[From Manx Note Book vol 2, 1886]
THE only ANTIQUARIAN discoveries during the past year have been the Urn at Ballaseyr, Andreas, referred to at page 48, and the tumuli on the western slope of Snaefell mentioned by Professor Boyd Dawkins in his able report at page 38. We intend giving a full account of these in a future number.
We are pleased to learn that bills for the Protection of our Antiquities, and, what is even more urgently needed, of our Wild Birds, are now before the legislature.
A remarkable Runic Calendar of the early part of the 15th Century was purchased at the Ellis Sale by Mr. Bernard Quaritch, the well-known Antiquarian bookseller, who now offers it for £21. It is engraved on eight wooden staves, each measuring 8in. by 4in. The arms of the Isle of Mann are engraved on the first tablet, which would seem to point to its Manx origin.
The summer season of 1885, though spoiled by a wet, cold, and stormy September, has been a decidedly fine. one on the whole, as is shown by the fact that more sunshine has been registered than during any previous season since such observations have been recorded. July was a remarkably fine month, while June and August were also fine, though rather cold. The temperature was slightly, and the rainfall considerably, below the mean.
The Isle of Mann is to have a distinct secton at the forthcoming International Exhibition of Navigation, Travelling, Commerce, and Manufactures, at Liverpool.
THE AGRICULTURAL out-look, at the present time, is anything but encouraging. Crops, as a rule, are light, and we fear will hardly prove to be a fair average. The harvest was a very protracted one, and. by reason of the broken weather, a considerable proportion of the corn was gathered in an indifferent condition. Prices are very low, both for produce and stock, and we doubt if some of our oldest Agriculturists have ever before known grain and cattle to change hands at the low prices now quoted. Fodder, especially in the north of the Island is scarce, and the root crop, in the same district, is nothing like an average. Stock is bringing very little money in the market, and many a beast, after a summer's run in good grass, has realized a very slight advance on cost price, The price of Manx grain rule still lower this season than last. Wheat especially is cheap, while oats and barley are being disposed of at prices that cannot be considered remunerative to the grower.
THE FISHING SEASON has been a very poor one. The value of herrings caught at home, and at the Shetland Islands amounted to about £39,000; the value of mackerel caught on the south and west coasts of Ireland, from February to June, to about £41,000, or £80,000 in all, while the value in an average season would amount to about £100,000.
THE only ARCHITECTURAL work of importance which has been completed during the year, is Braddan New Church which has at last received the addition of a Spire. The church itself was finished in 1874, but, owing to lack of funds, it was not till the summer of 1876, that it was consecrated by the late Bishop of Lichfield (BishopSelwyn). In 1883, the tower was commenced, and both that and the spire were completed by the spring of this year. The style of the church is that of the 13th century. The nave, which has four bays, is 65ft. long, and 22ft. wide. At the west-end are three large lancet windows, and on each side, over the arches dividing it from the aisles are four three-light windows forming a clerestory. The aisles (12ft. 6in. wide) are each lit by three short single-light windows, and at the west-end by a window of two lights. From the floor to the ridge of the roof is 53ft. The chancel which is apsidal is 36ft. long, and of the same width as the nave. It is lighted by seven three-light windows of considerable size. On the north side of the chancel is a transept, about 20ft. by 14ft., with a four-light window on the north side, and a two-light window on the east. In the corner, at the junction of the apse and transept, is a circular staircase leading up to the chancel from the vestry, which is situated beneath the apse. The principal entrance to the church is by a porch, on the south side near the west end ; there is also another entrance on the north side, at the east end of the aisle. On the south side of the chancel, at the end of the south aisle, and opposite the transept is the tower which is of three stages, the first stage being used as the Organ Chamber, the second as a ringing chamber, and the third as a belfry. The top of the vane on the spire is 160 feet from the ground. The church is built externally of the local stone. The internal facing is of brick, and all the dressed stone, both inside and out is Bath. The roofs are of deal, covered with slates obtained from a quarry a few miles from Peel. The seats and stalls are also of deal. The church will accommodate 600 people, and the cost including tower and spire, was about £6ooo.
THE following Notes comprise Artistic and Literary work, either produced by Manxmen, or relating to the Isle of Mann:-
Mr. J. W. Swinnerton's only finished work is a bronze portrait of Mrs. H. Bashington, exhibited in Manchester.
Mr. Frederick Swinnerton has an oil painting, "A Street Scene in Segni, Italy," in the Simla Exhibition.
The Dudley Gallery Art Society has a picture by Mr. Edwin Ellis, "Spanish Head, Isle of Mann."
Mr. J. M. Nicholson's exhibits were "Douglas Market Place" (water-colour) in the Grosvenor Gallery; " Ricordo di Venezia" and "A Boat in Peel Harbour" (oil) in the Royal Institution, Manchester.
Mr. R. E. Morrison has exhibited the following oil paintings during the past year:-At the Spring Exhibition of the Glasgow Institute, "From the Sunny South;" at the Royal Academy, "A Visitor;" at the royal Cambrian Academy, "A Fair Saxon;" at the Liverpool Autumn Exhibition "Devotion," , "Peel Harbour, Isle of Mann," and two portraits at the Institute of Painters in Oil; Piccadilly Winter Exhibition, "An Eastern Maiden;" also two water colours in the Glasgow Water Colour Institute "Ancient Love,'' and ,"An Arab Sheik."
"The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, and Discoveries of the English Nation, collected by Richard Hakluyt, Preacher. " Edited by Edmund Goldsmid, F. R. H. S. Vol. I., containing Northern Europe. Edinburgh: E. and G. Goldsmid, 1885. Notices of the Isle of Mann occur at PP. 33 and 37, and a quaint translation is given at pp. 65-80, from "The Chronicle of the Kings of Mann," extracted from Camden, which differs in many points from that of Professor Munch, published by the Manx Society in their 22nd Volume.
"Remarks on Ptolemy's Geography of the British Isles," by Henry Bradley, published by the Society of Antiquaries, contains a notice of the Geographical position of the Isle of Mann.
Consumption: The Social and Geographical Causes conducing to its prevalence, illustrated by a Coloured Map, showing the Geographical Distribution of Consumption in the Isle of Mann, &c." By Alfred Haviland, M.R.C.S.E., &c. Dotiglas: J. Brown & Son, Times Buildings.
'The Titles and Powers of Governors of the Island: An Historic Inquiry," by Sir James Gell, H.M.'s Attorney General for the Isle of Mann. Douglas: J. Brown & Son.
" Eighth Annual Report of the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Vaccinations, in the Isle of Mann, 1884." By Claude Cannell. Douglas: Peter Curphey, Manx Sun Office.
" Elfrica." By Mrs. Edmund Boger. A Novel, 3 Vols. London: Swan, Sonnenschein & Co. It is an historical romance of the twelfth century, telling of the wooing and winning of the Princess of Mona, by Sir John de Courcy.
"The Shadow of a Crime." By T. Hall Caine,* A Novel, i Vol., London: Chatto and Windus. This tale of life in the Cumbrian dales has been received with marked favour. The Saturday Review remarks that "it is a fine story finely told, full of rare humour, and rising to true and unaffected pathos." Such journals as the Athenaeum and the Academy speak equally highly of it. Mr. Caine has also published a story of Manx Life, entitled "She's all the World to Me." It appeared first in a serial form in the Liverpool Weekly Mercury. It was then published by Messrs. Harper, of New York, and has been received by the American critics with a chorus of approbation. We understand that it will probably soon be published by an eminent London firm under the title of "Manxland: A Novel."
We feel sure that a short sketch of Mr. Caine's career will prove interesting to his countrymen. His ancestors for generations have been simple mountain shepherd folk, Manx and Cumbrian, probably without education and certainly without property. His grandfather was a small farmer in Ballaugh. He was born in 1853, and spent his early life partly in the Isle of Mann, and partly in Liverpool, making frequent visits to Cumberland. He is now living in London working chiefly as a novelist, but also as a journalist on the staffs of the Academy and Athenaeum.
Mr. H. C. Davidson has, during 1885, contributed numerous stories to the London Magazines: of these the following are connected with the Isle of Mann:-In Home Chimes, "Under a Sunny Sky;" "Priscian Prim;" and "A Tontine of Two;" in Belgravia; 'The Benaaishnce " and " The Three Card Trick., " in Crystal Stories, "A Drifting Cloud;" in The Whitehall Review " The Blanshire Bank Robbery; " and in Household Words, a short paper on 'May Day in the Isle of Mann. "
The September number of The Magazine of Western History, (U.S.A.,) contains a short biography, with an excellent portrait of Thomas Quayle, shipbuilder, of Cleveland, Ohio. It is an interesting account of a remarkable successful career. Mr. Quayle will, we trust, still live many years to enjoy the fruits of his toil.
We understand that the Natural History and Antiquarian Society intends publishing a resume of its proceedings since its foundation, and that Mr. P. M. C. Kermode is preparing a comprehensive work on the Insular Runic Stones.
The Titles of the following MSS. relating to the Isle of Mann are inserted in the appendix to the fifth report of the Historical MSS. Commission, recently published. The MSS. referred to are in the library of Mr. Reginald Cholmondeley, of Condover Hall, Shropshire, and consist of collections made in the 18th century by William Cowper, of Chester, for the History and Antiquities of the Isle of Mann.-
(1). "1651 October 31st.-COPY of Articles between Sir Thomas Armstrong, &c. . . . and Col. Tho. Birch, &c. . . . touching the surrendering of the Castle Rushen and Peel Castle," (published by the Manx Society, Vol. XXVI., PP. 73-76.)
"1733, January 23rd.-Bishop's Court. The (Bishop of) Sodor and Man to Dr. Cowper. A letter of two-and-a-half pages, with which he sent some collections for the History of the Isle of Man. A fragment pp. 82-125, Note Paper size, of a History and Chronicle of the Kings of Man. By Dr. Cowper. " (Not published.)
(3). " 1734, November 19th. - Manchester. Robert Thyer to William Cowper, Esq., at the Isle of Mann, 3 pp. about the History of the Isle of Man." (Not published.)
(4). " 1751, December 24th.-A. B. to Wm. Cowper, Esq. Letter-Historical Catalogue of the Bishops of the Isle of Man. 'Some collections from others, and observations of my own, being a small sketch of the Isle of Man, wrote during the few days which I staid in that Island, July 1729.' (81 pp. small quarto." Not published.)
(5). A Tract of 96 pp. (pp. 1 and 2 are absent) by Hend. Toren, giving an account of transactions during his stay in the Island. It relates to a quarrel between Bishop Wilson and Governor Horne about a slander on Mrs. Hendricks, wife of an innkeeper, and other cases, which led to quarrels between the Bishop and Governor." (Not published.)
(6), "Quarto paper, 18th century. James, Earl of Derby's letter to Ireton . . . His devotions, &c. (Published by the Chetham and Manx Societies.)
THE SCHOOL OF ART has a gradually increasing number of students since the new master, Mr. Robertson, entered upon his duties in January last. There are at present 23 day and 85 night students. We are pleased to observe that special advantages are now given to workmen, as architectural drawing, building construction, and machine drawing are now taught in a separate class.
The financial position of the School has also greatly improved. A very creditable exhibition of students' work, with a loan collection of pictures, and other objects of art was held in December. The success of this exhibition, as well as the general advance of the School, is largely due to the labours of Mr. John Boyd, the energetic secretary. Able lectures on Geology and Mechanics, in connection with the above Institution, were delivered by the Rev. John Quine and Mr. Cooper during the past year,
We append a statement of the subject, sizes, prices, and purchasers of Mr. J. M. Nicholson's pictures disposed of at Mr. Abel Lewis's sale, on the 29th of September, as we believe it will be found interesting to our readers. The prices obtained, considering the general depression in trade, were on the whole satisfactory :- OIL PAINTINGS : - "Sam Quine's Corner, Douglas Harbour, and Shipping," 12in. x 20in., £28, Mr. Healis, West Bromwich., "Douglas Harbour and South Quay," '11in. x 17½in.£28, Deemster Gill, Douglas., ' Pulrose Meadows," 12in. x 2iin. £17, Mr. J. J. Corlett, Douglas; "View in Sulby Glen," 8½in, x 5in. £3 15s., Mr J. M. Cruickshank, Ramsey; "Douglas Bay and Conister, with Burnt Mill Hill and Onchan Village in the distance," 7ft. x 3ft. £19, Mr. R. E. Parkinson, Douglas; " Douglas Harbour," 5in. x 9in. £12, Mr. J. T. Cowell, Douglas.-WATER COLOURS; "Castle Rushen," 181n. X .12in. £17, " Road and Trees," 7Ain. x 5in. £2 4s, Mr. R. E. Parkinson, Douglas; " Study of Boats.in Douglas Bay," 6lin. x gain. £2 15s, Mr. R. G. Hoyle, Farm Hill, Braddan; "Castletown, from Scarlett Rocks," 18in. x 12in. £14 1s. 6d, Mr. Spence, Douglas; "Peel Castle-Sunset," 6in. x 4in. £7 10s, "Peel Harbour and Shipping" Skin. x 31in. £12, "Old Mill with Cattle, Groudle Glen," 11in. x 7½in. £10 10s, .' Study of Wreck in Castletown Bay," 6½in. x 4½in. £6, "Sunrise, Douglas Bay with Boats," 6in. x 4 in. £7, Mr. A. W. Moore, Cronkbourne, Braddan; "Tongue and Shipping, Douglas Harbour," 14 in. x 10½in. £~6, Miss Gell, Douglas; "Study of Boat in Douglas Bay," 11in. x 9in. £2 7s. 6d, Mr. J. R. Cowell, Ramsey; "Douglas Head Lighthouse and Boats," 27in. x 18½in. £32, Mr. John Crellin, Douglas; "Peel Castle with Shipping," 18in. x 12in. £37, "Douglas Bay with Shipping," 15in. x 12in. £25, Rev. T. Talbot, "Douglas; ,Peel Castle and Shore, Evening, with Boat and Figures," 10in x 5in. £14 10s., Mr. J. A. Brown, Douglas;"Douglas Head and Bay, with South-west Gale," 10in. x 5in., £12, Mr. Hortiguela, Douglas; "Study on Douglas Shore," 14in. x 10in. £3 5s., "Breaking Waves," 14in. x 10in. £4 25. 6d., "Pulrose Dam," 7in. x 5in. £3, "Sunrise-Douglas from Battery Pier," 22in x 11in. £35, "Peel Castle and Bay, with Figures and Boats landing Herrings," 14in. x 17½in. £27, "The Gambler," 7in. x 5in. £4 10s., "Winter Study of Loch Promenade, Douglas," 7in. x 5in. £6 10s. Mr. Healis, West Bromwich ; "Peel Castle and Harbour," :17~iD. x i iiin. (40, "Market Place, Verona," glin.'x iglin. £5o, "Sunrise-in Douglas, Bay, showing Conister." 20in. x 12in. £36, Deemster Gill, Douglas; "Old Mill and River," 9in. x 5in. £5 5s., "Rhenass Waterfall," 8½in. x 11in. £9, Mr. J. T. Cowell, Douglas; "Pulrose Meadows," 7in. X 5in. £4 2s. 6d., and companion picture of the same size, £11 7s. 6d., Mr. S. R. Newton, Douglas; "Peel Castle and Harbour, " 17 in. x 11½in. £22, Mr. J. A. Mylrea, Douglas; "Sunrise in Douglas Bay," 8in. x 5 in, £8 10s., "Pulrose Meadow and Trees," 61in. x 41in. £2 12s. 6d., His Excellency the Lieut.Governor.
THE following high honours have been obtained by pupils of King William's College during the past year: Mr. W. H. Bragg, Scholar of Trinity College, and third Wrangler in the Mathematical Tripos of 1884, has been placed in the first class in the final part of that examination at Cambridge ;Mr. C. H. Ward has been elected to the first open Scholarship, value £50 per annum, for Classics, at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge; Mr. M. Bellamy has been eleded to a Foundation Scholarship for Mathematics, at Queen's College, Cambridge; Mr. H. F. Freeman has been ele6ted to a Foundation Scholarship for Classics, at Queen's College, Cambridge; Mr. H. O. Cowen has been elected to the Taylor Bursary for Classics, Mathematics, and Literature, at Glasgow. The following have obtained honours at Cambridge;-Messrs. H. Baker, T. G. Morris, and T. A. Lace, in the Mathematical Tripos, and Mr. S. G. Collier in the Classical Tripos. At Oxford Mr. J. M. Walker has obtained honours for Classics, and Mr. H. L. Higgins for Natural Science. At Glasgow, Mr. B. S. Cowen has passed the M.B. and C.M. degrees with honours. Messrs. C. Leslie and R. K. Farrant were placed 11th and 17th respectively among the successful candidates for admission to the Royal Military Academy, at Woolwich.