The English Civil War pitted fathers against sons,
brothers against brothers in the bitter conflict between King and Parliament that
divided the country. The enmity spread far beyond the borders of England. Although
routinely referred to as the English Civil War, its effects were felt in
Scotland, Ireland and England’s overseas colonies.
the Channel Islands would succumb to intrigue and division. Jersey, the largest
of the islands, remained
in the hands of the Royalists under George de Carteret. It became a place
of refuge for the future Charles II, as recounted
in an inscription: “he has been twice received in safety when he was
excluded from the remainder of his dominions ... during the fury of the civil
The fortress and town would exchange
intermittent cannon and musket fire for the best part of a decade, riddling
both the castle and waterfront with shot and damaging many buildings. Castle Cornet
survived amidst its hostile hinterland by receiving supplies from neighbouring,
and Royalist, Jersey. By the end of the Civil War, the castle would be the last
point of Royalist resistance in the British Isles, finally succumbing to
Parliamentary forces on 17 December 1551 (Jersey’s Elizabeth Castle
surrendered on 12 December 1551).
rewarded for its loyalty on the Restoration, with Charles II presenting
a sumptuous Royal Mace to the Bailiff of Jersey on 28 November 1663.
Guernsey was left to
implore Charles II for his “gracious pardon” for having “quitted their
dutys to obedience to their native Soverain”. Clemency was granted on 13 August 1660.