[From Manx Soc vols 25+28 - Blundell's History]



DIVERS names by divers authors have been given to this island, but if well observed the later are observ'd to be de nv' d from the more antient Julius C~sar, and ye Romans after him called it Mona, and some corruptly writ it Monna; yet as I conjecture neither Julius Caesar nor any of ye Romans originally gave yt name unto this island, but rather re ceiv'd it from ye Gauls and Britons, and was at first im pos'd by some more antient Greeks yt might pass out of Ireland by it into ye northern part of Britony, now called Scotland, and they might call it Mona of novos solus, as being a little island seated solitary in the midst betwixt ye 4 neighbouring nations, as I shall demonstrate in the sequel.

Cornelius Tacitus 1 and after him Hector Boetius,2 Bucanon, Philip Cluveruis, ascribe the name of Mona unto the Island of Anglisey, being misled by the British name of Anglisey, which is Mon and Yermon (ye Island of Mon), and thence called by Saxons ye Island Monea, but Camden, Bishop Usher, Humphrey Loyd, Harrison, Polycronicon, Mercator,P. Holins, Speed, and all learned and late writers, unanimously assent in one yt Mona C~esarie is properly the Isle of Man. But Mona Taciti belongeth to Anglisey. Ptolemy, more to purpose and to distinguish Mon from Mona, calleth the Island of Man Moncida,3 or Monaida, or Monada, as one wou'd say (by Mr. Cambden's interpretation) Moneitha, yt is the more remoted Mona.

Of Mona and Moneitha, by corruption in Pliny his time it came to be called Monaibia.

From Monaibia in Orosius and V. Bede's age it was called Monavia, which name was also given to ye Island of Anglisey, therefore V. Bede, to distinguish the one from the other, calleth Anglisey Monavia Prior, and - this Island of Man Monavia Secunda, so as this Island of Man in former ages hath ever retained a proximity of name, as well as of situa tion, with Anglisey. The name is written amiss, and called Menavia, see Cam. Brit. p. 203. Moreover, besides all these, this island, even from all antiquity, hath had ye name of Eubonia' given unto it, for so was it called by ye old Britons, and by Ninius yt goeth under ye name of Guildas, as also when King Edwin conquered it, yea and retained ye name very long, even to ye reign of King Richard ye 2d, for in ye 17th year of his reign2 saith Walsingham it was sold by Wm the son of Wm. The Earl of Salisbury yt had conquered it from the Scots, unto Wm le Scroop, Earle of Wiltshire, and Treasurer of England, by the name of Eubonia. Moreover, when ye Island of Man was called Eubonia, all ye Western Isles were called Eubonia, as I shall shew you hereafter.

The last and longest name, and which continueth unto this day is Mannia, which I find to be very antient, even above 300 years ago, before either Guildas or any other British writers before him, and tho' our Walsingham, who wrote in King Ri&- ye 2d's reign,3 as above do call it by the name of Eubonia, yet I find yt 145 years before yt in ye 34 year of King Henry ye 3d,4 sent letters patents to Arrold or rather Harrold, whom he stileth King of Man, licensing him to come into England, etc., where it had ye name of Man divers opine diversely. The Manksmen have a tradition yt at their coming of their apostle St. Patrick,' they had a king whom they call Manna-Man-Maclea, him they held to have been the first yt did conquer them, and yt ye Island of him took ye name of Man, and hath ever since retained it unto this day. Polydore Virgil supposeth the name of this Man, of the word Mona (Mutatione unius liter~ manam vocant).

If it were lawful for me to take ye same liberty to myself I should suppose ye Man might come of Maune,2 which was one of St. Patrick's names, before he took upon him the name of Patricius, for I do not fihd the name of Man given to the Island but at his being there; and Joselinus, in the life of St. Patrick; ch. 92, gives it the name of Eubonia and of Man, but I had rather vaile to the Manksmcn's tradition than to be censured as obstinate. For in some kind a tradition may challenge ye title of an authority, whereas a mere conjecture may well gain ye repute of a substity, but is not always enabled to enforce a solid assent as unto a verity.

Howsoever, this island at this day is in Latin called Mannia, by the Islanders Manning, by the Englishmen Man. The inhabitants by us are called Manksmen, in ye British language is called Menaw by Guildas and Ninius Manan.


1 Anals. 1. 14.
2 Hect. Boet. Hist. Scot. 1. 1, de rebus Scoticis.

British Isles, p. 203, 1. 4, c. 16.

1 See Bede, de rebus Scoticis, 1.
1, p. 25. 2 Anno Dom. 1393.
~ About Anno 1249.
~ Cook's Inst. part 14, c. 69, p. 284.

'Anno Clir. 447.

Sr. Henry Spelman, p. 50, saith his name was Mann.



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