[from Manx Notes & Queries, 1904]



Once upon a time a manservant went to see his sister who was living in another part of the Island. When he arrived at his sister’s house it was dinner time, and his sister had broth for dinner. She gave some to her brother, and all the time be was supping it, she kept saying to him, " Isn’t that good broth, Bovee? Thou’ll not get broth like that from Nancy (his wife) I’ll warrant." Every time she said this, Bovee replied, "It’s hot, its hot," and she could not get him to say that it was good a fact which annoyed her greatly. As soon as he was done dinner, Bovee had to start for home again. When he had gone, she discovered that she had forgotten to put the meat in the broth. ‘Aw well," quoth she, ‘ no wonder for Boove to say, ‘ It’s hot , it’s hot.’ "



Keayrt dy row hie fer mooinjerey dy char shilley er e huyr va baghey ayns paart elley jeh’n Ellan. Tra ve'h er roshtyn thie e hayrey va traa jinnairagh ayn, as va brott ec e huyr son jinnair. Hug eh paart da e vraas, as choud as v’eh gee eh. v’ee gm rish, " Nagh vel shen brott me Bovee ? Cha now brott mie myr shen voish Nanscy (e ven) Var-a-mish !‘ Dagh keayrt v’ee gm shoh, va Bovee freggyrt. " T’eh cheh, t’eh çheh," as cill n’yiarragh eh dy row eh mie, as er yn oyr shoh v’ee dy-mooar seaghnit Chit leali as van brott cdt ec Bovee, b’eign da goll er y rand dy-valley reeslit. Tra v’eh ersooyl, hooar ee snagh nagh row yn cill currit ‘sy vrott eck, " Ochannee," dooyrt ee, ‘ cha nhyrrys da Bovee gra, ‘ t'eh cheh, t’eh cheh.’"



I was pleased to see a query on this subject, and have copied from Thwaites’ and Train’s Histories the items below. They cannot, however, be described as ample and sufficient, and it would be instructive to learn whether the old fort was ever used in actual warfare, and if any relies of such usage have been found upon the spot. Perhaps some member of the Antiquarian Society will aid us in the matter?

I also wish to mention that at the top of Castleward, where a clump of trees grows by the highroad, the place is locally known as " The Sod Castle." What does this name signify ? Apologisies for mixing up my notes and queries together.


" Castleward, one of the most entire remains of a Norwegian station that has reached our times, is situated in a valley, on the banks of the. river Glass—Train’s History, p. 276 (Mounds and Fortifications).

" In this parish is the ancient fortification of Castleward, one of the most perfect Norwegien encampments which have been preserved It is situated on the banks of the river Glass, but its original character has considerably suffered on account of the numerous trees which are now growing on its site."— Thwaites’ History, p. 388 (Topography of Braddan Parish).


Is there any Gill or Glen named Glen Gawne between Groudle and Ballameanagh in the parish of Kirk Lonan ?





A. Buggane was often seen between Ballagawne and Ballacurrie, sometimes it was in the shape of a black pig, and sometimes like a man with officer’s clothes. He is said to have followed a woman and her boy all the way home, and when they were in bed he was seen standing at the window, but she put the boy the floor side and he disappeared ; then she put the boy the wall side again and he was at the window in a moment., and she had to keep the boy the floor side all night.




They say that if a man would keep from getting hs face washed for nine days, he would see the wind as well as the black pig.




There is an obsolete woman’s Christian name which occurs frequently in the recital of Names in the 16th and 17th centuries in Manx deeds and documents, spelt Bahee, Bahie, or Bahy, sometimes also Baggy. The name has not entirely disappeared, and has been given to me in various forms. It is pronounced Puy, Puiy, and Poy, also Phiy. and stands for Margaret, Peg, and Peggy. But is not used much now. I heard it in Cregneish. The best name now, however is Mosysaid or Morgeid in Manx. Bahee, of course, is the same as Pay, Peg, or Peggy, and no doubt the proper derivation.

[see #21 ]



Formerly in the time of sheep shearing on the Island the, sheep-owners used to meet on an appointed day to gather all the sheep on the mountain into the paail for the purpose to impound them. All the owners in the different parishes had their own ear mark to identify their sheep, and this mark was called cowrey keyrrach or beim er y chleaysh. The grandfather of a friend of mine in the South had, for instance, a split of half an inch in the point of both ears (scoltey ayes baare dagh chleaysh), some had a small piece cut out of one place or another, some had holes in the ears (daa howl as un towl), just like the Westmoreland farmers, who likewise ear-marked their sheep with particular notches cut in the ear. In the Shetlands each family also had its own particular mark, which was registered and went to the youngest son. When the old Manx were shearing their sheep, and just as the shorn animals bounded away from their grip they had an old rhyme which they used to sing on the occasion, an accompaniment still to be heard sometimes, as in Glen Aldyn, and in the South. It ran as follows

Gow dy lhome as tar dy mohlagh,
Cur lesh dy eayn braue bwoirrin,
As dy loamrey braue saillagh:
My aikys oo moddey croym dty chione,
As my aikys oo maarliagh, roie er-y-hon.

Go away bare, and come back rough,
Bring a good she-lamb and a good fleece;
If you see a dog, stoop your head,
And if you see a thief run for it.

 [see also Sheep and Shepherding in the IoM]



The following shipping news, referring to the Isle of Man will be of interest to readers.

The list is extracted from "Whitworth’s Manchester Magazine, during 1741-42, it is headed:— Ships entered outwards, and imports at Liverpool to and from " Isleman," with indication of the captains.

Charming Molly, N. Cumming, Nich Shimmin, with Manx cattle, Isleman.
Charming Nancy, H. Woods, with Manx frize calf skins, linnen cloth, hides, Isleman.
Ann and Mary, R. Pennington, Castletown, Manx cattle.
Ann and Francis, Geo. Willis, Isleman.
William & Mararet, Wm. Thomson, Isleman.
Betty Alex. Crocket,
Michael, Jas. Kown, Isleman.
Edward, John Kissack, from Douglas.
Thomas, Rich. Holland, Isleman.
Love’s Encrease, Henry Lowey, Isleman.
Friendship, Wm. Robinson, with linnen cloth.
Prosperity, David Bitton, Ramsey, Manx cattle.
Resolution, T. Rymer, Derbyhaven, Manx cattle.
Endeavour, Jonathan Saul, Isleman.
Speedwell, John Peace,
Dispatch, John Woodhouse,
Dove, John Hough,
Squirrel, Thos. Wilson,
Lyon, Rid. Rutter,

Manchester. C. ROEDER.



The season has returned again,
When the bwillogh is all in bloom,
By April’s sun and showers of rain,
And evening dew and midnight gloom.

I still remember days gone by,
When I was but a little lad,
We plucked the yellow flowers with joy,
And on May-eve we all were glad.

At eyery door we laid them down,
That fair Titania might see
The beauteous flowers scatter’d round,
And dance around with fairy glee.

The Fairy Queen—the old folk said—
Was going round on old May-night
When all mankind was gone to bed,
And in the flowers did delight.

She kindly blessed each little cot,
Where yellow flowers did appear:
If there were none - she blessed them not
But gave bad luck through all the year.

I still remember on May-day,
Those flowers scatter’d in Cregnaish,
But since the Queen is gone away
No flowers at the door we place.

No more among the trammon trees,
The little elves or fairies swing,
Hopping amongst the leaves like bees,
Or little birds upon the wing.

And branches of the rowan tree
Were carefully in crosses made,
And placed in holes where none could see,
To keep away each witching jade.

While bonfires blazed on every hill,
To keep the buitching crew at bay.
And some folks kindle fires still
To scare the witches—people say.

The little elves now dance no more,
Nor sing in Manx their midnight song
Among the flow’rets at the door,
And home to fairy-land are gone.

But these are now things of the past,
For witch alike and elf are flown,
From all the hills, save Crank Glenchass—
‘Tis said they claim that as their own.

Note. —The Bwillogh is the Caltha palustris, and a grand Manx fairy flower. The Trammon, or elder tree, is dear to the Manx elves and fairies. The Rowan Tree, or mountain ash, plays an important part in the celebration of May Eve and its berries, when placed on cow byres, and tied in the tails of cows, or hung over the threshold of the house, or worn by the milk-maids and fastened to the pails and milk vats, etc., acted as powerful agencies against witchcraft and evil spirits and their dark work. Cronk Glenchass, or the dry glen, was and still is supposed to be a favourite haunt of the Manx fairies, and I have a large collection of stories and legends referring to it.

I sent you above little composition from Edward Farquhar, descriptive of old Manx May-day, which will interest many of your Insular readers.

Manchester. C. ROEDER.



There is a story, sir, of a witch that lived. in Glen Rushen. She could command the wind to blow so sudden as to dismast the vessels sailing on the coast. She also would command the gobbags, or dog-fish to eat and destroy the fishermen’s nets She often used to go about in the form of a hare, and a great many had tried to shoot her, and often chased her with dogs, but no one could hurt her nor any greyhound catch her in running. But there was a young gentleman out with his gun one morning pretty early, and the game birds very scarce, but at last he started a very fine hare ; he fired at. him, but the gun only gave a little crack, and the hare did not run away, but turned round and looked at him : so by that he thought it was a witch. He had silver buttons in his wristbands, and he pulled them out as fast as he could and loaded the gun again, putting in the silver buttons for shot. He went towards the hare, but she seemed to feel no alarm, so he took aim and fired. He saw that he had hit the hare, but she went away limping, and he gave chase expecting to catch her, but he could only keep her in sight, until she got in the house. When he came to the house he went in and saw nobody. Then he went to the cullee, and the old witch was in bed, and seemed as if she was dying. He lifted up the bed clothes and the bed was all over blood—she was wounded in the thigh. It appears she did not live very long after that, for the people said she was not seen in the form of a hare afterwards in the b nit fields in the morning."




My grandfather, sir, was coming house from Port St. Mary at a late hour one night, and he came Fistard-way, and he got on tine stile to cross a field—for that road leads through two fields. There was a black cat, just beyond the stile, sitting beside the path, and he gave the cat a kick, but did not feel his foot touching anything, but the cat grew like a big black bull in a few minutes, and he had such big long horns ! The monster stood in the path before him, and he could not get past, so he made as if he would go across the field another way, but the bull was before him every way he turned, and he had to go backward until he got to the stile again, and there was a house near the stile So he went backward to the door and kept his face toward the bull, and beat against the door with his heels until the man in the house got out of bed and let him in—he had to stop there all night."

Manchester. C. ROEDER.


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