[From Manx Note Book #2]
( P. 40).-The " Necklet and Bracelet"
in the British Museum, labelled "Isle of Mann," enquired about by Mr. Fargher, in the January number of THE MANX NOTE BOOK were found in a marl pit on Ballacamaish, in the parish of Andreas, in 1868, by some labouring men, who handed them over to Mr. C. H. E. Cowle. I had no hesitation in pronouncing them to be an ancient "torque" and "armlet," the distinctive ornaments of some early chieftain, and recommended Mr. Cowle, before parting with them, to have them photographed and carefully described. This, unfortunately, was not done. He was obliged to deliver them up as "Treasure Trove," and they were sent to the British Museum. Had there been a Museum in the Island they might have been kept here.
Ballaugh Rectory. W. KERMODE.
FLINTS AND FLAKES.-In the summer of 1882, while examining a stone grave which had been laid bare by workmen engaged on the new breakwater at Port St. Mary, I came, by accident, on a large quantity of chipped flints and flakes, and immediately recognized them as corresponding in character to those which have been found in the" coast -finds" of Denmark and other places. The flints lay in a narrow bed of yellowish earth which ran through the hillock in which the grave had been made, at about the depth of 4ft. 6in. from the sod. This bed was literally full of flint flakes and nuclei. of these last alone I unearthed about sixty, shewing the cores in all stages of fracture, but all of a comparatively small size. The flakes, resembling porcelain in colour, were marked here and there with dark glossy stains, and were, in some cases, quite porous, shewing they had lain in the earth for a great period. I dug out hundreds of flakes,-the greater number having been broken in the manufacture, but many had evidently been finished, being chipped at their bases so as to allow them to be easily fitted into shafts. Some of the larger flakes were very likely used as knives, one in particular having the thicker and stronger end chipped so as to afford an easy grasp. In one flint I recognized a rude axe-head," like those of the Danish "finds." The largest flake bore a rude resemblance to a spear-head and was also chipped at the base. In the same stratum and mixed with the flints, I found two hare's incisors, the nipper of a crab much decomposed, a curious flat flint with a small round hole worked half through it, and shewing traces of the action of fire, and a quantity of shells of the common limpet, which crumbled to dust when handled. There were no flints in the stratum above, nor in that below. The latter was gravel, and rested upon the glacial drift. Sir John Lubbock very kindly examined specimens of these flints, and pronounced them to be undoubtedly of human manufacture. He also recommended that further search should be made. At about the same time, I found a small but beautifully-worked arrow-head in one of the many stone graves forming the sepulchral stone circle on the Mull-Hills, near Cregneesh. This arrow-head was diamond-shaped, and corresponded in workmanship to the arrowheads of the Neolithic age, shewing a great improvement upon the flints of Port St. Mary. Undoubtedly, these latter belong to a far earlier epoch. The "find" at Port St. Mary goes to prove that at some remote period a tribe or family of savages inhabited that part of the Island (if it were an Island at that time) armed with flint flakes of the modest description, and subsisted upon mollusca and such fish and animals as they were enabled to kill with their primitive weapons. It would be interesting to know whether this ancient race were contemporary with the Irish elk, whose remains have been found in such quantities in the north of the Island. It is very probable that if search were made in the ancient drift of the Manx streams, in the gravel forming the old raised sea beaches on the island, or even in the Curragh itself, that many worked flints might be found, and much besides, to enlighten us upon the habits and mode of life of the ancient races of Mann.
2, Via Montebello, Rome.
[see MNB vol 6 p91]
MANX COINS.-I have in my collection of Manx Coins a penny and a half-penny with the date 1841. They are both in the finest possible condition and apparently Mint work. As 1839 is the received date of the last coinage, I am anxious for some information about them. I may say I have consulted the Mint, British Museum, London Numismatic Society, Dr. Clay, Notes and Queries, and other authorities, but without any satisfactory result. Can any of your readers throw any light on the subject ?
The Grange, Hale, Cheshire. JOHN HALL.
WATTERSON.-Why do the old Manx people call this name Chodere " ?
GENERAL CUSTINE: WAS HE A MANXMAN? The following curious note appears in Train's History of the Isle of Mann (Vol. II., PP. 349-50,) which I give nearly in full, as many may not have the original to refer to:-
" Thomas Castine,* one of the most conspicuous military chiefs of the French republic, was born at Ballancille, in the parish of Lonan. So little seems to be generally known of the early part ofbis history, that I cannot refrain from inserting a few particulars that came under my own notice. When a youth, he enlisted in a British " regiment of the line," called the " king's own," in which he rose to the rank of serjeant. Having returned, after a few years' absence, to his native Isle, on leave from his regiment, he married a young woman named Helen Colace, with whom he had been acquainted previous to his departure; but, indulging too freely with his former companions in the dissipation which then prevailed in the Island, he out-stayed his pass so long that he was about to be apprehended as a deserter, when he escaped on board a smuggling lugger to Dunkirk. He then entered into the French service, and, it is said, served some time in America.-Biographical Anecdotes of the Founders of the French Republic, London, 1798, VOI. ii, P. 303. Having the reputation of being a brave soldier, he was, at the commencement of the French Revolution, promoted to the rank of Colonelcy of Infantry. From this time forward his history is well known. In the year 1792, when Dumourier was invested with the sole command of the French army, Castine was appointed general of division. By his memorable defence of Colentz, the bulwark of the Rhine, he gained everlasting laurels ; but, flushed with his good fortune, he committed some political mistakes that brought him to the guillotine in August 1793."
I had search made for the "Biographical Ancedotes" in the British Museum, but they had only the single volume edition of 1797, which does not contain the circumstances mentioned above. Lamartine in his " History of the Girondists," (Vol. II., P. 371,) writes, "Count Adam Philippe de Custine. . . . almost a German, born of a high family at Metz." Neither Alison or Carlyle mention Custine's nationality. Train continues-
" Mrs. Castine' did not accompany her husband to France. When he was beheaded at Paris, his son Thomas, then in his twentieth year, was a servant in the Isle of Mann. He afterwards enlisted in the Manx Fencibles, and was subsequently a serjeant in the Galloway Militia ; at present (A.D. 1837) he is a merchant in the village of Auchencairn, in Galloway."
The Rev. F. J. Moore has kindly sent me the following extracts from the Lonan Register, "1746, Thomas Costean, son of Danl. Costean, bapt. Novr. 2nd." " 1777, Thos, son of Thos. Costean, bapt. Sept. 28th." Costeans are numerous, but these are the only two bearing the name of Thomas. Alison, (History of Europe, Vol. IV. P. 253,) says, "Custine, son of the celebrated General of the same name, was executed," (1794.) This is all the evidence I have been able to collect on an obscure subject. Can any of the readers of The Manx Note Book throw some light upon it? The whole story seems most improbable. A. W. M. [see No6 p91 and Manx Worthies]
* The name Castine is not found in the Isle of Mann, but Costean and Costain are common.
CAMMAG.-What is the origin and history of this national game? P. K.
PERSONAL NAMES.-Can anyone assist me in the elucidation of the origin and meaning of the following:-Cleator, Nideragh, Corkish, Mughtin, Skillicorn, Scarffe, Stowell, Leece, Vondy?
A. W. M.
DEEMSTERS' OATH.-Can any of your readers tell me when and by whom the Insular oath of office, taken by the Deemsters, etc., was compiled. I should like the curious passage " in six days and seven nights " explained. CANTAB.
FUNERAL ARMOUR.-Are there any examples of it in any of the Churches in the Isle of Mann?
J. POTTER BRISCOE, F.R.H.S.
Free Public Library, Nottingham.
PAROCHIAL LIBRARIES.-Can any one inform me what has become of the Parochial Libraries, established by Bishop Wilson, throughout the Island?
"MANN" AND "MAN."-I shall be glad to know what authority you have for the spelling "Mann" rather than "Man."
Milntown. WILLIAM BELL CHRISTIAN.
PRIORESS OF THE NUNNERY.-In a note to Waldron, as published by the Manx Society, Margaret Goodman is stated to have been the prioress of the Nunnery at the time of its dissolution, while in Oliver's Monumenta, Vol. 1, and in other works, it is stated Elena Calcote was the last abbess or prioress. Which of these statements is correct ?
BISHOP RUTTER'S BALLAD.* (pp. 24-5.)-What proof have you that the Manx and English of the Ballad, published in your last issue, were composed by Bishop Rutter? The English version is such wretched doggerel. CLERICUS.
*The note in the old ms. gives the only proof I possess (see p. 24.) It is certainly difficult to believe that a scholarly man, such as we know Bishop Rutter to have been, could have written what you justly term "wretched doggerel." I have two other ballads attributed to him which are not much better.-ED.
PRICE OF STOCK A CENTURY-AND-A-HALF AGO.Augt. 1728, pd Bror G. Gill, for a Horse '4s.; pd for a young bullock, £2 12s. 7d; a cow from John Sayle, £1 17s. ; a cow from Jno Balla-jocky, £1 17s. (1729.) Sold two bullocks, and bought two more wth ye money; bot from Jon Quark one bullock, £2 3s.; from a Kk. Bride man, one bullock, £1 17s. 6d. (1731,) Captn Jon Xtian, Dr for a bullock, £1 11s. 6d.
CONCERNING PAYMENT OF AN OX ON BISHOPS' INSTALLATION.-1646. "At this court* it was most graciouslie offered by the right Honoble the Lord of the Island that for as much as by antient custome the tenants of the Bps Lands were accustomed to pay at the change of every Bop an oxe or fortie shillings in money out of every quarter land that now such ye tenants shall have twentie yeares term from ye death of ye last Lord Bop for their payings of ye said dutie of one ox or xls out of every quarter land unto his Lop Provided that if there shall happen to bee any Bop enstalled in this Island wth in the said tearme such their prymto shall be and stand during ye life of that Bop and his Lorp and his heyres shall free them of the said dutic from that Bop which motion was consented unto by such of the said tenants whose names are under written that they will pay xls out of every quarter to be paid before Christmas next."
+ From Liber Episcopi Court held at Bishop's Court, October 27th, 1646.