[Yn Lioar Manninagh Vol 1 No 10 pp357/360]
Every communication must be authenticated by the name and address of the writer, not necessarily- for publication, but as a guarantee of good faith.]
With reference to Mr. Harvie-Brown's letter and extract in the last issue of Yn .Lioar Manninagh, concerning an " Oological Expedition " which it was announced would be despatched to Shetland in the spring of last year, it rnay interest that gentleman and others of your readers who give any attention to ornithology, to learn that, after reading the particulars communicated by your correspondent, I wrote-December, 1891-to the "promoters" the Naturalists' Publishing Company, Birmingham, enclosing stamp for reply, and asking for particulars as to the result of the "expedition," in reply to which I received the reply half of a post card, bearing neither stamped nor printed business address, upon which was written a request for sixpence, for copies of the "Naturalist's Gazette, containing particulars of the "projected great oological expedition!' Needless to add how I dealt with such a communication.
The following appeared in the "Nottingham Evening Poet," of January 13th last. I can say nothing as to whether the fin is well authenticated ; but as the nature and address of the finder are given, some reader may be sufficiently interested to communicate with him:-
"Yesterday, Mr. Thomas Miarriott, residing at No. 98, Colliery Cottages, New Annesley, discovered in an outbuilding a robin's nest containing four eggs. Taking into consideration the inclement state of the weather, the occurrence is rather remarkable.'
A. J. PALETHORPE.
PETITION OF LORD DERBY (STANLEY MOOAR) TO PARLIAMENT, 1651.
Vol. I. of the " Welbeck Manuscripts," a bulky work, consisting of more than 700 pages, compiled by the Historical Manuscript Commissioners, has made its appearance. and amidst the copious extracts from the mass of State papers, letters, and other documents preserved at Welbeck Abbey (the seat of the Duke of Portland). appear particulars taken from a document bearing date August, 1651; of the attempted rising in Lancashire, tinder Lord Derby, followed in October by the holograph petition of his lordship to Parliament, four days before his execution. In that letter the unfortunate Earl says:-
"Your petitioner, a sentenced prisoner in Chester, has addrest several petitions humbly begging your mercy upon the rendition of the Isle of Man; but, because he never heard anything of your pleasure concerning him, he humbly begs again-being now, without your mercy, within few hours of his death--that the island may be accepted for his life, which he shall ever own to your mercy; that he pleads nothing in excuse of his offences, but simply casts himself at the feet of the Parliament, desiring pardon ; that if this may not stand with your justice and wisdom, you will, in mercy and compassion to his soul, allow him some further time to prepare himself to meet his God; insomuch as to this v-,ry hour Colonel Duckinfield has given him constant hopes his life would be granted upon submission of the island. Your petitioner most humbly beseeches this honourable House to hear his dying petition, either that he may live by your mercy, or by your mercy may have a little time allotted him wherein he may be fitted for death."
The present volume deals with twenty-two parcels of papers of the seventeenth century-, which were recently found in a cupboard in the library at Welbeck, and although they had to some extent been previously published by students engaged in earlier research, I do not remember ~, have seen any previous reference to Lord Derby's petition. A. J. PALETHORPE.
[Every communication must be authenticated by the name and address of the writer.]
THE INTERNATIONAL ORNITHOLOGICAL CONGRESS.
The Second International Ornithological Congress, held at Budapest, in May, 1891 was well attended, and proved a great success. The Programme was printed in English, a tribute, as remarked by the "Standard," "Equally to its international value and to the commanding place occupied by Englishmen in the branch of Science, in whose interest it ",as drawn up." May 17 Lh was devoted to the opening ceremony of Congressand Exhibition; 18th, Formation of special Committees and Sections; 19th, Papers of the various Sections and special Committee work; 20th, Concluding Session; and 21st, Commencement of Excursions. The Presidents selected were Prof. Victor Fatio, Geneva; and Or Otto Herman, M.P. The Systematic Section was presided over by Dr. Bowdler Sharpe and Prof. Claus; Biology and Oology by Dr. R. Blasius; Avigeograpby by Dr. Palacky; and Economic Ornithology by Major A. v. Homeyer, A Committee on the Rules of Nomenclature handed in a report, their recommendations being adopted almost in their entirety. Dr.Sharpe delivered an important and interesting Address on "Recent Attempts to Classify Birds." Beginning with Huxley's celebrated scheme of classification promulgated in 1867, Dr. Sharpe discusses that, and the systems put forward by Garrod (1874), Forbes (1884), Sclater (1880), Newton (1884). Reichenow (1882), Cones (1884), Stejneger (1885), Fïïrbringer (1888), and Seebohm (1890). He then proceeds with his own views on the subject, and gives a list of the 34 Orders and 78 Sub-orders into which he proposes to divide theta, commencing with the Saururte and ending with the Passerifoimes. Three subclasses are primarily recognised-Saururæ, Ratitm, and Carinatte.
Dr Sclater sent an Address of, perhaps, yet more interest, on the Recent Advances in our knowledge of the Geographical Distribution of Birds. Referring to his memoir on the subject to the Linmean Society, 1858, in which he proposed to divide the Earth's surface into six Regions for Ornithological purposes-namely, the Paltearctic, Ethiopian, Indian-a name which Wallace subsequently proposed to alter to " Oriental "-a, suggestion followed with pleasure by Dr. Sclater, Australian, Nearctic, and Neotropical; he shows how he has been supported by the great naturalist A. R Wallace, who has written the best and most complete book yet, issued on the geographical distribution of animals; he then proceeds to define these six Regions and their Sub-regions, to point out the principal characters apportaining to each of them, and give the leading recent authorities upon their birds, to be referred to by any who may desire to gain an idea of the peculiarities of their respective avifauna's. In conclusion, he points out work yet to be done, and specially calling for attention, e.g , A new handbook of the Birds of Europe, or the Western Palicaretic Region, brought up to the atest date, and not too bulky in size. An appendix gives the titles of 125 of the principle publications referred to.
We have just been informed that. about the Spring of 1890, a large Cup-marked Boulder near Ballavilley, Santon, was ruthlessly defaced for the purpose of forming it into a gate-post. One face of it appears to have been covered with small cup-marks in rows, something after the manner of the Boulder in the Circle near Oatlands. It is the more to be regretted as there are but few instances in the Island of this particular and widespread pre-historic art, the origin and significance of which is not yet understood. When everything of antiquarian interest in the Island is destroyed, Marksmen will begin to discover the value of these relics which never can be replaced.
MAGPIES CONGREGATING.-Whilst shooting in the vicinity of East Baldwin, in the afternoon of October 15th, 1891, I came across a flock of over forty Magpies altogether in a field. Is it not very unusual to see so many together'?- H. SHORTRIDGE CLARKE.
[It is unusual. Very likely the Magpies were attracted to the spot by offal used to manure the field. We noticed a similar occurrence some years ago, near Sulby, and on Inquiry found that the tenant, a butcher, had used offal and refuse for manure; since then we have occasionally observed the same thing, and found it could be ascribed to the same cause. ED.]
28. In the "Antiquary," vol. i., Aro. 5, 1580, May number, the late William Harrison, of Rock Mount, anent a paper by the.Rev. S. AL Mayhew, on the "Antiquities of the Isle of Man," read before the British Archaeological Association, has the following remarks:
" Some time ago his Excellency, Hy. Brougham Loch, Lieutenant-Governor of the Isle of Man, issued a commission to certain gentlemen to report on the " number and position of runic stones, treenchapels, tumuli, carroirs, stone circles, crosses, sculptured stones, and all other interesting monuments, etc., scattered over the Island, and on the steps most advisable to be taken to preserve the same."
The Commissioners have given in their parliamentary report of what they have already examined, and are engaged in making further search, so that when their labours are brought to a close, it is hoped that these venerable remains will be saved from further destruction, by an Act of our Insular Legislature.
I should be glad to learn whether the final report has ever been issued, and whether the first part " of what they have already examined " is to be had, or of interest sufficient to have it reprinted in the "Lioar Manninagh." C. ROEDER.
For answer to above query see " Yn Lioar Manninagh," No 3, July, 1889, p. 92.
The first report only was published; copies may be had at the Government Office (price, 5s.)
29. We have received a copy of " Notes and Queries " 18th S. I. Mar. 26, 921, with the following Query, which sonie of our readers should be able to answer:-
Is anything known of the ancestors of Rear-Admiral Sir Hugh Cloberry Christian, who died in 1798? I want to know if he belonged to the family of Christian, formerly of importance in the Isle of Man, and if he was connected with William Christian, who was executed in 1663 for treason, and about whom there are many Manks stories. E.D.
21. In the January (1891) number of" Yn Lioar Manninagh" (No. 8), a correspondent, "Menavia," asked whether Borrow ever published an account of his rambles in the Isle of Man, where he resided for some time, collecting its legendary fragments. " Menavia," no doubt, alludes to the book proposed to be published by Borrow under the title of ` Bayr Jiargey" (Red Lane), referred to by the Editor of Kelly's Manx Grammar in his introduction to that work. I have reason to believe that the proposed book newer appeared ; but I had hoped that the query would have elicited some information upon the subject of the great linguist's association with Ellan Vannin. It is well-known that he was familiar with its language; and I happen to possess George Barrow's copy of Cregeen's dictionary with his autograph. It may interest your correspondent and readers to know that he contributed an article to the periodical, " Once a Week,' of January, 1862, entitled. " Ballads of the Isle of Man, translated from the Manx." The ballads were "Brown William" and" Mollie Charane." After describing the characters mentioned, Borrow wrote: "Two families bearing the name of the miser [Mollie Charane], and descended from him, still reside upon the Curragh, at the distance of about half-a-mile from each other. The name of the head of the principal family is John Mollie Charane ; that of the other Billy Mollie Charane. In the autumn of the year 1855, I found my way across the Curragh to the house of John Mollie Charane. On my knocking at the door, it was opened by a respectable-looking elderly female, of about sixty, who, after answering a question which I put, namely, which was the way to BallaGiberagh [sic Ballacubberagh], asked me to walk in, saying that I looked faint and weary. On my entering she made me sit down, brought me a basin of buttermilk to drink, and asked me what brought me to the Curragh. Merely to see Mollie Charane, I replied. Whereupon who said he was not at home, but that she was his wife, and any business I had with her husband I might communicate to her. I told her that my only motive in coming was to see a descendant of the person mentioned in the celebrated song. She then looked at. me with some surprise, and observed that there was indeed a song about a person of the family, but that he had been dead and gone many a long year, and she wondered I should give myself the trouble to come to such a place as the Carragh to see people merely because one of their forebears was mentioned in a song. I said that, however strange the reason I gave might seem to her, it was the true one; whereupon she replied, that as I was come I was welcome. I had a great deal of discourse with her about her family. Among other things, she told me that she had a son in Ohio, who lived in a village where the Manx language was spoken, the greater number of the people being Manx. She was quite alone in the house when I arrived, with the exception of two large dogs, who at first barked, and were angry at me, but eventually came and licked my hands. After conversing with the respectable old lady for about half-an-hour, I got up, shook her by the hand, and departed for Balla Giberagh. The house was a neat little white house, house, fronting the west having a clump of trees near it. However miserly the Mollie Charane of the song may have been, I experienced no lack of hospitality in the house of his descendant."
Before concluding, I would mention the following:- In Borrow's advertisement of his proposed book (see introduction to Kelly's Manx Grammar) he made special mention of the " Carvals" of the Isle of Man. These he said " constituted the genuine literature of Ellan Vannin," and that "a printed collection of them would be a curious addition to the literature of Europe." Thanks to the efforts and perseverence of Mr J. C. Fargher, of the Mona's Herald, and Mr A. W. Moore, our worthy Vice President, such printed collection has at length appeared, and I had the pleasure a short time ago of submitting a copy of it (" Carvalyn Gailckagh"), with some smoke-stained original " Carvals," to a meeting of the. Folk-lore Society in London, when Prof. Rhys read his first paper on "Manx Folk-lore." I fear I have been somewhat discursive, but I thought that your readers might not all be aware of the appearance of the volume.
G. W. WOOD. Streatham, London, S.W.