[From ManxNoteBook vol iii,1887]



" Is it not amazing that, while there is so General a complaint all over England of the Scarcity and Dearness of Provisions, People of middling easy fortunes, dont retire to the Isle of Mann, where all the necessaries and even the luxuries of life are exceeding cheap and in great abundance? Where a small family or a single person can live better on £60 or £70 a year, than in England for £150 and so on in proportion. Where Robberys and burglerys are never heard of; nor a murder once in an age. Where you may travel by night or by day without the least disturbance or rnolestation and sleep as safe in your house unbolted and unbarred in town or country, as if you were surrounded by the trained bands of the City of London or the 1st troop of Guards. Where a free and easy intercourse is constantly and regularly kept up with England, Scotland and Ireland, from each of which places we are not above 12 hours distant ; the Government Packet Boat frequently making her weekly passage, between this place and Whitehaven in 5 or 6 hours. Another advantage peculiar to this part of his Majesty's dominions is that no person, having no visible effects, can be imprisoned for debt."

(Extract from a letter written by the Rev. P. Moore.)


"Dy foddey beayn dyhts, O Ree, nagh lhig da dty chree ve seighnit ny cummey dty eddin veh er ny chaglaa son yn jec shen t'ou er hirveish as yn agglish echey t'ou uss dy endeil, nee eh fendeil uss veih yn lion as veifi yn vuck-awin as myrgeddin veih lane yn anchymmyltagh shoh, son cha der eh dy bragh eh chass er thalloo sostynagh : as my toll yn Ree shassoo ayns feme jeh sheshagh cagee dy hajooryn vees dy ghoaill carail jeh yn ashoon, persoonyn yn cheer eckey, rice jec troggal ad seose veih agglish Chreest as higyms mee hene ayns yn tosiaght, as myr sheshagh caggee Ghideon lesh ny soilshagey oc ayns ny, crockaneyn ver fer er thousane chea as ver jees erjeih thousanyn rooie ersooyl. As my ta yn Ree shassoo ayns ferne jeh veg dy argid, ta mce yn laa ta ayn j in ayns soylley jeh shey cheeid Punt, as yow yn Ree dy chooilley skilling jeh. Tra ghow mish toshiaght ayns yn theill cha row ping aym, n' greim dy arran dy chur ayns my veeal as gowyms reeisbt cha rooishi as ren mee Roie, as yn jee shen ta mee dy hirveish as yn agglish eckey t'on uss dyendeil, cha sur eh dy bragh da yn attey dy veh gooit jeh kione yn llee derey vees baase slugg it scose ayns barriaght."-

(This letter addressed to King George the 3rd. was written in 1804, when Napoleon had assembled an army near Boulogne for the invasion of england. The Author's name has been lost.) [TRANSLATION.]-

" Long life to thee, O King, don't let thy heart be distressed, nor the form of thy face be changed, for the God whom thou hast served and the church which thou hast protected, will defend thee from the lion and from the bear and also from the hand of the uncircumcised, for he will never put his foot on English ground; and if the King stands in need of a company of soldiers to take care of the nation the people of his country, God will raise them up from the church of Christ and I will myself go in the vanguard and like the army of Gideon with their lights in pitchers one will make a thousand to fly, and two will make ten thousand to run away. and if the King stands in need of any money, I am this very day in the enjoyment of £2,600, and the King shall have every shilling of it. When I began in I the world I had not a penny nor a bit of bread to put in my mouth and I will go as bare as I was before and that God, whom I serve, and his church, which thou hast defended, will never suffer the crown to be taken from the head of the King until death shall be swallowed up in victory."


I copied the following from a book entitled "The Ancient and Present State of the County Down "1744, and now forward them to you, thinking that they may interest your Manx readers:- D. F. C.

" PUFFINUS ANGLORUM, the Manx Puffin, is larger in size than the House Pidgeon, of a dusky black on the back, and a white breast. It has a Beak a Finger and a half long, or more, narrow and black, and like that of a Lapwing, Bastard Plover, or Tewet. The upper maudible is crooked at the extremity, and like the sea crow is covered at the setting on with bare Flesh, in which the nostrils are placed; has long wings, a tail of a span length, and aback claw. It frequents the Ardes,*and perhaps other coasts of the Country."


-" Each plowland almost had formerly a little mill for grinding oats dried in Pots, or singed in the straw, which was the old Irish custom, the meal whereof was very coarse, and called GRADEN. The mills were called Danish or Ladle mills, the axletree of which stood upright, and the small stones or querns on the top thereof. The water-wheel was at the lower end of the axle tree and turned horizontally under the water, a small force driving it."

[The same sort of mill was made use of in the Isle of Mann and was called MULLIN LAARE or floor mill. There was no easing round the stone, and there was a peg in the stone which at every revolution, struck the moveable spout attached to the hopper. This shook the corn down into it and the ground meal was swept up off the floor from under the stone.-ED.]

* Manx, Irish, and Gaelic ard, 'a height.'


The following extract from the Archideaconal Registry, under date A.D. 1717, will give an idea of the prevalent notions with regard to sorcery and witchcraft in the Isle of Mann 170 years ago :-

"We whose names are hereunder written, being sworn in a jury of inquiry to take evidence in some difference between Gilbert Moore and John Steon about witchcraft, picking of herbs, and strikening them unknown, do give in our verdict as followeth. Ann Callister, alias Karran, and Grace Cowley, being sworn and examined say that John Steon said unto Arm Callister thou b- and w- that little fat that thou hast gotten upon thee I will take it off thee in a short time, and since that time she has lost very many of her goods, and furth: saith not. .Ann Callister further saith that John Steon's wife said unto her that she knew an herb, that if a man drank of the drink of it he would forget himself, but if one drank of it twice he would forget himself for ever- and further saith not. John Corlet and William Tear swore that Daniel Quayle told them that John Steon gave him an herb to put to his eyes and he never saw afterward, and further saith not. Gilbert Callister and Ann Callister declared that the said Daniel Quayle's wife told them the same words, and further saith not. Dollin Gawn sworn, examined, saith that himself and John Steon chid (sic) and the said John Steon promised to give him loss, and shortly after he received it, & furth : saith not. Dollin Gawn's wife sworn, examined, saith that the same John Steon told her that he knew that none of her children should inherit that little place they had, and since that time one of her childn dyed and another is now a cripple at her fire side, and furth : saith not. Adam Callister sworn, examined, saith that he came with John Corlett and John Steon from church and John Corlet told Steon he would present him to the great inquest, and the said Ste,~n answered that he could not tell whether he would be able to do so, but that he might be sick and have need to be washed in tobacco water and swines broth, and further saith not. Arm Cowle sworn, examined, saith that John Steon said unto her he would deceive her and blind her, and strike her unknown. Adani Collister sworn, examined, saith that the said Steon told him that he would strike him unawares, and John Corlett declared that that was the common report he heard of John Steon that he would strike people unknown and furth : saith not. Gilbert Moore sworn, examined, saith that the said Steon came to his house and said to his wife and children that he would strike them unawares so that thes, should not know of it, and since that time he lost abundance (sic) o f his goods, and furth: saith not. Gilbert Moore likewise and Pat. Cowley sworn, examined, say John Steon came to the plough to Gilbert Moore for the lone (sic) of a Manks spade, and the said Moore denyed him, whereupon Steon told him he would do him a mischief and that shortly and within a while after one of his oxen were struck lame so the said Moore sent to Steon to come see the Ox, and Steon coming spit upon the ox and handled him and he recovered, and further saith not. Mrs.Nelson sworn, examined, saith that John Steon told her that he knew she would be willing to deliver p her land unto Grinsey and Richard Cannell, and the said Mrs. Nelson asked him how did he know, whereupon the said Steon r(3plyed that,he knew she would be willing to give them payment for taking it from her and they would not accept ofit, and further saith not. Pat. Cannell sworn and examined saith that he came upon John Steon's daughter picking of herbs in the Court land where corn was sowen on our Lady day in Lent a little after break of day. Ellinl* Cannell sworn examined saith as abovesd, jaine Quayle examined saith that she saw an herb with John Steon's daughter, and asked what that was for and she said to preserve her from the flux and seeing something else with her she said it was to preserve her from the feaver.-Having takeii thea'j')ve Ilepositio"s we find said Steon to be guilty, and leave him to the discretion of the Court for fine and punishment, jo. Quayle his mk. x, Gilbt. Callistr his mk. X, Pat. Caine x, and Wm. Quayle x."

R. B.


A Catalogue of the Manx Crosses with the Runic inscriptions and various Readings and Renderings compared, by P. M. C. Kermode, published by J. Craine, Ramsey. This pamphlet, which will be most useful to the student of Runes, gives after a brief introduction, a descriptive catalogue of all the Crosses in the Island, whether whole or fragmentary. This is followed by the various readings of Cumming, Munch, Kneale, and Vigfusson. We regret that this little manual is disfigured by numerous errata, which we trust will be speedily removed in a second edition.-The eighth volume of the "Gentleman's Magazine Library," being Part II. (and last) of Romano-British Remains, published by Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, London. Mr. Stock announces that the next volume of this valuable series will be that on Literary Curiosities and Notes; also that the History of Warwickshire will be the next of his "Popular County Histories." Mr. Stock further announces, and this will be especially interesting to many of our readers, that he will shortly publish a book by our townsman and contributor Mr. J. M. Sutherland, entitled William Wordsworth The Story of his Life, with Critical Remarks on his Writings. It is dedicated by permission, to the Right Rev. John Wordsworth, D,D,, Lord Bishop of Salisbury, and great-nephew of the poet.


A.W.MOORE Editor



Back index next


Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2001