Lieutenant Governor of Jersey

Lieutenant Governor of Jersey

Coat of Arms of Jersey
Gen. Sir John McColl
Style His Excellency
Residence Government House
Appointer Monarchy of the United Kingdom
Term length Five years[1]
Formation 1502
First holder

Sir Hugh Vaughan

as Governor of Jersey
The Flag of the Lieutenant Governor of Jersey

The Lieutenant Governor of Jersey is the representative of the British monarch in the Bailiwick of Jersey, a Crown dependency of the British Crown.

The Lieutenant Governor has his own flag in Jersey, the Union Flag defaced with the Bailiwick's coat of arms. The Lieutenant Governor's official residence (Government House) in St. Saviour was depicted on the Jersey £50 note 1989–2010.


Liberation Day 2010: The Lieutenant Governor, having arrived in the Royal Square in his official car, greets the Bailiff of Jersey.

The duties are primarily diplomatic and ceremonial. The role of the Lieutenant Governor is to act as the de facto head of state in Jersey. The Lieutenant Governor also liaises between the Governments of Jersey and the United Kingdom. The holder of this office is also ex officio a member of the States of Jersey but may not vote and, by convention, speaks in the Chamber only on appointment and on departure from post.

The Lieutenant Governor exercises certain executive functions relating broadly to citizenship (passports, deportation and nationality). Jersey passports are British passports issued on behalf of the Lieutenant Governor, in the exercise of the royal prerogative, through the Passport Office which the States fund and from which the States retain any revenue generated. Deportation from Jersey is ordered by the Lieutenant Governor. Certificates of naturalisation as a British citizen are issued by the Lieutenant Governor.[2]


In this caricature of 1873, Bailiff of Jersey Jean Hammond greets newly arrived Lieutenant Governor Norcott

The office of Lieutenant Governor has its origins in the Norman administration of the Channel Islands. The functions of the bailiff and the official who was later to become known as Lieutenant Governor (called variously, Warden or Captain) became separate in the aftermath of the division of Normandy in 1204. However the respective responsibilities of the two officials were only clearly defined in the 17th century as a result of a power struggle between bailiff and governor. An Order in Council dated 18 February 1617 laid down that "the charge of military forces be wholly in the Governor, and the care of justice and civil affairs in the Bailiff"[3]

When the monarchy was restored, King Charles II who had escaped to Jersey on his way to exile in France rewarded Jersey with the power to levy customs duties. This power, exercised by the Assembly of Governor, Bailiff and Jurats, was finally taken over by the States of Jersey in 1921, thereby enabling the States to control the budget independently of the Lieutenant Governor.

The post of Governor of Jersey became a titular sinecure, and a Lieutenant Governor was appointed to actually carry out the functions of the office. William Beresford, 1st Viscount Beresford, was the last titular Governor of Jersey; since his death in 1856 the Crown has been formally and constitutionally represented in Jersey by the Lieutenant Governor.

The States of Jersey Law 2005 abolished any power of the Lieutenant Governor to veto a resolution of the States.[4]

In 2010 it was announced that the next Lieutenant Governor would be recommended to the Crown by a Jersey panel, thus replacing the previous system of the appointment being made by the Crown on the recommendation of UK ministers.[5][6]

List of Governors of Jersey

Governors have been:[7]

1204-1206 Peter de Preaux [8]:25
1470–1483 Richard Harliston (Captain in Chief of Jersey)
1486–1494 Matthew Baker
1494–1500 Thomas Overay
1500–1502 Jean Lempriere
1502–1531 Sir Hugh Vaughan (first to be known as Governor)
1532–1534 Sir Anthony Ughtred
1534–1536 Sir Arthur Darcy
1536–1537 Sir Thomas Vaux, Lord Vaux
1537–1550 Sir Edward Seymour
1550–1574 Sir Hugh Paulet
1547–1590 Sir Amyas Paulet
1590–1600 Anthony Paulet
1600–1603 Sir Walter Raleigh
1603–1630 Sir John Peyton
1631–1643 Sir Thomas Jermyn
1644–1651 Sir Henry Jermyn, 1st Earl of St Albans
1651–1654 Colonel James Heane
1655–1659 Colonel Robert Gibbon
1659–1660 Colonel John Mason
1660 Colonel Carew Raleigh
1660–1665 Sir Henry Jermyn, 1st Earl of St Albans
1665–1679 Sir Thomas Morgan, 1st Baronet
1679–1684 Sir John Lanier
1684–1704 The Lord Jermyn
1704–1722 General Henry Lumley
1723–1749 Richard Temple, 1st Viscount Cobham
1749–1761 Lieutenant General John Huske
1761–1772 George Keppel, 3rd Earl of Albemarle
1772–1795 Field Marshal Henry Seymour Conway
1795–1796 Field Marshal Sir George Howard
1796–1807 The Marquess of Townshend
1807–1820 The Earl of Chatham
1820–1854 The Lord Beresford (Last Governor)

List of Lieutenant Governors of Jersey

Lieutenant Governors of Jersey have been:[7]

  1634 Sir Philippe de Carteret (Royalist)
 26 August 1643 Major Lydcott (Parliament)
  24 November 1643Sir George Carteret (Royalist)
 1703Col. Thomas Collier[9]
 29 July 1715Robert Wilson[10]
 1723Magnus Kempenfelt [11]
 23 October 1727Col. George Howard[12]
 1732Peter Bettesworth[11]
 1738Maj-Gen. Jean Cavalier
 1741Francis Best[11]
 1747Gregory Beake[11]
 12 August 1749William Deane[13]
 26 June 1753George Colingwood[14]
Lieutenant Governor and Colonel on Staff:07 Jul 1770 Lt-Col. Rudolph Bentinck (acting)
 4 April 1771 Major Moses Corbet
 6 January 1781 Major Francis Peirson
 5 October 1797 Lt-Gen. Andrew Gordon
 21 June 1806 Gen. Sir George Don, GCB, GCH[15]
 8 October 1814 Gen. Sir Tomkyns Hilgrove Turner, GCH
 9 May 1816 Lt-Gen. Hugh Mackay Gordon
 23 July 1821 Gen. Sir Colin Halkett, GCB, GCH, GCTE
 26 November 1830 Lt-Gen. Sir William Thornton, KCB
 22 April 1835 Maj-Gen. Archibald Campbell, CB
 14 September 1838 Lt-Gen. Sir Edward Gibbs, KCB
 16 January 1847 Maj-Gen. Sir James Henry Reynett, KCB, KCH
 30 April 1852 Gen. Sir James Frederick Love, GCB, KH
 30 January 1857 Maj-Gen. Godfrey Charles Mundy
 18 September 1860 Maj-Gen. Sir Robert Percy Douglas
 5 October 1862 B. Loch (acting)
 23 October 1863 Lt-Gen. Sir Burke Douglas Cuppage, KCB
 1 October 1868 Maj-Gen. Philip Melmoth Nelson Guy, CB
 1 October 1873 Lt-Gen. Sir William Sherbrooke Ramsay Norcott, KCB
 1 October 1878 Lt-Gen. Lothian Nicholson, CB
 1 October 1883 Maj-Gen. Henry Wray, CMG
 1 November 1887 Lt-Gen. Charles Brisbane Ewart, CB
Lieutenant Governor and Commanding the Troops: 1 November 1892 Lt-Gen. Sir Edwin Markham, KCB
 10 May 1895 Lt-Gen. Sir Edward Hopton, KCB
 1 November 1900 Maj-Gen. Henry Richard Abadie, CB
 1904 Maj-Gen. Hugh Sutlej Gough, CB, CMG
 16 June 1910 Maj-Gen. Sir Alexander Nelson Rochfort, KCB, CMG
 7 October 1916 Maj-Gen. Sir Alexander Wilson, KCB
 29 October 1920 Maj-Gen. Sir William Douglas Smith, KCB, KCVO
 1924 Maj-Gen. Sir Francis Richard Bingham, KCB, KCMG, JP
 28 May 1929 Maj-Gen. Edward Henry Willis, CB, CMG
 28 May 1934 Maj-Gen. Sir Horace de Courcy Martelli, KBE, CB, DSO
 1939 Maj-Gen. James Murray Robert Harrison, CB DSO
(German Occupation 1940–1945)    
Head of the British Military Government:12 May 1945 L.A. Freeman
Lieutenant Governor and Commander-in-Chief:25 August 1945 Lt-Gen. Sir Arthur Edward Grassett, KBE, CB, DSO, MC
 16 October 1953 Adm. Sir Randolph Stewart Gresham Nicholson, KBE, CB, DSO, DSC
 15 November 1958 Gen. Sir George Erskine, GCB, KBE, DSO
 15 January 1964 Vice-Adm. Sir John Michael Villiers, KCB, OBE
 30 June 1969 Air Chf Mshl Sir John Gilbert Davis, GCB, OBE, MA
 2 September 1974 Gen. Sir Geoffrey Richard Desmond Fitzpatrick, GCB, DSO, MBE, MC
 26 November 1979 Gen. Sir Peter John Frederick Whiteley, GCB, OBE
 9 January 1985 Adm. Sir William Thomas Pillar, GBE, KCB
 1990 Air Mshl Sir John Matthias Dobson Sutton, KCB
 September 1995 Gen. Sir Michael John Wilkes, KCB, OBE
 24 January 2001 Air Chf Mshl Sir John Cheshire, KBE, CB
 1 April 2006 Lt-Gen Sir Andrew Ridgway, KBE, CB
 26 September 2011 Gen. Sir John McColl, KCB, CBE, DSO


  2. Second Interim Report of the Constitution Review Group
  3. The Cry For Constitutional Reform: A Perspective From The Office Of Bailiff, Philip Bailhache, 1999
  4. Laws in Force, Revised Edition, 1 January 2010
  5. The tax from reward for being a Royal Representative
  6. Guernsey will chose its next Governor
  7. 1 2 World Leaders Index
  8. Syvret, Marguerite (2011). Balleine’s History of Jersey. The History Press. ISBN 978-1860776502.
  9. Bertrand, J (1859) Armorial of Jersey : being an account, heraldic and antiquarian, of its chief native families, with pedigrees, biographical notices, and illustrative data; to which are added, a brief history of heraldry, and remarks on the mediæval antiquities of the island. Boston Public Library. p. 19
  10. The London Gazette: no. 5350. p. 5. 26 July 1715.
  11. 1 2 3 4
  12. The London Gazette: no. 6617. p. 1.a. 21 October 1727.
  13. The London Gazette: no. 8874. p. 1. 8 August 1749.
  14. The London Gazette: no. 9279. p. 2. 23 June 1753.
  15. The London Gazette: no. 15912. p. 512. 22 April 1806.

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