2nd February 1900

The States considers allowing English debates

Although Jersey was united with Britain in 1066, when William came to the throne, and it chose not to revert to France when it had the chance in 1204, it took until 1900 for the States to consider whether debates could  be conducted in English. This is perhaps not surprising: all legal matters were conducted in French, and one of the stated aims of the Société Jersiaise upon its formation was to champion the use of French in all official matters. It would vote on the matter later in the month.

French still has a ceremonial use in the States, which is a member of the Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophonie (Parliamentary Assembly of the French-speaking world). It became an associate of the Assemblée in 1971 and a full member nine years later. 

Jersey still had a French language newspaper until Les Chroniques de Jersey published its final edition in late 1959, and several Jersey French words have been retained in daily use – in particular greffe, greffier, vraic, branchage and seigneur.


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