Return to my Societe Pages index

Return to the Grouville Church index

Pierre Falaise against the Bailiff.


The main source for this section is Balleine's Biographical dictionary

(Note : prior to this section, a congregation has taken its place in the choir stalls, deressed in the costumes of the time)

Narrator 1

By the fourteenth century, the Church was doing rather well. It had become prosperous and respectable. It is around this time that the list of Grouville Rectors was begun with the name of Pierre Faleyse, Dean of Jersey and Rector of Grouville. He was a staunch upholder of the rights of the Church!

The Church had Its own Courts of Law, distinct from the Civil Courts. Pierre fearlessly defended these against the Civil Authorities - even against the Baillif.

Narrator 2

Pierre upheld the rights of the Church. But what good are rights without justice?

Narrator 1

Enough of this! Be quiet! Look - Pierre is just finishing the Church service.

(short song follows - plainsong, then enter Pierre at far end. He bows to altar and turns to face congregation. He intones the closing words (Latin) in a sing-sing voice, reading from his missal. He may be accompanied by an inscense holder)


Dominus vobiscum.


Et cum spiritu tuo.


Benedicat vos omnipotens Deus, Pater et Filius et Spiritus Sanctus.




Ita Missa est.


Deo gratias

(Pierre turns to altar, bows, then walks down to central area. There he greets congregation as they depart - until a farmer (by his dress) stops and gets down on his knees before Pierre. )


Father. I want Justice.


Now is neither the time nor the place for justice. Go about your business. You are only making trouble for yourself.


But I have been wronged. My tithes are greater than Farmer Labey's, and I have found that your verger is pocketing the difference. I am only a poor farmer, and I have been robbed of the little I have.


My good man, I remember when you brought this accusation to the Church courts. The verger was innocent. After all, both the subdeacon and myself vouched for his innocence. He is a good friend of mine, and would never be involved in crime.

Now be off with you, or I'll have you in prison for wicked gossip.


It's not what you know, but who you know - that's what counts.

(shrugs, leaves downcast)

(loud knocking noise, then enter soldiers who march down from back of Church with Justice)


Pierre Faleyse, Rector of Grouville, Proctor for the Bishop of Coutances. You have ignored the rights of his Majesty the King In the Courts, and have threatened his loyal servant, the Balliff, with imprisonment.

You are hereby sentenced to imprisonment. Take him away!

(the soldiers remove Pierre, who struggles violently; we hear yells and shouts)

Narrator 1

Pierre was rescued by six Rectors who broke into prison and set him free. He went into exile in France, but later returned, after paying a heavy fine. He was still Rector of Grouville in 1315, when he died.

And all this happened not long after the Spire and Tower of the Church had been built.

Narrator 2 (sorrowful)

Alas! The steeple pointed to higher things, but on the ground, injustice triumphed.