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A part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey in The Channel Islands, which are British Islands, but not part of the United Kingdom; they are dependencies of the British Crown, lacking full sovereignty. The Chief Pleas began as a meeting of tenants and residents called in 1579 but in January 1604/5, Chief Pleas limited the membership to those inhabitants who held property in their own right or by the right of their wife. Government is conducted by Chief Pleas and administered by committees. In 1922 12 elected deputies who did not own land were included, and women got suffrage. Unmarried daughters and widows who inherited a tenement have always been able to sit in the Chief of Pleas, but until 1974 female tenants' husbands took her place in the government (which consisted of 40 tenants, leaseholders of the farms, or tenements, into which Sark is divided, and 12 elected Deputies of the People). From 2009 all members of the Chief of Pleas are elected and the male primogeniture to the tenantcies were changed to ensure equal inheritance. The population of Sark is 600
Thanks to Jennifer Cochrane for additional information and corrections.
1447-49 Lady Anne de Beauchamp of the Isles
The Lorship inclueded Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, Brechou, Herm, Jethou and Sark. She was succeeded by Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick (1428-49-71), and lived (circa 1446-49)
1471-87 Lady Anne de Beauchamp of the Isles
She was also Countess of Warwick. The Lorship inclueded Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, Brechou, Herm, Jethou and Sark
1730-33 La Dame de Serq Susanne Le Pelley née Le Gros
She purchased the island from the former owner and was also President of the Chief of Pleas. She lived (1668-1733).
1752-57 Acting Seigneur Serq Elizabeth Le Lacheur
She acted for her husband, Pierre Le Pelley I (1692-1752-1778). She was daughter of Henry Le Lacheur and Marguerite Rouget, and mother of Hellier Le Pelley and Elizabeth Le Pelley. She was (b. circa 1702/04-).
1852-53 La Dame de Serq Marie Collings née Allaire
She was Tenant of Jethou 1846-42.
1927-74 La Dame de Serq, Dame Sibyl Mary Hathaway née Collings
Married Dudley Beaumont in 1901 and Robert Hathaway in 1929. Her first husband, Dudley Beaumont died in 1918 of influenza leaving her with five children and one unborn daughter. Her second husband, Robert Hathaway (1888-1954) became Seigneur in the right of his wife as the ancient custom was. In principle Sibyl would have had to retire, but she remained the active and driving force and the de-facto ruler. She remained on Sark during the German occupation while he was deported to Laufen, in Germany. Dame Sibyl was the President of and member of a number of committees of Chief Pleas. She outlived all but two children and was succeeded by her grandson Seigneur J. Michael Beaumont. She lived 1884-1974.
1946-68 Deputy Seigneur Jehanne Bell née Beaumont
The youngest of Dame Sibyl Hathaway's six children, Jehanne was appointed to act as her substitute during her absence in 1946. In 1947 she was elected Deputy of the People on Chief Pleas. She married in 1948. She retired from the post of Deputy Seigneur in 1968 due to ill health, but continued to take an interest in Sark's affairs, advising the present Seigneur when he succeeded on the death of La Dame in 1974, until her death. She lived (1919-88).
1946-2004 Tenant and Member of the Chief of Pleas Mdme Florida Perrée
She took a very active role in Chief Pleas. Her daughter, Mdme Isabel Perchard, inherited the tenement and the membership of the assembly. There have been several female tenants as members since.
1980-2000 President of the Public Health, Sea Fisheries and Pilotage Committees Beatrice Caroline Bell
1992-2014 Deputy Seigneur
Member of Chief Pleas as tenant of L'Ecluse on the death of her mother, Jehanne Bell. After she retired from the Chief Pleas 2002 she continued as Deputy Seigneur sitting in Chief Pleas in the absence of the Seigneur. She lived (1948-2014).
1999-2003 and 2004-05 Assistant Constable Wendy Kiernan
2005- Treasurer and Douzaine Secretary
2000-01 Vingtenier Jo Birch
Elected as a Deputy of the People on Chief Pleas in 2002. As Connêtable she was the senior law officer and in 2003 became one of the two women on The Douzaine - the committee that runs the day to day business of the island, looking after the roads, overseeing the collection of taxes and the paying of the Procureur, who is in charge of financial assistance for the older members of the community
2000-02 Deputy Procureur of the Poor Elsie Courtney
2002-04 Procureur of the Poor
The Procureur des Pauvres is in charge of the Social Service of the Island.
2002-03 Vingtenier Jan Guy
As Vingtenier she was the junior Connêtable.
2002-04 Deputy Procureur of the Poor Bertha Cole
2004-06 Procureur of the Poor
2002-03 and 2005- Douzenier Madame Diane Baker
2010- Chairperson of the Medizine Committeee
She is a tenant - a leaseholder of one of the ancient fiefs of the state and thereby automatically member of Chief Pleas.
2003-05 Douzenier Madame C. Hester
Tenant and Member of the Chief of Pleas.
Gail le Lievre
2005 Deputy Procureur of the Poor Linda Williams
2005-? Assistant Constable Fiona Hamon
2005-06 Deputy Procureur of the Poor Sarah La
2006-? Procureur of the Poor
2005-06 Assistant Constable Elizabeth Dewe
2006-circa 2009 Vingtenier Julie Mann
2006-? Deputy Procureur of the Poor Sheila Guille
2009-10 Chairperson of the Finance and Commerce Committee Ann Atkinson
2009-11 Vingtenier Joanne Godwin
2010- Chairperson of the Harbours and Pilotage Commitee Janet Guy
2010- Chairperson of the Emergency Services and SIPaC Committees Helen Plummer
Also Deputy Chair of the Sea Fisheries Committee
2012- Chairperson of the Education Committee Christine Audrain
Also Deputy Chair of the Tourism Committee
2012- Chairperson of the Tourism Committee Sandra Williams
Also Deputy Chairperson of the Development Control, Finance and Commerce and Shipping Committee
Last update 14.07.16