[From Manx Soc vol XXI]
DR. WILLIAM WALKER was the son of a poor widow who lived at the south part of the island, and was educated at the Castletown academy, became rector of St. Marys, Ballaugh, and vicar-general of the diocese of Sodor and Man. He was imprisoned in Castle Rushen, along with Bishop Wilson, in 1722, by order of Governor Horne. It was during that period they formed the plan of translating the New Testament into the Manx language. Dr. Walker lies buried in Ballaugh church, and the following epitaph, inscribed on a flat stone, was written by Bishop Wilson :
GULIELMUS WALKER, LL.D.
HUJTJSCE ECCLESIÆ RECTOR
PER ANNOS XXV.
E VICARUS GENERALIBUS
NEC NON NOBILISS. DOMINO A CONCILIIS,
PASTOR, JUDEX, CIVIS,
QUO NEMO FIDELIOR, ÆQUIOR,
AUT BONI PUBLICI STEJDIOSIOR,
MANSUM OMNIAQUE RECTORIA
EDIFICIA PRORSUS DILAPSA
PERMAGNO SUMPTU RESTAURAVIT.
ORBIT 18TH JUNII, A.D. MDCCXXIX.
His mother, the writer of the following lines, was unfortunate in her second marriage, but continued to reside in the Doctors house. The Rev. Hugh Stowell, in his Life of Bishop Wilson, 1819, speaks highly of Dr. Walker, and says " this interesting poem in the Manx language, in honour of this excellent man, of which a few fragments are yet found amongst the aged inhabitants of the parish. The composition is not altogether in the spirit of Ossians poems, yet it has obtained its full share of rustic praise, and has been sung and sung again in unison, not with the harp of former days, but with the less melodious notes of the spinning-wheel. The following verse, so descriptive of his character, is often repeated with strong marks of approbation
" Bannaght ny moght, scaa ny mraane tregohe,
Fendeilagh chloan gyn ayr,
Da ny annooinee Dreern nagh goghe,
Veih Treinee dewil aggair.
He to the poor a blessing proved,
Their refuge and their friend;
The orphans and the widows cause,
Still ready to defend."
I am enabled to give an entire version of this from an old MS.
copy, with a translation by Mr. John Quirk, in which he has pretty
closely followed the spirit of the original.
I am not able to record anything of her son Robert Tear. Several of that family will be found interred in Kirk Braddan churchyard, as mentioned in the Monumental Inscriptions, Manx Society, vol. xiv., 1868.
A SORROWFUL DITTY ON THE DEATH OF HER
WIDOW TEARS BALLAD ON HER TWO SONS,
Translated from the Manx by Mr. John Quirk of Carn-ny-Greie.
ROISH my row mee rieau my voir,
My aigney seyr veih laad chiarail,
As tra ren mee my stayd chaghlaa,
Ayns aggle yee lesh yusagh vie
Dy insh jehn egin va mee ayn,
Arkys as seme ghow orrym grem~
Er yn edjag-sereenee Robbin va,
Symbyl jehn yusagh vér e lane,
Illiam pessyn Cheeill Voirrey va,
Bannaght ny moght, scaa ny mraane hreoghe,
As ga dy row e churrym mooar,
Veih hooar eh ooashleys ennyn noa
E hoilshey ren soilshean dy gial,
Gloyr Yee, as foays e helloo noo,
Myr va e hoilchyn ooilley mooar,
Oyr vooar ta ec ny Manninee,
Jeh Saggyrt Walker cooinagh vees,
Jhys hie eh seoise gys cooyrt y ree,
Quoi hyrmys eisht ny jeIr ta role,
Agh mish e voir tra smoo ayns feme,
Keayrt va mee maynrey ~yns my chloan,
Nish ta mee coodit lesh slane ole,
Fo dorraghys doo, my aigney dooint,
BEFORE a mother I became,
A stranger to all anxious care,
When I had changed my state of life,
Good scholars traind in virtues ways,
To tell the straits I had to pass
Trouble and want had pierced me through,
Among the people, Robert was
A sample from his skilful hand,
Will vicar of St. Marys was,
To widows, fatherless, and poor,
His wisdom, equal to his trust,
That court where he was well received,
The brightness of his light was known
Gods glory and his peoples good
Among his labours in our cause,
Well may old Monas sons lament
Dear Doctor Walkers name shall live
How, when at Englands royal court,
Who then shall wipe away the tears,
But oh ! when I was most in need,
Once I was happy in my sons,
Now coverd with nights darkest shade,
My mind in total darkness kept,
Mr. Quirk remarks on the eighth verse :" The stream running close by Kirk Patricks church on the eastern side was called Keeil-Craghs stream, perhaps long before the present church was erected. It is most likely that a small chapel known by that name stood near the spot where the present parish church stands. What can it mean?"
The site of this old chapel is a small enclosure on part of the estate of Knockaloe, adjoining the highroad leading towards Ballamoore. It is laid down in the Ordnance map as "Keeil-Cragh."