Brief History of the Society
On the 26th August 1833 a meeting was held in St. Helier, chaired by the Lieutenant-Governor of Jersey, Major General Thornton, to consider forming an agricultural society. At this meeting it was unanimously agreed “…to be highly desirable to form in this Island an Agricultural and Horticultural Society”.
Colonel Sir John Le Couteur was elected as the first Secretary and later served as President. He was a renowned agriculturalist, writing a number of books on the subject and breeding varieties of wheat at his home, Belle Vue in St Brelade. This was at a time during the 19th century, following the agricultural revolution in the United Kingdom, when many such societies were founded to communicate the latest improvements in agricultural practices to the farming community.
The Society is a private organisation founded in 1833 and incorporated by an Act of the States of Jersey in 1884. It has subscribing members and no beneficial owners. It is a not-for-profit organisation governed by a Council of elected members with General Committees that manage the affairs of the two departments; agriculture and horticulture.
The object for which the Society was established, as set out in the preamble to the 1884 Act, can be found here.
Throughout it long existence the RJAHS has shown itself to be a resilient organisation, prepared to adapt and move with the times. Especially so these last two decades. By remaining relevant and in tune with the attitudes and interests of Islanders it has carved an essential place for itself, a jewel in Jersey’s crown, enjoyed by thousands every year. But still, at the very centre of its being is the guiding principle to promote and celebrate the island’s rural traditions and natural bounty, not least the wonderful Jersey Cow.