On Death in Isle of Man Folklore

On Death in Isle of Man Folklore

• Before 1594, when it was forbidden by Statue, it was customary to carry bells and banners before the dead.

• There were formerly crosses on the roads leading to the parish churches. When funerals passed, the corpse was usually set down at these stones, that all the people attending might have an opportunity of praying for the soul of the deceased.

• Colonel Townley, who visited the Island towards the end of the 18th century described a funeral entertainment as follows:

“The concourse of people upon the occasion was wonderful and the quantity of provisions prepared was wonderful but not more so than the speedy mode of despatching them; for the people of the Island (I mean the country farmers and their good wives together with many handicraft people) esteem a funeral attendance as one of their very first entertainments.”


(source: The Folklore of the Isle of Man by AW Moore, (1890); artwork ‘Funeral‘ by Anna Ancher [née Brøndum], (1888-91))

Bernadette Weyde

Bernadette Weyde

I'm a web designer, amateur historian and keen gardener and I enjoy bringing Manx history, folklore and poetry to a modern audience.


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