.–16..
John Colles 3 March 1639 – 27 October 1639
William Colles 27 October 1639 – 1642
Colles (f) 1642–164.
Peter Le Febvre, surier de L'Epine(pretender) 3 November 1643 – 164.
Peter de Beauvoir de Bosq 25 March 1646 – 1648
Benjamin Lemprière 11 March 1648 – 1651
George Mishaw (or Michau)(1st time) June 1651 - 1651
John Ring (or King?) 1651–54
George Mishaw (2nd time) 23 June 1654 – 165.
Sir William Essex 165.–1658
Nicholas Ling 21 May 1658 – 1659
William Andros 13 July 1659 – 1660
Edward de Carteret 29 August 1660 – 1660
Sir George Carteret 1660 – 14 January 1679
Nicholas Ling (acting for Carteret) 16 August 1661 – 6 January 1679
George Mishaw (acting for Carteret) 6 January 1679 – 14 January 1680
Elizabeth de Carteret 14 January 1680 – 1682
Edward Le Breton (1st time) (acting [for de Haynes to 1682]) 1682 – 29 August 1683
Sir Edmund Andros 29 August 1683 – 24 February 1714
Edward Le Breton (2nd time)(acting for Andros) 29 August 1683 – 3 March 1684
Thomas Le Mesurier (1st time)(acting for Andros) 31 March 1684 – 1 September 1690
Thomas Le Marchant(acting for Andros) 1 September 1690 – 1 September 1696
Charles Le Marchant (acting for Andros) 1 September 1696 – 21 July 1703
Thomas Le Mesurier (2nd time)(acting for Andros) 21 July 1703 – 1714
George Andros 1714
Thomas Le Mesurier (acting)(3rd time) 1713 – 22 July 1714
John Le Mesurier I (acting)(1st time) 22 July 1714 – 1714
Ann Andros February 1714 – 1721
John Le Mesurier I (2nd time) (acting [for Andros to 1721]) 1714–22
Anne Le Mesurier 1722–29
Nicholas Reserson (acting for Ann Le Mesurier; not recognized by Le Cocq) 17 February 1728 – 1729
Thomas Le Cocq (1st time) (in opposition) 26 March 1726 – 1730
Henry Le Mesurier 6 February 1730 – 1744
Thomas Le Cocq (2nd time) (in opposition) 20 February 1730 – 21 December 1738
John Le Mesurier II 1744 – 12 March 1793
John Le Cocq (acting for Le Mesurier) 2 November 1745 – 1763
Peter Le Mesurier (3 December 1770 - 16 March 1793 acting for John Le Mesurier) 16 March 1793 – 9 January 1803
John Le Mesurier III 21 January 1803 – 13 April 1825
Pierre Gauvin 1 August 1807 – 2 April 1836
Jean Gauvain (acting) 2 April 1836 – 11 April 1836
Thomas Le Cocq (acting) 11 April 1836 – 28 April 1836
Nicholas Barbenson (1st time)(acting) 28 April 1836 – 26 November 1836
Jean Gaudion 26 November 1836 – 21 September 1856
Nicholas Barbenson (2nd time)(acting) 29 November 1836 – 15 December 1856
Thomas Clucas 15 December 1856 – 30 April 1876
Jean Pezet (acting) 1 May 1876 – 9 October 1876
Thomas Nicholas Barbenson 9 October 1876 – October 1892
Peter Herivel (acting) October 1892 – 17 December 1892
John A. Le Cocq 17 December 1892 – May 1897
Nicholas Peter Barbenson 5 June 1897 – 1912
Robert Walter Mellish 12 April 1913 – 15 March 1938
A.C. Tourgis (acting) March 1938 – 16 July 1938
Frederick G. French 16 July 1938 – November 1947
Sonderführer von Alderney
Schmidt 2 July 1940 – 1941
Heinz Herzog 1941–4?
Wilhelm Richter 194? – 16 May 1945
Daniel Le Cocq (acting) November 1947 – 15 December 1947
Sir Frank Henry Cafande Wiltshire 15 December 1947 – 31 December 1948
Presidents of Alderney
Sydney Peck Herivel 1 January 1949 – August 1970
George William Baron (1st time) 1970–77
Jon Kay-Mouat (1st time) 1977–94
George William Baron (2nd time) 1994–97
Jon Kay-Mouat (2nd time) 1997 – 19 January 2002
Sir Norman Browse 19 January 2002 – 13 June 2011
Stuart Trought 13 June 2011 – present


  1. ^ "Stuart Trought unopposed for Alderney president". BBC News. 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2014-02-17. 
  2. ^ "Alderney presidential role attracts three nominees". BBC News. 2011-06-01. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  3. ^ a b c Ben Cahoon. "Alderney". Worldstatesmen.org. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  4. ^ a b "Alderney History". Island Life. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  5. ^ a b "Brief History". Island Life. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  6. ^  "Le Mesurier, John". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 
  7. ^ "The Project Gutenberg eBook of A Memoir of Sir Edmund Andros, Knt., by William Henry Whitmore". Project Gutenberg. 2011-10-17. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  8. ^ "Indictable Offences Act Amendment Act 1868". Legislation. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  9. ^ "States of Alderney Historical Review". Guernsey Royal Court. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  10. ^ "How does the 1948 agreement join Guernsey and Alderney?". BBC News. 2010-08-20. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 

External references[edit]

Leaders of Alderney