Michael Beaumont, 22nd Seigneur of Sark
Beaumont in July 2012
|Seigneur of Sark|
14 July 1974 – 3 July 2016
|Preceded by||Sibyl Hathaway|
|Succeeded by||Christopher Beaumont|
|Born||John Michael Beaumont
20 December 1927
|Died||3 July 2016
|Parents||Francis William Beaumont
During his rule, Beaumont saw the loss of many feudal rights enjoyed by the seigneurs, and was consequently often described as the "last feudal baron".
Beaumont was the son of the Royal Air Force officer and film producer Francis William Beaumont and his first wife Enid Ripley. His paternal grandmother, Sibyl Hathaway, ascended as the Dame of Sark six months before his birth. Francis and Enid divorced in 1937 as a result of his adultery with the actress Mary Lawson, whom he subsequently married.
In 1974, Beaumont's grandmother died and he succeeded her as Seigneur of Sark.
In 2008, Sark experienced a major change in the system of government. Beaumont remained the overlord of the island, but lost some of his feudal privileges. He did retain the privilege of being the only person on the island with the right to keep pigeons and an unspayed dog. The first democratic elections on the island took place in December 2008. Beaumont regretted the change and denied being a feudal lord. He did however, appreciate the fact that it allowed his island to stay independent from Guernsey.
Due to their poor health, the aging seigneur and his wife moved out of La Seigneurie, the traditional residence of the ruler of the island, to a more manageable cottage on their estate. In 2009 they agree to allow David Synnott and his wife to live in the Seigneurie for ten years—until the end of October 2019. The rent is paid through renovations, and Synnott said that the seigneur was "effectively making a large and generous donation to his successor who will benefit from the work".
Michael's heir, his son, Major Christopher Beaumont, lived and worked with his family in Britain and served as a member of the Territorial Army, In 2008 he told the Chief Pleas he intends to move back to Sark upon inheriting the fief.
In 2011, the seigneur declared that he would never consider selling his fief.
Her family announced that Diana, Michael's wife, died on December 1, 2016. She was eighty years old, when she died, less than five months after Michael's death.
- "Michael Beaumont: Seigneur of Sark dies aged 88". BBC News. 3 July 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
- Catalogue description for Document No. J 77/3752/4301. Divorce Court File: 4301. Appellant: Enid Corinne Beaumont. Respondent: Francis William Lionel C Beaumont. Type: Wife's petition for divorce [wd] 1937. The National Archives, Kew
- "News in Brief". The Times (48028). London. 23 June 1938. col C, p. 14.
- Levy, Geoffrey (19 April 2008). "The last feudal baron: New laws to bring the island of Sark into the 21st century". The Daily Mail.
- "History of La Seigneurie". 2012.
- "Death of a Dame". Time (magazine). 29 July 1974.
Nearly all 560 subjects of the medieval fiefdom of Sark gathered last week around a gnarled oak tree in their parish churchyard to mourn Dame Sibyl Mary Collings Beaumont Hathaway, 21st Seigneur of Sark.
- "Sark - Isle of Sark, Channel Islands". 19 June 2009.
- "Lost world: the last days of feudal Sark". The Independent. 2006-10-26. Retrieved 2008-02-22.
- "Grave affair. (Andre Gardes tries to take over Sark in the Channel Islands)" Archived 4 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine., The Economist, 1 September 1990. Online at Highbeam.com.
- Lost world: the last days of feudal Sark | This Britain | News | The Independent Archived 1 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
- Lauren Collins (2012-10-29). "Sark Spring: A feudal feud in the Channel Islands.". New Yorker magazine. Retrieved 2016-12-12.
One night, Susan and David Synnott, an expatriate couple near their sixties, invited me to dinner at the Seigneurie, where Beaumont has allowed them to live, free of charge for ten years, in exchange for undertaking renovations.
- "MINUTES of the MICHAELMAS MEETING of CHIEF PLEAS" (PDF). 1 October 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 April 2013.
- "Beaumonts' move raises question of protocol". 29 September 2009.
- "Island of Sark 'is not for sale', says Seigneur". BBC News. 1 March 2011.
- "Sark mourn loss of late Seigneur's wife". ITV News. 2016-12-01. Retrieved 2016-12-12.
Her family announced earlier today that she'd passed away peacefully at home after "a long and happy life".
|Seigneur of Sark