[From Mannin #6, 1914]


Divided by sea but joined by kin

Te taitnyssagh ec yn traa shoh dy ghoaill tastey nagh vel fockle erbee ayns ny glaraghyn jeh Mannin, n’ Erin, as n’ Albin son Pariotism. Foddee ye dy ghow ny shenfl Gaeljee eh as red dooghyssagh. Dy-jarroo, dy ye ny Vanninagh dooie, veagh eh toiggit dy ghoaill stiagh graih yn Ellan veg as aarlooid dy hassoo seose son eck. Er nonney foddee ye ayns ny traaghyn shid tra haink y kiangley-clienney hoshiaght ooilley, ren graih lught-thie as shennayryn goaill yn ynnyd jeh’n graih er cheer t’ ain nish.

The Great War continues and Manx men and women are bearing their full share of the burden. It is said that, estimating the number of fighting men in relation to population the ‘ Lil Islan’ ‘ comes first in Great Britain—a proud record.

The bill providing for Government branding of her-rings, and, incidentally, the Manx Fishing Industry, has lately been discussed by a committee of the House of Keys, and it is earnestly to be hoped that their deliberations Will bear some fruit. It is obvious that Fishing should be one of the two chief industries of the Manxman ; he is fitted for it by temperament and by experience, and because his home is an island. The prosperous fishing seasons of past years, now, alas, long past, brought in their train various boat - building, net- manufacturing, sail- making, rope-making, and so forth, and moreover, it was true, as they say in Peel, that ‘ One good night’s fishing did more good to a town than a whole visiting season,’ for the money went round, the fisherman’s wife dealing with the small tradesman in her own locality. For the last twenty years our fishermen have had bad seasons, and have never asked for Government aid. Now the time has come when, owing to the war, it is more than ever desirable that home industries should be encouraged, for though this summer’s fishing yielded from xo,ooo to 12,000 barrels, it has been stated that nine-tenths of the fish cured at Manx stations were captured by Scotch fishermen. The conclusion of the matter is, that for the good of the whole population of Mann, the Government should make a grant to our fishermen which would enable them to acquire steam drifters, motor boats, and other modern appliances, and so compete on equal terms with their neighbours. The return to prosperity of the fisherman-farmer would mean a prosperous Island.

Since our last issue the Manx Society has learnt with the deepest regret of the death of Canon Savage. He was one of the founders of the Society, and had twice been President. It was principally through his efforts that the Manx Music Classes were first put upon the Music Festival Syllabus, and that the Manx Language was recognised by the Board of Education as one of the subjects that could be taught in the Elementary Schools of the Island. We miss him greatly, and shall never forget his unfailing interest in the Society, and the valuable work that he did for it. His genial personality gave all that he did a more than ordinary quality of kindliness, that doubled its worth to those who knew him. In one of his last letters he wrote——’Thank you very much for recognising me as a Manxman . . . I feel that my life here, perhaps, has not been in vain ; for I have honestly tried, for thirty-five years, to identify myself with all that belongs to the country of my adoption.’ In that, all will agree, he fully succeeded.

An entertainment given in Santon Board School lately is especially interesting in view of the present day movement for the revival of story-telling. The evening was arranged by members of the Manx Society, and the new experiment fully justified itself. The entertainment included Manx songs and recitations as well as story telling. The prize for the best folk-story, which appears in our Folklore notes, was won by Florence Quine, aged 10, of Ballakelly, Santon.

Manx women are playing as fine a part in the Great War as Manx men. Amongst others may be mentioned Miss Mildred Moore, our late Speaker’s sister, who went out to Serbia as matron of a British Red Cross Nurses Corps to minister to wounded Serbian soldiers. She took out with her sixteen nurses, and was in charge of one of the big hospitals She returned to London in July, as at that time there was practically no war nursing in Serbia. But after nursing for a short time in a military hospital near London, she went to France, where she still is, as Senior Sister in a British Red Cross Hospital.

The Manx Society wishes to take this opportunity of expressing to the Liverpool Manx Society its warm gratitude and cordial good wishes. The Liverpool Manx Society, which was the first of all Manx Societies over-seas, held its twentieth annual meeting on October 25th, on which occasion it congratulated its President, Mr. James Stowell, on the completion of forty-two and a half years work in the Liverpool Constabulary. Its hon. Secretary, Mr. John Costain, has held his office for twenty-one years—a fine record. Many members of the Society are subscribers to MANNIN. They backed up the T. E. Brown Celebration Scheme splendidly with gifts of books, and they have done noble work amongst unfortunate Manx people during the past year, having assisted cases. Every Manx person in Liverpool should consider it a privilege to belong to such a society.

The London Manx Society’s booklet, received from the Hon. Secretary, and containing the rules, list of members, and programme of fixtures, 1915—1916, shews the Society to be in a flourishing condition and full of energy. Mrs John Frowde, wife of the popular Librarian of Bermondsey, is making a most successful president.

A card received from the Hon. Secretary of Mona’s Mutual Relief Society, Cleveland, is also of interest, and gives the dates and places of the Society’s monthly meetings.

In this number of MANNIN appears further airs from Dr. Clague’s MS. ‘ Collection of Manx Music of the Nineteenth Century,’ which is now in the possession of the Ven. Archdeacon. We may remind our readers that these airs were taken down directly from old Manx people by Dr. Clague, Deemster Gill, and Mr.W. H. Gill, and by them preserved. The work of collecting such tunes is interesting and valuable in two ways—from the point of view of comparative folk-song, for many of such tunes are found in various districts, and from the fact that occasionally the collector comes across a unique treasure in the form of an air peculiar to a certain part of the country. Dr. Clague’s collection, of course, comes under both categories, as Mr. Gill explains in his preface to his Manx National Songs.

The following has been received from Mr. G W. Wood with reference to Mr. Clucas’s article on Sir William Le Scrope :— Sir WILLIAM LE SCROPE, ‘ KING’ OF MAN.

May I supplement the account of Sir William Le Scrope in the May number of MANNIN, I refer to a publication by the Chiswick Press in 1899, of which possibly the author was not aware, of a 4to volume of 58 pages, entitled A Great Historic Peerage—The Earldom of Wilks, by J. H. Metcalfe. This contains the identical portrait of Scrope as given in MANNIN, but the inscription is ‘ Sovereign Lord,’ not ‘ King of Man.’ The seal is also given, though with different detail of execution. A note on the page facing the portrait has the following :— ‘When or by whom the portrait was painted is unknown, but an expert has pronounced it to be of the time of Elizabeth or James I. It may have been copied from an older painting or the portrait may be purely imaginary (italics are mine). In the time of James I. there was, it seems, a rage for paintings of famous ancestors.’ The title of the article raises the vexed question, whether Scrope was King, or only Lord, of Man. Although ‘the record’ (of which the nature is not stated by the author) of the sale of the Island by Montacute to Scrope includes Kingship in the transfer, and Capgrave in his Chronicle states that ‘he that is Lord may wear a crowne,’ such rights do not appear to be justified in the light of contemporary State Records.’ The late Rev. T. Talbot (who, it is interesting to note, was one of the subscribers to A Great Historic Peerage) dealt with the very point, as it affected both Scrope and his predecessors in Early Manx History (pp. 102-3) and denied the right of either to the title of king, or at least until the deed of sale is produced. Nor does it appear that Scrope himself ever claimed to be more than Lord (dominus) of Man, which title agrees with the legend on his seal. The above comments are not intended to detract from the interest of the article, but to place on record facts not brought out therein, which may not be accessible to all readers of MANNIN, and upon which caution should be exercised. G. W. WOOD.

See Oliver’s Mouumnta, vol. II


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