Phoebe Palmer.

The Antiquary (Volume 31) online

. (page 19 of 67)
Online LibraryPhoebe PalmerThe Antiquary (Volume 31) → online text (page 19 of 67)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


VOL. XXXI.



nace, on the other hand, was oblong in form,
and is distinguished by the position of the
subsidiary arches placed at the several angles
of the main furnace. This arrangement seems
to have been characteristic of trench glass-
making from a comparatively early period.
In the MSS. of Eraclius, printed in Mrs.
Merrifield's Treatises on the Arts of Painting,
vol. i., p. 212, the following passages occur,
indicating a type of furnace very similar to
that discovered at Buckholt (see Fig. i) :
" Upon the foundation of the furnace you
must begin to make three small compart-
ments which are called 'archaa,' in which
there must be small windows. You must
make the middle arch large with two windows
in it, one on one side, and one on the other.
In the middle arch . . . must be placed two
jars, which they call 'mortariola,' in which
the ashes or sand ... is melted, and the
glass made. And you must make the other
arches, one on the right and one on the left
of the middle arch, and the one on the right

r



io6



FURTHER NOTES ON MANX FOLKLORE.



of the middle arch smaller than the one on
the left." The writer goes on to say that the
left-hand arch was to be used for the pre-
liminary operation of fritting and for drying
the new glass pots, but that in making broad
glass (tabulas) this chamber was to be used
for annealing. Fig. 2 represents a similar
French furnace of a later date, and Fig. 3
exhibits the same furnace modified for the
use of coal. The last two figures are repro-
duced from the work of Bosc d' Antic, a
French savant of the eighteenth century. By
the use of similar letters for corresponding
parts further comment becomes unnecessary.
The chief modifications consist in the in-
troduction of the grate bars F, and the sub-
terranean air chamber D. E E are ledges
for placing the pots, but the method of
closing the pots while securing access from
the exterior of the furnace is not shown.



jTuctftet J13otes on a^anr
jFolfclore.

By A. W. Moore, M.A.

Author of Surnames and Place-Mantes of the Isle of Man ;
Diocesan History of So. tor and Man ; Folklore of the Isle
of Man, etc.



Lvar and Matilda.

N the thirteenth century, lvar, a
young and gallant knight, was
enamoured of the beauteous
Matilda. Her birth and fortune
were inferior ; but his generous mind dis-
dained such distinctions. He loved, and
was most ardently beloved. The sanction of
the king was alone wanting to consummate
their happiness. To obtain this, lvar, in
obedience to the custom of the Island, pre-
sented his bride to Reginald, a gay and
amorous prince, who, struck with the beauty
and innocence of Matilda, heightened by an
air of modesty, immediately, for some pre-
tended crimes, banished lvar from his pre-
sence, and by violence detained the virgin.
Grief and indignation alternately swelled in
her bosom, till, from the excess of anguish, she
sunk into a state of insensibility. On awaken-




ing, her virtue was insulted by the approaches
of the tyrant. She was, however, deaf to his
insinuations, and only smiled at his menaces.
Irritated at her contempt, and flattering him-
self that severity would subdue her truth and
chastity, he imprisoned her in the most soli-
tary apartment of the castle, where, for
some months, she passed the tedious night
and day in tears, far more solicitous for the
fate of lvar than affected by her own mis-
fortunes.

" In the meantime, lvar, failing in an at-
tempt to revenge his injuries, assumed the
monastic habit, and retired into Rushen
Abbey. Here he dedicated his life to piety ;
but his heart was still devoted to Matilda.
For her he sighed, for her he wept, and to in-
dulge his sorrows without restraint, would fre-
quently withdraw into the gloomiest solitudes.
In one of these solitary rambles he discovered
a grotto, which had been long unfrequented.
The gloom and silence of this retirement cor-
responding with the anguish of his mind, he
sauntered onward, without reflecting where
the subterraneous path might conduct him.
His imagination was portraying the graces
of Matilda, while his heart was bleeding for
her sufferings. From this reverie of woe he
was, however, soon awoke by the shriek of a
female. Advancing eagerly, he heard in a
voice nearly exhausted : ' Mother of God !
save Matilda !' while through a chink in the
barrier which now separated them, he saw
the virgin, with dishevelled hair and throb-
bing bosom, about to be sacrificed to the lust
and violence of Reginald. Rage and mad-
ness gave new energy to lvar, who, forcing a
passage through the barrier, rushed upon the
tyrant, and seizing his sword, which lay care-
lessly on the table, plunged it into its master's
bosom.

" The tyrant died, and the lovers through
this subterraneous communication escaped
to the sea-side, where they fortunately met
with a boat which conveyed them to Ireland,
and in this kingdom the remainder of their
years was devoted to the most exquisite of
all human felicities the raptures of a gener-
ous love, heightened by mutual admiration
and gratitude."*

* Robertson, A Tour through the Isle of Man,
1794. PP- 52-55-



FURTHER NOTES ON MANX FOLKLORE.



107



A Dispute between ttie King of Lreland and
the King of Scotland for Possession of the
Lsle of Man.

" In olden times there was a great discus-
sion between the King of Ireland and the
King of Scotland for disseisin of the Isle of
Man, which of them ought to be lord of the
isle aforesaid. There were men skilled in
the law alleging various reasons and arguing
on both sides. After many and various dis-
putations had been held upon the said busi-
ness, the kings could in no way agree, but
that champions should be chosen, and that
whosoever's champion should be victor, the
same should be esteemed the true lord of the
island. But one among the wise men there
congregated, whose wisdom exceeded that of
the others, as it seemed, thus spoke : ' O
kings, set aside the war appointed between
us, and yield to my counsel. Is not the land
of Ireland free from venomous reptiles, where-
fore there is neither serpent, nor toad, nor,
etc. But the land of Scotland is much de-
filed with reptiles ; send therefore messen-
gers to the island [of Mann], faithful ex-
plorers, who may inspect the island ; if indeed
venomous reptiles may there be found, in
truth, the island shall more properly belong
to thee, King of Scotland, than to thee, O
King of Ireland. But if no serpent or other
poisonous thing be there in the smallest
degree found, in truth, to thee, O King of
Ireland, does the island deservedly belong.'
This opinion pleased all ; men were sent to
explore, and the island adjudged to remain
to the kingdom of Scotland. Beloved as this
island is, situated in the midst of the sea, so
is the human soul hemmed in, in this world,
because at the first this mighty sea, etc. . . .
these kings . . . pleading and earnestly dis-
puting for possession of this island, are as
Christ and the devil, who incessantly strive
one with the other for possession of the
human soul, herein* ... or in the general
judgment, when the secrets of all hearts shall

* The above passage, which is probably a quota-
tion, is defective in the original, and may be thus
supplied : " Because at the first this mighty sea,
which threatened to overwhelm all things by its influ-
ence, was restrained, so these kings, by their striving
and earnestly disputing for possession of this island,
are as Christ and the devil, who incessantly strive one
with the other for j>ossession of the human soul herein
prefigured,"



be searched, nothing venomous should be
found, that is, any mortal sin, without doubt
it is due to the kingdom of heaven ; this
island is the soul where nothing venomous
has ever entered or been found. But if any-
thing venomous should be found in the soul,
it is due to the kingdom of hell."*

Cutlar MacCulloch.

There is a tradition that a Galloway sea-
rover of this name was wont to look out for
the smoke from the chimneys of Kirk Bride,
the most northerly parish in Man, and when
he saw it, he and his crew would promptly
run across to the Manx coast and, if the
breeze served them, were wont to arrive in
time to have a share of the Manxmen's
dinner. It is said that the Kirk Bride people
were consequently in the habit of eating their
meat before taking their broth, so that Cutlar
and his men should only arrive in time for
the less substantial portion of the meal. It
is said that these incursions took place at the
beginning of the sixteenth century, and that
the expedition of Thomas, second Earl of
Derby, which is referred to as follows in the
" Traditionary Ballad,"f was undertaken with
a view to putting a stop to them :

Then came Thomas Derby, born king ;
Thus he wore the golden crupper ;
There was not one lord in England,
With so many servants in the land.

On Scotchmen he revenged himself,
He went over to Kirkcudbright ;
And made such havoc of the houses,
That some of them are yet unroofed.

MacCulloch's exploits are recorded in the
following modern poem :

Huan.
"Jean siyr, ven y-thie,"t pack up and away,
Cutlar MacCulloch will be here to day.

Shbval.

The Galloway chief ! it never can be ;
He's chasing the fishing-boats out at sea.

The breeze blows fresh,

'Tis off the land
The sea-king has other work in hand.



* From Harleian MSS. (the handwriting is temp.
Edward 1.). See Manx So,\, vol. vii., pp. 9395-
f Train, History of the Isle of Man, vol. i.. p. 53.
\ " Make haste, housewife.'



io8



FURTHER NOTES ON MANX FOLKLORE.



HUAN.

Siyrree,* ven-y-thie, or, as I'm a sinner,
MacCulloch will surely l>e first to dinner ;
I saw his broad sail as I stood on the brow,
And he'll only l>e heie too soon I trow ;

So up and away

While yet we may,
His flotilla stands for Ramsey Bay.

Shbval.

A ugh, the breeze blows fresh, and the sea is rough,
Tomorrow will surely be "time enough !"
Hen Varreyt hath bound the broad l>each with A chain,
To day is the wedding of Mylecharane !

There's broth and there's mutton,

The table to put on,
And the barn-floor swept, the dancers to foot on.

HUAN.

list what I say ! for 'tis no joke,
Cutlar MacCulloch hath seen the smoke ;
And if you wait longer on Tra dy-liooar t \
The Galloway men will darken our door,

Seize on the victual,

Lift all the cattle,
And knock down the boys who show any mettle.

Shbval.

Well, haste then from church, and I'll hurry the feast ;
We'll eat all we can, and we'll drink of the best :
Then the rovers may step ashore when the tide flows,
And lie welcome to lx>nes with a sauce of hard blows.

There's the Dhooiney Mooar,

Yourself, and a score.
Will pin these catherans down to the floor.

HUAN.

Your counsel is good, and your spirit is bold ;
That Manxmen have faint hearts shall never l>e told.
A fig for MacCulloch ! so bring out the wine,
And ask Dhooiney Mooar to come hither and dine.

He shall sit by Jean,

His heart's bragh|| epieen,
And drink jough vie to his " vuddy-veg-veen.'IT

I'll look to the corn, the sheep, and the bullock,
And keep them from witches, and Cutlar MacCulloch.
How long shall the robl>er chief come with his levy,
And carry off all not too hot and too heavy ?

Too late to be running,

When Cutlar is coming

Sheval.
O, Ven Varrey's out, and she'll rule the tonney.**

Huan.

'Twould soften the heart of a man full of wrath,
To see your kind face, and smell your good broth ;



' "Hasten." f "Mermaid."

X "Time enough." This saying has become a

proverb, expressive of the tendency of Manxmen to

be behind time.
"The Big Man." || "Eternal."

T "Dear little girl." **"Wave."



But here comes the wedding - train, blithesome and

grand,
All ready for dinner, so lend me a hand,

And here fix the table,

We'll eat all we're able ;
MacCulloch may go to the fish with his cable.

The-noggins of broth had gone merrily round,
The spoon was just plunged in the haggis profound.
Each trencher was stretched for a share of the cheer.
When, " Hark to the tramp ! oh, MacCulloch is here !

Boys ! spring to your feet ;

(iris ! hide all the meat,
We'll soon make the vagalxinds sound a retreat."

MacCulloch stepped over the threshold the while,
And gazed on the plentiful lx>ard with a smile :
"(iudefolk, gudefolk, ye hurry too late,
MacCulloch is here, and his ship at the Vate.

For broth he don't care,

The broth he can spare,
But haggis and mutton are MacCulloch's share."

The rovers were many, the wedding guests few,
So the rovers sat down to the mutton and stew ;
I Hit from that day to this, as our north custom tells,
We trust neither to wind, nor to mermaid spells,

But first of all eat

Our coveted meat,
And, over the broth, tell of MacCulloch's feat.*

The Winning of the Isle of Manne.

This is a ballad of considerable antiquity,
which was first published in Strange Histories,
in London, in 1607. It was reprinted by the
Percy Society in 1841. It refers to Sir
William de Montacute, first Earl of Salisbury,
who was King of Man, which was granted to
him by King Edward III. in 1334 :

The noble Earl of Salisburie,

With many a hardy knight,

Most valiantly prepared himselfe

Against the Scots to fight ;

With his speare and his sheeld

Making his proud foes to yeeld.

Fiercely on them all he can,

To drive them from the Isle of Man.

Drummes striking on a row,

Truni|>ets sounding as they goe,

Tan-ta-ra-ra-ra-tan.

Their silken ensignes in the field
Most gloriously were spred :
The horsemen, on their prauncing steeds,
Strucke many a Scotchman dead.
The browne-bils on their corsle'.s ring,
The bowmen with their grav-goose wing,
The soft flesh of their foes doe teare.
Drummes striking on a row,
Trumpets sounding as they goe,
Tan-ta ra-ra-ra-tan.

* Manx Soc., vol. xxi., pp. 46-49. From Miss
Cookson's Legends of Manx Land. 1 859.



FURTHER NOTES ON MANX FOLKLORE.



109



The battell was so fierce and hot,

The Scots for feare did fiie,

And many a famous knight and squire

In gorie blood did lie.

Some thinking to escape away

Did drowne themselves within the sea ;

Some with many a bloody wound

Lay gasping on the clayie ground.

Drummes striking on a row,

Trumpets sounding as they goe,

Tan-ta-ra-ra-ra-tan.

Thus after many a brave exployt
That day performed and done,
The noble Earle of Salsburie
The Isle of Man had wonne.
Returning then most gallantly
With honour, fame, and victorie,
Like a conquerour of fame,
To court this warlike champion came.
Drummes striking on a row,
Trumpets sounding as they goe,
Tan-ta-ra-ra-ra-tan.

Our king, rejoyceing at this act,

Incontinent decreed

To give the Earle this pleasant isle

For his most valiant deed ;

And forthwith did cause him than

For to be crowned King of Man :

Earle of famous Salsburie,

And King of Man by dignitie.

Drummes striking on a row,

Trumpets sounding as they goe,

Tan-ta-ra-ra-ra-tan.

Thus was the first King of Man

That ever bore the name,

Knight of the princely garter blew,

And order of great fame ;

Which brave King Edward did devise,

And with his person royalize :

Knights of the Garter are they cald,

And eke at Winsor so instald :

With princely royaltie,

Great fame and dignitie,

This knighthood still is held.*

Tradition about Sodor among the Natives of
the South of the Island.

It is now generally known that the word
Sodor in the name of the diocese of Sodor
and Man is simply a corruption of the Norse
sudr-eyja/\ or the South Isles,t though various
strange traditions as to its origin still survive
among the Manx people, of which the follow-
ing may be given as an example. It does
not, however, surpass in absurdity many of

* '* Mona Miscellany," Manx Sac., vol. xvi., pp.
45-47-

t See Place Navies and Surnames of the Isle of
Man, A. W. Moore, pp. 289292. Also Diocese of
Sodor and Man, A. W. Moore, pp. 37-43.



the theories of annalists and historians on
the same subject :

" The south of the island was the Diocese
of Sodor, and the town of Sodor was on Lang-
ness, between the present Derby haven and
the bridge of the Fort Island The Bishop
of Sodor lived in that town, and the fisher-
men had to bring their tithe of fish to him
there. After a time, however, the plague
came into the town and got so bad that the
people had to set fire to it and leave it. After
the town of Sodor was destroyed the Bishop
went to live in the north of the island, and
this was the cause of many bitter wars be-
tween the people of the North and those of
the South, so much so, that the wheel of the
mill, near Port St. Mary, now called Mullen-
ny-eleigh* was turned by human blood. In
one of these wars the women of the South
helped their husbands, and therefore they get
more dowry out of their husbands' estates than
the women of the North, t I have heard from
some old people that there was a great storm
fifty or sixty years ago, which laid bare several
of the foundations of the houses of Sodor,
and that they were flagged or paved with red
freestone, but that the sand and grass had
covered them again." Robert Kewley
( Coroner), Castletown.



dome

DecorateD (KlooDtoork from tfje
Glastonbury Lake Oillage.

I5v Arthur Bui.i.eid.



INCE the commencement of the ex-
ploration in 1892, the British
village has never flagged in interest,
the discoveries last year adding
still more to our knowledge of its construc-
tion, and of the life and capabilities of its

* "Mill of the hedge."

t This, however, is an error. The North won,
having, according to tradition, been aided by their
women, who consequently got a larger share of their
husband's estates. There is a spiritual law in the
Statute book which, to some extent, confirms this
tradition. (See "Chronicon Manni.e," Manx Soc.,
vol. xxii., p. 57 ; and "Customary Laws" in Statutes,
vol. i., p. 40 )




1 IO



SOME DECORATED WOODWORK.



inhabitants. On account of the durability of
metals and baked clay, much information has
been gained concerning the art of the metal-
lurgists and potters of prehistoric Britain ; but
from the perishable nature of wood, few
opportunities have hitherto occurred for ascer-
taining the skill attained by carpenters previous
to the Roman occupation. At Glastonbury




Jn&



SCALE IN INCHES

we are exceptionally fortunate, for the village
is not only largely composed of timber, but
the worked wood which abounds everywhere
in the peat is found in a wonderful state of
preservation.

The pieces of wood described below form
a group noteworthy for other than technical
reasons. How far the designs with which
they are decorated correspond with the pat-



SOME DECORATED WOODWORK.



terns on pottery and metal-work discovered
elsewhere I am unable to say, or draw any
conclusions.

With regard to the tools made use of by
the inhabitants for working wood, although
fragments of iron are frequently dug up, the
metal is so corroded that it is seldom possible
to make out the original shape. This may
in some measure account for the limited
number of tools and implements used in car-
pentry met with in the village a couple of
billhooks, two small saws, and a gouge nearly
exhaust the list. The last-mentioned tool
was found still embedded in the piece of
wood into which it had been driven.

From plaster casts of the surface marks



Saw- marks would certainly have attracted
notice more frequently had they been present,
for, although the consistence of the greater
part of the wood (oak excepted) dug up is
little harder than cheese, yet its surface mark-
ings, as also the facets on sharpened piles,
appear so fresh when taken out of the peat,
that at first sight it is difficult (if not handled)
to imagine that the work is more than a few
days old.

Several pieces of wood have been met with
showing unmistakable signs of lathework.
Among these are part of the axle of a wheel,
and a large reel or pulley-shaped object,
measuring 16 inches long and 9 inches
wide.




and cuts on planks and timber, it has been
possible to derive some additional informa-
tion with respect to the size and shape of
the adzes, axes, and other tools that were
used Although the saws referred to have
been included among the wood-working im-
plements, it is probable, from their diminutive
size, that they were more frequently used for
cutting horn and bone, both of which often
bear saw-marks. The inhabitants doubtless
possessed larger tools of the same class, but
these cannot have been numerous, as, during
the three years' digging, many hundred pieces
of cut woodwork have been examined, but,
with the exception of some half-dozen pieces,
none showed signs of having been sawn.



Before proceeding to consider in detail the
pieces of wood that are here illustrated, it
may be well, to briefly describe the situation
in which they were found. The entire village
(roughly, covering four acres) was bordered
with a strong palisade, protecting it from the
surrounding mere water. The depth of the
water varied, no doubt, considerably at dif-
ferent periods and with the season of the
year, but immediately along the north east,
east, and south-east sides of the settlement it
could never at any time have much exceeded
5 feet. This depth in course of time became
gradually reduced by the growth of peat,
which appears ultimately to have quite re-
placed the water. Naturally, many things



112



SOME DECORATED WOODWORK.




rT^,



belonging to the inhabitants were lost near
the edge; but the water was also a convenient
place for depositing bones, broken pottery,
and other kinds of rubbish, samples of which
have been dug out from test holes and cuttings
in the peat upwards of 200 feet distant from
the margin of the settlement. Last season
about 400 feet of the palisading was traced,
the peat being examined for a like distance
alongside it for a width of from 15 to 20 feet.
It was during this work that the following
pieces of wood, among many other things,
came to light.

The first illustration represents a thin,
finely-decorated piece of wood, dug out of
the peat 6 feet 6 inches below the surface,
near the south-east edge of the village. It
was found in a very fragmentary condition,
and in making the drawing of the design the
lines showing the various pieces have been
purposely omitted, so that the continuity of
the pattern might not be interfered with ; the
lines have also been drawn much coarser than
they appear in the original. The length of
the piece is a little over 19 inches, and
3J inches in breadth, its thickness varying
from one-eighth to three-sixteenths of an
inch. The surfaces are perfectly smooth and
finished. Parallel with one edge of the wood
there seems to have been a line of small cir-
cular holes, one-eighth of an inch in diameter,
arranged at distances of \\ or if inches
apart. A few other perforations of similar
size and shape are also to be seen near the
ends in varying positions. The whole of the
decoration, which has a strong resemblance
to the classical fret pattern, was produced by
incising the surface with some fine and sharp
pointed tool. When the piece was dug out
the peat was carefully examined for some
distance around it, but nothing could be
gathered of its former use either from its
position or surroundings.

The second illustration gives the outer
surface and a sectional view of a portion of
a small stave-made bucket of oak. From it
the dimensions of the vessel when complete
have been made, as follows : Not including
the handle, it was 7 inches high, the inside
diameter across the brim being 5^ inches.
The design with which the outer surface of
the stave is decorated is incomplete, the rest
no doubt being continued on the adjoining



SOME DECORATED WOODWORK.



"3



staves. It appears that the pattern was in
the first place cut, and afterwards burnt in by
passing a heated piece of metal along the
incisions.

The lateral sides of the stave are quite
smooth, and show no signs of having been
joined to the contiguous staves by dowelling
of any kind a method adopted and well
exemplified in a stave belonging to a cup or
small measure dug up in 1893. This has an
undoubted lateral peghole an inch or so
below the lip.

Drawing number three represents a tub in
section, and number four part of its surface
decoration. Although the tub was found in
many pieces, and much decayed, it was pos-
sible to place the fragments together tem-
porarily to take measurements and a correct
drawing of the design. The width of the tub
when complete was between 1 2 and 1 3 inches,



Online LibraryPhoebe PalmerThe Antiquary (Volume 31) → online text (page 19 of 67)