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28 October 2014
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You are in Jersey > My Island > Folklore > Cry of the Tombelenes
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Cry of the Tombelenes

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L'Islet rock - from which Jeanne was swept to her death
Once the east of Jersey was ruled by armed French gangs, but they were hated by the islanders.



One night, there was a party at a farmer's house in Trinity, to celebrate the engagement of Raulin (the farmer's son) and Jeanne.

Towards the end of the evening, a French gang arrived. There was an argument between Raulin and the leader of the gang, and as the Frenchmen left, they warned Raulin that he would be punished in the morning.

Later that night, Raulin walked Jeanne home, and she was so worried that she begged him to stay. But he wouldn't, so she sent her dog with him to keep him safe.

As Raulin walked home, he heard voices coming towards him, but he didn't have time to hide. It was the same French gang that had come to his father's house earlier. They seized Raulin, and although Jeanne's dog tried to defend Raulin, it was stabbed, and the gang rode off with Raulin.

Back at her house, Jeanne had been tossing and turning, unable to get to sleep. Suddenly she heard what sounded like scratching and whimpering at her front door - when she opened it, her dog rushed in. Seeing the blood on her dog, Jeanne knew something had happened to Raulin and ran out into the night.

She followed her dog to where the gang had ambushed Raulin, but there was no trace of them. But her dog picked up their trail, and set off towards the cliffs.

Eventually they reached a cave. Inside she could see the gang having a banquet, whilst Raulin stood with a noose around his neck. The leader of the gang stood up and gave a toast, then gave the signal for Raulin to be hanged.

But Jeanne ran into the cave, and stood between the gang and Raulin. She begged the gang to kill her too, but they laughed, and the leader said he would keep Jeanne as his wife.

As the gang moved towards the couple, Jeanne seized a dagger, and cut Raulin free. But the leader plunged his dagger into Raulin's heart, killing him. As Raulin fell to the floor, Jeanne's dog leapt at the leader and sank his teeth into his neck, killing him. Jeanne's dog was so wounded that he died too.

The gang ran towards Jeanne in a fury, and she fled the cave and ran along the beach. She climbed up L'Islet rock, and as the waves swept over her, she was dragged out to sea and drowned.

A week later, Jeanne's body was washed ashore, and as some fishermen carried her body along the beach, they saw ravens circling around a cave. Curious, they went in and found the bodies of Raulin and the gang's leader.

They took the body of Raulin and buried him and Jeanne together - but they left the gang leader's body for the ravens. Today it is said that Jeanne's screams can still be heard - the Cry of the Tombelenes.

You are in Jersey > My Island > Folklore > Cry of the Tombelenes

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