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Private Feudal Court of The High Lord of Blondel -

The chief pleas of the Seignorial court of Fief Thomas Blondel were held annually at the mounting block or steps (perron) of the Church of St. Pierre-du-Bois. Today, St Peter's Church, known officially as Saint Pierre du Bois is a parish in Guernsey.  It is the centre for the Guernsey Western Parishes which includes Torteval, St Saviour's and the Forest. The old Guernesiais nickname for people from Saint Pierre was etcherbaots which means beetles. Wikipedia

As Fief Blondel is one of the Last Feudal Private Fiefs in the World, The Lord and Officers may conduct court at anytime and anywhere in the world in ceremony.

The Fief of Thomas Blondel in the parishes of Torteval and St. Peter in the Wood is an authentic Norman title. The Seignuers (Free Lords) of Blondel existed before formal Baron titles were created.  Fief Blondel is part of the former large Fief of Canelly, once held by William de Chesney (1284) and before him by the Le Canellys until the separation of Guernsey from Normandy in 1204.

Feudal Courts still meet to this day as reported by the BBC: 


Court members
Usually the courts have at least the following members (name in French as usual at the time, followed by the English equivalent)
-Senechal (Steward). Is the President of the Court. Usually once it has been designated by the Seigneur it is for life unless renounced.
-First Lieutenant-Senechal. The first nominated vavasseur (jury) may act as lieutenant-senechal. Usually once is been designated by the Seigneur it is for life unless renounced.
-Vavasseurs (jury). A minimum of two. They may be removed by the Seigneur but only under special circumstances.
-Prevot (Sheriff). It is designated for one year (Pour l’annee) but may be renewed.

Court officers
(t hey are allowed to speak but not to vote)
-Greffier (Clerk). It is the secretary (normally a lawyer). May be removed by the Seigneur but there is no tradition to change except on very rare occasions
-Sergent (sergeant). May be removed by the Seigneur but there is no tradition to change except on very rare occasions.


Procedure for the celebration of the Court meeting  

Entrance : Members, officers and public come and sit. The Seigneur may assist or not.
Beginning : The Sergeant calls to order and says “ La Cour ”. All stand up .
La oraison dominicale : The Greffier start the prayer “ ( Lords prayer ) ”. Then all sit.
Evocation (La Role) : Listing Roll. The Greffier call of persons present.
Ratification des actes : Ratification.
Plaids de cour (pleas) : New actions are presented in writing by the Seigneur or by any member of the public by demand. They are given to the Greffier and read by the Senechal .
Rapport du Seigneur (optional) . It is read by the Senechal . ( The Seigneur never address the Court directly except with permission of the Court. )
Questions (asked by the Senechal )
Final prayer : The Greffier start “ La Grace ” and all stand up.
The seneschal adjourns the Court . >  

Establishment of Court Agenda:  

Usually the draft of the agenda ( ordre-du-jour ) is established by the Seigneur with the knowledge of the Senechal . The Greffier prepares the final document and it is sent to the Seignerur . Even the Royal Court calls by mail. The document is usually not signed.  

Appointment and Oath of the Court members:  

If there has been no court for years, the Seigneur designated new seneschal should take the oath at the Royal Court.  


For that reason the Seigneur must address the Royal Court (with the assistance of a lawyer) for that purpose. 

If there is a court, the new members are among the public. The
Seigneur has previously informed verbally to the Senechal the name and post of the new member. Also the Seigneur has written an “action document”, as any other action demanded by the Seigneur to the court. This document is given to the Greffier .  


The Greffier reads the “action document” and the Senechal asks the Court if there is any objection. If the vote is favorable, then he calls the new member and reads the oath to him. Afterwards the new member takes his place.  



Officers of a Fief - Here is the Example of The Fief de Blanchelande below:

The court of Fief de Blanchelande consists of senechal (or steward), four vavasseurs (jurats or vassals) and officers who include the greffier and his deputy (court clerks), a prevot (sheriff), a sergent (sergeant to serve summonses) and a grenetier (grain store-keeper) The court always met at least three times a year at Chief Pleas after Michaelmas, Christmas and Easter, although since the German Occupation this has reduced to the one Chief Pleas after Michaelmas. However, this sitting has continued the long tradition of having a court lunch immediately afterwards, at La Barbarie Hotel.