Night Revels and Werewolfery in Calvinist Guernsey Author(s): Darryl Ogier Source: Folklore, Vol. 109 (1998), pp.

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In 1563 Royal Commissioners found Guernsey "full of yowthe"2 and the control of these young people.the formerunder a mare's skin. and in Guernsey until 1662. each made up of twelve jurats (jury men and legislators) elected for life.1 These are in the Bay of Saint Malo. 6). A unique referenceto vouarouvarie [werewolfery]also describes a rowdy nocturnalactivity. 55 and 69-70). and enforcement by the secular and ecclesiastical powers alike. encouragers of young people in their misbehaviour. Although attached politically to the English Crown from the thirteenth century. one of the Channel Islands. In particular. Secular government was concentrated in the separate jurisdictions of the Royal Courts of Guernsey and Jersey.Guernsey'sCalvinistregime sought to controlthe rival culturalattractionsof night-time activities. Guernsey's church and civil powers functioned in many respects with the mutual support which the Channel Islands' Calvinist Disciplines of 1576 and 1597 prescribed (Lee. they retained the Norman customary law. This article deals with somewhat abstruse material from Guernsey. both natives and foreigners (often servants). Despite differences in emphasis. Taking their name from "wakes" or "vigils. as hosts and organisers of allegedly irreligious gatherings. The Vueille The authorities were deeply suspicious of all-night gatherings (cf. within sight of the Cotentin peninsula of Normandy. These included begging on St John's Eve and at New Year. Young people especially were perceived to be prey to its attractions. 3132. 201-2." these were working parties which met at various locations in order to share heat and light and sociability (MacCulloch 1903.enjoyed especially by the young. when examined alongside examples from the other ChannelIslands. Neither did some members of the elder generation escape condemnation. The parish church courts (consistoires) and the island Colloquy (Colloque) dealt with offenders at their respective levels of responsibility. The minister of Sark (a neighbouring island forming part of Guernsey's bailiwick)even noted c. a practice prohibited by the Royal Court in 1622 on account of its "superstitious" character (MacCulloch 1852.Gloves. although often not as diligently as the church authorities demanded (Ogier 1996. chap. Muchembled 1985. Cultural Regulation The island's popular culture was a subject of frequent complaint. remained a concern of the authorities throughout the Calvinist period. Muchembled 1991). the bailiff. 1625 that "the first Sunday in Lent is called le jour des brandons. The Royal Court made civil ordinances directed at fostering religious and moral good behaviour in the population. These included the vueilleand "gadding"between parishes.At Saint Martin in Guernsey the young men for a romp [esbat] carry straw torches" on the evening of that day. in Jersey until the 1620s. repeated decrees. Werewolferyin CalvinistGuernseymay also have involved the harassmentof women. Activities which had been accommodated by the Catholic church were particularly condemned by the Calvinist authorities. 145). de Schickler 1892). Caps . Englandand Wales.Folklore109 (1998):53-62 RESEARCH ARTICLE Night Revels and Werewolfery in Calvinist Guernsey DarrylOgier Abstract Fromthe mid-sixteenthto the mid-seventeenthcentury. the Islands remained in the Diocese of Coutances until the mid-sixteenth century. Their manufacturing aspect compares with that described in a seventeenth-century report of gatherings in Sark: the grand and almost only Manufacture our Island of being knitting which our People perform with a wonderfull dexterityboth for Stockings. and exacted corporal and pecuniary punishments.3 The survival of such things is symptomatic of the difficulties the Calvinists experienced in educating parts of the community.From the 1560s they experienced a Calvinist polity in church government. 1885. delivering spiritual admonitions and censures. Davis 1975. sitting under the presidency of a chief magistrate. with elements drawn from medieval identificationsof the werewolf with outlawry and the dead. young and old. in Reformed tenets.demonstrateanalogies with hobby horse perambulations and the MariLwyd. and custodians and transmitters of traditional culture.Cases of disguising in 1624 and 1630. both the Court and Church repeatedly condemned the evening get-togethers known as vueilles. and their populations spoke French and a Norman French patois.

as a consequence of which there often occur various asand saults. on punishment of a sixty sous tournoisfine on the offenders.vueille]. stating that "anyone who by night takes the horse or mare of another without the permission of he to whom it belongs shall be taken as a thief. likewise veilloys de nuict. Again.refreshthemselvesand please passengerswith the music. and that is either to meet with or draw in gallants.Men Women and Children being broughtup to it: so that you may commonly see 30 or 40 of them assembledin a Barn.notably on the nights of Saturdaysand Sundays.9 Although the writer does not state that he is referring to an evening scene. and then turning them loose. which are called vueilles. excesses and debauchery. As indicated below.yet at the same time they tune their pipes: and torturesome old song with more distractednotes. yet one still discerns several features which were likely to be of con- .580. against taking horses in this manner.and the profane and lascivious songs which are sung there. Some order was demanded in respect of those persons "who hold dances. however. likewise that such people make a regularoccupation of going to rob and thieve the gardens and fruits of others . and repeatedly condemned them.and half to the informer. Two years later. this is 10 or 12 in a company. than a CountryQuiredoes one of Hopkins his Psalmes . and none at all after ten. the assemblies were frequently much livelier than the Sark report suggests. applicablehalf to His Majesty. demanding that the Royal Court should regulate the assemblies or ban them altogether. [they are] judged thereforeunfit to be used before the [quarterly]sacrament. as a consequence of the usual attendance of foreignersat the said assemblies. who are never wanting to make up the consort. for on 16 January 1637 the Court decreed: because of the regular and scandalous debauchery which is committed at the assemblies of young peoand ple in workshops [boutiques] other places during the night...10Clearly this order was as ineffective as earlier examples. In 1586 the Colloque drew the Royal Court's attention to the great numbers of girls present at vueilles. though kept up upon ordinary Sundays 1984. S. referring to participants of both sexes. with many other debaucheries committed.4 The Court made an order in 1589 concerning the "borrowing" of horses. his observations apply equally to the vueilles of the larger island. whereby they learn the skill more perfect. 6).to the dishonour of God." justifying this by reference to the "several debaucheries which are committed at veilles which are held by night in both town and country. in Guernsey the word vueille often referred to a noisy night-time party. ill fame of the country."7 The secular power made several orders addressing the issue. 198). Briggs 1977.when they are laid aside. [and] scandals. when weariedwith work and and discourse set themselves to singing.54 and Waste-coates.. In 1600 the ministers again complained of "the insolences which are committed at the veille assemblies. by vain words spoken." The church also complained that "those who are found there do for this purpose run from one parish to another and lead the horses of others astray.6 But if these laws were effective-and their repetition and the continuing prosecutions under them suggest otherwise-a lack of transport did nothing to check the popularity of vueilles. when Charles Trumbull visited Guernsey in 1677. Pierre Port. and ordered that not more than one youth at a time should visit the girls of the household." This refers to people taking horses in order to get to the assemblies. afterhaving run."5 In 1620 it had orders made in the market place of the town. He noted in his travel journal that: the bigger sort of women who are all knitters meet most if not every evening at some set place which they callthe watch [sc. going running in great companies from parish to parish and place to place. and vueillieall is strictlyforbidden to all qualitiesof persons[toutes sortes personnes] de to hold them in their houses. But in these watches they have a further design. they are utterly incapaplayed. for though all ply their knittingdevoutly. (Trumbull Trumbull's description is sympathetic. the ministers serving nine of Guernsey's ten parishes protested to the Court that their young male parishioners still committed great abuses. cf. not without great debauchery and dissoluteness. and to receive there any such assemblies of young people whether to work or otherwise. he still found vueilles to be a feature of island life. ble of attendingthe exercises piet' on the Sunday. where God is dishonoured by the singing of dissolute songs. by night or day. It noted that groups of young men and women when meeting outside and around the town in order to spin or knit. the Court repeated its ban-naming particular locations where the groups assembled-and threatened the severe chastisement of robbers.11 Notwithstanding these ordinances. de In response. though. Indeed. In 1602 the Royal Court banned "illicit assemblies. The Church thought that the unregulated sociability of vueilles outweighed their practical utility. The following year it protested to the Court again. it even appears that a verb *vueillier was used as a synonym for boisterous night revels. (W[earis] 1673. with or without the feature of shared labour. Darryl Ogier run unbridledwith an infinity of the most scandalous debauchery.which you would take for a Conventicle of your sweet singers of Israel. There."8A further ordinance of the Court of 1631 lists the authorities' objections in detail. and was sometimes extended to describe nocturnal rampages by gangs of young men and women. The Guernsey Colloque's records (which survive for 1585-1619) demonstrate the laying to waste of civil behaviour and Christianhonesty.. and from these meetings many marriages are contracted. on 30 September 1633 the Court forbade parents and guardians from receiving companies of young men at their houses.

on threat of imprisonment. decreeing that: Those who shall be convictedbeforethe [Royal]Court of having run by night en resnerie. all of which were reprehended by the civil and Church authorities. Clearly there existed in Guernsey throughout the Calvinist era a lively counter-culture. one Andro Jehan. and ordered people not to receive groups in their houses. Jersey's Calvinist authorities were as keen as those of Guernsey to condemn nocturnal revels. the dishonour of God. 55 the original accuser. Accusations and counter-accusations made before the same Court a few years earlier give more detail in respect of similar goings-on..18 On 16 October 1600 Jersey's Royal Court noted that the inhabitants had been troubled by nocturnaland tenebrouscompanieswhich run and gad [trotent] night fromhouse to house aroundthis by island. In connection with the incident the Court ordered the arrest of Pierre Blampied and his accomplices Jean Bibert and Bernabey Bazille. and the use of disguise. The remainder of this article will focus on perambulations.16 On 19 October 1577 the Colloque of Jersey required that "the order touching the prohibition of resneries must be reiterated in the parishes. and public dread. On 27 March 1601 the Colloque of Jersey suspended Pierre Renouf and Pierre le Baillif from communion "for having been by night en resnerie and for having profaned the fast day with the playing of the rebec [sons de ribebe]. the boisterousness and the hint of the possibility of violence. however. shall publicly be declared deprived of the eucharist . 133-41). whether masked or otherwise. Collas Nouel. can also be traced in the records of punishments handed down by Jersey's church and civil courts. disguises. had assaulted him. some masked. running from parish to parish and household to household (gadding in the English parlance) and "debauchery" of various types.Night Revels and Werewolferyin Calvinist Guernsey cer to the authorities: the profanation of the sabbath. and no sentence passed on them can now be found.14 No record survives of the continuation of the actions against Blampied. the likelihood of dancing taking place-also illegal under the laws prohibiting lewd singing-the participation of perambulating gangs of youths. and gone to Marguerite Perrin's vueille." Disguising On 3 April 1630 in the Royal Court. Helier le Lacheur and Daniel and Jean Molet that they had been "disguised by night under a most hideous and shocking form. This may have been horse's harness. after they have confessed to having carried a bag between them. in a "hideous and shocking form" in 1630 and as an "artificially re-skinned mare" in 1624. or perhaps resnerie was a local translation of the English "harness.'5 This word refers to the wearing of harness.. One Michell Perrin later claimed that Samuel Sauvary. Suggestive comparisons may also be made with features of night-time carousing in two of the other Channel Islands: Jersey and Sark." used in the sense of livery or disguise. On 5 October 1599 the Colloqueextended spiritual censures to those convicted. aspects of which appealed especially to groups of young people. Bibert and Bazille. 1572 and 1576). the possibility of marriages being contracted without the supervision of parents and guardians (another subject of ordinances. as Richard Axton has pointed out in a personal communication. the word resneries repeatedly occurs in connection with them. charges were laid against Massy Robert. for which she and Edemond Perrin-probably her brother-and. Common aspects of the accusations before the Court in 1624 and 1630 are the "gadding"-in 1624 all were accused of having rible--the night-time settings.19 It forbade perambulating by night."12The bag (perhaps for food) suggests a party travelling around at night begging. reminiscent of the Guernsey episodes. it appears. The nature of the "most hideous and shocking form" in which the participants were disguised is not recorded. of 1567.otherswith cudgels [embatonnes] and disguised. There were clear affinities between the two episodes." His companions were to be arrested on account of "having gadded by night" in Blampied's company. Blampied was wanted "for having by night gadded [rible]under the form of an artificially re-skinned mare. contempt of court. "werewolfery. and that they have troubled and disturbed the rest of several people."'7 This alludes to an order now lost. cross-dressing. On 25 September 1624 the Court heard accusations by Samuel Sauvary that "insolences" had occurred at Marguerite Perrin's vueille. A week later Sauvary was adjudged to have made charges injuriously in claiming that Edemond and Marguerite Perrin themselves had committed insolences at the vueille.13 It is not clear what actually happened at the vueille."20 October 1619 Jersey's In Court adjudged that: Royal . In Jersey. the singing of irreligious songs (against which seven Royal Court ordinances were passed between 1566 and 1611). The disorderly practices referred to in this legislation. Night Revels Certain aspects of this profane culture deserve further exploration. were said to be answerable. This characteristically included night-time assemblies. masked and with et from which issue an cudgels [masquez embastonnez]. infinity of debauchery and scandals. and. as others did at St John's Eve and New Year. and the occurrence of "insolent" and "excessive" behaviour (Ogier 1996. and also those who dance in public. but the fact that at least one of the men had appeared at Marguerite Perrin's vueille dressed in a mare's skin is striking. committing an infinity of insolences and debaucheries.

362). and begging: the quete of the folklorists. to ing their supplication [roiieffe]25 go about this aforeAnother nineteenth-century report states that in Sark's said damnableart. At the end of a stick he carMaugerfilsThomas.).Jamesle RetillayfilsMichel.24 other comparisons emerge.22These suspended fromthe eucharistuntil otherwiseprovided. Certainly the disguised "gadding" ued to enjoy some early modern traditions until the exercises stood in stark contrast to the type of behavnineteenth century. Boys dressed themselves up like girls. fishermen and knitters appear to have contin. made with a horse's skull on a pole." the population being "wont ported that they truly said the same words and comto disguise themselves in the hides and with the heads mitted the said insolences-all five on this accountare of a variety of beasts" in the Christmas season. its anioperator covered by a cloth or-sometimes-an mal hide (Cawte 1978. convicted of having worn male attire. perhaps. aged men even did the same. descriptions in several respects match the Jersey eviCensurelifted. utteringhugely to open and shut with a noise.and the Hooden Horse of Kent are examples of a sey). and sometimes at Easter or other times. a stock of horse-skulls any such thing. the four others and the people either screamingwith fright or else laughin a huddle under a thornbush. and Sunday next in the stocks of the parish of Saint Pierre. present. there is the question of what the against A comparison with practices in England and Wales word vouarouverie means.and they having denied having said farmhouses "there was always . attention.. Some covered This may also be true of the final night-time activity themselves with rags of every shape and colour. and [so] disguised to have been en resnerieby night.. resheet. Certain mainland one has to seek analogues. the vio. parish of St Martin (see Appendix for the original text): On says that they are en varouage. mannerto frightenpeople.and PierreOllivier and Thomas a person either young or old.the those the community. Figuratively. and the complaints which the activities provoked number of skull-and-stick horses which were carried from the religious and secular authorities..PierreTourtel. dence. 'rut.21 Darryl Ogier which may well indicate what Blampied in his mare's skin was about.56 Katherine wife of Estienne le Saulteur. They were also. sometimes of practices which had once been more coherent to earlier generations. in werewolfery [en vouarouverie].in jeering at Collas Robertfils the other endeavouring to bite them with the teeth of ThomasRobertle grandwho was in their company. as is often the case. The Guernsey community suggests that the Channel Island activities were local spoke a Norman French patois. the accusations levelled at Pierre Blampied and his companions in Guernsey in 1624.namely trunk hose.including one person disguised and armed with a snapguising and masking.having the same day been called on his own head. The Mari Lwyd of Wales Marguerite Perrin's vueille in Guernsey. is condemned to be punished today in the [town's] public stocks. one thing led to another. around by groups with a reputation for chasing and When the field of investigation is extended to Sark. At the consistoryheld on the first day of January1630. By means of cords. both in tav. having first enveloped himself in a before the consistory on account that on Sunday. survivals erns and households. dirtying their victims. Henri Moisy's Dictionnairede Patois Normand guising. several features common to the Jer. Its community of young men visiting houses at night may have referred farmers.James ried the head of a horse or a donkey. Du Bois's Glossaire characteristics of hobby horse perambulations and de Patois Normand defines varouage as "the course of a mumming or "guizing" are reflected in the reports of werewolf. 1875). In the former. the Minister.he made the jaws of this head turningfrom the town in the evening. Collas Robert. There are. saying he was receiving at the joke (ibid. the nineteenth century and more recently. frightlence or the threat of it (alluded to in connection with ening or amusing residents.jawed horse's skull made house visits by night. cudgels in Jer. the dis. then he ran afterone or scandalous enormities.others blackened their faces. These include the house visit. and there was a general turmoil. recalls one of the forms of the British hobby horse. Not least. the dis.and masquerades and disguises soon followed. Sark was recolonised from The Guernsey law of 1633 prohibiting parties of Jersey in the late sixteenth century. and then tried to embrace the discussed here: "werewolfery.the trunkhose beside her. in private houses. whereupon everybody ran away said Olliviersayingthatit was good weatherto go about as fast as they could. parties sey and Guernsey activities: the house visit. gives two long definitions of relevance: . . whereupon three personages of sufficient proof having been heard-who all threehave rein hand for the occasion. the night time setting. and it is on the Norman expressions of far more widespread customs.and this he placed le Retillayfils Collas..23 The use to which the horse's skull was put in Sark. 8). disguised himself in a elders-Guillome Ollivier. In parts of England and Wales at Christmas.en garouage"(du Bois 1856." The following entry ocwomen and girls in order to blacken them as well curs in the register of the consistoire of the Guernsey (Anon. A description of 1875 refers to the iour which the church and state elites wished to foster continuation of vueilles until near that date. and perhaps those Several things about this unique reference demand the five others six years such goings-on. and girls put on boys' Werewolfery clothes.' In speaking of rutting cats. 1624 and 1630.

associating the outlaw (the damne) so named with damnation and transformation into a werewolf..m.. says that the outlawed man and his female counterpart. estre en garrouage. 230). Of an individualwhose clothes aresoiled with mud. 253). s.. eating prodigiously. who run away at night and often cover long distances to meet: "Men cat est en varouage. the night time course of a varou . Hence werewolves had much in common with outlaws. The peasants were persuadedthat.. the waive. the poor victim suffered cruelly." The mid-sixteenth-century treatment of the same section of the Norman coutumeby Guillaume Terrien still alludes to damnes. as recalled by du Bois.if in spite of the publications of monitions at the sermon of the mass. with an element of excessive behaviour. and against those whom. In default. if the offender was unknownthen "the summons must be made at the hearing of and conclusion of the Sunday parish mass" (Terrien 1574. getting be-splattered with mud. (du Bois 1843. which anyone may cut off with impunity.. runs by night aroundthe countryside.blows rained down fromsticks.. to torment. The expression used by Guillome Ollivier connected the word meaning "werewolf" with an activity which involved coursing around the countryside by night.Night Revels and Werewolferyin Calvinist Guernsey Varou. parish priests in proclaiming monitions against outlaws and those who failed to denounce them. The thirteenth-century Summa de Legibus Normanniethe basis of Channel Island law-treats the abjurations of outlaws under the heading de damnatis (Tardif 18811903. threatening to the community and subject. In early-modem Normandy. The accused individual. "have wolves' heads..28 of Edward I.. Randle Cotgrave's superb French-EnglishDictionary gives a meaning with the sexual referent extending beyond tomcats: "Garoiiage. Louis du Bois's nineteenth-century researches exposed other beliefs about werewolves. notice should be left at his or her house. Dictionaries of Old French provide similar definitions. one says that "il est fait comme un varou" Varouage. Cournee and Charpentier 1993. and men were thought to become werewolves as a consequence of being made outlaws or aiding outlaws by giving them succour or neglecting to denounce them. and "caterwawling" generally. The latest Norman French dictionary confirms that varou means "werewolf. Werewolferyin Normandy This said. who were similarly excluded from civil society. rushes at him out by the ears. Stormy nights may have been thought especially propitious for such a boisterous activity.. English courts might still pronounce outlawry with the formula The legal digest Fleta. Hence a broad definition of vouarouverie might be hazarded. Du Bois also reported the supposed origin of the werewolf according to the Norman peasantry: Before the Revolution it was the practice to publish [three]monitions in the churches against malefactors who had not been discovered by natural means. werewolf. should be summoned three times to appear in person. These words are used in the sense "of the condemned. 315). outlaws-the civilly dead-were associated with the damned by name. outlawed .653-4).s. or steal abroad by night a wenching" (Cotgrave 1650. To the eighteenthcentury Norman peasantry a varou was an outlaw. aller en garouage. This was agreed by Frederic Godefroy: "garrouage.changed into a wolf. s. no doubt. In Anglo-Saxon law the outlaw was identified with the wolf: anyone should kill either. ordinarilythe foot of a yew. Their congregations made a further connection. This behaviour might be connected with chasing women."In the Eure "en gairou"is said of a cat on heat (Moisy 1887. himself.raps and knockswere not stinted. and was obliged to courirle loup-garou. he suffered his punishment alone. (ibid.did not denouncehim . he belonged to the Devil.v. moreover. propitious for varous. condemned to suffer a frightful punishment .and in front of all the crosses in the district .. Aller en garoiiage (A married man) to go a caterwawling. and their behaviour once transformed. MacCulloch's GuernseyFolk Lorerecords a local simile which refers to those with large appetites: "il mange comme un varou" (MacCulloch 1903. If there was no local residence-or. Terrien describes the manner of proceeding against fugitives from justice.. the devil to which this unfortunatehad been allotted treatedhim very harshly.This is what happened above all if at the hour fixed by Satanthe possessed person did not go to the exact meeting place. a man who. accordingto superstition.. of the time caput gerat lupinum. 298-9). 516).. In the thirteenth century.. So. Varouageis only used today in speaking of cats in rut." going on to define en varouageas meaning "in disorder" (Bourdon. the criminal remainedunknown and allowed the third publication to pass. since those who will ....." but explains nuit de varouage as "a stormy night.cuffsand punches rained down in plenty.. the Norman werewolf was as much a victim as an ogre: a condemned being . s. Garoiiage). courir le guilledou" (Godefroy 1990. the imagined causes of the transformation of men into wolves. were acting in a manner prescribed by law..m. and in many respects regarded as existing outside the boundaries of humanity and being the property of devils. was the same for those who had It refused to denounce the offender . 2:195). he writes.m.. and thoroughlythrasheshim as a good example at the centre of each crossroads. Unlike the werewolves of other areas. 300). 57 TheEvilOne goes to find the late-comer home.27 Outlaws and violence The association of outlaws with werewolves has medieval analogies far outside Normandy. having knowledge of the crime and of the criminal.

It is possible that similar activities were proposed in Guernsey in 1630. comparing their behaviour with that of wolves (Ellis-Davidson 1964. The Sunday mentioned as the time of the offence was probably the previous one. 37-8. and a context of mockery. having been called to the consistory on the said day. for example in the sixth-century Lex Salica. Some of these.36 In evidence given on 7 June. this matches the evidence of Norman folklore: the time when varous were said to be active in the Manche district (adjacent to the Channel Islands) was from Christmas to Candlemas. Ginzburg 1990. which was directed at one of the two. were known as werewolves (Duerr 1985. The goings-on had an evening setting.35 Thus from analogies outside the island. AbrahamSandre. and he may not have traded. the excessive behaviour. probably indicating that its members recognised what was being referred to. This incident may be placed alongside another coming before the St Martin's consistory. and what might its realisation have involved? The consistory hearing took place on New Year's Day 1631."37 with the proceedings before St As Martin's consistory. cf. Slavic and German regions. cf. Judith catalogued her sexual history. and the band of men-quite possibly youths-identifying themselves with werewolves. four or five in number. The offence attracted an ecclesiastical censure-later lifted-and was not referred to the Colloque or to Guernsey's Royal Court for secular punishment. inter alia. disguised and symbolically connected with the dead. In 1600. 76. By contrast. Livonia and Lithuania great bands of men designated werewolves ran amok. the Court did not ask the accused to explain further. 156). 184 and chap. The word warg (or vargr) was also used in several regions in pronouncements of outlawry as a synonym for "outlaw" (Gerstein 1974. particularly active around Christmas time. a Breton servant called Judith le Blocq was tried by the Royal Court for infanticide. in Baltic. For this reason fighting bands were also identified with wolf of packs. had sixteen licensed taverners. In the ninth-century Hrafnsmdlthe berserks the Norwegian king's bodyguard are called wolf-coats. violent and thieving gangs of youths.There was some act. James le Retillay fils Collas. In talking of vouarouverie. temporarily unable to revert to human form (Ellis-Davidson 1964. who were masked."3' It is not altogether clear from the consistory records which of Guillome Ollivier or Collas Robert was envisaged as the object of the supplication (roiieffe) to go about the act of vouarouverie. At the same time. around PontAudemer. and apparently with warrior bands. that "one evening some young men came into her chamber. she goes on to suggest. Collas Mauger fils Thomas. and later with rowdy. or someone giving him shelter or failing to report him. 158-9).ThomasBlanche. 667. was thought to becomea varou. She deposed.58 not live according to law deserve to perish without law "29 Darryl Ogier day. consuming foresters and their livestock. 61). a Satur- . as serious matters were. and performed by four of the others uttering the roiieffewhilst embracing under a thorn bush. 61-2 and 269-70). 68). Duerr 1985. The participants possibly formed a festive drinking party-only a single person in the parish of St Martin was a licensed tavern keeper. from which the party was returning. Samuel de la Place)33was apparently understood by the consistory's members. The mention of "good" weather may refer to a storm. and the party had the qualities of a "pub crawl. there appear to be grounds to go on and seek evidence of the "wenching" and "catawawling" which characterised one form of garouage in France. what activity did Ollivier refer to.34 The embracing under the thorn and the reference to the damnableart-a phrase otherwise encountered only in records of witch trials-are also to be noted. the town. Guernsey's Vouarouverie We may now return to Guernsey. 4). Mary R. but no badness arose. damned by society and in the afterlife as well. violently breaking into cellars and stealing and drinking dry barrels of beer and mead. McCone 1986. however. Again. of whom [amongst the youths] there was Pierre Beauvoir and Collas Ettur. The thirteenth-century Heimskringlaby the Icelander Snorri Sturluson also refers to berserk warriors.32 The nature of the "damnable art" referred to by the consistory's scribe (almost certainly the rector. thus has similarities with Gerstein's contention that the "magico-legal pronouncement" of a werewolf transformed the individual into a thing deserving strangulation (Gerstein 1974. A case can be made by further references to Guernsey's Royal Court and consistory records. Thus in several parts of Europe-including Normandy-the werewolf was closely associated with outlawry and the dead. Duerr 1985. and the candle was put out. Ginzburg 1990. the record of which reads: In the consistory on the 24th day of June 1632. cf. under the name vouarouverie.[and]Daniel Rabay.30Carlo Ginzburg has related how over a still wider geographical area the time around Christmas and Epiphany was favoured by similar bands. Gerstein finds the like connection between wolves and outlaws made in Germanic and Norse law codes of still earlier dates. The Volsunga Saga tells how two warrior outlaws donned wolf-skins and became wolves. the offence thus occurring on 26 December 1630. such a suspension of civil conduct and the assumption of a murderous frenzy were desirable qualities in warriors. This wolf /warrior/ outlaw relationship may be echoed in the mention by Olaus Magnus in his Historia de Gentibvs Septentrionalibvs (1555) that at Epiphany in Prussia. it was Advent to Christmas (Moricet 1952. Du Bois's reference to the Norman belief that the outlaw. since they did not ask what the offenders thought they were doing. Thus several of the attributes of Norman and European werewolfery are here: the Christmas setting.

the consistoryhaving found the deed most heinous. Something of a functionalist explanation may suggest itself. Collas Mauger fils les quatreautres sentretenantembrasses sous une espine dissant qu'il prenoistleur Roueffepour aller en ce damnableart su dyt / et ayant nye le tout de rien avoir point parle / Sur cela ayant ouy trois personnes de preue sufisante les quelz ont toutes troisraportela veritequ'ilz on tenu les mesmes propos et fait les mesmes InsollencesSont pour cest effet tous les Cinq Retranchezde la Sainte Cene Jusquesa ce qu'il luy soit pourueu autrement Censureleuee Notes 1Iam gratefulto Dr MarieAxton. this was what constituted the damnableart of vouarouverie. This incident did not occur at Christmas time. Dr CarolineOates. Guernsey. it did involve a band of youths engaged in tumultuous night time activity.very kindly provided numerousreferencesand expertcommentsat a late stage. indeed. and then a second time to return to throw stones against the said door. Whilst it may simply be an instance of "rough music.Dr Richard Axton. All the same. The incident hints at how Collas Mauger and James le Retillay may have habitually behaved. Although the werewolfery activity of Christmas 1630 may have been shaped by and to its times and given a new application-possibly the shaming of reputedly immodest women. and the roiieffedirected at a particular individual). 84-5. The actions directed at Thomasse Guignon which were prosecuted in June 1632 are not called vouarouverie. Her visitors may have been expected to misbehave-Judith noted "no badness arose. has suspended them from the eucharistuntil provided otherwise. and the clamorous practices of groups of youths running around neighbourhoods at the turn of the year. .Night Revels and Werewolferyin Calvinist Guernsey for having by night and at an improper hour beaten with stones on ThomasseGuignon'sdoor until she was made to rise from her bed.38 The margin has a note indicating that Thomas Blanche and Daniel Rabey were received back to the eucharist. the Very Revd Marc Trickeyand my colleagues at the Island Archives Service. Guernsey for comments and/or providing access to documents and information. possibly as a form of assault. Michael d'Authreau.Dinah Bott. not paginated): Au Consistoiretenu le PremierJour de jenvier l'an1630presentza ce le ministre:et PierreOlliuieret Thomas RobertanciensGuillome Olliuier Pierretourtel Collas Mauger fils thomas Jamesle Retillayfils michel Jammesle retillayfils Collas ayant este appellez au Consistoirele mesme Jourpour autant qu'a Jourde dimenche reuenantde la Ville Sur le Soir / et tenant des propos EnormesEt grandement sequandaleuset donnant des brocartsa Collas Robert fils du grand thomas Robert lequel estoit a leur Compagnye disant le dyt olliuier qu'il faisoit beau temps pour aller en vouarouverie. Island Archives Service. and accused of these "insolences" towards a woman the following year. Dr Harry Tomlinsonand his colleagues at The PriaulxLibrary. the Guernsey vouarouverieof the former year might well have included such a sexual element. include several of the characteristics of werewolfery. It is possible. after hearing proof. and James le Retillay fils Collas appeared as offenders at both of the consistory hearings. Very interestingly." this attack recalls Jacques Rossiaud's description of gangs of youths who in late-medieval Dijon forced the doors of young women's houses with a view to assaulting them. the authorities in early modern Guernsey clearly had their work cut out in seeking to reform the manners of the island's community. two of its putative practitioners. They were engaged in a customary activity. the association of the period around Christmas as one of particular ritual significance. since the property attacked is described as hers. if not on this occasion damnable. Hugh Lenfestey. Except in quoted passages. that when similar actions directed at women took place around Christmas time (perhaps with the addition of certain things such as the huddling. Thomasse Guignon was almost certainly a widow or spinster. and the "wenching" and "catawawling" aspects of French definitions. Assistant Librarianof the Folklore Society and a leading scholarof werewolf trials. 37). and the entry has written at its foot "sencure leuee" indicating that all were eventually received. accused of vouarouverie in 1631. Dr Henry Cohn. which was found by the consistory to be grandementheineus. and was a servant who worked for different masters. Ken Tough. Rossiaud finds that women already sexually compromised-especially servants who moved from house to house-were particularly prey to such visitations (Rossiaud 1985. cf. This takes us back to Judith le Blocq. whilst their confreresthrew stones and made noise. however. Professor Bernard Capp. where they remain as found. In view of the common personnel in the incidents recorded in 1631 and 1632. Guernsey Appendix (extract from Rolle dez Actes Du Consistoire de St Martin aust-19-1627 [to 1655] at Saint Martin's Rectory. Duerr 1985. possi- 59 bly something else-there are grounds to suggest that components of it were drawn from ancient and widespread identifications of the outlaw with the werewolf." They were also apparently about something which was understood by the Royal Court's members and by Judith. Dr Ian Hart. who had been sexually compromised. therefore. and. Whatever the case. They did. Guernsey. and to commit other insolences.

fol. and other iii 9Jugements fol. 785-90). 25SeeGodefroy 1881-1902. had in the past led to adulteries. fol. 1937. 24Cawte1978.. George 1991. iii. a blanket (Alford 1978. fol. Darryl Ogier 17Cambridge University Library MS Dd. unless it was a consequence of his Axton's suggestion that horse harness was not intended. after trial in Angers. 2Hatfield House: Salisbury MSS. 199-201 and 225 (Eastern Europe." Cf. the same nyght Ther cam one Hugh Parker (Translation from the French).v.v. earlier excommunication (de Lancre 1622.Wither 1934. 3v (Translation from the French).v. 140-1 (the Old Ball of Lanca"Jugementsiii. Gadding and the "borrowing" of horses 1969. 51-55. vii 254-5. from their masters' homes. 1 1. 34 (Translation from the French). 26. he alleged. where at Chorley in 1536 per26St Martin's Rectory. passim. 201-2. fol. For "violent mummers" 4Priaulx Library. Guernsey. 217. MS Crime vol. who wrote of perambulatory and equine associations-see Gallienne 1992. 164-5 and vueille marguerite perrin-et comandre a tous officiers den 216). which has rowdy. tion from the French). Nelson 1989. in the admission of the Guernsey offenders of 1630 that they "carried a bag between them" and not simply that they ii 8Jugements fol. Sark.d.. The "wild Majeste et premis [sic] aux dyts officiers de saisir sa personne mare" featuring in Stuart Christmas entertainment may also et la constituer prisonniere pour auoir nuittamment rible have been a relation-see Taylor 1652. 383 et passim. the English governor of the island 1570-1610. interestingly. '?Jugementsiii. see also ed. CatholiconAnglicum. Helier le Lacheur. Newfoundland: see twice twenty-four hours in the bassefosse (a particularly nasty Halpert and Story 1969. cially Jersey) maintained close commercial and cultural links with Newfoundland between the sixteenth and nineteenth 15The reading resveriesin the published sources results from centuries: Ommer 1986. 402v: "Le Procureur du Roy doit prouuer guise). 165v (Translation from the French). is said to have declared cross-dressing incident coming before Jersey's Royal Court under the name resneriereferred to below adds weight to Dr to the Paris Parlement that he did not know how he came to be transformed to a wolf... VIII c. 1 1. 20. 3r (Translation from the French).. where and 13. Aspects of this faire leur debuoir . (Transla.. 11. than mere collection. et inquiette le repos de plusieurs personnes. 85-102. (1585-1619) fols 13v. a similar beast accompanying "guisers" at Land's End had Molet. see tion from the French). This inventory of misdemeanours is not dissimilar to those alleged against companies "naming themselves mummers" at which An Acte agaynst disguysed persons and Wearing of Visours-3 Hen.. wedding dances lasting days and nights. ing householders in Newfoundland and elsewhere. harneis. a misreading of manuscripts: I have silently corrected this. 6Greffe. The Channel Islands (espedungeon) on bread and water. and Hunt 1954. 112v lewdest parts of youth. MS Jugements vol. 44-47. 107r (Translation from the French). cf. ix (1512)-was directed. where the chasing vers Massy Robert. mummers. Dd. 65. 1882. Guernsey. ibid. These incidents are also echoed had been noted in 1579 by the puritan Sir Thomas Leighton. references for this observation: Kuhn et al 1952-: s. assocyat with diuerse ill disposed and trayterous persons their 27Thiscorrelation may be echoed in Pierre de Lancre's refaces colored and disguysed and in hares . Rolle dez Actes Du sons investigated in connection with the Pilgrimage of Grace Consistoirede St Martin aust-19-1627 (to 1655) (not paginated) attested that ". passim. Guernsey.Guernsey: MS Papierou liure des Colloques often accompanied by a hobby horse." appear to have analogues in the other Channel Islands and iii 14Crime 278. disguised visitors always received hospitably: see Cawte 1978. 18CambridgeUniversity Library MS Dd. 3MSnotebooks of Elie Brevint. and Jamieson 1986. . 288soubs la forme dune jument repulee par artifice et alle a la 91 (I owe these last two references to Hutton 1994.v. In 1862.60 dates have been adjusted to a year beginning 1 January. St Martin is one of Guernsey's parishes (Translation from the French). Cecil Papers 207/12 (not paginated)." Scandinavian Julebuk and other European parallels (Miles 1912. 4. 12 port of the trial of the werewolf Jacques Roulet in 1598. 153 (the Irish White Mare). et espouuantable et quils ont trouble snapping jaws and his carrier was covered with a horse skin. 3r. dated and listed in Axton and Axton 1991. Nor were British hobby horses. Ingram 1981. 20r. la Seigneurie. fol.carrying sticks. spend elsewhere. fasc. gay horse and 13Crime iii 277: ". 62v (TranslaChristmas season-principally 26 December-with horses. 22Lukis n. the assembling of "the 20Cambridge University Library. 163 (a stallion's skin disiii 12Crime fol. 23Brody1971. 260." including servants lodging away (Translation from the French). see Miles 1912. and cf. annoydes Eglises de Guernezey. including. p. 16. fol. Collas Nouel. 1 1. Piere blampied vers les officiers de sa its Latin equivalent manducus. 17v. ii. begged. 43. 43. The the defendant. 47 finds the quete to involve more ceremony 7Papierou liure des Colloques des Eglises de Guernezey. fol. fol. s. Perhaps then there is some significance 61r (Translation from the French). et Jean Molet quils se sont desguizes de nuict sous une forme treshideuse. In direct quotations. 151-54. and the stealing of stock (Eagleston 21Messervy 1889. Brand 1870. Miles refers to the confesse auoir porte un sac entr'eux. s. appres quils ont or lacking this. 19Messervy 1898. Translations are my own.. 43 (Jersey Colloquy Minutes 1577-1614). 249 (Translation from the French). and to pay costs. shire). For the European associations of the 5Greffe. related to biting). 80). 459ff. (Translation from the French). These. Halpert in Guernsey's "rough music" tradition... daniel of young women was particularly characteristic). 311-14. 30v. expansions are indicated by italics. 2:332-3. 35). He was condemned to apologise. rover and 16RichardAxton has very kindly provided the following ruef. in the notes and appendix.

Cotgrave. U. bakers.J. 33De la Place.. 134-9. perhaps. In his trial in 1643 Claude Chastellan was said to have been halted by a blow from an ash stick (Oates 1989. The English Mummersand their Plays. J-P.Z. s.. 345). 1978. 36Crime fols 67r-71r. Boguet Discours des Sorciers. E. 47. Edited by Margaret Dean Smith.Night Revels and Werewolferyin Calvinist Guernsey 28Maitlandand Pollock 1898. and R. ii. Gods and Myths of NorthernEurope. I am grateful to Dr Harry Tomlinson for confirming this. ed. 1856. An Examen of Witches. Paris: Librairie Fischbacher." (Ashwin (trans.L. TheHobbyHorseand OtherAnimalMasks. London: The Merlin Press. Ronoberte Simon. Glossaire PatoisNormand. Axton. This recalls. 239. Hardel. Buon. De France. . Anon. is presented in translation in Gershensohn 1991.A. 1622.Pierrette Vichard. 70r: ". London: John Rodker. Charpentier.A. 38Rolle Actes Du Consistoire St Martinaust 9 . du Duerr.Edited by J. Oxford: B. Calendarand Catalogue of Sark Seigneurie Archive 1526-1927." References Cited Alford. This figure leads a warrior band. quoting Select Pleas of the Crown (Selden Soc. Historiques. . Oxford: Oxford University Press. uncatalogued Stevens Guille MSS. i.. tried 1598-9.V. and not unassociated with great thirst. Dictionnaire Normand-Francais. 643-4.H. and Y. French-EnglishDictionary. ii. ii 3"Crime fols 373v-374r 24 January 1631). M. 1978. 810). London: Duckworth. 1843 Caen: A. no. De Lancre. 1598. E. Busby. 303 and 309). A. 1991. Anglicum: English-Latin London: Camden Society. 1971. "Guernsey under Sir Thomas Leighton (1570108.R. have a traditional element. 1650.) 1929. Brand. The Lais of Marie de France.e. trans. Blackthorn itself had supernatural associations-see MacCulloch 1903. is mentioned by name as minister of the parish of St Martin in a conveyance to his daughter of 15 December 1630 (Island Archives Service. 1929. is violent in the extreme. Paris: N. however faintly. Guernsey.. 158. Harmondsworth: Pelican. of the year.C. Ashwin. Brody. Jacques Roullet.J.). 37Jugements fol. 1986. sur Paris:Dumoulin." Du Bois.S.34. 1660 (Oates 1989. in Davis. besides being referred to by office in the extract presented above. Societyand Culture EarlyModern France. 35A Britain. as of Clauda Gaillard.P Dreamtime: the between WilConcerning Boundary derness and Civilization. Travers. De Schickler. London: List and Index Society. 13 1610).Edited by W.1627: dez de "Au Consistoire le 24e Jour de Juin 1632 Collas Mauger fils thomas Jammes le Retillay fils Collas Abraham Sandre Thomas blanche Daniel Rabay ayant este appelles au Consistoire le dit jour pour avoir este de nuict a heure indeue fraper de pierres a la porte de thomasse Guignon jusques a la faire lever de son luict et puis derechef retourner jeter des pierres Eagleston.Ipswich and Cambridge: D. 1977.. Early Modern France 1560-1715. 3 Vols. 235. 1964.H. dyt quil vint quelques Jeunes hommes vng soir a sa chamber jusques a iiij ou v en nombre lesquelz estoyent masquez et fut la chandelle esteinte mais n'en arriva mall aulcun I desquelz estoyent I pierre beauuoir et Collas ettur..L. and himself goes and performs that which the witch has a mind to do. 1573-4. 1870. 29Fleta Houard 1776. Brewer. London: John Russell Smith. 1882. Harmondsworth: Penguin. Francois Rabelais's naming the giants' captain Loup Garou (Pantagruel chap.Cachemaille] "Agricultural Sketch of the Island of Sark. For a Livonian description of 1692 of individuals becoming werewolves beneath a bush see Duerr 1985. Translation of H. Quoted Otten 1986. E. V. statement based on my reading of the relevant Royal Court registers to 1640. 16578. Catholicon An WordBookDated1483. Blackwell. A. 1602. 3:89 (Translation from the Latin). (list of licensed taverers and 61 contre la dite porte: Et comettre autres insollences le Consistoire ayant trove le fait grandement heineus appres preve ouyr les retranches de la Sainte Cene jusques a ce qu'il luy soit pourvieu autrement. R. xxix). Bourdon."Transactions la SocieteGuernesiaise (1937):72of Ellis-Davidson. 1892. Briggs. See also Przyluski 1940. The Breton werewolf Bisclavretof Marie de France's lai of that name leaves his human clothes in a hollowed stone under a bush (De France 1986. Howell. Burgess and K. Opie and Tatem 1989. N. 84). Translated by F Goodman. in 30Magnus [1555] 1972. auctioneer's ref.S. 1975.Recherches Archeologiques. London: John Williams. 2:449. A. M.RitualAnimal Disguise: Historical Geographical Studyof AnimalDisguisein theBritish Isles. Theiss (1692). 318 and 413.P L'Incredulitie'et Mescreance Sortilege du pleinement convaincue. the minister who started the surviving consistory register. A and Cawte. 1993. Oates 1993. 69). 34The reference to "beau temps" [fine weather] in the consistory minute may even reflect a mishearing. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Popular Antiquities Great of Hazlitt. Gilles Garier. 32Themention of the action taking place beneath a thorn bush may. "Police et Discipline Ecclesiastique de 1576. Translated by G. The trial of one of these.C." Boguet gave the opinion that "Satan sometimes leaves the witch asleep behind a bush..v." The Guernsey Magazine (October 1875). H. Biographiques et Litteraires la Normandie. "May blossom. Paris: Conseil International de la Langue Franqaise. Cournme. R." In Les Eglises du Refugeen Angleterre 3:311-56. 345 and illustration at 313. Axton.Edited by J. Caroline Oates has very kindly drawn my attention to other instances of such transformations allegedly taking place in woods and bushes. 1985. ed.Paris: Jean Pillhotte. giving himself the appearance of a wolf . A final "n" is rarely nasalised in the Guernsey French patoisand the words spoken may have been "bon temps" [a good time]. cf.

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