Guernsey Government House

Douzaines and Constables

The picture on the front page shows the twelve Douzeniers (the Douzaine) and two Constables who assembled in front of St Peter's Rectory for this photograph in 1870. At the time, they would have been confident of their status and influence having been elected by and from the heads of households who owned the larger farms in the parish and who were liable to pay parish rates. Through their representatives, the 'voice of the people' in the States of Deliberation, they were involved in the major political and fiscal reforms of the 19th century.

Over the next one hundred and forty years, the Douzaines, and the Parish Assemblies that they served, steadily relinquished control and responsibility to a States of Deliberation which was evolving into a modern democratic institution.

But the Douzaines still perform a number of important functions within the island, making several decisions relating to parish matters, which are then carried out by the two constables of the parish. An excellent summary of their function can be read here @TheStates

His Excellency understands their importance to the community and is visiting every Douzaine to see how they perform their duties and to thank them for their hard work, performed as volunteers, that helps keep the island wheels turning.