Viking Feifs and Viking Barony
Rollo was a Viking leader and
invader who was created the first Duke of Normandy Rollo or Gaange Rolf; (Norman: Rou; Old Norse: Hrólfr;
French: Rollon; c. 846 – c. 930 AD) was a Viking who became the first ruler of Normandy, a major region
of France which includes the Channel Islands.
Rollo was initially the conquerer and Chief of all Normandy and Islands, but by
the so called treaty of St Clair-sur-Epte in 911, the Frankish king
was merely confirming ownership of the land around the mouth of the Seine between Rouen and Lisieux to
Rollow and his band of viking settlers in return for peace and an instant conversion to
Christianity. The leader of this band was called Hrolf Gangr, who went down in history under the more familiar
name of Rollo the Viking. As the land was already controlled by viking settlers and had been for at least 50
years Charles was not losing anything and was in fact gaining a "buffer state" across the mouth of the Seine,
he had in effect turned the "poachers into gamekeepers".
Christianity was established in Guernsey in the 3rd and 4th centuries and St
Sampson later established a church in the island. The Bretons moved to the island from between 600AD and 800AD.
In fact since around 933, when Rollo's son William Longsword added the islands to
the dukedom of Normandy, the inhabitants of these islands have been answerable only to the Duke of Normandy and his
Edward III of England granted a Charter in July 1341 to Jersey, Guernsey, Sark and
Alderney, confirming their customs and laws to secure allegiance to the English Crown. This Charter in 1341
solidifies the Fiefs and Seigneurs of Guernsey Jersey and Sark as existing land titles and titles of dignity
where Noble Fiefs and FreeHolding Seigneurs and Over Lordships would remain in perpetutity.
The traditional native language of Guernsey is Guernesiais (pronounced
‘JEHR-nehz-y-yay’), also known as Guernsey French or 'patois'. However, in the 11th Century Old Norse
was the most widely spoken language in Europe. The region was huge and consisted of all the Nordic countries,
settlements in Scotland, Ireland, England Wales, Isle of Man, Normandy, Vinland (America) and Volga (Russia) and
some places in-between. As a note, William the Conqueror understood the Norse language, and the names
Jersey , Guernsey , and Alderney are as truly Norse names as Orkney and Shetland. Norse was actually spoken in
parts of the Contentin in North Western France in places like Bayeaux. Norse was spoken and or affected many words
and traditions in feudal guernsey.
Nobility of the Norse
Aristocracy of Norway -
The Islands were part of the Duchy of Normandy and the Fiefs of the Channel
Islands were owned by the Lords Freeholders or Freiherren of that time before baronial titles
In the Channel Islands including Guersey, the Queen of England is still to this
day known informally as the "Duke of Normandy". The Channel Islands are the last part of the former
Duchy of Normandy to remain under rule of the British monarch. The UK monarchy relinquished claims
to continental Normandy and other French claims in 1259 (Treaty of Paris), the Channel Islands (except for Chausey
under French sovereignty) remain Crown dependencies of the British
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.
During 1940-1945, Guernsey was occupied by German forces and huge numbers of
defensive positions were built as part of Hitler's Atlantic Wall.
The Channel Islands legislatures refer to Elizabeth II in writing as "The
Queen in the right of Jersey" or "The Queen in the right of Guernsey"
respectively. However, the Queen is informally referred
to as "The Duke of Normandy", the title used by the islanders.
The Island is one of the last places on earth where feudalism exists. Fiefs
are still legally recognized by the state but with limited rights. Each Fief can be up to 570-800 years old
approximately. A fief owner is referred to in professional situations as a Seigneur or Dame. i.e. Free
Lord or Free Lady.
Many of these Guernsey fiefs are registered directly with the Crown
where a treizième or conge. Conge is part of the feudal past when a due (representing one thirteenth of
the property price) was charged on the property changing hands and was paid to the Seigneur of the fief upon which
the property sat. It remains due and payable to the Receiver General in respect of the conveyance of fiefs.
In the case of the Fief Blondel, the fee was paid by the Seigneur of Fief Blondel directly to the Crown of the
United Kingdom. There may be only a few legally recognized fiefs in the world left at thist time are are directly
allowed or registered with a Sovereign King or Queen. The style or title of Seigneur or Lord in the Channel
Islands has historically been a Feudal Lordship or Feudal Baronnie. The channel islands have been ruled by
Danes, Norwegians, Normans, Germans and so forth and the relevant title equivalent to a Seigneur would be a Frhr.
Friherre, Freiherr, LHerr Lehnsherr, or Baron depending on which country you investigate.
Rollo's Family Tree: