Purgatory Hammers

Purgatory Hammers

It was formerly believed in the Isle of Man that Roman Catholics were buried with a loaf of bread and a hammer. The latter was to be used in knocking at the gates of Purgatory. A Manx clergyman, who told me of the incident, was talking to a priest in Ramsey in the 1880s. The latter was going to a house where one of his flock lay dead and the Protestant clergyman, quite innocently, said that he supposed the relatives were waiting for him to put the hammer in the coffin. The priest was angry at it being supposed that such a thing was ever done, but he later came back still more angry because the relatives had asked him to do it.


(source: By C I Paton from Folklore Vol. 52, No.4 (1941); artwork ‘A Village Funeral in Brittany by Charles Sprague Pearce)

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.


Tags assigned to this article:
church

Related Articles

The Devil’s Den

About a league and a half from Barrule, there is a hole in the earth, just at the foot of

The Clergyman’s Wife

The life of a clergyman’s wife two or three hundred years ago was somewhat circumscribed. Except for the occasions when

The Fodder Jury

It was very difficult to keep enough fodder for the cattle in the winter. They had not much store of

No comments

Write a comment
No Comments Yet! You can be first to comment this post!

Write a Comment


Warning: Illegal string offset 'rules' in /homepages/19/d193289258/htdocs/clickandbuilds/AsManxastheHills/wp-content/themes/quadrum/functions/filters.php on line 235

Warning: Illegal string offset 'rules' in /homepages/19/d193289258/htdocs/clickandbuilds/AsManxastheHills/wp-content/themes/quadrum/functions/filters.php on line 238
<