Manx Life

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A Crow’s Wedding

A wedding with none of the bride’s relatives in attendance was called a ‘Crow’s Wedding’ and there is the following rhyme: The little wedding of the crow Went over the road, Without mother and father, Or sister and brother. Poosey

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Manx Cottage Construction

There is an old cottage in Spaldrick, which I wish to choose as a type, which has been inhabited in succession by four generations of a very long-lived family (who reached the age of ninety), and is said to be

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The Fairies’ Share

The ‘soddhag-rheynney‘ (dividing-cake) was an extra bit of dough baked in a flat cake, broken into small pieces, and scattered on the kitchen floor or just outside the house for the fairies to enjoy in the night-time. One time, when

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Ash for Luck

Things which are simply lucky or unlucky in a general way are almost innumerable but I have seen no mention of what is called the “even ash,” a twig which bears, exceptionally, an even number of leaves. This is lucky

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Corn Law Riots of 1821

During the Continental wars, corn was, in the British Isles, frightfully dear. With peace came a fall in prices and farmers were in despair. Then foreign corn was prohibited, and the price went up. In 1821 the Isle of Man

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Druids on the Isle of Man

Were there ever Druids on the Isle of Man? I have often been asked this question in the Island but I did not expect to be able to produce a definite fact so soon to show that Man had her

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Place-names (1)

The vocabulary of the Manx language has been enriched in no small degree with words bequeathed to it by the seafarers from the Northlands. A very familiar coast name termination is WICK, which occurs no less than thirty times around

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The Wooden Horse

Isle of Man law passed in 1629   “Whosoever shall be found or detected to pull Horse Tayles shall be punished upon the Wooden Horse, thereon to continue for the space of two hours and to be whipped naked from

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Penny Weddings

When the marrying couple were in poor circumstances it was the custom to leave a dollan (sieve) in an unobtrusive but convenient spot in the kitchen and into this every guest dropped a penny towards defraying the cost of their

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Keirn (Rowan / Mountain Ash)

Lately I have learned from a Lezayre source that even the sprays of the keirn or mountain ash – the luckiest thing that grows – should never be brought into a room, though crosses made of its wood may advantageously

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