Dame Sibyl Mary Hathaway, DBE (13 January 1884 – 14 July 1974) was the 21st Seigneur of Sark (her title was Dame of Sark or Dame de Sercq) from 1927 to 1974. Formally, she shared her possessions and privileges (including the government) with her husband, Robert Hathaway, from their marriage in 1929 until his death in 1954. Her rule was further constricted during the German occupation (1940-45).
In 1901 she married her first husband, Dudley John Beaumont. The couple had seven children: Bridget Amice Beaumont (1902–1948); Francis William Lionel Beaumont (1903–1941) (father of John Michael Beaumont, 22nd Seigneur of Sark); Cyril John Astley Beaumont (1905–1973); Basil Ian Beaumont (1908–1909); Douce Alianore Daphne Beaumont (1910–1967); Richard Vyvyan Dudley Beaumont (b. 1915); Jehanne Rosemary Ernestine Beaumont (b. 1919). Hathaway wrote extensively about her relationship with Beaumont in her 1961 autobiography. Beaumont served in the British army as an officer during World War I and died in 1918 during the Spanish flu pandemic. In 1929 she married Robert Hathaway, an American, and he served as seigneur jointly with his wife; he died in 1954.
Her tenure as Seigneur was interrupted by the German occupation of the Channel Islands in World War II from 3 July 1940 until 8 May 1945. Hathaway did not evacuate during the German occupation, and prevailed upon a vast majority of inhabitants to remain on the island as well. She was much respected by the islanders as well as the Germans, whose language she spoke perfectly, for the leadership she gave during this period, and the British Home Secretary observed that she remained 'almost wholly mistress of the situation' throughout the occupation. For the week of 10-17 May 1945, following liberation, she was left in command of the German garrison on her island.
- She was named Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1965.
- Her autobiography, Dame of Sark, was published in 1961,
- She is the subject of the play The Dame of Sark, written by William Douglas-Home, which was based on the experience of the German occupation.
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- "CHANNEL-ISLANDS-L Archives". Rootsweb. 1997. Retrieved 5 June 2009.
- "Dudley John Beaumont". Clan Moffat Genealogy. 2003. Retrieved 5 June 2009.
- Hathaway, Sibyl (1962). Dame of Sark: An Autobiography. 2nd printing. New York: Coward-McCann, Inc.
- Hathaway, Sibyl (1962). Dame of Sark: An Autobiography. 2nd printing. New York: Coward-McCann, Inc. p. 59.
- Cruickshank, Charles (1975). The German Occupation of the Channel Islands.
- "Death of a Dame". Time (magazine). 29 July 1974. "Nearly all 560 subjects of the medieval fiefdom of Sark gathered last week around a gnarled oak tree in their parish churchyard to mourn Dame Sibyl Mary Collings Beaumont Hathaway, 21st Seigneur of Sark."
William Frederick Collings
|Dame of Sark
with Robert Hathaway (1929–1954)
John Michael Beaumont