Seigneur of Sark

Seigneur of Sark
Coat of arms of Sark.svg
Coat of arms of Sark
Flag of Sark.svg
Christopher Beaumont
since 3 July 2016
ResidenceLa Seigneurie (traditional)
Inaugural holderHellier de Carteret

The Seigneur of Sark is the head of Sark in the Channel Islands. "Seigneur" is the French word for "lord", and a female head of Sark is called Dame of Sark, of which there have been three. The husband of a female ruler of Sark is not a consort but is jure uxoris ("by right of (his) wife"[1]) a seigneur himself.[2]


The Seigneur's office is hereditary, but with permission of the Crown, it may be mortgaged or sold, as happened in 1849 when Pierre Carey le Pelley sold the fief to Marie Collings for £6,000.[3]

The Seigneur was, before the constitutional reforms of 2008, the head of the feudal government of Sark, with the British monarch being the feudal overlord. The Seigneur had a suspensive veto power and the right to appoint most of the island's officers. Many of the laws, particularly those related to inheritance and the rule of the Seigneur, had changed little since Queen Elizabeth I, by Letters Patent, granted a fiefdom to Hellier de Carteret in 1565.[4][5]

The residents of Sark voted to introduce a fully elected legislature to replace the feudal government in a 2006 referendum,[6] and the law change was approved on 9 April 2008.[7] The first democratic election was held on 10 December 2008.[8] The changes in the political system mostly apply to the parliament, the Chief Pleas, not to the Seigneur.[citation needed]

Many seigneurs are buried at St. Peter's Anglican Church, Sark.[citation needed]

Seigneurs of Sark

  1. Hellier de Carteret (1563–1578)
  2. Philippe de Carteret I (1578–1594)
  3. Philippe de Carteret II (1594–1643)
  4. Philippe de Carteret III (1643–1663)
  5. Philippe de Carteret IV (1663–1693)
  6. Charles de Carteret (1693–1715)
  7. John Carteret (1715–1720)
  8. John Johnson (1720–1723)
  9. James Milner (1723–1730)
  10. Susanne le Pelley (1730–1733)
  11. Nicolas le Pelley (1733–1742)
  12. Daniel le Pelley (1742–1752)
  13. Pierre le Pelley I (1752–1778)
  14. Pierre le Pelley II (1778–1820)
  15. Pierre le Pelley III (1820–1839)
  16. Ernest le Pelley (1839–1849)
  17. Pierre Carey le Pelley (1849–1852)
  18. Marie Collings (1852–1853)
  19. William Thomas Collings (1853–1882)
  20. William Frederick Collings (1882–1927)
  21. Sibyl Hathaway (1927–1974)[9]
    Robert Hathaway (1929–1954)
  22. Michael Beaumont (1974–2016)
  23. Christopher Beaumont (2016–present)

The heir apparent to the seigneurship is the present seigneur's son, Hugh Rees-Beaumont.



  1. ^ Black, HC (1968), Law Dictionary (4th ed.), citing Blackstone, Commentaries, vol. 3, p. 210
  2. ^ Collings Hathaway, Sibyl (1975). Dame of Sark, an autobiography. Heinemann.
  3. ^ Marr, James (1984). Guernsey people. Phillimore. ISBN 0850335299.
  4. ^ "Sark marks 450 years of Royal Charter". BBC News. BBC. 6 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Jersey Post celebrates the island of Sark". SEPAC. 16 July 2015. On 6 August 1565, Helier De Carteret, the Seigneur of the parish of St Ouen in Jersey, was granted the Isle of Sark by Queen Elizabeth I. Sark was thereby made an inheritable fief, which Helier held from the Crown of England on certain conditions: he had to maintain at least forty men to defend the Island from pirates, do homage to the sovereign and pay an annual 1/20th part of a knight's fee.
  6. ^ de Bruxelles, Simon (5 October 2006). "After four centuries, Sark gives power to the people". Times Online. London. Retrieved 20 August 2007.
  7. ^ Hughes, Mark (10 April 2008). "After 450 years, Sark turns back on feudal law". The Independent. London. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  8. ^ "European feudalism finally ends as Sark heads for democracy". The Independent. 11 December 2008. Retrieved 11 December 2008.
  9. ^ "Death of a Dame". Time. 29 July 1974. Archived from the original on 15 December 2008. Retrieved 11 December 2008. 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.
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