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is (probably for that reason) the more valuable manure. evident that, owing to the exceedingly wide space of rocky ground around all the islands and the infinite abundance of the weed, a large and profitable trade might be carried on in kelp and iodine. The work has been commenced at various times, and with some success, as respects the latter product. In Britany, the total annual production of kelp is as much as 24,000 tons, one manufactory only (that of Messrs. Fessier) yielding 5,000 tons. In all the British islands together, the present total manufacture is only 10,000 tons. As the value of kelp is as much as £4 per ton, and the raw material yields a large profit in the preparation, it is much to be regretted that anything should interfere with the development of so great a source of wealth to the Channel Islands. Professor Graham first directed attention to the weed around Guernsey as the richest known source of iodine; and the increasing demand for that substance for photographic purposes, renders the subject highly important. Mr. Adolphus Arnold commenced the manufacture in Guernsey in 1844-5, at a time when the price of iodine was very high. During the first three years he made and exported from 18 to 20,000 ounces per annum. quantity has been gradually, but very slowly, increasing, and now averages rather more than 20,000 ounces. Owing, however, to the want of proper arrangement between the farmers and the manufacturer, the quantity of weed required for the iodine has been hitherto abstracted from the supply for manure. This is quite unnecessary, and has tended to prevent a more rapid growth of the manufacture. Mr. Arnold has, however, been successful, and has received a medal from the jurors of his class in the International Exhibition (1862), in acknowledgment of his series of products obtained from the sea-weed.

Since then the

The quantity of weed required to manufacture a ton of kelp averages twenty tons. It is estimated that a mile of coast, under favourable conditions, will yield on an average 2,000 tons



of weed per annum; and as at least a hundred miles of such coast exists around the Channel Islands, the extent of their resources in this product is manifest. There is no danger of spoiling the market by an increased manufacture, as the demand is much greater than the supply. There is equally little danger of exhausting the natural supply.

A ton of kelp, however, in addition to the iodine and chlorides now obtained, will also yield by destructive distillation a large quantity (from four to ten gallons) of volatile oil, from four to fifteen gallons of paraffin oil, three or four gallons of naphtha, and from one and a-half to four hundred weight of sulphate of ammonia. None of these is obtained under the present system of treatment.

Vraicking in the Channel Islands is a custom that time has hallowed into an institution. The cutting takes place twice a year; once in February, beginning at the first new or full moon after the first of the month, and lasting five weeks; and again in June, beginning in the middle of the month, and lasting ten weeks, terminating absolutely on the 31st August. The first crop is wholly for manure, the second partly for burning as fuel. The vraic venant is allowed to all persons from sunrise to eight o'clock at night, all the year round. The summer cutting is limited for the first month to the poor, or people who have no cattle, who are not allowed to carry it by barrow to a cart, but must carry it above spring tide, to be carted thence.

The cutting of the vraic (vraic scié), is the occasion of a general holiday. The rocks having been examined the day before by the men, large parties grouped into sets of two or three families, resort to the most promising places, where the weed is thickest and longest, and cut it with a small kind of reaping hook, throwing it into heaps till the tide flows. It is then carried out of reach of the advancing tide as fast as possible. The evening, after the day's work, the parties meet at some neighbouring house of refreshment, where the lit de fouaille is

fitted up for the occasion, and lighted up. The evening closes with a dance.

The bringing in of the vraic venant is also a striking and pleasing sight. At sunrise, after a gale, when the tide is out, the carts are drawn up, and the men stationed along the shore, prepared to rake in all that can be got, each man provided with an immense rake, with a head two or three feet wide, and teeth a foot long, and the handle a young tree, from twelve to eighteen feet in length. The moment a signal is given, they begin to drag in the floating weed, and continue as long as the state of the tide allows.

Half the vraic of Guernsey is drifted in on the west coast, in the bays Rocquaine, Le Reé, Vazon, and Perelle. The total amount of weed collected in each year, all round the island, is probably not much under 30,000 loads, and as the value of each load, as taken on the beach, is estimated at about two shillings, the total value cannot at present be estimated at less than £3,000 for manure only. All the islands and rocks, except Sark, are exceedingly well supplied with this material.

The north western extremity of Jersey, and the islands and rocks in that part of the adjacent sea, are the chief sources of vraic in the larger island. Herm is rich in the various kinds of weed most valuable for manufacturing purposes. Herm or Jethou might be made use of with advantage for the manufacture of kelp, iodine, and other products obtainable from weed, without the accompanying nuisance being felt by any adjacent population.


A species of arum, introduced from Brazil, about ten years ago, by Mr. Martin, the brother of the sheriff of Guernsey, has been naturalized, and cultivated with some success in sheltered places in that island, for the manufacture of arrowroot. The quantity hitherto made has been consumed in the island, but it



appears to promise favourable results for cultivation and manufacture on a larger scale. It merely requires protection from high winds; and this may be obtained in various ways.

The digging of the crop, and the replanting, take place at the end of July, or the commencement of August, and may be carried on simultaneously, the smaller tubers being planted while the larger are put aside for manufacture. The planting is done in trenches, eighteen inches apart. Two years growth are required before the small tubers thus planted are fit for removal, and rich soil, well manured, is essential.

The produce is enormous; as much as 60 lbs. weight of arrowroot, worth 1s. per lb., having been made in one year from one and a-half perch of land, being a yield at the rate of nearly £200 per English acre. This is unusual, but the profit has always been large. The plant is subject to disease and decay, the mischief being much of the same kind as that which affects the cultivated arums of the garden.

The acrid principle present in this, as in other species of arum, is removed by evaporation, so that the dried plant is perfectly free from it; but the acrid juice is exceedingly unpleasant to those engaged in the manufacture. The fecula is obtained by the same method as that adopted to make potato starch.


The material thus named is derived from the fibre of the cyperus longus, manufactured like hemp. It is used instead of rope for many purposes, and is preferred to hemp, inasmuch as it does not readily harden, or become coated with slimy weed, when exposed to the action of salt water. Mats, footstools, saddles, horse collars, shackles for cattle, &c., are made from it, as well as boat-rope, and rope for various fishing purposes.

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THE Constitution of the Channel Islands has already been more than once referred to in the historical chapters of this volume; but it still remains to give a distinct account of so curious and interesting a subject, and also of the present state of the law in the islands, so far as it involves special peculiarities. To the present Bailiff of Guernsey the author is indebted, not only for many valuable hints and suggestions, but for pointing out

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