[from History of IoM, 1900]

[note that Moore wrote this in 1900 drawing on his friend Professor John Rhys, but much more has been learnt since these times and the reader is referred to more modern texts]

CHAPTER II

CELTIC PERIOD

IT might reasonably be contended that the Celtic 1 period in Man, or even the whole period till nearly the end of the eleventh century, belongs to the domain of myth and legend. And, indeed, if we accept the dictum that "all history so far as it is not supplied by contemporary evidence is romance," 2 this contention will have to be admitted, except as regards the few facts vouched for by some scattered notices of little value, which are mainly to be found in the Irish Annals. But documentary research is not the only method by which some light at least may be thrown upon the history of a country. Thus we claim to have shown in our first chapter by archaeological evidence that Man at the beginning of the Christian era was inhabited by a mixed Aryan and non-Aryan race, and we now propose, by means of an investigation of its language, its place-names, and its land-system, as compared with the language, place-names, and land-system of Ireland, to give some idea of the influences to which its inhabitants were subject, and to show what was the general course of its development up to the period when the incursions of the Northmen began.

Various names applied to Isle of Man

But, before doing so, let us briefly enumerate the names which have been applied to the island, now called the Isle of Man, or, in Manx, Ellan Vannin. It was named Mona by Caesar,3 Mevania by Orosius,4 Monapia by Pliny, Monaoida by Claudius Ptolemy (according to the commonly accepted reading), and Eubonia or Eumonia, by Nennius and various Latin writers belonging to Ireland. The Irish name is Manann, which is properly only a genitive, though used also for the nominative, which would regularly be Mann (representing an old Celtic Manavjo, genitive Manavjonos). In the Welsh records it is called Manaw, in the Icelandic Sagas Mön, and on an inscribed cross at Kirk Michael Maun. Into the origin and meaning of these names, or rather name, since they are all variants of the same word, it is scarcely the province of history to enter, but it may be mentioned that it still remains a problem which does not appear to have been satisfactorily settled. 5

Language spoken here

The earliest piece of testimony extant with reference to the language spoken in the Isle of Man relates to the seventh century, and, if it be authentic, establishes the conclusion (on other grounds highly probable) that the dialect of the islanders at that period was substantially identical with the Gaelic of Ireland. The evidence in question is contained in a story related by Cormac in his Glossary 6 about a visit paid to the island by Senchan Torpeist, who was the chief poet of Ireland from A.D. 649 to 662. Senchan, it is stated, was accompanied on this visit by fifty poets as his retinue, besides students. On their arrival in the island the first person they saw was an old woman gathering seaweed, who asked them who they were. After receiving their reply she gave them a couplet of verse and challenged them to cap it with a corresponding couplet, which one of their number did. 7 More conclusive testimony, however, in favour of the intimate connexion between Man and Ireland and the language of their inhabitants is afforded by the similarity between the land divisions and the place-names and surnames in the two countries. The name of the largest division of land in Man for administrative purposes, the sheading, must, it is true, be left out of consideration here, being, as will hereafter be shown, of Scandinavian origin. But the names of the smaller divisions, the townland or balla,8 and the quarterland or kerroo-valley, are purely Irish. 9 There are 168 ballas and 765 quarterlands in the island, 10 and of their names no less than 596 are purely Celtic 11 at the present day. An analysis of all the placenames in the island shows that out of about 1,500 names now in use rather more than 1,000, or 68 per cent., are Celtic, while of the 170 surnames which were in use on the island at the beginning of the present century about 100, or 65 per cent., are likewise Celtic. How strong the Celtic element continued to be, even throughout the period of Scandinavian supremacy, is shown by the fact that of the personal names found on the stone crosses, which date for the most part from the twelfth century, 42 per cent. are Celtic, or at least non-Scandinavian. 12

In order to interpret correctly the evidence relating to the land-system of Man, it is necessary to have some understanding of the early social conditions of which that system was the product. Owing to the absence of records, direct evidence on this subject is unattainable, but a considerable amount of light is thrown upon it by the facts that are known respecting the state of society in other primitive Celtic communities, especially the Irish. Our earliest knowledge of the inhabitants of Ireland is from Strabo, 13 who says that they were wilder than the Britons, being cannibals with enormous appetites, who ate their defunct parents, 14 but he himself admits that his evidence is not to be relied on. From another Roman writer we learn that the inhabitants of the Hebudes (Hebrides) knew nothing of the cultivation of the ground, but lived upon fish and milk. The latter part of this statement implies that they had herds of cattle.15 It is probable that the same conditions prevailed also in Man and Ireland at the beginning of the present era, but, soon after this date, it is not known exactly when, the population of these countries began to pass from the purely pastoral to the agricultural state of society. The land in all the Celtic districts of the British Isles was occupied in common by the tribe as a whole, and it is significant of the close connexion of the tribe of the land occupied by it, that both the tribe community and its land were known by the same name. 16 The tribe, then, was the basis of the early social organization of the Celts. Its arable lands were, either annually, or at a certain period, divided into strips, 17 which were allotted between its individual members. Its pasture lands, on which each member had the right to place the cattle belonging to him, cattle being the earliest form of private property, were held in common, and, finally, there were the unoccupied or waste lands also belonging to the tribe as a whole. 18 We should bear in mind, however, that all the tribal lands, whether arable, pasture, or common, were doubtless subject, as regards each individual cultivator, or live stock-owner, to dues, whether in money or kind, for the support of the chief,19 and since, in course of time, the general tendency was for him to gain more power, he gradually became the virtual owner of the land, while the tribesmen sank to being merely his tenants-at-will. The strips referred to are known in Irish, ScottishGaelic, and Manx, respectively, by the names of immair, imire, and immyr, meaning a ridge of land. This system of division is still called the 'run-rig' in the remote parts of Ireland and in the Hebrides, both of which have been so closely connected with Man, 20 and, since it is still in active operation in some parts of the latter, a brief description of it will be of interest, as showing what once probably took place in Man also: " The tenants of one of the islands-to take a single instance-met together," says Skene, " after harvest, and having decided upon the portion of land to be put into green crop next year, they divide it into shares, according to the number of shares in the soil they respectively possess. Thereupon they cast lots, and the share which falls to a tenant he retains for three years. A third of the land under cultivation is thus divided every year." 21 As to their pasture arrangements, the sheep, cattle, and horses graze together, each tenant being only allowed to keep stock conformably to his share in the soil. About Whitsuntide they remove their sheep and cattle to the grazing ground behind the arable land or in the hills, 22 and, there being no fences to protect the fields, the herds, during summer and autumn, are placed at night in enclosures to secure them against trespassing on the crops. 23 In another place the same writer says

" The land occupied by the members of the clan was divided into townships or farms, each township consisting of a certain portion of arable land, meadow, green pasture, and muirland." 24 The tenants of these farms " formed a sort of village community, having their houses together, holding the land in run-rig, which was divided annually among them, and the pasture land in common, each tenant being entitled to pasture a certain number of cattle, sheep, and horses, in proportion to his share of the arable land." 25

The state of things thus described has long ago disappeared in Man, but numerous tokens remain to show that its land system was once of a similar nature. Thus, the great length and extreme narrowness of the land divisions, called treens or ballas are indications of a former division into strips; and, moreover, we learn, from a record written in 1589, that, when a treen was held by several tenants on the straw tenure 26 without lease, and, when these tenants could not agree upon a division, it was actually divided into strips, presumably compulsorily, these strips being called immyr, or butts, one tenant occupying "the one butt, and the other the other butt throughout the whole ground." 27 Of the frequent reallotments of the whole land there is also decisive evidence. Thus, in 1422, great inconvenience was caused to the people by the loss of " their profit of foulding and manuring that year," and it was therefore ordered that "the setting be made betyme before Midsomer." 28 That the mountain pasture and the seashore were common to all throughout the year is rendered probable by the fact that many of the land divisions 29 already referred to still extend from the mountains, on the one hand, to the sea 30 on the other. It appears also that the lowland pasture was formerly used in common during the winter season, it being the practice, according to an ancient customary law, to keep up the fences between the 25th of March and Michaelmas 31 only; and a law passed in 1422, giving permission to " every person to enclose his farme land, and keep it several all tymes in the year," 32 indicates that it had previously been the custom to leave the land unfenced and open in the winter. In short, then, we find that in Man, as in Ireland and the Hebrides, the arable lands were divided into strips or butts, which were frequently allotted and re-allotted, being sometimes divided between different owners in scattered portions, and they were, till a comparatively recent period, open and unfenced during the winter, when there was a general right of pasture on them. This right of pasture on the strips is alone sufficient I to show that the Manx land-system had its origin in tribal occupation. We say "tribal occupation" rather than " tribal ownership," because, as has already been pointed out, the individual tribesman was subject to his chief, and it is even probable that he was in a more dependent position with regard to him than under the feudal system the tenant was with regard to his lord. In both cases the tenants paid rent in some form, 33, whether in service in war, in kind, or in money, but, under the Celtic system, the exactions which the chief might lay on his tenants were practically unlimited by law, whereas the demands of the feudal lord were strictly regulated. " The Irish," says a recent native historian, " knew no such thing as tenure, nor forfeiture, nor fixed rent ; at this they repined, though willing to offer such tribute of victuals as was required, and to let their chieftains eat them almost out of house and home,"34 being bound to maintain them in their houses for a specified number of weeks or days when they went on their progresses. 35 It must further be remembered that, in Celtic times, there was a considerable servile population which would be largely under the control of the chief, and could be utilized by him for coercing his free tenants. It would appear, then, that the township cultivators were, in their relation to the chief, merely joint tenants, paying him rent in some form or other. But, as regards their relations to each other, the system in some particulars, such as the annual change of the strips allotted to each cultivator, may be described as a kind of communism. 35 This communistic arrangement must have had a powerful tendency, especially when combined with the chief's exactions, to render any progress in the agriculture of those who were subjected to it all but impossible, because, since each cultivator had his plot of land for one year 36 it only, it was not worth his while to make any permanent improvements, or even to manure it thoroughly, and, if he did so, his successors, not he, would enjoy most of the fruits of his labour. He would naturally therefore confine himself to taking all he could out of the land. Not less destructive of individual effort was the joint grazing system which prevented any one from improving his own stock by selection and breeding. It is probable that there was, in Man at least, much more land in pasture than under corn, because, in the case of an invasion, it would be much easier to drive the live stock to the mountains than to save the crops. We learn from the ancient Irish records that oats was the chief corn crop, and that flax was also cultivated ; that the tillage must have been rude, since the spades and forks and ploughs were all of wood, though sometimes shod with iron; that wheeled carts were used,37 though their wheels were probably solid discs, and that both these and the ploughs were drawn by oxen. We know also that the Irish had swine and goats, as well as sheep, but that cattle constituted the chief wealth of the country, and were the standard of value. Of the domestic arrangements and mode of living of the early Celtic inhabitants of Man we have, of course, no contemporary account ; but, as there can be little doubt that they were substantially identical with those of their kinsmen in Ireland, we venture to apply to our island the following description of the houses, food, clothing, and weapons of the ancient Irish.38

The houses of the people of all classes were made of wood, chiefly wattles and wicker-work, enclosing clay, and were cylindrical in shape, 39 with conical roofs thatched with rushes. They were placed within earthen ramparts, a number of them being clustered together. Each house contained one room only. The ordinary freeman had seven of them, 40 divided as follows: (1) a living house for sleeping and meals; (2) the women's house, where spinning and domestic work were carried on; (3) the kitchen; (4) the barn; (5) the calf-house; (6) the pigstye ; and (7) the sheep-house. These houses had no chimney, the fire being in the centre, so that the smoke made its exit through the door or a hole in the roof. The beds were arranged round the walls, and were made of skins stuffed with feathers. They had wooden platters, drinking horns, and other vessels of yew and bronze, but no pottery. The children of the upper classes were not reared at home, but were sent elsewhere to be fostered. Their food was very simple. It consisted mainly of oatcakes, cheese, curds, butter, fish, onions, watercress, and flesh of all domestic animals, fresh and salted. In the eighth century, at all events, wheat and barley meal were also used by the richer classes. Their chief drink was ale. They had storytellers, fools, and jugglers. Their dress consisted (1) of the lenn, 41 a kind of loose shirt generally of woollen cloth, but sometimes of linen, reaching a little below the knees of the men, and forming what is now called the kilt. This garment was of different colours, some being spotted, checkered, and variegated, each tribe or clan having apparently special colours. Over the lean came the roar, a kind of closely fitting tunic reaching to the-hips, and bound round the waist by the criss, 42 a girdle or scarf, often of some rich colour, especially purple. The inar, or tunic, appears to have been open at the breast, so as to show off the embroidery of the lenn. Over the left shoulder, and fastened with a brooch, hung the brat, 43 a shawl or plaid like that of the modern Scottish Highlanders. In the earlier times this was the skin or fur of a wild beast, and a thorn did duty for a brooch. The legs were bare, or covered with a kind of legging or hose fastened by thongs. The only difference between the dress of the men and the women was that the lenn of the latter reached to the ankles. The freemen wore their hair long, and prided themselves on its curling into ringlets. The women also wore their hair long, and braided it into tresses which they confined with a pin. The beard was worn long, and was carefully cultivated, being often plaited into tresses. They tattooed their bodies with woad, and covered their fingers with rings and their arms with bracelets; round their necks they wore torques or twisted rings of gold.44 Ladies also had carved combs and ornamental workboxes; they used oil for their hair, and dyed their eyelashes black and their nails crimson. The lenn seems to have been the garb of freemen only, as the men of the servile classes wore braccae or tight fitting breeches reaching nearly to the ankles, the upper part of the body being either left altogether naked, or covered by a short cloak without sleeves. In winter all classes appear to have worn a long cloak with a cochull, or hood. Coats or cloaks of this kind were regarded in the seventh and eighth centuries as peculiarly Irish, owing, no doubt, to the great number of missionaries and scholars from Ireland who wandered over Europe wearing them. Every free tribesman had the right to bear arms. The principal weapon of the Irish was a pike or lance with a very long handle; some were also armed with a short sword, suspended by a belt across the shoulder, and with a shield. The shield was made either of bronze, or wood, or wickerwork covered with hide. Defensive armour was scarcely used before the wars with the Northmen.

The various gradations of rank amongst the ancient inhabitants of Man were probably much the same as in Ireland.45 There would be (1) a king, or chief; (2) perhaps a few nobles; (3) freemen with property, usually cattle, holding their land as joint tenants from the chief; (4) freemen without property; (5) slaves or, more correctly, un-freemen 46 These classes were not castes, since it was possible to pass from one into another. The chief was leader of the tribe in war, and its governor in peace. He was supposed to protect the tribesmen, and they, as we have seen, were obliged to support him. It would appear, then, that the condition of the Irish tribesmen was not a very advanced one from a social point of view, 47 though, if they had a good and considerate chief, and were free from quarrels with other tribes, it may have been a happy one. But the slightest acquaintance with the ancient Irish Annals, which present a most horrible picture of constant and bloody intertribal contests, show that such circumstances were not usual. Let us quote Professor Stokes on this point: " Plundering was regarded by the Celtic tribes of that day 48-just as all nations in that state of development regard it -as a most honourable employment. Thus if we take up the Book of Rights . . . we shall there find solemnly laid down among the privileges of the King of Cashel or Munster that of burning Northern Leinster, and of plundering the cattle of Croghan (the rich plains of Roscommon), while the cuckoo sings. But it is only when you take up the Annals of the Four Masters you can at all realise what perpetual, unceasing quarrels and bickerings prevailed." 49 Somewhat similar, though perhaps somewhat less subject to such disturbances, owing to its isolated position, was probably the social condition of the Celtic Manx.

To obtain an idea of their political condition at this time we have also to refer to Ireland. But even of the Irish political system very little is known, except that, as they, like all other Aryan nations, were governed by kings or chiefs who, with their nobles, absorbed nearly all the power, there would be but little left for the people. It would seem that a king of this sort " usually consulted the chiefs beneath him, and when he had discussed his views with them he declared his plan to a larger assembly, and published his decrees by means of it." 50 Such an assembly, consisting of all the freemen, would meet in the open air at the aenach, or fair, and, as Grote remarks with reference to the Greek agora, would " hear and approve, perhaps hear and murmur, but are not understood to exercise an option, or to reject," though, at a later date, when the power of the king or chief became less despotic, their assent or dissent may have become a necessary factor, as " the right of a deliberative voice in the popular assemblies of Northern and Western Europe belonged only to a limited number." 51 This is, probably, the form of assembly that met in Man in early Celtic days, and the occasions of its meeting would correspond with those of the periodical fairs, to which the people congregated in great numbers. These meetings would, most likely, be held near some mound hallowed by the monuments of an earlier religion, or by being the grave of some departed hero. On this the king's throne would be placed, and he would sit there surrounded by his chiefs, the whole body of the free people being also present. The functions of this assembly appear to have been mainly judicial, there being, however, no clear distinction between what was judicial and what was legislative; indeed, legislation, in the modern sense of the word, did not exist. Besides the more serious business, rehearsals of pedigrees, recitations of poetry and tales, musical contests, horse racing, wrestling, &c., took place at its meetings. 52 It seems, however, to have played but a small part in the history of the Celts, and especially of the Irish, with whom the Manx were more chiefly connected, as their chief need was an arbitrator in their private quarrels. For this purpose they had recourse not to the assembly, but to a judge, called Brehon in Irish, and Briw in Manx, whose office was hereditary, and whose jurisdiction only arose by the consent of the litigants. For it must be remembered that the essential principle of Brehon law is that crimes are wrongs committed by individuals against individuals, or rather by a family against a family, since each family was considered responsible for the crimes of its members, with which the State has no concern. Such crimes can be compensated by a payment in money or cattle, and the Brehon was called in by the parties interested to settle the amount of this payment. If his decision suited them, they agreed to it ; if not, they appealed to the arbitrament of arms,53 and a blood feud between the two families probably ensued. Such a system was wanting in all the elements of social stability. Of the defensive organization of the island in Celtic times we have interesting traces in the local names which indicate that there were look-out stations on various points of vantage,54 from whence the earliest possible information of the approach of an enemy could be gained,55 and in the remains of numerous earthwork fortifications, most of which probably date from this period. The military force was probably composed of the freemen, who would all be liable to military service; and, indeed, the statement of the deemsters to Sir John Stanley, in 1417, that it was one of the " constitutions of old time" 56 that every man had to perform the duties of "watch and ward" 57 renders it likely, in conjunction with the other facts mentioned, that universal military service dates from a very early period.

The most striking and interesting event during ' this period is the conversion of the Manx to Christianity. It is not known when it took place, all that we are able to state being that it was probably in the sixth or seventh century, or pos sibly as early as the fifth century.58 But even this general statement is only made on the strength of indirect evidence, seeing that there are no contemporary records relating to ecclesiastical events in Man before A.D. 1134,59 and no consecutive narrative before the middle of the thirteenth century, when the monks of Rushen probably began their Chronicon Manniæ. 60

Before inquiring what these monks have to tell us, we may briefly state what is known about the conversion of Britain and Ireland, as it must, almost certainly, have led to the same process in the small island lying between them, which, in the days when vessels crept along the shore as much as possible, would be a natural calling-place.

The British Church was represented at the Synod of Arles, in A.D. 314; at the close of the fourth century the natives of Britain 61 were probably all Christians, and, at the beginning of the fifth century, they had advanced sufficiently to produce a heretic, Pelagius 62 This Pelagius had an intimate friend, Ccelestinus, an Irishman, so that it is possible that in this way, if not also through the constant attacks of the Irish upon Britain during the fourth century, when they must have had intercourse with Christian natives, Christianity was introduced into Ireland before St. Patrick's time.63 Who introduced it to Man we cannot tell, but, from the large proportion of the names of Irish ecclesiastics surviving in the appellation of the old Manx keeills, or cells, which are of similar type to the Irish oratories of the sixth and seventh centuries, and in the dedication of the Manx parish churches, which are usually on ancient sites, it may be reasonably conjectured that Manxmen were, for the most part, Christianized by Irish missionaries; and, indeed, it would have been strange if the proselytizing Irish 64 monks, who, beginning in the sixth century, wandered all over Europe, had avoided an island so near to them.

It is possible, however, that a Christianizing movement of somewhat earlier date may have reached Man from another quarter. At the very end of the fourth century, a British saint, Ninian (ob. ? 432), who had been trained at Rome, built a church, called Candida Casa, on the western side of Wigton Bay, and dedicated it to St. Martin of Tours.65 It is said that through his teaching the southern Picts were converted, but, as they soon afterwards seem to have apostatized,66 his influence was not a permanent one. Our conjecture about his possible influence in Man, as well as about that of his successors, Patrick (ob. 461) and Columba (n. 504, ob. 580), is founded upon the proximity of the sphere of their work to Man, and upon the names found there, as above mentioned; but it must be understood that the occurrence of these names in Man does not necessarily mean that those who bore them visited it, or even that they were bestowed during the period of the saints' lifetime; indeed, they were more probably the result of the pious remembrance of their sanctity preserved by later generations.

There may be a trace of St. Ninian 67 in Man in the name of the thirteenth-century church of St. Triman (a corruption of St. Ninian), which may have been re-built on an older site, and the dedication of a keeill to St. Martin is perhaps due to the same connexion. There is more information about the second Christianizing movement, that initiated by St. Patrick, though it is not, as regards Man, of a more reliable character.68 The following interesting account of it is given in the Tripartite Life of St. Patrick.

St. Patrick having by means of a miracle converted a wicked man of Ulster, called Mace Cuill, and his men, the following incident is related " Then they were silent and said, ` Truly this man Patrick is a man of God.' They all forthwith believed, and Mace Cuill 69 believed, and at Patrick's behest he went in the sea in a coracle of [only] one hide. . . . Now Mace Cuill went on that day to sea, with his right hand towards Mag Inis, till he reached Mann, and found two wonderful men in the island before him. And it is they that preached God's Word in Mann, and through their preaching the men of that island were baptized. Conindri and Romuil were their names. Now when these men saw Mace Cuill 69 in his coracle they took him from the sea and received him with a welcome, and he learnt the divine rule with them until he took the bishopric after them. This is `Mace Cuill from the sea,' the illustrious bishop and prelate of Arduimen."70

From this account it would certainly be inferred that St. Patrick had not visited Man; 71 but, whether he did so or not, 72 his name has been freely made use of in Manx sacred sites, two of the parish churches, Kirk Patrick, and Kirk Patrick of Jurby, bearing it, and no less than seven keeills. 73 The names of the following saints who are supposed to have lived during St. Patrick's time, are also found in Man: Maughold (the Macc Cuill already mentioned), said to have been one of his earliest disciples, who has given his name to a parish, a headland, and an islet; Lonan, who has a parish; and Brigit (it. 438, ob. 508), the most famous of Irish female saints, who has a parish and seven keeills, 74 and who, according to Manx tradition, founded the nunnery near Douglas; and possibly also Ruisen, or Rushen, one of Patrick's disciples,75 who may have given his name to the parish church of Rushen..76 From thence it may have been applied to the sheading, glen, and castle, of that name. 77

It cannot, therefore, be regarded as more than possible that Man received Christianity in Patrick's time; 78 but, assuming that it did, let us consider in what way its Church was probably organized. If a similar to the Church in Ireland, it would have p been under " a congregational and tribal episcopacy, united by a federal rather than a territorial tie." 79 This system, however, did not prove successful in Ireland, and seems " to have led, towards the end of his (St. Patrick's) life, to the adoption of a very peculiar sort of collegiate church. It consisted in a group of seven bishops placed together in one church; and they were brought closer to the tribal system based on the family, which prevailed in Ireland, by these bishops being usually seven brothers selected from one family in the tribe."80 There was an establishment of this kind in Iona at the end of the fifth century, 81 and it is not unlikely that there may have been something similar in Man. If we may believe the Tripartite Life, Man had, at this time 82 (the end of the fifth century), become famous as a retreat for hermit monks, but we may more reasonably conjecture that this state of things belongs to a later period, since, according to two MSS. 83 of the eighth century, the eremitical order did not begin in Ireland till towards the end of the sixth century. These MSS. tell us that there were three classes of saints, corresponding to three periods of the Irish Church before the " great mortality " in 666. The first order was from Patrick to 534, when they "were all bishops . . . founders of churches . . . they observed one mass, one celebration, one tonsure from ear to ear,"84 and " rejected not the services and society of women." This first period may be described as the age of churches and a secular clergy. In the second order, which lasted from 534 to 572, "there were few bishops and many presbyters" who "refused the services of women, separating them from the monasteries." Here the churches are superseded by monasteries, and the secular clergy by a regular or monastic clergy. The third order, was that of eremitical clergy, " who dwelt in desert places, and lived on herbs and water and the alms; " they did not supersede the monasteries, but co-existed with them.

We now come to the third great Christianizing movement, that of St. Columba, which took place during the second and third periods just mentioned, and which was clearly the one which had the most enduring influence upon Man. This famous Irish saint was educated chiefly at the monastic school at Clonard, founded by St. Finnian, a friend of St. Brigit's, some years before. The first forty years of his life were spent in Ireland, where he is said to have founded no less than 300 churches. About 546, he sailed to Iona, then called I or Hy, with twelve disciples and 200 companions. This island, where he founded a monastery, became his headquarters, and from thence he made his numerous missionary expeditions, which appear to have speedily resulted in the conversion not only of the Western Isles and Man, but also of the Picts of the mainland of Scotland.

The Church of Columba, which, we must bear in mind, was a mission from the Irish Church, was essentially a monastic one, and as such, with its bishops, subject to the abbot,85 even though he was only a presbyter, as the head of the community, though the special functions of the bishops -ordination and the celebration of the Eucharist -were fully recognised, as was their superior rank to the presbyters.

The members of the monastic community were termed brethren, and consisted of three classes. " Those of advanced years and tried devotedness were called seniors. Their principal duty was to attend to the religious services of the Church and to reading and transcribing the Scriptures. Those who were stronger and fitter to labour were termed the working brothers. Their stated labour was agriculture in its various branches, and the tending of cattle ; and probably, in addition to this, the service within the monastery, in the preparation of food, and the manufacture of the various articles required for personal or domestic use. . . . The third class consisted of the youth who were under instruction. . . .

" Their doctrinal system was that common to the Western Church prior to the fifth century. . . . To use the language of Columbanus, the Columban Church `received nought but the doctrine of the evangelists and the apostles'; and, as we learn from Adainnan, the foundation of Columba's preaching, and his great instrument in the conversion of the heathen, was the Word of God." 86

The monasteries 87 in which such monks lived were probably of a very primitive description, consisting of groups of huts, surrounding a small church, or oratory, 88 where they met for worship.

The organization of this Church was tribal, like that of its predecessors. It would seem that when a tribe was converted to Christianity, it granted the saint to whom this was due a portion of its territory, which was called the territory of the " tribe of the saint," the remaining portion being called " the tribe of the land." 89 On this territory the saint formed a monastic establishment with its church, which was afterwards governed by abbots, or coarbs, connected by kinship with the original founder,90 and was occupied by the monastic tribe as distinguished from the lay tribe. This tribe, or family, as it was also called, consisted partly of monks and partly of dependents. As Christianity spread, other churches in connexion with the original church would be established in various parts of the tribe's territory. The main characteristics of the Irish Church, then, were that it was a similar organization to that of the civil tribe, and that, during and after the Columban period, it was governed by abbots, who might be laymen, and not by bishops. In fact, as a learned writer well describes it, " the civil chaos out of which society had not yet escaped was faithfully reproduced in a Church devoid of hierarchical government; intensely national as faithfully reflecting the ideas of the nation, but not national in the ordinary acceptation of the term, as possessing an organisation co-extensive with the territory occupied by the nation."91

As regards the extension of this Church to Man, in addition to the fact that the names of Columban monks are found there, it should be borne in mind how great and far extended was the influence of Iona on all the adjacent countries. Thus Bede, in speaking of Northumbria, in the period 634 to 664, says that " all the province, and even the bishops, were subject to Iona." 92

Let us now briefly investigate the names of Columban monks in Man. Columba himself has given his name to a parish (though it now, except in the official records, bears its alternative name of Arbory), and also to a keeill ; but perhaps an even more significant proof of what his influence was in Man is the fact that his name is still considered an effective charm against the fairies. 93 One of his companions, St. Mochonna, or St. Dachonna, who was sent by him to the Picts, had a shrine on InisPatrick, probably Peel Island in Man,94 which, in 798, according to the Annals of Ulster, was " broken" by the " Gentiles "-i.e., the Northmen.

Of the various Moluas, Molipas, Malius, and Moluocs, from whom the parish of Malew may have taken its name, the most likely to have been connected with Man is the Moluoc, who founded a monastery in Lismore in Columba's time, and after whom the church of Kilmaluoc there is named. St. Ronan, too, though he lived after Columba's time, 95 belonged to his Church, and is commemorated in Man in the parish of Marown, the church of which is dedicated to St. Runius (in Manx Keeill-Marooney), in Keeill-Ronan, and perhaps in Ronnag. 96 The name of Donnan of Eig, who founded a monastery in that island, probably in Columba's lifetime, and was " killed by robbers of the sea " 97 there, in 616, perhaps occurs in Ardonan, " Donan's height." 98 Such is the evidence which certainly tends to show that there was a Columban Church in Man.

Towards the end of the sixth century, as we have already seen, the communities of monks living in common under an abbot were largely supplemented, if not superseded, by recluses, or anchorites, called Céle-Dé (companion or servant of God) or Culdees-who considered that a solitary life passed in devotion and self-mortification, accompanied by acts of benevolence to the sick and bereaved, was a " cultus " or " religio " particularly acceptable to God.99

Judging from the numerous remains of the ancient keeills, or cells, which are still found in Man, and some at least of which were probably used by the recluses, 100 we may reasonably conclude that the Isle of Man was a favourite resort of theirs.

The more primitive of the keeills were made entirely of sods, and their internal dimensions are about 15 feet by 9 feet. Their single entrance seems to have been the only source of light. They were usually erected on artificial hillocks, some 3 feet or 4 feet high, and 30 feet in diameter, which were surrounded by a sod fence, and contained no graveyard. A rather better class of keeill was built of sod and rough stone, or of rough stone only, without mortar. These keeills appear to have had sidelights, as well as an entrance-way, and their artificial hillocks, which were oval in form, being as much as 120 feet by 70 feet, were used as graveyards. As they are all in ruins, it is impossible to say how they were roofed. A third and still more advanced style of keeill has its stones bound together with a sort of plastic clay. Their entrances are formed of three monoliths, of which the two side stones incline towards each other at the top, which is covered by the third. They have square-headed windows, and, in one of them, a rude bell turret survives on the western gable, the form of which shows that the roof was a high-pitched one. They are not on a raised mound. Their dimensions, and those of the second class, are about 20 feet by 12 feet.101 It is clear, then, that, as these cells were so small, they were not intended for large congregations, but merely for the accommodation of the recluse, and of a few who would visit him for religious advice and the ministrations of the Church. It is also significant of their use that near them was invariably a well whence the holy men could draw water, both for their own consumption and for baptizing the children of those who came to them. It is possible, however, judging by the analogy of Ireland, that, in some cases, the recluses did not inhabit the keeills, but small buildings adjoining them, of which there are no traces left in Man. When this was so, since the recluses, in some cases, did not leave their abodes, the services in the keeills would probably be conducted by a monk from the central monastery connected with the original church, which, in Man, was most likely to have been on Peel Island.

These recluses or culdees " were finally brought under the canonical rule along with the secular clergy, retaining, however, to some extent the nomenclature of the monastery, until at length the name of Keledeus, or Culdee, became almost synonymous with that of secular canon." 102 But neither this change, nor that of permitting the monks to marry, would have had time to develop in the Celtic Church of Man, before it was brought to an end by the pagan Northmen. Before this catastrophe, Man, like Ireland, having been almost certainly cut off from Europe, for a time, by the English conquest of Britain, must have had a share in the peculiar type of Christianity which was developed in Ireland with an enthusiasm, learning, and energy far greater than existed elsewhere-a Christianity which propagated its tenets by sending missionaries all over Europe. Armagh and Durrow were the universities of the west, and concentrated within their walls the science and biblical knowledge which had all but deserted the Continent. 103

This isolation began, however, to be broken down early in the seventh century, when the bitter struggle between the Irish and Roman Churches about the time of keeping of Easter began. The southern Irish, who had been more in contact with Britain and Gaul, adopted the Roman time in 633, while the northern Irish, with whom the Manx were naturally more closely connected, swayed by the influence of the Columban community, did not fully adopt it till 716. The assimilation to Rome caused a decay in the Celtic Church system, and this decay was, later on, accelerated in Ireland by the Scandinavian invasions, which, in Man, probably all but completely destroyed not only the Celtic Church, but Christianity itself by the middle of the ninth century, because Man was not, like the larger adjacent kingdoms, partially occupied by the Northmen, but was entirely subjected by them. Yet, even so, the Celtic Church in Man has left some tokens of its existence in the ruins of the ancient keeills with their burying-grounds, and sacred wells, in the round tower on Peel Island, in two rude pillar stones with incised crosses,104 and in a few 105 Ogam inscriptions; and its continuity is proved by the fact that the inscribed crosses, dating from the latter part of the Scandinavian period, are, for the most part, found on ancient sacred sites dedicated to Celtic saints, whose names have come down to our own time. There are also village fairs of immemorial antiquity still held on the days of those saints, and the naives of the staff-lands of St. Patrick and St. Maughold serve to remind us that these lands were held by lay families, as the hereditary guardians of the staffs of these saints, till a comparatively recent period.

The secular history of the Isle of Man during the Celtic period is an absolute blank, there being no trustworthy record of any event whatever before the incursions of the Northmen, since the exploits attributed to I3aetan Mac Cairill, king of Ulster, at the end of the sixth century, which were formerly supposed to have been performed in the Isle of Man, really occurred in the country between the Firths of Clyde and Forth.106 And it is clear that, even if the supposed conquest of the Mevanian islands-Man and Anglesey-by Edwin of Northumbria, in 616, did take place, it could not have led to any permanent results,107 for, when the English were driven from the coasts of Cumberland and Lancashire soon afterwards, it is not likely that they retained their hold on the island to the west of these coasts; but it is possible that, in 684, when Ecgfrid laid Ireland waste from Dublin to Drogheda, he temporarily occupied Man.108

Footnotes

1 We use the general term Celtic as being less pedantic, but it should be clearly understood that the Manx people belong to the Goidelic (Irish and Gaelic) branch of the Celtic family, not to the Brythonic (Welsh, Cornish, and Breton).

2 Dr. Johnson.

3 "In hoc medio curse est insula quæ appellatur Mona" (Manx Soc., vol. iv. p. 2).

4 In 416 A.D. Orosius wrote (I., ii. 82, Trubner's Ed.) " Huic [scil Hiberniae] etiam Mevania insula Proxima est, et ipsa spatio non parva, solo commoda ; æque a Scottorum gentibus habitatur." Till recently, when Professor Rhys advanced the alternative proposition that they were " Cruithni or Picts who had adopted the Celtic language of the Aryan conqueror in Ireland," it has been invariably considered that the Scoti were Goidelic Celts (Ethnology of the British Isles, pp. 52-3). But, however this may be, the evidence of Orosius is valuable as showing that the people who inhabited Ireland and Man were of a similar race.

5 See Manx Names, pp. 130-32.

6 Codex A. (London, 1862), p. 36.

7 Prof. Rhys writes: "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" (Ethnology of the British Isles, p. 2).

8 Called treen in the Manorial Rolls, a word of uncertain meaning. Mr. Quine (Yn Lioar Manninagh, vol. iii. pt. iii. p. 101) suggests that it may have been so called from the

treen-holder having to provide three men for military service, thus giving, with his own, one man from each quarter. All farms, irrespective of size, are now called balla., since knowledge of the treen is disappearing, the quarterlands only being remembered.

9 For full discussion of these names, see Manx Names, pp. 161-5.

10 Including abbey lands, 99 quarterlands ; Barony of Bangor and Sabhal, 6 ; St. Trinian's Barony, 19; and Christian's Barony, 1 quarterland.

11 Manx Names, p. 15. The peculiarly Irish forms, both in surnames and place-names, are much more common in Man than the Scottish.

12 See " The Manx Runic Inscriptions re-read " (Manx Note Book, vol. iii. pp. 21-2). We must bear in mind that the evidence from place-names cannot be regarded as conclusive with reference to the relative proportions of the different races inhabiting a country; nor can that from surnames, because of the admixture of race and the comparatively recent date (say the eleventh century in Ireland) at which they were introduced. 13 Circa, A.D. 25.

14 O'Grady, Silva Gadelica, Introduction, p. xix.

15 Solinus, Polyhistor, chap. 22, quoted by Skene, vol. i. p. 40.

16 Skene, vol. iii. p. 137.

17 These strips were arranged in three areas, one of which was left fallow each year, thus insuring a regular rotation. 18 Skene, vol. iii. p. 139.

19 He had also his landed estate for life.

20 Seebohm, English Village Community, p. 225.

21 Skene, vol. iii. p. 380. There was no continuity of possession, a great drawback to successful cultivation.

22 Skene, vol. iii. p. 382.

23 On this system Skene comments: " It will probably surprise many to find that a state of society such as is above described should still exist in some of the townships of the Outer Hebrides. It is not many years since similar communities were to be found in other islands, and on the mainland. Their customs and regulations were obviously pervaded by the spirit of the old tribal communities, as exhibited in the Brehon Laws, and still possess, in more or less degree, some of its characteristic features" (vol. iii. p. 394).

24 Ibid., vol. iii. p. 369.

25 Ibid., vol. iii. p. 370.

26 For account of this tenure see Book vii.

27 Lib. Placit. The idea of this division into scattered strips seems to have been that each tenant should receive a fair share of the various qualities of soil.

28 Statutes, vol. i. p. 14. Old people still remember its being the practice to manure these butts by folding cattle on them in builtehiyn, or folds, and sheep in eroyn, or pens.

29 The treens are almost always natural divisions being dependent " on the natural formation and conditions of the district they are in, while the quarterlands, being formed at a later date are, for the most part, artificial divisions." (See Quine on Treens. Yn Lioar Manninagh, vol. iii. pt. iii. pp. 95-102).

30 At the present day all have free access to the shore for the purpose of carting seaweed.

31 Parr's MS.

32 Statutes, vol. i. p. 20.

33 The inferior members of the tribe yielded to the chiefs milk and honey, and even money for the grazing of their cows, and were bound to maintain their lords, with their wives, sons and daughters, their horses, servants ... for a specified number of meals or days in their houses, when they went among their dependents, ' coshering ' as it was called."(Prendergast).

34 Ibid.

35 For an exhaustive discussion of the whole subject, and especially for a proof that the " run-rig " cultivators were simply joint-tenants, see M. Fustel de Coulanges, Les origines du Systëme Fëodal, Le Bënëfice et le Patronal, and Nouvelles Recherches sur quelques Problëmes d'Histoire (1891).

36 Or, at most, three years. It is possible, however, that a large tract might be worked by all its holders in common, and the fact that each individual holder's strips seem to have been widely scattered tells in favour of this view.

37 In Man, however, it is more probable that creels, such as were still to be found in the early part of the nineteenth century (see bk. viii.), were used.

38 From art. Ireland, Ency. Brit.

39 In Man, wood having always seemingly been scarce, they were probably made of stones and mud.

40 Probably the foundations remaining at the Meayll, the Sloc, &c., are of buildings similar to these (see note j , p. 34).

41 Manx lheiney.

42 Manx cryss.

43 The same word is used in Manx for a covering.

44 Such ornaments have been found in Man.

45 It is not considered advisable to enter into the many intricate subdivisions of classes in Ireland and their names, as they may not all have existed in Man. In any case they are of no historical importance.

46. Note the Manx word inney-veyl, "bond-maid."

47 Though Sullivan, Introduction to O'Curry (Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish), p. xvii, thinks that "the existence of a very advanced social and political life in Ireland " between the fifth and ninth centuries is certain.

48 The eighth century.

49 Ireland and the Celtic Church, p. 198. 50 Rhys, Celtic Britain, pp. 64-65.

51 O'Curry, Manners aizd Customs of the Ancient Irish, Introduction, p. celvii. t See 52 Ibid. pp. ccly-vi.

53 This system was simply the old Roman and Teutonic fashion of paena and weregild retained by the conservative Celts.

54 Each of these stations was called Cronk-ny-Arrey, or " Hill of the Watch." There are a large number of them throughout the island.

55 The method of summoning the people to arms in such an emergency was by sending a wooden cross from house to house in the daytime, and at night by lighting beacons on the mountain tops.

56 Statutes, vol. i. p. 4.

57 If any one failed to perform these duties he forfeited for the first night a wether, for the second night a calf, and for the third night " life and lyme " [limb] (Ibid.)

58 The Tripartite Life of St. Patrick, which O'Curry (MS. Materials of Ancient Irish History, pp. 343-51) considers older than the Book of Armagh (A.D. 807), but on insufficient evidence, gives an account, as we shall see, of the conversion of the Manx in the fifth century; and the Book of Armagh tells us of the conversion of the Manx St. Maughold. Of the materials of this Book of Armagh, Aed, bishop of Gleibte (ob. 697), whose Memoir of Patrick is the second oldest in it (the oldest being that by Tirechan, ob. 657), tells us that many took in hand " to set forth in order a narration; but by reason of the very great difficulty of the narrative, and the diverse opinions and numerous doubts of very many persons, have never arrived at any one certain track of history" (Life of St. Patrick, Dr. Todd's translation, p. 402), so we need not place much reliance on its contents.

59 It should be borne in mind that the list of Manx bishops, beginning with Patrick, given by recent Manx historians, is a purely imaginary one. In support of this statement we may quote the monks of Rushen Abbey (and monks are usually credulous in such matters), to the effect that they regarded it as " sufficient to have begun the account of the bishops from Roolwer (end of eleventh century), because we are entirely ignorant who or what were the bishops before Roolwer's time; for we neither find any written documents on the subject, nor have we any certain accounts handed down by our elders " (" Chronicon Manniæ," Manx Soc., vol. xxii. pp. 113-14).

60 In 1249, the monks write of a story which was told them, " We have written the above as we had it from his own lips " (" Chronicon Manniae," Manx Soc., vol. xxii. p. 105).

61 I.e., England and Wales.

62 Said to be a translation of Morgen, later Morien, " seaborn." See Rhys, Hibbert Lectures, p. 229.

63 About this period came the gradual conquest of Britain by the pagan Saxons, but this would not affect Ireland or the districts of Cambria and Strathclyde, adjacent to Man.

64 They may have come either direct from Ireland or from the Scottish isles.

65 Bede, Hist. Ec., 13. iii. 4, quoted by Skene, vol. i. p. 130.

66 Jocelin, Life of Kentigern, quoted by Skene, vol. ii. p. 39. 67 It is possible, of course, that Man may, at this time, have formed part of the kingdom of Strathclyde, and, if so, the connexion with St. Ninian would be easily explained.

68 As to the lives of the Irish saints, which may be quoted as authorities on this period, O'Curry states that the oldest belong to the seventh century. On these have been founded the various martyrologies, of which the best are those of Tallacht, of AEngus, and of Donegal.

69 Or Maughold. For account of his conversion, see Book of Armagh, or Folklore of the Isle of Man, pp. 21-25.

70 Whiteley Stokes's translation, p. 223. Instead of Arduimen, Colgan has Ard-Ebnanensis.

71 Dr. Lanigan (Ecclesiastical history of Ireland, vol. i. ch. vi. n. 118, pp. 305-307) concludes that "there is no sufficient foundation for St. Patrick having preached in Man."

72 It was reserved for Jocelin (on whose account that in the " Chroncon Manniæ " is probably founded), a monk of Furness, writing early in the twelfth century-who may, however, have had access to information not attainable now-to assert his visit to Man as a fact, and his narrative is expanded and embellished by the Supposed True Chronicle of Mary and the Traditionary Ballad, both probably of not earlier date than the sixteenth century.

73 Besides these, there is an old cromlech (?) called his chair in Marown.

74 Brigit is said to have come over to Man to receive the veil from Maughold (Book of Armagh).

75, Mairtyrology of Tallacht.

76 Castletown was also formerly called Rushen.

77 About St. Germanus, who is said to have preceded " Conindri " and " Romuil," and to have been the first bishop, there has been much controversy, which need not be entered into here. It will suffice to state that he is not mentioned in any of St. Patrick's lives, except Jocelin's ; nor is he mentioned in the Chronion Mamniae (see Colgan, Trias Tharumaturga, appendix ad Acta S. Pa,tricii, p. 266).

78 The following more obscure saints may also belong to this period: St. Connigen (parish of Conchan), Cairbre (parish of Arbory), St. Orora (Keeill-Crore), St. Lingan (Keeill-Lingan).

79 Skene, vol. ii. p. 22.

80 Skene, vol. ii. pp. 24-25.

81 As we find AEngus, the Culdee, in his Litany invoking " the seven bishops of Hii."

82 " Manniam sive Euboniam olim Druidum et gentilium vatum, postea, ab adventu Sti. Patricii, Christi mystarum et monachorum secessu ; et sede nobilem, claramque insulurn." (Sep. Vita S. Patricii, cap. eliii. p. 98.)

83 A Catalogue of the Saints of Ireland, attributed to Tirechan, and the " Litany of ~Engus." (Quoted by Skene, vol. ii. pp. 12-14.)

84 This peculiar form of tonsure is said to have been adopted from the Druids.

85These abbots at a later date did not take orders, and so virtually became laymen with an hereditary office.

86 Skene, vol. ii. p. 101. (Founded on Adannnan's account.)

87 Two of the most famous Irish monasteries, Bangor and Sabhal, had lands in Man. See. p. 200.

88 See Martyrology of Donegal, p. 177; Colgan, p. 458, &c. The condition of the monks who lived in these huts may be judged from the description given by Dicuil of the Irish monks in Iceland, who rejoiced in the light at midnight in summer because it was sufficient to allow them " Pediculos de camisia abstrahere tanquam in pmsentia solis " (Stokes, Ireland and the Celtic Church, p. 217).

89 See the tract Corus Besena in Senchets Mor., Rolls Edition, p. 65.

90 See Ibid., p. 79, where elaborate rules as to the rights of succession are given.

91 Introduction to Rolls Edition of Ancient Laws of Ireland, vol. iii. p. lxxvi.

92 Skene, vol. ii. p. 157.

93 Folklore of the Isle of Man, p. 99.

94 It is Dr. Todd's opinion that Peel Island was Inis-Patrick. See Introduction to the War of the Gaedhil with the Gaill. 95 Ob. 737.

96 Cf. Kilmaronok (Lennox), Teampull Ronaig, and Cladh Ronan (Iona).

97 Skene, vol. i. p. 345.

98 The name of St. Brendan, the navigator, which possibly occurs in the name of the parish of Braddan, would seem to have come to us from the Scottish isles, which he visited about 545 A.D., before the establishment of the Columban Church.

99 Dr. Stokes (Ireland and the Celtic Church, pp. 186-188) ingeniously tries to identify Irish and Oriental monasticism in several important particulars.

100 But perhaps also in connexion with a central monastery.

101 The length of the Manx keeills in proportion to their breadth is usually as five to three. See Manx Soc., vol. xv. pp. 79-89.

102 Skene, vol. ii. p. 277.

103 Montalembert (Moines &Occident, vol. iii. pp. 316-17) has an interesting passage on the curious co-existence of this ecclesiastical golden age with the horrible condition of temporal affairs already depicted, which he concludes as follows

" Depuis le septiénme siècle jusqu'au onziëme les étudiants anglais affluëreut en Irlande, et pendant ces quatre siëcles les ëcoles monastiques de file maintinrent tette bonne et grande renommée qui excitait tant de générations successives A venir s'y tremper dans les eaux vivantes de la science et de la foi. Ce dévouement å la science, tette généreuse munificence envers les étrangers, toute tette vie studieuse et intellectuelle, cultivëe sous la féconde incubation de la foi, se manifestait avec d'autant plus d'éclat an milieu de 1'horrible confusion et des désastres sanglants qui signalene, dans fordre temporal, tet dge d'or de 1'histroire ecclésiastique d'Irlande, mëme avant les sanguinaires invasions des Danois, å la fin du huitième siècle."

104 These form part of the cromlech (?), called St. Patrick's chair, which is in the middle of a field called " Magher-yChiarn," in Marown. Air. Roinilly Allen (" Early Christian Monuments of the Isle of Man," in the Journal of the Brilish Archæological Association, vol. xliii. p. 240) considers that they belong " to the period from about A.D. 400 to 700." We may also note an interesting inscription in Roman uncials as belonging to the same period (see Kermode, Manks Crosses, p. 55).

105 Six in number (see Kermode, Manks Crosses, pp. 57-60).

106 See Rhys, Celtic Britain, pp. 112 and 157. This country was called Manaw by Brythons and Mannan by Goidels.

107 " Mevanias Brittonuin Insulas, qme inter Hiberniam et Brittaniam sitæ sunt " (Bede's Ecclesiastical History, A.D. 731. Bk. II., ch. v., also ch. ix.). Apparently the " Mevanian Islands " mentioned in these passages are Man and Anglesey. Bede says that the more southerly of the islands was the larger, and more fertile, containing 960 hides of land, while the northern island had only 300. It is probable that Bede obtained the name Mevania from Orosius, though the application of it to Anglesey as well as Man may be his own. William of Malmesbury, writing in the twelfth century, quotes Bede's words, and remarks that " the Mevanian Islands are those which we now call Anglesey, that is, the Isles of the Angles." It is, perhaps, worth noting that Train (History of the Isle of Man, vol. i., pp. 37-49), misled by the identity of the early name of Anglesey-Mona-with that of the Isle of Man, has introduced a dynasty of Welsh kings, whom he made to rule in Man from A.D. 579-919, whereas the Welsh isle was really the sphere of their dominion.

108 Large numbers of Saxon coins have been found in the island.


 

Back index next

 

Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2004