[From Proc IoMNHAS vol 1]
Naturally it is getting more difficult each year to gather further unpublished Folk-lore notes, and I am particularly indebted to Miss Morrison, of Peel, for furnishing me in August last, with the Fishermen's Prayer, when putting out to sea. The invocation in these days is to the Trinity, but less than a hundred years ago was to St. Patrick, and, most remarkable of all, an old woman of nearly 100 gave Miss Morrison the following version, which she said had been used by her grandfather, in which Mannanan beg Mac Lir was invoked ! Her father used the same words, substituting the name of St. Patrick for that of Mannanan
Mannan beg Mac-y-Lir, fer vannee yn Ellan,
Dy bannee shin as nyn moatey.
Mie goll nagh as ny share chiet stiagh,
As bio as marroo 'sy vaatey.
Mannan beg Mac-y-Lir, who blessed the Island,
Bless us and our boats,
Good going out, and better coming in,
With live and with dead in the boat.
Then we have
Dy bannee Paarick Noo shin as nyn maatyn !
May St. Patrick bless us and our boats !
Parick Noo bannee yn Ellan ain,
Dy bannee eh shin as yn baatey,
Goll magh dy-mie, sheet stiagh ny share,
Lesh bio as marroo 'sy vaatey.
St. Patrick, who blessed, our Island,
Bless us and the boats,
Going out well, coming in better,
With living and dead in the boat.
Dy bannee yn Noo Parick shin as nyn moatey,
Goll magh dy-mie as cheet stiagh ny share,
Ooilley bio as ny merriu marin.
May St. Patrick bless us and our boats,
Going out well and coming in better,
All alive, and the dead ones with us.
Our only local discovery outside the work of our Archaeological Survey has been that of a Bronze-age Burial in a sand-pit by the side of Glebe-lane, Peel, on the same natural plateau, and not far from Keeill Woirey, Ballalough, German. This was announced at a meeting of the Society in November last, by Mr. J. McMillan, who exhibited fragments of pottery, found by him in association with some worked flints and calcined human bones.
The Manx Museum and Ancient Monuments Trustees continue to add to our museum, and increase our knowledge of antiquities. In searching the walls of S. Trinian's they have brought to light several moulded and carved pieces of considerable interest, including a Capital, carved with human heads, and another with some fine foliated work and a grotesque animal figure. They have received 47 additions to the Museum, and have had their collection of loose silver Coins, found in the Island, cleaned and named by the President of the British Numismatic Society, who discovered the names of several Moneyers hitherto unknown. A number of Hiberno-Danish pieces (some certainly of the period of Sihtric III) are peculiarly difficult to decipher, and still await the examination of an expert.
One of our summer excursions, in June, gave members an opportunity of seeing the results of the Archæological Survey in a typical keeill at Lag-ny-Keeiley, which is set beneath the precipitous western face of (Conk-ny-Irree Laa. The ruins had been cleared, and, for the first time a door lintel had been found, consisting of a heavy slab with a hole pierced through it, evidently to receive a pin, probably of iron, which served as the upper hinge of the wooden door ; immediately below the position of this hole the socket-stone was found still in sita, which would receive another pin, forming the heel of the door. The base of the Altar had been found buried beneath the partly fallen wall, and the sills and some of the jamb-stones of the east and south windows remained. Unfortunately, no perfect window has yet been found, and it is a question whether the curious triangular form met with in early Irish churches was known in the Isle of Man. That sometimes they were flat-headed is now proved by a carved stone lying just outside the east gable, which was certainly, the head of the window. It is not only cut below into a somewhat square shape, with sides, however, distinctly inclining, but the face above this opening shows irregular bead lines, curved and carved in relief,-being the first tool-marked stone found in one of these Keeills, Four cross-slabs were met with, one serving as a sill-stone to the east window ; they appear to be of the sixth or early seventh century, but in the absence of inscriptions it is scarcely possible to assign a more precise date to pieces which exhibit nothing but plain crosses, linear or incised in outline. Attached to the cemetery, which as usual was raised artificially to a level, was a rectangular enclosure which had evidently been cleared and cultivated ; and, at the corner between it and the embankment of the cemetery, the remains of a stone cell, about nine foot square, built in precisely the same manner as the Keeill, with which no doubt it was contemporary,
This was surmised to have been the dwelling of the Culdee, who served the little church, and is the first example to have been met with in the Isle of Man.
It is now evident that when the Survey is finished and the Reports published, we shall have a more complete account of the antiquities of our district than we could have hoped to obtain by any other means. The work depends entirely upon the small grant which our Society can yearly afford, and upon voluntary subscriptions ; and I trust that as it proceeds, it will continue to receive the active support of our members, as well as of many others who are interested in the past history of the Island.
P. M. C. KERMODE.