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Guernsey will Issue Stamps on Sark’s 450th Anniversary

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42p stamp-In 565 Saint Magloire landed on Sark from Brittany with 62 monks to establish a Christian monastery. As well as miraculously curing the sick and rescuing a man from a giant conger eel’s jaws, his best-known role was as a dragon slayer. According to legend he subdued the beast with his shawl then led it to the cliff edge where the dragon fell to its death.

57p Stamp-Without permanent settlers the island became a haven for pirates and wreckers. In the 1530s the French writer, François Rabelais, described Sark as a place of ‘pirates, thieves, brigands, murderers and assassins.’

62p Stamp-Two hundred paroled French convicts landed under the command of Captain François Breuil in 1549, who with another 200 Frenchmen, built three forts on Sark. They were finally ousted four years later although there was another short-lived French occupation in the early 1560s.

68p Stamp-Helier de Carteret in Jersey was concerned about the island being used as a refuge for pirates or Frenchmen. He proposed to Queen Elizabeth I that he colonise Sark and secure it for the Crown. On 6 August 1565 the Letters Patent from the Queen were signed creating the Fiefdom of Sark and Helier was made its first Seigneur. The island was divided into forty plots of land each settled by a family, most of whom came from Jersey.

77p Stamp-In the 1830s silver and copper mining operations began on Little Sark, but when the venture failed it bankrupted Seigneur Pierre Le Pelley. In 1852 he sold the Fief of Sark to the Collings family and their descendants have held the title ever since. The stamp shows some of the ruined mine buildings that could be seen until recently.

Date of Release: 22nd July 2015

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