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should be sought from the Government, and
that our ancient buildings and otherantiquities
should be protected by some form of national
surveillance. We are, however, quite ready
to open our pages to a discussion of the
matter, and so ascertain, if possible, the
general opinion of antiquaries in the matter.
With regard to Mr. Phillimore's suggestion
that we should also devote some space each
month to record the progress of the photo-
graphic surveys made by the local societies,
we are quite willing to do so if the officials
of those societies will kindly keep us informed
of the progress of their work. It must be
borne in mind, however, that only a com-
paratively small portion of the country is
covered by the presence of societies, and
still fewer of those few societies have many
working antiquaries among their members.


It is proposed to publish under the auspices
of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society an
illustrated edition of the catalogue of the loan



collection of plate which was exhibited in
the Fitzwilliam Museum during May. The
prospectus states that the exhibition was the
result of an examination, extending over many
months, of the plate in the county, town,
university, and colleges of Cambridge.
Thanks to the hearty co-operation of the
various owners, the selection was thoroughly
representative. It included the maces of the
town and of the University ; articles formerly
the property of the corporation, but sold in
1836; the more important cups, tankards,
salvers, and candlesticks from the colleges ;
pieces of church plate from the county and
the town ; and the censer and incense-ship,
found in VVhittlesea Mere in 1850, which
once belonged to Ramsey Abbey. Great
pains were bestowed upon the catalogue, in
which every exhibited article was fully de-
scribed. As many of these pieces are of the
greatest interest from their beauty, as well
as from their historical and personal associa-
tions, it is proposed to issue a limited number
of copies of an illustrated edition of this
catalogue. The illustrations will be photo-
gravures representing forty or fifty of the
more important specimens. Facsimiles of a
number of marks and other details will also
be given. The volume is to be printed in
quarto, at a net subscription price of one
guinea for ordinary copies, limited to 250,
and two guineas and a half for copies on
Japanese paper, limited to 35 for sale ; but it
will not be undertaken unless 150 subscribers
can be obtained. Any person desiring to sub-
scribe for the volume should communicate,
without delay, with Messrs. Deighton, Bell
and Co., or with Messrs. Macmillan and
Bowes, the publishers to the society.

The "restoration " mania seems to know no
limits. During the past month one gentle-
man has been advocating a "restoration " of
the royal monuments in Westminster Abbey,
while another comes forward with a proposal
for the " restoration " of Stonehenge. The
latter writer seems shocked to think that
some of the stones are lying flat on the
ground, while others are " quite out of the
perpendicular." All we can say is, Long
may they continue so !


Scotch antiquaries have been somewhat
puzzled lately regarding the genuineness, or

otherwise, of a stone slab with some supposed
Oghams and other devices upon it. This
stone, which was found in the Kirkyard at
Abernethy, Perthshire, is figured in Scots
Lore for May, and we should say from the
illustration that it is undoubtedly spurious.
Not only are the supposed Ogham letters
written in a line across the centre of the slab,
but above them is a rudely-marked crown,
and below the figure of a bird. The general
verdict seems to be that the stone is spurious.

$? $? $
We regret to learn that the examination
which has been made of the west front of
Peterborough Cathedral has shown that it
is in part in a very dangerous condition,
needing immediate attention. This is especi-
ally the case with regard to the northern arch-
way, which is in a most insecure condition.
We uttered a word of caution lately in regard
to the possibility of a needless " restoration "
being proposed. At present there is no
suggestion of anything of the kind, and it
seems quite evident that a considerable sum
will be needed, merely to preserve the west
front from falling. We have no doubt that
antiquaries will cordially and promptly respond
to the appeal so long as it is confined to the
necessary work of preserving any parts of the
church which exhibit signs of weakness, as
the central tower did a few years ago, and as
the west front does at the present time.

We are informed that quite recently, while a
steam plough was being worked on a farm at
Wingham, near Canterbury, several Roman
bricks, tiles, with pieces of glass and other
articles, were turned up. The site is not far
from where a Roman bath was uncovered
about fifteen years ago. We shall, no doubt,
hear more as to this discovery at Wingham
shortly, when it has been examined and re-
ported upon by some competent person.

4p 4p 4?

Mr. J. Lewis Andre, F.S.A., writes to us as
follows, enclosing at the same time a couple
of drawings, from which the illustrations are
taken: "The 'object of unknown use and
origin ' in the Warrington Museum, engraved
on p. 172 of your June issue, is in all
probability a ' dumb porter,' used to prop
open a door. A very similarly-shaped, but
more elaborate, example is now in the
Lewes Museum ; it is 17 inches long, and


bears coarse carved flower-work on one side,
and on the other the letters A.M. (anno
mundi?) and the date 1599, as shown in the
accompanying sketches."

$? 3p $

Another correspondent, writing under the
nom de plume of " Boileau," offers a totally
different explanation. He says : " The
' object of unknown origin ' mentioned by
Mr. Ward in the Antiquary for June, p. 175,
and figured on p. 172, is no doubt an in-
strument used by makers of white leather
(whittawers they were called) to rub the
inner surface of their skins. They are nowa-
days made of wood, and serve to work the
whitening into the substance of the leather ;
but fine sandstone would serve as well, or
better, though not so pleasant to handle."

A mingled feeling of indignation and amaze-
ment has been aroused in the public mind by
the announcement that the Barber-Surgeons'
Company have decided to sell their famous
painting by Holbein. Three reasons are
urged for the sale: (1) That the money
received for the picture might be usefully
expended ; (2) that the picture might be

better seen if placed else-
where ; (3) that it might be
more safe from risk of fire if
removed from the City. The
only one of these arguments
which ought to have the least
weight attached to it is the
last, and as regards that point,
the obvious reply is, that the
Barber-Surgeons ought them-
selves to see that the danger
from fire is reduced to a
vanishing quantity. It says little, indeed,
for the Barber-Surgeons that they should
set so small a value on the possession of
the painting. A proposal (backed by the
Governor of the Bank of England, Sir S.
Knill, F.S.A.. Sir J. Dimsdale, and others)
to buy the picture for the City of London
will, we trust, prove successful. The sum
required is ,15,000.

r J? $? $
At the meeting of the Society of Anti-
quaries held on June 1 3, thefollowing were
elected Fellows of the society : Professor
John Rhys, M.A., Principal of Jesus Col-
lege, Oxford ; Mr. Charles Dawson, Uckfield,
Sussex; Mr. Thomas Foster Shattock, Queen's
Mansions, Victoria Street, S.W. ; Mr. Percy
Goddard Stone, Goring, Oxon ; Mr. Algernon
Graves, 32, Holland Villas Road, W. ; Mr.
Hartwell Delagarde Grissell, M.A., 59, High
Street, Oxford ; Mr. William John Birkbeck,
M.A., 32, Sloane Gardens, S.W. ; the Very
Rev. William Richard Wood Stephens, I )ean of
Winchester; Mr. Montague Spencer Giuseppi,
29, Rivercourt Road, Hammersmith ; the
Rev. Rupert Hugh Morris, D. D., Riverside,
Eccleston, Chester ; Mr. William Henry
Weldon, Norroy, College of Arms, E.C. ; Mr.
Arthur Henry Lyell, M.A., 9,Cranley Gardens,
South Kensington ; Mr. Charles Lynam,
Stoke-upon-Trent ; and Mr. Robert Penrice
Lee Booker, M.A., Eton College, Windsor.

<$> $ $

We made some adverse remarks recently on
the Dean and Chapter of Chichester for
turning the ancient font out of the cathedral.
We now learn that there are internal dissen-
sions among the members of the chapter in
regard to the restoration of the cathedral,
one result being that the Dean is no longer
a member of the Restoration Committee.



The exact nature of the points in dispute
has not transpired, but all tends to show
that some national controlling authority over
the restoration of our cathedrals and other
ecclesiastical buildings will soon become a

$ &

With regard to the restorations suggested
at Chichester, one proposal is, we under-
stand, to rebuild the north-west tower,
which fell some two hundred years or more
ago. There is, perhaps, better ground for
rebuilding this tower than is generally the
case with proposals of the kind. In the first
place, nothing will be destroyed ; secondly,
there can be no mistake as to the date of the
new work hereafter ; thirdly, the rebuilding
of the tower will strengthen that side of the
nave aisles, which are double, and which show
signs of weakness ; lastly, there is no doubt
that the present condition of the base of the
fallen tower is an eyesore, and seriously
detracts from the appearance of the west
front of the cathedral. On the other hand,
of course, the new work will be a sham and
imaginary reproduction of the old tower, the
character of which is now quite unknown.

$ $ $

We have been asked (and we have much
pleasure in complying with the request) to
draw attention to the effort which is being
made by the English Dialect Society to obtain
a sufficient number of annual subscribers of
agu\nea.ea.chtotheEnglish Dialect Dictionary,
in order to justify the society in proceeding
with the publication of the work. Unless
at least a thousand subscribers can be ob-
tained, the publication will have to be aban-
doned. This would really amount to little
short of an incalculable misfortune, while at
the same time the labours of several hundred
persons for the last quarter of a century would
have been spent in vain. The mode of
publication proposed is, according to the
prospectus which has just been issued, as
follows : " Subscribers will pay a guinea a
year, in return for which they will receive two
half-yearly parts, each published at fifteen
shillings net to non-subscribers. Part I. will
be published in June, 1896, and the subse-
quent parts at intervals of six months, until
the whole work is completed. Each part
will consist of at least 144 pages.

" It is estimated that the dictionary will be
completed within eight years from the time
of beginning to prepare the material for press.
The minimum number of subscribers required
to enable the editor to begin the work is
one thousand, and unless this number is forth-
coming the whole scheme of editing the
dictionary will have to be definitely aban-
doned. Intending subscribers are kindly
requested to send their names to Professor
Joseph Wright, 6, Norham Road, Oxford, in
order that the approximate number of sub-
scribers may be ascertained without delay.

" The dictionary will include, so far as is
possible, the complete vocabulary of all
dialect words which are still in use or are
known to have been in use at any time
during the last two hundred years in England,
Ireland, Scotland, and Wales." We very
cordially commend the proposal to all students
of the past history of our country. It is almost
impossible to over-estimate the value ami im-
portance of the proposed dictionary.

4p 4? 4f

Some very important discoveries are reported
to have been made at Nancy. Two streets,
dating from the sixth century, have been
traced, and the excavations are said to have
already laid bare as many as seventy tombs
of warriors, women, and children. At the
feet of most of the graves a vase of coarse
earthenware has been found. Jewels of silver
and gold, enamelled glass, fibulce, scissors,
and hair-tweezers have also been found, as
well as some Gaulish money and a gold coin
of Justinian. The discoveries are regarded
in France as among some of the most re-
markable that have ever been made in that
part of the country.

$ $ $

We have been requested to say that Old
English and Continental Pewter will form
the subject of a handbook, which is being
prepared by Mr. E. Guy Dawber and Mr.
Langton Dennis, 22, Buckingham Street
Adelphi. They will be very glad to receive
any information concerning fine specimens
of pewter work, especially such as are in
private collections. Rubbings of marks
would be also welcome.



JFurt&er Botes on e^anr

By A. W. Moore, M.A.

Author of Surnames and Place-Sames of tkt Islt of Man ;
Diocesan History ofSodor and Man ; Folklore of the Isle
of Man, etc.

CHAPTER III. Fairies and Familiar
Spirits {continued).

The Smell of the Fairies.
HERE would seem to be a method of
distinguishing fairies besides that of
seeing them, judging by the follow-
ing stories : " I had a parishioner,
a grand old specimen of a Manx shepherd,
named Callow. He was telling me one day
a wonderful fairy tale in which he firmly be-
lieved, and when I asked him whether he had
ever seen a fairy remarking that if any such
little folk existed in the island, he must have
met with them in the course of his long wan-
derings at all hours on the sides of Bein-y-phot
and Carraghyn* he replied : ' Well, no ; I
can't say I have seen them, but I have often
smelt them in the early morning.' 'And pray,
what was the smell like?' 'Well, it was
straight lek' the smell of goose-dung.' " (H. S.
Gill, Brad dan.)

Here is another story showing the same
idea : " Father was down at the Port Beg
with his Uncle Juan in the dark early morn-
ing, and suddenly the air became filled with
the stink of goose-dung. Father said, ' What's
that, uncle ?' and uncle replied, ' Howl t
thee tongue, boy, themselves are about.'"
(C. Graves, German)

" A woman (now living) thought she smelt
the fairies one evening, and exclaimed : ' Oh,
what a stink !' She thereupon lost all sense
of smell, and has so continued ever since,
though it occurred forty years ago. She
firmly believes that this happened to her on
account of her disrespectful remark to the
fairies." (/. K. t Arbory.)

Fairy Struck.

"Children were sometimes rendered tem-
porarily stupid by seeing fairies. Thus, a
man told Mr. Roeder that his uncle, when a
child, had seen a little man running and
' trittin (trotting) after him a piece,' in con-

* Manx mountains.

t Hold.

sequence of which he became ' fairy struck,'
and so was too stupid to receive any benefit
from school."

But notwithstanding their semi-human
nature, it was dangerous to have much to
do with the fairies. This is shown by many
of the foregoing stories as well as in those
which follow, which display their various
characteristics benevolence, malevolence,
revengefulness, mischievousness quarrelsome-
ness, etc.

The Fairy Woman.

" One day, long years ago, my mother was
sitting by the fire preparing dinner ('peelin'
taters') when the door was suddenly opened,
and a little old woman came in. She had a
red skirt and a kind of petticoat just thrown
over her head like, and, dear me, she looked
queer. ' Good morn to you, mothy ;' says
she, ' I've come to borrow a grain of male
(meal) from yer,' and she pointed to a small
bowl of meal on the plate-shelf, and she says,
' P'raps yer can spare this.' ' Well,' says my
mother, 'you may have it, an' welcome.'
' Thank yer, mothy, for yer great kindness ; I
will return every grain,' an' off she goes, and
soon father comes home, and mother says,
' John, there's been a. fairy 7coman,' but father
he laughs at mother, and goes out to his
work smiling. Next day the same queer little
woman comes, and says she, ' I've brought
the male, mothy, an' if yer take this and wrap
it in a clean cloth, and put it in a hole in yer
room, you will always have as much male,
and you and yours will never want.' Well,
every day they turned out good, and one day
the fairy woman came and said, ' Mothy, I
have not seen yer for some time, but I've
come to ask you to do something more for
me. Go to your stable, and turn your cows'
faces to where their tail is, because the dung
comes right through our house (she lived
underground), and if yer do this with a good
heart your cows will never fall sick.' Now,
mother was frickened, because she knew
father would never go to the bother of put-
ting up new troughs ; so when he came home
she told him what the fairy woman said, and
he got angry and said he was not going to do
it. Well, the cows grew sick, and mother
cried and persuaded him, and at last, after
some days, he went and turned the cows'
heads where the tails were, and everything
went on terrible well." (C Roeder, Jurby.)



The Little Man with Crooked Legs.

" Some years ago, well, I'm thinking it was
shortly after I met William Teare, a friend, a
very nice young woman, got married to a
farmer, and he had a good dale (deal) of
money, so he went out often with her, but he
was not half such a nice body as herself, not
so generous ; she was so ready for helping
everyone. Well, one day he takes her for a
walk, and they had not gone very far on their
road before they met a little man all with
crooked legs and clothes all in rags, who asked
for a sixpence, so the woman puts her hand
in her pocket, but finds her purse was left at
home at her,* so she asked her husband, and
he turns so nasty to her : No,' says he ; 'do
you think I have nothing to do but put my
hand in my pocket?' and he turns the old
man off. ' Well, good day to yer both, and
may my curse be on you and yours for your
unkindness; and you will see.' The woman
was terribly frickened ; when she came home
she told one of the women what had hap-
pened to her, and looked so bad. 'Don't
take on,' says the farm-servant ; ' he can't do
no harm ; it's only his jaw. Why din'ed (did
not) yer give him yer handkerchief; I have
heard that is as good as money ?' Two years
passed, and Annie got her first baby ; and,
dear me, when he came he had dreadful bad
legs, worse than the little beggar man. Well,
they tried and tried no end of cures, but the
child continued to be weak in its legs and
she have five sons and three girls, and every
one of the boys were crooked, and the girls
quite straight. Yes, an' they're saying all the
boys were made so because their father had
been so stingy ; and if they had left the first
boy's legs, and not broken them after God
once made them, the other sons would have
been quite right. I know this to be true,
because she was quite an auld friend." (C.

Potato Disease caused by Fairies.

"Teare, the fairy doctor, told Train that
the disease of the potato was occasioned by
the malevolence of the fairies, and, in order
to convince me of such being actually the
case, he said that all the potatoes, which he
had been induced to take under his pro-
tection, had vegetated vigorously, and until

* This is a regular Manx idiom.

they ceased to do so he was sure every Manx-
man would affirm that he had combated most
successfully all the destructive powers of the
elfin race."*

Sunset Fairies.

" After eyeing me suspiciously, ' was I
making fun of the good people ?' No, not a
smile lurked in the corners of my mouth.
Satisfied that I was not laughing at her, the
old dame drew her stool close to mine, took
a long breath, and lowering her voice to a
whisper, began her tale of the fairies that
come from the sunset land : ' Long years
ago, I cannot remember rightly the exact
time, but it was when I was a young girl,
Ballacaine was not the big house it is now ;
no, no, everything is changed since those
days. One evening, just as the sun was
setting, and the clouds had turned quite red,
signs of a fine day, I was leaning out of the
window looking at the sunbeams through the
trees, when, as true as I am here, some little
tiny things, dressed in little green jackets and
red caps, with one of our hen's feathers stuck
in the side and they had wings too, were play-
ing on the sunbeams. Well, my breath was
nearly gone, with holding it for so long, for do
you understand, man, if they had once seen
my eye on them they would 'a flown up the
sunbeam, and I should 'a lost sight of them.
" Good gracious !" says I, " they are the good
people from the sunset land." Dear me, the
pranks they played was something terrible ;
one little fellow, with bright, bright eyes,
hung on the tree bough and kicked his tiny
legs about, till the little gawk gave the fairy
queen such a bang right on her lovely crown.
I thought he would be killed, they kicked
him about so. One took a ride on a twig,
and 1 cannot for the world of me tell all the
capers they were up to. Missis' voice, calling
' Mary,' stirred me up. I am for thinking the
fairies must have heard, for they opened their
wings and flew up into the sky. At six I
went to milk the cows ; the craters were calling
and calling, and some bad fairies nipped my
arms fearful, so that, dear the me, the pain
was terrible I was for letting go the milk-
can. When 1 got home the Missis gave me
some salve to put on ; it is a cure for fairies.
Yes, man, I can feel their nips now.' And
the poor old woman stroked her arm with her

* History of the Isle of Man, vol. ii., p. 163.


hand, and looked very frightened when I
arose to go her daughter coming in, how-
ever, set her mind at rest." (C. Roeder,

The Ballacaine Fairies.

"The fairies at Ballacaine, in particular,
were very mischievous. They did not even
respect old age, and used to play such
abominable pranks on one of the oldest men
on the farm, that no wonder he was cross.
You can just fancy the poor old man going
tired to bed after a hard day's work, and
then to be suddenly awoke, while just dozing
off, by the horrible sound of cronk, cronk, for
the fairies ivere putting the strings of their
fiddles in order. One night, being damp, the
strings were worse than usual ; so was their
cronk, cronk. Poor old man ! No sleep
again for him to-night. A bright thought
struck him; should he humour them ? Poor
old fellow, although his limbs were stiff with
rheumatics, he hobbles out of bed, feeling
very cold, begins dancing about, saying in a
cheery tone : ' Play away, my little fellows ; I
am dancing.' They played for some time,
and did not leave off until the old man was
fairly done for. Then they made a polite
bow, and for an instant a clear light filled
the barn, where the old man slept, and the
next minute fairies and fiddles all disappeared,
and the old man fell into a beautiful dream,
and was never disturbed by fairies. So you
see good humour got the best. If he had
stormed, he might have stormed to his dying
day, and never been any the better for it."
(C. Roeder, Jurby.)

It will probably be news to our readers
that the Manx fairies, as well as the Manx
people, have a bishop of their own.

The Bishop of the Fairies.

"A woman living up on North Barrule was
taken sick, and her husband went for the
doctor. All at once the woman cried :
' Mother ! mother, do come here quick !'
Well, her mother ran to see what it was, and
just when she got on the stairs she saw a big
man standing with a three-cornered cocked
hat. She passed on to her daughter's bed-
room and asked her what she wanted, and
she said : ' The bishop of the fairies has been

here, and he took out a cake and broke it in
two, and gave me half." (C. Roeder, Lezayre.)

" We have already seen* that fairies took
the form of dogs. It would appear that they
also occasionally took the form of rabbits or
pigs, as a farmer in the parish of Arbory,
now living, told the vicar that, one evening
at dusk, he saw a number of little black fairy
rabbits or pigs running about his feet, and
that on his calling out, ' What in the name
of God are you?' they disappeared." (J.
Karbory. )

Here follows a method of getting rid of
fairies which is efficacious only when repeated
in Manx : " Ayns ashlish ny hoie va mee ayns
boayl va lane Ferishyn. As ghow mee yn
chrockan - vooin, as spreie mee ny v'ayn

Online LibraryPhoebe PalmerThe Antiquary (Volume 31) → online text (page 35 of 67)