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24 September 2014
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You are in Jersey > My Island > Folklore > Spanish Ships
SEE ALSO
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Spanish Ships
THE SPANISH SHIPS
Corbiere
Was this where the Spanish sailors were lured to their death?

During the autumn of 1495 a great storm hit the west coast of Jersey. The islanders that lived on this part of the island were dishonest, and a storm meant only one thing - shipwrecks.

 

Once any ships had hit the rocks, the islanders rushed to steal treasure from the wreck.

On the third day of the storm, a band of men gathered on top of the cliffs at St. Ouen, and watched for ships. Eventually, they saw five great ships sailing towards the coast, in great distress.

But the men did not signal, as they could see that the ships were Spanish, and were probably full of treasure.

But there was a momentary lull in the storm, and the Spanish sailors saw the coast. Judging that it was too dangerous to land, they managed to steer the ships away from the coast.

The wreckers were furious - they rushed to the most hazardous part of the coast, and lit several fires, as if to guide the ships to safety. The Spanish saw the fires and headed towards them, believing it to be safe.

Too late they realised that they had been betrayed, and as they saw the wreckers dancing round the fires, the ships struck the rocks and broke up.

The fifth ship was the greatest of the fleet, and stayed afloat. On the deck of the ship were an old man and a young girl. The man called out to the wreckers to save his daughter, but the wreckers only laughed in reply.

At that moment a huge wave broke over the ship's deck, and washed the girl to her death. As the ship broke up, the old man called to the wreckers 'I offered you my blessing and my gold, but you answered with laughter. Now I give you my curse - within a year, you will meet me under the waters of this bay.'

One year later, the wreckers gathered for a celebration - they had survived the curse. But as they drank wine and feasted, the sky began to darken. Thunder cracked, and lightning lit up the sky.

The storm ripped up trees and the lightning struck deep caverns in the ground. The sea rushed against the land, washing over where the wreckers had been feasting.

The wreckers fled, but everywhere they turned their path was blocked. Finally, they scrambled up the highest point of land, but the sea rushed upon that too, and carried the wreckers to their deaths.


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