Manx Genealogy Archive 2

Re: Radcliffe of Knockaloe and Baron Fitzwalter.


Whilst it is at present a guess, the idea that Thomas Radcliffe could have been the last Abbot of the Bemaccan Firary is fascinating. From the stories handed down in my own family, they were all remarkably close to fact, but did not go back more than 300 years, and a couple of them had some minor distortions. I mentioned the Leece fiancee legend how that named Jane Casement but had to have been her sister Ann, as an example of how stories could get distorted but often have some basis in fact.

The legend of the Christian girl marrying an ex Abbot is not a story that was told to me as a child, so if it was true had been lost to us, but Rita Browne presumably picked it up from somewhere. In the interval between 1536 and when she heard it, it would be very easy for the Last Abbot of Bemaccan to become the last Abbot, and what Abbey was there on the Island - Rushen Abbey !!!

My guess, and it is a guess is that you have probably found the answer, but how, in all that is wonderful do we prove it ? Do you know of any records for Bemaccan Friary ?

It gives me something to get my teeth into, but I shall probably be cursing you when I have worried at it for weeks and made O progress !!

I suppose it keeps me off the bottle, or may drive me to it !!