[From ManxNoteBook vol i,1885]


ISLE OF MANN NATURAL HISTORY AND ANTIQUARIAN SOCIETY.-The first meeting of the present year was held at Ramsey on the 20th January. The discussion on Mr. P. M. C. Kermode's paper on The Monumental Crosses of Mann " was resumed, and a small Committee was appointed to report on " the steps most advisable to be taken for the preservation of the crosses and other antiquities of the Isle of Mann." Mr. J. C. Crellin, M.A., read a paper entitled "Notes on Manx Fish;" also a valuable list of Fish in Manx Waters." The Rev. W. Houghton, M.A., F.L.S., was elected a corresponding member; three ordinary members were also elected. The annual meeting was held at Douglas on the 10th March, when the following were elected officers for the ensuing year-President-Mr. P. M, C. Kermode; Vice-President-Dr. F. S. Tellet; Treasurer-Miss A. M. Crellin; Secretary-Rev. Ernest B. Savage, M.A.; his Excellency the Lieut.-Governor holding the position of Honorary President. The Secretary's report shewed that there were 69 members of the Society, viz: 6 Honorary, 6 Corresponding, and 68 Ordinary Members. The death of Mr. Edwin Birchall, F.L.S., was referred to; he was one of the founders of the Society, and in his house the first meeting was held on the 23rd December, 1879. The report closed with an urgent appeal to each member to take up a definite line of research in Natural History or Archaeology, not to waste energy by lightly touching on many things, but to concentrate his powers of observation on some one distinct branch of study. The Committee on . Wild Birds," appointed 11th November, presented their report; they were of opinion that wild birds are decreasing in the Island, chiefly from the following causes: i. Inducements held out by collectors in England for the capture of rare birds and their eggs, such as the Peregrine Falcon; ij. Professional trapping of song birds, for sale in England; a custom that seems to be rapidly increasing; iij. Wanton and wicked destruction of eggs and young birds, and hedgerow-hunting of wrens, etc., by young men and boys; iv. The destruction of smaller birds by the Hooded-crow, Magpie, jackdaw, etc., which appear to be multiplying fast, and might well be left outside the protection of any Preservation Act. The Committee hoped that an Act of Tynwald might be passed, somewhat on the lines of the English Act, but of course with a list of birds in the schedule adapted to our own local fauna. The report of the Committee on Antiquities, appointed 20th January, was also read. Here again some action for the preservation of ancient monuments was strongly urged. It is to be hoped that acts for the purposes here suggested will be passed by the Tynwald Court, and that before long; for, in the meanwhile, birds and antiquities are disappearing. In the absence of the retiring President-Rev. W. Kermode, his address was read by Mr. P. M. C. Kermode; in it he reviewed the work of the past year, and encouraged the members to take up and continue good substantial work among some of the many forms of life on land and sea. A most valuable list of " Manx Mosses," by Mr. G. A. Holt, F.B.S.E., a corresponding member of the Society, was put before the meeting. It is compiled chiefly from a list published by Mr. J. H. Davies in The Phytologist in 1857; and from the results of Mr. Holt's own work in the Island at various times. The amount of Mr. Holt's work may be gathered from the fact that Mr. Davies' list in 1857 contained 113 species; the list in Thwaites' " History and Directory" 1863, by Rev. Hugh A. Stowell, has 128 species; while the present list includes 232 species. A hearty vote of thanks to Mr. Holt for this addition to Manx Natural History was carried unanimously; and with a vote of thanks to the retiring officers for their work for the Society during the past year the meeting closed.

LECTURES AT THE SCHOOL OF ART.-A course of lectures on Geology are being given during the current term at the Isle of Mann School of Art by the Rev. J. Quine, BA., of the Douglas Grammar School. The "Elementary Course" in Geology, as defined in the South Kensington Syllabus of Subjects for Science Classes, has been taken as the range of the present course. Two objects are kept in view by the lecturer;-to adapt the course to those who desire only a general knowledge of the earth's crust, i.e., to make the course popular; and, at the same time, to adapt it to those who desire more accurate knowledge of the subject, with a view to qualifying themselves for obtaining the South Kensington certificate. With the latter object in view, more attention was given to Zoology. The scientific classification of animal life occupied two lectures. In this way, however, the lecturer was able to shew the phenomenal succession of life, represented in the fossil remains, found in the rock systems of the earth's crust. The geology of the Isle of Mann was referred to constantly, to illustrate the igneous rocks, and the aqueous rocks of the "primary" systems, which are well developed within the small geographical area of the Island. -Another master at the Douglas Grammar School, Mr. T. M. A. Cooper, B.A., started a course of lectures on "Mechanics," on the 28th January, and has continued it on the successive Wednesdays. The course was intended for the instruction of such students as might wish for a knowledge of the more exact sciences. The theory of the composition and resolution of forces has been expounded ; the conditions of equilibrium with the simple machine have been enunciated. Besides this, something of the theory of Dynamics has been treated ; and the remaining three lectures are to deal with the leading facts of Hydrostatics. The attendance at the lectures has been small. We regret this, both for the students' sake and the teacher's. With only a small class, there is danger of a teacher slackening his tension, and contenting himself with a loose style of exposition. This, however, has not been the case with Mr. Cooper. But the results, even for the Committee, who planned the course, have not been, so far, very encouraging.

LIVERPOOL MANX ASSOCIATION. - The eighth annual re-union, held in St. George's Hall, on the 21st January, was as pleasant and successful as usual. Speeches were made by Sir James Picton, (Chairman); Dr. Cregeen, (President); Rev. Dr. Hughes-Games, the Rev. W. T. Radcliffe, and Mr. A. N. Laughton.-We regret to have to record the death of Mr. Robert Christian, the energetic Secretary of the Association, on the 24th January.

The Mona Relief Society of Cleveland, U.S.A., held their annual meeting in December, when Mr. W. S. Kerruish gave an interesting review of Manxland, and Manxrnen in the past, with some kindly advice to Manx-Americans of the present day.  



Back index next


Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 1999