Jersey lies about fifteen miles west of the coast of France, or the Cape of La Hague, and eighty four miles south of Portland, in Dorsetshire.
It is about twelve miles in length, and not above six broad, containing about thirty-six square miles. The number of its inhabitants are twenty thousand, having a division of twelve parishes, with only eight churches. The chief towns are St. Helier, and St. Aubin; the former of which contains about four hundred houses, and near two thousand inhabitants. The latter has a fort and harbour well defended. The Chateau de I'Islet, or Queen Elizabeth's Castle here, is reckoned the best fortifications belonging to Great Britain. French is the language of the pulpit and bar, and it is generally spoken both here and in the neighbouring islands.
It is finely watered, abounds with fish, fruit, and cattle; makes excellent cyder, has great variety of sea-fowl, the best of honey, fine wool, remarkably fine butter, but labours under a scarcity of corn and fuel, for the latter of which they substitute vraic. Here are manufactured a pecular kind of worsted stockings much esteemed; nor are they without mineral springs of a purgative quality. Its intercourse with France, supplies it with wines, brandy, etc. very easily, so that it has but little malt liquor. The partridges here are remarkable for having red feet, and among its fish is a remarkable sort called Ormer. They are governed by the Norman laws, the courts of judicature in England having no jurisdiction over any of these Islands.
- Grose's 'The Antiquities of England and Wales', 1777