Oct 5, 2006

The end of feudalism

Sark becomes a democracy.
The biggest change for Sark’s 610 residents is likely to be the abolition of the feudal position of the Seigneur, who was the Sovereign’s sole representative on the island. The most famous of the seigneurs was Sybil Hathaway, known as the Dame of Sark, who refused to leave when the Nazis occupied the island during the Second World War and prevailed upon the other 471 islanders to stay.

Michael Beaumont took the title in 1974 and will remain the Seigneur until the new Government is elected. His rights include being the only person on the island allowed to keep pigeons and unspayed bitches, and ownership of anything washed up between the high and low tide lines. The Seigneur is also entitled to a cut of the sale price of any property changing hands on the island.

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