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Southern Branch 
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of a Shooting Trip. With numerous Illus- 
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THE LOG OF THE GRIFFIN : The Story of a 
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Freshwater Voyage from Holland to the 
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. I . THE . i 






n o 



The climate's delicate ; the air most sweet ; 
Fertile the isle ; the temple much surpassing 
The common praise it bears. 

The Winter's Tale 



FRESH from her triumphs in the mighty hunting- 
grounds of Somaliland and Alaska, Miss Herbert 
comes to the tiny, but, as her book shows, the happy, 
hunting-ground of the Isle of Man. Manx-men and 
Manx-women are her quarry, not lions and bears. 

To me the chief charm in a charming book are the 
keen, yet loving and delicate, appreciation of the 
^YTO people and their country, and the intimate and 
humorous description of their manners and customs ; 
an appreciation and a description possible only to one 
who, like Miss Herbert, was brought up amongst 
them. There is, however, much besides this. Archae- 
ology, Folklore, and the Herring Fishery are lightly 
and pleasantly dealt with. Even the Serbonian bog 
of Manx history is not shunned, and, in the manner 
of Waldron of old, is enlivened with apt anecdote 
and illustration. It is clear, nevertheless, that Miss 
v^ Herbert leaves the Duke of Athol and his congeners 
with relief, and that she gleefully betakes herself to 

the more congenial society of the Phynnodderee, the 
Glashtin, and the Buggane. 

I have been trying to find original epithets to depict 
the effect of this book upon me, but, as I am obsessed 


with the words "bright, breezy, and bracing," used in 
a well-known advertisement to describe Mona's Isle, 
I have tried in vain. After all, these words do describe 
Miss Herbert's book. I am certain that, when any 
native of Mona reads it, he or she will not 

"... hear the wavelets murmur 
As they kiss the fairy shore." 

On the contrary, they will see the big waves sparkling 
in the sunlight and romping into Port Erin bay before 
a stiff north-wester. 

It is a book which should appeal to the visitor, 
who, though not a student of things Manx, wants 
something more than a guide-book. It will certainly 
appeal to the native, who will promptly enrol Miss 
Herbert in the little band which, in the words of our 
beloved poet, Tom Brown, endeavours 

" To unlock the treasures of the island heart ; 
With loving feet to trace each hill and glen, 
And find the ore that is not for the mart of commerce." 



IN presenting this slight record of the Isle of Man as I 
know it, I hope it may not be thought that I pre- 
tentiously lay claim to have attempted the writing 
of a history of Manxland. That has been compre- 
hensively done again and again, and by very able 
pens. It has been considered advisable to touch 
lightly on the Great Happenings which have given 
the island its unique and distinctive character ; and 
although inadequately dealt with, many far-reaching 
events having been disregarded altogether as being too 
technical for a book of this kind, the brief outline 
of historical fact is, I think, correct and reliable. 
With no sinister piratical intention, I have freely 
pillaged contemporary histories and picked the ancient 
records of other times. By a general refining process, 
a system of odious comparisons, the historical items 
have been arrived at and garnered together. In the 
archives of the ages I found all that is required to com- 
pound what might be called " an original recipe for a 
Manx haggis." 

Colour books, as you know, must, for some occult 
reason, run on the tramlines of tradition. The history, 
folk-lore, customs, natural beauties, etc., etc., of the 


chosen country constitute the literary raison d'etre of 
these volumes. " Spade work " does not daunt me ; 
but when the ground has been previously dug for miles 
around, what can the most conscientious tiller do 
save throw up the soil afresh, and re-plant it ? 

My best thanks are due to my friends, Mr. P. G. 
Ralfe and Sir John W. Carrington, C.M.G., for much 
kindness and help in connexion with this book. 

I would also like to acknowledge the generosity of 
Mr. A. W. Moore, c.v.o., M.A., Speaker of the House 
of Keys, whose kindly good-will permits me to make 
use of much of his research, and who honours my 

book by contributing a foreword. 




I. INTRODUCTORY . . . . 3 







IX. A TOUR INLAND . . *33 

X. FOLKLORE . . . . 169 





GLOSSARY . . ... 273 


THE PROMENADE, DOUGLAS . > . . Frontispiece 


MANNANAN'S MANTLE . . . ... 4 


THE FAIRY GLEN . . . ... 12 

MAP OF THE ISLE OF MAN . . ... 20 



DHOON GLEN . . . ... 32 

RAMSEY . . . . ... 38 

BRADDA HEAD . . . ... 54 

JURBY POINT . . . ... 72 



PEEL BAY . . . . ... 94 

PEEL HARBOUR . . . ... 100 

MAUGHOLD HEAD . . . . . . no 

ST. PATRICK'S ISLE, PEEL . . . . . 112 

CRONK-NY-IRREY-LHAA . . . . . 116 

THE SOUND . . . . ... 122 

CASTLETOWN . . . . . . 126 

OFF DOUGLAS HEAD . . . . . . 130 

CASTLE RUSHEN . . . ... 146 

DOUGLAS HEAD . . . ... 154 




THE AYRE . - . . ... 162 

A MANX GLEN . . . ... 176 

LAXEY . . . . ... 202 

LEAD MINE AT LAXEY . . ... 212 

GLEN AULDYN . . . ... 220 

THE CAVES OF BRADDA . . ... 230 

SULBY VILLAGE . . . ... 242 


THE RETURN . ... 268 





Steering with due course toward the isle. 

This island's mine. 

The Tempest. 

I AM invited to write the text for a " colour book " 
on the Isle of Man, and I ask myself, " What is a colour 
book ? " A volume of painted scenes, an artist's 
conception, a world of beauty limned for you on India 
paper ? Or may the letter-press take a hand in the 
colour scheme as well ? For the Isle of Man, " this 
little world, this precious stone, set in the silver 
sea," is all colour, from the golden glowing glory of the 
cushag and the gorse, the precipitous grey-black cliffs, 
seamed across with myriad tints, the green of the 
swelling hills, the crimson heather, to the whiteness 
of the straw-thatched cottages whose tiny windows 
reflect in shafts of quivering light the fierce slanting 
rays of the summer sun. 

Come. We'll see the little island Manx people 
always call it " the lil islan'," because there is only 


one island in all the world to a son or daughter of 
Mona in the early afternoon of a sleepy summer day. 
We are making for Port Erin, on the south side of the 
small territory, coming from Ireland, and as yet can 
see but a dim grey wraith on the horizon, enveloped 
in a filmy cloak of gossamer. That is Mannanan's 
mantle. He was a magician of olden times, a selfish 
magician enough, and all his energies were directed 
towards the successful weaving of a fairy web of gauze, 
which he cast about the island at will, rendering it 
undiscoverable. When the cloak and the sky merged 
the land was hidden, so that none knew a little world 
lay beneath the enshrouding mist, and Mannanan 
indulged his mania for solitude to the full, and lived 
the simple life in solitary state. 

Mannanan has gone now. He was driven away by 
unbelief, for here, in Britain, we are too clever nowa- 
days to take magicians seriously. Even the Manx 
children are beginning to have their doubts of the 
authenticity of the fairy rings, and question very much 
whether the Phynnodderee, the King of the Manx 
Brownies, really did haunt the glens, and rang the 
fairy bells o' nights. The soft haze which sometimes 
lies over the Isle of Man is all that is left of the reign of 
Mannanan. He quitted the scene of his necromantic 
reign so hurriedly he had no time to pack ! 

The faint ghost of the land takes on clearer pencil- 
lings, darker grows the outline, clearer yet, masses of 
emerald green streak off into the purple hills. A little 
winding riband, intensely blue, curves in a semi- 
circle ahead, and marks our port, where tiny ships 


lie at anchor, with bowsprits all turned one way in 
mathematical precision. 

The rampart of the mighty Bradda cliffs faces us, 
magnificent and menacing, and the low churning 
thud of the sea in the labyrinthine caves comes out 
and gives us greeting. 

My small cottage where I escape the servant 
question and the militant suffragette is a tiny affair, 
just a little larger than an out-sized dry-goods case. 
Over it the roses, white and pink, run a-riot, in a 
strenuous race for supremacy, and a fuchsia hedge cut 
in steps, afire with crimson bells, guards my in- 
finitesimal garden from the wild winds of winter. The 
sea most bewitching of friends is at my very door, 
and behind me rises tier upon tier of gorse-covered 
slopes, until a sharp-pointed peak, sombre and grey, 
erects his pinnacled mightiness from out the encircling 
wreath of gold. 

I have only one very near neighbour, the Warrior. 
Our gardens adj oin. The wages of war and the smallness 
of a wounds pension drove him to the island, reviling 
his fate, but, after a summer, he thanked all his gods, 
settled down in complete contentment, and planted the 
beginnings of a fuchsia hedge, which is, he says, to 
rival mine some day. 

We share our boats, the Warrior and I, quite a 
flotilla. A Berthon atom, smallest of coracles, which 
rides the waves like a sea-bird, a Mersey canoe, a 
dinghy, and a stalwart for use when we go out to raise 
our lobster creels. The Warrior does the hauling, and I 
control the oars. Then there's " the long line " to 


shoot every other day, for our creels use up a lot of 
bait, and we ourselves get through a quantity of fish. 
Herring and mackerel, of course, are too wary to 
impale themselves on some of the many hooks of the 
long line, but the local "callig," the "blockan," the 
conger, the fluke, and many small codlings fall 
victims readily. And all's fish that comes to our 

The Warrior will have our head-corks resplendent, 
and re-paints them very often, in the colours of his old 
regiment, " finest regiment in the Service," and we can 
see our tiny beacons gleaming from afar. 

I don't know anything much more exciting than the 
appearance of the great mysterious brown creel as it 
swings to the surface of the water, hitting the side of 
the boat, its dark small round mouth cunningly 
fringed about with seaweed to hide and veil the depths 
of treachery below. Unless indeed it is the instant when, 
with a mighty heave, the dripping creel rests on the 
gunwale, and you hear an irritated lobster a-clapping 
of his tail in furious expostulation. You cannot see 
him yet now, part the seaweed carefully, and look 
down into the gloom. A lobster, two, and a mighty 
crab frothing in inexpressible expostulation. Warily ! 
Take the crab behind his rear pincers he's helpless so ; 
the blue-black mottled lobsters by the back. The bait 
is all gone ; the captives have enjoyed a glorious 
meal, if they enjoyed nothing else. They made the 
most of it ; drank their fill without wasting a drop ; 
took old Omar's advice, for all the world as if they 
had realized what lay in front of them. 


The split halves of a callig fixed to the thongs, 
set on the walls of the prison house, and the creel 
returns to the rocky deep, a line of bubbles marking 
the passage; the bobbing head-cork, like some gaily 
painted bird, tossing on the waves, marks the spot for 
" next time." The creels are hauled every other day 
in good weather. Sometimes a week passes if King 
Neptune is alert, and His Majesty forbids trespassers 
on his domain. In the raging of the tempest and the 
anger of the sea the heavy creels, weighted with 
stones, are frequently moved to other hunting grounds, 
and we must needs search the face of the waters for the 
beacons of our head-corks. There are so very many. 
Everyone's corks cast together in a heap, what a tangle 
to disentangle ! 

It is unheard-of infamy to lift another man's creel, 
save in the way of kindness. It is almost as shocking as 
cheating at cards. A little bent Manxman, a sun-dried 
ancient, lives at the nearest village to me, and success- 
fully poaches rabbits from anyone's fields, and sells 
them to the Douglas market. He is not ostracized 
for this. The inhabitants cheerfully buy the over- 
plus at half-price, and even the Warrior and I do not 
quibble at three-quarters, but when black rumour, 
" messenger of defamation, and so swift," pointed to 
Johnny-Polly as the tamperer with the creels, he was a 
marked man, and his set knew him no more. A most 
unusual and persistent shortage of lobsters followed 
invariably on the little Manxman's solitary excursions 
in his antediluvian tarred boat. The very children 
held the lobster poacher in mystified awe, and looked 


askance at him. A cloud of suspicion and distrust 
clung about him like an aura. 

The lobster creels, or pots, as they are more generally 
termed in the " lil islan'," are made from the graceful 
bending osier stems. And now you know what those 
protected triangular patches of ground in the corners 
of many fields are for. They are the osier gardens, 
and the massive sod fences shield the delicate saplings 
from the winter tempests. If you climb inside the 
sheltered radius in spring, the finest primroses of them 
all will reward you. The cool damp of the osier 
plantations brings out the yellowest and sweetest 

The Isle of Man is too storm-swept for big timber to 
flourish upon it, and in some parts there are no trees at 
all ; but the glens, the wonderful deep lush glens, are 
thickly studded with stems of slight girth ; the dark 
green of the fir, the feathery tops of the spruce, mingle 
with the shivering leaves of willow, mountain ash, 
sycamore, and oak. 

Blundell, in his History of the Isle, 1648 - 56, 
wrote : "I could not observe one tree to be in any 
place but what grew in gardens." And in 1789 
Townley endorses this by saying : "A wood, a lofty 
grove, or even a holt of trees, being an object very 
rare to be met with." In the records of other writers, 
however, there are occasional references to small 
forests. Planting trees on a large scale apparently 
was set about at the end of the eighteenth century. 

Alas ! the natural glens, handiwork of Nature's 
genius, are few and far between now ; the exploited 


article is more in favour with the August visitor. 
One sees the beauty spots of Mona distorted and defiled. 
You can still discover remote unspoiled glades, if you 
will hunt about ; exquisite nooks of deep sombre 
silences, with the sun glinting through the trees, 
lighting up the gold and silver glory of the streams. 
The train may not be scheduled to stop near your glen ; 
indeed, there may be no railway in the vicinity at all. 
If it were so, your find would not be for long the vision 
of beauty which you see it now. 

Manx trains are very accommodating. The quickest 
" express " is never too energetic to put you down 
wheresoever you request. Ask, and it shall be granted 
unto you. Visions of possible actions for libel prevent 
my dwelling unduly on the inner mechanism of the 
railways of the island, so I desist. Perhaps they are 
the most delightfully conclusive proof that as yet, in 
spite of all temptations, some of the institutions of 
Mona's Isle are still prehistoric and primeval. 

Shall I take you first to a glen malformed, a work 
of Nature's marvellous finesse, grafted on modern 
vulgarism ? Then, as a refresher and you will need 
one badly we'll to a slumbrous glade, a forest of 
Arden, and wander by the stream, unbridged by 
rustic cork atrocities. 

Here are multitudes of trippers, trippers to right of 
you, trippers to left of you, volleying and thundering. 
Rollicking humour, of the variety which finds an outlet 
in the forcible exchanging of hats, prevails. The few 
remaining natural beauties in the once sylvan spot 
are passed by for the much-advertised greater attrac- 


tion of a sea-lion imprisoned in a tank by the sea, the 
exploring of the glen is set aside in a rush for places 
in the tiny carriages of the " smallest railway on 

There are penny-in-the-slot machines at every turn, 
frail cork bridges, and hanging-on-to-the-side-of-the- 
glen wooden walks, which suspend the gay tripper over 
half a foot deep of trickling stream decoyed from its 

A Manx girl, disguised as a pearl - necklaced, 
sequin-collared houri, presides at the turnstile to 
collect the fourpence entrance fee. Her coiffure is a 
mass of puffs and curls, and on her forehead a wisp of 
hair is arranged like a note of interrogation upside 
down. You would never dream that in her grand- 
father's cottage they still speak the Manx. 

Refreshment booths, with popping corks, and 
pertinacious photographers have their places, and, as a 
final beautifier, some long wire cages are provided, 
with the request that all banana peel and waste paper 
should be placed therein. 

Artistic people, of the variety who write to the 
papers, are shocked indeed, and speedily air their 
grievances in the columns of The Daily Wail, the 
editor heading their diatribes with the query, "Are 
we Vandals ? " But the proprietors of the Manx 
glens wax fat and flourish, and the trippers care not at 
all. Each has what he wants, which is, after all, the 
main thing in this hurrying scurrying age the one 
filthy lucre, the other a chance to spend money freely, 
without the trouble of going far to find a place to 


stroll about in. One glen, not so very far from Douglas, 
which is, you must remember, the head-quarters of 
the majority of the visitors to the island, amuses me 
vastly. It is an entirely manufactured place, and 
when you wander in the " glen " you have to bend 
your shoulders and lower your head to keep within 
the place at all ! The trees are so pitiably youthful. 
All over the exquisite unknown glens are for the ex- 
plorer. Follow up the winding devious course of any 
small river we have no really large rivers on the island 
and before you know it you will find yourself deep 
in an enchanted fairy glade, with great blue-black 
boulders lying in mid-stream, overgrown with moss, 
smoothed and polished to ebony by the rushing, 
swirling waters of all the centuries. Everywhere is 
luxuriant foliage. From the trees hang festoons of 
ivy, interlaced in triumphal arches ; below, the ferns 
lift their fronded forms in swaying grace. Somewhere 
above the arch of the trees a lark is singing, in liquid 
trilling notes, a song of joy to the sun. 

The air is laden with sweet perfumes and the scent 
of soft deciduous grasses, and drowsy with the hum 
of myriad bees. A trout rises in the stream splash ! 
The mottled beauty disappears beneath the stones of 
the little dubb, fringed round with ferns. The trees 
stand in lines down the glen, and the brown leaves 
carpet all the glade. The summer sun glints on 
the boles of the silver birch, and over all the song of 
the river falls and rises, rises and falls, dwells and 

We are going to Douglas to-day, the Warrior and I. 


We have to go sometimes, much as we dislike to leave 
our solitudes for the busy humming world. There 
are stores to be obtained, luxuries the village shop 
wots not of. The local Whiteley only runs to such 
necessaries as paraffin and bread. An odd juxta- 
position, but there they are. Fortunately they form 
a mechanical mixture only when they come in close 
contact, and not a chemical combination. There are 
bottles, too, full of Manx " nobs," frizzling in the 
sun, and surprise packets for the alluring of the half- 
pennies of the children. They are not surprises really, 
these persuasive-looking envelopes. Every child in the 
village knows exactly what to expect. Similar packets 
have been there so very long ; history repeats itself so 
very sadly. A few bright-coloured comfits, and a tin 
wedding ring, perhaps, or a thimble, or a tiny wooden 
goblet for a doll's house. The infinitesimal cups are 
the most appreciated, and of course they must be 
filled at once at the village pump, universal provider. 
If you happen to be passing you, too, must drink from 
the " lil cup." The water tastes like a new house. 
How can a new house taste at all ? Well, perhaps it 
can't, but if it could the result would be like this. 

If you want to see the wonder world of Mona at its 
best, I pray you do not come in the season. Some- 
how the manufacturing classes at play effectually 
knock all the romance of the island beneath their feet, 
and trample on it. Yet, if you never see Douglas in 
August, you will have missed one of the most amazing 
sights in Britain. People, people everywhere. Hatless 
femininity in gay summer dresses, and attendant 



swains garbed in flannels and wondrous fiery ties. 
The sands swarm with human beings, the steps of the 
great boarding houses, the boats on the bay, the shops, 
the promenade, and at the Victoria Pier the great 
steamers constantly arriving disgorge a further com- 
plement of surging humanity to swell the turmoil. 

" All the world loves a lover." Everyone in Douglas 
in August plays the lover enthusiastically, vigorously. 
The game may be ephemeral, a " different girl again " 
system, but it is played for all the hand is worth. 
None of your shyness and reticence here ! The young 
man and his Cynthia of the moment hug each other 
in joyous abandon on every available seat, the glens 
are crammed with rampant lovers, and the most in- 
accessible crannies of the caves given over to " Let's 
Pretendia " love affairs. 
" And then they put the blame on Cupid." 
On the margin of the wonderful bay, replica of 
Naples, are the great glass dancing halls. All roads 
in Douglas lead in the season to the dancing palaces o' 
nights. The vast floor of inlaid woods, polished to 
glittering point, is crowded with swirling figures, danc- 
ing lightheartedly in all sorts and conditions of styles. 
The more remarkable the style, the more noticeably 
incongruous, the more partners are forthcoming. It 
is quite de rigueur for a man to ask a hitherto unknown 
girl to trip the light fantastic with him, and if he cannot 
persuade her to venture, the M.C., as the Master of 
the Ceremonies is called, comes to the rescue. He is 
a wonderful personage in immaculate evening kit, and 
a new pair of white kid gloves every night, a hang- 


the-expense extravagance which carries its own weight 
of commanding conviction. Graciously the great man 
walks round the fringe of the seated crowd, resting 
between the dances, gripping the arm of the despised 
and rejected, and says persuasively to every damsel, 
" Will you oblige this gentleman, miss ? " Such per- 
tinacity is always rewarded in the end, and the couple 
glide off to the strains of a beautiful waltz. 

It is an amazing sight, this orderly, well-conducted 
crowd, with the deep throbbing current of pulsing 
life behind it, humorous and haunting, pleasure-seeking 
and pathetic. 

" Names," as the Irishman said, " had better be 
nameless." Everyone thinks so in a Douglas dancing 
palace. A young man introducing a new-found ladye 
to the man with whom he is holidaying shrouds the 
presentation in the mystery of, " My friend my 
friend." If they are not friends, they are " fiong- 
says." It is one of the compensations of the lower 
orders that an engaged couple can go away for a 
summer holiday together without appreciably dis- 
turbing Mrs. Grundy. If this beneficent arrangement 
could be extended, a much greater knowledge of one's 
" fiongsay " could be arrived at, and the dangers of 
the matrimonial precipice reduced to a minimum. 
This by the way. 

All the young bloods who frequent the dancing 
palaces, the straw-hatted-thirty-shilling-suited-on- 
conquest-bent-clerks of Lancashire and Yorkshire, are 
officers of the Scots Greys on leave ; and they are all 
captains. They are not Scotch, they are far from grey, 


but " the Greys " attract them as no other regiment 
can ever hope to do. Don't disconcert them, and 
throw things out of gear by asking where they are 
quartered. The officers cannot tell you. The air of 
Douglas is fatal to memory. The very name of their 
colonel has escaped them. Accept these gallant 
soldiers, as they wish, if you would make a success of 
the acquaintance. What matter if this glut of warriors 
wear made-up ties, and little tin badges which every 
good tripper in Douglas pins upon his cap or hatband, 
the three legs of Man, which are at the same time, by 
the law of contraries, the arms of Man as well ? Now 
for the spectacle of the evening. " The snow dance." 
An exquisite dreamy waltz rises and falls rhythmically, 
sensuously ; the whole room quakes 'neath the multi- 
tudinous feet ; the hum of voices breaks like the waves 
of the sea upon a stony beach. From the glass roof, 
glowing with many coloured lights, a steady rain of 
small pieces of white paper descends thickly, a snow- 
storm indeed. Steadily, in lavish extravagance, the 
fragments of snowy paper glide to the floor, burying it, 
until the dancers are ankle deep. This is the last waltz 
of the evening. God save the King ! In the enthusiasm 
of the moment the officers of the Scots Greys forget to 
remove their hats everyone dances in hats lese- 
majeste and no mistake. Gathering the " snow " in 
handfuls, the lighthearted crowd pelt one another 
with vigour, and all the curving promenade of the 
beautiful bay is dotted with myriad bits of fluttering 
paper as the game goes merrily on. There's the 
" shadow dance," too, earlier in the evening, most 


popular of all, when the room is in murky darkness, 
infinitely gloomy, which lightens up in drifts, usually 
at the most embarrassing of moments. But the Scots 
Greys were ever resourceful, and, in Douglas, at any 
rate, live up to their motto every time. " Second to 
None." I should think so, indeed ! They seize the 
psychological moment on the up-grade. 

There is nothing Manx in all this ? You are quite 
right. But if I write of the Isle of Man the tripper 
element cannot be left out. Douglas is not Manx. It 
is just the playground of Lancashire and Yorkshire. 
It might be Blackpool, or Margate, anywhere, save for 
the surroundings. It is not representative of the Isle of 
Man. In all one day in Douglas in August you may 
not meet one really representative Manxman. The 
car drivers are not representative thanks be ! tne 
boatmen are not either, being hybrids from the race 
of deep-sea fishermen, and many of the proprietors of 
the vast boarding houses hail from England; those 
who do not are a make-believe type of Manxmen who 
can interest not at all. 

In my little port, and at the Niarbyl, Maughold, 
Cregneish, and countless other parts, there are still old 
people who speak no tongue save the Manx, to whom I 
can do no more than pass the time of day. In such 
remote corners the local colour is all Manx still, 
unspoiled by the passing of the ages, undefiled by the 
race for gold. 

" Summer boarders," as the Americans say, first 
began to visit the island in the early decades of the 
nineteenth century, and in 1829 regular steam sailings 


were instituted three times a week. Previous to that, 
from 1798, passengers prepared for a trip to Manxland 
as for a lengthy voyage. The sloop " Duke of Athol " 
or the " Lapwing " conveyed mails and passengers at 
varying times, as the wind and weather commanded. 
After the close of the Great War, in 1815, many Army 
officers resorted to the isle, enticed thither by the 
cheap living ; but as the number of summer visitors 
doubled, and the end of the halcyon smuggling days 
brought about a general rise in living expenses, 
many of the half -pay warriors returned to England. 
Several of our old soldiers of to-day are semi-Manx, 
and spent the days of their youth on the once 
economical shores of Mona. In the early days of the 
visiting industry disembarkation had perforce to be 
effected in small boats, very different from the mar- 
vellous mechanism of the landing and lading of the 
thousands to-day. 

It is the summer visitor who has made the island 
prosperous, built her piers, paved her streets. Now 
is the winter of our discontent made glorious by the 
sun of Yorkshire and Lancashire. The staple industry 
of the little territory to-day is people ; its exports 
people, its imports people, people in such numbers, 
such overwhelming myriads, that we might exclaim 
with the Immortal One, " Mercy o' me, what a multi- 
tude are here ! From all sides they are coming, as if 
we kept a fair here ! " 

From every direction a wealth of gold flows into the 
insular coffers from this molten summer stream. The 
penny poll tax on every ticket, levied and paid through 


the Steamship Company, yields a worth-having revenue 
of thousands a year. 

If I were to listen to the advice of Marcus Aurelius, 
I should keep right on talking of the tripper element, 
and how it benefits our island. The book of the 
Master happens to lie open beside me as I write. 
" We have only to deal with the present," he says, 
" with the eternal NOW." 

The eternal NOW is all for the exploitation of Mona, 
perhaps very naturally, for the pleasure of the in- 
habitants of the greater island lying so close to our 
shores. But there is a greater past, a record and 
history of imperial grandeur, a picture glowing with 
colour, brighter and clearer far than the gaudy flam- 
boyance of the tints stamped upon the canvas of 



The natural bravery of your isle, which stands 
As Neptune's park, ribbed and paled in 
With rocks unscaleable, and roaring waters. 


THE contour of the island as it lies has been fancifully 
likened, by Hall Caine, to the carrane, the shoe of 
the Manx people in olden times, which was a rough 
cover of dried hide laced across the instep. The heel 
of the carrane is the coast-line from Port St. Mary 
and Port Erin to Peel, the toe is the long waste of 
land stretching away to the Ayre, and the instep is 
the greatest of the Manx mountains, Snaefell. 

I cannot see it like that myself. The outline of 
the Isle of Man to my mind resembles far more the 
shape of the strange little fish, with a big head and 
bulgy body, which the Manx, in their usual otta podrida 
of languages, call " bull-kione," meaning bull-head 
(Cottus scorpius). The Bay of Ramsey is its wide- 
open mouth, the Point of Ayre its upper lip, Maughold 
Head the lower. Jurby plays its rounded head, Peel 
a fin, the rest of the island the squat body of this 
illustrative atom, and the Calf of Man and the Stack 
form its apology for a tail. 




From England the Isle of Man is distant but thirty 
miles, from Ireland twenty-seven, from Scotland a short 
twenty-one, and from Wales a travel of forty-five. The 
summit of Snaefell, on a clear bright day, commands 
a view of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, 
faintly limned in filmy grey outlines. It is, of course, 
owing to its get-at-able proximity to greater territories 
that the little Manx nation suffered so severely in 
early history from the harassing depredations of the 
myriad armed marauders who laid waste the country, 
times and times over, through all those remote ages. 

A great rampart of high land forms the centre of the 
isle, and the mountain summits of many peaks raise 
lofty shoulders on every side. Heather-grown, grass- 
covered Snaefell and oddly-shaped Pen-y-phot erect 
their humped outlines skywards, up and up until 
little fleecy clouds, gossamer-webbed, rest on the 
emerald-tinted scarps with the grace and deftness of 
a coryphee. Grand North Barrule, with massive front- 
age, is matched in the south by a dominating twin on 
whose desolate gorse-crowned summit fragmentary 
traces of old-time fortifications are still extant. 

Looking down on to the even land stretching away 
to the Ayre, the multi-coloured fields look like a 
miniature map of the world traced by Nature's genius. 
The flowering sod fences are the divisions of countries, 
the little silver streams the rivers, and the dark shady 
bits, where an infinitesimal copse tries to flourish, are 
the great mountains of the universe. Nowhere in all 
the world does gorse grow in such profusion and splen- 
dour as in the Isle of Man. The wide fences which 


English Miles 

-1 * 

t .-*t_ frvjeftalltailway 

Eoadt a^^v. Eleztric Jramiray a > 
Thf Cotottruig represents the Sheadings 


divide the fields are grown again and overgrown with 
the golden glory, the great claddaghs, or wastes, 
are fairy gardens, lit with pharos-fires. They say 
the all-knowing mysterious " they " that when Lin- 
naeus, the Swedish naturalist, saw the gorse in blossom 
in England, a plant hitherto unknown to him, he fell 
on his knees, and thanked his God for the wonderful 
sight. What, I wonder, would Linnaeus have done 
had he seen the gorse of Mona's Isle ? Lifted up his 
voice, and chanted a hymn of praise. 

On a hot day, when the sun is powerful, the myriad 
gorse pods burst one after another in tiny salvoes of 
artillery, saluting rapturously the coming of the mur- 
murous bees. The small sweet sounds mingle with 
the drowsy hum of the honey-gatherers, and the potent 
scent of ten thousand blooms is borne on the light 
summer breeze, which wafts away the tender per- 
fumed message to the sea. 

Lofty green mountains shake their swelling shoulders 
free from out the encircling band of gold, others are 
crowned kings, and farther again, rising high, high 
above the gorse line, great cloven grey peaks leave 
the glowing glory clinging low about their sombre 

To the cragsman who finds his heart's delight in 
the conquering of the Pillar Rock, or the climbing of 
the mountain Tritons of England, Scotland, and Wales, 
the "green hills by the sea" will seem tame indeed. 
But to one who loves the desolation of uplands, and 
breezy heather-covered moors, the curved heights of 
Mona's Isle possess a charm which ever insistently 


urges us to seek again the lovely billowy tops, whose 
every ridge, smoothed to graceful roundness by the 
ice-cloak of glacial times, has something new to show 
us. Across the desolate tracks of peat-gatherers, 
by the shallow beds where little pools of sienna- 
coloured water fill up the gaps made by the fuel- 
storers of years, the golden plovers, in solitary pairs, 
with chequered wings, light on the grassy expanse, 
and sing " their wild notes to the listening waste." 
Ever and again the newly acquired love-call rings 
out, the shrill whistle changed to a tender cry, alluring 
and joyous. The Manx call the golden plover Ushag- 
reaisht, or Fedjag-reaisht, bird of the waste, whistler 
of the waste. Ushag is bird in the vernacular, but the 
Celtic Eean is occasionally met with. 

Snaefell scales 2034 feet, and is climbed very easily. 
An electric tramway runs from Laxey, the village by 
the sea to which the mountain stands sentinel, right 
up to the summit. The green monarch of Mona is 
not chiselled like the snow-crowned Snaefell of Iceland, 
whose name the Northmen probably bestowed as a 
remembrance, not reminder. They came with a little 
bit of home in their hearts, and wished to record it 
somewhere. North Barrule, with its deep colour 
tints and massive outline, is 1842 feet in height, 
sharply carven Pen-y-Phot 1772 feet, South Barrule 
1585 feet, and forming wall-like ranges are the scarps 
of majestic cones which dot the central valleys, and 
stretch away to the south-west, in varying elevations. 

We have no important rivers in the Isle of Man, but 
there are hurrying, scurrying streams with winding 


reaches and whispering volume of dancing, laughing 
water rushing to meet the sea. The beautiful Silver- 
burn, poetically called Awin-argid, or silver river, 
which flows through the historical grounds of Rushen 
Abbey, is perhaps as lovely as any of our streams, 
and the winding, haunting Sulby, murmuring sweet 
music as it channels its way from the heart of the 
island, comes next, perhaps. The Neb, upon which 
Peel is situated, and the Colby, running through an 
exquisite little-known glen, are large streams also. 
The meeting waters of the Awin-dhoo, or Dark River, 
and the Awin-glas, or Bright River, give Douglas its 
name. The united stream runs into the old harbour 
below the rising uplands of Douglas Head. Every 
glen, and they are very many, has its own gliding, 
flickering cascade. 

" God," said the old chronicler, Blundell, " hath 
gratified the island, with excellent fresh water, so pure 
and pleasant to y e taste of necessitated passengers as y* 
I have heard them protest y 1 in their opinion there was 
not anything y* equalled y e goodness of their water." 

Mona has every physical equipment of the British 
Isles, save lakes. There is not a lake in the country 
now, but evidence goes to prove that aeons ago, before 
the face of the little territory changed, and the great 
curraghs were drained in the seventeenth century, 
lakes enfiladed the fen ground. A map of the sixteenth 
century shows us three pieces of water, with islands 
set in them, and previous to this again, in the Middle 
Ages, we read of a Lake Myrosco, with a well-fortified 
island among its other islets. 


The Manx curraghs have infinitesimal islands still, 
dry-tufted hummocks of grass set clear above the 
marsh, filched from the water-sprites, where the thorn 
and the honeysuckle take root and run a-riot. Rang- 
ing from Sulby to Ballaugh is this curragh country, 
this wonderful, enchanting, mysterious tract of marsh, 
of shallow lagoons, and damp meadow lands. 'Tis 
a glorious garden of flowers. All the air is laden with 
the clean sweet smell of sweet-gale and soft scraa 
grass. The heavy cloying scent of the gorse clings 
low in banks of perfume. Here, in the tangle of 
vegetation, countless birds make their nests, their 
slender silvery notes cleaving the air in joyous trills. 

A small water-hen hurries through the pond, pushing 
the water before her in agitated ripples, and, quiver- 
ing like the disturbed hum of a prisoned bee, the 
love-call of the snipe carries across a separating quarter 
mile of grass hummocks. The little Ushag-Vuigh, the 
yellow-hammer, sits on a flowering spray of gorse, 
his coat as gorgeous as the flower itself, and his tender 
song, in greedy measure, rings out rhythmically : " A- 
little-bit-of-bread-and-no-cheese ! A-little-bit-of-bread- 
and-no-cheese ! " 

In the Curragh Mooar, the big Curragh, and the 
surrounding swamps lived the Tanoo-Ushtey, a fear- 
some minotaur-like creature, of whom I have written 
elsewhere. His wild bellow at nights caused the very 
ground to tremble ! 

The first inhabitants of Man of whom the historians 
can find any trace or clear evidence were the Gaels, 
and the small dark-haired people known as Iberians. 


The Manx belong to the Irish and Gaelic Celtic race, 
not to the Welsh or Cornish. Professor Rhys, in his 
Ethnology of the British Isles, says : " It is a common- 
place of our glottology that the Neoceltic dialects 
divide themselves into two groups ; a Goidelic group, 
embracing the Celtic idioms of Ireland, Man, and 
Scotland ; and a Brythonic group, embracing those 
of Wales, Cornwall, and Brittany." 

It all sounds very awe-inspiring and thrilling, but 
the Manx are quite a simple people really, and the 
high-sounding " Goidelic group," when you come to 
analyse it, means that the Manx are Celts, just ordinary 
Celts. Since the incursion of the hardy Northmen, 

Tradition has it that when a ship of the Armada ran 
on the scarps of the foot of Spanish Head, some of the 
shipwrecked mariners scaled the cliff, and making their 
way to Cregneish, liked the island so much, the feminine 
inhabitants pleasing them still more, that they decided 
to settle down where fortune had so strangely placed 
them. There is no direct evidence to prove that a 
Spanish vessel was ever wrecked on the rocks of Man, 
but certain it is that now and again, in the south-west 
of the isle, you come on a flashing-eyed swarthy fisher- 
man particularly I call to mind one such illustration 
of the most pronounced Spanish type, rowing out to 
the creels maybe with a merry fair-haired, keen repre- 
sentative of all that is best in Scandinavia. 

Prehistoric monuments are thickly dotted about the 
island, and archaeologists have found in the great stone 
barrows and monoliths interesting vestiges of Neolithic 


man. Following the Neolithic men are those of the 
Bronze Age, to whom some of the stone circles, stone 
cists, and graves are ascribed. Most scholars agree 
that cremation was the approved method, in the 
Bronze Age, of disposing of the dead, and the 
small cists and urns discovered can only have been 
the receptacles of cremated bones. Many of the 
tumuli and cists when uncovered betrayed that they 
had been previously opened and despoiled, notwith- 
standing the fact that the places of the dead were held 
in superstitious awe, a feeling of reverential aversion 
which to this day exists. 

There is a particularly fine circle, among many other 
fine specimens extant in Man, on the heather-crowned 
hills of the Mull, near Port Erin. Pottery, weapons of 
bronze, flint arrow heads, and charcoal have been 
unearthed from many of these remarkable sepulchres. 
The hollows in the stones, or cup-markings, are the 
places reserved for the oblations probably in the 
form of some variety of fat made to the spirits of the 
dead, who were said always to haunt their tombs. 

Governor Chaloner, who ruled from 1658 to 1660, 
did a considerable amount of excavation among the 
various ancient sepulchres, and gives us a description 
of " earthenware pots, placed with their mouths down- 
wards, and one more neatly than the rest in a bed of 
fine sand, containing nothing but a few brittle bones 
(as having pass'd the fire), no ashes left discernible." 

The stones and circles and other prehistoric re- 
minders are too numerous to be detailed, but the great 
tumulus near Laxey, which Manx tradition has fixed 


as King Orry's grave, is worthy of special mention. 
Previous to the cutting of the road through it this 
wonderful barrow measured some two hundred feet in 
diameter, and was encircled by many standing stones. 
Professor Montelius and Dr. Monroe are of opinion 
that the great place of burial is much older than the 
Orry dynasty, and belongs to the space of time be- 
tween the Stone and the Bronze Ages. 

On many of the lonely out-post rocks, on mountain 
scarps and craggy fells, are the crumbling remains of 
fortified aboriginal camps, and by their illustrative 
name, so prevalent about the island, Cronk-ny-Arrey, 
Hill of the Watch, these old look-out stations may be 

Full-length tombs also abound, and kist-vaens with 
stone coffins, as inhumation ousted cremation, and on 
the summits of the rounded cronks of the coast, with 
the resonant fugue of the sea in the caves chanting an 
everlasting lulling requiem, are the desolate green 
barrows that tell of Vikings dead and turned to 

Fine specimens of early Christian sculptures are 
very numerous, and the whole of the prehistoric 
monuments and monoliths have been assigned by 
antiquaries to a period of time embracing nine centuries. 
Thus the simplest and roughest are allotted to the dim 
ages of the fifth century A.D., and the more elaborate 
and pretentious work which followed on the heels of 
the primeval era is allocated to the Celts of the tenth 
century. The wonderful sculptured crosses and Runic 
monuments with the old Norse inscriptions are the 


carvings of early Scandinavian settlers, which merged 
into the more skilled designs of the thirteenth century. 
One cross at Maughold is held by competent authorities 
to be of fourteenth- or fifteenth-century origin ; but, 
barring this exquisite specimen, it is not thought that 
any other of the Manx crosses date from a later period 
than the middle of the thirteenth century. Clear 
evidence of Roman occupation in Man is not forth- 
coming, although sundry Roman architectural features 
are extant, and tradition has it that the mines at 
Bradda and elsewhere were worked by the Romans. 
In the History of Scotland by Hollinshed we read 
that the Manx fought with the Picts against Ostorius 
Scapula, and the chronicler says that Vespasian 
intended to subdue the island. 

The origin of the name " Man " is wrapped about 
with some uncertainty ; numerous and varied are the 
solutions of the enveloping mystery. Train, one of the 
many historians of the isle, considered that the deriva- 
tion was found in Menagh, or Meanagh, meaning 
middle island, as the small territory can certainly be 
described. Another opinion is to the effect that the 
origin of Man is reflected in Mannanagh, the name of a 
tribe who once lived in the little country which Caesar 
wrote of as Mona. Ptolemy gave it the poetical 
name of Monaoida and Monarina ; Pliny varied things 
by altering the designation to Monabia ; Gildas 
christened the much-named land Manan ; and Bede 
wrote of Menabia. The Sagas of the Norse sang of 
Mon, transliterated Maun. 

The Manx people themselves and perhaps they 


count the most of all consider that Mannanan 
had more than a little to do with the naming 
of his island. He was the marvellous wizard who 
" kept by necromancy the Land of Mann under 
mists," by which marauding enemies were confounded. 
If any would-be conquerors did manage to effect a 
landing, Mannanan had still another trump card to 
play. He had the power a faculty Mr. Haldane must 
envy of making " one man seem a hundred by his art 
magick." Ten men set on a hill looked so formidable 
that the most redoubtable foes fled back to their ship 
at once. The necromancer lived at Keamool, with 
occasional Sittings to Barrule, whither he went to 
receive the rents from all those who held land of him. 
This was paid once in a year in green rushes. The 
wizard king flourished somewhere about A.D. 447, 
when, tradition records, he was routed by the advent 
of St. Patrick, who, like everyone else, almost passed 
the island by, so cleverly was it concealed in the thick 
haze of Mannanan s weaving. A curlew called thrice, 
and betrayed the proximity of land. We are told that 
the bird was blessed afterwards by the Saint for the 
inestimable service rendered. 

Mannanan and all his tenants, being of very small 
stature, changed into sprites, and hied them to the 
ancient places of sepulture scattered about the isle, 
where they armed themselves with the flint arrow 
heads found in the barrows. There the elves have 
remained to this age, the age of children who don't 
believe in fairies. 

The quaint national arms of Man with the motto, 


" Quocunque Jeceris Stdbit " whichever way you may 
throw it, it will stand is not the least original and 
interesting of the many unconventional signs in Mona. 
The celebrated legs appear on everything. From the 
minute you land to the time you get hence the three 
legs will confront you, unabashed and eye-compelling. 
How Americans must suffer in the face of such 
blatancy ! The nation which covers up the extremities 
of a piano, the people who invite you to have a " limb " 
of chicken, how much they must endure in this island 
of barefaced flaunting of so embarrassing a sacred 
emblem ! 

One or two of the numerous chroniclers of Manx 
history are of opinion that the adoption of the trique- 
trum does not date further back than the Scotch era, 
or occupation of the Isle of Man, and is the line of 
demarcation between the Norwegian and Scottish 
suzerainty. When the Northmen held the isle the 
national flag depicted an emblazoned war-galley, with 
the motto, "Rex Mannice et Insularum." Harald, King 
of Man in 1245, used such a symbol on his official seal, 
with a lion rampant on the reverse. 

It is quite possible, indeed most probable, that the 
Scandinavian conquerors used the Three Legs a 
symbol found upon ancient coins of the Island of 
Sicily, haunt of the Vikings of old through many ages 
in conjunction with the well-known device of the 
war-galley. The earliest authentic representation of 
the triad is found on the Manx sword of state, said to 
date from 1216. Scandinavian rule did not come to 
an end in Man till 1245. The legs carven upon the 


wonderful old weapon have the nakedness of them 
girt about with chain armour, and spurred heels. 

Before the hardy Northmen conquered the Isle of 
Man it cannot be conclusively proved that the Celtic 
Manx boasted Arms at all. Somewhere about 1265 
the Three Legs entirely superseded the war-galley, 
and has continued its proud career ever since, under- 
going in its trek through the centuries many changes. 
The earliest known example of the present condition 
of the device, emblazoned in the recesses of the fifteenth 
century, portrays the heraldic emblem without its 
motto, which originated in comparatively modern 

" Quocunque Jeceris Stabit " appeared on the copper 
coinage issued in 1668, below the Three Legs, and on the 
reverse "John Murrey His Penny 1668. I X M." 
Up to that time leather money had been in use. In 
1709 the Earl of Derby of the day issued a copper 
coinage, with their well-known crest and motto upon 
one side, and the Manx arms and motto upon the 



The act of order to a peopled kingdom 

Henry V. 

I stand here for law. The Merchant of Venice. 

You can hardly realize the inner meaning of Tynwald 
unless you happen to be a Manxman. The importance 
of it is bound up in his being, and reverence for the 
old-time ceremony is bred in the bones descended 
from the Norsemen who, over a thousand years ago, 
brought to a small island, set in the Irish Sea, the 
manner and fashion of the Government which obtained 
in Scandinavia. It was usual with the Northerners 
to hold in the open all courts for the making of laws, 
settling of petty disputes, and dividing of property. 
The measures which were to govern and bind a free- 
man must be promulgated in full assembly of freemen, 
and wheresoever the Scandinavians went they estab- 
lished this open-air legislative procedure. 

It would seem that in the word Tynwald we have a 
relic and reminder of the Icelandic Thing, Ting, or 
Ding. Palgrave, in writing of these out-of-doors 
courts, explains that the Scandinavian colonies in 
England and Scotland held their Parliaments on 




natural or manufactured hillocks, and observes that 
it is noticeable how many of the eminences, old-time 
seats of satrapy, are distinguishable by the inclusion 
of the name Thing, Ting, or Ding in some stage of 
corruption or alteration. As, for instance, Ding wall, 
Tynwald Hill in Dumfriesshire, and its namesake of 

In Iceland the Parliament, Althing, was held every 
other year in the deep -set valley of Thingvellir, or 
Parliament Field, not far from the capital Reykjavik. 
The Althing has gone the way of so many old usages, 
is nothing now but a memory, but the shadow of it, 
the link, the outward and visible sign of the close 
connexion between Althing and Tynwald, lives on in 
the quaint ceremony still held in the Isle of Man every 
fifth of July. 

As Professor Worsaae, the great Danish historian, 
said : " It is indeed highly remarkable that the last 
remains of the old Scandinavian Thing, which, for 
the protection of the public liberty, was held in the 
open air, in the presence of the assembled people and 
conducted by the people's representatives, are to be 
met with not in the north itself, but in a little island 
far towards the west, and in the midst of the British 

And since under old Scandinavian ruling the laws 
must be proclaimed in open concourse, any measure, 
before it becomes binding, is still, in the one-time 
Scandinavian kingdom of Man, now a tiny jewel in 
the British Crown, promulgated from the Hill of Tyn- 
wald, situated at St. John's, a central village, backed 


by the emerald slopes of Greeba, and dominated by 
the sombre frontage of Slieau Whuellian, down whose 
fearsome scarps the witches of long ago were rolled 
in spiked barrels. 

No English Act of Parliament, unless specifically so 
stated, applies to this little land of Home Rule, and 
though in many ways alterations and additions in 
keeping with the upward sweep of civilization and 
the trend of modern needs have been introduced, 
the general outline of the Government at the present 
time is the same as it was in " Orrey's Dayes," cen- 
turies agone. 

The Governor of the Isle of Man is a sort of latter- 
day Pooh-Bah. He is Governor, Home Secretary, 
Finance Minister, President of the Local Government 
Board, and Chancellor all rolled into one. A most 
ubiquitous " Lord High Everything Else." In money 
matters he has the right of veto. He may prorogue 
the Legislature, and dissolve the House of Keys. 
Tynwald is adjourned by him, not of itself, and when 
my lord speaks he does so sitting. In this modern 
Utopia, this country of no income-tax and no death 
duties, the suffragette ceases from troubling, and the 
strident cries of " Votes for Women" echo not at all. 
In the " HI islan' " women have the vote, and having 
it one is surprised to observe how valueless it appears. 

Of the component parts which go to make the in- 
tegral whole of the legislative powers that be we 
have : The Sovereign of England, as Lord of Man ; 
the Governor and Council, who form a sort of Upper 
House ; and the Keys, who may be said to correspond 


with the Commons, although the Manx claim that 
their representatives existed long before the counties 
sent members to the Court of England. 

The Council consists practically of every potentate 
on the island, a splendid let-them-all-come method of 
eliminating jealousy. The two Deemsters, the Clerk 
of the Rolls, the Attorney-General, the Receiver- 
General, the Bishop, the Archdeacon, and the Vicar- 
General are all of the select band. The Deemsters, as 
everyone knows, are the judges of the Isle of Man. 
In Iceland the spokesman, or lawgiver, was called 
Dom-stiorar. In the Insular Statutes of old times the 
expression " to deem the law truly " occurs now and 
again. Bishop Wilson in his writings used this sen- 
tence, thus showing that he held the etymology of the 
word Deemster to be self-contained. The quaint oath 
which the lawgivers of Man take on appointment runs 
as follows : 

" By this Book, and the Holy Contents thereof, and 
by the wonderful works that God hath miraculously 
wrought in Heaven above and in the earth beneath in 

six days and seven nights, I do swear that I will, 

without respect of favour or friendship, love or gain, 
consanguinity or affinity, envy or malice, execute the 
laws of this Isle justly, betwixt our Sovereign Lord 
the King, and his subjects within this Isle, and betwixt 
party and party, as indifferently as the herring back- 
bone doth lie in the midst of the fish." 

The last sentence, with its unusual simile, is another 
proof of the important part played by the silver 
herring in the economic history of the island. 


The exact origin of the House of Keys is enveloped 
in the mists of ages, wound about with the gossamer 
web of enshrouding mystery. We know it existed in 
some wise so far back as the remote recesses of the 
centuries following the coming of the Northmen in 912. 
There are twenty-four Keys, and no parties. 

I wonder ! 

As regards their odd designation many extraordinary 
solutions are put forward. One ingenious writer con- 
siders that the problem is solved by comparison with 
the Scandinavian word Keise, meaning " the chosen." 
Another historian evolved the idea that Keys is the 
English method of pronouncing Keare-as-feed, the 
Manx for twenty-four ! 

In the Insular Statute Book of 1417 the Keys are 
referred to as Claves Mannice et Claves Legis, Keys of 
Man and Keys of the Law, and from this probably, 
by devious routes and the expenditure of a little 
originality, comes the title of the members of the 
Manx House. 

In 1710 the oath taken by the Keys was recorded 
for the first time in the Liber Scaccarii, or Exchequer 
Book : 

" Your allegiance to the King's Majesty reserved, 
You shall true faith and fidelity bear to the Right 
Honble William, Earle of Derby, and his heirs during 
your life. You shall be aiding and assisting to the 
Deemsters in all doubtfull matters, the Lord's Councill, 
your ffellows', and your own you shall not reveal. 
You shall use your best endeavours to maintaine 
the antient Laws and Customes of the Isle, you shall 


justly and truley deliver your opinion and do right in all 
matters which shall be put unto you, without favour 
or affection, affinity or consanguinity, love or fear, 
reward or gaine, or for any hope thereof ; but in all 
things deale uprightly and justly, and wrong noe man. 
Soe God you help, and the contents of this Book." 

The House of Keys ceased to be a self-elected body 
in 1866, the first General Election taking place in the 
year following. Previous to the House of Keys 
Election Act a member sat for life, or until he chose to 
resign. The statutory time limit of the continuance 
of the House is now five years, unless sooner dissolved 
by the Governor. 

The sacred Hill of Tynwald is a manufactured mound, 
said to be composed of earth brought from every parish 
in the island. It is completely round, some two 
hundred and fifty feet in circumference at the base, cut 
in narrowing circles or steps, like an out-sized wedding 
cake of four tiers. Each platform is three feet higher 
than the last, which makes the height of the hillock 
just twelve feet. 

Before the ceremony of Tynwald the mound is 
thickly strewn from base to top with green rushes 
gathered from the Curragh, according to ancient usage 
and precedent. 

In the fifteenth century it was set down how the 
King of Man should come to Tynwald. Answering 
the questions put to them by the obviously puzzled 
Sir John Stanley, as to how he was to comport himself 
at this old-new ceremony, the Deemsters and Keys 
replied : 



" Our doughtfull and Gratious Lord, this is the 
Constitution of old Tyme, the which we have given in 
our days, how you should be governed on your Tynwald 
Day. First, you shall come hither in your royal array, 
as a king ought to do, by the prerogatives and royalties 
of the Land of Mann. And upon the Hill of Tynwald 
sitt in a chaire, covered with a royal cloath and 
quishions, and your visage unto the east, and your 
swoard before you holden with the point upward ; 
your Barrens in the third degree sitting beside you, 
and your beneficed men and your Deemsters before 
you sitting ; and your Clarkes, your Knights, Esquires, 
and Yeomen about you in the third degree ; and the 
worthiest men in your land to be called in before your 
Deemsters, if you will ask anything of them, and to hear 
the Government of your land, and your will ; and the 
Commons to stand without the Circle of the Hill, with 
three Clearkes in their surplisses. And your Deemsters 
shall make call in the Coroner of Glenfaba ; and he 
shall call in all the Coroners of Man, and their Yards in 
their hands, with their weapons upon them, either 
swoard or axe. And the Moares, that is, to witt, of 
every Sheading. Then the Chief Coroner, that is, the 
Coroner of Glenfaba, shall make affence, upon paine of 
lyfe and limb, that noe man make any disturbance or 
stirr in the time of Tynwald, or any murmur or rising 
in the King's presence, upon paine of hanging and 
drawing. And then shall your Barrens and all others 
know you to be their King and Lord, and what time 
you were here you received the land as Heyre Apparent 
in your Father's days. And all your Barrens of Man, 


with your worthiest Men and Commons, did you faith 
and fealtie. And in as much as you are, by the Grace of 
God, now King and Lord of Man, yee will now that the 
Commons come unto you, and show their Charters 
how they hould of you. And your Barrens that made 
no faith nor fealtie unto you, that they make now." 

Across the misty ages the ancient formula calls to 
us. The keeping of Tynwald ! It means a lot to a 
Manxman. It is his birthright, his pride of place, his 
Independence Day. 

The proceedings of the Court always open with 
prayer in " the little grey church on the windy hill," a 
new edifice as one counts years at St. John's, but built 
upon the site of a very old sanctuary. 

The procession from the church to the hill is regu- 
lated by strict precedent, as potent here as the law 

Of late years the island has not been a military 
station. The East Yorkshire Regiment furnished the 
last detachment of men to garrison Castletown, and 
this small force was removed altogether in 1896. 

The Naval Reserve men from Peel and the local 
volunteers keep the path down which the Governor in 
" his royal array" from a sartorial point of view a 
regal failure passes to the green rush-covered mound, 
running the gamut of the sotto voce remarks of half- 
holiday making Lancashire and Yorkshire. 

A few stalwart policemen lead the way, the coroners 
of the island and the captains of the several parishes, 
the clergy, the four high bailiffs, the two Deemsters, 
and the Members of the House of Keys follow in their 


places. Then the bearer with " the swoard before him, 
holden with the point upward," preceding His Ex- 

The Manx Sword of State which is carried before the 
Governor at Tynwald was borne in front of the kings 
of Man from time immemorial. The weapon is con- 
sidered to be of thirteenth-century origin, and is 
described as : " Three feet six inches and one-eighth 
in length ; but the point having been broken off by 
improper usage, it was no doubt some four or five 
inches longer originally. On each side of the sword, 
near the hilt, the arms of Man, with the legs girt in 
armour, appear." 

The silk hats worn by the assembly as a whole must, 
I think, have been brought to Man by Orry himself, 
and bequeathed to the archives for use on great 
occasions. Hall Caine, late the honourable member 
for Ramsey, disdained the Orry headgear, and in- 
vented a hat for himself. His creative genius evolved 
one that had no counterpart on earth. A top-hat 
stands for the individual always, and if you have any 
imagination, are psychic even in the slightest degree, 
given the hat you can construct the owner. So with 
that of the celebrated author ; it stood alone, and was 
like no other. It was Hall Caine. 

Arrived at the mount, upon which a solid phalanx 
of humanity struggle for a foothold the ladies who 
have their votes being very much in evidence the 
Governor seats himself beside the chair presently 
occupied by the Bishop of Sodor and Man, and the 
Court is " fenced," Anglice, a sort of warning off, a 

threat of dire penalties which will surely overtake a 
disturber of the harmony. 

The fencing of the Court to-day is set about in the 
following words : 

" I fence this Court in the name of our Sovereign 
Lord the King. I do charge that no person do quarrel, 
brawl, or make disturbance, and that all persons answer 
to their names when called. I charge this audience to 
witness that this Court is fenced ; I charge this 
audience to witness that this Court is fenced ; I 
charge this audience to witness that this Court is 

The charmingly picturesque ceremony of the deliver- 
ing up of the wands of office insignificant canes with 
ribbon attachments by the coroners follows, and the 
First Deemster swears in the new coroners. 

All legislative measures must pass both Council 
and Keys, and receive assent from the Sovereign 
before reaching the Tynwald promulgation stage. 
Up to quite recent years the laws were read out in full, 
first in Manx, then in English ; but to-day merely the 
titles of the Acts, with brief recapitulatory notices, are 
proclaimed in the two languages. 

Special sittings of Tynwald are convened on occasion, 
and the same customs and procedure obtain as on the 
day of tjie great annual function. If the fifth of July 
falls on a Sunday, then the Court sits the day following. 

The business on the hill duly completed, the pro- 
cession re-forms and returns to the church, where the 
promulgated Acts are attested, and the Court stands 


And so on through all the ages, every year the same, 
save that each successive Tynwald as it comes round 
sees the crowd greater, the green sward surrounding 
the famous old eminence more like a replica of 
Barnum's than ever. The simple country fair of olden 
time, the engaging of the servants and the farm-hands, 
the bartering of cattle, is ousted by the roystering 
pushing cheap-jack, the pertinacious hawker, the 
fortune-teller, and the intinerant musician. The great 
concourse of freemen of Man gather to hear their laws 
read no longer. The glories of the sun of Tynwald sink 
low to the horizon, the relic of primordial times is 
but another raree-show for the summer visitor, and 
the whole proceedings of the ancient Parliament are 
regarded by the majority as an intensely amusing 
indigenous-to-the-country spectacle, got up specially 
and solely for their good entertainment. They look 
on with tolerant amusement, and go in between times 
for the style of humour peculiar to them. Almost 
everyone of the overflowing contents of the myriad 
chars-a-banc and brakes wear each other's hat. It is a 
real slap in the face for the traducer who said that the 
English take their pleasures sadly. At the bare idea 
of exchanging headgear with a neighbour happiness 
simply happens, as naturally as the success of a 
Kipling poem or the whimsicalities of a Barrie play. 

Alas, poor Tynwald ! Fallen from much of its high 
estate, forced into the hybrid condition of antiquity 
veneered by modernism, but interesting still, thought- 
compelling, and wonder-provoking by reason of its 
ancient history and memories. In Tynwald is memo- 


rized a custom of bygone ages, for as the Manx proverb 
fittingly reminds us : " Mannagh vow cliaghtey, 
cliaghtey, nee cliaghtey coe." (If custom be not in- 
dulged with custom, custom will weep.) 

Many of the ancient statutes in Man which have 
fallen into desuetude of late years have never been 
repealed, and therefore presumably stand for law. 
There is a little story of one of the Governors, playing 
Pooh-Bah in the Appeal Court, being called upon to 
give his opinion as to whether or no a certain ante- 
diluvian Act was worth revoking, and without troubling 
to investigate the matter thoroughly, His Excellency 
pronounced the unrepealed Statute to be of no moment 
at all, whereupon a member of the Court pointed out 
how very awkward it would have been for everyone 
if a similar enactment, considered to be of no conse- 
quence at the time, had not been abrogated in 1697. 
And this was the revoked law : " All Scots to void 
the island, with the next vessell that goeth to Scot- 
land, upon paine of forfeiture of his goodes and his 
bodye to prison." 

The Governor happened to come frae the North 
himself ! 

History does not tell us the upshot of the whole 
affair, but it seems likely that many unrepealed Acts 
were " put upon the list " forthwith, with the com- 
ment from His Excellency that " they never would be 
missed, they never would be missed." 



But the Norweyan lord, surveying vantage 
With furbish'd arms and new supplies of men, 
Began a fresh assault. Macbeth. 

With Sir John Stanley in the Isle of Man. 

King Henry VI. 

THE Isle of Man has a wealth of tradition and history 
surpassing that of any other territory having an equal 
geographical area, and as it clings pathetically, with 
ever-lessening hold, to its fast-vanishing language, 
which received its death-blow forty years ago, when it 
ceased to be taught in the schools, and upholds its 
ancient forms and constitution, customs and privileges, 
proud relics of long-ago times, our hearts are ineffably 
touched by the spectacle of the grand little nation 
striding alongside, and, untarnished by many of the 
so-called benefits of advanced civilization, endeavour- 
ing to keep pace with its mighty neighbour of Great 

The small country of some two hundred and twenty- 
seven square miles is a Palestine, full of holy places. 
From north to south, from east to west, are the grand 
and glorious relics of primordial times times of so 
long ago that even to speak lightly of them is to juggle 



with the centuries. The mysterious whispers of the 
distant ages call to us insidiously from the rugged 
mountain peaks, from the marge of the storm-washed 
rocks, ripple in the tinkling clamour of the streams, 
and keep an eternal tryst with the sighing wind as it 
sweeps gently over the sepulchres of the mighty dead. 

" That's for remembrance ! " murmurs the breath 
of the gorse-covered mountains. " That's for remem- 
brance ! " 

Looking back over all the centuries, we see the little 


Compassed murkily about, 

With ravage of six long, sad hundred years. 

An era of fable and much fabrication, a strenuous time 
of pillage and wars which closed with the establish- 
ment of Christianity. 

As to the exact period which saw the conversion, as 
also over the name of the first man to preach the 
Word there, historians differ. One or two contend that 
Crathlent, King of Scotland, influenced the isle to 
adopt the new faith, and sent Amphibalus as Bishop, 
A.D. 360. Others, again, hold that to St. Patrick the 
Isle of Man owes its conversion from paganism. All 
the conflicting statements are made without any real 
evidence, for there are no ecclesiastical records in 
existence which deal with an era previous to A.D. 1134. 
Christianity came to Ireland long before St. Patrick's 
Day, and the Irish monks at once set forth all over 
Europe converting and missionizing. It would seem 
unlikely then, if hi their zeal and fervour these nomadic 
men of God passed by the small country lying so 


close to their hand, a poor ravaged territory crying 
out for help and guidance. But it can only be guess- 
work. There is nothing to tell us, very little to guide 

The Cistercian monks of Rushen Abbey commenced 
the Chronicon Mannice in the depths of the thirteenth 
century, and they began their list of the Manx bishops 
with Roolwer, who reigned at the end of the eleventh 
century. The Cistercians put on record that it was 
considered sufficient to commence their ecclesiastical 
"Who's Who" with Roolwer, because "We are entirely 
ignorant who or what were the bishops before Rool- 
wer's time ; for we neither find any written documents 
on the subject nor have we any certain accounts 
handed down by our elders." 

This chronicle, the oldest Manx record, the one 
authoritative piece of literature dealing with the 
Scandinavian period in Man, is now in the British 
Museum. Only the other day I held the wonderful 
relic in my hands. The worn, much-mended pages 
are set in the centre of other manuscripts, the whole 
bound together in a leather-covered book of small 
size. The parchment is in places very discoloured 
and smoky, and the writing, English Half - Uncials, 
shows with the whole of the ancient MS. the plain 
evidences of a hoary weight of years. 

Following the establishment of Christianity, and up 
to the tenth century, princes from the adjacent isles 
in turn, as one by force of arms ousted the other, held 
sway, until a great warrior of Norse blood, said by 
some chroniclers to be the Orry of Manx tradition, 


conquered and became the first Norwegian King of 

Into the period of early Scandinavian rule, the days 
of pillage and devastation by the Vikings, interesting 
and comprehensive though it all is, I do not propose 
to dip very deeply. The history of those strenuous 
times has been recorded again and again, and by very 
competent pens. 

The Manx people count many kings of the first 
Norwegian dynasty. Historians give varying num- 
bers, and the real dates of accession, as also the names 
of the ascended monarchs, are more or less rather 
more than less chimerical. Governor Sacheverell, in 
his Account of the Isle of Man, written in 1703, re- 
marking on the remote period following the subjuga- 
tion of Mona by the Northmen, gives it as his opinion 
that many of the said kings were just mythical imagi- 
native creations, evolved from the fertile brains of the 
monks to amuse the people. 

The Cistercians are supposed to have taken up their 
residence at Rushen Abbey in the reign of Olave 
Kleining (Olave the Dwarf), who had given to the 
Abbot of Furness great tracts of land for the establish- 
ment of a monastery. This monarch also gave to the 
churches of the isle great privileges and belts of 

In all the enveloping quagmire of fact inextricably 
muddled up with fiction the historian treads cau- 
tiously, and the cleverest "chiel" among them only 
feels himself on safe ground as he trenches upon 1077, 
the date of the battle of Scacafell, or Skyehill, and the 


conquering of the much-harassed island by Godred 
Crovan, who beat and killed in fierce affray the mon- 
arch of Man, Godred Mac Sytric. The name Godred 
in those days was something like the glut of Jameses 
and Johns with us to-day. 

In Godred Crovan, a romantic commander and 
mighty warrior, who had subjugated the Hebrides and 
the Out Isles, Mr. A. W. Moore sees the outlines of 
the semi-mythical Orry, beloved of Manx tradition. 
Godred Crovan brought to the island the Scandinavian 
methods of legislation. So did Orry. The conqueror 
from the North was of superhuman strength. So was 
Orry. In all things Godred Crovan was more like 
Orry than Orry himself. 

This Godred, son of Harald the Black of Iceland, 
happened to come as a fugitive to Man, and was kindly 
received by the reigning monarch. Observing the 
fertility and resources of the isle, and also the un- 
popularity of its King, Godred, rewarding hospitality 
in rather an unprincipled fashion, meditated conquest, 
and, returning to Iceland, fitted out an extensive ma- 
rauding expedition. Tradition has it that the Icelandic 
forces were twice repulsed by the Manx, but on the 
third effort the victory in the great battle of Scacafell, 
as the verdant slope of Skyehill was then called, went 
to the Northmen. 

This royal struggle is one of the landmarks of time 
in Mona ; poets have sung of it, great litterateurs have 
written of it. Down the corridors of time the echo of 
its clamour rings and trembles yet. 

Under cover of the night the Vikings landed and 


lay in lager for the night, and as the day dawned the 
craft and strategy of Godred placed three hundred 
men in ambush on the wooded hill, which stands 
sentinel to the higher mountains of purple and gold 
behind, dominating the plateau land through which 
the winding, rippling Sulby river flows to meet the sea. 

The Manxmen held the ground on the outskirts of 
Ramsey, awaiting the expected on-coming troops of 
Godred from that quarter, and a small division of these 
presently engaged the attention of the islanders. Then, 
at the crashing volleying overture of sword beating 
against shield Godred's signal the three hundred, 
with pomp of artifice and excellence of design, fell on 
the unprotected rear of the enemy, who, in dense 
column, flanked by slingers and bowmen, with showers 
of stones, arrows, and spears, repelled for a while the 
overwhelming attack. 

With his great sword ever a-swing Godred Crovan, 
clad in ring mail, a rare panoply, with golden pinions 
uprising from his gleaming helmet, carved a way 
through the solid ranks. Like grass before the mower 
fell all who opposed him. Holding his shield firmly 
by the cross bar within the boss, the giant Viking 
parried on its broad disc the battering onslaughts. 

One agile thrower cast a spear so deftly that it 
pierced the uplifted shield, and struck through to the 
golden rim of the marauder's helmet. A low sigh like 
the breath of the wind in the trees sounded tremulous 
and startled, the victorious line of the invaders paused 
for an instant, then rallied and surged on, a relent- 
less o'er-mastering wave. 



To the men who had followed his fortunes from 
Iceland the new King of Man offered choice of land or 
loot, and those who chose the former were allotted 
the South of the Isle, the natives being forced to move 
to the northward. And with this arrangement the 
great injustice of the system of land tenure set in, an 
evil which was not remedied for centuries afterwards. 
No right of inheritance went with the holdings pre- 
sented by Godred. The occupants were merely his 
tenants, his tenants-at-will. 

The dynasty of Godred continued for close upon 
two centuries, and nine monarchs of his House are 
said to have reigned until the middle of the thirteenth 
century, when the small territory passed from King 
Magnus II, the last of Godred's line, to the suzerainty 
of Scotland. 

The period between 1266 and 1405 was indeed a 
troublous one for the poor little land tossed from 
one to another, with all sorts of over-lords to harass 
the long-suffering inhabitants. 

Robert Bruce besieged Castle Rushen in 1313, and 
afterwards presented the Isle of Man to the Earl of 
Moray. Shortly after the Battle of Bannockburn we 
read of the island being again devastated, this time by 
a lot of Irish free-lances. History here becomes very 
involved, and though historians make valiant efforts 
to fill in all the gaps, we cannot help feeling with 
Schlegel that "it is extremely hazardous to attempt 
the explanation of everything." This era in Manx 
history cannot be accounted for reliably. The middle 
of the fourteenth century saw the satrapy of English 


kings once more established, and the over-lordship of 
the Isle of Man was bandied shuttlecock-wise from one 
favourite of the reigning monarch of England to the 
other. During the sovereignty of Edward III the 
island must often have wondered if indeed the power 
of speculation was left to the much-harassed natives, 
whose condition was described by Edward I as " Deso- 
lata et multis miseriis occupata," to whom on earth 
they were to look. 

Piers Galveston, Gilbert MacGascall, and Henry de 
Beaumont in turn wore the unstable crown of Mona. 
Knights who made no hobby of collecting islands sold 
the small territory to others who did. For a passing 
second the crown, which appeared to lie so uneasily 
upon every brow, went to Henry Percy, Earl of North- 
umberland, but with the rebellion of the Percies the 
island reverted once more to the giving of the English 

At last the great dawning of the era of the Stanleys 
flashed across the grey horizon. In April, 1406, 
Henry IV bestowed the Isle of Man on Sir John 
Stanley, a most courageous knight, and valued ad- 
herent of His Majesty, " To him and his heirs for ever, 
with the regalities, franchises, and rights belonging 
thereto, with the patronage of the Bishopric, under 
the title of King of Man, per servitium reddendi duos 
falcones, by the feudal service of offering a cast of 
falcons to the monarchs of England upon their Corona- 
tion Day." 

At the time of the accession of Sir John Stanley his 
new country was in parlous case indeed. For so long 


a tumultuous battle-ground, the whole island was a 
neglected waste. Cultivation was at its lowest ebb, 
and in consequence of the insecure tenure of land 
agriculture played an exceedingly small part in the 
economic history. The power of ecclesiasticism was 
at its zenith, the Church was shark-like in insatiable 
rapacity, and the tithes levied on fishermen and lands- 
men were cruelly extortionate. A great portion of 
the land was held by the Barons of Man, all high 
ecclesiastical dignitaries, resident and non-resident. 
The most worth-having bits, together with mining 
rights, were possessed by the priests, whose immense 
and arbitrary power was all owing to the mistaken 
gifts of former Kings of Man. Olave of Man, one of the 
Godred dynasty, had even thrown away his power of 
appointing a bishop, and bestowed that right on the 
Church of the Blessed Mary of Furness, thus, in one 
fell swoop, depriving the Manx of any say in a matter 
so fraught with consequences to themselves. For the 
Bishop of the Isle had immense powers over life and 
limb, ran his own private gallows, and even up to the 
eighteenth century was only approachable on bended 
knee ! To the King of Man the ecclesiastical poten- 
tate made some small pretence of allegiance, but it was 
very indifferent, very " Let's pretend." 

In the great warrior Sir John Stanley, the outposts 
of Rome met with a decided " check mate." In ex- 
pressly bestowing the gift of the bishopric, a mark of 
royal condescension almost unique, Henry of England 
put a trump card into the hand of his doughty knight. 

The new King of Man never visited his territory, 


and its government was vested in one Michael 
Blundell, a bit of an original, at a time when a spark 
of this excellent attribute stood out like a nimbus. 
Forsaking the tramlines of tradition, the Governor 
occupied himself during his sojourn in writing down all 
the laws which the over-freighted Deemsters had 
hitherto carried loose in their heads. Blundell felt 
that this haphazard system of administering State 
affairs contrasted ill with the carefulness of the Church, 
and its written laws and set measures, denning almost 
the exact amount of air a right-thinking Manxman 
was permitted to breathe. 

The first member of the Stanley family to visit 
Man was the son of John I, upon whose arrival " the 
worthiest men did faith and fealtie to him as Heyre 
Apparent." It was to this Stanley that the Deemsters 
and Keys explained the constitution and ancient 
customs a rescript given in Chapter III of this book. 

On succeeding to the throne of his father, John II 
set about carrying into effect many salutary measures, 
and compiled an amusingly comprehensive code de- 
fining the powers of the Bishop. The ecclesiastical 
powers that were did not, evidently, take kindly to the 
new regime, for we read a pregnant manifesto from the 
King of Man addressed to the Bishop, ordering " The 
Abbots of Rushen, Furness, and Bangor, and of 
Saball, the Priors of St. Beade and Whithorne, and 
the Prioress of Douglas," all barons in Man, to come 
" in their proper persons within forty days, and if 
they come not to lose all their temporalities." Un- 
substantiated tradition has it that the Prior of Whit- 


home failed to make faith and fealtie, and in conse- 
quence lost his barony. 

In the great and lofty mind of Sir John Stanley, 
action and thought played engineer to all the great 
schemes for the island's betterment. The power 
of the Church reeled to its foundations as with regal 
power the Sovereign divested the priests of the much- 
abused right of giving sanctuary, a remedial measure 
which at once allocated wrong-doers to the jurisdiction 
of the civil authorities. The marvellous equipoise of all 
Sir John Stanley's reforms and laws is only equalled 
by their courage and steadfastness. In England at 
that time many crying abuses like those which Sir John 
dared to put down dominated the country, and reform- 
ation was not so much as hinted at. 

John II was succeeded by his son Thomas, created 
first Baron Stanley, who is not really very famous for 
anything save that to him was allotted the task said 
to be entirely apocryphal by many historians of 
playing custodian to the Duchess of Gloucester, who 
was held prisoner on a charge of treasonable witch- 
craft against the King's Majesty. It was alleged that 
the Duchess, wife of Duke Humphry of Gloucester, 
with others " devised an image of wax like unto the 
King, the which image they dealt with so that by 
their devilish sorcery they intended to bring the King 
out of life." 

Although we are shown the historical apartment 
supposed to have been occupied by Her Grace in the 
ecclesiastical prison beneath the Cathedral of St. 
German's at Peel, and although Shakespeare has by his 


magic art kindled the dry dust of this tradition to 
everlasting fire, there is no authentic record extant to 
prove that either custodian or prisoner ever set foot 
upon the Isle of Man. 

Baron Stanley's son was the great warrior of Bos- 
worth Field, and his inestimable services were ac- 
knowledged by King Henry VII with an earldom. 
This powerful nobleman, occupying as he did many high 
and important offices in England, had little leisure to 
attend to insular matters, and the island was governed 
by deputy, often by cadets of the House of Stanley, 
who styled themselves lieutenants or captains. 

The Earl of Derby married the Dowager Duchess of 
Richmond, mother of Henry VII, and died in 1504, 
being succeeded by his grandson Thomas. This 
monarch of Man resigned his regal title, saying that he 
considered the name of a great lord infinitely preferable 
to that of a petty king. In writing of it years after- 
wards, the seventh earl remarked that he did not know 
whether this action on the part of his ancestor was 
" one of modesty or policy." A little of both, perhaps, 
with a preponderance in favour of the latter. The next 
earl, Edward, was Lord of Man for fifty years, and if he 
ever visited the isle he made but little impression. 
The fourth earl succeeded in 1572, and was followed by 
Ferdinand in 1593. This noble is confidently reported 
to have been the victim of poison, administered to him, 
the story goes, by unscrupulous adherents who had 
used their utmost efforts to persuade the Lord to lay 
claim to the Crown of England, by reason of his descent 
from Henry VII. On the loyal Stanley refusing to 


adopt this idea, his doom was practically pronounced. 
Certain it is that he died very mysteriously a year 
after coming into his lordship of Man. He left two 
daughters, and no son, therefore the baronies of 
Stanley and Strange fell into abeyance, and William, 
brother of Ferdinand, succeeded to the earldom. 
Now began a squabble royal among the relatives 
and no quarrel can be more acrimonious and difficult 
of settlement as to whom the Isle of Man belonged. 
William claimed it, his nieces claimed it, and finally 
the matter in dispute was referred to Queen Elizabeth 
for settlement. That high-handed dame settled the 
matter effectively by annexing the isle herself, and 
appointing a governor. It was during the suzerainty 
of Elizabeth that Castle Rushen became possessed of 
the wonderful old time-piece which still sets the hours 
for Castletown. Her Majesty presented the clock 
to the seat of Manx satrapy as a token of royal 

The vexed question of ownership was never settled 
in Elizabeth's day, and it was not until James I had 
been on the throne for some time that it was decided 
to award the Isle of Man to the daughters of the fifth 
Earl of Derby. By this time both had found husbands, 
the present over-crowded state of the marriage-market 
not having cast any shadows before; and, possibly 
because their husbands dreaded the necessity of re- 
siding on a distant island, with inadequate means of 
getting away from it, or because of indifference brought 
about by monotonous controversy, both heiresses 
willingly made over the isle to their uncle, the sixth 


earl, with all their rights and privileges. The King, by 
Private Act of Parliament, 1610, re-bestowed Man on a 
Stanley, " in the name and blude of William, Earl of 

As the throes of the Reformation rent England 
from end to end, the sweep of the rising turmoil 
engulfed the little territory in the Irish Sea. The 
statutes of Henry VIII, putting down monastic 
habitations, did not apply to the Isle of Man, and the 
monasteries of Mona were not completely dissolved 
until the reign of Elizabeth, and then the passing of 
them was not due to any statute, but by right of the 
might of a Sic volo, sic jubeo spoken by the English 
monarch. Rushen Abbey, for so long the home of the 
powerful Cistercians from Furness, was, I understand, 
the last monastic house m the British Isles to be 
broken up, and with its closure sic transit gloria the 
barons of Man. The Bishop alone remained. 

As Elizabeth settled herself on the throne, the 
Captain of Man, in striking fashion, handed in " her 
Majestie's commands " for reading in the churches, a 
quaintly-worded formula putting down, on paper at 
least, every practice of the Church of Rome. 

History does not tell us that the inhabitants tried 
to quit the country nobody in those days could leave 
the island without a licence! but in reading over 
Her Majestie's inj unctions it is very clear to us that 
among all the hatefully puritanical abodes existent 
at that time the Isle of Man must have ranked high. 
Perhaps the natives did not really feel the edict or the 
imprisonment. With the sea as a permanent escape 


ladder, an island had no terrors for a nation bred to 
regard the ocean as a mighty friend. 

The autocracy of the Lord was now paramount; 
with his barons gone, his every authority was on the 
up-grade. The statutes of the isle confirmed and 
ratified his myriad privileges, and pages and pages of 
the Statute-book devoted themselves to regulating the 
mechanism of my Lord's domestic affairs. All allow- 
ances and rations were minutely settled, and the 
noble household must have been run on lines of the 
greatest economy, and the bills of the butcher, the 
baker, and the candlestick-maker reduced to a mini- 
mum. We read that most of the necessary household 
commodities were given, or sold, "at the Lord, his 

" No man to have choice wine but my Lord, the 
Captain, the Abbott, or Archdeacon, and to drink it of 
free cost or else to have none, saving my Lord." 

All things paid him toll. Treasure trove was his, 
wreckage, however valuable, toll of all fish taken was 
paid him, and the goods of felons also fell to the share 
of this great potentate. 

As the Armada threatened, the immemorial ancient 
custom of watch and ward was detailed and elaborated. 
This system of keeping everlasting watch for possible 
enemies was " One of the Constitutions of old tyme 
that every man had to perform the duties of Watch and 
Ward." The usage was continued until after 1815. The 
watch-places, exclusive of fortified castles and strong- 
holds, were many, and scattered about the island 
sentinel-wise. The look-out never ceased summer or 


winter, night or day. Snaefell was the central conning 
tower, and all the surrounding hills played their parts 
in the safeguarding of Mona. South Barrule was 
originally called Ward Fell. At the sign of a strange 
sail every peak and summit blazed forth a flaming 
signal to the natives to hurry to the trysting places. 
All the inhabitants of Man, as the Lord's tenants, were 
compulsorily armed with bows and arrows, swords and 
bucklers, and these weapons of war passed from 
father to son and were called corbes, heirlooms. 

We read of Governor Randolph Stanley asking the 
Deemsters, at the time of the threatened Armada 
invasion, to answer this conundrum : 

" I pray you certify me what punishment your laws 
impose on the Wardens of the Watch, if they do not 
nightly see the Watch sett at the hours appointed." 

And the all-knowing law-men give it that " the 
Wardens are to be punished at the discretion of the 

The Earl of Derby, who received back the island by 
special gift en seconde noces in the history of his family, 
gave up his interests and tenure in 1637, some five 
years before he died, to his son, Lord Strange, who had 
been for some time in full authority over the isle. To 
this outstanding figure in Manx history is universally 
accorded with proud acclaim the style and title of 
Yn Stanlagh Mooar, the Great Stanley. 



This was the noblest Roman of them all. 


The elements 

So mix'd in him, that Nature might stand up, 
And say to all the world, 
This was a man. Julius Casar. 

THE Great Stanley has been compared by one of his 
biographers to a Russian nobleman among his vassals, 
and the comparison is not inapt. In fact it is quite 
a tolerant way of viewing the autocratic character of 
the Earl. Most biographers have but two points of 
view ; they either write with intention of making 
a man into a demi-god, or of branding him as a knave 
who has cheated the world. 

{^Though the seventh Earl of Derby undoubtedly 
held lofty ideals for the betterment of his island, there 
always abode with him the settled conviction that a 
vast and impassable gulf lay 'twixt him and his in- 
feriors. The teachings of his time were all for the 
slavish dependence of dependants, for autocratic 
sovereignty, and these tenets were imbibed and rigidly 
adhered to by this typical cavalier. By no means a 
perfect ruler, he yet strove to check the still unbounded 



exactions of the Church, to evolve some degree of order 
from chaos, and his wide intelligence and princely 
diplomacy contrast oddly with one or two crying in- 
justices of his reign. As a loyal servant of his King, for 
whom he showed his love by the giving of life itself, the 
Stanlagh Mooar ranks high among the gallant men 
who staked their all on the fortunes of the vacillating 
Charles. Such devotion was worthy of a better King, 
to whom the allegiance of the Earl of Derby under 
stress and storm was magnificent in spontaneity and 

In 1627 the then Lord Strange appointed an act 
fraught with vast after-consequences to the Stanleys 
Edward Christian as Governor of the island, the 
Edward Christian so often confused with his kinsman 
William, called by the Manx Ittiam Dhone (Fair- 
haired William), who has furnished poets with verses 
and historians with dissertations. 

The Governor was described by his patron in the 
following illustrative words : "A Manxman born, as 
rude as a sea captain should be, but refined as one 
that had civilized himself half a year at Court, where 
he served the Duke of Buckingham." 

For many years this choice of Governor seemed the 
inspiration of genius ; but at last a little rift within 
the lute made itself apparent, and culminated in the 
following trenchant expression from my Lord, which 
sums up the whole situation : " But I observed that 
the more I gave the more he asked. After a while I 
sometimes did refuse him, and it was sure to fall out, 
according to the old observation, that when a prince 


hath given all and the favourite can desire no more, 
they both grow weary of one another." The weariness 
evidently ended in crucial fashion. In 1640 Edward 
Christian was superseded as Governor by Captain 
Greenhalgh, of whom the Earl writes : " His ancestors 
have dwelt in my house, as the best, if not all, the 
good families in Lancashire have done. This certainly 
might breed a desire in the man that the house where 
his predecessors have served might flourish." In this 
connexion, dwelling on the ingratitude of his former 
favourite, the Earl made use of the old Manx proverb : 
" Ta scuinys y laue dy choyrt scuirrys yn veeal dy 
voylley." (When the hand ceases to give, the mouth 
ceases to praise.) 

The acute crisis in monarchical affairs in 1642 caused 
the Earl of Derby to raise a considerable force and join 
his King at York. His staunch allegiance stood firm 
as a rock in spite of unjust suspicions and calumnies. 
The evil little bird was a-wing to whisper in the ear of 
Charles that Derby, even as the King himself, was 
descended from Henry VII. The disinterested devotion 
of the most loyal of subjects was contorted and mis- 
understood. We read of Prince Rupert informing the 
Earl of all " those undeserved jealousies and suspicions 
subsisting against him by the great ones at Court, and 
also of their vile and scurrilous suggestions and in- 
sinuations to His Majesty." 

Through all vicissitudes the gallant Cavalier had no 
blame for his King. The King could do no wrong. The 
gross mismanagement which threw the Earl's own 
county of Lancashire into the Parliamentary cause 


was never ascribed by the mortified nobleman to the 
detrimental policy which engendered it. On the little 
island discontent was rife. The crises of England were 
nothing to the wrongs of the natives, smarting under 
personal grievances which cried out for redress. They 
would pay no more tithes. They could live very 
comfortably without a bishop, therefore desired none. 
And, most shocking of all, without any " by your 
leave," or " with your leave " to my Lord, a wholesale 
invitation to " foreigners " to visit the sacred preserve 
of the Isle of Man had been extended by the Manx. 

A ship of the Manx navy the island boasted a navy 
in those days was seized by a prowling Parliamentary 
man-o'-war. Everything seemed to cry aloud for 
attention and arrangement. And the Earl set out for 
his territory visiting it, as it is thought, for the first 
time leaving his great Countess to defend Lathom 
House against Fairfax. 

With consummate tact the artful noble met the 
simmering islanders in tolerant and engaging fashion. 
" When first I came among the people," he wrote, " I 
seemed affable and kind to all, so I offended none. For 
taking off your hat, a good word, a smile or the like, 
will cost you nothing, but may gain you much." 

The rising discontent was caused mainly by the 
exactions and rapacity of the Church, and the unfair 
system of land tenure, and to quell the local excitement 
Lord Derby convened a meeting that he might judge of 
the complaints, " and give best remedy I could ; by 
which I thought those that had entered into evil 
designs against me, or the country, might have time to 


find some excuses for themselves by laying the blame 
and charge upon others. Thus I chose rather to give 
them hopes, and prevent them falling into violent 
measures before I could be provided for them. I gave 
them a few good words, upon which they appeared 
easy, and departed." 

The dragon of discontent was only scotched by these 
methods, and rose again, hydra-headed, to menace the 
Lord's peace. A second mass meeting was appointed 
at " Castle Peel, where," writes his Lordship, " I 
expected some wrangling, and met with it, but had 
provided for my own safety, and if occasion were to 
curb the rest." 

His prophetic soul had seen the need of a detective- 
like intelligence department, who mingled with the 
people to ascertain " what likeliest might best content 
them. I had spies," continues the careful Lord of Man, 
" among the busy ones, who, after they had spoken 
sufficiently ill of my officers, began to speak well of me, 
and of my good intent to give them all the satisfaction 
their grievances required, and that if any man were 
so unreasonable as to provoke me, they would run to 
great hazard, as I had to maintain my actions, from 
which there was no appeal." 

There spoke with clarion note the autocratic states- 
man, and it may be that his firm front might have 
lulled the clamour of the people but for the dramatic 
fact that the ex-favourite and ex-Governor Edward 
Christian was present, who, to quote once more the 
words of his one-time patron, " at the rising of the 
Court asked me if we did not agree thus and thus, 


mentioning something he had instructed the people 
to ask, which very happily they had forgot. Presently 
some catched thereat. ... I assured the people that 
they needed no other advocate than myself to plead 
for them . . . so I bade the Court to rise, and no man 
to speak a word more." The Earl naively adds, 
" Christian hereat grew very blank." 

The Nemesis which would naturally overtake a man 
who set himself against the steel-like will of the island's 
monarch overtook Edward Christian, and he was tried 
by the Keys, on the charges : " That he had said that 
the Keys should be elected by the people. That the 
Deemsters should be chosen out of the twenty-four 
Keys, one by the Lord, the other by the people, and 
that they should hold office for three years only. 
That he had encouraged the people to resist the 
payment of tithes. That he had endeavoured to get 
Peel Castle into his power. That he had urged the 
people to behave seditiously to the Lord." 

For these " greate and manifest misdemeanors " 
Edward Christian was incarcerated at Peel, where he 
remained for many years. An entry in the register 
at Maughold Church, where Christian is buried, de- 
fines the offence for which the ex-Governor was im- 
prisoned as " Some words spoken concerning ye King 
when ye great difference was betwixt King and Par- 

In the little world outside the grim grey prison 
which had swallowed up the unfortunate sea-captain 
great things went forward. The Earl set about in- 
vestigating some of the complaints, and by way of a 


start called on the clergy for explanations, and made 
promises of reform. With characteristic impetuosity 
he did not wait for some of these to take effect, and 
of his own immediate command put an end to the 
delightful arrangement of ecclesiastical grabbing which 
directed that all small tithes must be paid on Easter 
Day, and unless they were so, the Sacrament should 
be withheld ! Lord Derby artfully altered the day of 
payment to Monday or Tuesday in Easter week, thus 
giving anyone who desired to take the Sacrament the 
opportunity of doing so. 

Unfortunately the matter of the land-tenure was 
not dealt with in the same broad-minded spirit. It 
will be remembered that six centuries before Godred 
Crovan had granted to his followers portions of the 
island, which they held from him as tenants-at-will. 
In the course of years the people had come to regard 
the holdings as their own, without charter certainly, 
but so much their own individual property that they 
claimed the right of land-transmission from father to 
son. If there was no heir in the direct line it had 
become the custom for proclamation to be made on 
three successive Sundays, when the next-of-kin suc- 

The Earl of Derby never ceased to regard the latter- 
day land tenure system as detrimental, and laboured 
strenuously to enforce his absolute ownership. In 
1645 he manoeuvred and cajoled the Tynwald Court 
into newly denning the right of holdings, whereby the 
tenants became mere leaseholders by law. Everyone 
had to make over his land to the Lord, who handed 


it back on a marvellous lease arrangement, which 
brought him into possession again after no great lapse 
of time. The direct consequence of all this was a com- 
plete neglect of agriculture, and everyone turned his 
attention to the more profitable livelihood of smuggling, 
for which the island was the most splendid natural 
entrepot imaginable. 

Before the promulgation of his most unfair Act Lord 
Derby left for England and hied him to Lathom, 
where he received Prince Rupert on the raising of the 
famous siege. The Battle of Marston Moor saw the 
warrior Earl in the fighting line again. He then re- 
turned to Man, whither his Countess, his children, and 
his chaplain, Rutter, had preceded him. 

At the end of 1644 the Parliamentary Committee 
offered to do their best towards procuring the reconcilia- 
tion of the Earl with the Cromwellian Government. 
His English estates were to be restored if Lord Derby 
would but yield the Isle of Man. To this it would 
seem that the gallant Cavalier did not deign a reply. 
He amused himself with fortifying his small territory 
and holding high revelry at Castle Rushen. 

The Rev. Thomas Parr, then vicar of Malew, the 
quaintest Manx cleric of his or any age, describes a 
typical entertainment of the time, in the vivid word- 
painting with which he was wont to adorn his episcopal 
and parish registers, an admiring eulogy, forerunner 
of the exclamatory notes abounding to-day in the 
social columns of the Society papers. Indeed, I think 
that to Thomas Parr instead of Mr. T. P. O'Connor 
really belongs the credit of discovering the so-called 


new line of journalism for the most part composed of 
comments on a circle in which, d propos de rien or very 
little, all the women are hailed as beautiful houris, 
each one possessing the very finest pearl necklace in 
the whole world, and the men inevitably as hand- 
some dashing creatures, distinguished and amazingly 
amiable. If by some unlucky chance the subject in 
hand is ugly enough to smash a looking-glass to 
smithereens, then is he juggled into an intellectual 
rara avis, that doubtful port in a storm. The women 
of the Rev. Thomas Parr's world, as in Mr. T. P. 
O'Connor's to-day, could never, I'm sure, lucky 
dames, be plain. 

Now let us read the M.A.P. of Manxland of A.D. 
1643. " The Right Hon. James Earle of Derbie, and 
his Right Hon ble Countesse invited all the Officers, 
temporall and spirituall, the Clergie, the 24 Keyes of 
the Isle, the Crowners, with all their wives, and like- 
wise the best sort of the rest of the inhabitance of the 
Isle, to a great maske, where the Right Hon ble Charles 
Lo. Strange, with his traine, the Right Hon ble Ladies, 
with their attendance, were most gloriously decked 
with silver and gould, broidered workes, and most 
costly ornaments, bracellets on there hands, chaines on 
there necks, jewels on there foreheads, eatings in there 
ears, and crowns on there heads, and after the maske 
to a feast which was most royall and plentifull with 
shuttings of ornans, etc. And this was on the twelfth 
day (or last day) in Christmas, in the year 1644. All 
the men just with the Earle, and the wives with 
the Countesse ; likewise, there was such another 


feast that day was twelve moneth at night, being 


For some reason or other the Cromwellian Govern- 
ment did nothing further in the matter of annexing the 
Island until 1649, when the Earl was formally required 
to hand over his kingdom, a procedure which wrung 
the following magnificent reply from Yn Stanlagh 
Mooar : 

" I received your letter with indignation and scorn, 
and return you this answer : that I cannot but wonder 
whence you should have gathered any hopes of me 
that I should, like you, prove treacherous to my 
sovereign, since you cannot but be sensible of my 
former acting in his late Majesty's service, from which 
principles of loyalty I am not one whit departed. I 
scorn your offers, disdain your favours, and am so 
far from delivering up this island to your advantage, 
that I will keep it, to the utmost in my power to your 
destruction. Take this your final answer, and forbear 
any further solicitation. For if you trouble me with 
any more messages on this account I will burn the 
paper and hang the bearer. This is the immutable 
resolution and shall be the undoubted practise of him 
who accounts it his chief est glory to be his Majesty's 
most loyal and obedient servant -P. 


" CASTLETOWN, July i2th, 1649." 

Following these grand words and bold, the Earl made 
a declaration of fealty to His Majesty, and invited all 
other faithful subjects to hie them to the island, 


" where we will unanimously employ our forces to the 
utter ruin of those unmatchable regicides." 

The Government retaliated by presenting the Isle 
of Man to Lord Fairfax, but no written trace of this 
Deed of Gift by the Long Parliament, said to have 
been effected on the 2gth September, 1649, is extant. 

No further attempt was made to annex the little 
country until March, 1651, when the Manx navy beat 
the Parliamentary ships in a mighty affray, and drove 
them back in great disorder. 

April of that year saw Lord Derby in England, 
whence he returned again, and gathering together a 
strong fleet, besides " men of qualitie, and some Manks 
soulders," the redoubtable Cavalier, accompanied by 
Greenhalgh, hurried to England to assist Charles II. 
Sir Philip Musgrave, an ardent Royalist, undertook 
the Governor's duties, and with Receiver-General 
William Christian, a son of the Deemster of that 
name, kinsman of Edward, still in prison, in com- 
mand of the insular troops, the brave Countess of 
Derby faced the situation nobly. 

At first the tidings which reached the island were 
hopeful and encouraging, but as the turmoil and stress 
of repeated captures and disasters crushed down the 
leaping hopes of the loyal Derby, sombre words suc- 
ceeded " the comfortable lines." Three days before 
his execution the Stanlagh Mooar wrote to his wife and 
told her of the strength of the Parliamentary force 
about to proceed against the Isle of Man, advising 
her to make no resistance " to the end that you may 
go to some place of rest where you may not be concerned 


in war." Through this bravely beautiful and pathetic 
letter, which is given in full in Seccombe's House of 
Stanley, we see rising above its commanding courage 
the grim tragedy of what Mr. Edward Dowden would 
call " the setting of thick darkness on a human soul." 

The Earl of Derby was defeated in an affray with 
the forces of Cromwell between Chorley and Wigan 
in Lancashire, but managed to get through to his 
King at Worcester, only to be captured in Cheshire by 
one Major Edge, who took the Earl " upon condition 
of quarter." 

The trial of Lord Derby took place at Chester. He 
was indicted under the "Act for Prohibiting Corres- 
pondence with Charles Stuart and his Party," which 
was enacted on the I2th August, 1651. The brave 
Cavalier was virtually sentenced before he was tried, 
for on the 2oth September Cromwell wrote to Colonel 
Rich, " Darbie will be tried at Chester, and die at 

On the i5th October, 1651, at Bolton-le-Moors, the 
gallant Stanley was executed, giving his life for his 

The Countess, meanwhile, ignorant of the death of 
her husband, was having a none too easy time on the 
isle. Though there were probably two parties, a very 
strong section of the natives advocated going over 
wholesale to Cromwell. On hearing of the capture of 
the Earl of Derby, the Countess had communicated 
with Colonel Duckenfield, offering to render up the Isle 
of Man if her husband might be released. 

On the 25th October, Colonel Duckenfield, with 


twenty-four sail, three regiments of foot, and two troops 
of horse, made the island, seeing " the country people 
in what numbers they could make, both horse and 
foot, mustering in what strength they could engage, 
which for aught we knew was against us." The 
amiable residents of Ramsey, where Duckenfield's 
fleet anchored, headed by Receiver-General Christian, 
backed up by his Deemster relative, assured the Parlia- 
mentary warrior that their true intent was all for his 
delight. Only two castles in the island still held out, 
Peel and the residence of the Countess of Derby, 
Castle Rushen. All other forts should be handed 
over instanter. 

The importance of the actions of the Christians has 
been raised out of all focus mainly by the genius of Sir 
Walter Scott in Peveril of the Peak. In the eulogies 
which now hail William Christian as the Manx Martyr, 
we cannot, in spite of poet's licence, get away from 
the patent fact that he was also suspiciously like that 
unusual anomaly, a Manx traitor. 

After a time of storm, in which the very elements 
fought the battle of the Countess, a night of surging 
sea which drove one of the Parliamentary ships to her 
doom, Duckenfield landed, summoning the Countess 
to surrender her fortress. The bluff warrior used the 
words " the late Earl of Derby," in his ultimatum, 
and this terse expression was the first intimation the 
Countess had received that her great lord was no more. 
At this the wonderful woman became " extreamely 
passionately affected, as in a kind of fury," and any 
idea she may have had of surrendering the castle 


promptly left her. She stood practically alone in her 
resolve to hold the fortress. Her Council, her Receiver- 
General, her Deemster, all had gone over to the enemy. 
Even gallant Rutter, the chaplain who assisted at the 
defence of Lathom, who some years afterwards became 
Bishop of Man, counselled surrender. At last, listen- 
ing to his advice, the Countess offered to give up the 
castle on condition that her jointure be secured to her, 
that her servants' property be assured to them, and 
that all be given safe conduct to England. 

Duckenfield vouchsafed no answer, and laid siege to 
the castle. 

Within the great stronghold discontent raged among 
the traitorous henchmen. Some joined the besiegers, 
others wrenched open a sally-port and provided the 
enemy with safe conduct to the outer wall and tower. 
The day was lost, and on the ist November the Countess 
yielded up her castle with all its stores, and Peel on 
the following Monday. She was accorded safe con- 
duct to England, and her knights and followers received 
passes enabling them to go wheresoever they desired. 

The Government next voted the island a guard of 
two hundred and forty men and two vessels to guard 
" and defend them from pirates," and to the messenger 
who took the glad tidings of the capture of the isle 
a hundred pounds was awarded. Deemster Christian 
and Receiver-General Christian were bidden to London 
to attend a Council under the most unrecognizable 
description of " two of the honestest and ablest 
gentlemen in the Island." Lord Fairfax then came 
into his own, and in due course John Chaloner, one 


of the judges who sat at the trial of Charles I, but who 
withdrew before the close, was appointed Governor. 

On the 29th May, 1660, Charles II was proclaimed 
King at Castletown, and all over the island the news 
was hailed with every sign of joy and thankfulness. 

Once more a scion of the House of Stanley received 
back the dominion which had been lost to his family 
for eight and a half years. 



The sun of Rome is set ! Our day is gone. 

Julius Ccesav. 

WITH the coming of an Earl of Derby to his country 
the island settled down to the new-old condition of 
things as though the great change to the Parliamentary 
control had never been. The days of the short-lived 
Commonwealth were conveniently forgotten. If we 
seek a reason for this turncoat method of procedure 
we have it, I suppose, hi that oracular remark, that 
all-embracing explainer of impenetrable situations, 
" the swing of the pendulum." The pendulum swing- 
ing hard-a-port saw the Earl of Derby meting out 
punishment quietly and unobtrusively to all who had 
failed in loyalty to his House, the while the islanders 
looked silently on and endeavoured to play-act that 
the feelings of the whole community had never wavered 
from sentiments of faith and fealty to the rightful 
Lord. Transcending every other thought in the mind 
of Lord Derby was the passionate desire to punish 
William Christian, whose actions had so materially 
assisted towards the temporary downfall of the House 
of Stanley in the island. 



On coming to the throne Charles II, as is well known, 
promulgated a General Act of Indemnity, and under 
the cloak of this supposed powerful protection Illiam 
Dhone returned to Man from England. At once Lord 
Derby, choosing to ignore the Royal manifesto, wrote 
from Lancashire to order the immediate apprehension 
of the ex-Receiver-General. 

" Soe far forth as I may to revenge a father's blood, 
I take it to be a duty to command you (which I doe 
with these presents) that forthwith upon sight thereof 
you proceed against William Christian of Ronasway 
for all his illegal actions and rebellion, and that he be 
proceeded against according to thelawes of my island." 

With lightning rapidity Christian was apprehended, 
and forced to stand his preliminary trial at Castle 
Rushen, and the evidence adduced unquestionably 
went to prove that he was, at the time of Duckenfield's 
arrival in the isle, the ringleader of a proposed general 
insurrection, and the moving spirit in a secret scheme 
for an attack upon the garrison at Castletown. The 
next move in this great drama was the demand of the 
Lord of Man of his Deemsters and Keys as to whether 
or no " the case of Mr. William Christian of Ronasway 
was within the Statute of 1422," which gave it for 
law that " whosoever riseth against the lieutenant, 
he is a traytor by our law, for that is against the 
Lord's prerogative." 

Did the Deemsters advocate a " sentence without 
quest, or to be tryed according to the ordinary e course 
of tryall for life and death in this country " ? 

The law-givers gave it that Christian must be tried 


by the course of life and death, and on the 26th Novem- 
ber, 1661, at Castle Rushen, Illiam Dhone was brought 
before a Court of General Gaol Delivery. Deemster 
Norris sat alone, Deemster Edward Christian, the 
prisoner's nephew, and not entirely blameless himself, 
being absent. 

The Earl of Derby, with his mind fully made up as 
to the course he intended should ultimately be followed, 
now affected a total ignorance and innocence of the 
judicial aspect of the case. He became a veritable 
Rosa Dartle in his desire for information on matters 
which none knew so well as he. First, my Lord 
would know what happened in the case of a prisoner 
refusing to plead a mistaken policy Christian had 
followed and it may be that in this one item the 
thirst for knowledge was genuine, for in the answer 
of the Deemster that such a person would be " in ye 
mercy of ye Lord for life and goods, as we find by 
ancient records," Lord Derby suddenly realized that 
the sentencing of Christian, which he intended to foist 
on to anyone else, was in a fair way to be flung upon 
his own shoulders. Again the wily Lord summoned his 
Deemster and Keys and desired to have the informa- 
tion whether a person who would not plead, and who 
was in consequence, under the laws of Man, adjudged 
a traitor, was entitled to be tried by a Grand Jury. 
If such a prisoner was not worthy of trial, ought not 
the Deemster to proceed to pass sentence, and if the 
Deemster did not see his way to doing so who would, 
or could, or should ? 

The case of Christian was evidently considered one 


for hearing by a Grand Jury, and a Gilbertian pre- 
arranged trial took place. Lord Derby set the stage 
for the wild drama with managerial care and fore- 
thought. Seven of the Keys were superseded alto- 
gether by the Lord's command, and seven amenable 
minions substituted, and, with Attorney-General Can- 
nel sitting as second Deemster in Deemster Christian's 
stead, the Court found no difficulty in coming 
to a conclusion that William Christian had forfeited 
any right to any mortal thing at all, and gave it that 
" the doome and sentence for life and death " must 
be pronounced by the Deemsters, or the one of them, 
"in due obedience." 

William Christian meanwhile had appealed to King 
Charles, reminding His Majesty of the Act of Indemnity, 
and pleading for a fair trial, which could not be had on 
the island, and but for the unconscionable time occupied 
in those days for news to travel, this demand would 
undoubtedly have been Illiam Dhones salvation. Some 
idea of the isolation of the Isle of Man, and its com- 
plete aloofness from the great humming world outside, 
even up to quite recent years, may be gathered when 
we remember that the victory of Waterloo was not 
known in Mona for six weeks after the battle had 
been fought. 

The matter being satisfactorily adjusted from the 
Earl of Derby's point of view, the Deemsters were 
commanded to pass this sentence upon the prisoner : 
" That hee bee brought to the place of execution 
called Hango Hill and there shott to death, that 
thereupon the lyfe may departe from his body." 


We can imagine the unfortunate Illiam Dhone 
waiting and watching for the news from England, for 
the reprieve which never reached him. Realize also 
the anxiety of Lord Derby to wreak his vengeance ere 
it should be taken out of his power to do so. Does 
not Bacon call revenge " a kind of wild justice " ? 
If may be that in this wolf-like and cruel procedure 
the Lord of Man saw the only way by which his great 
father's death might in some sort be avenged. 

On the last day of the old year Deemster Norris, in 
due obedience, passed sentence on William Christian, 
" in a patheticall speech ! " Two days afterwards, 
as the New Year dawned brightly on the world, 
Christian met his death at Hango Hill the place of the 
hanging a little eminence outside Castle town, upon 
which a block-house stood. The ruins of it are to be 
seen to-day, and the Manx have it that the spirit of the 
ex-Receiver-General haunts his death-place still. 

The strange superstition against letting blood fall 
upon the ground, which was so prevalent among the 
Manx people, a superstition which exists in lesser 
degree to this day, prompted the executioners to 
lay blankets down for Christian to stand upon. To let 
blood fall on the bare earth was considered in those days 
to be an unnecessary flight right into the face of 
Providence. Just asking for trouble. 

The soldiers wished to bind their prisoner, but he 
would none of it. Pinning a scrap of white paper 
over his heart as a plain-to-be-seen target, Illiam Dhone 
himself gave the signal " Fire ! " by stretching out his 
arms, and thus, all valiant, tasted of death but once. 


Whatever else he was or was not, the ex-Receiver- 
General had no taint of cowardice about him. 

The parish register at Malew records the sinister 
revenge of Lord Derby in these words : " Mr. William 
Christian of Ronaldsway, late receiver, was shott to 
death at Hango Hill, the 2nd of January, 1662. He died 
most penitently and most curragiously, made a good 
end, prayed earnestly, made an excellent speech, and 
next day was buried in the chancel at Malew." 

The quaint entry is one of the inimitable gems 
inserted in the register by the Rev. Thomas Parr to 
whom I have referred elsewhere one of two con- 
spicuous brothers who were clerics in Man. 

The dying speech protested against " the prompted 
and threatened jury, a pretended court of justice, of 
which the greater part were by no means qualified." 
Disavowing all thought of treason, the ex-Receiver- 
General claimed that his actions did not, in the least 
degree, intend the prejudice of the Derby family. 

In ballad and prose the life history of Illiam Dhone 
has been recounted again and again. In Peveril of 
the Peak we find his semblance in a personality in- 
extricably muddled up with Edward Christian, just 
as Peel Castle and distant Castle Rushen telescope and 
intermingle. All this, of course, was artistic licence. 
Sir Walter Scott, whose brother lived in Man, was well 
acquainted with the actual history and happenings of 
Mona's Isle. It is now the generally accepted theory 
that Illiam Dhone was a patriot, with the accent on the 
" riot " perhaps, but still a patriot, a loyal subject, a 
martyr sacrificed for the country. The ballad of 


Iliam Dhone voices the popular attitude, as in softening 
touch the poignant narrative sets forth the woes and 
wrongs of the " murdered " Manxman. 

Let no one in greatness too confident be, 

Nor trust in his kindred, though high their degree ; 

For envy and rage will lay any man low ; 

Thy murder, Brown William, fills Mona with woe. 

The old ballad, which is to be found in the Mona 
Miscellany, was originally translated by George 
Borrow and published in Once a Week in 1862. There 
are not wanting out-spoken critics who call William 
Christian by another name than " martyr," and pull 
him down from the full meridian of glory. Hall 
Caine, with his knowledge of, and insight into, things 
Manx, writing of his long-dead countryman, says : 
" He a hero. A Manx Vicar of Bray. Let us talk of 
him as little as we may, and boast of him not at all. 
Man and Manxmen have no need of him. No, thank 
God, we can tell of better men. Let us turn his picture 
to the wall." 

On the 1 6th January the belated reprieve came to 
hand, and Lord Derby was ordered by the Secretary of 
State to bring his prisoner to London for trial, and all 
that remained of the one-time captive lay in Malew 
Church ! Now the finesse of the Lord of Man rose to 
histrionic heights. With great acumen he affected to 
regard the matter as of no sort of moment whatever, 
a method of allaying suspicion, and wholesale gloss- 
ing over which ought, by its very audacity, to have 
carried all before it. In a communication full of every- 


thing under the sun other than the important subject 
in hand, the Earl made casual passing reference to one 
Christian who had " been condemned and executed by 
the laws of the Isle of Man," much regretting that the 
Secretary of State should have had any bother or 
trouble " concernynge " so trifling an affair. 

Unfortunately for the well-laid plans of Lord Derby, 
the sons of the late Receiver-General appealed to 
England for redress, and the Privy Council, moving 
with unwonted rapidity, commanded the presence of 
everyone who was in any way implicated in the trial. 
The King in Council sat in judgment, and the Earl of 
Derby himself was obliged to give account of his 

The only rebuke which the Council managed to 
administer to the powerful noble was to the effect that 
the Act of Indemnity was of course a Public General 
Act of Parliament, and ought so to have been regarded 
in the Isle of Man. The estates of the late Receiver- 
General were restored to his sons, and all costs of the 
play-acting trial were ordered to be paid by Lord 
Derby. Cannell and Norris, who made " the patheti- 
call speech," received "condign punishment," what- 
ever that might be. 

Edward Christian, the one-time favourite of the 
Stanlagh Mooar, and the immediate cause of all the 
trouble, had been released from his durance vile by 
Colonel Duckenfield ; but after the Restoration he 
was again clapped into prison, where he died in 
January, 1661. 

The Earl of Derby bestowed the bishopric of Man 


on the worthy Rutter, staunch adherent of the late 
Lord of Man. Isaac Barrow succeeded Rutter on the 
death of the latter, and this potentate was the last of 
the Manx " sword bishops," clerics who doubled the 
part of head of the ecclesiastical see with that of 
Governor. After three more unimportant bishops the 
great Thomas Wilson, so famous for his discipline and 
his long struggle with the civil powers, accepted the 
bishopric of the isle, where he laboured fifty-eight 

One of the first crying questions for redress to which 
Bishop Wilson turned his attention was the still shock- 
ing evil of the system of land tenure. The far-reaching 
consequences of so unfair a method of tenancy being 
so apparent to the prelate as he went among his people, 
the attention of Lord Derby was asked for by the 
Bishop, who advocated the necessity for a drastic 
change. So strongly did Bishop Wilson plead the 
cause of the islanders that the Earl of Derby came 
from England expressly to talk matters over. Un- 
fortunately this noble did not live to see any good 
intentions which he may have entertained towards the 
Bishop's project carried into effect. 

James, Earl of Derby, who succeeded in 1702, being 
a broad-minded and generous man, readily continued 
the negotiations thus begun, and to this Stanley, the 
last Earl of Derby to rule in Man, belongs the proud 
and immortal honour of having passed the greatest 
and most far-reaching Act in the annals of Manx 
history, a palladium of liberty, the Magna Charta of 
Man, known as the " Act of Settlement." Under the 


beneficent operation of this Act, by consent and 
acquiescence of this second Great Stanley, an entire 
people was converted from mere holders of fragile 
leases to tenants whose tenancy knew no end. 

Smuggling in the Isle of Man, the natural con- 
comitant of the phase of landlordism which had made 
it hardly worth the while of a farmer to become an 
ardent agriculturist, had attained such proportions 
that the annual loss to Great Britain was estimated 
at 350,000 ! 

Everyone, rich and poor, had thrown themselves 
enthusiastically into the fascinating business, and few 
countries were better equipped by Nature for the head- 
quarters of a great smuggling trade. The illicit trade 
of the island was not wholly put under until 1853, 
when the diminution of duties and the vigilance of the 
armed revenue cutters suppressed what had been for 
many years the staple trade. 

As James, Earl of Derby, neared the close of his 
life, the Treasury made tentative efforts to arrive at 
some idea of the value set upon the island by its Lord, 
with a view to purchasing what had become a serious 
menace to the home Exchequer. Negotiations were 
closed by the death of Lord Derby, whose title went to 
a distant kinsman, and the Isle of Man passed, under 
the conditions which governed the re-granting of the 
small domain to the sixth Earl, by James I of England 
(which grant was to the effect that, on failure of heirs 
male to the sixth Earl of Derby, the Isle of Man 
should descend to the heirs general of James, seventh 
Earl, the Stanlagh Mooar) to Lady Harriet Ashburn- 


ham, grandchild of the ninth Earl of Derby. Lady 
Harriet died a minor, and her territory in the Irish 
Sea passed in 1736 to the Duke of Athol, whose mater- 
nal grandmother was a daughter of the great Stanley. 

The island still continued a record-breaking centre 
for the smuggling trade, and the last straw to break 
the back of the British Government was the passing 
of an Act, at the instance of the Duke of Athol, which 
made the isle for wellnigh a hundred years afterwards 
the sanctuary of British and foreign debtors, who fled 
to this Utopia in myriads. Of this Train, the much- 
quoted chronicler, records that it " rendered Man the 
sanctuary of the unfortunate and profligate of sur- 
rounding nations, who flocked thither in such numbers 
as to make it a common receptacle for the basest of 
their kind." 

Of this degenerate period a whimsical versifier 

relates : 

When Satan tried his arts in vain 

The worship of our Lord to gain, 

" The world," said he, " and all be thine 

Except one spot, which must be mine, 

That little place 'tis but a span, 

By mortals called ye Isle of Man ; 

This is a place I cannot spare, 

For all my choicest friends live there." 

With the passing of the Act of 1814 by the Manx 
Legislature, which nullified the mistaken one of 1736, 
and again made it possible to prosecute a debtor on 
the island for debts contracted outside it, his Satanic 
Majesty presumably withdrew these shocking asper- 


James, Duke of Athol, died in 1764, and his daughter 
Charlotte, having married her cousin John, heir to the 
dukedom, inherited Man, and thus kept the small 
country in the family. 

After many abortive negotiations the Duke and 
Duchess were prevailed upon by the British Govern- 
ment to make over in some part their over-lordship 
of the island, receiving as a solatium the sum of 
70,000 and an annuity of 2,000 a year, together 
with the retention of many of the ancient rights, the 
possession of all minerals, presentation to the bishop- 
ric, and the proud feudal service. On the death of 
her husband the Duchess transferred all her claims 
on the Isle of Man to her son, who at once began to 
formulate a series of demands against the British 
Government, contending that his parents were not 
legally entitled to make away with their island, and 
that, if they were, the sum awarded was not adequate. 
Vigorous claims were put forward in 1781 and 1790. 
In 1793 the Privy Council offered the Duke a sop to 
Cerberus the Governorship of the Isle of Man, which 
His Grace accepted, and thus, with many of his heredi- 
tary rights intact, the Duke of Athol commenced a 
semi-royal reign which lasted for many years. 

The last feudal service was made by this Duke on 
the Coronation of George IV, and writing of the 
picturesque ceremony the Manchester Guardian thus 
described the scene : " Among the feudal services the 
two falcons from the Isle of Man were conspicuous. 
Seated on the wrist of His Grace's hawking gauntlet, 
the beautiful peregrine falcons appeared in their usual 

ornaments. The birds sat perfectly tame on the arm 
of His Grace, completely hooded, and furnished with 

It is stated, on the authority of Mr. Kermode of 
Ramsey, that the last coronation falcons were taken 
from the cliffs of Maughold, by a relative of his. 

In 1829 the British Government purchased out and 
out from the Duke of Athol all his hereditary rights, 
regalities, privileges, and franchises, and the Isle of 
Man passed unreservedly to the Crown for the princely 
sum of 417,000. 

On the completion of the purchase Cornelius Smelt 
remained in office as Lieutenant-Governor, and upon 
his death Major-General Ready succeeded. And since 
nobody and no country can be really happy without 
a grievance, the inhabitants of the little island found 
one in the fact that they were getting rulers trained 
to the use of the sword rather than that of the law. 
Manx Constitution demands that its Pooh-Bah-like 
head must sit also as Chancellor. " Therefore," said the 
natives, " give us a Governor learned in the law." Ever 
willing to oblige, the powers that were appointed the 
Hon. Charles Hope, and, as he was a member of the 
Scotch and English Bars, it was thought he might be 
able to cope with the Manx variety as well. Mr. 
Hope wrestled with the intricacies of the laws remark- 
ably well, and introduced some measures which bene- 
fited the country considerably. On his resignation 
Francis Pigott, M.P. for Reading, succeeded, and 
earned instant unpopularity because he moved the 
seat of local satrapy from Castletown, the ancient 


locale, to Douglas. In selecting Douglas as the hub 
of the Manx Universe, it is possible that Lieut.- 
Governor Pigott saw that the trend of things all 
pointed to the town as a coming sea-port and centre. 
To-day the various Government departments are all 
in the newer town, and Castletown, with its old-world 
fortress, the home of the Kings or Lords of Man, 
through the centuries, is left to dream sleepily of 
its ancient and royal recollections. 

On the death of Lieut. -Governor Pigott, in 1863, 
Henry Brougham Loch was appointed in his place. 
The career of this able officer is too well known to 
need comment. He was succeeded in May, 1882, by 
Spencer Walpole, who governed the isle until he was 
appointed Permanent Secretary of the Imperial Post 
Office. Sir West Ridgeway followed, and Lord Henni- 
ker afterwards held the reins of government. This 
peer died at Douglas in July, 1902, and to-day Lord 
Raglan is Lieut.-Governor in Manxland. 



His bark is stoutly timbered, his pilot 
Of very expert and approved allowance. 


THE herring fleet have anchored in the port, and the 
night's catch is being transported from the nickeys 
to the shore. The staccato chatter of the gulls, " Tuk- 
a-tuk-a-tuk ! Tuk-a-tuk-a-tuk!" wakened me at day- 
break. On every nickey the big brown lug-sails are 
furled, but the mizzens of all are set stiffly. Deep 
blue-green rolling waves, slumbrous and gentle, break 
in ripples of foaming, sparkling drops of crystal against 
the black rampart hulls of the stalwarts. Lop ! lop ! 
lop ! The sleepy sound of the myriad craft spurning 
the small wavelets as they dash in mimic wrath on 
the tarred sides comes rhythmically on the still air. 
Not a capful of wind stirring, but a purple riband of 
misty haze ominously outlines the horizon. A Manx- 
man pronounces that word with level intonation, and 
gives the " i " no special recognition. 

To-night is a night of nights for the Warrior. He 
is going " out to the herrings " for the first time ! 
I have been so often myself I am getting blase. Still 



I am going again. It is so wonderful an experience 
that it well bears the strain of undue familiarity. 

Of course I know that herring is plural as well as 
singular ! Why do you ask me ? Niceties of grammar 
trouble the great blue-jerseyed fishermen not at all. 
They go out to the herrings, they catch herrings, they 
sell herrings. The herring, according to the Manx, is 
the king of the sea, as the wren is of the air. Long, 
long ago the fishes were derelicts, driven hither and 
thither as disputes of territory arose, for there was 
nobody to arbitrate and settle quarrels. Tradition 
naively says, " They had no Deemster to tell them 
what was right." Time came when a sovereign must 
be chosen, and all the inhabitants of the deep hied 
them to the Great Congress. Every fish tried to 
make the best of himself. The bollan re-tinted all 
his wonderful tones of purple and red, the carp polished 
his glittering flanks until he glinted sparks of golden 
fire, the fluke bedaubed himself with disc-like spots of 
vermilion and was so long in doing it that he arrived 
at the fish Tynwald far too late to vote. The herring, 
sheathed in his silver coat of mail, was acclaimed 
monarch of the deep. The disappointed fluke, with 
the memory of his useless strenuous labour strong 
within him, sneered contemptuously at the bare idea 
of electing so insignificant a fish as the herring King 
of all the Seas ! And the sneer has remained about 
his mouth ever since. 

The sun is just setting, lighting up a path of glowing 
glory for so far as the eye can reach, and the little 
village is drowsing in the slanting evening shadows as 


we make our way down to the quay preparatory to 
going aboard our chosen nickey, the "Amy Moore." 
Her skipper's wife waves us a smiling adieu from the 
door of her white-washed thatched cottage, as she sits 
rocking the cradle of an embryo skipper, hushing him 
to rest with the song of every Manx mother of olden 
days, the quavering, haunting, melodious chant of the 
little Ushag-reaisht, the golden plover. On the sleepy 
silence the lightsome lilt breaks in murmurous 
lullaby. It sets one pondering, thinking of all the 
many babies who have heard the weird sweet song, 
and the many, many gentle mothers who have sung it 
down the centuries. It is very slow, very haunting, 
and the basis of the tune is hum-drum, " Here we go 
round the mulberry bush." 

Ushag veg ruy ny moanee doo, 

Ushag veg ruy ny moanee doo, 

Ushag veg ruy ny moanee doo, 

C'raad chaddil oo riyr syn oie ? 

(Little red bird of the black turf ground. 

Where did you sleep last night ?) 

Chaddil mish riyr er baare y dress, 

Chaddil mish riyr er baare y dress, 

Chaddil mish riyr er baare y dress, 

As ugh my cadley cha treih ! 

(I slept last night on the top of the briar, 

And oh, what a wretched sleep !) 

Our kindly hosts, eight of them and a half, help 
us to clamber over the gunwale. The half pushes 
strenuously from behind as he stands in the none- 
too-clean jack-of-all- trades punt which we came off in. 


Presently it is hauled to the deck and set amidships. 
One after the other the sails of each nickey are 
hoisted, the first and second weigh anchor and begin 
to move gracefully, then a compact bunch, bows 
almost level, leave port together. On no one nickey 
must fall the ill-luck of being third boat out ! 

As the last rays of the sun glint on the lofty shoulder 
of Cronk-ny-Irrey-Lhaa, the powerful vessels glide, 
lightly as strong-pinioned sea-birds, towards the fish- 
ing grounds. Gradually the little colony breaks up, 
and sails the seas at varying distances. The faint grey 
outline of the Mourne Mountains looms ahead ; almost 
one can pick out landmarks ! My fancy paints white- 
washed cottages pencilled against a world of green. 
The Warrior says it is just imagination, that we are 
so far from Ireland we cannot really see the substance, 
only a very shadowy shadow. 

The faint odour of the nets is in the air, and the 
gigantic lug-sail keeps the best of a freshening breeze. 
A Manx fishing boat can stand up against a hurricane. 
Well-built and seaworthy, they combine lines of use- 
fulness with the speed of a yacht. Fully equipped, the 
value of the latter-day nickey averages 750. 

We are to have supper before the nets are shot. I 
always shrink before the lavish hospitality of these 
kindly seafarers. It is so overwhelming. My big blue- 
banded cup holds so very much, and ship's cocoa needs 
such a good sailor to tackle it with any sort of success. 
I am but a play-acting mariner, and the tiny cabin, 
multum in parvo of a fishing boat, is so close and 
stuffy. The small stove blazes away, and the boy a 


youth who does the odds and ends of everything 
turns over the frizzling, spluttering herrings. 

" One, please," I say, in trepidation. 

" What's the good of one at you, at all ? " quibbles 
the chef, obliterating my plate with a giant helping. 

Furtively he watches me, ready to instruct. As 
though I did not know ! Everyone in Manxland 
understands that you must not turn a herring on your 
plate, although it does not matter in a pan. You 
remove the backbone as the fish lies. If you do any 
ill-advised turning, then there is every probability of 
the ship from which the herring was caught turning 
turtle also. 

If you do not regard herrings as your natural food, 
and take to them as an Englishman does to beef, or an 
Innuit to seal-oil, then you are not a real Manxman, 
only a make-believe. Tradition records that when the 
Duke of Athol came into his domain of Man, he was so 
desirous of converting himself into a colourable imita- 
tion of a Manxman that he ate twenty-four herrings 
straight off the first time he breakfasted in Mona, 
a herring for each Member of the House of Keys ! If 
His Grace didn't feel himself a Manxman when the 
meal was over, it certainly was not for want of trying. 

Careful historians the literary bandits who rudely 
shatter so many of our most cherished fancies say 
that what the Duke really consumed was a small piece 
at the back of the head of twenty-four herrings, the 
most succulent morsel. They maintain these tradi- 
tion smashers that twenty-four herrings whole would 
be rather much even for a duke ! 


I go on deck ere long, a combination of herrings and 
fo'castle driving me to seek the air. Below, in the 
depths of the cabin, prayers are being said, and up the 
companion the rugged extempore words of the skipper 
float murmurously, interspersed with the emphatic 
ejaculations, all very earnest and heartfelt, of the 

Now to the setting of the nets ! In olden times the 
herring nets were home-made from home-spun hempen 
thread called by the Manx jeebin. The industry of 
manufacturing cotton nets sprang up early in the 

The nickey is brought head on, and gradually the 
fathoms of brown mesh are paid out to starboard and 
drop astern. So on and on until the top of the nets 
is reached, and the great head-corks, inflated, tarred, 
whole sheep-skins, caricatures of former grace, float 
on the purple-black waves. Inaction sets in, a drowsy 
time of inertia. The stars, like little marguerites 
peeping out from a coverlet of ultramarine, overspread 
the heavens, and threading through the star-sown way 
trails the shimmering misty path which is called by 
the Manx " Yn raad mooar ree Gorree " the great road 
of King Orry. 

It was at the Lhane Mooar, near Ramsey, where the 
great artificial drains of the Curragh now meet the 
sea, that Orry, the first of the line of Norwegian Kings 
of Man, landed aeons ago. His great fleet of shadowy 
Viking ships made the isle as night had fallen, and all 
the sky was luminous with a glorious wealth of stars. 
The wind was light, and the enormous lugsails could 


not alone propel such weighty crews. Thirty- two 
great oars, or " sweeps," sixteen of a side, pulled by 
as many men, drove each ship over the quiet waters. 
That each vessel contained warrior crews of some 
strength was evidenced by the number of shields hung 
all round the gunwales. A large oar, the " steer- 
board," was affixed to the right-hand side of every 
ship, and at the peak of the foremost a flag, crimson, 
with a jet black raven, fluttered and realistically 
flapped in the gentle breeze. The bows of this mighty 
vessel were carved roughly into the form of a dragon's 
head, gilded, with lurid eyes aflame, and at the stern 
curved a monster tail, going up and up until it shadowed 
the giant Norseman standing at the " steer-arn." The 
wonderful Viking figure, now dear to Manx tradition 
as is Owen Glendywr to Wales, robed in a red tunic 
with a golden border, trousers of yellow leather, cross- 
gartered from knee to foot, with a trellis-work of golden 
bands, was the Orry of tradition, Godred, or Godred 
Crovan, to be precise. 

The great ships were broached on the sandbanks, 
and the Berserk, his yellow hair crowned by a leather 
cap with a comb of red, the civil dress of warriors, 
stepped ashore to meet the few frightened natives 
who, wondering, questioning, would have the Viking 
tell whence he came and why. 

" That is the road to my country," said King Orry, 
in the Volapuk or Esperanto of the time, pointing to 
the Milky Way, streaking off to the northward ; and 
this beautiful symbolical remark has sung through 
the centuries, and up to our time the gossamer path 


across the heavens is called by the Manx " Yn raad 
mooar ree Gonee." 

The gleaming lights of fifty fishing boats shine all 
about us a little town at sea. Every one of the crew, 
save a solitary watch-dog, faithful attendant of the 
cheery skipper, is below, and the huge bunks, set 
around the fo'castle, airless compartments, Black 
Hole of Calcutta-like, receive the drowsy fishermen. 
Presently Morpheus holds them. Stentorian snores 
break the silence. Even such prosaic reminders cannot 
quench the romance and witchery of the night. A gull, 
lonely sentinel of the deep, cries somewhere, its chatter 
changed to indescribable desolation of solitude. The 
" lil islan' " is lost to sight. Up to a short time ago a 
gleaming necklace of lights had hung low about her 
shoulders. Gone now the world is sleeping. 

Sunrise ! The first blush of the morning tinges the 
grey clouds, and from the amber-hearted dawn 
Phaethon in chariot of gold drives his molten steeds 
in shafts of quivering light across the dimness of 
night's still brooding shadows, putting the stars out. 
Afar on the dim horizon, wrapped about in a gauzy 
mantle outlined in fire, the little island is sighted once 

Rising clear out of the enveloping mist stands 
Cronk-ny-Irrey-Lhaa, the Hill of the Rising Day, its 
summit touched with the splendour of the morning 
sun. This beautiful and poetical name has been 
bestowed because its rounded peak at sunrise gives 
the fishermen the time for the net-hauling. 

The nickey's crew, clad in yellow oilskins and big 


sea-boots, prepare to bring in the nets. The capstan 
clicks heroically, and slowly, laboriously, the dripping 
spoil come aboard, the water running in rivers to the 

The great still deeps of the nets seem an abyss of 
mystery. Such a well of possibilities, of secrets of the 
deep, of weird, grim, illimitable tragedy ! The memory 
still lingers with me of a golden dawn, of a laden net, 
heavy and sagging, ominously torn, and I see again 
the fearsome outline of a blue-clad form, terrible in 
stillness, with a knife upstanding between its shoulders ! 

There is nothing eerie this haul. Just a marvellous 
mass of fish, and curtaining the whole, enmeshed with 
the iridescence, is a wonderful tangle of every shade of 
weed, gorgeous sprays of blood-red sea-fern, pale star- 
like flowers of the deep smothered in leafy foliage, an 
artist's dream in colour. The myriad tints of browns 
and crimsons, delicate and aesthetic, push off into the 
silver of the shimmering herrings. Little arrow-like 
tongues of phosphorescent light outline the meshes. 

The weed is ruthlessly tossed back to the sea, and 
in a Niagara of crystal the catch comes in, nets and 
all, into the net-hold. 

Our ship heads for home, and every vessel of the 
little colony of the sea turns almost at the same 
moment with clock-work precision. 

The boy serves breakfast, herrings again, the freshest 
herrings you have ever tasted ; but a short space ago 
and they were swimming free as the sea itself. 

All the fishermen climb on the edge of the net-hold, 
and set about releasing the prisoned catch, throwing 


the fish nonchalantly into the next compartment. 
There are a few other captures besides the glut of 
herring, monsters too large to be welcome, for such 
giants play sad havoc with the nets. Two huge cod- 
fish, a small writhing conger, small for a conger, a 
fearsome ray, some sportive dabs, who turn somer- 
saults of vexation as they are taken from their element, 
strangely silent and inert now. The morning sun 
shines on the silver glory of the gleaming spoils. A 
good night's work. Our skipper says we have " done 
well, and a thrifle batthar." 

A snow-white trio of majestic gannets fished as- 
siduously in our wake, rising high, high into the blue, 
and then descending from the great height with arrow- 
like darts to the surface of the sea. It is a wonderful 
sight to see these winged fishermen at work. Such 
swoops, such darts, such marvels of spontaneous 
action, such command of the air, such knowledge of 
all the laws of graceful flight ! 

Gannets are sometimes caught in the herring-nets. 
Tempted by the glittering silver just below the sur- 
face of the sea they dive to destruction. I remember 
a sad day when one of these exquisite birds impaled 
itself through the beak on a too-near-the-surface hook 
of our long line. But it is a gloomy story, and I'll 
not tell it you. 

In the Museum at Castletown there are some copies of 
unpublished sketches in the British Museum, dating 
from the seventeenth century, and one of them por- 
trays " A landskip with gaunts." Two gannets sit 
on a rock, a thing they rarely, if ever, do in the Isle 


of Man, and the words, " being birds that mount 
like falcons i' th' aire, and when they see their prey 
strike into the water," explain exactly how these sea- 
faring creatures do conduct the modus operandi of their 
fishing. The gannets fly northward at night, towards 
Ailsa Craig, and never nest upon the island. 

As we glide into port one after another, we see the 
waiting carts and would-be buyers standing on the 
quay. Each skipper disposes of his catch so much 
a maze, more often than not spelt " meaze," which is 
six hundred and twenty fish. 

In the days before the Isle of Man passed to the 
British Crown the Lord claimed one maze, or its 
equivalent, out of every five, and his revenue from 
this source during the halycon days of the local herring 
fishery was considerable. The Church also, from such 
remote times as 1291, levied a toll on all fish caught, 
and received this tithe up to the end of the eighteenth 
century. Well might Bishop Wilson add the little 
petition to the Litany : " That it may please Thee to 
restore and continue to us the blessings of the sea," 
which is still used in the churches of Man. 

The Warrior and I go ashore with a row of shimmer- 
ing gift-herring, strung on a knotted osier thong. In 
the " little harbour," a sheltered cove tucked away in 
the greater, "Johnny-Polly" is adding to the number 
of the crabs in the " stews " half a dozen more. So 
the garnering goes on until a sufficient number are in 
hand to make it worth while to send the lot to the 
English market. In the big hamper the poor shell- 
fish, just submerged in sea-water, live for a week or 


more. Lobsters cannot be meted out such treatment 
or they go off in condition. 

As we tread our way homewards through a short 
cut across the rock-strewn shore, two infinitesimal 
Manx boys are making pretence to gather limpets, 
" flitters," as they call them, playing pranks between 
whiles. One has a mind to form a miniature lake 
on a rounded boulder where no water ever lodges. 

" You're squartin' the wather at me ! " complains 
the atom directly in the way of the irrigator. 

" Come off the rock I want to squart the wather 
on to then ! " returns the enthusiastic splasher, in 
the high sing-song of the Manx children. 

Tragedy hangs on the heels of our home-coming ! 
A wandering, marauding cat had eaten up the entire 
family of the blackbirds who had been a joy to us 
from earliest spring. Perhaps the parent birds will 
never nest near us any more ! There's a ruined 
tholthan at the bottom of my garden ; the roof is off, 
and in the still standing chimneys masses of ivy and 
green trainman run wild. In the tumbled-down grate 
overgrown with cushag poor outlaw by Act of 
Tynwald ! our blackbirds had got well under way 
with a second family, nestlings who have made a 
Roman holiday for a treacherous feline. We held the 
tholthan sanctuary against all comers. 

The Warrior's henchwoman says " the lil Lhondhoo " 
mother flew in the very face of the enemy until the 
sated creature fled away. 

Manx people call the blackbird " Lhondhoo " because 
" Ihon " is thrush, and " dhoo " means black. Black 



thrush. Is it not a poet's name ? All the Manx are 
poets at heart. 

Around the Lhondhoo and the golden plover, the 
Ushag-reaisht of Manx nomenclature, " bird of the 
waste," is hung one of the prettiest of the folk-legends 
abounding in the isle. It has been told very often, 
and told very well, but it is so charming it will bear 
repetition once again, I think. 

Ancient history has it that once on a time, in a far-off 
bygone age, the golden plover did not live on the high- 
lands, amid dreary wastes of heather-grown mountain 
scarps and wind-swept moors, but down in the sheltered 
glens, near the shady pools, where the blackberry 
grows a-riot. The blackbird had his habitat where the 
golden plover lives to-day, and never then sought the 
lowlands, because he knew them not, or their beauty 
and myriad comforts. One day the two birds met as 
they flew to the confines of their little worlds, and in an 
evil moment the Ushag-reaisht described the lush green 
glens and sequestered nooks where life was a smile 
and a song. The Lhondhoo, fascinated, begged to be 
allowed to change places for a week, and so it was 
arranged, each bird flying off into the unknown. The 
wily Lhondhoo, growing daily more in love with the 
dells and dingles and mild atmosphere of the lowlands, 
resolved never to go back to the bleak, windswept moun- 
tains, to conveniently forget the day of returning. 
The Ushag-reaisht kept the tryst, but the Lhondhoo 
never came, and now the former calls for ever in sweet 
reproachful pipe : 

" Lhondhoo, vel oo cheet, vel oo cheet ? " 

(" Blackbird, are you coming, are you coming ? ") 


And the well-contented blackbird, resolved to stay 
where he is so happily placed, answers briskly : 

" Cha-nel dy bragh I Cha-nel dy bragh ! " 
(" No, never ! No, never ! ") 

Then very sadly, very mournfully, with philosophical 
acceptance of the situation, the poor Ushag-reaisht 
whistles forlornly : 

" Teh feer feayr, t'eh feer feayr I " 
(" It is very cold, it is very cold ! ") 

In this beautiful old legend it will be noticed what a 
wonderful imitation is given of the representative 
calls of the birds; the liquid notes of the blackbird 
and the alluring whistle of the plover both so perfectly 
reproduced. The birds of Manxland, as patriotic birds 
should do, sing their songs in the language of the 
country, and all have Manx names. 

I believe I have kept you waiting all this long time 
until I am pleased to speak seriously of the celebrated 
Manx cats and chickens, tailless flesh and fowl of Mona. 
I have been silent the while I have been thinking, 
cogitating however I am to explain these strange 
phenomena. And I just cannot ! I know that these 
freaks of Nature do exist in dozens in the isle, seem, 
indeed, indigenous ; but why and wherefore I am not 
clever enough to fathom. Perhaps only a Darwin 
could do it only a Darwin determine the origin of 
species. That master mind held that all types have 
their exceptions. Perhaps the exceptions in the cat 
and chicken genus hied them, ages ago, to the Isle 
of Man, and there started the race of cats and fowls 


which we speak of as Manx. One great naturalist 
considers that the tailless felines were imported from 
Japan somewhere about the seventeenth century. 
Others, again, maintain that the Manx cat is the out- 
come of a spontaneous deviation from the normal. It is 
difficult to account satisfactorily for the odd creatures, 
and perhaps the simplest of all would be to accept the 
poet's version. With an artist's licence he explains 
the whys and wherefores thoroughly : 

Noah, sailing o'er the seas, 

Ran high and dry on Ararat ; 

His dog then made a spring and took 

The tail from off a pussy cat. 

Puss through the window quick did fly, 

And bravely through the waters swam, 

And never stopped, till high and dry, 

She landed on the Isle of Man. 

This tailless puss earned Mona's thanks, 

And ever since was called Manx. 

The islanders themselves always refer to their tailless 
felines and chickens indiscriminately as " rumpies," 
accenting the three last letters, and getting it to " ees." 
A self-respecting Manx housewife would not think of 
supporting a cat who boasts a tail ; she regards such an 
animal as an all too fashionable creature of impossible 
airs and graces. A " rumpee " it must be in a Manx 
cottage, or no cat at all. 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we know (and 
if we did not we should soon grasp the fact from a 
regular perusal of the society papers), and in the sight 
of a loyal Manx citizen no cat is beautiful who waves 
aloft a tail, however furry and resplendent. Pour moi, 


I cannot see much to admire in the pussy minus her 
caudal appendage. She looks ridiculously undressed 
and unfinished, almost a caricature ; but in the hens I 
can find quaint charms. With their " waterfall " 
backs of curving feathers they are the prettiest oddities 
of the hen-yards. 

I wish I really knew, and if I knew I would tell you 
at once, how it is that Manx cats and chickens do seem 
to belong to, and thrive and flourish more upon, the 
Isle of Man than in any other part of the world. That 
they are not the exclusive property of Mona we know. 
Accidents will happen in the best regulated families. 
I once owned a couple of hum-drum cats in far distant 
Montana, U.S.A., a pair of grey mongrels fitted out 
with irreproachable tails ; and lo ! when the first 
batch of kittens appeared on the scene we were as- 
tonished to find that every furry atom was without a 
tail ! A good specimen of a Manx cat has no tail at all 
nothing but a little tuft of fur, with a cobby body, and 
face of extraordinary cunning ; others, again, also 
real Manx cats, have an inch-long stump. I say " real 
Manx " because quite a lot of the pussies you see with 
tiny stumpy tails are manufactured articles. In the 
days of my inquisitive youth I discovered that many 
tailed felines were docked yearly to meet the insistent 
demands of the summer visitors who want to take 
back to England a living representative of the famous 
Manx cats. There are, I think, many more pussies in 
the island without tails than with, but still not enough 
to go round. When the docked tail is healed up few 
are the wiser. Ten shillings the usual price asked 


is ten shillings, however you get it. The potent words 
of the philosopher have penetrated afar. " Get money, 
honestly if you can, but get money." 

I know of an expensive crateful of chickens who 
sailed away to England, and after a short sojourn in a 
Lancashire hen-yard the new-comers all sprouted 
splendid tails ! But the person who cannot tell a 
Manx rumpy hen from a make-believe affair is un- 
sophisticated, indeed. The feathers of the real article 
are so wondrously fashioned, and rise over a comical 
little eminence, to curve over in graceful downward 

The Manx people are (naturally) so very used to 
their tailless cats that they find it difficult to under- 
stand the interest and astonishment of a visitor who 
views the famous animals for the first time. I heard 
a quaint little story the other day in this connexion. 
Kelly, the guard, a well-known local worthy, who 
died recently, was scurrying past the ticket office as 
the station cat walked out. An ecstatic visitor taking 
his ticket turned to the hurrying guard, . and with 
delighted questioning appreciation said, " Manx ? " 

" No, 12.30 express," answered Kelly laconically. 

Up to a century ago the common wild cat (Felis 
catus) was accounted the progenitor of all domestic 
cats, but to-day naturalists discover the origin of 
our "fireside sphinx" in the many-named Egyptian, 
Libyan, or Caffre cat (Felis libyca). 
\ In the utilitarian rifling of the vast charnel-houses 
set in the fields of Speos Artemidos, many of the little 
swathed mummies, much-loved pensioners of ancient 


Egypt, were found to be minus tails ! Perhaps the 
sacred roamers of the temples of Bubastis and Beni 
Hasan were the ancestral prototypes of the cats of 
Manxland. If we might but unwrap some of the 
tightly bandaged mummied felines in the great col- 
lection at Boulak, we might perhaps be able to link 
the companions of the Pharaohs with the " rumpees " 
of Mona's Isle. 

Archaeologists and antiquarians, who know every- 
thing nowadays, and can lucidly connect the Chinese 
with the Hittites, the Chaldeans with the inhabitants 
of Mars, have not " hitched up," as the Americans say, 
the Egyptian pussy with the Manx. And yet the 
Roman colonists in Great Britain possessed many 
specimens of the " harmless, necessary cat," as is 
evidenced by discovered remains. The Romans 
traded with those ubiquitous inter-traders the Phoeni- 
cians, and with a little ingenuity and some imagination 
I see no reason why we should not trace the direct 
descent of the Manx cat, via the Romans, together with 
all domestic pussies, from the Felis libyca of Egypt. 

Mommsen, the German historian, refers somewhat 
reproachfully to the manner in which antiquarians 
pass their time he said " pass," but he meant waste 
really in hunting for replies to questions which 
simply cannot be answered, and if answers were forth- 
coming they would probably be quite unimportant. 
Surely everything is important to the seeker after 
unpossessed knowledge, and therefore, however im- 
material and trivial it seems, and absurd as the great 
Mommsen, an' he lived, would consider it, I beg some 


delver into the abstruse to tell me whether the Manx 
" rumpee " really can trace a proud descent from the 
very dawn of history, back through dizzy centuries of 
time to the sacred cats of royal Egypt, or is he just a 
mere perpetuated freak ? 

There is an old existent tradition to the effect that 
the tailless cat came to Man via the Spanish Armada. 
From out the wrecked galleon thrown on to the scarps 
at the foot of Spanish Head came a half-drowned 
kitten, minus a tail, progenitor-to-be of the world- 
famous " rumpees." Unfortunately for it is a charm- 
ing little story, and I would it were really true there 
is no record of a Spanish vessel ever having been cast 
on the rocks of Mona's Isle. Such an event would 
certainly have received official notice in the chronicles 
of the time. 

Mr. Louis Wain, titular god of cats, on whom the 
mantle of the gracious Pasht has surely fallen, says 
that the Manx rumpy was called the Cornwall Cat a 
hundred years ago, and that the Cornish feline was 
arrived at from some imported Abyssinian cats. Corn- 
wall may have had its tailless pussies also, but the 
Manx genus has been resident in Man for a much 
longer period than a hundred years. It is not very 
difficult to go back so long. By talking to the really 
aged folks of the island one may easily shake hands 
across the space of a century. They can delve into 
untold ages, and always in the luminous remembrance 
of the household of their mother's mother a Manx cat 
sits by the chiollagh, warming itself by the smoulder- 
ing turf fire, 


I am old enough to dimly remember the kitten which 
was considered beautiful enough by the inhabitants of 
Port Erin to present to Mr. Gladstone as truly repre- 
sentative of the island's tailless cats during his visit 
to Mona. Our gardener's wife had an inexhaustible 
supply of the real and manufactured article, and from 
her numerous treasures a comical black and white 
atom was selected and duly offered to the Grand Old 
Man. We decorated the kitten in readiness, tying 
a huge bow of red ribbon round its infinitesimal neck ; 
but Mrs. Quilliam, with a fine disregard for colour 
meanings, tore it off, and adorned the baby creature 
with a vast blue tie, which she said " bet all," and, 
what was more, suited the small thing's complexion. 

Certainly the black and white kitten looked " mortal 
gran', for all," as it was carried off for presentation 
to the island's welcome visitor. There were many 
quaint stories going about after Mr. Gladstone's 
sojourn. Some of them were chestnuts in the ripest 
stage before they were picked locally, but the following 
little tale will bear retelling because it so compre- 
hensively illustrates the independence of the native 
character. Anything with a flavour of patronage, 
meant or unmeant, raises ire at once. 

Mr. Gladstone made a detour across a small holding 
in Rushen, and his way lay through the haggart where 
the stacks are harvested. A strong, powerfully-built 
Manx woman stood throwing up the straw to the 
stack, using her fork as deftly and quickly as a farm 

" That is very hard work, my good woman," the 


Grand Old Man is reported to have said graciously, 
" but you look well and strong. May I ask how old 
you are ? " 

The toiler scarce turned as she answered sharply, 
" How ouT art thou thyself, thou imperent ouT 
man ? " 

The worst or is it the best ? of these taking little 
stories of catapultic variety is that one never hears 
the end. There must be an end. We do so long to 
fathom it. But always the annoying veil falls to 
curtain the interesting finish, and we fear, if we 
question further, to be charged with a love of anti- 



And show'd thee all the qualities o' th' Isle, 
The fresh springs, brine-pits, barren place, and fertile. 

The Tempest. 

Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege 

Of watery Neptune. Richard II. 

THERE are so many beauty spots in Mona which can 
only be viewed as a whole from the seaboard that I 
think you must set out with me on a mythical summer 
excursion, the while, like Ariel, I put a girdle round the 
little world and show you all the qualities o' th' isle. 
We set out from Douglas and curve across the semicircle 
of the beautiful bay towards the grass-covered cliffs 
of Banks Howe, passing directly in front of the modern 
town with its huge boarding establishments and dancing 
palaces nestling by the slumbrous summer sea, border- 
ing the whole semilunar sweep of the inlet, its glaring 
whiteness backed by the green hills and highlands 
rising tier upon tier to merge with the lofty mountain 
peaks of the interior. 

On, past the frowning escarpment of Clay Head, 
across whose seamed serrated edges the restless sea- 
birds streak in whirling bands of white and grey. The 


wonderful blue-green sea thuds into the caves, and 
on the face of the shining waters the opalescent clouds, 
fragile and filmy as gossamer, reflect in patches of 
fringed shadow their changing passing evolutions. 

We are so close to the rocks that in the translucence 
of the sea we can watch the weed moving and waving 
in the flower garden of the deep, a world of labyrinthine 
colour, and follow for a moment the darting shoals of 
silver fish flashing with lightning speed through the 
phosphorescent green. Little glens burrow upwards 
from the coast-line, lovely emerald-tinted rifts lost in 
tree-filled luxuriance, but near Laxey the rocky ram- 
part of the isle frowns fiercely once more, and black 
forbidding cliffs rise up and up in menacing grandeur. 
The little village of Laxey lies in the hollow cup of 
two green rounded cronks, and creeps down to the 
baby harbour, with its pier in miniature. 

Many beautiful inlets indent the face of the rocky 
wall to the northward; Port Mooar, the Dhoon, all 
beauty spots of Mona, and Corna Glen, pronounced 
Cornay, bewitchingly pretty ; and from here runs the 
cable to St. Bee's Head, which brings the island into 
telegraphic communication with England. 

Southern outpost to Ramsey stands the humped 
outline of Maughold Head you must pronounce the 
word with the fine abandon of a Scotsman giving ejacu- 
latory point to a lightsome reel ! and on the land- 
ward side of the headland you may catch a glimpse 
of the old churchyard and the holy well. And now 
comes Ramsey town, replica in little of Douglas, backed 
by green wooded heights, with the Sulby River glinting 


and gliding and tinkling its message from the heart of 

The snake-like peninsula of the Ayre flings itself sea- 
wards, the great o'erhanging crags cease, and low 
dunes take the place of the Gargantuan precipices. 
The extreme point of jutting land is a flat uncultivated 
waste, with khaki-coloured sands gaily broidered with 
clumps of pink and white rock flowers, and tufts of 
purple heather, a matchless fairy carpet in labyrinth- 
ine tints of Nature's weaving. The stony beach 
slopes in steep contour to the marge of the sea, and 
the fine lighthouse keeps ever wakeful watch and 
ward o' nights. To the south-east, eight miles off, is 
the Bahama Lightship guarding the bank of treachery. 

All the way to Peel is the flat monotonous line of 
boulder clay, whose dull tones contrast finely with the 
emerald slopes above. Here on these sandy reaches 
the Vikings of old time drew up their ships ; here, at 
the Lhane Mooar, King Orry landed; here the great 
drains of the curraghs meet the sea. 

Presently the great sandstone bluffs of Peel come in 
sight, and you see Peel itself, wonderful, historical, fas- 
cinating Peel. The word, you remember, means " fort," 
and there is the fortress, rearing its hoary walls, grey 
and glorious, on the little islet of St. Patrick. I do 
not know a more beautiful sight than the ruined pile 
of the old castle, standing alongside the still more 
ruinously ancient cathedral, with the blue line of the 
bay dotted with brown-sailed fishing craft, and the 
shafts of the sun tinting the ramparts of the stone- 
work to flaming red and gold. 


Peel islet, walled to its edge, was called in long-ago 
times Inis Patrick, in nearer, though still very distant 
days, Holme, and sometimes Sodor. The Northmen 
always called an island which stands at the mouth of 
a river the Neb flows past the castle walls Holme. 

The cathedral, dedicated to St. German, built on a 
portion of the islet, was the ecclesiastical centre of the 
diocese of Sodor. Everyone knows that the style of 
the bishopric of Man is Sodor and Man. Historians 
differ about the exact derivation of the title. Pro- 
fessor Munch, in his translation of the Chronicon Man- 
nice, derives the name Sodor from the Norwegian 
Sudreyjar, or Southern Islands, which in the Chronicon 
was latinized into Sodorensis. The isle in Peel 
Harbour was for years known as Sodor, and as, 
moreover, the cathedral of the diocese was built 
upon it, the derivation of the name Sodor is 
probably to be found in itself of itself. 

The ecclesiastical ruins on St. Patrick's Isle are the 
most interesting of their kind in Man. They are 
beautifully situated on a green slope at the east side 
of the walled-round islet. The outer wall surrounding 
the whole grey pile of ruins dates, it is thought, from 
the end of the fifteenth century, and the chancel of 
the old cathedral is probably of twelfth century origin, 
with added quotas of fourteenth and fifteenth century 
work. From the time of the Reformation the cathe- 
dral was allowed to decay and dilapidate, and by the 
eighteenth century the roof had entirely gone a piece 
of vandalism for which the great Bishop Wilson, 
backed by Act of Tynwald, stands guilty. He needed 


the lead for the roofing of a neighbouring church, so 
robbed Peter to pay Paul. The Chronicon Mannice 
gives Bishop Simon as the builder of St. German's, 
and he is buried there. The last bishop to be enthroned 
in St. German's was Hildesley, in 1755. 

Now beneath the bold Contrary Head we pass on 
towards the finest rock scenery of the island, and as 
far as the eye can reach the panorama of cliffs and 
cloven peaks continues until the vista is lost in the 
distant outline of the Calf of Man, standing out to 

Here are caves innumerable, old-time haunts of the 
smugglers, where the shags and the seagulls build. 
Glen Meay the Vale of Luxuriance creeps insidi- 
ously into the frowning wall, and, farther, the white 
beaches of Dalby glimmer in the sunshine. 

The Niarbyl, with its reefs and rocks, is one of the 
most noted places on the coast for lobsters. So many 
times I have helped to haul the creels here ! So often 
shot the long line, for every sort of fish abounds. 

From the Niarbyl onwards the vista holds one 
spell-bound. Each rounded height is succeeded by a 
mightier one, and all along this expanse wild desola- 
tion reigns sovereign, and the coast-line is uninhabited. 
This is the wonderland of the island. Here are dark, 
mysterious caves into whose hollow depths the waves 
tumble and roar ; there are vast grey-black, heather- 
crowned, Olympian heights, across whose sombre 
scarps the sea-birds fly and turn and whirl unceasingly ; 
dark, deep-set, rock-strewn beaches, backed by water 
of crystal clearness, contrast with luxuriant axe-like 


clefts, where the honeysuckle and the hart's-tongue 
fern triumph on the verge of the rippling silver stream 
dancing to the sea. 

From the jagged slits above the caves the snaky 
heads of nesting shags strike up, swaying to and fro 
in the rocky fastnesses like Indian well - serpents. 
Listening, with alert eyes, the long necks stretch out 
towards the light, then subside again out of sight 
within the cavity. 

Colossal Cronk-ny-Irrey-Lhaa curves and slopes in 
great abrupt contours to the ocean, and its giant con- 
torted sides swell onwards and continue ridge upon 
ridge into The Carnanes, until they meet and merge 
with the bluffs which rise and fall, fall and rise, to 
culminate in the great escarpment of Bradda Head, 
whose Titanic frontage, seamed across with rich 
metalliferous veins which catch the dancing sunbeams 
and hold them in myriad glinting sparks of golden 
light, beats back with mighty strength the never- 
ceasing surge of the sea. This splendid cliff ranks, 
to my mind, with Spanish Head, as the finest piece of 
masonry hi Man which the hand of the Great Crafts- 
man has devised. The copper and lead mines, ruined 
and forsaken now, lie at the sea's edge, and were 
worked at a very early date. Harald of Man granted 
them to the monks of Furness in 1246, and mining 
operations have gone on intermittently till towards 
the end of the nineteenth century. 

As we cross the sweep of Port Erin Bay, with its 
natural harbour and ruined breakwater, the dark mass 
of Ghaw Dhoo conjures up memories to me, surging 


recollections of childhood's golden age, of wonderful 
never-to-be-forgotten moments of swinging on a 
rope over the edge of the cliff, followed by the wild 
unexplainable joy of niching from the deep recesses 
of a vasty interstice the greeny eggs of the greyback, 
or a sienna-splashed treasure from out a hawk's 
nest. Ghaw, a word of Icelandic origin, means chasm 
or cleft, and is a familiar place-name in the south-west 
of the island. 

The great crescent of the Mull, or Meall, Hills slopes 
to the sound, the narrow strait which divides the Calf 
of Man from the greater island. This south-western 
extremity of Mona is an uncultivated rocky expanse, 
gorgeous with rosy rock flowers dotted about the 
brilliant green turf. Between the mainland and the 
Calf surges the most furious tidal race of the coast, 
and through this channel of some five hundred yards 
wide the fretting seas rage and toss, and competing 
tides " set the wild waters in a roar." No boat, save 
a row boat or very small sailing vessel, undertakes 
the passage through or across with any safety. If 
they do so, it is at their own risk. Insurance companies 
waive payment here ! In this narrow channel another 
small island blocks the already congested way, Kitter- 
land, called after the unfortunate Baron Kitter who, 
tradition has it, perished here. 

Kitter was a Norwegian, who lived in the island 
during the reign of Olave, one of the Godred dynasty. 
The Baron was a prototype of the big-game hunter of 
to-day, and was only really happy when stalking some- 
thing on four legs, so much so that, with the decimation 




of all the wild animals, the Manx began to fear for the 
safety of the tame quadrupeds. On so small a place 
as the Isle of Man it did not take long for the redoubt- 
able shikari to slay every undomesticated creature. 
The country had been alive with " bison and elk " 
before Baron Kitter came over from Norway, and in 
no time not a single specimen of the genus was left to 
tell the tale ! The Baron was evidently what the 
Americans would call " a big-game hog " of the deepest 

The bones of elk have been found in the curraghs, 
but history is very silent about the bison ! Deer lived 
in Man, and on the Calf, introduced by the House of 
Stanley. In 1653, someone pathetically remarks in an 
old record, " The deare of this island have been much 

But all of this was ages after the day of the redoubt- 
able Baron Kitter. Having cleared the isle of all 
the wild things, nothing remained but the few red deer 
upon the Calf, so leaving his baronial hall on Barrule 
in charge of his cook, off hurried the eager Nimrod 
to his new hunting grounds. The chef's name was 
Eaoch, which being translated means, " a person who 
can cry aloud." 

In the middle of the dinner preparations Eaoch fell 
asleep, whereon a witch, with the comfortable and 
homely name of Ada, for no particular reason that can 
be adduced, save a desire to make a diversion, caused 
the fat boiling in the neglected frying pan to bubble 
over, and set fire. In an instant the house was in 
flames. The cook, awakening, used his powers of 


crying aloud to such good purpose that, though Barrule 
is a goodish way off the Calf, Kitter heard him, and 
actually stopped chasing deer, which just shows 
how upset and astonished he must have been, con- 
sidering that it was always said locally the Baron 
hunted in his sleep. Urged on by the yells of the cook 
Kitter made for Cow Harbour, seized his coracle, 
jumped into it, and began to paddle furiously across 
to the mainland. Alas, the tides were meeting, and 
the excited hunter drifted right on to the rock, which 
is now his memorial stone, and there was dashed to 
pieces. This is " an 'orrible tale," I know, but as it 
is history you must hear it. 

The south of the Calf islet is a turfy expanse 
ablaze with blossoms, and away to the west this 
tiny territory frowns into chasms and mighty riven 
cliffs, going down, down to the grim forbidding stack. 
Stack, you know, is Norse for a columnar detached 
rock. Very many of the names on the Calf are of 
pure Norse origin. 

The Calf island, which is some five miles in circum- 
ference, is of no importance now, but in ancient days 
it was strongly garrisoned and fortified. Landing is 
made at Cow Harbour on the north, and at the South 
Harbour near the Burrow. By the southern landing 
is the extraordinary natural formation called the Eye 
of the Calf, and at high tide we can sail right through 
this rocky optic as easily as the water which in the 
passing of the centuries has worn and won its way. 

Where the turfy surface lies flat and low the purple 
heather fights for the mastery over a riot of bracken, 


and in the spring such primroses and such hyacinths 
bloom, of such colour and such scent as would seem 
to be unmatchable elsewhere. Gorse does not flourish 
on the Calf, and perhaps that is why the summer lovers 
who go everywhere else cease here from love-making. 
They have a saying on the " lil islan'," " When the 
gorse is out of bloom, kissing is out of fashion." 

The yellow glory is to be found flowering somewhere 
in Mona always. Possibly herein lies the secret of the 
unnatural exuberance of insular love affairs, which 
are unrivalled in publicity and abandon. I do not 
mean the quiet courtings of the Manx folk ; I refer 
to the variety of " affection " imported by the visitors. 

Like its greater counterpart of the many glens, this 
little isle has one infinitesimal specimen, an exquisite 
in tiny glades, a green rift of interlacing ivy and 
miniature arching trees. 

Rising up white and gaunt, three-quarters of a mile 
away, amid the wide waters, is the Chickens' Rock 
lighthouse, standing sentinel over a dangerous tidal 

Set high on the loftiest shoulder of the Calf are the 
ruins of an ancient keeil, which was unfortunately 
pulled to pieces by vandals who needed the stones 
for the building of modern walls. A very remarkable 
carven stone was discovered, and taken possession of 
by the then tenant of the Calf, Mr. Quayle, of Castle- 
town, in whose family this priceless relic remains. It 
is perhaps the greatest treasure of all the treasures 
found in Man, and represents the Crucifixion. Mr. 
Kermode, our greatest Manx authority, writes of this 


monument, which, we are told, dates at latest from 
the beginning of the ninth century, that " for fineness 
and delicacy of workmanship it exceeds anything that 
is known of stone-work of that early period, while in 
respect of the treatment, which is early Byzantine art, 
it is unique." 

Down in the smiling valley lies the house where 
the lord of the Calf must live if he would reside on 
the lonely isle. Just now the little territory is in the 
market, and if you are a man who would be a king 
you must haste and make an offer for this faceted 
crown. It is not every day a country cries out for a 

The small islet was in former times, if tradition can 
be believed, the refuge of sundry individuals seeking 
Nirvana. On almost the highest point of the Calf 
we come on a ruinous little hut, called BushelTs 
House, and the primitive abode is said to be the 
one-time home of a follower of Lord Bacon, who was 
involved in the failures of the celebrated English 
philosopher and statesman. Retiring from the Court, 
the broken adherent of the obsequious Bacon fled to 
" the desolate island called the Calf of Man, where, 
in obedience to my dead lord's philosophical advice, 
I resolved to make a perfect experiment upon myself 
for the obtaining a long and healthy life (most necessary 
for such a repentance as my former debauchedness 
required), as by a parsimonious diet of herbs, oil, 
mustard, and honey, with water sufficient, most like 
to that of our long-lived forefathers before the Flood 
(as was conceived by that lord), which I most strictly 


observed, as if obliged by a religious vow, till Divine 
providence called me to more active life." 

Kione Rouayr faces Spanish Head on the mainland 
of Mona with menacing mien, and of this last mighty 
headland, so-called, tradition has it, because one of 
the ships of the Armada was wrecked at the foot of 
the perpendicular mass, I find it almost impossible 
to speak. It is difficult for any ordinary pen to do 
the scene justice. I should like some Shakespeare to 
see it and try his art. What glory of words, save 
such as the Immortal One could command, can de- 
scribe the unparalleled wonders of the Titan cliff ! 
The etchings are so perfect, the contour so graceful, 
the rainbow effects on the rocks so bewilderingly 
beautiful. The seamed surface, veined and scored in 
myriad tones of purple, brown, and dull sombre 
splashes of crimson, is so bright in tint, so shimmering 
in the sunlit way, that the marvellous pigments in 
this artist's dream seem as yet wet upon the gigantic 
canvas. Below the tide-mark is an even yellow band, 
a demarcation line of contrasting paleness, and at its 
limit frets the wonderful iridescent sea, hushed now, 
its mighty power slumbering, with ceaseless low mur- 
mur and song filling the air with entrancing melody. 
On the face of the grim cliff a bunch of cushag, propa- 
gated by the winds of heaven, has taken root, and gives 
a gleam of gold to the great scarped battlements. A 
little handful, a tender flowering note of interrogation : 

Why Nature out of fifty seeds, 
Should bring but one to bear. 

GO softly here, for all about is haunted ground. 


Myriad on this coast are the spirits of the shipwrecked, 
of smugglers, trolls, and " goblins damn'd." 

Waldron tells of the disturbed spirit of a shipwrecked 
person who " wanders about, and sometimes makes so 
terrible a yelling that it is heard at an incredible dis- 
tance. Whenever it makes this incredible noise it is 
a sure prediction of an approaching storm." Mr. 
Ralfe, in his beautiful book on The Birds of the Isle 
of Man, suggests that this sound may have been due 
to the well-known nocturnal clamour of the celebrated 
Manx shearwaters, who once lived in their thousands 
on the Calf of Man. 

All the old-time chroniclers had something to say 
of the " Puffines " of the Calf, which were a source of 
revenue, and, it is said, paid tithe to the Church. 
Bishop Wilson describes the birds as " almost one lump 
of fat," and adds, " They who will be at the expense of 
wine, spice, and other ingredients, to pickle them, 
make them very grateful to many palates, and send 
them abroad ; but the greatest part are consumed at 
home, coming at a very proper time for the husband- 
man in harvest." 

Governor Chaloner wrote of the flesh of the birds as 
" nothing pleasant fresh, because of their rank and 
fish-like taste ; but, pickled or salted, they may be 
ranked with Anchoves, Caviare, or the like ; but profit- 
able they are in their feathers, and Oyl, of which they 
make great use about their Wooll." 

Mr. Ralfe, who gave us such an interesting account 
of the Manx shearwaters in his recent book, says that the 
puffins (Puffinus Anglorum) disappeared from the Calf 


before the year 1827, but that individual birds are 
occasionally seen still. Fratercula artica is very 
numerous about the islet, and tosses on the wild 
waters of the narrow strait in serried throngs. 

Near by is the cave where you may see, if you are 
there at just the right moment, on just the right day, 
a spectre boat, rowed by a spectre crew. Into the 
black mouth of the cavern the apparition disappears, 
and darkness envelops it. It is only a fleeting phantom, 
real as it seems, for once, many years ago, a venture- 
some fisherman followed hard on the tracks of this 
spirit boat, and lo ! when he had penetrated the re- 
cesses of the cave it was quite, quite empty. 

Out of The Chasms, the awful gaunt three-hundred- 
feet-high cliffs, rent and torn in mighty fissures from 
base to top, come weird sounds of Satanic revelry o' 
nights, the noise of clinking cups, and Bacchanalian 
drinking songs. 

Guarding the riven heights, outermost crag of the 
deep, is the massive pillar known as the Sugar Loaf, 
one hundred and fifty feet high, its many- tinted 
colours curving round and round in fibrous lines. 
Governor Chaloner, Cromwell's myrmidon, used to 
call this rock " Chering Cross," because it reminded 
him of the Queen Eleanor Cross then standing in Lon- 
don town. Now comes Kione y Ghoggan, a line of 
rampart cliffs, with heights so magnificent and o'er- 
whelming that the sea-birds are dwarfed to sparrow 
size and 

The crows and choughs, that wing the midway air, 
Seem scarce so gross as beetles. 


Little grey beaches burrow into the pinnacled walls, 
and on every ledge, crowding out the ubiquitous sea- 
pinks, is an amazing wealth of bird life. Gulls and 
jackdaws, choughs which Train tells us were always 
called kegs by the Manx in his day and greybacks, 
and on the cliffs of Spanish Head the peregrine falcon, 
royal bird of Man, still nests in lofty isolation. For 
many centuries the falcons have nested on the grim 
face of Spanish Head. Chaloner mentions them in 
1656. " Here," he says, " are some Ayries of mettled 
falcons, that breed in the Rocks." 

The beautiful birds were evidently held sacred, for 
we find in the Insular Statutes of centuries ago the 
following dictum emanating from the Deemsters, a 
law which had evidently previously existed for some 
years: "Also we give for law that whosoever goeth 
to the Hough where the Hawkes do breed or Hyrons 
likewise, he forfeiteth for every of them, that is to 
sy, if he take any of the old or young ones, or Eggs, 
m a piece for soe many as he or they may be proved 
to have in the Court." 

Every ledge has a complement of guillemots, and 
at the sea's edge the blithe sea-lark skims gaily close 
to the water, to alight with flickering tail on wave- 
washed rocks. 

Perched high on an isolated rocky pinnacle, with the 
swirl and dash of the waves below, was a solitary grey- 
back (hooded crow), one of the devastating " ra vinous 
creatures " upon whose heads a price was set in 1687. 
Still as a carven stone, the large bird merges with the 
background, as he keeps watch over infinite space, 


silently standing gazing out to sea, a mysterious spirit 
of the vasty deep. 

Port St. Mary the port comes into view, its har- 
bour set in the sheltered cove. The small town creeps 
up the rising shoulder of a green rounded cronk, ter- 
mination of the stalwarts curving away behind it to the 
sound. In the vast inlet, Poolvaash, the Bay of Death, 
ominously wreathed in foaming surge, is the fateful 
Carrick Rock, whose cruel points have rent asunder 
many a ship, and with them hearts and homes. A 
beacon marks it out, and ever, even in a calm sea, 
the waters wash and swirl about it. The Bay of Death, 
however, does not take its grim name from the ship- 
wrecks it has seen, but from a battle, one of the multi- 
tudinous fights which took place in the early history 
of Manxland, fought out upon its shores. 

Battalions of snowy gulls, with outposts and flanking 
parties, dot the great stretch of sand below Mount 
Gawne, bodies equidistant from each other, heads all 
turned one way in quaint precision. Here and there 
among the elders stands an ugly duckling, a youthful 
mottled nursling, the lil Gubb of Manx nomenclature. 

The seagulls of Man are protected by the Preserva- 
tion Act of 1867, which lays it down that " the birds 
are considered of great importance to persons engaged 
in the herring fishing, inasmuch as they indicate 
localities where bodies of fish may be : And also that 
they are of much use for sanitary purposes by reason 
that they remove the offal of fish from the harbours 
and shores." 

Away ahead of us the land lies low once more is 


the Stack, another of the very many stacks, of Scarlett, 
the crater of an extinct volcano. In a little creek 
on the Scarlett side of Poolvaash Bay are the quarries 
where the black " marble " is obtained, black marble 
of a variety I am no geologist which requires to be 
adorned with a varnish to give it the necessary polish 
it has not of itself. One always hears of the steps at 
St. Paul's Cathedral as the product of the Scarlett 
quarries, but as a matter of fact, the great slabs pre- 
sented to the cathedral by Bishop Wilson wore out 
long, long ago. 

Towards the greensward of Scarlett, out beyond the 
Stack, you can see the little winding path among the 
boulders which is christened after the Protector, 
Cromwell's Walk. The name was probably given to the 
place by Colonel Duckenfield, or some other Parlia- 
mentarian, for Cromwell himself never came to the 

The view from the great Stack is wonderfully strik- 
ing, with the majestic sweep of the coast-line, rising 
higher and higher in mighty pinnacles, a vista of 
Nature's marvellous craft and workmanship, extend- 
ing to the dim outline of the Calf of Man, through 
whose weirdly gleaming eye the shafts of the sun slant 
and sparkle like some living giant orb. And so white, 
so strong, so massive, the graceful lighthouse, lonely 
outpost of the deep, rears its lofty tower. 

Inland, away and away, the green land swells up- 
wards to the ramparts of high land whose solid walls 
here are rent only by the little sombre cleft of Flesh- 
wick, and the wide opening where lies Port Erin. 


Afar to the south-east the summits of many peaks 
rise to Heaven's gate, their lofty wildness and gorse- 
crowned slopes dominating the witching scene with 
splendour of solemnity. 

South Barrule rears an historical head, sovereign of 
all the southern mountains. The name Barrule comes 
from Baareooyl, the Manx for " top of an apple." 
The rounded summit has a resemblance to some green 
giant " Lord Suffield." Who first saw the likeness, I 
wonder, and changed the ancient name of Ward Fell 
to the present title ? On the summit are the relics of 
a mighty entrenchment and fortification, and on this 
mountain Mannanan, the necromancer, had a country 
residence. Baron Kitter also, the great shikari, who 
was drowned in the sound. 

In the field lying betwixt us and the hills the white 
gulls flutter and fly behind the plough, picking up the 
worms as they appear in the loamy furrows. Jack- 
daws too, with deep-set solemnity of purpose, follow 
on the heels of the ploughman, and the agile-pied 
wagtail, or U shag-meek, (pied bird), is of the little 
colony also. If the Ushag-vreck failed to put in an 
appearance, the luck would be out, and the crops not 
half so plentiful. 

Castletown, with its hoary fortress, looms next in 
our line of vision. The vast grey bulk, ancient home 
of the Kings of Man, stands proudly up from the centre 
of the surrounding town. On the line of the bay, 
behind Hango Hill, with its ruined blockhouse, the 
dark pile of King William's College arrests attention. 
At this well-known public school many great men 


have been educated, Field-Marshal Sir George White, 
General Sir Charles Warren, Dean Farrar, and the 
Rev. T. E. Brown among others. The origin of the 
institution lies in the forethought of Yn Stanlagh Mooar. 
Writing of his project, in 1643, the Earl said : "I had 
a design, and God may enable me to set up a university 
without much charge (as I have conceived it), which 
may much oblige the nations round about us. It 
may get friends into the country, and enrich this land. 
This would certainly please God and man." 

The strenuous life and tragic end of the Great 
Stanley prevented the furthering of the splendid 
design, and it was not until the reign of the last sword 
bishop, Isaac Barrow, 1663-71, that the scheme was 
materially continued, with the result that an excellent 
school, with scholarships and exhibitions to Oxford, 
Cambridge, and Dublin, is now one of the valuable 
assets of the island. 

Farther, towards the promontory of Langness Point, 
is the racecourse, where the Derby was run a full 
century and a half before the great race became in- 
digenous to Epsom. Yn Stanlagh Mooar originated it 
in his island, to celebrate his birthday, the 28th July. 
The races were in abeyance during the tenure of 
Cromwell, but they were revived on the coming to 
his own again of the eighth Earl of Derby. " It is my 
good will and pleasure y * y e two prizes formerly granted 
for hors running and shooting shall continue as they 
did, to be run for, or shot for, and so continue dureing 
my good will and pleasure. Given under my hand att 
Lathom y e 12 of July, 1669." 


The Derby was evidently intended to encourage 
local horse breeding, for : "No horse, or gelding, or 
mair shall be admitted to run for the said plate, but 
such as was foaled within the said island, or in the 
Calfe of Mann. . . . That every person that puts in 
either horse, mair or gelding shall at the time of their 
entering depositt the sume of five shill. a piece, which 
is to goe towards the augmenting of the plate for the 
year following, besides one shill. a piece, to be given 
by them to the said cleark of the rolls for entering 
their names." 

Towards Langness Point are many deep rocky 
caverns, disturbed, broken-up sea-caves, a ruinous 
battlefield of fallen stones dating from post-glacial 
times. At the end of the peninsula a lighthouse lifts its 
warning shaft, looking out in snow-white majesty over 
the dreadful Skerranes. On the east side of Langness 
are the cruel chasms and knife-edged rocks of Grave 
Gully, the last resting-place of many hapless mariners. 

That is St. Michael's Isle, set in the natural harbour 
of Derbyhaven. The ruinous fort upon it is another 
monument to the Stanlagh Mooar, the fort builder. A 
very ancient treen chapel shares the miniature islet 
which Camden all erroneously labelled the Sodor of 

Tucked away in the north-west corner of the haven 
is Ronaldsway, where lived the unfortunate Illiam 
Dhone. Hereabouts also was fought one of the fierce 
battles of ancient days, when the Manx were defeated 
by the Scots, immediately previous to the Scottish 
annexation of the little territory. 


Port Greenilaugh the word means " sunny " 
closely guards the secret of its wonderfully wooded 
glen, covering it up jealously with verdant trees and 
encircling rounded slopes. The silvery stream flickers 
down the luxuriance, its little quavering, flashing light 
betraying its merry presence, until with a smile and a 
song it tumbles out on to the pebbles of the creek. 
Set high above the grim cavities of myriad black- 
mouthed caves, the remnants of one of the old-time 
Watch and Ward posts can be seen, and on an oppo- 
site cliff, where the heather and gorse commingle, is 
Cronk-ny-Marroo, the Hill of the Dead, a mighty burial 
place of immense size and antiquity. The Santon 
River pours its waters to the coast, winding among 
contorted natural archways and rocky caves down to 
the sea. Santon Head is the outpost for a return to 
a precipitous line of cliffs. 

Nearing the great scarps of Pistol, the Titanic nature 
of the wild architecture continues to Port Soderick 
with its caves, decorated with the shells of the multi- 
tudinous oysters consumed in every month which has 
no " r " in it by the courageous summer visitors. The 
once lovely glen is exploited within an inch of its 
beauty. It is alive with people, making their way 
to the oyster stalls ! They have come, Hall Caine 
says, " after eleven months and two weeks imprison- 
ment in factories, with little more of the country than 
is to be got out of their town parks, and out of their 
back gardens, where they are like larks on a sod in a 

The cove is defaced by the Marine Drive, with its 


whirling, skirling trams, which continue along the 
fa9ade of the precipices past the " Nuns' Chairs," the 
two water- worn rocks which, tradition says, were the 
punishment seats of refractory nuns from the Priory 
of St. Bridget, near Douglas. Of these two hollow 
places, set in the grim heights of the How, Waldron 
says : " Whether these are made by art or nature I 
cannot pretend to determine, nor did I ever hear ; but, 
on the slightest accusation, the poor nun was brought 
to the foot of this rock, when the sea was out, and 
obliged to climb to the first chair, where she sat till 
the tide had twice ebbed and flowed. Those who had 
given greater cause for suspicion went up to the second 
chair, and sat the same space of time. Those who 
endured this trial and descended unhurt, were cleared 
of the aspersion cast upon them ; but the number of 
the fortunate could not be great, for besides the 
danger of climbing the rugged and steep rock (which 
now very few men can do above thirty or forty paces) 
the extreme cold when you come to any height, the 
horror of being exposed alone to all the fury of the 
elements, and the horrid prospect of the sea, roar- 
ing through a thousand cavities, and foaming round 
you on every side, is enough to stagger the finest 
resolution and courage, and without all question 
has been the destruction of many of those unhappy 

Here the rock scenery is awe-inspiring. Tiny beaches 
run up into the grey mass, insidiously claiming right 
of entry into the solid frontage. Vast pieces of 
masonry tremble on the brink of the slanting preci- 


pices, and over all is the hum and the drone of the 
sea in the caves. 

The white lighthouse and out-buildings herald Doug- 
las once more. We have put a girdle round the golden 
island. Shall we penetrate now to the interior, and see 
the treasures and the wonders there ? 



Pr'thee, see there ! behold ! look ! 
Our monuments. 


This Castle hath a pleasant seat, the air 
Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself 
Unto our gentle senses. 


AN ecclesiastical tour of the " lil islan' " comes into 
our local colour scheme. We must visit some old- 
world churches and pre-Reformation fanes, besides 
historical castles and ancient ruins impossible to 
classify with any authenticity. Strictly modern 
churches we will not notice. 

The established Church in Man is considerably out- 
numbered as a body by Dissenters, but a pleasing 
toleration exists among all sects. The travellers along 
the half-dozen different routes to Paradise show a 
delightful indisposition to throw the customary brick- 
bats at each other a spirit of " Live and let live," 
vastly different from the old Puritanical times, and 
the troublous days of Quaker prosecution in the seven- 
teenth century. The Quakers' little colony in Maug- 
hold, where their burial-place, Rhidlick-ny-Quakeryn, is 


still to be seen, was broken up and ruthlessly destroyed 
during the over-lordship of Lord Fairfax. After suffer- 
ing fines, imprisonment, and many deprivations, the 
Manx Quakers were banished the island. On the 
Restoration they straggled back again. 

John Wesley visited Man on two occasions, and his 
followers to-day are the strongest religious denomina- 
tion on the island. The serious-minded worshippers 
attend their often insignificant chapels without the 
baits and encouragements adopted by many of the 
proselytizing evangelical establishments " across the 
wather," the " Men Only " and " Side-talks with 
Women " services which revivify waning interest in 
remarkable and expectant fashion, and cause the walls 
of the holy place to bulge outwards. Don't you always 
smile at those wily notices ? They give one so furiously 
to think. They remind me of the ingenious artist 
whose particular bent lay in the delineation of the 
" altogether," who was about to exhibit some of his 
works in a provincial city where the Committee of the 
local art gallery possessed Nonconformist consciences 
of the most active variety. Without delay the painter 
set about renaming his masterpieces, delicately dis- 
guising an insouciant Phryne under the title of " The 
Mother of Moses," labelling an enchanting Aphrodite 
and Dione as " Ruth and Naomi," whilst " rosy- 
fingered " Aurora obligingly turned into " Potiphar's 
Wife," thus casting an aura of sanctity over the ex- 
hibition which saved the situation. 

The Bible and Prayer Book were translated into 
Manx by a little army of divines. Bishop Wilson com- 


menced the great work, and on his death it was pro- 
ceeded with by Bishop Hildesley, aided by the clergy 
of the diocese. The idea of Sunday schools originated 
with Bishop Hildesley, who successfully established 
them in Man, where they flourished for some time 
previous to their adoption elsewhere. Church service 
is never conducted now in the fast-dying language, 
but preaching in Manx continued in Nonconformist 
chapels until quite recently. Mr. A. W. Moore tells me 
that he listened to a most eloquent sermon in the old 
tongue but six years ago. This he heard in the 
Salisbury Street Chapel, Douglas. The Rev. John 
Qualtrough, who died in 1879, nearly always took 
morning and evening prayer in Manx. Either he or 
the Rev. W. Drury, the much-loved Vicar of Kirk 
Braddan, preached in the native tongue for the last 
time in the established Church. 

Would you like to see how the Lord's Prayer looks 
in Manx ? Its looks are nothing to the big deep tones 
of it. 

Ayr ain t' ayns niau. Casherick dy row dt' Ennym. 
Dy jig dty reeriaght. 

Father our Who art in heaven. Holy be Thy 
name. Come Thy kingdom. 

Dt' aigney dy row jeant er y thalloo myr te ayns niau. 
Cur dooin nyn an an jiu as gagh laa. As leih dooin 
nyn loghtyn myr ta shin leih dauesyn ta jannoo loghtyn 
nyn 'oi. 

Thy will may be done on the earth as it is in heaven. 
Give to us our bread to-day and every day. And for- 


give to us our trespasses as are we to forgive to those 
are committing trespasses us against. 

As ny leeid shin ayns miolagh ; agh limey shin veih 

And not lead us into temptation ; but deliver us 
from evil. 

Sons Ihiats y reeriaght as y phooar as y ghloyr, son 
dy bragh as dy bragh. 

For thine is the kingdom and the power and the 
glory, for ever and ever. Amen. 

In the Manx tongue the adjective almost invariably 
follows the substantive, instead of coming before it. 
A " true Manx- man," as we should say in English, 
becomes Mannanagh dooie, Manxman true, and " a big 
man " lapses into dooiney mooar, a man big. Nouns 
are never neuter, always masculine or feminine. 

Of all the ruinous ecclesiastical structures in Man 
the most important is St. German's Cathedral. St. 
Patrick's Church, also, lying close to the larger dilapi- 
dated pile, is in its decay and desolation a very fine 
relic indeed of early Christian times. Standing at its 
one-time door are the remains of the round tower about 
whose hoary pillar the battle of the archaeologists rages 
as to whether the fine example is an Irish round tower, 
a purely Manx round tower, or an impossible-to-classify 
piece of masonry. Whatever it may be, and con- 
trasted and compared as it has been with other shafts 
extant elsewhere, most authorities agree that the 
tower was erected in the tenth century. The Church 
itself is assigned to a still more remote period. 


The ruined cathedral is built from the red sandstone 
of the neighbourhood, and eight bishops of Man are 
said to lie buried in the precincts. Of these Bishop 
Rutter is perhaps the best known, by reason of his 
intimate connexion with the life of the Great Stanley, 
and his gallant assistance in the defence of Lathom 
against Fairfax. Bishop Rutter's tomb was opened 
and examined in 1865, and was afterwards carefully 
repaired. The broken slab found some inches below 
the surface of the ground bore the following inscrip- 
tion, on a brass plate a quaint requiem said to have 
been composed by the episcopal lord himself. 

In Hac Domo Quam A Vermiculis 
Accepi Confratribus Meis Spe 
Resurrectionis Ad Vitam 
Jaceo Sam : Permissione Divina 
Episcopus Huius Insulae 
Siste Lector Vide ; Ac Ride 
Palatium Episcopi 
Obiit : XXX Die Mensis Maiae Anno 1662 

(" In this house, which I have received from the little 
worms, my brethren, in hope of the resurrection to 
life, I lie, Samuel, by divine permission Bishop of this 
Island. Stop, reader ; behold ! and smile at the 
palace of a bishop. Died on the 3oth day of May, in 
the year 1662.") 

The myriad-minded Samuel Rutter, when chaplain 
to the Great Stanley, was a verse-maker of some 
account. His rhymes, written avowedly for " the 
Right Hon. James, Earl of Derby, to divert his pensive 
spirit and deep concern for the calamities of his country, 


occasioned by the Grand Rebellion," continued to be 
favourites in Man for many years. 

Let the world run round, 

Let the world run round, 

And know neither care nor sorrow. 

Our glory is the test of a merry, merry breast 

In this little quiet Nation, 

sang the Touchstone of Castle Rushen in a merry lilt 
which formed the prologue to a playlet produced, " for 
the first time on any stage," at the old fortress of 

Grave and gay rhymes besides the worthy Rutter 
penned, eulogies on Mona's Isle, and musings sad and 

Descending to the crypt by a cleverly concealed 
passage in the wall, the terrible fastness used for the 
incarceration of ecclesiastical offenders may be seen. 
Here the Duchess of Gloucester is said to have passed 
eleven years, and here, tradition says, she died. Her 
troubled spirit, it is said, haunts the chill stone stair- 
case still, and in the dead of every night the light 
sound of her dragging footstep can be distinctly heard. 
In this Black Hole of Calcutta, with the graves of the 
long dead above it, and the surge of the sea washing 
below, the great Bishop Wilson was imprisoned for 
refusing to pay certain tithes, and the decaying place 
was used as an ecclesiastical gaol until 1780. 

The ruins of the Episcopal Palace, with vast roofless 
banqueting hall, and the civil prison, known as War- 
wick's Tower, are all breaths from the eternal past. 
Thomas, Earl of Warwick, was held captive at Peel, 


by command of Richard II, during the time of Sir 
William le Scroop, who purchased the island from the 
Earl of Salisbury, " with all the right of being crowned 
with a golden crown." In later years Captain Edward 
Christian, the one-time favourite of the Great Stanley, 
dragged out here the pitiful ending to his adventurous 

In Peel Castle itself, one of the fortified garrisons 
of old time, is the guard-room celebrated for its ap- 
parition, the ghostly visitant referred to by Scott, in 
his " Lay of the Last Minstrel," as a " spectre hound." 
The hound is not a hound really, but a black spaniel, 
which Irishism Waldron, the credulous chronicler of 
ancient days in Mona, shall explain for you : 

" They say that an apparition, called in their 
language, the ' Mauthe * Dhoo,' in the shape of a large 
black spaniel, with curled shaggy hair, was used to 
haunt Peel Castle, and has been frequently seen in 
every room, but particularly in the guard chamber, 
where, as soon as the candles were lighted it came 
and lay down before the fire in the presence of the 
soldiers, who, at length, by being so much accustomed 
to it, lost great part of the terror they were seized 
with at its first appearance." 

It will interest the psychic to be told that, during 
some excavation operations in which the skeleton of 
Bishop Simon was uncovered, the remains of a dog, 
with perfect teeth and jaw bones, lay at the feet of the 
rebuilder of the ancient cathedral. Archaeologists had 

* This should be " Moddey" ; "Mauthe" is not a Manx word, 
although phonetic. 


a good deal to say about this peculiar find at the time, 
but the matter was never, of course, satisfactorily 

The remains of Bishop Simon, with those of his 
canine companion, were carefully re-interred, and on 
the face of the stone erected we may read the following 
inscription : 

" In repairing the ruins of Peel Castle, in 1871, by the 
Authority of H. B. Loch, C.B., Lieut. -Governor, the 
Remains of Simon, Bishop of Sodor and Man and the 
Re-Builder of the Cathedral, were here discovered and 
Re-interred. He died 28th February, 1247, m tne 
2ist year of his Episcopacy." 

There is no reason why the ecclesiastical pile on St. 
Patrick's Isle should have reached such a state of 
dilapidation, save that at times all hands seemed to be 
against the upstanding of the ancient fabric. The 
stripping of the lead roofing by Bishop Wilson handed 
over the choir to the complete mercy of the elements, 
and was an action which Keble, Bishop Wilson's 
biographer, justly calls " passing sentence on the 
cathedral, and agreeing to despair of its restoration." 
At a later period the work of devastation was helped 
on materially by an energetic captain of engineers, 
who was instructed to fortify the islet in martial readi- 
ness for the expected onslaught of Napoleon Bona- 
parte. The gallant officer constructed some fine 
batteries, but at the pitiful expense of all facings, 
groins, and movable stones which could possibly be 
press-ganged into service. 

It is said that the right of burial within the pre- 


cincts of St. German's, which was the old-time privilege 
of all inhabitants of Peel, has never been rescinded. 
It is a right never exercised now, and was apparently 
beginning to be questioned during Bishop Wilson's 
time, if we may judge from the following characteristic 
letter from the prelate to the then Constable of the 
Castle : 

" Captain Mercer, complaint is made to me that you 
have refused to let the body of Isabel Cannon be buried 
in the parish church of K. K. German, and the place 
where her child is buried, unless her friends shall first 
obtain license from the governor so to do. You would 
do well to consider that this is the first instance of 
such a practise, and will be an invasion of the Church's 
rights and the subject's property ; for if a license 
must be asked, it may be refused, and then the bishop 
may be shut out of his own cathedral, and the people 
from their parish church, for such it ever was before 
it was a garrison. I think it fit to give you this 
hint, that you may not create new trouble to yourself 
or me. I am, your friend, 


Any encroaching on ecclesiastical rights always 
roused the great Bishop, who held that " the Church 
should have nothing to do with the State," and whose 
strict regime warranted the supporting encomium of 
Lord Chancellor King to the effect that " if the ancient 
discipline of the Church were lost, it might be found 
in all its purity in the Isle of Man." 

After the cessation of burials in St. German's a 


most inconvenient site one would imagine for funeral 
parties to get to the people of Peel interred their 
dead in the churchyard of St. Peter's, an old un- 
dated structure, set in the Market Place. 

All over the Isle of Man the little treen chapels or 
keeils abound, and some of these tiny places, where 
monks and the religious-minded lived in recluse 
fashion, are of immense age and interest. 

Up to really quite recent years the wonderful 
memorials and remembrances, dating in some cases 
from primeval times, precious relics of the great past, 
have been remorselessly destroyed. Labour-saving 
vandals, disguised as stonemasons, have used many 
of the sacred stones and monoliths in building opera- 
tions. Numberless historical masterpieces have been 
scattered ruthlessly, or have suffered utter demolition. 

If the grim stones set here and there in the strong 
grey walls bordering the roads could speak, what tales 
they might unfold to us ! Of a little keeil where some 
religieuse lived in solitary deprivation, of a solemn 
funeral ceremony in Stone Age times, or the martial 
ringing call to arms of a Viking force in lager for the 
night, amid a stronghold of garnered rocks. Myriads 
of strange scenes have the vast silent broken monoliths 
witnessed, wonderful nights and days of stirring deeds 
and colossal happenings, gliding like shadows through 
the fleeting years. 

One after another, historical remnants, ancient 
fortified camps, and stone barrows were cleared away. 
Happily a realization of the vandalism came to us 
ere it was too late to stay the mad sweeping career 


of Juggernaut destruction. A trust for the care of 
the old monuments has power now to control and 
guard all the heirlooms of the past. Peel Castle and 
Cathedral and Castle Rushen are vested property of 
the Crown. The spirit of reverence is abroad, and 
regard for the remaining multitudinous standing 
evidences of the proud and royal history of the 
island grows and increases year by year. 

My pen is like the Magic Carpet of The Arabian 
Nights, and flies whithersoever it listeth. It is gliding 
now right across the green swelling hills, high over 
the shoulder of Cronk-ny-Irrey-Lhaa, down, down, 
into Rushen parish. I have nothing very wonderful 
in the ecclesiastical line to show you here. Why did 
I come then ? " Because," as the Manx say when 
pressed for an answer, " am'n't I lawngen for home ? 
That's the for I came ! " 

Though Rushen Sheading is rich in ancient sepul- 
tures, a stone circle, and keeils, the parish church of 
the name built in 1770 is but the usual type of insular 
church, barn-like, white-washed, with exposed bell 
hanging in a little pepper-pot tower at the western 
end. Port St. Mary and Port Erin, two of the sea- 
ports of Rushen, possess very modern fanes, and the 
representative place of worship in Port Erin stands on 
high ground just above the old well sacred to St. 

That philosopher and thinker (free) of the Renais- 
sance, Franois Rabelais, describes somewhere a spring 
where waning beauty may be stayed, and looks and 
youth renewed. Perhaps he was writing of St. 


Catherine's Well at Port Erin. Its potent powers of 
rejuvenation were well known to all the Manx women. 
A little dabble in the charmed water, and you ought 
to emerge more fascinating at seventy than ever you 
were at seventeen. This is not an advertisement, a 
cruel attempt to spoil the businesses of Bond Street 
beauty specialists. There are so many methods of 
retaining youth without the necessity of resorting to 
the help of St. Catherine ! They tell me that suf- 
fragetting if you survive it is a great set-back to 
the fiend Anno Domini, but this rejuvenating strenuous 
sport is denied to the ladies of Manxland. 

Kirk Arbory, where the great naval hero, Captain 
Quilliam, is buried, is a replica of Rushen. In a 
sheltered copse not far away are the fragmentary 
remains of the Bimaken Friary, once the home of an 
establishment of Franciscans. A band of that order 
sojourned a while in Man, but were more or less over- 
shadowed by their longer-established and more power- 
ful neighbours of Ballasalla, the Cistercians. 

Over the fields, towards Castletown, lies Malew, yet 
another twin to Rushen and Arbory. 

Many interesting divines have ministered here, the 
two worthies Robert and Thomas Parr among the 
number. The Rev. Thomas was Vicar of Malew in 
1641, and held the living for many years. He is 
celebrated for the quaint philosophies which he 
scattered, like the pebbles of Little Poucet, about his 
church register. Of these odd musings dotted about 
the parish record Archdeacon Gill says : " Thomas 
Parr has so impressed his own character upon almost 


every page of the book, that it reads more like an 
autobiography than a Parish Register, and the very 
self of the worthy vicar stands out before us." 

In the carefully worded sentences, the rounded 
periods dragged from afar, and the studied value of 
each insertion, we see the Rev. Thomas Parr as of 
the band of learned philologists whom Cowper told us 


Who chase 

A panting syllable through time and space, 
Start it at home, and hunt it in the dark, 
To Gaul, to Greece, and into Noah's Ark. 

Robert Parr held the living of Malew previous to 
the tenure of his brother. He was a diplomat, and 
very careful to observe the direction in which the 
traditionary cat Manx, of course jumped, so that 
he might be ready to jump with it. Derby or Cromwell, 
Cromwell or Derby, were all the same to the accom- 
modating padre, who evinced a Gilbertian partiality 
for whichever side happened to be paramount. 

At Malew the author of this book was confirmed, on 
an unforgettable day of completing dressing opera- 
tions in a corner of the old Kirk, " doing " my hair 
mysterious rite with the curate's brush whether his 
reverence would let me or no before a diminutive 
cracked looking-glass propped against a window jamb. 
We had driven a long way in the teeth of a winter 
gale in a make-believe Irish car, and had " jaunted " 
tidiness and neatness to the winds. This little inter- 
lude is not meant to be taken as presumptively assum- 
ing ! I quite understand that it has no bearing on 


the history of the Isle of Man, or its colour scheme. 
It is a "by the way," a sort of fill-gap, because I 
cannot think of anything else to tell you of Malew. 

Of the ancient Abbey at Ballasalla there are but 
fragmentary remains. A square tower still guards the 
entrance, and the standing refectory does duty as a 
stable. The relics of the once great House are few, 
a small collection of stones, and an uninscribed figured 
coffin lid, which probably encased a king. Olave the 
Black, his son Reginald, and Magnus, the last of the 
Orry dynasty, were all buried in Rushen Abbey. Over 
the mill dam, of which, it is thought, the Cistercians 
were the engineers and contractors, is the Monk's 
Bridge, the Crossag, a specimen of thirteenth century 
work in wonderful condition. How many great and 
venerable ascetics have plotted and planned as they 
paced their handiwork ! 

Seawards lies Castletown, and Castle Rushen, ancient 
home of the Kings of Man. This serenely quiet centre, 
with its large square into which the narrow streets 
open, is the oldest town in Man, and from Neolithic 
times some sort of a stronghold existed here. Tradi- 
tion says that Godred Crovan built part of the castle 
now standing, but this is not thought to be probable, 
though the Northmen undoubtedly set up a fortress of 
sorts upon the present site. A castle was standing in 
the fourteenth century, for it was besieged by Robert 
Bruce in 1313, and we read in the Chronicon the fatal 
word " demolished." In dilapidated condition the 
grim pile held together for something like three hun- 
dred years after Bruce's day, when the Stanley of the 


era set about repairing his " two garrisons of the Castles 
of Rushen and Peel." 

The walls of the keep are of immense thickness, and 
surrounding the vast stronghold is a mighty embattled 
wall, twenty-five feet high, nine feet through, with 
square towers at intervals. Outside this wall runs 
the now filled-up moat, and the protective trench 
was supplemented by a glacis added, historical tradition 
records, by Cardinal Wolsey, during his guardianship 
of Edward, third Earl of Derby. 

The hoary fortress was used until recent years as an 
insular gaol, a very happy-go-lucky gaol as I remember 
it. Not that I comprehensively sampled its inner 
mechanism. We are not suffragettes in Man. I often 
made one of a band of visitors going through the old 
place, and took a childish interest in the prisoners 
who wandered about in unprisoner-like haphazard 
fashion, as I followed a warder of immense girth, a 
character and a half. Pacing along close behind him 
I was always in imagination measuring his giant waist 
with a dream tape, averaging the circumference, 
and saying regretfully to myself, " Forty-five inches 
round, and then very likely it would not meet ! " 

We knew the parrot-story of the wonders of the 
castle almost as well as the janitor, and sometimes 
knocked the ground from under his feet as he came 
to a chestnut joke, a jewel he placed so carefully in the 
hope that all would see it scintillate. It always came 
off in a large bare room, with great window em- 
brasures, where the prisoners worshipped on Sundays. 
A thick partition of wood divided the apartment, 


thus separating the sexes, and the pulpit was set on 
high, a lighthouse to command both seas of faces. 
" The men sit on that side, the women upon this," 
said the warder, casually, " and, and," impressively, 
" there's no looking over the garden wall ! " He 
always smiled in a way which told everyone how often 
he had sprung the allusion before, and how very, 
very pleased he was with the coruscating gem. My 
sisters and I invariably prepared for it, and chanted 
the jokelet with the joker, which rather took off from 
its crisp effect. 

Here, in the castle, temporarily gathered together, 
is the nucleus of a representative collection of insular 
antiquities, and among the many interesting relics 
there are some granite querns, or hand-mills, going 
back through the centuries to the Stone Age, a 
specimen of the antiquated obsolete push-plough, and 
the black and gold mace which was always carried 
before the Bishops of Man on ceremonial days. There 
are bronze weapons and ornaments in plenty to be 
marvelled over, stone implements from prehistoric 
days, and a fine specimen of an Irish elk recovered 
from Close-y-garey. Remnants of the big deer have 
been found in several boggy localities on the isle. 

You reach the first portcullis of Castle Rushen by 
travelling down a long narrow strait, whose high walls 
at times exclude the light, and only a jagged line of 
blue tells us that the sky is there. The buildings in 
the outer court were added to by the Great Stanley, 
who lived hi them. Many Governors in turn resided 
in the sombre pile. 


In the ancient chapel in the tower is the clock of 
Queen Elizabeth's presenting. Clockmakers knew 
their business in her day ! The old timepiece ticks 
on still, stolidly, dutifully, and the bell which tolls 
the hours was an addition to the castle's trophies 
made by the tenth Earl of Derby, in 1729. Here, in 
the solemn fortress, Time, " envious and calumniating 
time," as the Bard has it, seems nothing, and the 
whole structure gives the idea of immortality, and 
" Time, this vast fabric for him built." 

From the top of the square tower, where a little 
army of agile starlings whirl and chatter, crowding 
each other off the battlemented walls, wrangling, 
jangling, discussing, a picture of Nature's limning 
spreads itself in glory of lavishness before us. The 
colours are Nature's own, and therefore perfect. 
Range on range of dark, low, rounded hills block our 
landward vision, and up their slopes the multi-coloured 
fields, in oddly-cut shapes, cover the face of the baby 
territory. It is such a tiny land. Smaller than any 
English county, save Rutland, and from the top of the 
old tower a great part of the isle lies in its witchery 
before you. Across the mystery of waters Santon 
Head, Langness Point, and Scarlett, and afar, in the 
blue haze, the sweep of the Mull Hills swelling to the 
treasure caves of Spanish Head, backed by the outline 
of the Calf, with its watchful outpost, sentinel of the 
surfy deep. 

Sacredly historical apartments abound in the fort- 
ress, and deep, dark underground cells into which the 
prisoners of long-gone times had to be lowered by 


means of ropes. Weird subterranean burrowings, 
built into the very foundations, exist, and tradition 
tells of a lengthy passage-way which runs to Rushen 
Abbey, a track used but by the priests, which no other 
foot has ever trod. Nobody knows to-day where to 
look for the entrance, and if we discovered it dare 
we penetrate ! Might it not be the doorway to that 
terrible place Waldron wrote of, the very spot " which 
has never been opened in the memory of man," the 
weird corner of the castle which every native of the 
isle knows has " something of enchantment in it " ? 
For down, down in the bowels of the earth, far below 
the foundations, the spellbound giants live, and of 
all who in former times went to explore the secrets 
of the vasty depths none ever returned. 

The Parish Church of Santon is now quite modern, 
but the surrounding country is rich in memorials of 
the historical past. Almost every part of the isle 
has its ruinously ancient keeils, old-time tumuli, stone 
circles, and here and there the foundations of what 
archaeologists call " Hut circles/' in which flint im- 
plements and other treasures have been unearthed. 
A very wonderful relic of the kind is set on the Mull, 
or Meayll, Hills, below the fine stone circle. The 
natives call it Lag-ny-Boirey , meaning " hollow of 
trouble," or an Iliad of woes. Nobody can tell with 
any authenticity why so depressing a name has been 
bestowed upon this remnant of the ages. 

The great standing stones, or Menhirs, which are 
scattered about the face of the little country, in 
single file or in very small battalions, are thought to 


be almost certainly of sepulchral origin. A beautiful 
example at Glen Mooar in Michael parish has the cup- 
marks for the holding of oblations, cut in the rock at 
the foot of the unhewn stone. 

Old Kirk Braddan is the best known of all the in- 
sular churches. Its summer services, held in the open 
churchyard for the old kirk is seldom used now 
with the clergyman preaching from a flat tombstone, 
have become one of the features of the Douglas season, 
to which town the ancient fane is conveniently near. 
The tower is of 1773 origin, the rest of the church 
probably much older, and therefore we have here 
a most interesting collection of tombstones dating 
from bygone centuries to almost the present era, as 
well as very many fine specimens of Scandinavian 
pieces. On these Scandinavian sepulchral slabs, in- 
scribed in runes, we see the odd intermixture of Norse 
mythological traceries used as adornments for Christian 

An obelisk, with a little frill of menacing cannon 
balls, stands up amid the grey stones, a lofty shaft 
erected to Lord Henry Murray, of the House of Athol, 
by the officers of the Royal Manx Fencibles, a regiment 
formed in Man, as part of the regular army, to serve 
only in the British Isles, in 1780. The force was dis- 
banded in 1810. 

The remains of the Priory of St. Bridget, which is 
situated very close to Douglas, are sparse, and the 
fragmentary portions of the chapel and few collected 
stones give but small idea of the once great stronghold 
of a Prioress who was a Baron in Man, with powers 


and rights of amazing importance. On the site of the 
ancient religious establishment a fairly modern house 
now stands, which is known as The Nunnery. 

The Priory, which tradition says was founded in or 
about the year 567 A.D. by Bridget of sacred memory, 
who came from Ireland, and received the veil from 
the hands of St. Maughold, is referred to in the Chroni- 
con, and for many centuries was the home of Sisters 
who retired to the Manx nunnery from all parts. 

Ecclesiastical strongholds in Man of " ould tyme " 
were always of unimposing architecture, and when 
compared to similar retreats in the adjacent isles 
quite insignificant, therefore the pen picture drawn 
for us by Governor Sacheverell, in 1703, suggests that 
the Priory must have been very considerably improved 
and added to during the latter years of its history, 
or that the chronicler was possessed in no slight degree 
of the divine attribute of imagination which Washing- 
ton Irving told us of, the necromantic power which 
" can conjure up glorious shapes and forms, and brilliant 

Here is a sketch of the Priory of St. Bridget's as 
Governor Sacheverell saw it : " Few monasteries ever 
exceeded it, either in largeness or fine building. There 
are still some of the cloisters remaining, the ceilings of 
which discover they were the workmanship of the 
most masterly hands. Nothing in the whole creation 
but is imitated in curious carvings on it. The pillars 
supporting the arches are so thick as if the edifice was 
erected with a design to baffle the efforts of time ; 
nor could it, in more years than have elapsed since 


the coming of Christ, have been so greatly defaced, 
had it received no injury but from time. But in some 
of the dreadful revolutions this Island has sustained, 
it doubtless has suffered much from the outrage of the 
soldiers ; as may be gathered from the niches yet 
standing in the chapel, which has been one of the 
finest in the world, and the images of saints deposited 
in them torn out. Some pieces of broken columns are 
still to be seen ; but the greatest part of them have 
been removed." 

We must to Douglas for a space, the Douglas which 
is really the capital of the isle now, whatever Castle- 
town may formerly have been. 

The Douglas that was lay for the most part close 
around the square where the modern market stands 
to-day, extending down the quay-side, spreading away 
to Castle Street in a maze of twisting, winding alleys 
and narrow, confusing streets, all built with the idea 
of furthering the trade which practically gave Douglas 
its inception, for it is not an old town as we count 
time in Man, not ancient in the sense that Castletown 
is ancient, or Peel, or Ramsey. Since the demolition 
of St. Matthew's Church, St. George's, of 1761-80 date, 
is the oldest religious edifice. The old-time cobble- 
paved streets and uneven houses, now small, now 
large, with vast cellars and twisting underground 
passage-ways running in all directions, where the 
great Free-traders lived and loved, are faUing, almost 
they have all gone, before the housebreaker, and the 
Town Improvement Scheme. Very soon the last re- 
maining misshapen buildings, with their histories and 


memories, will give place to the interminable mansions 
of glazed red brick, Elizabethan or Stuart period, 
or to frankly glaring cemented piles, where the dinner- 
tables are ever set, and brilliant red and blue wine 
glasses eternally support the twisted spiral damasks 
which Suburbia calls " serviettes." 

The surroundings of Douglas are very, very beauti- 
ful, and in olden days, with its long odd houses, 
winding streets, low-tide landing pier, the scene must 
have been picturesquely effective, as indeed enthusiasts 
say the city is in every particular to-day. Given 
money, anyone can manufacture a huge magical Mar- 
gate, and, save for the perfection of its surroundings, 
Douglas is very much the same as many another sea- 
side resort. Any lapidary can set a pinchbeck stone 
in a rim of gold, but all lapidaries are not lucky enough 
to have the pure metal to work upon. 

The old Red Pier, built of sandstone faced by 
Castletown limestone, once the general meeting place 
of Douglas society, is but little used now, save 
by the seagulls, who preen themselves at its edge. 
" Seeing the boat in " was the only excitement of 
the week in Douglas in the early days of the nineteenth 
century. It was a custom, also, with the old-time 
wedding parties to walk round and round the beacon 
tower at the wide end of the old Pier a curious un- 
explainable usage with some occult advantage about it. 

Government House of to-day stands on the heights 
above Douglas, and is an unpretentious building, 
press-ganged into official service, and has been added 
to and altered as occasion demanded. 


The fine grey stone house situated in the centre of 
the crescent-shaped bay, near the sea, is Castle Mona, 
the home of the last Duke of Athol who reigned in 
Man. The proud Athol Arms still adorn the walls on 
either side of the majestic frontage. The ducal castle is 
now a popular hotel, and the once extensive grounds 
adjoining have been split up, and for the most part 
form the play-ground of the great dancing palace 

From the Douglas of the eighteenth century, and 
the commencement of the nineteenth, when the 
" town " was just a mass of odd houses, intersected 
by the maze of lanes common in all seaports of the 
time, the road, lonely then, ran past His Grace's 
house, right away by the east, to Ramsey. Castle 
Mona was built " in the country," almost a journey 
away from the little primitive hamlet lying around 
and along the quay-side. 

Bishop's Court is in Michael parish, and the prelates 
of Man have lived here for hundreds of years. Simon, 
who is buried in the cathedral at St. German's, died 
at the " Palace " so long ago as 1239. There are still 
some remains of the ancient fabric, traces of a one-time 
moat and tower. The elm trees are said to have been 
planted as saplings by Bishop Wilson as he commenced 
his reign, and the wood from one of his forest children 
made his coffin. The great prelate, whose private life 
was as beautiful as his written works, but whose 
ecclesiastical policy was of Inquisition-like character, 
lived and worked in the diocese for fifty-eight years. 

The village of Michael covers quite a large area, 


and lies on a flat expanse of tableland stretching away 
to the sea on one hand, and on the other to a romantic 
range, intersected by glens innumerable, splitting the 
hearts of the mountains. 

In Glen Wyllin, south of Michael, an exploited 
beauty spot, is the Hill of Raneurling, a one-time 
Parliament place for the northern inhabitants of Mona. 
A Tynwald was held here on one occasion by the second 
Stanley who reigned over the island. 

The parish church was rebuilt in 1835, and in the 
graveyard Bishops Wilson, Hildesley, and Crigan sleep. 

Michael is singularly rich in old monuments, and 
among the wonderful Scandinavian specimens is the 
cross known as Gaut's, carven by the first Scandin- 
avian sculptor of whom we have any knowledge. He 
invented, or brought to Man, one or two graceful 
patterns of tracery which were adopted by subsequent 
stone- workers, thus making of the designs a distinc- 
tive and characteristic insular art, by which a Manx 
cross could be recognized anywhere. The inscription 
runs along the outside edge of the stones and has been 
translated into : 

" Mail Brigde, Son of Athakan, the Smith, erected 
this cross for his own soul, (and that of) his brother's 
wife. Gaut made this cross and all in Man." 

This proud and comprehensive claim was probably 
true of that era, as Gaut is the first Scandinavian 
sculptor whose work archaeologists can trace and 

The Mal-Lomchen cross is also at Michael, among 
the many treasures. It is by the church-gate, on the 


north wall. The runic inscription, reading upwards, 
has been given by Mr. Kermode, in his monumental 
work on the Manx crosses, as the following : 

" Mal-Lomchen erected this cross to the memory of 
Mal-Mura his foster (mother) daughter of Dugald, the 
wife whom Atheol had." 

And on the left-hand edge, running upwards : 
" Better is it to leave a good foster than a bad son." 

To the ordinary visitor, unversed in archaeology, 
Bishop Wilson's tomb will be the most interesting. 
The inscription on it reads : 

" Sleeping in Jesus. Here lieth the Body of Thomas 
Wilson, D.D., Lord Bishop of the Isle, who Died March 
I7th, 1755, aged 93, in the 58th year of his consecra- 
tion. This monument was erected by his son, Thomas 
Wilson, D.D., a Native of this parish, who, in obedience 
to the express commands of his worthy Father, de- 
clines giving Him the Character he so Justly Deserves. 
Let this Island Speak the Rest." 

The island can never forget its greatest Bishop, so 
narrow in some ways, so broad-viewed in others, out- 
stripping at times the advanced civilization of the 
present. As a Baron of the isle the ecclesiastical lord, 
previous to the passing of the island to the Crown, 
was the head of a civil court which possessed almost 
unlimited jurisdiction over felons, and included rights 
and prerogatives of all kinds. 

Bishop Wilson hated sin with fanatical zeal. He 
would have applied St. Matthew's drastic remedy to 
every evil-doer had it been possible or practicable, 


and in grappling with the traitor Sin with all his 
strength, the valiant ecclesiastic thought he would 
perchance give the devil time to sleep. And so we 
read with mixed feelings the long list of offenders who 
were punished by the Church during the reign of the 
great cleric. We must not forget that many of the 
archaic punishments were in vogue when Bishop 
Wilson came to Man, and that in numerous cases he 
intervened and set aside the cruel usages of genera- 
tions. We must remember this when we read of 
Katherine Kinrade, whom the Bishop ordered to be 
dragged behind a boat across Peel Harbour in the 
cold month of March, for an example to others and 
to " prevent her own utter destruction." Katherine 
Kinrade, with " the defect of understanding ! " 

Well, in every one of us exists a Jekyll and a Hyde. 
And so it was with the serenely gentle, fiercely tyran- 
nous Thomas Wilson. There abode with him a tender- 
ness " deeper than plummet ever sounded," tenderness 
which more than atoned for the few harshnesses 
of his long reign. If he punished sinners in cruel-to- 
be-kind fashion, it was done with the idea of saving 
souls in peril. All those in any way afflicted and dis- 
tressed were his constant care. In the great famine 
which fell on the little land, Bishop's Court was open to 
all comers. Poor himself, the Bishop gave all the sub- 
stance of his house to his people, and when that came 
to a speedy end, he pledged his revenue and bought 
corn from England, potatoes from Ireland, and dealt 
them out in brimming measures. 

Over and over again Bishop Wilson could have 


taken preferment, but he would not leave the small 
territory which needed him so badly. To each tempt- 
ing offer he made reply, " Shall I leave my wife in her 
old age because she is poor ? " 

The little story of the Bishop's coat is the favourite 
of the many anecdotes woven about the great character. 
It is a very simple tale, but it shows you the man who 
was going to wear the garment as distinctly as any 
modern photograph could do. 

In olden days, even up to the last century, the 
clothes which Manxmen wore were made for them at 
home, by a nomadic tailor. The cloth was bought 
from the local fidder, and when the journeyman tailor 
came along, with his " newses " and his gossip, for he 
was always a raconteur, the homespun was fashioned 
into the required garments. 

The Bishop was trying on a long coat one day, and his 
sartorial artist made comprehensive chalk markings 
all down the front, guides to show where a multitude 
of buttons must go. 

" Only one button, just to fasten it together, 
Danny," ordered the Bishop. " A poor man like me 
must not wear a row of glittering buttons." 

But the little tailor had the buttons bought and 
ready, so he drew an artful picture of the parlous condi- 
tion of the button-makers if everyone thought like his 
lordship. The miserable button-workers would scarce 
be able to live at all. 

The coat was taken off and laid aside. Fingering 
it thoughtfully, " Danny," said the Bishop, " Danny, 
button it all over," 


In the fights for what he considered the right Bishop 
Wilson came into collision with the State, and was 
imprisoned in Peel ecclesiastical prison and in Castle 

In spite of many of his narrow rulings, the complex 
ecclesiastic showed the way very often to clerics un- 
born. Keble, the biographer of Mona's best-known 
Bishop, tells us of an action which might set an ex- 
ample to the behind-the-age administrators of to-day. 
Bishop Wilson sanctioned the remarrying of a Manx- 
man whose wife was alive and transported. Taking 
into consideration all the facts the woman was not 
to be permitted to set foot in Man again without per- 
mission of the Lord, the prelate wrote : 

" I have considered yo r petition, and I find nothing 
in it contrary to y e rules of our holy religion, or y e 
ors (orders) and determinations of learned and judici- 
ous Christians in all ages, and therefore I give you 
liberty to make such a choice as shall be most for yo r 
support and comfort, and I pray God to direct you 


Ballaugh old church, a most quaintly fashioned 
building, lies in the curragh country, right in the 
heart of the romantic, mysterious, flowering wilder- 
ness, and the name laugh, or lough, a lake, perpet- 
uates the time of long ago when the great boggy 
hollows 'twixt the sand-dunes by the sea and the 
green hill-sides were set with permanent stretches of 
water. The vast territory of the Curragh Mooar 


sweeps north and east, draining its superabundant 
moisture to the sea. 

Jurby parish church, St. Patrick's, stands sentinel- 
wise on rising ground near the sea. It has its Scan- 
dinavian monuments in common with most of the 
insular parish churches, and at the West Nappin a 
little treen chapel repays a visit. 

Old Kirk Bride was pulled down in 1869, but there 
are ancient remains still to lure us here. The cele- 
brated Thor cross, with its wealth of carvings and 
wonder of design, has sanctuary in the precincts of the 
churchyard. Bride is the most northern parish on the 

Ramsey, in Scandinavian Hrafnsey, lies in the 
parishes of Lezayre and Maughold, and is second only 
to Douglas as a popular seaside resort. The historical 
records of the place are comprehensively interesting. 
Battles innumerable have been fought in the environs, 
and the great wide bay has sheltered fleets, very often 
marauders, of all sorts and kinds from the days of 
the Vikings. Here Bruce anchored in 1313, and, later 
again, another band of " our enemies, the Red 
Shanks " as the Statute-book terms the Scotsmen, 
visited the port on pillage and spoliation bent. The 
Manx of old time hated the Scotch nation, and re- 
garded them all as piratical ravaging cut-throats, and 
though as a rule the little country philosophically 
accepted any ruler thrust upon it, the suzerainty 
of Scotland was never regarded with contentment. 
Nous avons change tout cela. The seven days hallowed 
by recent custom by the presence of riotous hundreds 



of " Red Shanks," when the workers from the city of 
Glasgow spend their " Fair Week," and many baw- 
bees, in Douglas, is now one of the features of the 
lucrative visiting season. 

Across the bay from the Ayre the vast King William 
Banks sweep towards Laxey. The royal name was 
bestowed in commemoration of the escape from ship- 
wreck of William III, who was " held up " on the 
treacherous waste of shallow waters during a voyage 
to Ireland. 

In the remaining parts of old Ramsey we see again 
the winding tortuous lanes, intersecting each other 
at all sorts of surprising moments, and the irregularly 
built, unmatched houses, now of large size, now of 
small, the typical representative architectural features 
which hallmark the smuggling centres of bygone 

Away to the westward runs out the Ayre we call 
all the lowlands of the extreme north the Ayre, and 
off the point, rapidly growing by the aid of the silting 
sand, is the foamy line of competing tides, contending 
forces which the Manx call the Streeus, meaning strife. 

Andreas is a treasure house of ancient relics. At 
Ballachurry is the " loyall fourt " of the Great Stan- 
ley's building, with its ramparts and fosse. Here 
Major Thomas Stanley was taken prisoner by Ewan 
Curghey, Ittiam Dhone's brother-in-law, when some of 
the islanders went over to Cromwell, and captured 
the fortified places for handing over to Colonel Duck- 

The imposing tower of Kirk Andreas, which crowns 


quite a modern structure, is a beacon plainly to be 
seen from most points in the north. Fine specimens 
of Scandinavian stone-work rest here, and of all in 
Andreas the most interesting is the grey block which 
records that " Gaut Bjornson of Cooley made it." 
There is still a farm in Michael which bears the name 
of the sculptor's home. 

Maughold is one of the real old-world corners of the 
isle, with a church of great antiquity, rich in ancient 
monuments. The finest examples of pre-Scandinavian 
and Scandinavian crosses are found here, and the 
beautiful stone which stands at the gate of the kirk 
is the only one of its kind on the island. Roolwer, 
the first Norwegian Bishop of Man, lies buried in 
Maughold churchyard, and all about him are some 
of the island's best. Somewhere within the peaceful 
acre of God St. Maughold is said to lie. St. Maughold, 
whose history makes such " a wonderous tale, yett 
so trewe ytt is, That noe bodye ytt denyes." The 
holy man, a disciple of St. Patrick, spent the days 
of his youth as a gallant freebooter in Ireland, where 
he was the dashing leader of a pitiless mob of banditti. 
Suddenly the error of his ways struck home to the 
embryo saint, and as a self-elected punishment Mace 
Cuill or Macaldus for he changed his name with his 
life had a fragile craft constructed of plaited alder 
stems, and, commanding his men to bind him down in 
the fragile boat, directed that the tiny coracle should be 
delivered to the sea and the judgment of God. Instead 
of filling at once, as his followers naturally expected, 
lo ! the cockleshell craft rode the waves high and 


secure, and Maughold was cast ashore on the Isle 
of Man, where high destiny awaited him. For a time 
the now thoroughly repentant bandit lived hermit- 
wise in the mountains, to emerge later to preach the 
Word with " two wonderful men who were in the 
island before him." The two are thought to be 
Conindrius and Romuilus, who, tradition says, were 
the first Bishops in Man. 

At Maughold the converted free-lance built his 
church, and on the face of the cliff, north-east of the 
churchyard, if you search carefully among the riot of 
gorse, you will come upon the Holy Well, wherein the 
Saint christened his flock. 

The old sundial on the green at Maughold bears the 
name of Evan Christian, son of Captain Edward 
Christian, the displaced favourite of Yn Stanlagh 
Mooar. The inscription runs : " Ev. Christian fecit 

Lonan old Church is quite the tiniest edifice of its 
kind on the island. The churchyard has its share of 
Scandinavian relics (including a very fine cross some 
six feet high), as has also Onchan, the latter-day name 
for the parish of Conchan. 

Almost all the insular churchyards are interesting 
in their old-world memorials, so many great and even 
illustrious names are carven on such simple tombs. 
Onchan is particularly blessed with reminders. Near 
the stile is the grave of the last surviving officer who 
fought with Nelson on the Victory at Trafalgar, Lieu- 
tenant Edward Reeves, R.N., and not very far away 
rests a soldier of later date who served the Prince 


Consort as Equerry. Away on the other side of the 
church, with its lichen-covered spire, amid a tangle of 
wild roses, where a blackbird builds each year, is a flat 
stone, emblazoned with a proud coat-of-arms, which 
tells you that the warrior who sleeps beneath fought 
for his country " in the four corners of the globe. " 

Of the conducting of funerals of nearly two hundred 
years ago Waldron writes : " As to their funerals, they 
give no invitation, but everybody, that had any 
acquaintance with the deceased, comes on foot or 
horseback. I have sometimes seen at a Manks burial 
upwards of a hundred horsemen, and twice the number 
on foot : all these are entertained at long tables, 
spread with all sorts of cold provision, and rum and 
brandy flies about at a lavish rate. The procession 
of carrying the corpse to the grave is in this manner : 
When they come within a quarter of a mile from Church, 
they are met by the Parson, who walks before them 
singing a psalm, all the company joining with him. 
In every Church-yard there is a cross round which they 
go three times before they enter the Church. But these 
are funerals of the better sort, for the poor are carried 
only on a bier, with an old blanket round them fastened 
with a skewer." 

Nowadays the funeral of one of the people is 
conducted with arresting simplicity. The coffin is 
brought outside the cottage door, and set down, and, 
with all the mourners standing close about it, a hymn 
is sung. Almost invariably it is the same hymn, 
" Safe in the arms of Jesus." If possible, and it is nearly 
always made so, funerals take place on Sundays, and 


relays of friends carry the coffin to the parish church. 
In the country districts hearses were never used until 
quite recently. The old custom which required the im- 
mediate relatives to attend service at the parish church 
on the next Sunday but one after a funeral, when they 
should none of them rise throughout, is still observed 
in all parts of the Isle of Man. 

The old parish church of Marown the one parish 
on the island which does not touch the fringe of the 
sea on any corner is set on the shoulders of Archa- 
llagan. It is quite a simple structure, of the usual 
barn-like variety, but it is very ancient, and was 
restored so long ago as 1753. The registers are in- 
terestingly antiquated, and delve back into the 
enshrouding mists of centuries. Tradition has it 
that three of the earliest Bishops lie in the grave- 

Marown, with its verdant fields and slumbrous glens, 
is a treasure-house of ancient relics. In the Maegher-y- 
chiarn, the lord's field, stands St. Patrick's chair, 
and all about are sacred remnants of the great historical 
past. On this majestic chair, a group of rough-hewn 
upright stones, with deeply incised crosses, it is said that 
Saint Patrick preached the Word to the early Christians 
in Man. 

The parish also encompasses the ruined chapel of St. 
Trinian's, lately made over to the good care of the 
Ancient Monuments Trustees. This fine old chapel, 
unroofed, hidden among the trees at the foot of the 
great crags of Greeba, is quite unpretentious, though 
many of its architectural beauties are in excellent 


preservation. Tradition has woven many silken 
strands around the desolate place. Legendary lore 
has it that the little building was erected aeons ago 
as the result of a vow made by a mariner who was saved 
in a storm at sea. They say the understanding, 
comprehending " they " that the edifice never had a 
roof, and never could have one, as the result of the 
machinations of a local Buggane, a particularly cussed 
specimen, who, Train tells us, " for want of better 
employment amused himself with tossing the roof 
to the ground, as often as it was on the eve of being 
finished, accompanying his achievements with a loud 
fiendish laugh of satisfaction. The only attempt to 
counteract this singular propensity of the evil one, 
which tradition has conveyed to us, was made by 
Timothy, a tailor of great pretensions to sanctity of 
character. On the occasion alluded to, the roof of 
St. Trinian's Church was, as usual, nearly finished, 
when the valorous tailor undertook to make a pair of 
breeches under it, before the Buggane could commence 
his old trick. He accordingly seated himself in the 
chancel, and began to work in great haste ; but ere 
he had completed his job the head of the frightful 
Buggane rose out of the ground before him, and 
addressed him thus : ' Do you see my great head, 
large eyes, and long teeth ? ' ' Hee ! Hee ! ' that is 
' Yes ! yes ! ' replied the tailor, at the same time 
stitching with all his might, without raising his eyes 
from his work. The Buggane, still rising slowly out of 
the ground, cried in a more angry voice than before : 
' Do you see my great body, large hands, and long 


nails ? ' ' Hee ! Hee ! ' rejoined Tim, as before, 
but continuing to pull out with all his strength. The 
Buggane, having now risen wholly from the ground, 
inquired in a terrified voice : ' Do you see my great 

limbs, large feet, and long ? ' but ere he could 

utter the last word the tailor put the finishing touch 
into the breeches, and jumped out of the church, just 
as the roof fell in with a crash. The fiendish laugh 
of the Buggane arose behind him, as he bounded off 
in a flight, to which terror lent its utmost speed. 
Timothy leaped into consecrated ground, where, 
happily, the Buggane had not power to follow. But 
the Church of St. Trinian's remained without a roof." 



This is the fairy land ! 

We talk with goblins and elfish sprites. 

Comedy of Errors. 

My old acquaintance of this isle. 


THE Isle of Man is particularly rich in folk-lore. Tradi- 
tion tells of myriad giants, bugganes, trolls, witches, 
elves, and mysterious sprites of all varieties. The 
mermaid is called by the Manx Ben-vaney, Woman 

of the Sea. 

" All nations have their omens drear, 
Their legends wild of woe and fear," 

and the belief in the supernatural was, in former times, 
profound and universal all over the isle. Every Manx 
boy and girl of to-day who is born into this world alive 
starts with a belief in fairies, but nowadays the faith 
is crushed in early youth. There is nothing to foster 
it. Romance and lodging-house keeping do not run 
together. There is no connexion between a seaside 
landlady and romance. She is quite the most realistic 
thing in Nature. 

Waldron, the much-quoted chronicler of ancient 



days, after ascribing the extraordinary superstitions 
of the people to their colossal ignorance, says : "I 
know not, idolizers as they are of the clergy, whether 
they would ever be refractory to them, were they to 
preach against the existence of fairies, or even against 
their being commonly seen ; for though the priesthood 
are a kind of gods among them, yet still tradition 
is a greater god than they ; and, as they confidently 
assert that the first inhabitants of their island were 
fairies, so do they maintain that these little people have 
still their residence among them. They call them the 
good people, and say they live in wilds and forests, 
and on mountains, and shun great cities because of the 
wickedness therein. All the houses are blessed where 
they visit, for they fly vice. A person would be 
thought impudently profane who should suffer his 
family to go to bed without first having set a tub or 
pailful of clean water for these guests to bathe them- 
selves in, which the natives aver they constantly do as 
soon as ever the eyes of the family are closed wherever 
they vouchsafe to come." 

Cumming also, at a much more recent date, wrote : 
" It would be a mistake to suppose that the minds of 
the Manx peasantry are uninfluenced by a supersti- 
tious feeling of reverence for the fairy elves, and for 
places which tradition has rendered sacred to their 

I know from personal experience that in the more 
remote corners of the Isle of Man many of the cottagers 
believed in fairies and spirits generally, up to twenty 
years ago. At that time, as a child, I saw much of the 


natives, and chatted with many old and middle-aged 
and young who did not doubt the existence of the 
" little people," or the " good people," in the least. 
The word " fairies " was always ostentatiously avoided, 
as the small sprites were supposed to dislike the use of 
it exceedingly. 

Our old gardener, a walking volume of folklore, 
had many a yarn to tell of the ways and whims of the 
indefatigable Phynnodderee, a sort 'of hairy hobgoblin 
of the elves, good and bad, trolls and mermaids. The 
particular supernatural being which appealed to the old 
man most was the Lhiannan-Shce , or " spirit-friend," a 
feminine fairy of a very commg-on disposition, a sort 
of Lady Jane on the look-out for a Bunthorne whom 
she could follow round and flow over. 

Quill iam had actually seen one of these mysterious 
creatures. She was waiting for him one night as he 
crossed the Rowany fields in Rushen. Charmed she 
never so wisely and according to Quilliam she was 
very taking indeed he would not speak to her. 
Had he done so, by so much as one word, that fairy 
would have followed him, invisible to everyone else, 
for ever. This catastrophe did befall a tailor in the 
village, a friend of Quilliam's, who stupidly spoke to a 
chance Lhiannan-Shee, without thinking of what he 
was doing, and wherever he went afterwards that 
Lhiannan-Shee, like Mary's lamb, was sure to go. 
This pertinacious fairy even went the length of accom- 
panying her hero into the bars of public houses, 
where he often offered the shadowy presence a drink 
from his mug of beer to the amazement of the rest 


of the company. That the beer mug was most probably 
the causa sine qua non of the whole episode does not 
appear to have struck anyone. 

A very ancient Manx worthy lived in Port Erin 
the natives call the place Port Iron a grubby old 
fisherman of giant stature, who did not agree at all 
with the theory of Thales of Miletus that water is the 
origin of all things. He wore habitually a drill coat, 
fashioned somewhat like a jersey, which had been 
white once, but that was ages ago. It had a settled 
appearance, a look of long residence, in fact gave you 
the idea that its wearer went to bed in it. An old 
woman told me that many years previously the 
" little people " caught the Great Unwashed as he 
passed the scene of their revels in the depths of Lag- 
ny-Killey one starry night, and forcibly bathed him 
in a big deep dubb. When he returned home in the 
morning a second white coat hung over his arm, of 
which he could give no account. Everyone accounted 
for the phenomenon by saying that the fairies ex- 
cavated this garment as they scrubbed away the dirt 
of ages. But of all this the old man would say nothing. 
I could not get him to admit that he had ever been 
touched by a sprite. The sort of fairies the old fisher- 
man had seen the most of were always clad in brilliant 
blues and greens, with small red caps ; and as they 
danced gleefully about the rings, or swung on the 
branches of the flowering gorse, a little flickering light 
always accompanied them, a tiny glinting brilliancy 
which could never be explained. I know now all about 
the elusive will-o'-the-wisp. It was the "Tinkerbell " 


of Mr. Barrie's discovering. " Just a common girl. 
She washes the fairies' pots and pans." 

If one has been brought up among a people steeped 
in folklore, with few companions, and those not the 
little know-alls of the cities, one is apt to eat greedily 
of the bread of Faery, and drink deeply of the 
wine of dreams. Some of the stories heard so con- 
stantly carried conviction to our minds, and often, 
with my enthusiastic sisters and a brother inclined to 
play " doubting Thomas," I made a reconaissance in 
force to find the fairies. We waited patiently for 
them o' nights on the top of the brooghs of the Mull, 
and sat shivering, and very much afraid, at the foot 
of the Fairy Hill in Rushen, at midnight on Mid- 
summer's Eve, the feast night of the elves. Our 
longing ears strained for the notes of the spirit music, 
for in this green tumulus the king of all the Manx 
fairies was said to hold his court. Alas ! no sound 
save the tinkling murmur of the wind through the 
heather bells, and the dry rustle of the plumed heads 
of the myriad nodding grasses. Nobody would have 
given the sprites a warmer welcome ! We were pre- 
pared to receive them so royally, but they never came ! 
They never came ! 

The old people always told us that the thrilling 
sound of Elysian music, " strains inaudible to ears 
unblest," might often be heard coming from ancient 
tumuli. The well-known air of The Bottan Bane, or 
White Herb, an indispensable to witch-doctors the 
herb, not the air ! was evolved from the witching lilt 
of a fairy chorus overheard by an interested musician. 


The gnomes of Mona, like those in all parts of the 
world, seem to be divided into two classes, the 
amiable, well - meaning, helpful spirits, and the 
malevolent spiteful variety, stealers of babies, 
spoilers of the crops, and destroyers of family peace 
and quiet. Sometimes child abduction is not meant 
cruelly by the little people, and in this connexion I 
well remember an episode which was told to me by a 
hunchback, the cause of all the trouble. The little 
romance took place in Surby, in Rushen Parish, not far 
from the tumulus Cronk-Mooar, or Fairy Hill. The 
sprites of the island are said to prefer as residences 
these ancient places of sepulture, and hundreds of 
years ago learned to use the flint arrow heads found 

The fairy hill at Rushen, however, is something 
more than a one-time barrow, or burial-place, for it 
shows unquestionably by its breastwork, and traces 
of a wide moat, that it had its uses as a fortified 
stronghold. Such an entrenchment the hill is some 
forty feet high, with steep sides would be most 
valuable against on-coming forces from Port Erin and 
Port St. Mary. Tradition says that upon this eminence 
the then King of Man was slain in 1249 by Ivar, the 

In a simple cottage, looking down on to the green 
cronk, many years ago, a fisherman and his wife 
lived, and every night, in the cold winter, they went 
to bed early, in order that the " good people " might 
come in and warm themselves by the embers of the 
peat fire a practice said to be very general among 


the fairies at that time. The careful housewife never 
failed to keep a bit of dough from the baking of the 
griddle cakes, never forgot to fill the crock with water, 
which she set hi readiness for the sprites. The 
cottagers were childless, and, though very poor, 
longed for a son more than anything else in all the 
world. At last a son was born, a poor pitiful hunch- 
back creature, fearsome in feature and in form. The 
mother cried for three days and three nights in her 
bitter grief and disappointment, and on the fourth 
morning, wakening from exhausted sleep, she noticed 
that her crippled boy was not by her side. In his place 
lay the smallest creature imaginable, perfect in body, 
and in his wide-open blue eyes lay all the wisdom of the 
ages. His wee face was afire with expression, brimful 
of possibilities, and varieties, and shades, and meanings, 
and illuminations, and imaginings, without a trace of 
sulkiness. But he was not pretty ; that would have 
been too much to expect, seeing that he had taken 
more than his fair share of wits. He laughed in- 
cessantly, and every note was as a chime of silver bells. 
Instead of receiving the changeling gratefully, as 
the well-meaning fairies evidently hoped she would, 
the mother cried more than before, and, like Rachel, 
refused to be comforted. Contrary as a woman, she 
saw no perfection in this perfect child, fairy though 
he was ; she just wept and wept for the misshapen 
baby she had lost. In between paroxysms of tears 
she fell asleep, and lo, when she opened her eyes, the 
deformed figure of the poor hunchback lay beside her 
once more, quite unharmed. 


But the fairies never came again. The glowing 
embers of the flickering fire tempted them not at all, 
and as the disappointed sprites tossed on the keen 
breath of the snow-sheeted mountains they sang, with 
the Immortal One : 

Blow, blow, thou winter wind, 
Thou art not so unkind 
As man's ingratitude. 

All sorts of weird happenings occurred in Manx 
fairyland at Christmas time. Every Phynnodderee, 
troll, and spirit was bereft of supernatural power, and 
no care was exerted to guard a Yule baby from the 
thievish elves. At ordinary seasons the most drastic 
measures must needs be taken, such as a tight necklace 
of red cord wound about the infant's neck, or the 
tongs iron is a non-conductor to the sprites were 
laid across the little wooden cradle. The sartorial 
developments I think, don't you, that amid such a 
poetical setting that looks better than the unvarnished 
humdrumidity of the word " trousers " ? of the baby's 
father were also extraordinarily efficacious in heading 
off predatory fairies. A pair, however decrepit, placed 
nonchalantly on the bed saved a whole world of trouble 
and anxiety. 

To keep bad fairies away all manner of charms were 
common. Branches of cuirn, mountain ash, fashioned 
into a cross without the aid of a knife a fatal assist- 
ance which would at once have nullified and ruined 
everything were put up over the doors of stables. 
Yellow flowers also, gorse, primroses, and cushag, laid 



across a threshold gave sanctuary against the machina- 
tions of the evil spirits. 

.^Fairies, as is well known, object to any noise, and 
therefore we always hear of them haunting the great 
silences of the isle. The green hill-tops, the recesses 
of the glens, and lonely meadow lands lent their 
swards and level nooks to further the fairy revelries. 
If the humming world came nearer, and the sound of 
the sweep of life insistent, then the disturbed gnomes 
would quit the neighbourhood for somewhere more 
retired. When the flour mill was built by the glen 
side at Colby, the old Manx folk predicted that the 
good people would leave their haunts of olden time, 
and so it fell out. One early morning a ploughman 
going to his work heard a low, pathetic, forlorn moan- 
ing, like the gentle breaking of rippling waves on a 
stony beach, and there, pressing up to the hills, in 
scurrying, hurrying myriads, were many sprites, carry- 
ing on their tiny backs their household goods, climbing 
on and on, until the mists of the mountains enveloped 
their energetic little figures. 

Of stories of the Phynnodderee and the Glashtin 
there are dozens. These merry trolls have prodigious 
strength, and are sympathetically inclined to man on 
occasion, and equally vengeful if the whim seizes them. 
If you look for the definition of a Phynnodderee in the 
Manx dictionary, you will see that Cregeen calls him 
a " satyr," and tells us that the Manx Bible refers to 
the spirit in that form. Hig beishtyn oaldey yn aasagh 
dy cheilley marish beishtyn oaldey yn ellan, as nee yn 
phynnodderee gyllagh da e heshey. (The wild beasts 


of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of 
the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow.) But 
the Phynnnodderee is not exactly a satyr, for all that. 
The word probably just fitted the requirements of the 
translator, and the title of the elf was taken in con- 
sonant vainness. 

We cannot tell whereabouts the Phynnodderee keeps 
himself to-day. He may be deep in the green tumuli, 
oppressed in this age of sceptical unbelief, or he may 
have returned to his brother in Scandinavia. For the 
little troll surely came to the Isle of Man with Orry, 
perhaps in a fold of the giant Viking's tunic, perhaps 
beneath the wings of his golden helmet. When the 
fairy made the venturesome journey, he left behind 
him a tiny twin, whose name was Swartalfar. 

He has hidden himself somewhere, our blithe little 
Brownie, and never now flits about the island, or 
swings on the branches of the tramman tree. We 
miss him, we miss him very much. " There has not 
been a merry world since he lost his ground." 

The fairies remained en evidence in Mona's Isle for a 
longer period than anywhere else, I think. Chaucer 
reported the fairies of England to be on the eve of 
packing up, if indeed they had not already departed, 
in his time, though some savants learned in necro- 
mantic lore declare that the sprites continued to exist 
until the Reformation, which, for some occult reason, 
affected the little people to vanishing point. 

The elves of Manxland survived the sturm und 
drang of the sixteenth century happenings, and since 
the small creatures cannot die utterly no archaeo- 


legist has ever yet found the Pygmaean grave of an 
inhabitant of fairyland they must be near us some- 
where still. 

Many years ago an insular Wesleyan minister claimed 
to have actually seen the passing of the local sprites. 
He told his congregation that the island would luckily 
be f airyless for ever, for he had watched the little people 
set out to sea, and their ships were empty rum casks. 
In hurrying myriads the tiny elves packed themselves 
away as tightly as could be, and then off they went 
across Douglas Bay in the teeth of a freshening 

That is not the way in which a fairy would travel ! 
In an empty rum puncheon ! So we do not believe 
the story. It is a most unmitigated misstatement. 
He never saw the Mooinjer-Veggey "little people" 
pass away. 

The Phynnodderee would sometimes gather the. 
harvest if he saw it in danger of spoliation, and fold 
the cattle of an evening. He was a simple little fairy, 
too, for all. He could not discriminate between a sheep 
and a hare. Once upon a time, in amiable mood, the 
sprite intended to bring in the herds ere the tempest, 
sullenly brewing, broke upon the mountain slopes. 
With the sheep, nibbling the grass spears, was an agile 
hare, and the fairy would shepherd him too, thinking 
the small brown thing was certainly of the band. 
To do this the Phynnodderee had first to chase his 
quarry three tunes round Snaefell, and when at last the 
worn-out hare was captured and folded willy-nilly with 
the sheep, the breathless sprite told the farmer that 


the " loghtan beg " (little native sheep) had given him 
more trouble than all the rest ! 

The words beg and veg, literally translated, mean 
" small," but they are Manx terms of endearment also- 
A mother sometimes adds beg or veg to her child's 
name, as for instance Tommy Beg or Tommy Veg. 
It depends a lot for its meaning on how it is used. If 
your mother says it, the tiny syllable is more than 
small. It is just the biggest, sweetest, tenderest, most 
lovable word in all the Manx language. 

Train tells us of a day when the Phynnodderee cut 
down and gathered up the grass in a certain meadow 
which would have been injured if left out any longer. 
The farmer ungrateful specimen expressed his dis- 
satisfaction with the work, and upbraided the fairy 
for not having cut the grass closer to the ground. 
In the following year the Phynnodderee allowed the 
farmer to cut it down himself, but went after him 
stubbing up the roots so fast that it was with diffi- 
culty the farmer escaped having his legs cut off by the 
angry sprite. For several years afterwards no person 
could be found to mow the meadow, until a fearless 
soldier from one of the garrisons at length undertook 
the task. He commenced in the centre of the field, and 
by cutting round as if on the edge of a circle, keeping 
one eye on the progress of the yiarn f older agh, or scythe, 
while the other 

Was turned round with prudent care 
Lest Phynnodderee catched him unaware, 

he succeeded in finishing his task unmolested, and 


this field, situated in the parish of Marown, hard by 
the ruins of St. Trinian's, is, from the circumstances 
just related, still called yn Iheeanee rhunt, or " the 
round meadow." 

Work never daunted the Phynnodderee. Train re- 
calls yet another kindly action of the sprite in the 
story of a house which was to be built near Tholt-e- 
Will, for which it was necessary to haul the building 
materials from a great distance. One white block in 
particular, desired as a corner stone of the domestic 
temple, resisted all efforts to transport it to the re- 
quired site. Evidently the constructor was not super- 
stitious. The Manxman of long gone times would 
have nothing to do with white stones, and if such were 
included in the ballast of a ship the voyage was " off " 
until the offenders were removed. Many little white 
shore pebbles were found scattered about in the ancient 
graves of Man, and the dread which enveloped the 
old-time places of sepulture probably descended to all 
white stones. Even to this day it is not every Manx- 
man who will include one in the masonry of his home. 
The familiar saying, " T'on cha doaney-myr clagh vane " 
(Thou art as impudent as a white stone), is a pretty 
simile suggested by the noticeably conspicuous blocks 
of quartz which gleam brightly on the mountain 
slopes, and wink in the sun like myriad Argus eyes. 
" Imperent " is a word which occurs very often in the 
insular vocabulary. 

But I am digressing, and that badly. 

Forced with the superhuman task of removing the 
great stone to the slopes of Tholt-e-Will, the discon- 


solate builder saw his work at a standstill, until, hey 
presto ! the Phynnodderee to the rescue. In one night 
the elf conveyed the huge clagh-bane, and all the other 
necessary building material, to the chosen site. You 
can see the white stone for yourself to-day. Naturally 
the gratified Manxman wished to reward his little 
coadjutor, who was apparently dressed in more or 
less, rather less than more, elfish " altogether." Some 
tiny garments were prepared, and scattered haphazard 
about the haunts beloved of the Phynnodderee, deep 
down in the woodland glades by a rushing stream, o'er- 
hung with green tramman. Presently the sprite came 
the grateful house-builder had concealed himself that 
he might watch proceedings and, looking a gift horse 
very much in the mouth, took up the clothes one by 
one, examining them carefully. Then with a discon- 
solate cry the little elf voiced his feelings thus : 

" Bayrn da'n chione, dy doogh d'an chione, 
Cooat da'n dreeymn, dy doogh da'n dreeym, 
Breechyn da'n toin, dy doogh da'n toin, 
Agh my she Ihiat ooilley, shoh cha nee Ihiat Glen reagh Rushen. 

(Cap for the head, alas ! poor head, 
Coat for the back, alas ! poor back, 
Breeches for the breech, alas ! poor breech, 
If these be all thine, thine cannot be the merry Glen of 

With a sobbing moan the fairy fled away on the 
breath of the wind, leaving the discarded garments 
behind him. 

i The Glashtin was a goblin, with attributes very 
similar to those of the Phynnodderee, and sometimes 


this spirit is confounded with the masculine counterpart 
of the Lhiannan-Shee, the Dooiney-oie, or night man. 
This friendly supernatural creature attached himself 
to particular families, to whom he played herald of 
events, or warner of disasters. His voice, we learn 
from Train, " was very dismal, and when heard at 
night on the mountains, sounded something like 
H-o-w-l-a-a, or H-o-w-a-a." Really a depressing 
domestic demon. 

Bugganes were creatures of evil nature. St. Trinian's 
was afflicted with the presence of a very active speci- 
men of the buggane genus. 

The mermaid, or Ben-varrey history has very little 
to say of the merman, Dooiney-varrey is no relation 
to the Cughtagh, a spirit of the sea, whose raison 
d'etre was just singing to herself in the spectral gloom 
of the caves. She sang because she loved to sing, 
from sheer joie de vivre apparently, and being woven 
into the labyrinthine muffled noises of the waves surging 
into the rocky crannies, and always so far from human 
habitation, the everlasting chant bored nobody, least 
of all the Cughtagh, who was born for no other purpose 
than to manufacture carols of the coast. The Ben- 
varrey was much more active. Waldron tells us of his 
astonishment when he realized that the Manx had a 
whole-hearted belief in mermaids, and records several 
yarns about the fascinating sea-maidens. He says that 
during Cromwell's government the Isle of Man was 
little resorted to by trading vessels, and that " unin- 
terruption and solitude of the sea gave the mermen 
and mermaids (who are enemies to any company but 


those of their own species) frequent opportunities of 
visiting the shore, where, on moonlight nights, they 
have been seen to sit, combing their heads, and playing 
with each other ; but as soon as they perceived any- 
body coming near them, jumped into the water, and 
were out of sight immediately." The exclusiveness 
which Waldron observed would appear to have been 
but transitory, for at some periods the special line of 
the Ben-vaney was an overwhelming affection for every 
personable Manxman. So frequent and violent were 
her amatory affairs that she must have been a perfect 
nuisance to herself, and it is no wonder that, with so 
many love interests running concurrently, a few of 
them ran into one another, and were telescoped, 
necessitating stone-throwing at the young mortal a 
rude manner of reprisal for which a highly incensed 
Ben-vaney showed great partiality. A mortal hit by 
one of these fairy-thrown missiles at first suffered no 
pain, only very suddenly, an hour or so afterwards, 
with an acute stab where the stone had struck, down 
sank the victim quite dead. 

A gentle spirit, Keimagh, haunted the stiles which 
lead to all the old churchyards, and it may be she 
does so still. Her thought was all for the dead, and 
unless the everlasting sleep of her silent army was 
disturbed, the brooding tender Keimagh had no terrors 
for anyone. To her the storm-tossed phantom 
spirits of the little unchristened babies took their 
griefs, burying their tear-stained eyes in the filmy 
folds of her misty gown. 

In the Isle of Man the stillborn children are buried 


in the night it may be so everywhere, I do not 
know as though they would apologize for encroaching 
even so far as on consecrated ground. This phase of 
Christian Christianity makes my unlogical feminine 
mind turn pagan and run amok. It seems so alto- 
gether unexplainable why a parson has to withhold 
his kindly attentions from an unbaptized baby, and 
bestow it, full measure, running over, on some perhaps 
utterly worthless grown-up. This by the way. 

There is a quaintly charming story of an old Manx- 
man passing Arbory Church at midnight one Christmas 
Eve, and as he came level with the giant fuchsia hedge 
which borders the vicarage garden, he heard a soft 
low wailing, piteously insistent, coming from the 
shadowy graveyard. As he drew nearer and nearer, 
the trailing gentle murmur took voice and words, the 
sad grieving lament of an unchristened infant : "Lhian- 
noo dyn ennym me I Lhiannoo dyn ennym me / " said 
the quiet sighing breath over and over again. (A 
child without name am I ! A child without name 
am I !) 

The old man paused by the wall, and looking up to- 
wards the old kirk, with its white bell-turret outlined 
in the moonlight, he said clearly, and very tenderly : 
" My she gilley eu, ta mee bashtey eu Juan, as my she 
inneen eu ta me bashtey eu Joney." (If thou art a boy 
I christen thee John, and if thou art a girl I christen 
thee Joney.) 

With a happy sigh, like the wind sinking to rest, the 
little ghost lay content and at peace. 

This story rather reminds me of the haphazard 


christening of a small relative of my own, a poor 
weakling, born apparently but to die at once. He 
lay upon his nurse's knee, and everything looked as 
though the end was at hand. Imbued with the pre- 
valent idea that at such times anyone who had the 
presence of mind to fling himself or herself into the 
breach may conclusively and effectively play padre, the 
nurse hurriedly damped her ringer from a bottle of dill- 
water standing beside her, and, like a drowning man 
clutching at a straw, seized upon the first names which 
happened to flit across the disturbed surface of her 
inner consciousness. " Wellington Napoleon ! " she 
said solemnly, " I christen thee Wellington Napoleon ! " 
Instead of this thunderbolt flattening out the infant 
utterly, the mere pronunciation of these martial 
nominations seemed to help it rally its forces. Like 
its great namesakes, the atom held the foe at bay, 
and Death drew off with averted head. Sometimes 
it falls out that life is not worth the price one pays for 
it, and this thought came to the mother as she saw the 
possibility of her boy having to go through the world 
burdened with the high-sounding, impossible-to-live- 
up-to designation, unwittingly bestowed. For nurse 
maintained stoutly that under all the circumstances 
she was fully qualified to undertake the christening 
process, and there was no getting away from the patent 
fact that the baby was named, if unsatisfactorily. 
How did they get out of it ? Well, they could not 
entirely. They compromised. And made things a 
trifle easier for the youthful hope by juggling him into 
Arthur Bonaparte. 


I am wandering from the subject ! But a big but 
did you ever know a woman stick to the point ? 
Inevitably she must wander off down every byway 
and tempting bridle-path. 

Giants, too, we had in Man. One spell-bound 
monster, a Triton among the Minnows, lived some- 
where I cannot exactly localize the spot in the sub- 
terraneous passages of Castle Rushen. 

Apparitions of all kinds haunt the " great waste 
places," and a stalwart spirit was abroad in the 
Tanoo-Ushtey, a water bull, fairy frequenter of the 
curraghs, an amphibious creature who has been known 
to join the herds of domestic cattle in the fields and 
lure away the finest heifer of them all to destruction. 
Even so late as 1859 a Tanoo-Ushtey was reported to 
be frequently seen in a field near Ballure Glen, and 
people journeyed thither from all parts of the island 
to " put a sight on it." 

Witchcraft, in all its devious branches, flourished 
vigorously, in spite of the drastic punishments meted 
out to sundry of the necromancers. Suspected witches 
we hear very little of wizards were subjected to 
the water ordeal until the seventeenth century. This 
method of obtaining evidence of the guilt or innocence 
of the suspect may have been satisfactory from the 
point of view of the promoters, but scarcely so satis- 
fying and excellent to the witch herself, who derived 
no justice at all from the rough tribunal, the inevitable 
result being fatal to her in any case. The accused of 
" sorcerie and witchcraft " was thrown into a big 
deep pool of the Curragh. If she swam, or managed 


in some fashion to keep herself afloat, every allegation 
made against her was held to be amply proven, and a 
roll down Slieau Whuallian in a spiked barrel, or a fear- 
some pile of burning faggots, ended the life which the 
bogs of the Curragh had failed to take. If, on the 
other hand, a suspected witch allowed herself to drown 
decently, with some degree of dignity, her " innocencie 
was declared," and she was enthusiastically accorded 
Christian burial. 

References to the practice and punishment of witch- 
craft occur very frequently in the episcopal and civil 
histories of the isle ; but the names of the sorcerers 
are not now, save in isolated cases, island-wide. The 
personalities of the once celebrated myriads who 
practised the black art have passed to the dim and 
hazy land of forgotten things. Few are labelled and 
bracketed as fit to stand by Caesar, who is, of course, 
Mannanan, the greatest wizard of them all. 

Mannanan Mac Lir, necromancer and navigator, 
looms large in the early history of Ireland as a sort of 
god of the sea, and in some periods he merges into a 
famous merchant-pilot who " understood the danger- 
ous parts of harbours ; and, from his prescience of the 
change of weather, always avoided tempests." We 
glean much of his character and attributes from this 
old literature, for throughout the Irish legends the 
name of Mannanan in one form or another is scattered 
about the ancient manuscripts in most generous 

Local tradition sometimes exalts the magician 
into a giant who dashed about his little territory 


on three legs, and at other times it compresses him 
into a Pygmaean creature, so insignificant as to be 
almost unnoticeable. Oftenest of all he is a redoubtable 
warrior, girt about with an unpierceable coat of chain 
mail, and an infallible sword sarcastically named 
" The Answerer " not because the mighty blade 
made a habit of replying to parleying quibblers con- 
trariwise ; its terrible whispers never could receive 
response. The canoe used by the famous necromancer 
was called " The Wave-sweeper " ; and altogether 
Mannanan forces upon our notice the fact that he 
had a very nice taste in the christening of things. 
I wonder how the high-sounding names of the modern 
lodging-houses would strike his artistic mind. 

Caittagh -ny - Ghueshag managed to impress her 
dominant character on the shifting sands of time, 
and the name and fame of Tehi-Tegi, the beautiful 
enchantress, linger yet in the annals of necromancy 
in Man. Of different calibre was Teare, the great 
witch-doctor of Ballawhane, a well-remembered sor- 
cerer of sorts. 

Caillagh-ny-Ghueshag was an inspired prophetess. 
The words mean, so far as they can be correctly 
translated, " Old woman of sorcery " or spells. At 
one time the word Caittagh meant any old dame ; 
but at last it was only used in connexion with witches 
and those suspected of dealings with the supernatural. 
The manifold predictions of this great and clever 
Caittagh are very difficult to fathom, and her ordinary 
remarks on every-day affairs possess the same baffling 
qualities as do her inspired messages. The majority 


of her erudite prophecies altogether elude interpreta- 
tion. The homely brain is hopelessly puzzled and 
befogged by the profound depth of " Dy nee ass 
claghyn glassey yoghe sleih nyn an an" an oracular 
sentence meaning, " people would get their bread from 
grey stones," and " Dy beagh chimlee caardagh ayns 
chooilley hie roish jeney yn theill " remains an un- 
ravelled mystery to the effect that " There will be a 
smithy chimney in every house before the end of the 

We have no idea what Caillagh meant to hint at, 
but it is evidently something very uncomfortable. 
She was a privileged orator, and, like one or two 
leaders of our own time, was a licensed coiner of 
involved remarks which, from their very unintelligi- 
bility, seem so ingenuously ingenious that ordinary 
hum-drum brains accept them gratefully as too 
Socrates-like and profound to be trifled with or 
derided. A " Let sleeping dogs lie " principle which 
is not without its advantages. 

Tehi-Tegi was an altogether mythical personage, an 
irresistible charmer who enslaved the hearts and minds 
of every man until the island became a dreary waste, 
untilled, unsown, overgrown, neglected ; for the one aim 
and object of Manx masculinity was to make love to Tehi. 

Teare of Ballawhane was a popular charmer, counter- 
acter of spells, and manufacturer of ceremonies for use 
against the machinations of fairies and evil spirits. He 
had power over the birds of the air and the beasts of the 
field. He is described by Train, in his History of the 
Isle of Man, as " a little man, far advanced into the 


vale of life. In appearance he was healthy and active ; 
he wore a low slouched hat, evidently too large for his 
head, with broad brim; his coat of an old-fashioned 
make, with his vest and breeches, were all of loaghtyn 
wool, which had never undergone any process of 
dyeing ; his shoes, also, were of a colour not to be dis- 
tinguished from his stockings, which were likewise of 
loaghtyn wool. He is said to have been the most 
powerful of all these practitioners, and when their 
prescriptions had failed in producing the desired 
effect, he was applied to. The messenger that was 
despatched to him on such occasions was neither 
to eat nor to drink by the way nor even to tell any 
person of his mission. The recovery was supposed to be 
perceptible from the time the case was stated to him." 

After the death of Teare his daughter carried on the 
witch doctor business. It was always held that the 
peculiar gifts which go to make a successful charmer 
were hereditary, and descended through the genera- 
tions, via alternate sexes. A father would transmit 
the recondite virtues to his daughter, that daughter 
to her son, and so on. The only possible way for 
anyone having the faculty of second sight to dis- 
possess himself or herself of it was to marry someone 
equally blessed, or afflicted it all depends on the 
point of view. Then the great gift died utterly. One 
nullified the other, I suppose, just as it will often fall 
out with our voting arrangements when we give the 
franchise in England to married suffragettes. 

Besides the people who inherited the power of 
second sight, many babies came into the world fore- 


doomed to it. Posthumous children, and a seventh 
son of a seventh son, were of a band who could lift 
the mysterious veil of the Unknown and look behind. 

The services of a witch doctor were often requisi- 
tioned in a bad herring season, and charms were laid 
upon the nets. The witches, who were thought to be 
invisibly wreathed about the boats, to the complete 
ruination of the harvest of the sea, had to be exorcized. 
This driving out of the witches by fire was a very 
general practice up to the eighteenth century. Colonel 
Townley, who watched the process as performed by 
the fishermen at Douglas in 1789, tells us : " They 
set fire to bunches of heather, going one at the head, 
another at the stern, others along the sides, so that 
every part of the boat might be touched." 

Written charms and chanted charms were powers 
in the land, and the echo of them lingers faintly to- 
day in the memory of the old people. I well remember 
hearing an old crone in Cregneish, one of the most primi- 
tive villages on the island, use the invocation against 
King's Evil upon an afflicted grandchild. She was not 
an accepted witch-charmer, or dabbler in the occult, 
although we held her in considerable awe and respect 
in consequence of the many strange tales which were 
current about her. Mystery and illusion surrounded 
her like an aura. Perhaps she represented the last of 
a line of great witch-charmers. Touching the pitiful 
scar with gnarled brown fingers, the old crone repeated 
with great solemnity : "I am to divide it in the name 
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost ; 
whether it be a sprite's evil, or a King's Evil, may 


this divided blemish banish this distemper to the 
sands of the sea." 

This was said three times over in Manx, with great 

The celebrated Cadley-Jiargan of the old-time 
necromancers is still used playfully to charm away 
"pins and needles." "Ping, ping, prash, Cur yn 
cadley-jiargan ass my chass." 

It is too comprehensively elusive for translation and 
relies for its complete effectiveness on its mysterious 
impregnability. " Ping, ping, prash " is almost " a 
terminological inexactitude." To begin with, it wants 
a few more " y's " scattered about it to be really 
representatively Manx. " Y " in the Manx language 
is an abounding necessity, and is voluminously re- 
current. All languages seem to possess an all-per- 
vading letter, as all great writers have an all-per- 
vading word. " Glamour " permeated De Quincey, 
and " winged " perfectly haunted Shelley. " Y " 
enfilades the Manx, and forms the bed-rock of most of 
the words. 

There is an unaccountable insular superstition that 
some of the island creatures hibernate. They are 
seven in number, and known as ny shiaght cadlagyn, or 
the seven sleepers. The " We are seven " has elongated 
in the passing of years, making the original list larger, 
and varying the names of the drowsy band ; but the 
ones who can make good their prehistorical right to 
inclusion are Cadlag, a "Let's pretendia" animal of 
Jabberwock variety, Cooag, the cuckoo, Craitnag, the 
bat, Cloghan-ny-cleigh, the stone-chat, gollan-geayee, 


the swallow, foillican, the butterfly, and shellan, the 

When a baby was born the old-time folk saw to it 
that the little one remained in the room where it first 
saw the light until after the baptism. This was the 
simplest way by which the threatening dangers of 
predatory fairies and the Evil Eye might be reduced 
to a minimum. 

Train tells us that, in the room where the mother 
and baby lay, a wooden hoop arrangement was set, 
with lining of sheepskin, evidently a rough tray of 
sorts ; and on this a heap of oat cakes was laid, and 
cheese, a hospitable offering to the mortal visitors 
who flocked to " put a sight on the bogh millish." 
" Bogh millish " means " poor dear," and is a frequent 
term of endearment. 

The fairies had scraps of cheese and bread scattered 
all about for the picking up, and this was called the 
blithe meat. Cheese seemed to be a sine qua non at 
birthday celebrations. The woman who carried the 
baby to church for the christening had a pocketful 
of the ubiquitous fare, which she presented to the 
first passer-by, whether he required it or not, and this 
gift was considered to be an infallible recipe against all 
kinds of magic and sorcery. 

The green trainman, or elder tree, possessed re- 
markable fending-off properties. A witch kept her 
distance from a cottage so o'ershadowed, and there is 
hardly an old tholthan, or well, without its flourishing 
protection. In insular superstition the tramman was 
the tree selected by Judas Iscariot for his gallows. 



Nice customs curt'sy to great Kings. 

Henry V. 

Stick to your journal course : the breach of custom 
Is breach of all. 


IT seems to me that in essaying a chapter on a few 
of the customs, past and present, the dress of the 
old-time Manx peasantry would make a good be- 
ginning. Being a woman, the sartorial aspect of 
anything naturally appeals to my mind. It is place aux 
robes with me every time. I can remember two decades 
ago going so very often to watch the local fidder, 
weaving the undyed fleece, which was keeir (dark 
brown) of the loghtan (native sheep) into woollen 
cloth. He lived in Surby, near the little chapel, and 
manoeuvred his primitive loom in a tiny thatched 
cottage, working away, early and late, through the 
year. Not many, if any, home weavers are to be found 
in the island to-day, but in bygone times the weaver 
was a concomitant of every village. The dress of 
Manx villagers was invariably of this kialter, or woollen 
homespun, fashioned into trousers, coat, and waistcoat 
for a man, and into a baggy petticoat, called oanrey, 



dyed red or blue, for a woman. A home-spun linen 
jacket forerunner perhaps of the ubiquitous blouse 
of to-day went with the useful skirt. Footgear also 
was home-manufactured. Waldron thus describes the 
primitive covering which did duty as a shoe : " Small 
pieces of cow's or horse's hide at the bottom of 
their feet, tyed on with pack thread, which they call 

Stockings without feet, oashyr-voynee and oashyr- 
slobbagh, must have added to the already overwhelm- 
ing discomfort of things. Oashyr-voynee was just a 
stocking leg, with a bit of twine at each side to fasten 
beneath the foot, and oashyr-slobbagh was extrava- 
gantly lavish in a sort of continuation flap which 
covered the instep, and looped round the big toe ! 

Manxmen affected a cap arrangement, and the 
women wore sun-bonnets or mob caps. Early in the 
nineteenth century buckled shoes and knee breeches 
came to the isle brought across, doubtless, by some 
local Beau Brummell and also a fearsome tall hat, 
perpetrated by home milliners, made from rabbit 
skins. One representative old Manxman in Port Erin 
wore this weird headgear, summer and winter, up to 
fifteen years ago. As children we used to call him 
" Old rabbit-skin hat." He seemed a mysterious relic 
of the past to us, a something to be greatly feared. 

The a6th December, St. Stephen's Day, Laa'l 
Steaoin in Manx, is the date set apart for the celebra- 
tion of one of the strangest rites in Manx history. 
It has been the custom from the recesses of remote 
times to " Hunt the Wren," a practice not, as is well- 


known, entirely insular. The wren, held sacred 
through all the rest of the year, was hunted from 
early dawn of Laal Steaoin by various parties of 
boys armed with sticks and stones, who chased 
and harried the little brown birds until at last 
each band of lads secured a piteous feathered corpse, 
which was immediately placed amidst a mass of 
evergreens and gay flaunting ribbons wreathed about 
a pole, and carried from house to house, the while the 
" wren boys " chanted in rough and ready fashion 
these verses, set to the old Manx air which follows. 
The music was given by Barrow in his Mona Melodies, 
in 1820, and has been used in Man as the sacrificial 
song for generations. 


We'll away to the woods, says Robin to Bobbin ; 
We'll away to the woods, says Richard to Robin ; 
We'll away to the woods, says Jack of the Land ; 
We'll away to the woods, says every one. 

What shall we do there ? says Robin to Bobbin ; 

What shall we do there ? says Richard to Robin ; 

What shall we do there ? says Jack of the Land ; 

What shall we do there ? says every one. 

The following lines, which for brevity's sake are 
not given in full, are chanted the usual four times 
over, in the wearisome repetition of the previous 

We will hunt the wren, says Robin to Bobbin ; 
Where is he, where is he ? says Robin to Bobbin ; 
In yonder green bush, says Robin to Bobbin ; 
I see him, I see him, says Robin to Bobbin ; 


How shall we get him down ? says Robin to Bobbin ; 

With sticks and stones, says Robin to Bobbin ; 

He is dead, he is dead, says Robin to Bobbin ; 

How shall we get him home, says Robin to Bobbin ; 

We'll hire a cart, says Robin to Bobbin ; 

Whose cart shall we hire ? says Robin to Bobbin ; 

Johnny Bill Fell's, says Robin to Bobbin ; 

Who will stand driver ? says Robin to Bobbin ; 

Filley the Tweet, says Robin to Bobbin ; 

He's home, he's home, says Robin to Bobbin ; 

How shall we get him boiled ? says Robin to Bobbin ; 

In the brewery pan, says Robin to Bobbin ; 

How shall we get him in ? says Robin to Bobbin ; 

With iron bars and a rope, says Robin to Bobbin ; 

He's in, he's in, says Robin to Bobbin ; 

He is boiled, he is boiled, says Robin to Bobbin ; 

How shall we get him out ? says Robin to Bobbin ; 

With a long pitchfork, says Robin to Bobbin ; 

He is out, he is out, says Robin to Bobbin ; 

Who's to dine at dinner ? says Robin to Bobbin ; 

The King and the Queen, says Robin to Bobbin ; 

How shall we get him eat ? says Robin to Bobbin ; 

With knives and forks, says Robin to Bobbin ; 

He is eat, he is eat, says Robin to Bobbin ; 

The eyes for the blind, says Robin to Bobbin ; 

The legs for the lame, says Robin to Bobbin ; 

The pluck for the poor, says Robin to Bobbin ; 

The bones for the dogs, says Robin to Bobbin ; 

The wren, the wren, the king of all birds ; 

We have caught St. Stephen's Day, in the furze ; 

Although he is little, his family's great ; 

I pray you, good dame, do give us a treat. 

As the Manx boys invariably pronounce the last 
word " trate," the assonance is preserved. Wren 
also they get to " wran." 



Manx Air 



" If they can catch and kill a poor wren before 
sunrising," writes Colonel Townley in 1789, " they 
firmly believe it ensures a good herring fishery," and 
all the historians appear to agree that the practice 
had this central idea as its objective. At every house 
visited a feather would be left for luck, in return, of 
course, for largesse ; and this feather was considered 
an effective security. Shipwreck, witchcraft, evil- 
eye, and the like had no fears for the carrier of the 
wren's feather. In the dim twilight hours it was the 
old custom to bury the piteous little plucked body 
of the tiny bird in a corner of consecrated ground, 
amid a scene of solemn lamentation, which was 
immediately followed by an orgy of games and general 

For many years now the whole performance has been 
enacted in wrenless fashion " Hamlet " without the 
Prince of Denmark. I have only once ever seen a 
wren suspended from the gay sad pole, and that 
twenty years ago. The play-acting " Hunt the Wren " 
parties still go about the villages of the island ; but 
in ever-lessening numbers, haphazard, like the May 
Queen nuisances in some parts of England, and signs 
are not wanting that the whole ancient practice 
is falling into desuetude. Nowadays we are all too 
clever to believe in the efficacy of a wren's feather as a 
protection against anything. The pendulum has 
swung to the philosophical " Kismet " ; to the cynical 
" If you must be shipwrecked you must, and there's 
an end o't." 

The old, old story of the wren conquering the 


eagle in open flight, and thus obtaining sovereignty 
of all the birds, has been told in the Manx to the 
children for many ages. The Manx mothers of olden 
days used to say that the great competition was held 
in Mona, and nowhere else at all. Representatives 
of the feathered tribe came from every land, and all 
the betting was on the champion of the eagle species. 
He never doubted, of course, but that he could fly 
the highest, and sailed up and up to the sun, to the 
gate of Heaven itself. Then, completely tired, unable 
to ascend another inch, the splendid bird triumphantly 
proclaimed himself king over every winged creature. 
Suddenly a little humble wren, concealed 'neath the 
great feathers of the lordly eagle, sped from the soft 
hiding place, higher and higher, farther than sight 
could follow. Chirruping loudly, the small brown bird 
cried out that he and he alone was the monarch of 
the air. 

The Manx do not acknowledge, as so many nations 
do, the kingly dignity of the wren in the name they 
give him. We do not even know the exact meaning 
of his Manx title, " Dreain," though in Kelly's Dic- 
tionary the derivation is suggested as Druai-een, " The 
Druid's bird." 

Another prevalent custom in Man was memorized 
just before Christmas, when the quaint mummers, 
called locally the " White Boys," used to come round 
and " mum " energetically, and I am told that this 
performance, which has for its raison d'etre the glori- 
fication of St. George of England, still continues in 
some parts of the island. The lads at Port Erin never 


could manage the pronunciation of the letter " w," 
and called themselves in consequence the " Quite 
Boys." How we children revelled in their enter- 
tainment ! The greatest actor in all the world could 
not have charmed us half so much as the primitive 
histrionics of our gardener's boy, playing the King 
of Egypt, demanding in resonant tones, overlaid with 
a strong Manx accent, " O docther, docther, is there a 
docther to be foun' ? Who can cure Saint Gurge of 
his deep and deadly woun' ? " 

"Wound" pronounced to rhyme with "found." 
The dramatis persona of the tragi-comedy were 
decked out very much after the haphazard fashion 
of the " Wren Boys," only with more dabs of white 
about them. White cardboard hats, strangely remini- 
scent of a mere common or garden bandbox, crowded 
with scraps of ribbon and holly leaves, crowned the 
energetic heads. Paste-board swords, if nothing more 
stalwart was forthcoming, clanked (of course, you had 
to pretend a lot about the clank) against the agile 
white-trousered legs, and spotless shirts, adorned with 
odds and ends of Christmas decoration variety, com- 
pleted the taking outfit. Only one of the players 
departed from the general scheme, and he wore un- 
relieved black, raven-like and dolorous, even to face 
and hands. He was the " docther," the invaluable 
^Esculapius who was called in to " cure St. Gurge of 
his deep and deadly woun'." 

Very sheepishly the " White Boys " trailed into 
the big kitchen, which had been cleared for the occa- 
sion, and the entertainment commenced. First of all, 



" Sambo " weighed in with explanatory prologue. No 
relation to the dusky physician, he is called " Sambo " 
just to make things more difficult. He played comic 
relief, laugh-maker, jester, Touchstone to the whole 
affair, which was not lengthy, and ended in a complete 
triumph of St. George over all enemies. Then solemnly 
the " White Boys " in Rushen, whatever they did 
elsewhere, walked, with martial tread and slow, round 
and round the room singing at the top of their lungs : 
" God bless the master of this house, likewise the 
mistress too, and all the little childer-en that round 
the table go, that round the table go." 

Supper followed, and after a more lasting reward the 
well-graced players went off to enact St. George for 
someone else. 

All Hallow's Eve, Oie houiney as the Manx call it, was 
the day for another visitation from another company 
of mummers, this time in Hog-annaa, a short piece of 
elusive mysterious rhyming. Again our gardener's 
boy one man in his time plays many parts carrying 
a wand overbalanced by a weighty turnip at the tip, 
led the company, who sang, or, more properly speaking, 
shouted, this extraordinary doggerel, the meaning of 
which we, as children, never even grasped by the 
outside edge : 

" Hog-annaa This is old Hollantide night," Ed- 
ward, the deputy gardener, asserted in strident tones, 
dwelling unmercifully on the double "a." 

" Trolla-laa The moon shines fair and bright," the 
junior cobbler of the village returned, in non-contra- 
dictory spirit. 


" Hog-annaa I went to the well, 
TroUa-laa And drank my fill ; 
Hog-annaa On my way back, 
Trolla-laa I met a witch-cat ; 
Hog-annaa The cat began to grin, 
Trolla-laa And I began to run ; 
Hog-annaa Where did you run to ? 
Trolla-laa I ran to Scotland. 
Hog-annaa What were they doing there ? 
Trolla-laa Baking bannocks and roasting collops. 
Hog-annaa Trolla-laa ! 

If you are going to give us anything, give it us soon, 
Or we'll be away by the light of the moon Hog- 
annaa ! " 

This strange archaic custom is now almost, if not 
quite, dead in the island. Of myself, I cannot pretend 
to explain its meaning, if it has any, or its significance. 
I always just accepted it as one of the strangely 
fascinating delights of being a child in Manxland. At 
one time the whole thing was said in the native tongue. 

Our greatest living authority on the history and 
customs of the Isle of Man, Mr. A. W. Moore, explains 
Hog-annaa thus : " The words of the chorus Hog- 
annaa, trolla-laa, are probably identical with Hog- 
manaye, trollalay, the words of a Scotch song which is 
sung on New Year's Eve. In France, too, there is a 
similar custom and word, as " En basse Normandie les 
pauvres le dernier jour en demandant I'aumosne, disent 
Hoguinanno." As to the meaning of this word Hog- 


annaa, Hogmanaye, or Hoguinanno, we may venture to 
suggest that, supposing the Scotch form to be the 
most accurate, both it and trollalay are of Scandinavian 
origin, and refer to the fairies and the trolls. We know 
that on this night it was considered necessary to pro- 
pitiate the dwellers in fairyland, who, with the Phyn- 
nodderees, witches, and spirits of all kinds, were 
abroad and especially powerful. We may, therefore, 
translate Hog-man-aye into Hogga-man-ey " mound- 
men (for) ever," the fairies being considered as dwellers 
in the hows (or tumuli, or green mounds) and trollalay 
into trolla-a-la, " trolls into the surf." The fairies, who 
were considered the most powerful of these creatures, 
being thus propitiated, would then protect their sup- 
pliants against the rest." 

Christmas Eve in Mona sees everyone attending the 
Oiel Verrey service in the nearest parish church. All 
over the island this feast of carol-singing is celebrated 
every year. From time immemorial Oie'l Verrey has 
been kept. These entertainments for such, indeed, 
they were in olden times exploited the Manx " car- 
vals," descriptive chants, which went on and on into 
the wee sma' hours, wearing out the parson, who left 
early. Everyone who attended brought a candle, so 
that the lighting arrangements were not dimly religious, 
but glaringly irrelevant. Anyone who liked could sing 
a carval, of home manufacture or otherwise, and the 
service ended in an orgy of pea-throwing and sounds 
of revelry by night. I cannot, of course, recall the 
real uncorrupted variety of Oie'l Verrey, the wild, 
riotous carval singing of long ago. The custom has 


resolved itself of late years into orderly carol singing 
by the choir and congregation. It is still a great 
festivity. Not for worlds would I, in the days of my 
youth, have missed the universal Christmas appeal 
for eventful deliverance the stirring " No-hell ! No- 
hell ! " an unconscious paraphrase of the gracious Noel 
into which everyone tumbled. For my own part I 
always thought it was " No-hell ! " 

In 1855 George Borrow spent some time in wander- 
ing about the Isle of Man, and, being acquainted with 
Scotch Gaelic, together with a smattering of Manx, 
he had little difficulty hi making himself understood 
by the people. Winning the confidence of the rough 
peasants of the time, he was shown much of the repre- 
sentative literature, examples of the carvals the 
word is, of course, a corruption of carol which were 
composed, he tells us, for recitation hi the churches, 
by people who thought themselves endowed with the 
poetic gift. The sacred manuscripts were kept in the 
archives of the poet's family, and some of the grimy, 
smoky, time-stained booklets trace back through the 
years to distant ages. 

A collection of Manx carvals has been published. 
They are fascinating in their weirdness, and deal with 
a wide range of biblical subjects. One of the most 
interesting is the carval of the Evil Women, a cynical 
record of all the ill-conditioned feminines who darken 
the pages of the Bible. This quaint bit of literature 
is said to be the swan song of a redoubtable smuggler 
who lived in the eighteenth century. 

The old-time love of carval singing and carval manu- 


facture in Man may be ascribed, I think, to the in- 
fluence of the Franciscans of the thirteenth century, 
a small number of whom established themselves at 
Bimaken in Arbory. The followers of St. Francis 
of Assisi were the originators of carols, or perhaps 
it would be more correct to say that they were the 
evolvers of carols. The originals were there to be 
pirated, skeleton scaffoldings of weird ballads, and 
primeval folk-songs, and under the skilful manipula- 
tion of the Grey Friars the primordial chants ceased 
to be as ballads, and rose from the smoking ashes in 
the bloom of religious themes which were sung before 
the altars. 

The literature of the old-time Manx, such literature 
as they had, as George Borrow among others observed, 
was all in manuscript form. No printed book in the 
vernacular has come to light bearing a date earlier 
than 1699. " There is nothing either written or 
printed in their language," wrote Bishop Barrow in the 
ecclesiastical records in 1663. Therefore it can be 
imagined what excitement and thankfulness greeted 
the translation and publication of the Bible. For the 
first time many of the islanders became really familiar 
with the Scriptures, and no longer depended entirely 
on oral teachings. 

The harvest festival of long ago, once so great a 
feature in Man, is moribund, and the name yn mheittea, 
or colloquially the Melliah, harvest-home, is now only 
perpetuated by the harvest supper. Perhaps the 
modern " reaper " slew the old romantic custom, cut 
with a keen knife-edge the strange usage handed down 


to us from distant years. The Melliah died as the 
labour-savers entered the fields. 

All the harvest of a holding would be garnered save 
a little compact patch of waving barley or shimmering 
golden corn. The workers, their toil wellnigh finished, 
gathered to see the taking of the Melliah. Quickly a 
queen was chosen from out the band of gleaners, the 
prettiest and the youngest of them all, and with straight 
sheer cut of the sickle her majesty swept away the last 
of the harvest. The golden ears fell among the stubble, 
with the queen of a day smiling and blushing over the 
spoils. " The Melliah's took ! " rang out across the 
green valleys. " The Melliah's took ! " 

From the few cut ears, the last bunch of the harvest, 
was then fashioned roughly a semblance of a tiny 
woman, with a face which was beautiful or plain 
according to the imagination made of the upstanding 
grains, and loose crinoline-like garment of flowing 
stalks. Baban yn Mheillea, doll of the harvest, was then 
carried with much fun and merriment to the farmhouse, 
and set on the high mantelpiece in the kitchen to 
remain until ousted by another straw effigy next 

When " Himself " came through the gate into the 
harvest field to watch or work, he was bound by the 
reapers with ropes of straw, and held captive until a 
small forfeit tax was paid. This, I remember, was an 
elastic practice extended to ordinary visitors. I was 
often caught in the sugganes as a child, but my 
ransom, I'm sure, was " not worth," which is the Manx 
way of expressing inadequacy. 


In the evening the Melliah was kept up with much 
more spirit than it is to-day. There was feasting and 
revelry, jough (home-brewed beer) to drink, and plenty 
to eat, for " Himself " was a generous provider. Games 
of all sorts amused the company, always the laare 
vane, the white mare. This indispensable part of 
old-time rollicking was a make-believe horse's head, 
very make-believe indeed, contrived of wool, a bit of 
home taxidermy which would not have deceived a 
mouse. The laare vane could open its mouth, when 
the engineer-in-charge beneath, a lumpy bulging per- 
sonage very much hampered by the tripping-up pro- 
clivities of a too-long enveloping sheet, touched the 
spring, and snap ! snap ! went the snowy equine head. 
That was all it did. All it was meant to do, just snap 
aggressively at the harvesters, who had to rush at the 
rather inane effigy and turn it out of the room. 

In these days of each man for himself, a Manx lover 
dispenses with the once necessary dooinney-moyllee, or 
praising man, until recent years a sine qud non in 
insular love affairs. He was a sort of go-between, 
whose pleasant duty it was to murmur sweet nothings 
to the lass, and impress upon her what a wonderful 
impossible-to-match-elsewhere husband was hers for 
the taking. The dooinney-moyllee had also to persuade 
unwilling parents to countenance the match, and take 
charge of a girl in the absence of her betrothed. Very 
often the proxy courtship led to changes all round, 
and the praising man stepped into the other fellow's 

I am not quite sure whether Ping-jaagh, or the toll 


of the " smoke penny," would be described as a custom 
or a compulsory usage. It was a tax levied on every 
house or hovel boasting a chimney, which was col- 
lected by the parish clerk as a perquisite. In far 
gone-by days Manx cottages possessed no chimneys. 
The smoke from the chiollagh, or hearth, a simple 
affair enough, composed of a few rough stones a-heap 
with smouldering peat, or turf, as it is called locally, 
went out through a hole cut in the thatched roof. 
With the advent of the assuming chimney the smoke 
tax came in. There is an old yarn of a cottager Dalby 
way, whose new chimney refused to play the game at 
all. Carrying away the smoke was the last idea it 
had in the world. It received it and politely returned 
it. Bunches of gorse lit beneath the fractious funnel 
did no good ; it simply would not do its work. 

Into the grey pall came the parish clerk, John 

" You're wantin' the penny, iss lek ? " demanded 
the incensed peasant. " An' quat for ? " 

" For the chimney the smook goes up," answered 
John Robbat, " Is't forgot at you ? " 

" There's chimney, here's smook," waving his arms 
amid the fog, " Do thee bes', and my gough, thou'll 
get all the pennies thass in ! " 

The ancient law authorizing the yarding of servants, 
a system of insular press-ganging, has long been 
repealed. This quaint usage consisted of the laying 
a straw by the general sumner across the shoulders of 
the impressed, with the words : " You are hereby 
Yarded for the service of the Lord of Man, in the house 


of his Deemster, Moar, Coroner, or Sergeant of Barony." 
Servants refusing to comply with the command to 
serve in one of the privileged establishments were im- 
prisoned and kept on meagre allowance " till they 
yielded obedience to perform their service." The 
name of the yarded one was given out next Sunday at 
the parish church. The family treasure of any farm 
might be wrested at any minute, but the servants of 
certain people, as for instance all members of the 
House of Keys, were immune from compulsory service. 

There was also in the fourteenth century an Act 
which forced the services of unemployed agricultural 
labourers. These vagrants were " made liable," and, 
if they refused to serve, had to " suffer punishment 
till they submitt." 

The sumner of a parish was an occupied individual. 
During the time of Divine service it was his duty to 
stand at the door and " whip and beat all the doggs." 
The bridle, one of the old-time punishment horrors, 
was also the peculiar care of this worthy. The inven- 
tion, intended for the terrorizing of evil tongues, was 
a contrivance which went round the head, fastening 
behind, and held in position a cruel bit of iron which 
forced the tongue of the unfortunate wearing it flat 
with pressure. Waldron, who lived in Man in 1720, 
wrote of this rough penance a punishment frequently 
meted out by Bishop Wilson : "If any person be con- 
victed of making a scandalous report, and cannot 
make good the assertion, instead of being fined or 
imprisoned, they are sentenced to stand in the Market- 
place on a sort of scaffold erected for that purpose, 


with their tongue in a noose of leather, which they call 
a bridle, and having been thus exposed to the view of 
the people for some time, on the taking off this machine 
they are obliged to say three times : ' Tongue, thou 
hast lied.' ' 

Stocks were in vogue in Man, as also the pillory, 
and the odd punishment called the wooden horse. 
The Statute of 1629, which governed this stern re- 
prisal, a sort of rough cure by the hair of the dog 
that bit you, laid it down that : " Whosoever shall 
be found or detected to pull Horse Tayles shall be 
punished upon the Wooden Horse, thereon to continue 
for the space of two hours and to be whipped naked 
from the waist downwards." 

Stealing " mutton, sheep, or lambe " was a " fellony 
in like manner to death," and the theft or damaging of 
bee-hives was regarded with the same seriousness. 

We can only learn of the happenings of other days 
from tradition or ancient records, and this must be 
my excuse for such constant quotation. In the 
writings of Bishop Wilson we hear of " many lawes 
and customs which are peculiar to this place and 
singular." There is one of striking dignity, a pro- 
ceeding going back to Saxon times. The prelate 
records that " the Bishop, or some priest appointed by 
him, do always sit in the great court along with the 
Governor, till sentence of death (if any) be pronounced ; 
the Deemster asking the jury (instead of " Guilty or not 
guilty ?") Vod fir-charree sole? which, literally translated, 
is, " May the man of the chancel sit ? " If the fore- 
man answers in the negative, the Bishop or his sub- 


stitute withdraws, and the sentence is then pro- 
nounced on the criminal. 

Of all weird old customs, full of the fierce sad glamour 
of the time, the Act which justified a man by the oath 
of others, a purgation smiled upon by the Statutes of 
1665, strikes us to-day as the strangest of all the 
sombrely strange usages of Manxland. It was an 
enactment which made it possible for the living " with- 
out bill, bond of evidence " to claim an unacknow- 
ledged debt from the dead, provided that the claim- 
maker " shall prove the same upon the grave of him 
or her from whom the debt was due with lawful com- 
purgators according to the ancient form ; that is to 
say, lying on his back with the Bible on his breast and 
his compurgators on either side." This imaginative 
old custom, " one of our best lawes (the nature of 
that people considered, vizt., the oath for swearing 
on the grave, in case where there is not specialty," 
as Bishop Phillips wrote in 1609, has something of the 
simplicity of totally untutored peoples about it. It 
reminds me reminds me. very strongly of a quaint 
little story of superstition, not a custom, wherein the 
grave most doleful of " sets " formed the necessary 
stage background for a telling drama in a country very 
far away from Mona's Isle, a land of limitless space 
and desolate mournful silences, Alaska. A withered 
old native, with face furrowed into deepest lines which 
Time can plough, played Chorus for me by a flickering 
fire, beneath a sky of deepest blue, dotted with a 
wreath of silver stars. 

The mighty chief of a settlement of Innuits, the 


most numerous of any tribe allied to the Eskimo, who 
inhabit the Bering Sea-coast from Bristol Bay to the 
mouth of the Yukon River, had just died, and the two 
likeliest men of the little colony squabbled between 
themselves for the reversion of power. They were 
of an age, and with equal claims. Both maintained 
that the old chief ever meant to bestow his all on 
either of them, both laid claim to the piles of skins 
lying in the chief's barabora in readiness for the advent 
of the fur trader, both seized the dead man's bidarka 
and spearing outfit, and last of all, perhaps most im- 
portant of all, each young man swore that their late 
Headman had bequeathed his daughter, a veritable 
belle Innuit, to his successor in the chieftainship. 
The tribe took sides, and championed one cause or 
the other, and as to the young lady, she was of " How 
happy could I be with either were t'other dear charmer 
away " variety. A way out of the impasse had to be 
found, and the wisest patriarch in all the tribe sat 
in judgment. Let the two would-be chiefs lie out on 
the new-made grave one after the other, on nights 
to be chosen, with two witnesses, or, as the Manx 
Statutes would call them, compurgators. Then would 
the wraith of the departed, brooding round his 
sepulchre, announce his desires. Legatee Number i 
tried the gruesome plan, and lay down between the 
wooden paddles, relics of strenuous days, set at the 
head and foot of the frozen grave, marks to show 
above the snow-line, for the Innuits like not to walk 
over their dead. 

Before the wraith had time to really consider the 


matter, if indeed it happened to be in the vicinity 
that night at all, the vengeful spirits who live in the 
Nunatacks, or peaks, which are to be seen hi the heart 
of the opalescent glaciers, descended with tempes- 
tuous wings, and carried off the perhaps residuary 
legatee with his compurgators, leaving nothing but the 
shell wherein life had been lived. There the tribe 
found them next morning, frozen stiff, each with a 
smile on Its face. So look all who are smitten by the 
Immortals from the Nunatacks. The natives say 
that no man can look upon the internal wonders of 
the ice-palaces and survive. And so the would-be 
chief Number 2 succeeded without the necessity of 
wrestling with justice upon a frozen grave. The furs 
were his, the light bidarka fashioned from the skins of 
hair seals, the belle of the settlement also. But 
there is a but. All triumphs are defeats. This one was 
no exception to the rule. The old Innuit who spun the 
yarn wrinkled yet more his wrinkly face as he told of 
the new chief spending the latter part of his honey- 
moon in trying to inveigle the ice-spirits into taking 
him away also ! Because he was so eager they would 
none of him. Just like the real people of the world. 

Am I writing the text for a colour book on Alaska 
or on the Isle of Man, you ask ? Forgive me, for the 
moment I had forgotten. I am nearly " through," 
as the Americans say, with the Manx customs, and as 
you know when a writer nears the end, he is always 
allowed a page or two in which to moralize, to point 
conclusions, to make comparisons. 

Transgression of the ecclesiastical laws, and wrong- 


doing of many kinds, was followed by a committal 
to do rigorous penance, on pain of excommunication. 
Bishop Wilson describes the severe enactment of his 
time as " primitive and edifying. The penitent 
clothed in a sheet, etc., is brought into church im- 
mediately before the Litany ; and there continues 
till the sermon be ended ; after which, and a proper 
exhortation, the congregation are desired to pray for 
him in a form provided for that purpose ; and thus 
he is dealt with, till by his behaviour he has given 
some satisfaction that all this is not feigned, which 
being certified to the bishop, he orders him to be 
received by a very solemn form for receiving penitents 
into the peace of the church." 

Excommunicated persons who did not correct the 
error of their ways, and appeared more or less indif- 
ferent to the attitude of the church were imprisoned, 
and " delivered over, body and goods, to the Lord's 
mercy." This was the formula of excommunication 
used in Man in olden days : 

" For as much as your crimes have been so great, 
repeated, and continued in so long as to give offence to 
all sober Christians, and even to cry to Heaven for 
vengeance. And you having had sufficient time given 
you to consider of the consequence of continuing in 
them, without any visible or sincere remorse or proba- 
bility of reformation. Therefore, in the name of our 
Lord Christ and before this congregation, we pro- 
nounce and declare you, , Excommunicate and 

shut out of the Communion of all faithful Christians. 
And may Almighty God, who by His Holy Spirit has 


appointed this sentence for removing of scandal and 
offence out of the Church and for reducing of sinners 
to a sense of their sins and danger, make this censure 
to all good ends for which it was ordained. And that 
your Heart may be filled with fear and dread that 
you may be recovered out of the same and power of 
the Devil and your Soul may be saved, and that others 
may be warned by your sad example not to sin nor 
continue in sin so presumptuously." 

Customs relating to the " first foot," or qualtagh, 
are much the same in Manxland as in England. The 
qualtagh of New Year must be dark, preferably of 
masculine gender, and should never make the mistake 
of calling at a house empty handed. 

Oie Ynnyd, Shrove Tuesday, saw the pancakes 
made for supper, and upon Good Friday, Jy-heiney 
chaist, it was the old-time custom, in vogue until to-day, 
for young people to gather limpets for boiling as the 
time of the tide permitted. We often involved ourselves 
in this odd practice, although we had no special pre- 
dilection for the shell-fish after we had got them. 
The edible seaweed, dullish, was also a feature of the 
Good Friday harvest from the sea. Every iron im- 
plement in a household was studiously avoided, and a 
stem of cuirn, or mountain ash, anathema to fairies, 
supplanted the family poker. 



For mine own part 

I shall be glad to hear of noble men. 

Julius Ccesair. 
Unnumber'd sparks, 
They are all fire, and every one doth shine. 

Julius Ccssar. 

CARLYLE tells us, " We cannot look, however im- 
perfectly, upon a great man, without gaining some- 
thing by him." That is just how the island feels 
about her hero sons. 

" Those who have boldly ventured to explore 
Unsounded seas, and lands unknown before, 
Soar'd on the wings of science, wide and far, 
Measured the sun, and weighed each distant star, 
Pierced the dark depths of the ocean and of earth, 
And brought uncounted wonders into birth, 
Repell'd the pestilence, restrain'd the storm, 
Waken'd the voice of reason, and unfurl'd 
The page of truthful knowledge to the world." 

Of all the great men surely he who bestrides insular 
history like a Colossus is Orry, otherwise Godred 
Crovan, Orry the Scandinavian freebooter, Orry the 
legislator, Orry, the best king who ever reigned in 
Man. The Sagas do not sing to us of the wild sea- 



rover, and therefore we cannot be certain whether 
or no he came of a princely house, or was the 
Viking son of a Viking father who lived by pillage 
and high-sea piracy. That " enormous camera- 
obscura magnifier," as Carlyle calls tradition, says 
both. After all, it only matters to us to-day that 
Orry was the most worthy leader the Manx nation 
ever had. He found them freedom-loving, and he 
gave them a free system of government. That is the 
finest thing in all the world to give freedom. Orry, 
in his understanding, dealt out to his simple subjects 
just what they were ready and waiting for, and all 
his laws were for the good of the community, common- 
sense, roughly thorough, and just withal. Bringing 
to Man the legislative mechanism of the kingdom of 
Iceland, Orry appointed two Deemsters, one for the 
north, another for the south, and divided up the little 
land into six ship-shires, which we now call Sheadings, 
each to be represented by four members at Tynwald. 
The method of government in the island to-day is a 
graft on the very first Tynwald, and it all traces to 

If the many burial-places scattered about the isle 
which bear the illustrious name are to be credited, 
then the Scandinavian monarch of Man must have 
been in death, as in life, a man of many parts. His- 
torians differ in regard to the death-place of the old 
warrior ; some say that Orry died in his kingdom of 
Man, or in Islay during a marauding expedition, 
others that he died at sea, and others again de- 
clare that no man knows where the sovereign lies. 


It is my own idea that his sepulchre is set, facing 
seawards, high on the summit of Cronk-ny-Irrey- 
Lhaa, one of the greenest hills in Manxland, which 
curves down in abrupt slopes to the deeper green 
edge of the water, and trails off northward into ghosts 
of shores towards Peel, southward to the dim horizons 
of Bradda. Here, just where the first glint of the 
morning sun touches the Cronk with lances of gold, 
lies the Viking. And I don't know how my assumption 
can ever be conclusively disproved. 

If we have but one name which we can confidently 
claim as immortal only once in a long time is born 
such a one we can number many Manxmen among 
the meteoric great, who have distinguished themselves 
not only in the services, the glittering stage whereon 
a brilliant actor shines constellation-wise even among 
a firmament of stars, but in civil, ecclesiastical, and 
scientific walks of life. 

To the Royal Navy and Army Mona has from long- 
ago times contributed of her best. Writing in 1829 
of conspicuous service rendered, Lord Teignmouth 
put on record that : " The Isle of Man has perhaps 
furnished a much larger number of able and excellent 
men to the public service in proportion to its popula- 
tion than any other district of the British Empire." 

The last Duke of Athol to reign in Man used all his 
influence to protect the fishermen from being im- 
pressed for the Navy; and, in a rescript from the 
House of Keys to the Lords Commissioners of the 
Admiralty, we gather that from a population of less 
than twenty-eight thousand, " without a port that 


can boast a square-rigged vessel," the small island 
supplied above three thousand seamen to the British 
naval service. 

Numberless officers in the Navy and Army have 
upheld the honour of Manxland in the four corners of 
the globe. It was represented in the Indian Mutiny, 
the Abyssinian campaign, and the Zulu War, and at 
Chitral. Many " Manx ones " lie out on the grim 
khaki-coloured veldt of South Africa. The far-flung 
battle line has ever had a Manxman at its edge. 

Among great sea captains we very proudly number 
Rear- Admiral Sir Hugh Christian, who died in 1798, 
just as a peerage was about to be bestowed on 
him. The illustrious sailor, in acknowledgment 
of his direct descent from Ittiam Dhone, proposed 
to take his seat in the House of Lords as Lord 

Another naval hero is Captain John Quilliam, 
Nelson's first lieutenant on the Victory. Quilliam 
first distinguished himself at the Battle of Camper- 
down, where he was made lieutenant. At the Battle 
of Copenhagen he added more laurels to his already 
budding wreath. This notable Manxman piloted the 
Victory to victory at Trafalgar. The steering gear 
having been seriously damaged, it became necessary 
to repair the mischief at once, which was done after 
some plan of the quick-witted lieutenant's, who, 
having some doubts as to the efficiency of the mended 
mechanism, undertook to steer the ship into action 
himself. He retired from the Navy in 1815, and 
was a member of the House of Keys for some years 


afterwards. His grave is in Kirk Arbory, and his 
epitaph records his services as follows : 

" Sacred to the memory of John Quilliam, Esq., 
Captain in the Royal Navy. In his early service he 
was appointed by Adml. Lord Duncan to act as 
lieutenant at the Battle of Camperdown ; after the 
victory was achieved this appointment was confirmed. 
His gallantry and professional skill at the Battle of 
Copenhagen attracted the attention of Lord Nelson, 
who subsequently sought for his services on board 
his own ship, and as his Lordship's first lieutenant he 
steered the Victory into action at the Battle of Trafalgar. 
By the example of Duncan and Nelson he learned to 
conquer. By his own merit he rose to command ; 
above all this he was an honest man, the noblest 
work of God. After many years of honour and dis- 
tinguished public service, he retired to this land of his 
affectionate solicitude and birth, where, in his public 
station as a member of the House of Keys and in 
private life, he was in arduous times the uncom- 
promising defender of the rights and privileges of his 
countrymen, and the zealous and able supporter 
of every measure tending to promote the welfare and 
the best interests of his country. He departed this 
life on the loth October, 1829, in the 59th year of 
his age. " 

Another great Manx sailor, Rear-Admiral H. H. 
Christian, who died in 1849, obtained the rank of 
commander in the Royal Navy at the extraordinarily 
early age of sixteen years ! This circumstance was 


the direct result of his able handling of a flotilla at the 
siege of Genoa. 

The Cosnahans, an old Manx family, served their 
country in all sorts of capacities. Philip Cosnahan is 
perhaps, because of his youth and bravery, one of the 
most beloved of Manx heroes. When he came home 
" to put a sight on " his people, 

Ev'n to the dullest peasant standing by 
Who fastened on him a wondering eye. 
He seemed the master spirit of the land. 

As a midshipman on the Shannon he fought in the 
great action with the U.S. frigate Chesapeake, and was 
specially mentioned in Captain Broke's despatches. 

" I must mention," reported that officer, " when 
the ship's yards were locked together, that Mr. Cos- 
nahan, who commanded in our maintop, rinding 
himself screened from the enemy by the foot of the 
topsail, laid out on the mainyard to fire at them, and 
shot three men." 

Young Lieutenant Cosnahan was drowned in 1819 
in the foundering of a Manx sailing ship which carried 
mails and passengers to and from England. The young 
sailor arrived at the Red Pier in Douglas rather after 
the scheduled time, and the vessel was just loosing 
her hawsers and sheering away. With a mighty spring 
the agile lieutenant lighted on deck, and gained his 
passage, to lose his life in the untimely disaster which 
overtook everyone on board. 

Sir Baldwin Wake Walker, also an admiral, is 
another distinguished Manxman. He died in 1876. 

Many natives of the isle have distinguished them- 


selves before the mast. John Cowell, press-ganged 
into the Temeraire, left a fine record of good deeds 
behind him, and John Lace, of Bride, who lost his 
arm at Trafalgar on the Victory, always maintained 
that the bullet which gave Nelson his mortal wound 
passed first through his own arm. 

A Manxman accompanied Captain Cook on his first 
expedition. This was Peter Fannin, who commanded 
the Adventure. 

We have likewise many notable soldiers among 
out great men. Colonel Mark Wilks, warrior and 
diplomat, was governor at St. Helena at the time of 
Napoleon's arrival. The ex-Emperor had a great 
liking for the judicious and kindly Manxman. Speak- 
ing of him afterwards, doubtless making odious com- 
parisons between the thoughtful diplomat and the 
inconsiderate Sir Hudson Lowe, Napoleon asked : 
" Pourquoi n'ont-ils pas laisse ce vieux gouverneur ? 
Avec lui je me serais arrange ; nous n'aurions pas eu de 
querettes ! ' ' (Why have they not left that old governor ? 
I could have got on with him. We should not have 

Sir Mark Cubbon, like his uncle, Colonel Wilks, 
was the son of a Manx parson. He went to India as a 
cadet, and in 1834 was Commissioner of Mysore. 
He adminstered that province of 5,000,000 people 
with four European helpers at a cost of 13,000 a 
year ! His state remained perfectly tranquil through- 
out the Mutiny. Few statesmen or rulers have been 
more beloved. Sir Mark died at Suez in 1861 on his 
homeward voyage, and on the report reaching his 


former province business ceased everywhere for three 
days, and the entire population mourned. " Were 
Mysore in rebellion to-morrow," the Bangalore Herald 
wrote, " his word would be sufficient to suppress it 
... no army was required to overawe the millions 
subject to his rule." Sir Mark Cubbon's body is 
buried in his native island, and lies in Maughold 
Churchyard, close to the vicarage where he was born. 

Caesar Bacon, who died in 1876, of the old Manx 
family of Seafield House, fought gallantly at Quatre- 
Bras and Waterloo, and Thomas Leigh Goldie, of the 
Nunnery, near Douglas, fell at Inkerman at the head 
of his Brigade of the 4th Division. 

In every churchyard are remnants of the great host 
of public servants. They are so numerous. 'Tis such 
a little country to have bred so many worthies. 

The name of John Christian Curwen, who died in 
1828, politician, legislator, agriculturist, is still remem- 
bered gratefully. He was a member of the House of 
Keys as well as of the House of Commons. 

In science the island is notably represented by 
Professor Edward Forbes, one of the greatest palaeon- 
tologists, geologists, and naturalists of the nineteenth 
century. His brother David also attained considerable 
eminence as a geologist and scientist. 

Dr. Charles Bland Radcliffe, the late eminent 
physician, was a Radcliffe of Ballaradcliffe in Andreas. 
His younger brother distinguished himself as a surgeon 
in the Crimea, and afterwards made name and fame 
as an expert on the cholera scourge. 

Of Manx worthies of to-day and they are very 


many it would be invidious to write. Perhaps it is 
even too soon to refer to the celebrated Dr. Clague, 
of Castletown. His little pill-box carriage, on errands 
of mercy bent, and his bluff interrogatory " 'Joy your 
fud ? " are bound up with my earliest recollections. 
He was indeed a worthy in the best sense. 

Manxland has literary lights to-day, and a few 
shining like tiny stars from out the past. Minor verse- 
makers also touched the lute prettily. In John Quirk, 
of Rushen, we had the composer of many noted Manx 
carols, and the Rev. T. E. Brown, one of our greatest, 
called Esther Nelson, of Bride, who wrote The 
Carrasdhoo Men and The Island Penitent, " a woman 
of genius." 

I think also the many translators of the Bible into 
Manx should be hailed as litterateurs. If you know 
the Manx you will understand how great was the work. 

Sometimes jealous Britishers say that the Rev. 
T. E. Brown was not really a native of the Isle of Man ; 
but it does not trouble us at all. We know he was a 
Mannanagh dooie, a true Manxman. Both his parents 
were island-born, and on all sides his descent was 

His poems, all murmurous with the song of the sea, 
full of vivid fire and the joy of life, his wonderful prose 
writings, and his letters, are among the proudest 
assets of Mona. Her great son made them. We cannot 
let anyone else claim him. 

After being vice-principal at King William's College, 
near Castletown, " Tom Brown " migrated to Clifton, 
as second master, where he laboured for thirty years. 


He worked and strove at Clifton, but we all know 
where his heart was. 

I'm here at Clifton, grinding at the mill 
My feet for thrice nine barren years have trod, 
But there are rocks and waves at Scarlett still, 
And gorse runs riot in Glen Chass Thank God ! 

Of the famous Christians I have written elsewhere. 
Ewan, father of Illiam Dhone, was a Deemster at 
twenty-six, and a law-giver for fifty-one years. 

The name Christian is a very common one in Man, 
perhaps one of the most usual. The great Stanley 
noticed this. " There be many Christians in this 
country," he wrote, in that comprehensive diary of 
his. And indeed there are such a number that almost 
we could get along without the myriad proselytizing 
missionaries of revivalist variety, who devote a lot of 
time to the conversion of the Manx ! 

One of these ardent soul-savers stopped a Maughold 
farmer at his plough one winter day of long ago, 
and desired to be told the place of worship which the 
tiller of the ground attended. 

Did he go to chapel ? 

" A chance time, mebbe. Chee-back ! " to the big 
brown mare. 

' You go to church likely ? " 

" A chance time. Commotha ! " to the dapple grey. 

" So," very solemnly, " you are not a Christian ? " 

" Christian ? No. I'm a Kerruish." 

The revivalist was reduced to amazed astonishment. 
Joss, Mary Baker Eddy, and the Ali Babas he had 


heard of, but Kerruish ! This was a brand of religion 
which had never yet come within his ken. 

" Iss lek you're a stranger in the islan'," said the 
farmer pityingly, " there's Christian Bemahague, and 
Christian Balldrine, and Christian Baldroma, or is't 
Christian Lewaigue you're wantin' ? " 

The difficulty of individual identification where so 
many people have the same name is readily solved by 
tacking on the name of a man's house or farm to his 
own. As, for instance, Moore Ballacottier, or Quine 
Slegaby. Sometimes a landowner is referred to only 
by the name of his farm. " Aw, lek enough 'tis the 
Ballacottier callin' me." 

Certain surnames appear to be aboundingly recur- 
ent in a given radius. In Maughold the inhabitants 
are said to consist almost exclusively of 

Christian, Callow, and Kerruish ; 
All the rest are mere refuse. 

Unlanded mortals take on the name of either parent. 
Johnny Polly is the son of Polly, and Harry Nickey 
means that Harry is the son and heir of Nicholas. So 
on and so forth. 

If I did not trouble to tell you that Hugh Shimmin, 
founder of the once celebrated paper The Porcupine, 
was of Manx origin, you would guess it at once, 
wouldn't you, from his name ? The Porcupine was a 
quill which Shimmin drove with fine effect, and to its 
potent power Liverpool owes many striking reforms. 

The little island also furnished a President for the 
Mormons ! John Quayle Cannon, nicknamed in con- 


gress " Small-bore Cannon," from the " persuasive way 
at him," was a native of Mona. 

The champion of Women's Rights was Deemster 
Richard Sherwood, who introduced Women's Suffrage. 

In a slight record like this one cannot hope to men- 
tion half the notable names which come rushing to 
the tip of my pen crying, " Put me down ! Put me 
down ! " There are so very many celebrities which 
strike one as being typical of their order. Merchants, 
headed by John Murrey, issuer of the first Manx 
coinage ; farmers, represented by grand old Columbus 
Key, to whom an Earl of Derby granted the right of 
free shooting all over the isle, an honour meaning a 
great deal in the days of the Stanleys; buccaneers, 
lawyers, sailors, poets, soldiers, smugglers. Of these 
last Quilliam, the quaint clever king of his kind, 
deserves a passing mention. This worthy was engaged 
in the " running trade," which was how the islanders 
politely referred to contrabandism, between the island 
and Whitehaven, where he had a feminine confederate 
of Manx origin who stored the smuggled spirits in the 
cellars of her public-house. Quilliam himself was a 
strict teetotaller. There are wonderful stories of the 
histrionic ability of the old sailor, romances wherein 
he play-acted that all his crew were down and dying 
with cholera, which frightened the revenue cutter's 
officer so much that a withdrawal was ordered, and the 
wily Quilliam immediately landed his entire cargo of 
spirits cased in mollags, sheep skins skinned out from 
the neck. Sometimes the smuggler, when hard 
pressed, would submerge his contraband in the dinghy, 


and leave it to the tender mercies of the deep, the while 
he clapped all sail on his sloop the Moddey Dhoo (black 
dog) and gave the revenue cutter a run worth remem- 
bering. The derelict dinghy was always found again, 
for Quilliam knew a thing or two. We had many 
smuggler kings, but Quilliam was the monarch of them 

The great labyrinthine caves of the coast played 
their parts in this drama of olden times, and often 
made effectual temporary store-houses for many a 
contraband cargo. Only temporary though, for " the 
Customs " knew the ins and outs of the rocky fast- 
nesses. Peel and Douglas, Ramsey and Castletown, 
with their narrow streets, typical smuggling lairs, and 
great cellared houses, tunnelled and channelled from 
one to another in a network of subterranean passages, 
gave safer sanctuary than the storm-swept caves and 
caverns watched over and guarded by the lynx-like 
Revenue men. The majority of the islanders had a 
hand in the great game, and the words of the old ditty 

And there's ne'er an old wife that loves a dram, 
But will mourn for the sale of the Isle of Man, 

meant a lot to the singers. For with the purchase of the 
small territory by the Crown the era of smuggling was 
practically ended, and before many years the once 
flourishing " running trade " was put down. 

A little army of successful Manxmen have " gone 
foreign," and settled beyond the seas. The sons of 
Mona make excellent colonists, and all over the world, 
at the very back of beyond, you meet them. By their 


names ye shall know them. The representative names 
of the Isle of Man are peculiar, and things apart. 
And the clannish they are for all ! 

To be able in a foreign country to say to a Manxman, 
" I am from the island," or to own a Manx name which 
will mark you out for " Manx ones " to recognize, is 
to be armed with a passport to a freemasonry of the 
staunchest description. 

I remember, more years ago than I care to count up 
now, arriving in a fearsome mining camp in the heart 
of the Western States a camp of a few primitive huts, 
and eighteen saloons, going night and day feeling 
that the bottom had dropped out of the world, and I 
hadn't a friend or a hope left in it. Suddenly a little 
tap came on the door of the sort of dog-kennel which 
was masquerading as my " home," and a big, brown, 
breezy stalwart stood on the threshold. He was 
dressed as a miner, but I seemed to see him in a blue 
knitted Jersey, with trousers of homespun, and big, 
well-greased sea-boots reaching to his knees. The 
smell of the ocean and the breath of the mountains 
clung about him, and crept into the odious little room. 

" They're tellin' me you're from the islan'," he said 
simply, laying down on an upturned packing case 
a wealth of welcome in the shape of primitive luxuries 
bought haphazard from the general store. " I'm 
from Marown," he volunteered. 

" And I'm from Rushen," I said, giving him my 
hand to grip. 

The shadow of the " green hills by the sea " seemed 
over us as we solemnly shook hands, 


Jim Cannell from Marown is one of our Manx heroes, 
too, a worthy fit to stand by the best, but no poet has 
ever sung of him. Great as any, he is quite unknown. 
Listen. You shall hear about him now. 

One night, a hot sultry horror of blackness, just 
recovering from the onslaughts of a sandstorm, the 
filthy quarter we called Chinatown took fire and flared 
up like tinder ; the fierce flames, fanned by the swirling, 
curling breeze licked up the wooden shacks in the all- 
consuming, gulping mouthfuls of a famishing demon. 
In and out their burning dwellings the Chinese crept, 
coming laden like loaded ants with salved household 
treasures. One house, shooting up flames to high 
heaven amid wreathed flumes of smoke, stood silent 
and deserted. It crackled to its doom unnoticed. 
Evidently its owner was away. Had there been water 
to spare, it seemed likely that the desolate homestead 
would not get any. I stood with Jim Cannell gazing 
at the spectral cabin with its outlining flames of 
trickling gold. The light shone full on his curly hair, 
and flickered on his firm-set mouth. So must his fore- 
fathers have looked as they lit the beacon fires of old 
times on some Hill of the Watch at home. 

A white face framed in a mass of black hair peered 
up at us, and a strange harsh, eager voice began to 
speak. I knew her. She was the only Chinese woman 
hi the place ; not many Chinese men cart their feminine 
belongings into the heart of the Western States. 
Round about her was a bright red shawl, dotted with 
black discs, and I suddenly found myself repeating in 
my mind the quaint little verse we used to address 


to the ladybirds who lived in the tree stems of the 
Manx glens 

Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home, 

Your house is on fire, your children are gone. 

She looked such a little small insect-like creature. 
I did not understand her pressing needs, though I 
saw she kept including the lonely hecatomb in her 
gesticulations. Jim knew ! Dragging his arm from 
the clinging clasp, before I could gather his purpose, 
the big Manxman was in the lurid doorway, a shower 
of sparks signalling his entrance as he displaced the 
lintel. We waited breathlessly ; the surging crowd of 
excited miners, the chattering Chinese, and the little 
woman huddled up on the ground moaning, moaning, 
and I 

Ah, there he is ! The cruel flames run up his sleeve, 
leap to his hair, and curve about him like writhing 
serpents. In his burning arms lies a compact bundle, 
a little mass of tightly-rolled blanket. Quick as an 
arrow from a bow the little ladybird figure takes the 
burden from the tottering fiery guardian, and sinks 
down with it, murmuring tender words words which 
every nation can understand. Then on the strained 
air comes a tiny cry, a baby's sleepy disturbed wail. 

They rolled Jim in anything handy blankets, 
matting, coats putting the flames out. Of the hand- 
some stalwart there was nothing but a suffering 
charred mass, a poor broken something twisting on the 
roughly improvised mattress. No use to try a cure 
for Jim ! His rambling course was run, and yet he 


rambled still. Now he was walking up the Ihergy by 
his home, the road he would never take again ; next 
he was catching the mottled trout in a small dubb be- 
hind the ruined tholthan, the haunted tholthan, you 
know, " the ' good people ' are tremenjous for it." 
Now and again he lapsed altogether into the Manx, 
but it was all " the lil islan', the HI islan'." 

" I've got no picture of it at me," he cried regret- 
fully. (The Manx always say " at me " when it 
should be " with me.") So I drew him one in fancy, 
of high green Archallagan, with Slieau Chiarn rising a 
Triton among minnows amid the mountain chain, of 
the emerald-tinted field where St. Patrick's Chair 
stands dominant upon the hill-side, of the little 
nestling glens and woods with the silver streams 
glinting and winking in the sunlight. 

" The lil islan'," he said again, and his voice trailed 

Jim Cannell was buried in Montana, and not in 
Marown, where his thoughts had always been. I 
made a little floral offering from the pink star-like 
flowers with the deep red hearts which dot the prairie 
ground of the Bitter Root Valley, and fashioned it 
into the Three Legs of Man. The miners wondered 
very much. Such an odd device, they thought. A 
cross, or a wreath, a broken-stringed harp, or an 
anchor maybe, all these were understandable, but 
this, this the emblem which belonged to the Man- 
nanagh dooie, the proud National Arms of his sea-girt 
home which blazed on the lonely grave, spoke to them 
not at all. 



These are people'of the island. 

The Tempest. 

This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear land. 

King Richard II. 

SOME chroniclers have it that in the little sentence, so 
often on Manx lips, " Traa dy liooar" (Time enough), 
the whole character of a native of the island is pre- 
sented in comprehensive panorama. In my judgment, 
based upon considerable experience, I should say that 
the outstanding quality of the Manx as a whole is 
inquisitiveness an overwhelming desire to know, to 
discover. This remarkable faculty of gathering and 
spreading " the newses," which sometimes amounts to 
a species of second-sight, is also highly developed in 
the northern counties of England, near neighbours of 
Mona. Just as the Manx know your business almost 
before you know it yourself, so do the inhabitants of 
Lancashire, Yorkshire, Durham, and Northumber- 
land burrow into and fathom your most private affairs. 
But in these counties they call the trait of inquisitive- 
ness run rampant " rugged straightforwardness of 
character," and affect to be very proud of it. I have 
known them go the length of describing the marked 



feature as a touch of " heart in the right place," that 
invariable solatium for all the puling weaknesses 
human nature goes in for. 

And since northerners think it necessary to cover 
up their tracks so carefully in the matter of this over- 
weening, if useful, curiosity, I shall cast a disguising 
cloak over the Manx variety. They are not inquisitive. 
They are explorers. 

It has been frequently asserted that the Manx have 
no sense of humour, and, like the Scotch, require a 
surgical operation before it is possible for them to see 
even the outlines of a joke. The femininity of Mona's 
Isle cannot expect to possess a modicum of the blessed 
faculty which keeps one ever young. Why should 
they be different from their sisters in all other parts of 
the world ? It has been impressed upon us through 
all the ages that, when God fashioned Eve from 
Adam's rib, He forgot to add the saving grace of 
humour. Every other charm, and a few over, He 
bestowed upon the wonderful creation ; but the most 
worth having, the indispensable gift which helps 
mortals to battle with the roughest seas in life, and 
grants the whimsical philosophy without which 
men are as chaff before the wind, was not remem- 
bered ! Only one man has been original enough to 
question all this. Mr. Barrie believes that the whole 
thing is a mistake, and that Eve was not contrived 
from a rib at all, but from Adam's funny bone ! Al- 
most he seems*to hint that latent and deep down there 
is a sense oHun in humourless women. I have thought 
so at times myself. But who am I that I should judge ! 


And so it falls out that I find humour deep, insidious, 
penetrating humour in all the Manx nation. You 
have but to hear a fisherman of the old school not one 
of the new-fangled variety who wears brown kid gloves 
on Sundays, and has bartered his sense of the ludi- 
crous for a mess of pottage relate some trifling hap- 
pening to realize the depth and the height of his 
innate comicality. It lies in what he keeps back as in 
what he relates, in the quiet knowing glint of his eye, 
the slow nod of his head, and the turn, and the twist, 
and the drawl of his tongue. 

The Manx, as I have said elsewhere, are a very 
poetical nation, although I do not think they know 
it. Many of their expressions and metaphors have 
a peculiar beauty, and the imaginative art in the nam- 
ing of commonplace, everyday surroundings is very 
striking. Is it not an exquisite fancy to call the 
Zodiac Cassan-ny-greiney, the footpath of the sun? 
The rainbow is Goll twoaie, going north. The prettiest 
simile of all, I think, is the one which expressively 
describes an anguish of compunction Craue beg 'sy 
cheeau, " a lil bone in the breas'." Do we not all 
know that painful, impossible-to-name pricking ? "A 
little bone in the breast " just describes it. The phrase 
for those up in years, or in failing health, is Goll sheese 
ny liargagh, going down the slope. Water does not 
prosaically boil. It plays. T'an ushtey cloie, the 
water is playing. 

Does not the swallow's name, Gottan-geayee, fork of 
the wind, illustrate in itself the arrow-like flight and 
swift swirls and darts of this small bird of passage ? 


And in the title of the goldfinch, Lossey-ny-cheylley, 
flame of the woods, the most unromantic of us can 
see the gleaming lustre of the golden-winged warbler 
shining amid the green of forested glades. All these 
simple expressions and apt christenings have an artless 
beauty all their own, elusive and indescribable. 

Many of the old folk-lore stories are hoary with 
weight of years, and have been handed down from 
one generation to another. In the winter evenings of 
long ago, the mothers of all time sitting by the chiollagh, 
where the turf smouldered dully, told the children 
skeelyn, stories, full of weird strange fancies and 
mysterious elfin magic. 

This fantastic imagery is found in all nations who 
live, or have lived, in tune with the infinite. It is 
born of the solitudes, and the silences, fostered by the 
glamour of the sea-girt coast, now cradled in slumbrous 
opal waters, now storm-washed by the surging waves 
dashing up the crannied boulders at the call of the 
leaping winds. 

The strain of melancholy with which the Manx 
regard every manifestation of Nature, natural or 
supernatural, comes to them from their ancestors of 
the chill fierce waters and wind-swept moors of the 
dark and silent north. To the northern races Nature 
shows her cruelty, her constant inconstancy and sombre 
sadness. Springs are so short, summers so fickle, 
winters so dreary and long. The fanciful outcome 
is not the Naiad, the Dryad, or the laughing joking 
faun, who haunt the glinting streams and enchanted 
glades of the leafy balmy south, where all the radiant 


throngs take forms of joyousness, with the song of 
spring on their elfin lips, the fragrance of summer 
on their floating robes, and the glory and whirl of 
merriest life in their laughing eyes. 

Manx proverbial sayings are intensely characteristic. 
These practical truths jewels, as Tennyson called 


That on the stretch'd finger of all time 
Sparkle for ever 

demonstrate vividly the many peculiarities of the little 
nation. Here are a few of the most representative 
proverbs and precepts : 

Keeayl chionnit, yn cheeayl share 

Mannagh vel ee kionnit ro ghayr. 

Bought wit, the best wit, 

If it be not bought too dear. 

Ta boa vie ny gha agh drogh Iheiy ee. 

Many a good cow hath but a bad calf. 

Cha row rieau cooid chebbit mie. 

Never were offered wares good. 

Oie mooie as oie elley sthie. 

Oik son cabbil, agh son kirree mie. 

One night out and another in, 

Bad for horses, but good for sheep. 

T'an aghaue veg shuyr dan aghaue vooar. 

The little hemlock is sister to the great hemlock. 

Tra ta un dooinney boght cooney lesh doinney boght 
elley, ta Jee hene garaghtee. 

When one poor man helps another poor man, God 
himself laughs. 


Nagh insh dou ere va mee, agh insh dou ere ta mee. 

Don't tell me what I was, but tell me what I am. 

Kiangle myr noid, as yiow myr carrey. 

Bind as an enemy, and you shall have a friend. 

Ny poosee eirey-inneen ny tan ayr eek er ny ve craghit. 

Do not marry an heiress unless her father has been 

Myr s'doo yn feagh yiow eh sheshey. 

Black as is the raven, he'll get a partner. 

Cur meer d'an feeagh, as hig eh reesht. 

Give a piece to the raven, and he'll come again. 

Lhiat myr hoittoo. 

To thee as thou deservest. 

Shegin goaill ny eairkyn marish y cheh. 

We must take the horns with the hide. 

Cha nee yn woa smoo eieys smoo vlieaunys. 

It is not the cow which lows the most will milk the 

Tra s'reagh yn chloie, share faagail jeh. 

When the play is merriest, it is better to leave off. 

Lurg roayrt hig contraie. 

After spring tide will come neap. 

Ta keeayll ommidjys ny sloo my fee ec dooinney 
creeney dy reayll. 

Wisdom is folly unless a wise man keeps it. 

Baase y derrey voddey, bioys y voddey elley. 

The death of one dog is the life of another. 

Eshyn nagh gow rish briw erbee t'eh deyrey eh hene. 

He who will acknowledge no judge condemns him- 


Caghlaa obbyr aash. 

Change of work is rest. 

Cha dooar rieau drogh veaynee corran mie. 

A bad reaper never got a good sickle. 

Sooree ghiare, yn tooree share. 

Short courting, the best courting. 

Eshyn ghuirrys skeeattey hayrtys skeealley. 

He who hatches tales shall be caught by tales. 

Faggys ta my Iheiney, agh ny sniessey ta my crackan. 

Near is my shirt, but nearer is my skin. 

Eshyn Ihieys marish moddee, irrys eh marish jar- 

He who will lie down with the dogs will rise up with 
the fleas. 

Ta lane eddyr raa as jannoo. 

There is much between saying and doing. 

Myr sloo yn cheshaght share yn ayrn. 

The smaller the company the bigger the share. 

Foddee yn moddey s'jerree tayrtyn y mwaagh. 

Maybe the last dog will catch the hare. 

Moyll y droghad myr heu harrish. 

Praise the bridge as thou wilt go over it. 

Mittish dy ghoaill, agh sharroo dy eeck. 

Sweet to take but bitter to pay. 

The old-time toast at all dinners was : Bioys da 
dooinney as baase da eeast : Life to man, and death 
to fish. And a scathing term of referring to the little 
island is : Ta airh er cushagyn ayns shen : There is 
gold on the cushags there. 


The chroniclers of old time hold the mirror up to 
Nature, and in the crystal depths show us the Manx- 
man at home in all his phases. Governor Chaloner, 
of the Commonwealth era, tells us that the natives were 
contented with " simple diet and lodgings ; their 
drink, water ; their meat, fish ; their bedding, hay or 
straw, generally ; much addicted to the musick of 
the violyne." Thomas Quayle, a Manxman himself, 
writing in 1810, describes the homes of the peasantry, 
and gives us a picture of the primitive cottages, with 
walls " about seven feet high, constructed of sods of 
earth, at each side the door appears a square hole 
containing a leaded window. Chimney there is none, 
but a perforation in the roof, a little elevated at one 
end, emits a great part of the smoke from the fire 
underneath. The timber forming the roof is slender, 
coarse, and crooked. It is thatched with straw, crossed 
chequerwise, at intervals of twelve or eighteen inches 
by ropes of the same material, secured either by being 
tied to the wall by means of coarse slates fixed or 
projecting, or by stones hanging from the ends of the 
ropes. The floor is of hardened clay ; the embers burn 
on a stone placed on a hearth, without range or 
chimney ; the turf smoke, wandering at random, 
darkens every article of furniture. ... In the northern 
district, where quarries of stone are less accessible and 
lime more distant, the cottages continue to be built in 
the primitive manner. In the southern, where building 
materials are comparatively more plentiful, stone and 
lime are used in the new cottages more frequently. The 
ancient mode of thatching and roping is still general." 


In parts of Man more or less untouched by rampant 
civilization, the cottages, though of stone now, with 
chimneys, are to this day of very primitive description. 
Still thatched, with ropings known as sugganes, locally 
twisted by U-shaped willow rods from straw teased 
out evenly from the flail, and tiny windows, set, as 
Thomas Quayle records, either side of the door. These 
small eye-holes are fixtures, and cannot be opened. 
Invalids in these poor homes cannot have the fresh- 
air cure if they want it, and as a rule ventilation is 
not regarded as a vital necessity. I can remember 
being in a little hovel at Fleswick, divided into two 
compartments with a window (save the mark!) in 
either, when the late Dr. Clague, the Manx worthy, 
came to pay a visit to a sick child. The mother 
wanted " a bottle," just a bottle that is how the 
Manx always speak of medicine ; but the child needed 
air, only air, and there was none in all the room. The 
wonderful understanding little medico looked at the 
frame of ever-and-ever Amen variety, and then 
methodically knocked out all four infinitesimal panes 
one by one. 

Speaking of the fare of the Manx of bygone ages, 
Waldron says that " the first course is always broth, 
which is served up, not in a soup-dish, but in wooden 
piggins, every man his mess. This they do not eat 
with spoons, but with shells, which they call sligs, 
very like our mussel shells, but much larger." 

The piggins Waldron writes of were the " noggins," 
wooden tumbler arrangements four or five inches in 
height, with a projection for handle. 


Twenty years ago the first course of every meal in a 
Manx cottage was certainly not broth. Broth was the 
Sunday dinner, the great event of the week. It was 
a jorum of potatoes, vegetables, and treat of treats ! 
a lump of meat, floating about in a bubbling riot with 
a suet pudding, sparsely dotted with currants. Some 
of this Gargantuan feast lasted for Monday's dinner, 
but through the rest of the week praase as skeddyn 
potatoes and herrings formed the diet of the peasantry, 
varied occasionally by toasted slices from one of the 
hard dried salt conger, hake, cod, or callig, which 
gleamed in white rows on the stone hedges or gorse 
bushes in the sun of summer, or formed dust-traps in 
the rafters of the cottage in winter. Every housewife 
laid down a barrel of salt herrings, and they were 
salter than salt itself. An afternoon call often meant 
the hospitality of a hastily frizzled fish, and all the way 
home you held your mouth wide open to cool your 
gasping throat. 

Bread was a real luxury in those days, and most 
fisher folk depended on the griddle cakes, a great heap 
of which was always baked by the housewife every 
week. These flat half-inch thick indigestion-inviters, 
baked upon a dry griddle, yellow with carbonate of 
soda, were of flour, mixed up with buttermilk. Fisher- 
men setting off to the herrings always laid in a goodly 

We often attended a baking day at a little cottage 
in Surby, and fell to on hot cakes fresh from the 
griddle. Sometimes our patient friend the gentle 
baker would add currants, an unheard-of luxury, and 


then almost we ate her out of house and home. Her 
true intent was all for our delight. She was a Hans 
Andersen, and in between sweeping away superfluous 
flour from the griddle with the white half-wing of a 
seagull, wove us stories of the Phynnodderee, and delved 
into a treasure chest of fairy lore, bringing up for our 
inspection the wonderful jewels hidden there. We 
knew that every one was a jewel, but sometimes we 
could not quite make out what sort of a jewel it was. 
We only felt that all were genuine. And such faceted 
gems ! 

Sometimes I seem to hear the soft low brushing 
still, and scent the crackling gorse burning beneath 
the griddle, and the murmurous voice of the dear old 
woman echoes down a vale of years : 

What if the spotted water-bull, 

And the Glashtin take thee, 

And the Phynnodderee of the glen, waddling 

To throw thee like a bolster against the wall ? 

The world has no such bakers now, such stories are 
not told ! 

The average Manxman has no enthusiasm ; if he has 
the trait latent he suppresses it, and gives no meed of 
praise or depth of disapproval. Everything is " midd- 
ling". " Middlin' fine day " when the sun turns the 
world to gold; "middlin' luck" when his nickey is 
loaded to her gunwale with fish ; " middlin' breeze " 
when the wind whistles through the gorse bushes, and 
lays the scraa grass flat before its gusty breath ; 
" middlin' quarrel " when he is fighting his neighbour 


tooth and nail backed by the power of the law. For 
the little nation are one and all great at " having 
the law on " each other. It is one of the customs, 
and therefore dear whilst it is cheap. 

I took a Manx fisherman with me to see the Passing 
of the Great Queen through her city for the last time. 
We had an excellent place where the majestic pageant 
passed in its pomp and pathos just below us. In the 
distance the solemn swelling notes of the Marche 
Funebre broke on the deep silence, rolling away down 
the serried ranks of the mourning concourse of people. 
Nearer, nearer yet rang the sombre dirge; and as it 
passed, quivering, a strange weird sound, like the hum 
of the sea in the distance, rose in indescribable over- 
whelming murmur, the united whisper of a multitude. 
I could scarcely see the gun-carriage, with its great 
small burden, my eyes were so full of tears. But the 
Manxman looked and looked unconcernedly, calmly. 

" Isn't it magnificent ? " I cried. " Isn't it glorious ? 
Isn't it the tribute of a great nation ? " 

" Middlin'," he said, " middlin' ! " 

The back of his big brown hand brushed non- 
chalantly over his eyes, and as I pretended not to look 
something told me that the sun-burnt skin was wet. 

" Middlin'," he repeated fiercely, " middlin'." 

The little nation as a whole are suspicious by nature, 
and shy and diffident with strangers, though they 
endeavour to hide this under a careless off-hand air, 
all the time, as the Manx poet, Tom Brown, has it, 
" bittendin' to be cool." 

To get a plain answer to a straight question is an 


impossibility. The Manx fence with a query, reply 
to it with another, or change the subject altogether. 
If they are backward in answering they come forward 
in questioning, and being inquisitive I mean ex- 
plorers they exercise this faculty in sharp interroga- 
tories propounded shrewdly. Voltaire says we must 
judge of a man by his questions rather than by his 
answers, and this, perhaps, is the way to criticize this 
well-known trait in the natives of Mona. They are 
gossips too, amazing gossips, " wonderful clevah at 
gatherin' the newses," and disseminating more than 
they ever picked up, but friendly, familiar, and hospit- 
able, " for all," whilst their powers of acute observa- 
tion raise the most ignorant peasant to a level far 
surpassing that of the same class of person on " the 
adjacent isles." 

Left to himself a Manxman is not keen on politics, 
and he only acquires the taste. He is serenely in- 
different to the rack of parties, perhaps because such 
ambuscades do not exist in Man, or again perhaps 
because he is of too fixed and staunch a character to 
grapple successfully with the Proteus-like changes 
without which it seems no man can ever be a great 
and ardent politician. There is nothing of the chame- 
leon about a Manxman. It is " What I have said, I 
have said " with him every time. 

Religious feeling, sometimes amounting to fanatic- 
ism, lies deep at the heart of the Manx nation, and 
Sunday is very strictly observed, although, as a whole, 
the tension is not so tightly screwed as it was two 
decades ago. Many of the inhabitants have " gone 


asthray " considerably from the Puritanical tenets of 
old times. 

I recollect, long ago, watching a small yacht drag 
her anchor one breezy Sunday, and wreck herself upon 
the rocks, the while many stalwart fishermen watched 
her drift to her doom. A small boat and a tow rope 
would have saved the situation at once, but because 
it was the seventh day of the week the ready help 
which would have been forthcoming upon any other 
was withheld. It was the hereditary instinct, the 
inborn habits of centuries coming out. The old 
statutes laid down stringent injunctions for the keeping 
of the Sabbath, and the compulsions and penalties 
which the civil authorities forgot to enumerate were 
attended to by the powers ecclesiastical. 

In 1610 nobody was " admitted to fish from Satur- 
day morning till Sunday at night after sundown, upon 
paine of forfeiture of his boat and netts," and towards 
the close of the century the time-limit was extended 
to Monday. As Friday was a dies non by reason of 
some unexplainable superstition against going out to 
the herrings, the toilers of the deep in past generations 
had a fair amount of time to bestow on their small 
holdings. Almost everyone had his scrap of the 
island's surface, and farmed in between fishing. The 
great claddaghs, or wastes, were free areas for the cattle, 
and to this day many small farmers in different dis- 
tricts possess the right to graze three or four sheep 
on estates which once formed part of the common 

" Takin' in vis' tors " this has no double entendre* 


may now be considered the staple trade. The fishing 
is not what it was, or even what it might be, and in 
the height of the season our sea-girt isle gets much of 
its fish from Grimsby, the local market standing 
paralysed until the arrival of the necessarily large 
supply. , 

The great days of the shipbuilding trade have passed 
likewise, when the clang of the hammer on the white 
ribs of the mighty wooden skeletons echoed across the 
harbours of Peel and Port St. Mary. 

" I seen the time " when the great fleets making 
ready for the Kinsale fishing were packed like sar- 
dines in the port, their masts standing straight and 
thick as uncleared bush in British Columbia, and the 
scent of the tanning of the nets filled the old streets. 

In 1840 the shipbuilding trade was at its zenith, 
and the island built vessels of the swiftest kind for 
all parts of the world. A flourishing business, also, 
was carried on with Italy, Spain,, and Portugal. The 
Manxmen took over cargoes of their famous salted 
fish, and brought back shiploads of the wine of the 

The little island has bettered itself and the position 
of its inhabitants by adopting enthusiastically a paying 
livelihood, but it is impossible to repress a feeling of 
regret for the picturesque days of the vast fleets 
setting off to the herrings, with the ways at them, 
and the fish at them, and the great brave hearts at 

There are, of course, herring boats still in Mona 
fishermen too, a few, of the old school ; but the royal 


days when it counted if the boats went or stayed, 
and the old proverb, " No herring, no wedding," 
meant just all the world are, as the unhappy noble- 
man in Maritana observed, one of the memories of the 

A very few more years now will perhaps see the 
death of the Manx language, and the shrewd sayings, 
the dry wise knowledge, the wit and the soul and the 
heart of it will pass like a shadow. There is a more 
than prophetic warning in the old proverb, " Dyn glare, 
dyn cheer," No language, no country. 

I think the Manx tongue began to decay as the subtle 
poetical atmosphere commenced to fade in the nation. 
I have noticed in distant corners of the earth, among 
primitive peoples, that education and imagination 
cannot run in double harness. Poetry and imagina- 
tion in the Manx grows less each year ; both traits are 
dying out, and with them the tongue which voiced 
the beautiful thoughts of the old-time people. The 
atmosphere of necromantic fancy, of fantastic imagery, 
which we see in our place names, read in our stories, 
and know of from the traditions of all time, is almost 
gone from the little nation. 

" It were much to be wished, for the sake both of 
our literature and our life, that imagination would 
again be content to dwell with life . . . and that 
imagination were again to be found, as it used to be, 
one of the elements of life itself." 

Of necessity a people change with changed con- 
ditions. Every nation embodies in itself what Plato 
called the Great Year. Each has a sowing time, a 


growing time, a weeding time, an irrigating time, and 
then the harvest time, when all things spring to giant 
strength. We do not want to garner any tares with 
our Manx Melliah. Education is a fine thing, a great 
thing, and gives us everything, no matter how poor 
we may be. For there is one great consolation for 
the poor in these days, and that is that the most 
lasting pleasures most worth having cost but little 
in actual cash. We may know the greatest men who 
ever lived, and for next to nothing. Whilst we exalt 
the advantages of education, we cannot but regret the 
way it has, the annihilating it does, as we recall the 
poetry and the symmetry of thought which exists no 

Well, let us to what Byron calls " sublime philo- 

Coal is not found in Man, but mines of zinc and 
silver lead have been worked successfully for years. 
The ancient mines of Bradda are closed now, and the 
shafts stand grey and desolate on the coast-line, with 
the surge of the sea close about the once busy cavernous 

The salt mine at the Ayre has just begun to pay a 
dividend thanks be ! It is a very youthful hope as 
yet, with expectations. 

The limestone of the south is much used, and among 
other monuments the local rock built Castle Rushen. 
Sandstone at Peel is a valuable asset also. Manxland 
has farms too, prosperous, well-managed farms, and 
perhaps they count most of all. Mining and quarry- 
ing are forms of devastation ; work may not cease for 


years upon years, but there is a limit. The farmer is 
the man who makes a land prosperous. He is a 
benefactor, a home-maker, working for generations yet 
unborn. The miner and the quarryman have their 
part in the great scheme, but by the decree of Nature 
it is the home-maker who lives on and on when the 
mines have given of their treasure, and crumbled 
cliffs and desolate rifts are the only monuments that 
tell of workers turned to dust. 

To the Manx farmer we look for the upholding of 
the insular characteristics. The race of fishermen 
will die out they are dying now, and their nets will 
soon be the trammels of the lodging-house keeper. A 
fisherman lodging-house keeper ! Sons of the sea who 
have left their calling for a life of lazy idleness. Do 
they long, I wonder, for the bygone times, for the song 
of the wind in the shrouds, and the churn and the toss 
of the waves at the bows ? 

Yes, they remember ! 

There's a beautiful insinuating little thing in my 
mind, a cry from the heart of a jungle man, a jungle 
man condemned to an office stool. It runs : 

I was a man 

Ere these dull bonds of servitude began ; 

And wild in woods, a happy savage man. 

Paraphrased, there, a few years hence, will be found 
the requiem of the Manx fisherman. 



Let me not to the marriage of true minds 
Admit impediments. 

Sonnet CXVI. 

SARAH GORRY, the buxom Manx girl, who what she 
calls " does " for the Warrior, was married yesterday 
to Mattoo Gawne, skipper of a herring boat in the 
Port. His godfathers and godmothers in his baptism 
christened the sailorman Matthew ; but the pro- 
nunciation eludes Sarah, and she cannot manage it. 
Very nearly we had no wedding at all, for just before 
the appointed time the bride-to-be wondered, as so 
many have done before her, whether or no matrimony 
were not too risky a concern to take a share in. The 
wedding took place from the Warrior's house, for 
Sarah is an orphan from Laxey way, and had no 
relatives to see her over the Great Step. 

I was looking to my roses when the Warrior came 
in, saying excitedly that his henchwoman was ready, 
all in her wedding kit, waiting for Lochinvar to come 
in the pill-box on wheels, which is the substitute in 
Manxland for a cab, a boxed-in wagonette really, and 
now, now, would I believe it, Sarah felt the whole 
thing was a mistake, and she was quite sure she did not 



desire to be married at all. " And she must," he 
wound up, " because I will not go on eating Manx 
curry any longer ! " 

So like a man ! Curry ! That was all he cared about. 
And Sarah thought of her whole a long life ! 

" But why, why ? " I asked in surprise. " Why 
doesn't she wish to be married ? " 

" How can I tell? " answered the Warrior snappishly. 
" Unless," here a bright idea struck him " unless 
she has been dipping into George Bernard Shaw. I 
left him lying open on my desk. Fool that I was ! " 
he added. I laughed for who could help it ? and went 
to reason with the reluctant bride. There she sat 
dolorously in all her finery of " plum-colour." I do 
not think a village wedding is legal in the Isle of 
Man unless the bride or a bridesmaid wears " plum- 
colour." From time immemorial this tint has been 
the dominating one for bridal get-ups. 

Two attendant maids, in gay hats and multi- 
coloured garments, stood by the kitchen fire, obviously 
out of conceit with themselves, their hopes of a happy 
day under the dripping trees of well-soaked Glen Meay 
dashed to the ground. 

" What is this, Sarah ? " I asked. " You do not want 
to marry Mattoo ? And nearly time to start. Why 
have you changed your mind ? " 

" For," said Sarah, darkly. 

" But you must have a reason. Why are you not 
prepared to carry out your promise ? " 

" Because." 

These two words are the almost invariable replies 


in Manxland to all questions on earth. In the two 
catapultic remarks lies the explanation of all mysteries. 
If you are not content with "For," if its comprehensive- 
ness does not in its amplitude satisfy, then as an 
alternative you can have " Because," and with two 
such potent keys to a situation surely you see the 
door wide open for you. 

But I persevered, refusing to be put off. Against all 
the canons of Manx conventionality I ruthlessly 

" ' For' and ' because' do not really constitute any 
explanation, Sarah. What is your reason for making 
such a fool of Mattoo ? " 

At last Sarah was understood to gasp, in between 
sobs, that she had nothing against " Himself" no- 
thing; but a gull had settled on the chimney that 
morning, and every one knows that when a gull settles 
on a house it portends a storm. 

" But outside, you know," I interrupted ; " not 
within ! " 

Well, suppose the gull had lighted there to warn the 
bride of stress in the future. Suppose just suppose 
Mattoo ceased to care for her in time to come. Sup- 
pose even that his affection waned even in a little 
year ! In such case Sarah would prefer much pre- 
fer to " do " for the Major. She was quite certain 
she would. 

" That is very nice of you, very worthy and proper," 
I said, disregarding the telegraphic message from the 
Warrior's eyes. " She has done me long enough," 
they seemed to say ; "do not, I beg of you, urge 


her to remain ! " But, of course, I was not going to 
be put off doing my duty as one woman to another. 
I had to forget all about the shortcomings of the Manx 
curry and other housekeeping deficiencies, and went on 
to explain that Mattoo, being what Mrs. Humphry 
Ward calls " a male man," could not be expected to 
continue the devoted lover for ever. 

" Why not ? " demanded Sarah tearfully. 

" Because," I said pompously, " sweet Nature, for 
some good purpose of her own, made man with variable 
passions, at the same time as she contrived the laws of 
heat ; but she made dear woman all steady patience. 
A man flares up and scorches himself out, a woman 
burns slowly, and lasts longer. And if it were not so," 
I added to myself, rather sadly, " all things would 
be awry." 

A rumble of wheels. Mattoo and two stalwart sup- 
porters. All three emerged from the comical convey- 
ance, all three in shiny blue broadcloth, bowler hats, 
and outsized gloves, with an inch of emptiness hanging 
from each finger-tip. 

The face of the bride cleared like the noon of an 
April day. Marry Mattoo ? Of course ! The by- 
play was merely a lever-de-rideau, put into the morning 
to make it more difficult. 

The wedding party climbed into the little hot-house 
box on wheels, windows well sealed up, and off to the 
parish church ; afterwards to spend the day in Glen 
Meay. To the house-warming of the evening the 
Warrior and I had faithfully promised to go. 

As we crossed to the thatched cottage on the beach, 


which was Sarah's new home, a beautiful pure- 
plumaged seagull settled on the chimney. We looked 
at one another and smiled. 

" Ta lhane klinkyn ayns car-y-phoosee ! " the Warrior 
said laughingly, quoting the well-known proverb, 
" There are many twists in the nuptial song," which 
is the polite Manx way of suggesting that matrimony 
has its drawbacks. 

Inside the cottage the entire village seemed to be 
congregated. The postmistress headed the congested 
assembly, her reserved attitude betraying the im- 
mensity of her condescension, and the subconscious- 
ness of the vast social gulf lying betwixt herself and 
our hosts. Manx by birth, her official position brought 
her into constant contact with the summer visitors, 
whose imported airs and graces overlay the strata 
of inborn simplicity. Miss Watterson had adopted 
so many affectations of speech, remnants of admired 
prototypes, that very often, when well embarked on a 
sentence, she forgot the particular brand of mannerism 
she had commenced with, and the whole word swirled 
on its pivot. 

" It's a lady's dress, that's what it is," said Miss 
Watterson approvingly, as she handled a fold of 
Sarah's plum-coloured gown. " A lady's dress. I 
should say so anywhere." 

" Iss lek iss not a gentleman's, for all ! " interpolated 
the village wit. 

' 'Deed on, Ambrose ! Hear the clevah tongue 
arrim ! " retorted Miss Watterson, lapsing into Anglo- 
Manx, " lek enough you'll be in the Keys yet, lad." 


" I would'n' thruss ! " laughed Ambrose. 

The table staggered beneath the weight of the entire 
tea-service presented by the Warrior, and in moments 
of abstraction the bride filled up every cup from a 
Gargantuan teapot. Nobody appeared to drink the 
tea. The cups stood, grew cold, whereupon an excited 
guest poured the whole lot away, and then the bride 
filled up as before. 

Manx weddings of to-day of the village class vary 
but little in their rejoicings from those of any other 
part of Great Britain. A jaunt to Glen Helen or 
Groudle, or a tiring day among the shops in the 
metropolis of Douglas, by the immediate wedding 
party, bride and bridesmaids, groom and groomsmen, 
is the usual festivity, winding up with a little house- 
warming in the new home or the old. There are signs 
that evolution is at work among old-fashioned marriage 
celebrations in Man as in other things. The excursion 
once so looked forward to is being lengthened to " a 
trip across the wather." One fashionable fisherman 
of my acquaintance went so far as to take his bride 
to " Put a sight on London." 

Writing of the customs which obtained in Manx 
weddings of some eighty years ago, Train says : 
" When two persons agreed to become united in 
matrimony, and this had been proclaimed in the 
parish church on three several Sundays, all the rela- 
tions and friends of the young people were invited 
to the bridal, and generally attended, bringing with 
them presents for the " persons about to begin the 
world.' Their weddings, as in Galloway, were gener- 


ally celebrated on a Tuesday or a Thursday. The 
bridegroom and his party proceeded to the bride's 
house, and thence with her party to church the 
men walking first in a body, and the women after 
them. On the bridegroom leaving his house, it was 
customary to throw an old shoe after him, and in like 
manner an old shoe after the bride on her leaving her 
house to proceed to church, in order to ensure good 
luck to each respectively ; and if, by stratagem, either 
of the bride's shoes could be taken off by any spectator 
on her way from church, it had to be ransomed by the 
bridegroom. On returning from church, the bride 
and bridegroom walk in front, and every man with 
his sweetheart, in procession, often to the number 
of fifty. The expenses of the wedding dinner and 
drink are sometimes paid by the men individually. 
It was formerly the custom after the marriage had 
been performed for some of the most active of the 
young people to start off at full speed for the bride- 
groom's house, and for the first who reached it to 
receive a flask of brandy. He then returned in all 
haste to the wedding party, all of whom halted, and 
formed a circle. He handed spirits first to the bride- 
groom, next to the bride, and then to the rest of the 
company in succession, each drinking the health of the 
new-married couple. After this the party moved on 
to the bridegroom's house, on the arrival at the door 
of which the bridecake was broken over the bride's 
head, and then thrown away to be scrambled for by 
the crowd usually attendant on such occasions." 
Fun waxed fast and furious. The chapel organist 


sampled the new harmonium, playing Mylecharaine 
and Ny kirree fo niaghtey, the " Sheep under the Snow," 
to a rousing chorus which reverberated through the 
rafters of the cottage. The old-time Manx character 
is largely embodied in the ancient airs of Manxland. 
Not so much in the words, which are rarely joyous, 
as in the mournful weird cadence of the plaintive 
music, traditional melodies which give the general 
idea of having existed for ages before it was thought 
necessary to wed words to them. Very often the 
threnetic tunes are noticeably antiquated, whilst the 
verses reflect a real latter-day spirit. The best known 
of the Manx ballads is the so-called national air 
Mylecharaine, with its curious moaning lilt, and Ny 
kirree fo niaghtey. They are sung at all sorts of fes- 
tivities, in season and out of season. 

After winter of snow, 
And spring-tide of frost, 
The old sheep were dead, 
And the small lambs alive. 

Then comes the desponding chorus : 

Oh ! get up shepherds, and 
To the hill go ye, 
For the sheep deep as ever 
Are under the snow. 

They will not sound very wonderful as you hear 
them rendered now, but if you could but turn the 
hands of the clock back, and Time with it, and listen 
to Mylecharaine in old Manx, you might catch the grip, 
and the soul, and the weird fascination of it. Perhaps 
a lot of its charm lies in its mystery, for we are not 


quite sure what it is all about. T. E. Brown suggests 
that " A dowry for the first time in the Isle of Man, 
is given to a daughter, and is condemned by the lieges 
as of evil precedent," and Mr. A. W. Moore gathers 
from the quaint " poem " that the old miser Myle- 
charaine, who lived in the Curragh, had a daughter 
" who paid more attention to her attire than he did 
to his, and that, in consequence of being the first man 
in Man who broke through the old custom of not 
giving a dowry to daughters on their marriage, he was 
the object of a terrible curse." 

Evidently an imprecation of Mollaght Mynney 
variety, the most comprehensive evil in the Manx 
language which it is possible to call down. A curse 
of curses, a very Juggernaut of destruction. 

George Borrow tells us, in his Notes on the Isle of 
Man, how he visited in 1855 a family named Myle- 
charaine, who lived in the Curragh, whom he found 
to be lineal descendants of the historical miser of the 
name. He added that, however niggardly their 
ancestor may have been, the offspring, by all the laws 
of contraries, were of the most hospitable natures. 
And here, after all this preamble, is the famous ballad 
in its English robe. It sits more stiffly than the Manx, 
and lacks the simple melancholy of the vernacular. 
There are many translations of it, and this one from 
the Manx Society's publications and Gawne's MS., 
translated and adapted by Mr. A. W. Moore in his 
Manx Ballads is perhaps the best, as George Bor- 
row's I, who am a Borrovian, should not perhaps 
admit this is certainly the very worst. 




O Mylecharaine, where gott'st thou thy store ? 
Lonely didst thou leave me ; 


Did I not get it in the Curragh, deep, deep enough ? 
And lonely didst thou leave me. 


O Mylecharaine, where gott'st thou thy stock ? 
Lonely didst thou leave me ; 


Did I not get it in the Curragh between two blocks ? 
And lonely didst thou leave me. 


Mylecharaine, where gott'st thou what's thine ? 
Lonely didst thou leave me. 


Did I not get it in the Curragh between two sods ? 
And lonely didst thou leave me. 

1 gave my web of tow and my web of flax, 
Lonely didst thou leave me ; 

And I gave my ox for the daughter's dower, 
And lonely didst thou leave me. 


O father, O father, I am now ashamed, 
Lonely didst thou leave me ; 
Thou art going to church in white carranes, 
And lonely didst thou leave me. 

O father, O father, look at my smart shoes, 
Lonely didst thou leave me ; 
And thou going about in thy white carranes, 
And lonely didst thou leave me. 


Yes, one carrane black, and the other one white, 
Lonely didst thou leave me ; 
Mylecharaine, going to Douglas on Saturday, 
And lonely didst thou leave me. 

Yes, two pah* of stockings, and one pair of shoes, 
Lonely didst thou leave me ; 
Thou didst wear, Mylecharaine, in fourteen years, 
And lonely didst thou leave me. 


O damsel, O damsel, thou needst not to be ashamed, 
Lonely didst thou leave me ; 

For I have in my chest what will cause thee to laugh, 
And lonely didst thou leave me. 


My seven bitter curses on thee, O Mylecharaine, 
Lonely didst thou leave me ; 
For thou'rt the first who to women gave dower, 
And lonely didst thou leave me. 

A curse on each man that rears a daughter, 
Lonely didst thou leave me ; 
As did Juan Drummey and Mylecharaine, 
And lonely didst thou leave me. 

For Juan Drummey got the wealth on the hill, 
Lonely didst thou leave me ; 
Mylecharaine got the wealth on the flat, 
And lonely didst thou leave me. 

Next the tireless musician wheedled the palpitating 
harmonium into a make - believe two - step, and the 
wedding guests " danced " on a little earthen floor 
as big as a handkerchief. " Oranges and lemons " 
followed, everyone, arms round waists, threading be- 
neath the outstretched arms of the two tallest people. 
What an advantage to be tall ! The Warrior had not 


to embrace anyone, whereas I had to try and man- 
oeuvre my arms round the mammoth middle of the 
village cobbler. I suppose a sedentary life makes for 
embonpoint. I did wish I had evaded him and clutched 
the emaciated postman instead, for all the time Kelly, 
the cobbler, slipped like an eel from my grasp, with 
the result that half the human chain dashed with 
force against the creaking wall. 

In the forfeit finale Sarah was a kiss in arrears, to be 
paid her by the small Mr. Gorry, the local baker. 

" Quat for shouldn't he take the like ? " said Mat- 
too, darkly, as everyone laughed and chaffed, and con- 
sidered the possible state of Mattoo's feelings. " Quat 
f or ? " glaring at Mr. Gorry, in pretended assent, and 
a do-it-if-you-dare expression in his eyes. 

Tis a valiant flea that dares take his breakfast on 
the lip of a lion. The All-Understanding One told us 
so, and though perhaps he may not be a personal 
friend of Mr. Gorry's, that thoughtful man, being a 
master in the art of compiling recipes, knew enough 
to feel sure that a measure of the truest courage is 
always mixed with the quality of circumspection. 
The hour grew so late that it became early, and with 
a final chorusing of the somewhat unsuitable Mylecha- 
raine the merry guests trooped off homewards, waving 
Adieu, adieu, to Sarah standing proudly in the door- 
way with " Himself " straight and tall beside her. 

The moon, wreathed in filmy gossamer, looked over 
a balustrade of stars, limning clear the far faint misty 
hills, and shining through her gauzy cloak made 
arabesques upon the sea. So silent ! So quiet ! Just 


the tiny wavelets breaking on the stony beach, and 
the tinkling clatter, clatter of the tiny pebbles racing 
and receding with the sea. Hesperus of the high 
heavens has spent his lamp. 

Night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast 
And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger. 

On the still air the voice of an early shepherd calls 
the cows from the fields. Hor ! Hor ! and down in 
the rocks and caves of the inlet " the daughter of the 
voice," that poetical synonym which the Jews of old 
time had for the echo nymph, translated the command 
into airy nothingness. 

The smoke from the chimney stack of Sarah's tiny 
cottage rises and hangs in the still air. The gull has 
gone, and his call meant nothing at all. For inside 
the little home everything goes very well. 

It is " baking day," and griddle cakes are almost 
manufacturing themselves. The old dresser, black 
with weight of years, supports copper- tinted jugs and 
a wealth of bright-blue china handed down to Mattoo 
from his ancestors. On a corner he two copies of the 
Queen's Christmas gift books, and the " chiss of 
drawers " boasts two more. The proverb about look- 
ing a gift horse in the mouth is known in the " lil 
islan' " almost as well as in the greater, but Sarah 
would be forgiven if she looked the historical steed 
square in the jaws. Every Christmas present the 
poor girl had took the form of a copy of the royal 
work. I gave one without consul ting the Warrior, 


he gave one without consulting me, the vicar's wife 
presented a third without thinking, and Mattoo con- 
tributed a fourth because he thought too much. It 
was really rather like the picnic to which every single 
person took a ham, and nothing in the wide world 
else. Not a life-saving morsel of bread, or a dab of 
mustard, nor a knife, nor a fork, just a glut of hams, 
smoked and plain, enough to set up a provision shop 
in a creditable way of business. 

Fate, tricksy dame, had played no pranks with 
Mattoo's happiness. His cup overflowed with the 
lavishness of Sarah's thought. She quite overlooked 
the counsel of the cynic to femininity, who advocated 
the keeping of a deep store-chest, stoutly padlocked, 
for the love which often dies of indigestion, and needs 
a frugal menu. 

" He thinks ter'ble heavy," volunteered Sarah, her 
hands in the flour. This was an enigma. Thinks 
terrible heavy ! Ah, Mattoo is a deep erudite dreamer, 
beyond the ken of his wife, no draw-back this, in these 
days of omelette souffle brains. 

" Yiss, he sets down there immajent, and ' Aw, the 
tired I am for all. Don't talk to me, Sarah, bogh, I'll 
be thinking.' And it's asleep he is. He thinks ter'ble 
heavy, ter'ble heavy." 

Clever Mattoo ! For Sarah's a wearying chatter- 

" Think too," I advised. " Retaliate on the prin- 
ciple of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." 

" Aw dear, me think ! " and she laughed. 

Well, of course it was rather amusing. She never 


had a thought in her head. Went on expecting the 
hens to lay long after they had gone " clorky " and 
demanded a dozen eggs apiece for themselves. I for- 
get. Perhaps you will not know what " gone clorky " 
means. It is the Manx way of saying " broody," 
and a very ingenious definition too, if you come to 
think of it, for the fowls do say " clork ! " in between 
moments of strenuous fussiness. 

Through the small panes of the window we can see 
the fleet streaking off to the horizon, Mattoo's craft 
forging ahead. Sarah can always pick his vessel from 
all the rest. To me, to you, every nickey looks alike, 
same fore and aft, same beam, same lug sail, same 
mizzen, but to a fisherman and his belongings some 
divination, intuition, or second-sight explains who's 
who in the herring-boat world. 

Do you know why the Manx vessels are called 
nickeys ? They used to be termed smacks, until the 
Cornishmen came over to the herrings in 1850, or 
thereabouts, and introduced a different style of rig 
into the island. Almost every Cornishman bore the 
Christian name of Nicholas, just as so many Manxmen 
bear the surname of Christian, and in revolutionizing 
the old type of fishing smack the Manx gave the 
Phoenix rising from the ashes the commemorative 
title of " Nickey." 



Flowers o' the Spring. 

The Winter's Tale. 

Here's flowers for you. 

The Winter's Tale. 

I'M nearing the port, after a long, long week away. It 
is my birthday, too. I want to make haste to the glen 
and gather primroses, primroses, a wealth of the 
golden stars, to decorate the cake which will be the 
piece-de-resistance of my party. There is nobody to 
" party " with me save the Warrior, but, after all, he 
is like Mannanaris solitary soldier, the necromancy of 
my mind makes him seem a host in himself. 

Spring is in all the air, and countless birds sing of 
summer days to come. On a fragile branch of gorse, 
so slender that it dips in bow-like curve, a little yellow- 
hammer, his coat in glory of splendour, chants his 
trilling song, a different lilt to his greedy summer call, 
for 'tis a witching lure, a joyous note of pleading ten- 

" Love-me-a-little-if-you-can ! Love-me-a-little-if- 
you-can ! " dropping his voice persuasively. " Love- 
me-a-little-if-you-can ! " 





Poised like a klipspringer on a pinnacle of rock, 
high over the vast labyrinthine caves of the inlet, the 
first visitor of summer is climbing on and on, to the 
wind-swept uplands. Whether she will ever reach 
them is another story, for she battles with a lengthy 
skirt as she crawls from point to point, and realizes at 
every step, with the Chevalier D'Eon, that it is one 
thing to live in petticoats in times of peace, and quite 
another hi times of stress. 

The glinting staircase of the noonday sun outlines 
in gold a lazily drifting boat with a watchful fluke- 
spearer gazing intently down, down into the sandy 
shallows. His two-pronged trident catches the light 
as the gleaming fork strikes into the sea with lightning 

Amid the green-tipped stems of the little glen a 
thrush throbbed o'er the silence, and above all is the 
hush and the scent and the expectancy of spring. 
The glade is carpeted with blossoms, the yellow of the 
primroses commingles with the wild hyacinths, whose 
nodding bells toll for ever the death of Hyacinthus, 
and on the tongued petals we can still trace Apollo's 
grief. Look carefully and you can read the fragile 
sign, the symbol of the Greek Woe ! Woe ! A cry 
from the heart of a god. 

Wherever you go a world of colour, wreathing the 
marge of the silver stream, and from out the fern- 
filled mossy hollows the violets, scentless, sweetly 
obtrusive, peep up, and seem to ask to be gathered. 
The jewels of the treasure-house are so many I shall 
scarce be robbing if I take a few. 


But someone else is here before me, someone 
his hands are full of flowers ! Garden pansies, too, 
and that's for thoughts. 

The spirit of spring, scattering her wealth, flickers 
across the river, and decks the glade with a miracle of 
wondrous blossoming. " The time of the singing birds 
is come." Down the emerald rift the little harbinger 
chants on and on in torrents of melody, sweetly, 
sibilantly, " Love-me-a-little-if-you-can ! Love-me-a- 
little-if-you-can ! " 



A win, river 
Bane, vane, white 
Beg, veg, small 
Broogh, brow, bank 
Carnane, cairn 
Carrick, rock 
Claddagh, waste 
Clogh, stone 
Cronk, hill 
Curragh, fen 
Cushag, ragwort 
Dhoo, black 
Dubb, pool 

Elian, island 
Ghaw, chasm 
Keeil, chapel 
Kione, head 
Lag, hollow 
Lhergy, hillside 
Lough, lake 
Meanagh, middle 
Mooar, vooar, large, 


Slieau, mountain 
Stack, stacklike rock 
Traie, shore, beach 

By AGNES HERBERT. With numerous 
Illustrations. Demy 8vo. Price, izs. 6d. net. 
Postage 6d. extra. <$> <$ 6 <2> <& 


pr . 

pleasure, while the whole volume contains such a record of interesting and thrilling 

adventure as one rarely meets with." 

The Field. " The story is told with great animation throughout, and with a 
sense of humour that carries one on attentively to the end. We shall be much 
mistaken if this very attractive volume on big game shooting is not soon in a 
second edition." 

The Athenaum. "That most attractive book, 'Two Dianas in Somaliland,' 
which shows the author to be almost as skilful with her pen as with the rifle ; and 
that is saying a great deal. The book is exceptionally interesting." 

Thi County Gentleman. " Miss Herbert's light, breezy style in dealing with the 
humours of camp life is highly entertaining. We have never read a more piquantly 
written narrative of big game shooting." 

Country Life. " This sprightly and amusing book, full of wild life and adventure, 
of difficulties and dangers pluckily overcome is a welcome change after the 
innumerable recitals of ' mere man ' in Africa." 

The World. " Miss Herbert wields her pen to good purpose. She has a keen 
sense of humour, she goes straight to the point, she scorns padding in purple 
patches, and yet so vivid is her style that she at once interests the reader in her 
subject. No man, and few women, will fail to follow her to the end of her 

The Liverpool Post. " It is a most chatty and vivacious account. The book 
can be enjoyed by all, sportsmen or not, and it will assuredly take an honoured 
place among its kind." 

The Daily News." Certain to receive a friendly welcome from the general 
reader. A keen eye for the humorous side of things, a fluent and lively pen, and 
occasionally the display of a somewhat caustic wit, make the volume most amusing 
reading. We congratulate the authoress on the lively narrative. One can only 
hope that she will once again go a-hunting, and once again tell its story." 

The Birmingham Post. "This is a book to read, if only for its delightfully 
unconventional vein ; and there is a subtle suggestion of romance about it too." 

The Dundee Advertiser. " The book in some respects is marvellous. It is the 
revelation of a sportswoman's mind. Miss Herbert has a facile pen." 

The Manchester Courier. " Miss Herbert's book is written light-heartedly. It is 
a delightfully humorous and witty record. It is also an assuming one." 

The Daily Telegraph. "This finely-printed and well-illustrated volume is a 
thoroughly entertaining and amusing record. Every sportsman will find this brisk 
and vivacious narrative to his taste." 

The Daily Mail. " ' Two Dianas in Somaliland ' is a book out of the common 
run . . . very attractive reading." 

The Scotsman. "Certainly no one who reads this narrative will fail to be 
keenly interested and amused." 

The D^aily Chronicle. " You need not be a sportsman or a sportswoman to 
enjoy this book, because it has a vivacity which would carry any reader along. It 
is written with the merry heart that goes all the day, and it has much to record 
besides lion killing." 

The Evening Standard. " We are sure that no such story was ever related with 
greater charm or incisiveness. The volume is very welcome." 



The Morning Past. " One of the freshest and most attractive books on sport of 
the year." 

The Nottingham Express. " It can safely be said that not since Selous was at 
the height of his fame has such an entrancing story of a big shoot seen the light of 
day. It not only deserves more than a little autumn season of fame and then cease 
to be ; it is a book which should live long." 

The Glasgow Herald. " We have to announce a rarely exhilarating book. One 
of the most vivid and high-spirited accounts of a shooting expedition on record. 
Miss Herbert gives us entrancing accounts of jungle life." 

The Literary World. " So bright and graphic is every page of Miss Herbert's 
book, that even the non-sportsman will thrill with the joy of the chase as he reads." 

M.A.P. " This is quite a remarkable book. It is something more than a book 
of travel and sport. It is light and epigrammatic, and happily humorous. The 
reader will have a lively time with this volume. It is certainly entrancing." 

Pall Mall Gazette. "The book proved of such interest to the present reviewer 
that he found himself in the small hours closing the volume with regret. Miss 
Herbert's book is well worth reading." 

The Ladies' Field. "This book has the rare charm which an individual style 
gives to vivid personal experiences. We hope that everyone who can will read a 
book which is the best story of a big game shooting expedition we have read this 

The Liverpool Courier. "The book is a most entertaining and readable 
narrative. The author has a happy knack of picturesque description, while the 
raciness of her style and her keen and witty observation make the reading of the 
book a genuine pleasure." 

The Western Morning News. " Highly interesting reading." 

The Spectator. " Chivajry and fair criticism alike force us to give the place of 
honour among recent sporting books to the ' Two Dianas.' We are captivated in 
spite of ourselves. By the time the most prejudiced reader gets to the end he will 
admit that he has been well entertained." 

Forest and Stream, U.S.A. " One lays aside the book with the regret that its 
pages number but three hundred. The book is one of the most interesting of 
the year." 

The Boston Herald, U.S.A. " Such is the manner of this intensely entertaining 
book. Miss Herbert can write poetically as well as humorously." 

New York Times. " This record is a fascinating one." 

The Times of India. "The adventures are graphically related, and the book 
forms entertaining reading." 

The Pioneer, ludin. " The story, without any straining at the jocose the bane 
of most sporting stories is brightened up by flashes of genuine humour and by no 
little graphic power. There is not a dull or dry chapter in the book." 

The British and South African^ Export Gazette. "Miss Agnes Herbert writes 
naturally, always without embellishment or effort, and invariably with a sparkle 
that irresistibly brings a smile, qualities which, notwithstanding her mode_st and 
unassuming denial to literary pretensions, unquestionably point to her being an 
authoress of more than ordinary merit. In short, all who read her delightful 
volume will doubtless share our hope that it will not be long before she again 
gives the public some further contributions from so capable and facile a pen." 

Le Chenil. " ' Tout est dans tout," comme on dit et nous ne pouvons mieux faire 
d'imiter Miss Agnes Herbert en emprunant le mot de la fin k son poet favori ; ' Well 
roared, lion ; Well run, Thisbe ; Well shone, moon ; Well moused, lion,' pour 
applaudir tous les acteurs de ce drame cynegetique vecu au pays Noir." 

The New York Tribune. " This book bubbles with the spirit of fun. An enter- 
taining and gay record. The reader finds the ' Two Dianas ' delightful company." 

The Newcastle Chronicle. " The charm of the book lies in the incidents that are 
detached from the actual killing and in the droll observations of the authoress on 
men and things." 


With numerous Illustrations. Demy 8vo. 
Price, I2J. 6d. net. Postage 6d. extra. $ 6 


The Sportsman. "The warm and lengthy praise we gave to the companion 
volume ' Two Dianas in Somaliland ' might be repeated. They should have a 
place in every sportsman's library ; nay, in far more, for the piquancy of the style, 
and the charming friendliness of it all, enthral the reader." 

The Field. "The story is told by Miss Herbert with all the free and joyous spirit 
which characterised her former volume; the same love of exploration, admiration 
for the beauty in nature, keenness for sport, and withal a womanly restraint and 
tender-heartedness. " 

Country Life. "Miss Herbert's hand has lost nothing of its sprightliness, she 
describes graphically and with never failing nerve many exciting hunts. It is to 
the full as daring and lively as the Somaliland volume." 

Vanity Fair. "The most fascinating sporting book I have read this_ year, and 
quite the best written. In a dozen ways I found the book captivating. Miss 
Herbert's success is as emphatic in book-making as in hunting." 

The Academy. " We commend ' Two Dianas in Alaska' to many readers . . . 
an amusing and picturesque journey. Scenery is powerfully described, and so are 
the effects of light and shade and the flight of birds. But the ways of the moose 
provide the most attractive reading of all." 

The Daily Telegraph. " This is a delightful book, of equal interest to the 
sportsman and the general reader. Light and bright are the pages. We heartily 
recommend this book to all readers. It is all admirable." 

Ladies' Field. "Not less delightful than 'Two Dianas in Somaliland.' If 
anyone turns aside from this book because he or she is indifferent to sport they will 
lose some very pleasant hours. It is a charming book, and has not a dull page in it 
from first to last." 

Daily Graphic. " The whole book is amazing good reading. The best book of 
sport and travel that we have seen this season." 

Yorkshire Post. "This is a book of high spirits, mixed with philosophy. In 
these prosaic days a romance from real life is not to be resisted." 

The^ Queen. " Very entertaining reading. It must not be thought that the work 
is entirely devoted to hunting, the scenery, places, and human beings are also 
described in very happy fashion." 

The Morning Post. " This delightful book. Lively is a poor name for it, it 
scintillates with life. We are soon carried away with the zest of it, and the irre- 
pressible humour which bubbles out on every page." 

The_ Manchester Courier. "Those who had the good fortune to encounter the 
charming record of the ' Two Dianas in Somaliland ' will want no recommendation 
to the equally sprightly description of their adventures in Alaska. Miss Herbert 
has a ready sense of humour, and her wayside jottings are inimitable." 

Fortnightly Review. " Miss Herbert has a happy knack of amusing the reader 
on almost every page of her bright narrative, and this alone places her above the 
majority of writers on travel. It is with her asides, her not unkindly satire, her 
unabated philosophy, that Miss Herbert attracts the reader." 

Pall Mall Gazette. "Miss Herbert has a pretty wit, word-pictures of magic 
beauty. The book is witty, picturesque, exciting, and the effect on the tired brain 
of a dweller in cities is that of a breeze bringing health from a salutary land." 



Liverpool Courier. " Lightheartedly attractive. Miss Herbert is an observer 
and a thinker, and certainly wields a charming pen." 

Daily News " Far superior both in literary merit and interest to the common 
run. Should secure a wide popularity." 

Literary World. " Right gladly we do renew our acquaintance with the two 
Dianas. The book is one of the very best big-game books that we have read." 

Manchester Guardian. " Full of interest, and we are constantly amused by her 
dry-point observations on men and animals." 

Daily Chronicle. "It is an amusing and interesting narrative all through. 
Those who do not like killing will find many other things in this book that they will 
like. Miss Herbert's humour is of refreshing variety. She can observe and 
describe as well as shoot." 

Liverpool Post. " The charm of the book is its style, the feminine chatter that 
rambles through the pages, the personal equation in all observations made, and 
the little battles of quip and counter-quip." 

Sporting Life. "A Book that should take a prominent place in the library of 
big-game hunters. The authors have written so that the reader feels that he or she 
is of the party. We commend the book to all." 

The Scotsman. " Very attractive reading. Brightly and wittily told, with a 
keen appreciation of the beauties of the wilderness." 

Westminster Gazette. " As bright and cheerful a record of sport as any I have 
read. Excellent descriptions of the country and natives." 

Mrning Leader. "Very brightly written. Miss Herbert has a light, humorous 

The Standard. " This volume may be recommended as sure to_ entertain. It is 
voicing the cry of the wild so vividly and sympathetically that gives to this work 
its distinctive character." 

Dundee Advertiser." ' Two Dianas in Alaska ' is a delightful book. Most 
readable. Literary ability much above the average." 

The Nation. " Clever to brilliancy." 

Outlook. " All the completeness of a well-constructed novel. Racy descriptions 
of quaint scenes and quainter peoples." 

Western Press. " There is not a dull page in the book. Delightful chapters." 

Birmingham Post. " Better we think than Miss Herbert's previous narrative of 
sport in Somaliland. We trust there may be other books to follow from this 
accomplished sportswoman." 

Bristol Mercury. " The whole narrative is presented with a delightful freshness 
and buoyancy, keenness of observation being allied to engaging powers of descrip- 
tive writing and a full appreciation of humour." 

Glasgow News. "One of the freshest and most interesting travel books of the 

Yorkshire Observer. "Something more than a book of travel and sport. It 
reveals an individual style at once racy and vivid, with here and there an epigram- 
matic sentence of quiet philosophical humour peculiar to the writer." 

Evening Standard. " The story is told with a, vivid directness and enthusiasm 
which, coupled with a marked talent for descriptive prose, make very good reading." 

South Africa. "This is surely the most delightful sporting book of the season. 
A most fascinating book for the general reader. Get this enchanting and well 
illustrated book." 

Boston Transcript, U. S. A. "A welcome addition to the literature of big-game 
shooting. Love of exploration, admiration of the beautiful in nature, tender- 
heartedness of a true woman." 

Record-Herald, Chicago. "Lightly written and interesting. Sympathy and 
spirit, fun and humour." 


MAXWELL. With illustrations by the Author 
and Cottington Taylor. Demy 8vo. los. 6d. net. 


Spectator. " A lively book, written in a pleasant, leisurely fashion, and giving 
details of a most remarkable enterprise. . . . Mr. Maxwell has a genuine humour." 

Daily Graphic. " The story of her brief but eventful career is told uncommonly 
well, and the author's illustrations are excellent." 

Literary World. "Not a dull page from beginning to end. . . . The descrip- 
tions of people, customs, and scenery, and the many incidents of travel make up 
altogether some of the most entertaining reading it has for a long time been our 
pleasure to come across. . . . The illustrations are of a very high order." 

Dundee Advertiser. "Since An Inland Voyage delighted countless readers 
there has not been a book so fresh, amusing and funny as The Log of the Griffin. 
... A thoroughly pleasant and natural book with a fine flavour of the open air 
about it." 

Pall Mall Gazette. " There is plenty of humour and variety of incident. The 
illustrations are quaint, artistic, and appropriate." 

St. James' 's Gazette. "Sumptuously framed and illustrated and racily written. 
. . . The Swiss pictures are lovely, and all the descriptions as bright as possible." 

Glasgow Herald. "His (the author's) bright and genial humour has imparted 
to the narrative a charm which no summary, even if it were helped by quotation, 
could hope to reproduce, or even faintly to indicate. ... A clever and thoroughly 
enjoyable book." 

Bristol Times. "Mr. Maxwell tells a most entertaining story. ... It is, 
indeed, very rare to get so delightful a series of sketches." 

Rapid Review. " Most amusing. . . . A very acceptable gift book." 

Daily Mail. " Brightly written, beautifully illustrated, and superbly produced." 

T.P.'s Weekly. "The kind of work, I think, that would have pleased Stevenson 
. . . pleasant, picturesque, good humoured." 

Bookman. " A wonder-book of charm and merit." 

Standard. " Finely illustrated. . . . There are many delightful and really 
artistic pictures in a book which is written throughout with abundant humour 
and in an easy style." 

Land and Water. "A book to re-read many a time, this, with new delight at 
each fresh perusal." 

Leeds Mercury." Entertaining. ... In his method of writing Mr. Maxwell 
reminds us of Mr. Jerome at his best." 

Notts Daily Express. " Charming. ... It is a veritable edition de luxe, and 
one cannot praise the general get-up of the book too highly. The cover is a work 
of art in itself." 

Birmingham Post. " Mr. Maxwell is a vivacious writer . . . the numerous 
artistic illustrations by the author and Cottington Taylor add much to the charm 
of the narrative." 

Bookseller. "An exceptionally attractive volume. . . . Though the tale itself 
is so charming, the illustrations by the author and his friend, Mr. Cottington 
Taylor, are, if possible, still more delightful." 

Sydney Mail. "There is a freshness of observation and a bubbling humour 
throughout, which make this a most entertaining book." 



By DONALD MAXWELL. With nearly 200 
Illustrations by the Author and Cottington 
Taylor. los. 6d. net. $ $> <g> 


Guardian. " A book of delightfully unconventional travel. Their illustrations 
and sketches are excellent throughout, while the frontispiece 'In the Land of the 
Willow Forest,' is a g_em. Such a book will appeal to a select public, but that 
public will appreciate it." 

Standard. "The volume, which is illustrated with some clever drawings, is 
brightly written." 

Globe. " A pretty frontispiece in colour and a large number of excellent and 
characteristic drawings in black and white give a seasonable look to the book, Mr. 
Maxwell's cheery and amusing account of a fresh-water trip undertaken by himself, 
and his friend and fellow artist Mr. Cottington Taylor. . . . The trip was on all 
accounts an interesting and original one." 

Daily Graphic. " This diverting and admirable narrative . . . spontaneous and 
entirely delightful humour. Some of the lightest and pleasantest reading we have 
met with for a long time past. The illustrations are as charming as the letterpress." 

Daily Telegraph. " The illustrations by the author and Mr. Cottington Taylor 
are excellent, both they and the letterpress are full of humour . . . the chapter in 
which is described the mistake of an entire village which took the travellers for two 
holy men under a vow of pilgrimage to Palestine is a gem." 

Pall Mall Gazette. " Anyhow it is a very pleasing record of a novel trip, as 
amusing and as delightful as Mr. Maxwell's previous book on a Cruise from the Alps 
to the Thames." 

Speaker. " The book, which is well illustrated by the author and his companion, 
is full of interest, showing the lights and shadows of such a trip, and may be used 
as a guide book by those who are disposed to try similar ventures." 

Literary World. "A good deal of fun, happily and humorously described. 
The narrative is lightly and brightly written, and the many good drawings add 
much to the interest of the volume." 

Yachting Monthly. "Mr. Maxwell has made one of the most extraordinary 
fresh-water cruises on record a voyage, moreover, which he has described most 
charmingly with pen and pencil." 

Liverpool Post. " Mr. Maxwell's story of the Walrus's exciting adventures is one 
of the jolliest and most entertaining we have read for ajlong time. Mr. Maxwell 
moreover has a considerable gift of humour. The illustrations are of quite excep- 
tional interest." 

AthentEttm. " Is a racy description. Mr. Donald Maxwell writes brightly and 
naturally. Mr. Maxwell's illustrations show a nice feeling for skies and buildings. 
The sketches of the willow forests on the Danube, too, are appropriately dreamy." 

Leeds Mercury. " There is a spontaneity and a dry humour in the account of 
the cruise so often wanting in work of this type. . . . Make amusing reading. From 
cover to cover it is packed with most charming drawings which will be an incentive 
to most readers to follow in their wake. The frontispiece ' In the Land of the 
Willow Forest ' is especially a beautiful piece of work reproduced under Mr. 
Maxwell's direction." 



Uniform, Demy 8vo. 


$1.75 net. 




THE personal note in Anatole France's novels is never more surely 
felt than when he himself, in some disguise, is either the pro- 
tagonist or the raisonneur of the drama. It is the personality of 
Monsieur Bergeret that sheds its sunset kindness over the sordid 
phases of French political and social life presented in the famous 
series. It is the charm of Sylvestre Bonnard that makes an idyll 
of the story of his crime. It is Doctor Trublet in Histoire 
Comique who gives humanity to the fantastic adventure. It is 
Maitre Jerome Coignard whom we love unreservedly in La 
Rotisserie de la Reine Pedauque. No writer is more personal. 
No writer views human affairs from a more impersonal standpoint. 
He hovers over the world like a disembodied spirit, wise with the 
learning of all times and with the knowledge of all hearts that have 
beaten, yet not so serene and unfleshly as not to have pre- 
served a certain tricksiness, a capacity for puckish laughter which 
echoes through his pages and haunts the ear when the covers of 
the book are closed. At the same time he appears unmistakably 
before you, in human guise, speaking to you face to face in human 
tones. He will present tragic happenings consequent on the little 
follies, meannesses and passions of mankind with an emotion- 
lessness which would be called delicate cruelty were the view 
point that of one of the sons of earth, but ceases to be so when 
the presenting hands are calm and immortal ; and yet shining 
through all is the man himself, loving and merciful, tender and 
warm. ... In most men similarly endowed there has been a 
conflict between the twin souls which has generally ended in the 
strangling of the artist ; but in the case of Anatole France they 
have worked together in bewildering harmony. The philosopher 
has been mild, the artist unresentful. In amity therefore they 
have proclaimed their faith and their unfaith, their aspirations 
and their negations, their earnestness and their mockery. And 
since they must proclaim them in one single voice, the natural 
consequence, the resultant as it were of the two forces, has been 
a style in which beauty and irony are so subtly interfused as to 
make it perhaps the most alluring mode of expression in con- 
temporary fiction. 

The following Volumes appear in the Uniform 
English Edition of Anatole France's works : 







































In addition to the above, the following 
translations of Anatole France's works have 
been published 



With 8 Illustrations. Two Vols. 255. net. $8.00. 


With 1 6 Illustrations in Colour, End Papers, Title- 
page, and Cover by FLORENCE LUNDBORG. 55. $i .50. 


Those who possess old letters, documents, corre- 
spondence, MSS., scraps of autobiography, and 
also miniatures and portraits, relating to persons 
and matters historical, literary, political and social, 
should communicate with Mr. John Lane, The 
Bodley Head, Vigo Street, London, W., who will 
at all times be pleased to give his advice and 
assistance, either as to their preservation or 

Mr. Lane also undertakes the planning and 
printing of family papers, histories and pedigrees. 


An Illustrated Series of Monographs dealing with 

Contemporary Musical Life, and including 

Representatives of all Branches of the Art. 

Crown Svo. Cloth. Price 2/6 net. 







Edited by J. T. GREIN. 
Crown Svo. Price 2/6 each net. 








By WILLIAM MACKAY and W. ROBERTS. Imperial 410. With 
50 Photogravure Plates, the majority of which are taken from 
pictures never before reproduced, and a frontispiece printed in 
colours from the Photogravure plate. 500 copies only printed. 
With supplement, 5 guineas net. 

%* Mr. John Lane has pleasure in announcing that he has taken over the 150 
copies of this book originally published by Messrs. Colnaghi which still remain 
of the 500 copies originally printed. Mr. Roberts is writing an introduction to 
bring the work thoroughly up-to-date and this will include all the latest in- 
formation on the subject and will further contain extra illustrations. Those who 
possess copies of the original and wish to obtain copies of the supplement alone, 
will be able to do so at the price of One Guinea net. 


RELICS. Reproduced in facsimile from the late Sir Charles 
Dilke's Bequest to the Corporation of Hampstead. With full 
transcriptions and notes edited by GEORGE C. WILLIAMSON, Litt. D. 
Forewords by THEODORE WATTS-DUNTON, an Introduction by 
H. BUXTON FORMAN, C.B., and an Essay upon the Keats 
Portraiture by the Editor. With 8 Portraits of Keats and 57 
Plates in Collotype upon a special hand-made paper designed to 
match old letter paper. Limited to 320 copies. Imperial 410. 
3 guineas net. 

%* The fine collection of Keats' relics formed by the late Sir Charles W. 
Dilke, Bart., was bequeathed by his generosity to the Public Library at 
Hampstead, as a joint memorial of the poet, and of his friend Charles Wentworth 
Dilke, grandfather of the testator. The collection comprises a number of most 
important and interesting letters written by and to the poet from the time of the 
publication of his first volume of poems in 1817, to October, 1820, and includes a 
letter from Naples to Mrs. Brawne shortly before his death. The bequest also 
contains a number of books, which were among the most cherished possessions 
of the poet, and their interest is considerably enhanced by the numerous marks 
and marginal notes by Keats. 

ALASTA1R. Forty-three Drawings in Colour and 

Black and White. With a Note of Exclamation by ROBERT 
Ross. Demy 410. Limited to 500 copies for England and 
America. 425. net. 

** This beautiful gift book contains thirty-five facsimiles in collotype and 
eight in colour, and has a cover and end papers specially designed by Alastair. 

This remarkable young artist prefers to be known without the usual prefix 
denoting rank or nationality. His astonishing powers as a draughtsman and 
decorator have been proved by the unqualified success of his exhibition at the 
Dowdeswell Galleries. 



four full-page Plates in Colour, and 147 Half-tone Engravings. 
Square 8vo. Cloth. i6s. net. 

%* This is a fascinating book on a fascinating subject. It is written by a 
scholar whose passion for accuracy and original research did not prevent him 
from making a story easy to read. It answers the questions people are always 
asking as to how tapestries differ from paintings, and good tapestries from bad 
tapestries. It will interest lovers of paintings and rugs and history and fiction, 
for it shows how tapestries compare with paintings in picture interest, with rugs 
in texture interest, and with Historic and other novels in romantic interest; 
presenting on a magnificent scale the stories of the Iliad and the Odyssey, the 
.neid and the Metamorphoses, the Bible and the Saints, Ancient and Medieval 
History and Romance. In a word, the book is indispensable to lovers of art and 
literature in general, as well as to tapestry amateurs, owners, and dealers. 


W. H. JAMES WEALE, with the co-operation of MAURICE 
BROCKWELL. With numerous Dlustrations. Demy 8vo. 
12$. 6d. net. 


GROSSMITH. With 32 full-page Illustrations. Demy 8vo. 
1 6s. net. 

%* Justly famous as a comedian of unique gifts, Mr. Weedon Grossmith is 
nevertheless an extremely versatile personality, whose interests are by no means 
confined to the theatre. These qualities have enabled him to write a most 
entertaining book. He gives an interesting account of his early ambitions and 
exploits as an artist, which career he abandoned lor that of an actor. He goes on 
to describe some ot his most notable roles, and lets us in to little intimate 
glimpses "behind the scenes," chats pleasantly about all manner of celebrities in 
the land of Bohemia and out of it, tells many amusing anecdotes, and like a true 
comedian is not bashful when the laugh is against himself. The book is well 
supplied with interesting illustrations, some of them reproductions of the 
author's own work. 


" The House in St. Martin Street," " Juniper Hall," etc. With 
numerous Illustrations by ELLEN G. HILL and reproductions of 
contemporary Portraits, etc. Demy 8vo. 1 6s. net. 


With a Frontispiece and 40 Illustrations. Demy 8vo. 

%* The author, who began life on board a merchantman and ended his 
working career in the Indian Civil Service, has put together his reminiscences 
in a very readable form. In Burma, India, and Australia, he lived a life of 
adventure, and combined his duties with an experience of sport. His stories 
include a good deal of big game shooting, and his description ot the social side 
of life, and the character-is lies of native races is highly amusing. 

The hardships of a life at sea thirty-five years ago are told in true sailor 
fashion, and the author's varied experiences have been turned to good account 
for the production of a narrative which includes the life of a middy in the 
Merchant Service, active service in the Royal Indian Marine and the suppression 
of dacoity. The author then spent some yeara in Burma. The visit of Prince 
Albert Victor to Rangoon is a pleasant incident in a series of events, all of which 
are highly interesting. 



By PADRE Luis COLOMA, S.J., of the Real Academia Espafiola. 
Translated by LADY MORETON. With Illustrations. Demy 8vo. 
1 6s. net. 

** "This book has all the fascination of a vigorous roman a cltf . . . the 
translation is vigorous and idiomatic." Mr. Ostnan Edwards in Morning Post. 


MORETON. Author of " Don John of Austria," etc. With 
Seventeen Illustrations. Demy 8vo. xos. 6d. net. 

** Don Martin IV. was one of the most distinguished members of one of the 
first families in Spain and lived at a time when Spain was at the height of her 
glory. He was the playmate and afterwards the personal friend of Philip II. (the 
husband of Queen Mary of England) and accompanied him on his visit to this 
country. It was indeed this monarch who gave him his nickname of " The 
Philosopher of Aragon." 


LIFE. By Mrs. ALEC TWEEDIE. With Nineteen Illustrations. 
Demy 8vo. i6s. net. Third Edition. 

% "One of the gayest and sanest surveys of English society we have read 
for years." Pall Mall Gaeette. 

* M * "A pleasant laugh from cover to cover." Daily Chronicle. 


Demy 8vo. IDS. 6d. net. 


TURQUAN. Author of "The Love Affairs of Napoleon," 
"The Wife of General Bonaparte." Illustrated. Demy 8vo. 
izs. 6d. net. 

* "The Empress Josephine" continues and completes the graphically 
drawn life story begun in "The Wife of General Bonaparte" by the same author, 
takes us through the brilliant period of the Empire, shows us the srradual 
development ana the execution of the Emperor's plan to divorce his middle-aged 
wife, paints in vivid colours the picture of Josephine's existence after her divorce, 
tells ns how she, although now nothing but his friend, still met him occasionally 
and corresponded frequently with him, and how she passed her time in the midst 
of her minature court 


A. M. BROADLEV. With an Introductory Essay on Pictorial Satire 
as a Factor in Napoleonic History, by J. HOLLAND ROSE, Litt. D. 
(Cantab.). With 24 full-page Illustrations in Colour and upwards 
of 200 in Black and White from rare and unique originals. 
2 Vols. Demy 8vo. 425. net. 

Also an Edition de Luxe. 10 guineas net. 



As revealed by contemporary witnesses, by her own love-letters, 
and by the anti-Napoleonic pamphleteers. By HECTOR 
FLEISCHMANN. Authorised Translation. Illustrated. Demy 8vo. 
I2s. 6d. net. 

"As long as human nature delights in the spectacle of dramatic vicissitudes, 
the story of the rise and fall of the House of Bonaparte will retain its fascination. 
The story of Napoleon himself, of course, is the story of genius seeing its 
opportunity and forcing its way : and its personal interest is somewhat obscured 
by its historical significance. The story of the various members of his family 
belongs to a different category. Their rise in life, due to his genius, which none 
of them shared, and his strong sense of the obligations of blood relationship, was 
as fortuitous as if they had suddenly "come into money" through the demise 
of a long-lost uncle in America ; and the interest which one feels in them is 
largely the interest which one always feels in the behaviour of a parvenu in a 
station to which he has been promoted through no merit of his own. Some of 
them behaved decorously, others eccentrically and extravagantly ; and it is the 
latter group which is the most diverting to read about. Jerome, for that reason, 
makes a more powerful appeal to our imagination than Joseph, and Pauline 
possesses a magnetic attraction denied to Madam Mere ; and Pauline's life is 
here related admirably by M. Fleischmann. She was more than frivolous, her 
"affaires" were countless. M. Fleischmann has told them admirably with a 
sparkling wit and a true feeling for drama." Times. 

MANY. By F. LORAINE PETRE. Author of "Napoleon's 
Campaign in Poland," "Napoleon's Conquest of Prussia," etc. 
With 17 Maps and Plans. Demy 8vo. izs. 6d. net. 


PETRE. With Maps and Plans. Demy 8vo. los. 6d. net. 


MASK. By G. L. DE ST. M. WATSON. Demy 8vo. 6s. net. 

%* An historical and critical account of the most faithful and physical 
presentment of the great Conqueror. By a study of original sources and re- 
searches amongst the contemporary Press, the Lowe Papers, etc., the writer 
proves beyond the doubt hitherto existing the English authorship of the death 
mask so long a tributed to the Italian surgeon Antommarchi. The value to be 
attached to the various casts put up for sale during the past year or two is 
established comparatively in the light of an interesting recent discovery. The 
book will be an indispensable adjunct to Napoleonic iconography and a sidelight 
upon the " Last Phase" as well. 


PARIS. By JOHN JOSEPH CONWAY, M.A. With 32 Full-page 
Illustrations. With an Introduction by Mrs. JOHN LANE. 
Demy 8vo. i zs. 6d. net. 

** Franklin, Jefferson, Munroe, Tom Paine, La Fayette, Paul Jones, etc., 
etc., the most striking figures of a heroic age, working out in the City of Light 
the great questions for which they stood, are dealt with here. Longfellow the 
poet of the domestic affections ; matchless Margaret Fuller who wrote so well of 
women in the nineteenth century ; Whistler master of American artists ; Saint- 
Gaudens chief of American sculptors ; Rumford, most picturesque of scientific 
knight-errants and several others get a chapter each for their lives and 
achievements in Paris. 



WHISTLER : The Artist. By THOMAS R. WAY. Author of 
" The Lithographs of J. M. Whistler," etc. With numerous 
Illustrations. Demy 410. IDS. 6d. net. 

%* This volume contains about forty illustrations, including an unpublished 
etching drawn by Whistler and bitten in by Sir Frank Short, A.K.A., an original 
lithograph sketch, seven lithographs in colour drawn by the Author upon brown 
paper, and many in black and white. The remainder are facsimiles by photo- 
lithography. In most cases the originals are drawings and sketches by Whistler 
which have never been published before, and are closely connected with the 
matter ot the book. The text deals with the Author's memories of nearly twenty 
year's close association with Whistler, and he endeavours to treat only with the 
man as an artist, and perhaps, especially as a lithographer. 

*Also an EDITION DE LUXE on hand-made paper, with the etching 
printed from the original plate. Limited to 50 copies. 

This is Out of Print with the Publisher. 


original Memoirs of Elizabeth, Baroness Craven, afterwards Mar- 
gravine of Anspach and Bayreuth and Princess Berkeley of the 
Holy Roman Empire (1750-1828). Edited, with Notes and a 
Bibliographical and Historical Introduction containing much 
unpublished matter by A. M. BROADLEY and LEWIS MELVILLE. 
With over 50 Illustrations. In 2 vols. Demy 8vo. 255. net. 


Author of " The Magic of Spain." Demy 8vo. 75. 6d. net. 

%* The guide-books give full details of the marvellous convents, gorgeous 
palaces, and solemn temples of Portugal, and no attempt is here made to write 
complete descriptions of them, the very name of some of them being omitted. 
But the guide-books too often treat Portugal as a continuation, almost as a province 
of Spain. It is hoped that this little book may give some idea of the individual 
character of the country, of the quaintnesses of its cities, and of peasant life in 
its remoter districts. While the utterly opposed characters of the two peoples 
must probably render the divorce between Spain and Portugal eternal, and reduce 
hopes of union to the idle dreams of politicians. Portugal in itself contains an 
infinite variety. Each of the eight provinces (more especially those of the 
alemtcjanos, tninholos and bciiocs) preserves many peculiarities of language, 
customs, and dress ; and each will, in return for hardships endured, give to the 
traveller many a day of delight and interest. 


Demy 8vo. 75. 6d. net. 

** " From the author of 'Tales of Old Japan' his readers always hope for 
more about Japan, and in this volume they will find it. The earlier papers, 
however, are not to be passed over." Times. 

** "Lord Redesdale's present volume consists of scholarly essays on a 
variety ol subjects of historic, literary and artistic appeal." Standard. 

** "The author of the classic 'Tales of Old Japan" is assured of welcome, 
and the more so when he returns to the field in which his literary reputation was 
made. Charm is never absent from his pages." Daily Chronicle. 


THE BERRY PAPERS. The Correspondence 

hitherto unpublished of Mary and Agnes Berry (1763-1852). 
By 'LEWIS MELVILLE. With 27 Illustrations. Demy 8vo. 
zos. net. 


BLEACKLEY. Author of " Ladies Fair and Frail," " A Gentleman 
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THOMAS SMITH. Author of " A Book for a Rainy Day." First 
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Index. Edited by WILFRED WHITTEN (JOHN o' LONDON). Author 
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%*The Irish Beauty is the Hon. Mrs. Calvert, daughter of Viscount Pery, 
Speaker of the Irish House of Commons, and wife of Nicholson Calvert, M.P., of 
Hunsdon. Born in 1767, Mrs. Calvert lived to the age of ninety-two, and there 
are many people still living who remember her. In the delightful journals, now 
for the first time published, exciting events are described. 


from the German by JOHN LEES. With an Introduction by 
LORD REDESDALE. Demy 8vo. 2 vols. 255. net. Third 

** A man who can write such a really beautiful and solemn appreciation of 
true Christianity, of true acceptance of Christ's teachings and personality, as 
Mr. Chamberlain has done. . . . represents an influence to be reckoned with 
and seriously to be taken into account. Theodore Roosevelt in the Outlook, New 

** ' It is a masterpiece of really scientific history. It does not make con- 
fusion, it clears it away. He is a great generalizer of thought, as distinguished 
from the crowd of mere specialists. It is certain to stir up thought. Whoever 
has not read it will be rather out of it in political and sociological discussions for 
some time to come." George Bernard Shaw in Fabian News. 

*** "This is unquestionably one of the rare books that really matter. His 
judgments of men and things are deeply and indisputably sincere and are based 
on immense reading . . . But even many well-informed people . . . will be 
grateful to Lord Redesdale for the biographical details which he gives them in the 
valuable and illuminating introduction contributed by him to this English 
translation." Ttmes. 


IMMANUEL KANT. A Study and Comparison 

with Goethe, Leonardo da Vinci, Bruno, Plato and Descartes. 
By HOUSTON STEWART CHAMBERLAIN, author of "The Foundations 
of the Nineteenth Century." Translated by LORD REDESDALE. 
2 vols. Demy 8vo. 255. net. 

%* "This is a book, if ever there was one, which should fire the mind of the 
reader with the desire to be at home in the region of which it treats. It is a book 
which teems with interest. We must not conclude without a reference to the 
merits of the translation of Lord Redesdale. The book must have demanded 
throughout the most painstaking observance of delicate shades of meaning. 
These have been rendered with faultless accuracy, yet in a style of individuality 
and animation." The Timts, 


COMMONS from the Earliest Times to the Present Day, with 
a Topographical Account of Westminster at Various Epochs, 
Brief Notes on Sittings of Parliament and a Retrospect of 
the principal Constitutional Changes during Seven Centuries. By 
ARTHUR IRWIN DASENT, Author of "The Life and Letters of JOHN 
DELANE," "The History of St. James's Square," etc., etc. With 
numerous Portraits, including two in Photogravure and one in 
Colour. Demy 8vo. 2 is. net. 

RIES. By HUGH CHILDERS. With numerous Illustrations. 
Demy 8vo. 123. 6d. net. 

** This volume deals with some famous trials, occurring between the years 
1650 and 1850, All of them possess some exceptional interest, or introduce 
historical personages in a fascinating style, peculiarly likely to attract attention. 


MELVILLE. Author of " William Makepeace Thackeray." With 
two Photogravures and numerous other Illustrations. 2 vols. 
Demy 8vo. 325. net. 


STIRLING. Author of " Coke of Norfolk." With numerous 
Illustrations. Demy 8vo. 1 2s. 6d. net. 

** These various Biographical sketches are connected by links which 
fashion them into one consecutive and singularly attractive whole. Lively and 
full of vitality, they throw many curious fresh lights on an age long past, then 
lead ub, by gentle stages, down to an age so recent that for many of us it still 
seems to breathe of a day not yet fled. Meanwhile alternate laughter and tears, 
merriment and pathos mingle in their pages; and each separate life forms in 
itself a concise human document vivid and sincere. From the first chapter, in 
which we are introduced to the amusing Scrap-book of a fine lady during the 
Georgian era, to the last when we dwell, not without emotion, on the life story of 
an Idealist during Victorian days, the book teems with incident, humour, and 
hitherto unpublished information respecting many historical personages, to 
which the author alone has been allowed access. 



The Life of Thomas Coke, First Earl of Leicester and of 
Holkham. By A. M. W. STIRLING. New Edition, revised, 
with some additions. With 19 Illustrations. In one volume. 
Demy 8vo. 125. 6d. net. 


Illustrations. 2 vols. Demy 8vo. 255. net. 


the Papers of a Macaroni and his kindred. By A. M. W. STIRLING, 
author of "Coke of Norfolk and his Friends." With 33 
Illustrations, including 3 in Colour and 3 in Photogravure. 
Demy 8vo. 2 vols. 325. net. 


of " Coke of Norfolk," and " Annals of a Yorkshire House." 
With a Colour Plate, 3 in Photogravure, and 27 other 
Illustrations. 2 vols. Demy 8vo. 325. net. 

*** Extracts might be multiplied indefinitely, but we have given enough to 
show the richness of the mine. We have nothing but praise for the editor's 
work, and can conscientiously commend this book equally to the student of 
manners and the lover of lively anecdote." Standard. 


lated from the original French by Mrs. WILLIAM HENRY ARTHUR. 
Edited, Revised, and with Annotations (including an account of 
Lucy Walter) by GEORGE DAVID GILBERT. With Illustrations. 
Demy 8vo. i6s. net. 


HOMELANDS. By JAMES BAKER, F.R.G.S. With 48 Pictures 
in Colour by DONALD MAXWELL. Demy 8vo. 2 is. net. 


DAVIDSON. With 32 Illustrations from Photographs and a Map. 
Crown 8vo. Second Edition. 55. net. 


Edited by OSWALD G. KNAPP. With 32 Illustrations. Demy 8vo. 
1 6s. net. 

%* This work is a most important find and should arouse immense interest 
amongst the large number of persons whom the Johnson cult attracts to anything 
concerning Mrs. Piozzi. 

Mr. Knapps gives 198 letters dating from 1788 to 1821. The letters are most 
delightful reading and place Mrs. Piozzi in a somewhat different aspect than she 
hasl>een viewed in hitherto. The attitude of her Thrale daughters to her is 
shown to be quite unwarrantable, and her semi humorous acceptance of the 
calumny and persecution she suffered arouses our admiration. 

The Illustrations to this charming work have been mainly supplied from 
Mr. A. M. Broadley's unique collection. 

CHANGING RUSSIA. A Tramp along the Black 

Sea Shore and in the Urals. By STEPHEN GRAHAM. Author of 
" Undiscovered Russia," " A Vagabond in the Caucasus," etc. 
With Illustrations and a Map. Demy 8vo. ys. 6d. net. 


Demy 8vo. IDS 6d. net. 


MELCOMBE. By LLOYD SANDERS. With numerous Ill- 
ustrations. Demy 8vo. i6s. net. 


HELPS, K.C.B., D.C.L. By E. A. HELPS. With numerous 
Illustrations. Demy 8vo. i6s. net. 

%* Sir Arthur Helps was a notable figure among the literary men of the last 
generation, and as Clerk to the Privy Council enjoyed the confidence and 
friendship of Queen Victoria, while his magnetic personality drew round him a 
distinguished coterie, many of whose witty and wise sayings are here preserved. 
Not only was he on terms of intimacy with Tennyson, Dean Stanley, John Stuart 
Mill, Gladstone, Disraeli, Ruskin, Frowde, Carlyle, Dickens, Kingsley, and 
other men of light and leading, many letters from whom are included in the 
volume, but ho was ever in the vanguard of philanthropic movements. 

The present collection of letters deals with the topics of the day, and burning 
questions such as the Chartist agitation, the American Civil Wai, and the 
cholera epidemics ; and they are handled with great acumen by the various 
writers, and still possess an absorbing interest. The letters have a peculiarly 
intimate touch, and yet carry with them the weight of authority. 



CHARLES H. SHERRILL. Author of " Stained Glass Tours in 
England," " Stained Glass Tours in France," etc. With 
33 Illustrations. Demy 8vo. 75. 6d. net. 

%* Mr. Sherrill has already achieved success with his two previous books 
on the subject of stained glass. In Italy he finds a new field, which offers con- 
siderable scope for his researches. His present work will appeal not only to 
tourists, but to the craftsmen, because of the writer's sympathy with the craft. 
Mr. Sherrill is not only an authority whose writing is clear in style and full of 
understanding for the requirements of the reader, out one whose accuracy and 
reliability are unquestionable. This is the most important book published on the 
subject with which it deals, and readers will find it worthy to occupy the 


Witn 12 Illustrations. Demy 8vo. 75. 6d. net. 

** "Mr. Coleridge's memories are very crisply and clearly written. He 
makes a real addition to our knowledge of the essentially human aspects of 
justly celebrated figures of the past. He was brought up amid the society of 
many of the most cultivated men of the past half-century. Among a host of 
notabilities of whom Mr. Coleridge speaks are Lewis Morris, Browning, Jowett, 
Jenny Lind, Lord Leighton, Ruskin, Watts, Whistler, and Irving. It was at 
Lord' Coleridge's house that Cardinal Newman and Matthew Arnold first met." 
Daily Telegraph, 

8vo. I as. 6d. net. 

%* "The whole of this boot is admirably done, and no one who is interested 
inTrollope or, indeed, in nineteenth century literature, can afford to overlook 
it." Globe. 


By WALTER A. HAWLEY. With numerous Illustrations in Colour 
and Half-tone. Demy 410. 425. net. 


Study of James, Duke of Monmouth. By Mrs. EVAN NEPEAN. 
With 36 Illustrations. Demy 8vo. IDS. 6d. net. 


By ESM C. WINGHELD STRATFORD, Fellow King's College, Cam- 
bridge. In 2 vols. Demy 8vo. With a Frontispiece to each 
volume, (1,300 pages). 253. net. 

The author may fairly claim to have accomplished what few previous 
historians have so much as attempted. He has woven together the threads ol 
religion, politics, war, philosophy, literature, painting, architecture, law and 
commerce, into a narrative of unbroken and absorbing interest. 

** "Mr. Wingfield Stratford is to be congratulated on a great achieve- 
ment. " Outlook. 


By FRANK GIBSON. With a Catalogue of the Lithographs and 
Etchings by CAMPBELL DODGSON, M.S., Keeper of Prints and 
Drawings, British Museum. With about 100 reproductions of 
Conder's work, 12 of which are in colour. Demy 410. 2 is. net. 

** With the exception of one or two articles in English Art Magazines, and 
one or two in French, German, and American periodicals, no book up to the 
present has appeared fully to record the life and work of Charles Condor, by 
whose death English Art has lost one of its most original personalities. Con- 
sequently it has been felt that a book dealing with Conder's life so full of interest, 
and his work so full ot charm and beauty, illustrated by characteristic examples 
of his Art both in colour and in black and white, would be welcome to the already 
great and increasing number of his admirers. 

The author of this book, Mr. Frank Gibson, who knew Conder in his early 
days in Australia and afterwards in England during the rest of the artist's life, 
is enabled in consequence to do full justice, not only to the delightful character 
of Conder as a friend, but is also able to appreciate his remarkable talent. 

The interest and value of this work will be greatly increased by the addition 
of a complete catalogue of Conder's lithographs and engravings, compiled by 
Mr. Campbell Dodgson, M.A-, Keeper of the Print-Room ofthe British Museum. 


MELVILLE. Illustrated. Demy 8vo. i6s. net. 

%* A character more interesting than Philip, Dnke of Wharton, does not 
often fall to the lot of a biographer, yet, by some strange chance, though nearly 
two hundred years have passed since that wayward genius passed away, the 
present work is the first that gives a comprehensive account of his life. A man 
of unusual parts and unusual charm, he at once delighted and disgusted his 
contemporaries. Unstable as water, he was like Dryden's Zimri, " Everything 
by starts and nothing long." He was poet and pamphleteer, wit, statesman, 
buffoon, and amorist. The son of one of the most stalwart supporters of the 
Hanoverian dynasty, he went abroad and joined the Pretender, who created him 
a duke. He then returned to England, renounced the Stuarts, and was by 
George I. also promoted to a dukedom while he was yet a minor. He was the 
friend of Attenbury and the President o( the Hell-Fire Club. At one time he was 
leading Spanish troops against his countrymen, at another seeking consolation 
in a monastery. It is said that he was the original of Richardson's Lovelace. 


L. HAWKINS DEMPSTER. With numerous Illustrations. Demy 8vo. 
1 6s. net. 


DAME DE THERMIDOR (A Queen of Shreds and Patches.) 
From the last days of the French Revolution, until her death as 
Princess de Chimay in 1835. By L. GASTINE. Translated from 
the French by J. LEWIS May. With a Photogravure Frontispiece 
and 1 6 other Illustrations Demy 8vo. 1 2s. 6d. net. 

%* There is no one in the history of the French Revolution who has been 
more eagerly canonised than Madame Tallien ; yet according to M. Gastine, there 
is no one in that history who merited canonisation so little. He has therefore set 
himself the task of dissipating the mass of legend and sentiment that has 
gathered round the memory of " La Belie Tallien" and of presenting her to our 
eyes as she really was. The result of his labour is a volume, which combines the 
scrupulous exactness of conscientious research with the richness and glamour of 
a romance. In the place of the beautiful heroic but purely imaginary figure of 
popular tradition, we behold a woman, dowered indeed with incomparable loveli- 
ness, but utterly unmoral, devoid alike of heart and soul, who readily and 
repeatedly prostituted her personal charms for the advancement of her selfish 
and ignoble aims. Though Madame Tallien is the central figure ofthe book, the 
reader is introduced to many other personages who played famous or infamous 
r61es in the contemporary social or political arena, and the volume, which is 
enriched by a number of interesting portraits, throws a new and valuable light on 
this stormy and perennially fascinating period of French history. 


MINIATURES : A Series of Reproductions in 

Photogravure of Ninety-Six Miniatures of Distinguished Personages, 
including Queen Alexandra, the Queen of Norway, the Princess 
Royal, and the Princess Victoria. Painted by CHARLES TURRELL. 
(Folio.) The Edition is limited to One Hundred Copies for sale 
in England and America, and Twenty-Five Copies for Presentation, 
Review, and the Museums. Each will be Numbered and Signed 
by the Artist. 1 5 guineas net. 


By his Valet FRA^OIS. Translated from the French by MINA 
ROUND. Illustrated. Demy 8vo. I2s. 6d. net. 


JOSEPH TURQUAN. Author of " The Love Affairs of Napoleon," 
etc. Translated from the French by Miss VIOLETTE MONTAGU. 
With a Photogravure Frontispiece and 16 other Illustrations. 
Demy 8vo. 125. 6d. net. 

NAISSANCE. By CLARE HOWARD. With 12 Illustrations. 
Demy 8vo. 75. 6d. net. 


By VIOLETTE M. MONTAGU. Author of "The Scottish College in 
Paris," etc. With a Photogravure Frontispiece and 1 6 other 
Illustrations and Three Plans. Demy 8vo. i zs. 6d. net. 

*.H* Among the many queens of France, queens by right of marriage with the 
reigning sovereign, queens of beauty or of intrigue, the name of Sophie Dawes, 
the daughter of humble fisherfolk in the Isle of Wight, better known as "the 
notorious Mme. de Feucheres, 1 ' " The Queen of Chantilly" and "The Montespan 
de Saint Leu " in the land which she chose as a suitable sphere in which to 
exercise her talents for money-making and lor getting on in the world, stand 
lorth as a proof of what a woman's will can accomplish when that will is ac- 
companied with an uncommon share of intelligence. 


BEAMAN. Demy 8vo. 75. 6d. net. 

%* An entertaining book of unconventional travel unconventional as the 
author progressed more on the lines of a tramp than a tourist, from Aden to 
Port Said, afterwards through Cairo and Alexandria, then on to Jaffa and 
Jerusalem, then into Greece and Turkey, and finally on to Venice. He con- 
stantly travelled third class amongst crowas of filthy natives and on at least one 
occasion made a steamer voyage in the steerage, but he had experiences he could 
not have obtained in any other way, and kept a light heart and amused 
countenance through it all. 


TIMES. 1630-1676. By HUGH STOKES. With a Photogravure 
Frontispiece and 16 other Illustrations. Demy 8vo. 125. 6d. net. 


Illustrations. Demy 8vo. i6s. net. 


MEMORIES. Edited by CORNELIA CARR. With 3 1 Illustrations, 
Demy 8vo. I2s. 6d. net. 

%* These pages are full of interest to the general reader, owing to the fact 
that Harriet Hosmer was on intimate terms with so many of her most famous 
contemporaries in tlie World of Art and Letters. Particularly valuable will be 
fonnd the authentic and charmingly recounted information regarding the home 
life of Robert Browning and his wife. The correspondence shows that in nearly 
every case the letters of these celebrities were never intended for print. They 
are, all the more perhaps, indications ol the true characteristics of the writers. 


RANDALL DAVIES. With 18 Illustrations. Demy 8vo. los. 6d. net. 

** This is a most fascinating account of the great house built at Chelsea in 
1520, by Sir Thomas More, and occupied successively by various notable people, 
among whom were Sir Arthur Gorges, the Duke of Buckingham, and finally 
Sir Hans Sloane. Each of the successive owners is dealt with by Mr. Randall 
Davies in most entertaining fashion, and a great deal of historical detail is 
brought together which has never seen the light before. The illustrations are 
of great interest. 


TREMLETT. With 24 Illustrations from Photographs. Demy 8vo. 
izs. 6d. net. 

%* Mrs. Tremlett went with her husband and some other members of a 
syndicate on a journey in search of tin in Northern Nigeria. This book is a racy, 
entertaining and very human account of their adventures. There are no tedious 
descriptions of the country or the natives but the atmosphere and the life are 
vividly suggested and the narrative is brightened by many stories and touches of 
humour. The book is illustrated by some excellent photographs taken on 
the spot. 


DONALD MAXWELL. Illustrated by the Author. F'cap 410. 
128. 6d. net. 

*<,* This book provides a new departure from the conventional methods of 
book illustration. By an ingenious use of tints it is illustrated throughout in 
colour. All the text drawings are printed on rough surface paper, and are not, 
as in the case of so many so-called colour books, plates printed on a shiny paper. 

With regard to the text the reader will feel that he is an active partaker in 
Mr. Maxwell's explorations and romantic expeditions in numerous unexpected 
places all over Europe. It is a book that will make a delightful possession. 



compiled from hitherto Unknown and Unpublished Documents. 
By ALBERT ESPITALIER. Translated from the French by J. LEWIS 
MAY. With a Photogravure Frontispiece and i6other Ill- 
ustrations. Demy 8vo. izs. 6d. net. 


Confidences of a Collector of Ceramics and Antiques throughout 
Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Holland, Belgium, 
Switzerland, and Turkey. From the year 1869 to 1885. Edited 
by MONTAGUE GUEST, with Annotations by EGAN MEW. With 
upwards of loo Illustrations, including 8 in colour and 2 in 
Photogravure. Royal 8vo. 2 volumes. 425. net. 


From Original Letters preserved in the House. By ALBINIA 
CUST. With Illustrations from Photographs. In 2 vols. 255. net. 

%* The story is not of a Family but of a House. In the oak-panelled 
library are parchments, manuscripts, old printed books, and the letters frail yet 
enduring souvenirs of a vanished past. Never intended for publication, they 
have an interest so poignant as to be realised only in the reading. The writers 
with their joys and sorrows seem to live again in these pages, conjuring up 
visions ot the scenes amid which they played their little part. 


THOMAS WILBY. With 32 Illustrations. Crown 8vo. 55. net. 

** A capital account of a trip from Halifax to the Pacific Coast. Mr. Wilby 
brings the scene most vividly home to the reader and he blends, with con- 
siderable skill, history and narrative. The Photographs also give an excellent 
idea of the tour. 


Introduction by SIR CLAUDE McDoNALD, K.C.M.G., K.C.B., 
etc. With numerous Illustrations from Photographs. Demy 8vo. 
1 6s. net. 


JOSEPH TURQUAN. Translated from the French by JAMES LEWIS 
MAY. New Edition. With 8 Illustration*. Crown 8vo. 
35. 6d. net. 


Los Angeles 

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University Research Library