Jersey Reform Day rebellion 'should be marked'

A move to commemorate an 18th Century rebellion in Jersey has been lodged.

Deputy Trevor Pitman has asked the States of Jersey to approve a plan to officially mark Reform Day, which took place on 28 September 1769.

On that date, protests calling for a reform of government took place at the island's Royal Court which led to a separation of the States and the court.

If the proposal, to be discussed on 20 November, is agreed, the events of Reform Day will be taught in schools.

Deputy Pitman said he wanted the States to spend £3,000 examining records from the time, to help ascertain a better view of what took place on the day.

He said the event was an important part of Jersey's history and should be marked with a permanent memorial in the island.

'Dreadful poverty'

The events of 28 September 1769 were a "rising-up of ordinary, working people weary of the abuse of privilege" as people at the time were tired of "the moral bankruptcy of all too many of their 'betters'", he added.

A number of historians in Jersey have written about Reform Day as a precursor to democracy in the island.

In the documentation calling for the day to marked, historian Mike Dun described it as "a minor little skirmish in Jersey that history has largely forgotten".

He added: "The issues that caused Jersey people to rebel against their autocratic government and the dreadful poverty that many endured were remarkably similar [to issues in France and America], and the 'little event' was to prove just as important to the Islanders as the more famous rebellions were to the American and French peoples."

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