Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Channel Islands

Channel Islands, The, a group of islands in the English Channel, lie off the north-west coast of France. They belong to Britain, being the only remnant of the Norman possessions once subject to the English crown. The principal ones are Alderney, Guernsey, Jersey, and Sark (q.v.). Though the inhabitants are British subjects, the official language is French. The prevailing industry is agriculture, the land being apportioned in small holdings, and the proprietors labouring upon it with their own hands. The climate is very agreeable, and so mild that vegetation is several weeks in advance of England. The cattle of these islands are famous, and are usually known by the name of Alderneys. The government is in the hands of bodies called "states," comprised of members appointed by the Crown and by the people. The islands are strongly fortified, and cover an area of 75 square miles.