18 Sep A “coup d’État” in Jersey?
In late 1855, thirty-nine European refugees were summarily expelled from the island of Jersey, a crown dependency of the United Kingdom. The only explicitly political deportations of foreign nationals from the British Isles in the Victorian era, these expulsions garnered much attention, partly because Victor Hugo numbered amongst the expelled. Though widely denounced as violations of Britain’s constitutional liberties, the expulsions were strikingly modest in their scope and sustainable only under a very particular set of political circumstances. Rescinded after four years, the Jersey expulsions did not represent the end of asylum rights in Britain so much as their resilience.