[from Proc IoMNH&ASoc vol 4 #3 1939]

The programme of Summer Excursions for 1938 was as follows

May 19th-Arbory and Rushen. Leaders: .P. W. Caine and P. J. Prideaux.
June 23rd-Glenmaye and District. Leader: A. W. Teare.
July 14th-Calf of Man, with alternative if weather unsuitable. Leader: J. R. Bruce, M.Sc.
Aug. 18th-Lezayre. Leader: R. Howarth.
September 15th-Lonan. Leaders: B. R. S. Megaw and D. K. Williamson.


Leaders: P. W. Caine and P. J. Prideaux.

A large number of members and friends attended the first of the Summer Excursions, to Arbory and Rushen. They visited the Friary and examined the only building remaining of the Monastery of the Franciscans. Hope was expressed that the efforts being made by the Museum Trustees to preserve this interesting relic would be successful. At Arbory Church Mr Caine indicated several inscriptions, including the black letter carving beginning the name Thomas Radcliffe, Abbot of Rushen, and t'he tablet in memory of Captain John Quilliam, who steered the Victory into action at Trafalgar.

Mr Prideaux then took charge, and led the party to Ballakilpheric, Rushen-the farm of Patrick's Keeil, where the remains of a keeil were examined; the slot with its ancient but dwellings; the clagh and mound and standing stones; the home of Tom the Dipper, some of whose poems were read by Mr P. W. Caine.


Leader: Mr. A. W. Teare.

The party, reduced in number by the unsettled weather, met at Barnell Road and examined the Great Pot Holes or "Troll-yphot" in Ballamoar Glen, afterwards climbing to "the tops," where a beautiful view of the surrounding country was seen. The mounds here, probably of hut dwellings, a post for Watch and Ward, a flint knapping factory and artificial water course, indicated that this was a busy spot at some time in our history. An ancient threshing mill, built in two storeys, was used for flail thrashing, and Mr Teare pointed out the arrangements to take advantage of the wind to blow away the chaff. A ruin, believed to be a burial ground, with large stones, but yet unexplored, was examined, and on the steep pathway to Glen Maye the leader pointed out the home (now a tholthan,) of Captain Cubbon, who won fame by sailing the Peel built schooner Vixen to Australia, and beating the mail boat by several days.


Leader: J. R. Bruce, M.Sc.

Year after year the Society puts down on its programme"Visit to Calf of Man," but the weather is so' seldom suitable for bringing a large party to the Calf that often the visit does not eventuate. This year was no exception to the rule, and altiough Mr Bruce had gone to a lot of trouble to make all arrangements, the boatmen announced that the "swell" rendered the visit impossible. The disappointed party found Mr Bruce adequate for the occasion, and had a delightful visit to "Harry Kelly's Cottage," Cregneish, recently acquired by the Museum Trustees, and restored to its original condition as a Manx fisher man's cottage. The members were charmed at the old house. greatly admiring the chiollagh and old furniture, pottery and utensils, including the "serpent," a weird musical instrument presented by Archdeacon Kewley, and formerly belonging to Dr. Clągue. The party then proceeded to Cronk-y-watch, above Creg Neash, where a wireless station had just been erected. Mr Mackenzie explained the wonders of the working of the equipment and showed how ships were guided by wireless in case of fog. At the Chasms the inevitable but always welcome tea was served. Mr Ralph Howarth and Mr Kenneth Williamson indicated the various species of bird life to be seen, and pointed out yoang petrels nesting in the crannies, of the Sugar Loaf Rock.


Leader: Mr Ralph Howarth.

Showery weather again affected the attendance at the excursion. Mr Howarth took the party to the mud-mortar house at Coffey's Spout, Ballaugh, where the flue of the chiollagh is made of wattles lined with clay. At the old Church at Ballaugh, Mr P. W. Caine contributed a short paper describing the Church, and indicating the interesting stones in the Churchyard. The Church had been in continuous use since 1231, when it was mentioned in a Papal bull.

Jemmy Nell's cottage-the only mud cottage now known to be occupied-was examined; the beams supporting the thatch appear to be made of bog oak fastened with wooden pins.


By P. W. Caine.

Read at Excursion on 18th August, 1938.

A parish church existed in Ballaugh, and presumably on the place where we now stand, at least as long ago as the ye.r 1231, when it is mentioned in a Papal bull. It has continuous.'y been dedicated to St. Mary, "Our Lady," and Canon Quine holds that the second syllable in the parish name means Lacy. You will know that the Anglo-Saxons had a word hlafdige, loaf or bread-giver, which was the origin of the modern word lacy. This implies that the Anglo-Saxon language was once used in the Isle of Man. There is evidence, both in documents and in inscribed crosses, that Man was conquered by the Angles of Northumbria, but the occupation is not believed to have lasted long. The Rev. James Wilks, one of the most famous rectors of Ballaugh, held that' the original name was Bat-ne-laghey, "which laGhey signified mud, wherewith this parish formerly abounded," and Mr J. J. Kneen's version is Balley-ne-loghey, "the place of the lake"-this particular lake being situated in the area still called the Dollagh, which means "black lake." It may be that adjoining the parish called Kirk Christ, in fine Ayre, there was one called St. Mary, in the lough or the curragh. The church now before us was replaced in 1832, but its use las been kept alive by weeknight services and special Sunday services in the summer. The late Miss Winifred Kneale, daughter of tho:then rector, had a great affection for these weeknight services and did much to keep them going. The building was enlarged by Bishop Wilson in 1717, but has the appearance of something really ancient, and the quaint slanting gate pillars-" nutcrackers " as they have been described-have often been admired. The Rev. John Mason Neale, a High Church leader, and the author of many beautiful translations of the hymns of the early Church, visited the Isle of Man in 1848 and made notes on -what he called its ecclesiology. He says of Ballaugh Old Church that "though new, it is evidently rebuilt on the old plan, and its west facade is extremely interesting. It has a western porch, which I suppose resembled that at Kirk Maughold, and from this two flat square-edged pilasters rear up to the campanile"i.e., the bell tower-"which is of the same character as in our own"Saxon churches. It is much to be wished that the original work remained; as it is, such a glimpse is more tantalising than instructive."

In a catalogue of Manx church styles, Mr Neale includes Maughold and Old Ballaugh under the heading "Romanesque." 'The western porch at Maughold, which he supposes that Old Ballaugh resembled, was in 1848 "shallow and waggon-vaulted from two square rude piers; the edge of the waggon-vaulting worked into a kind of nail head."

In a paper read before this Society a few years ago, Miss Beatrice Kneen draws attention to the door of the old church, which is of oak, nail-studded, like the doors of Castle Rushen.

The arch of the doorway, she says. is old red sandstone, and Norman in its style of architecture. Canon Quine also describes the porch as. Norman in character.

A year after Neale's visit, the church was shortened by about a third, and the chancel, which apparently included a stone marked with the initials of Bishop Wilson, and a flat tomb containing a Latin inscription composed by the Bishop in memory of his friend and fellow-prisoner, the Rev. Villiam Walker, was taken away. There was another altera tion in 1879, by the Rev. William Kermode. He noted, in the north-eastern corner, a block of red sandstone bearing the word "salvation," the letter "t" being shaped so as to form the centre -of a cross. Mr Kermode came to the conclusion that this was the foundation of a former church, and that the word "salvation" was inscribed in obedience to the passage of Isaiah, " Thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise."

The font has a Manx inscription which means "One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism." The cross upon it is coloured in red and blue.

The most interesting grave in the churchyard is that of the Rev. James Wilks. He was a clergyman for 35 years, and Rector of Ballaugh for six years, and he died in 1777. He was a great friend of Bishop Wilson, one of the Vicars-General, and a remarkably able man of business, and he translated part of the Bible and Prayer-Book into Manx. He was an executor of the wills of Bishop Wilson and Bishop Mark Hildesley. His son was Colonel Mark Wilks, who, before becoming Speaker of the House of Keys, was an officer of high rank in the service of the East. India Company, and who was Napoleon's first gaoler at St. Helena. Mr Wilks has only one grave, of course, but he has three tombstones. The first got broken, and was replaced by Lady Laura Buchan, daughter of Colonel Mark Wilks, the lady who founded the Buchan School for Girls in Castletown. You will have heard of her beauty and her wit, and of how, at the. age of eighteen, she excited the admiration of Napoleon. Misfortune befel this stone also, and in 1897 a third was erected by another distinguished descendant of Mr Wilks, Sir Mark Wilks Collet, Governor of the Bank of England, and father of the Sir Mark Collet who resides in the Isle of Man. In the meantime,, the two earlier stones have been repaired. All three bear the inscription :

Translated hence, the good man never dies, But like the day star, only sets to rise.
The Rev. James Wilks, Rector of this Parish, aged 58 years, was buried June 21st, 1777.
To him to live was Christ, to die was gain,
The sting of death sweet consolation brings;
Hope, anchor of the soul, allays his pain,
He meets his God, with healing in His wings.

Other clergymen buried in the old churchyard are the Rev. Daniel Gelling, with whom John Wesley had breakfast, and, as he says, "spent a little time very agreeably," during his second. visit to the Island in 1781; and the Rev. Thomas Stephen, who, though Vicar of Patrick, was a member of a well-known Ballaugh family. He wrote a very fine poem in Manx, "O cre to gloyr?" ("O what is glory?") and part of the inscription on his tombstone is Manx. Its translation is, "All the days of my appointed, time will I wait, until my charge shall come." He was father of Deemster Stephen, and grandfather of 'Major "Bobby" Stephen, member of the House of Keys and second Mayor of Douglas. I am not certain, without fresh inquiry, whether the old churchyard contains the tomb of one of the saintliest of Manx clergymen, the Rev Thomas Howard.

The earliest tombstone now extant is dated 1685. One of the earliest, that of "Eleanor Carret, Patrick Killip's wife," dated 1691, is very remarkable in itself. It is a poor piece of stone, and very poorly carved. But its motto is a piece of Latin verse. The translation is, "My death is life to me; O Death, how hard - and sad are thy laws." It is surprising to find this evidence of scholarship on what would seem to be a poor man's grave.


This was the home of James Quayle, but nobody ever called him that. He was known far and wide as "Jemmy Nell," and. was looked upon as a local character. He has a claim upon our gratitude. When Mr W. H. Gill called on him, he sang some of the songs which have passed into the standard collection of national music.

The most famous of all Manx "fairy doctors"-or, to borrow the words of Joseph Train in his History of the Isle of Man, "dealers in propitiatory charms and antidotes to occult infection" -was Teare of Ballawhane. "Teare of Ballawhane" means several Teares, for you will know that the art of charming is passed on from generation to generation-from man to woman, from woman to man. When John Feltham visited the Island in 1797, he heard of Mr John Teare of Ballawhane in the parish of Andreas, and learnt that "this gentleman's family have long been in possession of some valuable medicinal preparations, which they liberally distribute to the relief of the poor." Train, who arrived in 1843, met a Mr Teare of Ballawhane, whose reputation was that of a "seer." He was applied to from all districts, so much so that he told Train that he "was required by his professional business to travel more than any person in the Island." The messenger despatched to him "must neither eat nor drink by the way, nor tell any person his mission." Train states that "in spring many very respectable farmers will suspend for days the operation of sowing, although the land should be fully prepared, and even in the most precarious weather, rather than run the risk of committing the seed to the soil without his accustomed benediction." And Train met an innkeeper at Laxey named Faragher, who had complained to the charmer that his corn was regularly eaten by sparrows. Teare used his powers to such effect that "though the sparrows flocked round Mr Faragher's park, casting many a wistful eye on the waving grain, not one of them dared enter the charmed precincts." The conversation which Train had with the "seer" took place in the presence of Mr John Kelly. High-Bailiff of Castletown. Teare took an oath before them that he never called evil spirits to his assistance.

Dr. John Clague's " Manx Reminiscences," include the following: " When anyone went to the man at Ballawhane, he was obliged to give his name and tell him the parish he lived in.

The charm would not work out of the parish. He "said the word" over the cut herbs, and divided them into three parts, about a small handful in each part. These were each divided into three other parts, and to each a cup of boiling water was put, and left to draw for five minutes. The man who was sick had to take nine teaspoonfuls, every third night, until the whole nine parts were used. Then his face and every part of his body were to be washed with the leavings, and if there was any over it was to be cast into the fire." - Dr. Clague, or someone whose words he noted, actually saw a man drinking part of the herbs and standing naked in the tub while the charmer washed him with the boiling.

In 1891, when Mr A. W. Moore wrote his "Manx Folklore," he recorded that a daughter of the Teares was still practising the art, and was resorted to by fishermen to have their nets ,charmed.

Mr. W. Walter Gill, in "A Second Manr Scrapbook," comments that the Teares' hereditary skill in human and animal medicine was by degrees given a supernatural colouring, until in the first half of the 19th century, Charles Teare's adroitly spectacular use of the family recipes made him the most famous of all the Manx charmers. The little plot where he grew his herbs is still known, according to Mr Gill, as the "fairy garden," and men came to it at night by stealth and rolled themselves in it before going to the fishing.

Though Moore speaks of Teare's daughter continuing to practise the art, Mr Gill records that one of his sons, known as Charley Chalse, inherited some of his skill, and was followed .as a worker of cures by his 'widow and their crippled son Paddy. One of Charley's cures was witnessed by Mr C. H. Kee, who is well known in Ramsey. This is the story as he gave it to Mr Gill: "Mr Kee's elder brother returned from a sea voyage to their home at Leodas, and found one of their cows sick. She had been standing for days refusing to eat or drink and taking no notice of anyone, but roaring all the time. The brother went, taking the little boy with him, to Teare, at Gat y Whing, near Ballawhane, and asked him to come at once. Teare was lying on his bed half-drunk.... He got up, went round to the back of the house, and cut with a knife some herbs from two or three different spots in the garden. Then they went to Leodas. When Teare entered the cowhouse the cow turned her head round and looked at him. He rubbed the herbs along her back and threw them down before and beside her. She let out one final unearthly bellow and quietened down. Then she began to eat and drink, and was all right afterwards." Mr Gill goes on, "my informant does not remember that Teare spoke any words when applying the herbs; if he did, it was under his breath."

At the suggestion of the poet T. E. Brown, Mr G. B. Cowen took a photograph of Mrs Charley Chalse in 1894. "It was much against her will"-this from Mr Gill-"for she feared she was committing the sin of vanity, and quoted Scripture texts and the Commandment forbidding graven images." But she was "tuk"standing at the door of this cottage, and the photograph is one of the illustrations in Mr Gill's book.


Leaders: B. R. S. Megaw, B.A., and D. K. Williamson.

A party of about 60 members enjoyed a perfect autumn day in the uplands of Lonan. Leaving our cars at Ballalena the party mounted the old road to Snaefel to "Amergary," where the lintel grave of substantial proportions in the centre of a large mound was inspected and an interesting address was given by Mr Megaw on lintel graves. From this elevated position a fine view of the watershed of the Laxey river was obtained, and the leaders pointed out the boundaries of the various treens (most of whose names were Norse) and the many indications of extensive human habitation. Canon Quine had lent for inspection the curious beads found when the cist was explored some years ago. The story of Glenroy House was told by Mr Kenneth Williamson, with citations from the letters of that remarkable man Mr William Fitzsimmons, who resided there about 100 years ago. Regret was expressed that Fitzsimmons' history of the. Island had never been published.

Later the party reached Chibbyr Pherick, where Canon Quire, in his best form, discussed the life of St. Patrick and his association with the Isle of Man. Canon Quine supported by expansive argument his contention that Patrick was known in the Isle of Man, and that his "letter to Coroticus" was addressed to a Manx chieftain.

Canon Quine also conducted the party through Lonan Church, of which he has been Vicar for 40 years, and the party admired the unique and strikingly beautiful war memorial. The Canon has collected around the Church many stones with mysterious scribings, the key to which is still missing. Canon Quine believes that the inscriptions are probably Phoenician.

The Canon and his good lady afterwards entertained the Society to tea at Garwick, and a delightful day was concluded, with a visit to the Garwick Mill, under the guidance of Mr Faragher, the miller

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