500-year-old lordship goes under the hammer to raise thousands for charity

Sam has decided to auction off his family title as 'Seigneur of the Fief ès Poingdestre' to raise money for charity Credit: ITV Channel

A man from Jersey is auctioning off his family's ancient feudal title to raise money for the islands' Ukraine Appeal.

Sam Le Quesne is the 19th generation of his family to hold the title of 'Seigneur of the Fief ès Poingdestre', but has now decided to give up the title and do something to help others at the same time.

He said: "To me, in the 21st Century, my own personal values, that kind of unearned privilege, is not something I aspire to have anymore.

"I do however understand that it has a great value for others, so I've seen an opportunity to turn this into something more positive and provide help for a place like Ukraine that is in dire need."

Sam Le Quesne is the 19th Seigneur of the Fief ès Poingdestre in his family. Credit: ITV Channel

The origin of the Seigneur title came around 500 years ago when the then Duke of Normandy, gifted the title to a select few men at Mont Orgueil Castle.

In medieval times, the role was similar to 'Lord of the Manor' - with Signeurs owning 'fiefs' or large plots of land often with people already living in them. Their tenants would pay them rent, they ruled in their own mini courts and could even stage their own hangings.

The role of a Seigneur in present days is much different to when it was first introduced and is now considered a ceremonial title.

One of the notable traditions carried out by one of Jersey's Seigneurs is to present visiting Monarchs with a dead mallard.

Queen Elizabeth II was among the visiting royals to have been presented with the gift of two mallards.

Queen Elizabeth II presented two dead mallards by the Seigneur of Trinity on a 2001 visit Credit: PA Images

The island now has 12 main Seigneurs and Dames.

Sam is looking for the right person to pass the title on to - for the right price. He's auctioning the title off with bids starting at £25,000 for the Bailiff's Ukraine Appeal.

He told ITV News: "The type of person who could take on this title is someone who wants to make a contribution, whose interested in the long tradition of island life, the ceremonial privileges that are associated with it.

"But essentially someone who wants to inhabit that role."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...