Alderney (Fr. Aurigny), the northernmost of the Channel islands, and the nearest to the French coast, separated from it by the race of Alderney (a strait which is very dangerous in stormy weather), about 7 m. W. of Cape La Hogue, the N. W. extremity of Normandy, and 24 m. W. N. W. of Cherbourg. It is about 4 m. long from N. E. to S. W. and 1 1/4 m. wide; area, 1,902 acres; pop. in 1871,2,718. There are picturesque cliffs on the S. E. coast, the highest of which is 281 ft. There are several bays, but none safe and capacious enough for large vessels; and the English government has recently erected a granite breakwater off the harbor of St. Anne at a cost of £1,250,000, which, however, has not proved so useful as was anticipated. A series of forts was constructed around the island at the same time; also a railroad along the N. E. coast. St. Anne, the chief town (commonly called the Town), is in a beautiful valley nearly in the centre of the island. The inhabitants principally live by fishing and agriculture. The Alderney cow is small and graceful in form, of dun or tawny color and remarkable for milking qualities. About 6 in. from Alderney to the west are the Caskets, a cluster of dangerous rocks, on which there are three lighthouses forming a triangle.
Upon these rocks Prince William, son of Henry ' I., with a retinue of above 140 young noble- i men, of the principal families of England and Normandy, perished in 1120; and in 1744 the | Victory, of 110 guns, with a crew of 1,100 men, was totally lost. - Together with the other Channel islands, Alderney formed a dependency of the Normans, and passed to the crown of England. It is itself a dependency of Guernsey. The civil power of Alderney is, under the peculiar constitution of the Channel islands, vested in a judge appointed by the crown and six jurats chosen by the people for life. These, with 12 douzainiers, also chosen by the people and the governor, form a legislature in which the douzainiers deliberate, but neither they nor the governor may vote. The jurats, with the J king's advocate and the greffier or registrar, constitute the court of justice, from which an appeal lies to the royal court at Guernsey, and in the last resort to the king in council. In criminal cases the court at Alderney is only a preliminary tribunal, the court at Guernsey having the final determination of the cause.