Skeealyn Vannin - Stories of Mann "A Miscellany on the History, Culture and Language of the Isle of Man"

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					Journal of the Genealogical Society of Ireland © 2007



“A Miscellany on the History, Culture and Language of the Isle of Man”
In April 2004, the Society‟s monthly newsletter 1 carried a report on our sister organisations in the Isle of Man – the Isle of Man Family History Society based in the island‟s capital Douglas. However, despite its proximity to Ireland the Isle of Man has steadily faded from its once prominent position as a major holiday destination for the Irish since the advent of package holidays to the sunnier climes and, of course, the availability of low cost international air travel. Unfortunately, this situation has led to little being known or understood about the island amongst a growing number of Irish people save for the famous T.T. Motorbike Races held on the Isle of Man each year. It seems a shame that a country so near and with which, we share a history, culture and language over millennia can within a generation become almost unknown to the ordinary Irish citizen of the early twenty-first century. It is a pity, therefore, that possibly the nearest most Irish get to the island nowadays is viewing it at 25,000ft from the starboard side of an aircraft commencing its descent into Dublin Airport, but how of these many air-passengers recognize the Calf of Man and the beautiful island stretching northwards in the distance? Therefore, in this article I hope to present a potted history and a flavour of the cultural and linguistic ties between Ireland and the Isle of Man and, hopefully, encourage some to visit the island and to experience its culture for themselves. In recent years, following the signing of the Good Friday Agreements in 1998 and the subsequent British-Irish Treaties underpinning these multiparty and intergovernmental agreements, the Isle of Man government has been brought into the scope of these treaties as a member of the British-Irish Council2 which involves the two sovereign governments, Westminster and Dublin, and the regional parliaments and assemblies of the United Kingdom, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and of the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. The Members of the British-Irish Council cooperate on bringing work forward in areas of mutual interest, including the Misuse of Drugs, Environment, the Knowledge Economy, Social Inclusion, e-Health, Tourism, Transport and Minority and Lesser-Used Languages. The Isle of Man has the responsibility for the coordination of the policies on e-Health. But unfortunately, with the various suspensions of the Northern Ireland Assembly, the work of the British-Irish Council (BIC) has been overshadowed by the on-going efforts of Dublin and London to bring about a lasting settlement in Northern Ireland and therefore, the deliberations of the BIC receive very little press or media coverage in Ireland or in the mainstream UK press or media. The island‟s economy is heavily based on tourism and the provision of financial services not unlike an off-shore Switzerland. Its population is 79,805 (2006)3 - roughly half being Manx born and the rest largely of United Kingdom origin. The capital is Douglas (Doolish) and its main towns are Peel (Purt ny Hinshey), Ramsey (Rhumsaa), Port Erin (Purt Chiarn) and Port St. Mary (Purt le Moirrey). Situated in the middle of the Irish Sea almost equidistant (50kms) from Great Britain and Ireland, the island is a self governing British Crown Dependency which is not part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or indeed, of the European Union4. The head of state of the island is Britain‟s Queen Elizabeth II who is styled “Lord of Mann” by tradition. Though, always hotly disputed by Icelanders, the island claims to have the oldest parliament in the world called the Tynwald which still promulgates its laws in both Manx Gaelic and English on July 5th each year. The word “Tynwald” derives from two Norse words “thing” meaning assembly and “völlr” meaning field or plain. But in fact, the present democratically accountable system of governance on the island only dates from 1866. In presenting a potted miscellany of the intertwined history, culture and language of these islands and in particular, Ireland and the Isle of Man, it is hoped that the reader will appreciate that our genealogical links are but one strand in this fascinating story. However, to begin, little is known for certain about the earliest inhabitants of the Isle of Man until the arrival of the peoples that we‟ve come to call the Celts. Indeed, in the first show of a new series of the immensely popular “Time Team” which was broadcast on the UK‟s Channel 4 on Sunday January 14th 20075, Professor Mick Aston and his fellow archaeologists tackled the site of an ancient “keeil” (Irish “Cill” – small church), many of which, are located throughout the island. But unlike many others, this one had lain protected beneath the seventh fairway of the Mount Murray golf course, marked only by a patch of unkempt grass and a single standing stone atop a small mound. During the course of the usual three day excavation the “Time Team” uncovered many burials, including one with a knot of plaited human hair carbon dated to the year 590 AD. They also discovered the full extent of the keeil and during the excavation of one grave they found a stone with Ogham writing. The British TV programme had the Ogham script analysed and deciphered by an expert at a Scottish university and very surprisingly, rather than associating the date of the script with the earlier burials, it was dated from the beginning of the Second Scandinavian Period and indeed, the arrival of Godred Crovan in 1079 by one of the TV experts.
1“The Genie Gazette” – 2

April 2004 - ISSN 1393-3183 – Vol. 9 No. 4 – page 3 See for details on the current programme of the British-Irish Council (BIC) 3 The Isle of Man Government – Reiltys Ellan Vannin 4 The Isle of Man has a restricted relationship with the European Union by virtue of Protocol 3 of the Act of Accession of the UK. This extends the European Union legal regime to the Island for limited purposes, principally customs and the movement of goods. The Island neither makes nor receives any financial contribution from European Union funds. 5 See

Skeealyn Vannin – Stories of Mann “A Miscellany on the History, Culture and Language of the Isle of Man”


Journal of the Genealogical Society of Ireland © 2007

Ogham was a form of script developed in Ireland sometime prior to the 4th century AD based on strokes and notches across a central line normally read from the bottom upwards. The remaining examples of this writing are nearly all on standing stones in Ireland and in the areas of Irish settlement in Scotland, Wales and, of course, the Isle of Man. Mostly each just consists of the name of an individual in Early Irish (Gaelic) and most date from the 4th to the 9th centuries, though, some have also an inscription in the Latin alphabet on the same stone. Up until the extraordinary find by “Time Team” in the summer of 2006, there were around five examples of Ogham stones on the island dating from the 6th to a relatively late use of the script around the 11th and early 12th centuries. But whether or not we should be surprised by the period of use of the Ogham script in the Isle of Man, it should be set in the context of the tract on the script in the fine Irish manuscript known as the Book of Ballymote written circa 1400. This is believed to have been a copy of an earlier 9th century manuscript now lost. Historically the island was a troubled place much fought over and invaded many times. In the year 798 Norse Vikings, according to the annals, first attacked and burned Inis Patrick (Peel Island) and then followed a period of raids along the coastal areas surrounding the Irish Sea before beginning to settle on the Isle of Man from the mid 9th century onwards. Settlement by the Norse on the island was firstly as a ruling elite and then gradually becoming assimilated into the native population. The island fell under the rule of the Viking kings of Dublin at various times during the 10th and 11th centuries, even though Irish popular myth has the Vikings of Dublin broken and defeated by High King Brian Bóraimhe6 at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. It wasn‟t until the year 1079 that the Dublin link was finally broken with the taking of the island by Godred Crovan7, better known in Manx as “King Orry”8 who ruled the island until his death in 1095. This conquest ushered in a Viking dynasty that was to rule the island until 1266 during what is referred to in Manx history as the Second Scandinavian Period9. But this new Manx dynasty got off to a very shaky start with the death of Godred on the Scottish Isle of Islay in 1095. Godred Crovan left three sons, Lagman, Harald and Olaf, the eldest deprived the second eldest of his eyes for rebellion and subsequently he was wracked with guilt for his misdeed and resigned to go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem where he died. As Godred‟s youngest son Olaf was still a minor the chiefs of the Isle of Man sent emissaries to the High King of Ireland, Muircheartach Ó Briain10, pleading with him to send a competent person of the “royal line” to rule until Olaf came of age. This Muircheartach had banished Godred from Dublin in 1093 whilst putting down a challenge to his position from Ulster, Meath and Dublin.11 The High King sent Domhnall mac Thadhg who, according to the Annals of Inisfallen “acquired the kingdom of Insegall12 (Man) by force in 111113”. This episode alone shows the strong connection between the island and Ireland extended beyond the ecclesiastical in these early years of the Second Scandinavian Period indicating that whilst the governing elite may have been Viking in origin the language and culture of the island was clearly a part of a greater Gaelic world that included not only Ireland but most of Scotland too at the time. Godred Crovan‟s youngest son, Olaf, nicknamed “Kleining” or the Dwarf, took refuge with the English court and was recalled to the island in 1102 or 1103, but the date is uncertain as some authorities place it ten years later.14 With the accession of King Olaf the Isle of Man entered a reasonably lengthy period of peace and prosperity as good relations with its neighbours were maintained by Olaf with the exception of a brief and unsuccessful raid on his kingdom by Cadwaller, Prince of Wales, in 1142. Olaf himself met a violent end at the hands of his nephews, sons of Harald, who had come back to the island after being reared in Dublin and under a flag of parlay murdered Olaf at Ramsey. In the autumn of 1153, Olaf‟s son Godfred15, on his return from Norway, reclaimed the island, put his father‟s murders to death and was proclaimed by the chiefs of the island as Godred II. This new king of Man received a request from the people of Dublin to come and reign over them also. Godred assembled a large fleet, went to Dublin and was received with great joy, but it seems that his reign in Dublin was short lived and he returned to the island. In 1154, Mac Lochlainn, King of Ailech, hired the fleet of the Isles and Man to defend himself against naval attacks by Toirdhealbhach Ó Conchobhair, (d. 1156)16 king of Connacht.17 But back on the Isle of Man, thereafter a series of wars, more accurately “civil wars” ensued between Godred and Somerled 18 (Somhairle or Sorley) in the inner and outer Hebrides of Scotland which were known as the Súðreyjar or Sudreys meaning southern islands, from which the modern Diocese of Sodor and Man gets its name. The outcome of these battles and skirmishes was to seal the fate of the island for centuries to come as, according to the
6 7

Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, killed at the Battle of Clontarf 1014. “Crovan” possibly from Old Norse “Kroppin” meaning crooked (A. W. Moore, p. 102) or, according to the author, possibly from the Gaelic “Crobhán” meaning a wrist; a claw, a paw or hoof; handful; and possibly indicating an injured or deformed hand or wrist. (Irish-English Dictionary, Dineen, Dublin 1927, p. 266-7) 8 Also known as “King Gorree” in Manx legends. 9 The History of the Isle of Man by A. W. Moore, London 1900; Manx Museum & National Trust 1977. 10 Murchadh O‟Brien 1086-1119 son of Turlough d. 1086 11 Ireland Before the Normans, Donncha Ó Corráin, Dublin, 1972 p. 143 12 Insegall (Irish Inse Gall – Islands of the Foreigners i.e. Vikings, now the term used for the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. 13 Some sources dispute this date and put it between 1101-1103 14 The History of the Isle of Man by A. W. Moore, London 1900, p. 108 15 Irish annals have him as Gofraid Mac Amhlaoibh. 16 Toirdhealbhach (Turlough) was High King of Ireland at this time. 17 Ireland Before the Normans, Donncha Ó Corráin, Dublin, 1972, p.70 18 Somerled (Old Norse Sumarliði, Gaelic Somhairle)

Skeealyn Vannin – Stories of Mann “A Miscellany on the History, Culture and Language of the Isle of Man”


Journal of the Genealogical Society of Ireland © 2007

English Pipe Rolls for 1157, it appears that Godred in receipt for arms or armour became either a vassal of King Henry II of England or, at least, owed the king some service.19 This situation becomes more complicated when we find Godred assisting Hasculf MacTurcaill, King of Dublin and the High King Ruaidhrí Ó Conchobhair20 in 1171 to regain the city from the newly arrived Strongbow21 and the Cambro-Normans where the High King succeeded in dictating a short lived peace to Strongbow22. Yet, according to Giraldus Cambrensis, Godred assisted the Cambro-Normans in their attack on Dublin by blocking the port.23 These “Ostmen”24 as they were called had mixed fortunes under the new Anglo-Norman rule in the Dublin area. Hasculf Mac Turcaill25 (Turkill) was beheaded in the summer of 1171 and his lands around modern Bray, Co. Wicklow, were given to Walter de Riddlesford. The lands of Sigerth and Torphin MacTurkill were also confiscated and given by Strongbow to St. Mary‟s Abbey in Dublin, whilst other extensive estates of this Norse-Irish family at Portrane, Malahide, Portmarnock and Killbarrack were also confiscated. But with some redress as Hamund MacTurkill‟s title to his lands at Kinsealy were confirmed as were those of his brothers.26 Other prominent Norse-Irish names of the Dublin area are still numerous today such as Hammond, Harold and Archbold. The initial treatment of the Norse-Irish by the AngloNormans may also have contributed to the lessening of contact between the Dublin and the wider Norse or (NorseGaelic) world. Again, from a genealogical point of view, it is important to understand that this Somerlad or Somhairle as he is more commonly known in Gaelic is listed amongst the ancestors of many Scottish Clans and their related Septs in Ireland like the MacDonnells of Antrim. Within a century of Somerled‟s death at Renfew in 1164, the MacDougalls (MacDhùghaill), named for Dugall son of Somerled, ruled in Lorne and Mull in Scotland. Two linked Clans traced their ancestry to Ranald son of Somerled, the MacRurie (MacRuairidh) of Garmoran, from Ruaridh son of Ranald (Raonull) and the MacDonalds of Islay (MacDhòmhnuill), from Angus Mór son of Donald son of Ranald.27 Like Godred‟s people on the Isle of Man, Somerlad‟s descendants too became part of a Gaelic civilisation stretching from the north of Scotland, through the highlands, the islands and Galloway to the Isle of Man to southern tip of Ireland. Indeed, this assimilation of the descendants of both Godred and Somerled into the Clans and politics of Scotland meant that for much of the 12th and 13th centuries sovereignty over the Isle of Man, along with the Hebrides, was in dispute between the Kings of Norway and Scotland with London acting as a sometimes mischievous bystander and, at times, power-broker. In the end, the island‟s future was sold, and not for the last time as we shall see. A treaty whereby the King of Scotland purchased the Sudreys, including Man, for four thousand marks from the King of Norway was concluded in July 1266. Scottish sovereignty over the island was at times a nominal affair, changing in line with Anglo-Scottish political realities during a turbulent 13th and early 14th centuries when Scotland‟s own independence was under threat and where figures like William Wallace (c. 1274-1305), Robert Bruce (1274-1329) and the cruelly cunning Edward I (r. 1272-1307) of England enter our history books. The Isle of Man was but a pawn in this Anglo-Scottish dispute, however, its strategic importance for the English, midway between England and her troublesome Irish colony, ensured that Edward‟s interest in the island would prevail. In 1313 the island was captured and held by Robert Bruce, King of Scotland, however, because of military engagements elsewhere it is doubtful whether the English or the Scots were actually in possession of the island between 1313 and 1317, but it appears that the Scots held sway until 1333 when English control was finally established. This was further confirmed when the island was sold by Sir William de Montacute28 II in 1392 to Sir William Le Scroop the under chamberlain of King Richard II (r. 1377-99) of England. When King Henry IV (r. 1399-1413) ascended the English throne in 1399 he duly had Le Scroop, who had supported his rival Richard II, beheaded and thereby, extinguishing all claims to the island as the crown came into absolute possession of the Isle of Man. The king granted the island to Henry de Percy, Earl of Northumberland, but in 1403, Percy was involved in a rebellion and was defeated at the Battle of Shrewsbury. Though, Percy wasn‟t at the battle, he lost his possessions and in 1405 the king ordered John and William Stanley to take the “castle and Island” and to hold the same in his name.


The Sheriff of Worcestershire rendered an account of 78s. 6d. for the arms of the King of the Isles by the King‟s writ, and, in 1157, a further sum of 70s was paid for his pledges, and 50s. for his palfrey and armour. 20 Rory O‟Connor 1156-1186 d. 1198, son of Tairdelbhach (Turlough) 1106-1156 21 Richard FitzGilbert, Earl of Pembroke arrived in Ireland 1169 with a force of Cambro-Normans. He married Aoife (d. 1190) the daughter of Diarmait Mac Murchadha, King of Leinster (d. 1171) and had issue, Isabella who married William Marshall (d. 1219) and a daughter of this marriage, Sibéal, married William, Earl of Derby. (Stair na hÉireann sa Mheánaois 1086-1513, Edmund Curtis, Dublin, 1956) 22 Emmet O‟Byrne “Conflict and Change: The Irish of Kildare, 1000-1269 p.142 (Kildare History & Society, Dublin, 2006) 23 Expurg. Hib. 1.11.25 (The Conquest of Ireland by Geraldus Cambrensis – A.B. Scott & F. X. Martin ed. – Dublin 1978. 24 “Ostmen” – men of the east, i.e. Vikings. Term used in Dublin to describe the Norse-Irish of the City. 25 Forename is still common in Gaelic Scotland, Torquill or in Gaelic, Torcull, Torcall and is still preserved in the surname Mac Thorcadaill, Anglicised as MacCorquodale (Oxford Dictionary of First Names, Hanks & Hodges, Oxford, 1990. 26 War, Politics and the Irish of Leinster 1156-1606, Emmet O‟Byrne, Dublin 2003, p. 25 27 The Clans and Tartans of Scotland, Robert Bain, London 1954 28 Also known as Sir William Montague

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However, after all the changes in ownership, stability finally came with the gift of the island by England‟s King Henry IV to Sir John Stanley in 1405. Stanley‟s descendants rarely visited their island possession, but by all accounts they appointed responsible governors. The Stanleys who were to become the Earls of Derby were to hold on to the island for the next three hundred years until 1736 when the tenth Earl of Derby died without an heir and the island passed to his relative, the Duke of Atholl. During this period the lordship of the Isle of Man was a private aristocratic jurisdiction – a palatinate in everything but name. With the advance of English rule in Ireland during the 16th century, the political and military intercourse between the island and Ireland came to an end with the island becoming more economically integrated with the neighbouring English counties of Cumberland, Lancashire and Cheshire from Tudor times. The fortune of the island ebbed and flowed in accordance with the political manoeuvrings of the Stanleys and besides some upheavals during the English Civil War and the Restoration, the island was administered as a private estate. Indeed, it struck its own coinage in 1709 – a penny and a halfpenny struck at Castletown and featuring the Derby crest (eagle and child) with their motto “sans danger” on one side with the three legs symbol of the Isle of Man and the motto “Quocunque Gesseris Stabit” on the other29. The most famous of the Stanleys was James, Lord Strange30 (1607-1651) who later became the seventh Earl of Derby and better known to his Manx tenants as “Yn Stanlagh Mooar”31 (The Great Stanley). He seems to have taken a very active interest in his little dominion and unlike other members of his family before and after him he actually resided on the island for a number of years. However, he sided with Charles I and was captured at Worcester, tried for traitorously bearing arms for Charles Stuart against the Parliament, found guilty and was executed at Bolton on October 15th 1651. The Stanley line ended with the death in 1736 of James, the 10th Earl of Derby and the island passed to James Murray, the 2nd Duke of Atholl whose maternal grandmother was Amelia Sophia Stanley the third daughter of the 7th Earl of Derby. He was succeeded by his only surviving child, Charlotte, Baroness Strange, and her husband, John Murray32, who, in the right of his wife became the third Duke of Atholl who eventually sold his island lordship to the British Crown in 1765 under the Revesting Act of that year for £70,000. The remaining rights were sold to the British Crown in 1828 by the fourth Duke of Atholl for £417,000 and thus completing the transfer of the island to its present status as a Crown Dependency. The main reason for this final sale of the island is caught up with the personality of the third Duke of Atholl and the growing concern in both London and Dublin of the anomalous trading position of the island in respect of trade with either Great Britain or Ireland. The trade to the Isle of Man was governed by the island‟s legislature and was by law almost free and restricted only by such duties that were imposed by that legislature. On the other hand, trade from the island to either Great Britain or Ireland was viewed as an attempt to land goods in either kingdom33 without the payment of British or Irish duties or in defiance of British or Irish laws. So on January 21st 1765 a Bill was introduced into the British House of Commons entitled “An Act for more effectually preventing the mischiefs arising to the revenue and commerce of Great Britain and Ireland from the illicit and clandestine trade to and from the Isle of Man”. The “Mischief Act”34 as it was commonly called, allowed for the prosecution of offenders in Great Britain or Ireland and in the Isle of Man. The duke presented a petition against the legislation and was informed that a treaty for the purchase of his rights and privileges in the island was under consideration, but that the legislation would be enacted. The Revesting Act became law on May 10th 1765 and following its passage the duke sold the island and was compensated with a pension paid by both Great Britain and Ireland which was paid for forty years until the death of the Duchess of Atholl in 1805. A year before the enactment of the Revesting Act, 1765 and continuing the historical miscellany theme, we have the birth of Fletcher Christian of HMS Bounty fame who was descended from a very prominent family of Manx origin with possibly a very interesting association with the island during the English Civil War period. Fletcher was born at the farmstead of Moorland Close on 25th September 1764, and baptised at nearby Brigham church in Cumberland, England, just across from the Isle of Man. It is said that the farm at Moorland Close was inherited from the family of Christian's mother and that the family had control of several other properties in the area. Christian's father was born and raised at Ewanrigg in Cumberland, and his mother's mother, Mary Fletcher, was raised at Cockermouth Hall. The ancestral properties also included lands at Douglas on the Isle of Man, and it was this connection that suggests that Christian was a Manxman and possibly a descendent or relative of William Christian (1608-1663). This William Christian is better known in Manx as “Illiam Dhone”35 and is immortalised in the ballad Baase Illiam Dhone (The Death of brown-haired William). Illiam Dhone, was born on 14th April 1608, the third son of Ewan Christian
29 30

Made legal tender as the first Manx government coinage by an Act passed by Tynwald on June 24th 1710. James was the eldest son of William, the 6th Earl and Elizabeth, daughter of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford. 31 Yn Stanlagh Mooar in Manx would be rendered as “An Stanlach Mór” in Irish and Scots Gaelic. 32 John Murray, 1729-1774, was the eldest son of Lord George Murray, fifth son of John Murray, 2nd Marquis and 1st Duke of Atholl and his wife Amelia, only daughter of James Murray of Glencairn and Strowan. His father Lord George Murray was forfeited for his part in support of the rebellion of Bonny Prince Charles and though he was the nearest male heir to the dukedom, he secured his position by a petition directly to the King who passed it to the House of Lords which declared in his favour on February 7th 1764. 33 The Kingdoms of Ireland and Great Britain had separate parliaments until the Act of Union in 1801 but laws enacted in London, had where so designated, the force of law in Ireland up to 1783 and then after the Act of Union. In the interim the Irish Parliament enjoyed a brief period of legislative independence. 34 The 5th of Geo. III. c. 39 35 Uilliam Donn in Irish – “Uilliam” is now rendered generally as “Liam” for William in Irish.

Skeealyn Vannin – Stories of Mann “A Miscellany on the History, Culture and Language of the Isle of Man”


Journal of the Genealogical Society of Ireland © 2007

of Milntown, was a member of the House of Keys36 and was put in charge of the Isle of Man during the absence of Lord Derby. Derby left in August 1651 to fight on the Royalist side in the English Civil War leaving his wife in the care of Illiam Dhone. Derby was captured by the Parliamentarians and it is said that his wife had conspired to surrender the Isle of Man to Oliver Cromwell to secure the release of her husband. Illiam Dhone secured the forts on the island, though stories circulated about the mistreatment of Englishmen and the misappropriation of property, none of this is reliably recorded. Troops arrived and a peaceful transfer of the island ensued leaving Illiam Dhone in office until 1658. In his functions as receiver, Illiam Dhone was charged with the misappropriation of the funds of the sequestered bishopric and his arrest was ordered by the governor. It is said that he fled to England, but his whereabouts in the period 1658-1660 is uncertain. He went to London in 1660 but was arrested and imprisoned for a debt of £20,000 and remained there until he could raise the bail. Illiam Dhone, against advice, returned to the Isle of Man where he was arrested and imprisoned in Castle Rushen. At the trial that followed, once again, on bad advice, he refused to plead against the charges which concerned his “illegal actions and rebellions in 1651” and was duly found guilty. Sentenced to by hanged, drawn and quartered, this was commuted to being shot at dawn on January the 2nd, 1663. An entry relating to his execution, in the Parish Register of Malew, states that “he died most penitently and most courageously, made a good end, prayed earnestly, made an excellent speech, and next day was buried in the chancel of Kirk Malew”.37 Illiam Dhone's sons, George and Ewan, successfully petitioned for redress, but the legend of Illiam Dhone was created and lives on in song and story on the island. The Revesting Act, 1765 was called “Yn Chialg Vooar”38 (The Great Deception) by the Manx and was the cause of much hardship, poverty and large scale emigration during the first have of the nineteenth century. Whether this indicated that export and import duties had a crippling effect on the local economy or indeed, that the long held charge against the island that it had been a haven for smuggling had some veracity is hard to ascertain. However, it may simply have been the catalyst that brought an already changing economy in to focus. As we have seen above, the Stanleys issued the first Manx government coinage in 1709, this was followed by a better quality issue in 1733 and in 1758 the Duke of Atholl issued pennies and halfpennies bearding the initials “A.D” (Atholl Duke) with a ducal crown and date on one side with the legs of Man and the motto, as previously, on the other side. Following the enactment of the Revesting Act, 1765, there were issues of pennies and halfpennies in 1786, 1798 and 1813 with the British sovereign‟s head and motto on one side and the legs of Man and motto on the other. The value of the Manx currency to the English currency at this period was 14 Manx Pence to the Shilling39. Some enterprising individuals on the Isle of Man noticed that the local currency could be “passed off” as English and an export of coinage ensued much to the horror of the British government which was forced to order in 1839 that a new currency, this time comprising farthings, be struck for the Isle of Man and that its value would be equal to the English currency. The Manx people thought that they were being defrauded and some rioting took place which was appeased by the acceptance of the previous currency back through the mint at its nominal value. Maybe, it was this early experience of currency change that made the Manx view this period as “The Great Deception” – it certainly has echoes for many Europeans in the Euro zone today40. But this period of change which absorbed the island into the wider British economy also witnessed the growth of tourism as English holiday-makers began to arrive from Liverpool on the steamer services inaugurated in 1829. The population grew from 40,081 in 1821 to 52,387 in 1851 and to 54,572 in 1901 of which, 4,419 were recorded as Manx speakers. The Isle of Man, like Blackpool and Llandudno (Wales), was to become the scene of the annual holiday of the Lancashire artisan and the general working classes from the 1870s41 onwards and this had a profound impact on the cultural, social and, of course, economic life of the island. With the advance of the railway network the whole coast of England and Wales was opened up to “trippers” and “lodgers” from the sprawling industrial cities of northern England in particular and ferry trips to the Isle of Man became very popular and remained so well into the late twentieth century for many Irish and British holidaymakers. When considering the cultural and linguistic aspects of the Isle of Man, it‟s clear that the island has many cultural ties with the other traditionally Celtic countries of Scotland (Alba), Wales (Cymru), Cornwall (Kernow), Brittany (Breizh) and, of course, Ireland (Éire). The name of the island derives, it is believed, from the Celtic Sea God called Manannán Mac Lír in Gaelic and Manawydan ap Llyr in Welsh. In the Manx language, which is a branch of the Gaelic language group, the island is known as Ellan Vannin or Oileán Mhanann in Irish and Eilean Mhannin in Scottish Gaelic. Linguists maintain that the Manx language (Gailck42) is closer to Scottish Gaelic than to Irish and certainly Manx has many words borrowed or derived from Norse and the English dialects of the northwest of England that don‟t exist in Irish. However, to the ear most Irish speakers find Manx easier to understand than Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) mainly

The Isle of Man's Parliament, made up of the Legislative Council or Upper House and the House of Keys or Lower House. The “Keys” originally referred to the number of persons i.e. the “four and twenty” or in Manx “Yn Chiare as Feed” 37 The Manx Note Book, Vol. 2, April 1886 – Manx Worthies, William Christian, Illiam Dhoan. 38 “An Cealg Mhór” in Irish 39 £100 English = £116.13s.4d Manx (A.W. Moore) 40 The changeover from national currencies to the Euro was, in some cases, allegedly accompanied by price rises and was blamed for causing further inflationary pressures in a number of European Union countries at the time of the changeover. 41 English Social History, G. M. Trevelyn, London, 1944 p. 565 42 Gailck is now more commonly spelt as Gaelg or more properly Yn Ghaelg

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because of a softer accent, though, this really depends on what dialect of Irish one is familiar with or speaks. But when it comes to the written word this is certainly reversed as Irish and Scottish Gaelic speakers have little difficulty in reading each others language because of the common Gaelic orthography employed by both languages. In contrast, the Manx language owes its unique orthography to Bishop John Phillips, a Welshman, who was made Bishop of Sodor and Man in 1604 and who translated the Book of Common Prayer into Manx sometime between 1625 and 163043 but it remained unprinted until 1895 when it was published by the Manx Society. Phillips developed an orthographic system for the language not too dissimilar to that used for the Welsh language however, many would believe, this was achieved with a liberal application of phonetics to provide a script for his religious works in Manx. It appears that up to the Reformation little or nothing was written in Manx and indeed, the absence of any books or earlier manuscripts in the native language coupled with the isolation of the diocese may have contributed to a sort of rolling Reformation on the island. It is recorded that the last Catholic priest was John Stevenson, Vicar of Maughold in 1576 and the first Protestant minister of that parish was his successor, John Christian in 158044. Therefore, Phillips‟s orthography may well have suited the purpose of his profession in the 17th century and his successors in administering to their Manx speaking flocks, but whether it was good for the language is still a hotly debated point. There is also no evidence of the use of Bedell‟s45 Irish translation of the Bible in the island unlike the attempts by the Rev. James Kirkwood46 in Scotland to have these “Irish Bibles”, published by Robert Boyle in 1685, used in the highlands and islands of Scotland in the absence of Scottish Gaelic scriptures at that time. In the early 18th century another Bishop of Sodor and Man, Bishop Thomas Wilson, commissioned the printing of the Manx bible in 1748, published a catechism in Manx in 1707 and began printing the Manx Bible in 1748.47 Whilst, Bishop Phillips is credited with providing the language with its current written form, arguably Bishop Thomas Wilson had a greater part in the development of literacy in Manx. Thomas Wilson was born in 1663, at Burton, near Neston, not far from Chester in England. At the age of eighteen he entered Trinity College Dublin, obtaining a scholarship in 1683. According to the published account of the life of this remarkable man, he originally opted for medicine but influenced by a friend, Michael Hewetson, he decided on a life as a minister in the established religion. He was ordained a deacon in the cathedral of Kildare, on St. Peter's Day, 1686 and afterwards became curate to his uncle Dr. Sherlock, the Rector of Winwick, in Lancashire having charge of the chapel of Newchurch, but residing with his uncle in the rectory. In 1693 he became domestic chaplain at Knowsley to William, the ninth Earl of Derby and tutor to his only son, Lord Strange. In 1697 the Earl who had full jurisdiction in such matters offered Thomas Wilson the position as Bishop of Sodor and Man. He was consecrated Bishop on January 16th 1697/8 and remained in that office for the next fifty-eight years living at Bishopscourt and died on March 7th, 1754/5 and is buried in the churchyard in Kirkmichael. In his own history of the Isle of Man48 he observed that “the inhabitants, for the most part, live to a good old age” and it appears that he was no exception living until his ninety-third year. The first book published in Manx was Wilson‟s “The Principles and Duties of Christianity” appeared in 1699 as the bishop was keen to have his clergy preach in the language as he observed that English was not understood by two-thirds of the island.49 Besides many of his devotional works having been published in Manx, it was Bishop Wilson and not as sometimes believed Bishop Phillips, who commenced the translation of the Bible in to Manx which was completed by Wilson‟s successor Bishop Hildesley. But with his education in Trinity College Dublin and since he identified the language spoken in the island as “Erse”50 it is remarkable that the “Irish Bible” was not, it appears, imported by Wilson for use by his clergy. In 1772 a Manx Bible “Yn Vible Casherick” was published in three volumes and further editions appeared in 1775, 1777 and 1810 utilising Phillips‟s orthography which by then had become the standard for Manx. Given the greater demand, it is surprising that a complete Scottish Gaelic Bible was not to appear until 1801 however, the New Testament was published earlier in 1767. Both were considered absolutely necessary by the Scottish church authorities as the “Irish Bibles” required an interpretation to be given by the Minister to overcome differences between the Irish and Scottish Gaelic. Indeed, by 1810, the Bible Society in Great Britain had printed 40,000 Gaelic Bibles and


Dated by the fact it has a prayer for Charles I and his Queen, but not for their son. (A Grammar of the Manx Language, J. J. Kneen, The Manx Gaelic Society, 1973 p. 7) 44 Church and State (A. W. Moore History of the Isle of Man, Vol.1. p. 24) 45 Bishop Bedell (d. 1642) of Kilmore and Ardagh, an Englishman, one time Provost of Trinity College Dublin, supervised the translation of the Old Testament into Irish which was published along with an earlier translation of the New Testament by Archbishop Daniel (Ó Domhnaill) of Tuam, which first appeared in print in 1603. (Gaelic Literature Surveyed, Aodh de Blácam, Dublin 1973, p. 243) 46 Rev. James Kirkwood, born Dunbar, Scotland in 1650, graduated MA at Edinburgh University in 1670. After passing his trials before the presbytery of Haddington he was appointed chaplain to the Earl of Caithness. He had a seminal influence on the early Scottish charity school movement and pioneered the first highland libraries. (The Decline of the Celtic Languages, Victor Edward Durkacz, Edinburgh, 1983, p. 17) 47 Linguistic Minorities in Western Europe, Meic Stephens, Wales, 1978. “The Gaels of Man” p.111 48 The History Of The Isle Of Man, By The Right Reverend Thomas Wilson, D.D., Lord Bishop Of Sodor And Man. published by R. Cruttwell, at Bath 1797. 49 “The Celtic Revolution” by Peter Beresford Ellis ISBN 0 86243 096 8, Ceredigion, Wales, 1985 –p. 153. 50 “Erse” or Irish – observations on the language of the island in Wilson‟s history – see above.

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New Testaments and a further 10,000 New Testaments were produced by the S.S.P.C.K51. By 1819, the Bible Society had financed no less than 143,000 Welsh Bibles, 20,000 Irish Bibles and 7,250 Bibles and New Testaments in Manx.52 It is interesting to note that Bishop Bedell the pioneer of the “Irish Bible” was a close contemporary of Bishop Phillips and like Phillips and indeed later, Wilson, he had to learn the language of his work in order to serve his flock. Therefore, to understand Phillips, it may be useful here to look briefly at the life and times of Bedell to appreciate their motivation and learning. William Bedell was born into a strict puritan family in Black Notely in Essex in 1571, completed his studies at Emmanuel College Cambridge in 1592 and was ordained a minister in the Church of England in 1597. His first parish was Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk in 1602. In 1607 he travelled to Venice as the chaplain to the English ambassador, Sir Henry Wooton. While in Venice he learned Italian and translated the Book of Common Prayer into Italian53 in the hope of converting the Venetians who were in dispute with Pope Paul V at the time. In Venice he became friendly with members of the city‟s Jewish community and in particular, Rabbi Leo who presented him with a manuscript of the Old Testament in Hebrew on his departure from Venice. Back in England in 1610, he spent some time in Bury St. Edmunds before transferring to Horningshearth in 1615 for a further eleven years. At the behest of the Archbishop of Armagh, James Ussher, and with the support of his old patron Sir Henry Wooten, Bedell was appointed Provost of Trinity College Dublin in 1627. His pioneering zeal for organisation and learning were much in evidence from the outset at the College and indeed, he began learning Irish almost as soon as he arrived. He became Bishop of Kilmore and Ardagh in 1629 and was consecrated at Drogheda in October 1629. As early as 1631 he published his first book in Irish (and English) of prayers and religious instruction. At the General Synod of the Church of Ireland held in Dublin in 1634, Bedell pushed heavily for the church to provide the Holy Scriptures in the Irish language and this he achieved with opposition from some of his Episcopal colleagues. He had already commenced his mammoth task of translating the Old Testament two years earlier assisted by Murtagh King (Muircheartach Ó Cionga) from King‟s County (Offaly) and James Nangle (Séamus de Nógla) and, later by Donough Sheridan (Donncha Ó Sioradáin), a Protestant minister. However, with various problems sourcing fonts etc. and eventually political upheavals soon overtook the project with the outbreak of the 1641 rebellion in Ireland. The work wasn‟t published for nearly forty years after the death of Bedell from fever in Sheridan‟s house on February 7th 1641/2. 54 In the Isle of Man, the printing of the various religious books, especially the Bible, utilising Phillips‟s orthography, or as modified by the Manx clergy in 1765 with the publication of the Book of Common Prayer, for a small and declining population of speakers unwittingly contributed to the language‟s isolation from its sister tongues and deprived the language of a natural reservoir upon which to draw and develop. This was certainly the view of T. F. O‟ Rahilly in 1932 when he wrote “ Phillips and his successors, indeed, removed the reproach that it was an unwritten language; but in doing so they encumbered it with an orthography which was hardly more fitted to represent its sounds than the orthography of Early Modern Irish would have been”.55 But unfortunately for the supporters of the language, O‟Rahilly went further writing “From the beginning of its career as a written language English influence played havoc with its syntax, and it could be said without much exaggeration that some of the Manx that has been printed is merely English disguised in Manx vocabulary. Manx hardly deserved to live. When a language surrenders itself to foreign idiom, and when all its speakers become bilingual, the penalty is death.” 56 O‟Rahilly may have a point in strict linguistic terms but the Manx language, like our own Irish language, is much more to do with the identity and heritage of the people of the island who are striving to preserve Manx Gaelic for future generations. However, the orthography argument will remain as many in the Manx revival movement were not inclined to follow the example of Dr. Brian Stowell57 (Brian Mac Stoyll) in the 1970s when he used a more distinctively Gaelic orthography58 for the language to open it up to speakers of Irish and Scottish Gaelic. Though, Bishop Phillips‟s quasi-phonetic system prevailed, maybe it‟s now time for the supporters of the Manx language to revisit Dr. Stowell‟s proposals and to gradually adopt the orthography employed by the Scots and the
51 52

Society in Scotland for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge The Decline of the Celtic Languages, Victor Edward Durkacz, Edinburgh, 1983, p. 107. 53 Published in London in 1685, edited by Edward Brown – Il Libro delle preghiere publiche ed admministrazione de sacramenti. 54 I bPrionta I Leabhar – Na Protastúin agus Prós na Gaeilge 1567-1724, Nicholas Williams, Dublin, 1986 (in Irish) 55 Irish Dialects Past and Present, T. F. O‟Rahilly, Dublin, 1932, (republished by Brian Ó Cuiv), Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1976 p. 120. 56 Irish Dialects Past and Present, T. F. O‟Rahilly, Dublin, 1932 p. 121 57 Dr Brian Stowell was born in Douglas in 1936. He was educated at Murray's Road School, Douglas High School for Boys, and Liverpool University, where he gained a degree in physics in 1958 and worked in the north of England. As a schoolboy, he had acquired fluency in Manx by going round with Doug Fargher and others when they were tape recording native speakers of the language. In late 1991, Brian returned to live in the Island again, taking up the newly created job of Manx Language Officer for the Isle of Man Department of Education. He oversaw the introduction of Manx as an optional subject in the Island's schools. Since his retirement from that position in 1996 he has continued to work full-time for the language, becoming increasingly involved with radio work. Brian has broadcast in English, Manx and Irish on topics dealing with the Isle of Man and its culture. He has written several courses in Manx and has been instrumental in devising formal academic qualifications for that language. He has also made several recordings of folk songs in the Manx language. (Source:- Manx Radio Presenters, Manx Radio) (Stowall issued a record/LP called “Arraneyn Beeal-Arrish Vannin, Manx Traditional Songs” released by George Broderick, Edinburgh, 1973). 58 Articles published in “Carn” the quarterly magazine of the Celtic League during the 1970s utilised this Gaelic orthography for its articles, mostly by Dr. Stowell, published in the Manx language.

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Irish. But this is entirely a question for the Manx government and the language development agencies on the Isle of Man and indeed, the sentimental attachment to Philips‟s orthography is fairly understandable from a national heritage perspective. But is it in the best interest of the language? The best example of this phenomenon is provided by the text of The Lord’s Prayer in Manx, Scottish Gaelic and Irish. The Irish version shown is that used since the standardisation of the language in the 1960s where silent elements were removed for the ease of writing and learning, or so we were told!! Manx (Gaelg) “Padjer y Chiarn” Ayer ain t‟ayns niau, casherick dy row dt‟ennym. Dy jig dty reeriaght. Dt‟aigney dy row jeant er y thalloo myr te anys niau. Cur doin nyn arran jiu as gagh laa As leih doin nyn loghtyn Mar ta shin leih dausyn ta janno loghtyn nyn „oi As ny leid shin ayns miolagh Ach livery shin veih olk Son lhiats y reeriaght, as y phooar as y ghloyr. Son dy bragh as dy bragh. Amen Scottish (Gàidhlig) “Urnuighe an Tighearna” Ar n-Athair a tha air nèamh, gu naomhaichear d'ainm. Thigeadh do rìochachd. Dèanthar do thoil air an talamh, mar a nìthear air nèamh. Tabhair dhuinn an-diugh ar n-aran làitheil. Agus maith dhuinn ar fiachan, amhail a mhaitheas sinne dar luchdfiach. Agus na leig ann am buaireadh sinn; ach saor sinn o olc; oir is leatsa an rìoghachd, agus an cumhachd, agus a' ghlòir, gu sìorraidh. Amen Irish (Gaeilge) “An Paidir” Ár nAthair atá at Neamh, go naofa d‟ainm, go dtaga do ríocht, go ndéantar do thoil ar an talamh, mar a dhéantar ar neamh. Ár n-arán laethúil tabhair dúinn inniú, agus maith dúinn ár bhfiacha, mar a mhaithimidne dár bhféichiúna féin, agus ná lig sinn i gcathú, ach saor sinn ó olc. Óir is leatsa an ríocht agus an chumhacht agus an ghlóir trí shaol na saol. Amen

Those with even a rudimentary knowledge of either Scottish or Irish Gaelic will be able to follow most of the Manx text and decipher Bishop Phillips‟s somewhat strange orthography, however, certain words may at first seem unfamiliar e.g. “casherick” (holy) compares with the Irish “coisricthe” (consecrated); “loghtyn” (faults), likewise is “lochtanna” and “miolagh” (temptation) likewise compares with the word “mealladh” in Scottish and Irish Gaelic for “enticement” or “temptation” and finally, “dy bragh” is simply “go brách” in Irish (for ever). In contrast to the Irish and Scottish versions, the word “livery” is simply from the English “deliver” and “y phooar” is likewise from the English word “power”. Speakers of Irish (Gaeilge) will have no difficulty in reading and understanding most, if not all, of the Scottish Gaelic but may only understand Manx when it is spoken. An example given by De Blácam of the first line of a well known Manx song brings home the point – O Vylecharaine, c’raad hovar ou dty sthoyr? – Irish version, A Mhaoilchiaráin, cá h-áit a bhfuair tú do stór? – he also makes the point that the transliteration of Manx songs into Gaelic orthography might give them a new lease of life in Gaeldom.59 De Blácam‟s point may have been relevant in 1929 when he first published his work on Gaelic literature from the earliest times however, with the obvious advances in technology during the past threequarters of a century, these Manx songs can easily be enjoyed by speakers of Scottish or Irish Gaelic without difficulty especially on Manx Radio which is available on the Internet. Manx speakers and enthusiasts today rely heavily on the work undertaken by many dedicated researchers over the past two centuries, for without this resource, it is certain that Manx would have disappeared with the death of its last native speaker. However, like everyone who has learned a language, not from the cradle but from the book, our knowledge of the language can never match the native speaker, to whom, the idiom is innately personal and spiritual. It has been said that the current pronunciation of the language has been greatly altered by its cumbersome orthography and the fact that all of its speakers are bilingual, mostly with English as a mother tongue. But I will leave this very contentious point to those with the expertise and resources to examine this phenomenon of the Manx language revival movement which has been spearheaded by the members of Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh60 with great dedication and zeal since 1899. Indeed, I had the pleasure as a young student to meet members of Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh during a visit to the island thirty years ago and I remember that I was especially pleased to meet Ms. Mona Douglas (1898-1987) who has been described as one of the most important and controversial figures in the 20th century Manx cultural and language revival movements. She spent time in Dublin at the time of the Rising, allegedly hiding de Valera in a wardrobe, and studying Irish literature at University College Dublin61. During my visit I found the Manx to be very aware of the cultural and historical ties

59 60

Gaelic Literature Surveyed, Aodh de Blácam, Dublin 1973, p. 366 Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh (Manx Gaelic Society), which was founded in 1899, is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Manx Gaelic, the native language of the Isle of Man. The society encourages the study of old Manx Gaelic as well as its acquisition and use in the modern world. 61 Celtic Cultural Studies (ISSN 1468-6075) “Shaping the Shape-Shifter: Cultural Revival, Spirituality & the Manx Manannan” By Breesha Maddrell, Lecturer in Manx Studies, Centre for Manx Studies, University of Liverpool, England.

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between Ireland and the Isle of Man, indeed, a crew from RTÉ Radio62 led by veteran broadcaster and language enthusiast, Donncha Ó Dúlaing, was on the island at the same time recording a programme on these cultural links. The collection of material on the lives and times of the last native speakers is a wonderful resource for the genealogist and social historian as it helps to complete the picture of our subjects. One can only guess at the immense thrill it must be to locate an actual audio or film recording of an ancestor, especially if little else with the exception of vital statistics is known. This is where genealogy, social history and, in this case, linguistics and culture come together and it is up to us, as genealogists, to seek out and assess the value of folkloric archives to our research. Therefore, for those with Manx connections or simply with an interest in the language, the following is not intended as an exhaustive list of all the recordings taken from the last of the native speakers of Manx Gaelic, but to show the extent of the various studies undertaken by scholars from around the world who fully appreciated that a precious linguistic treasure was about to be lost forever. Whilst, these collections were made at various stages in the twentieth century, Sir John Rhys, Professor of Celtic at Oxford, for example, made six summer visits to the island between 1886 and 1893 and collected very important material from a range of individuals throughout the island.63 Name of Speaker Boyde, Harry Details b. 1873 Bishop‟s Court, d. 1953 of Ballaugh. Farm Labourer. Photo in IFC publication. Recording Irish Folklore Commission 22nd April – 5th May 1948 Folklife Survey of the Manx Museum, tapes 1949-1952 Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh 1951-3 Irish Folklore Commission 22nd April – 5th May 1948 Prof. Carl J. S. Marstrander, Dept. of Celtic, Oslo64, Jan-Feb 1933. (2 Cylinders) Rudolf Trebitsh, Aug. 1909, Osterreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna. Cylinder 1072, reading Luke XV 1-10 Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh 1951-3 Prof. Carl J. S. Marstrander, Dept. of Celtic, Oslo, Jan-Feb 1933. (2 Cylinder s) Prof. Kenneth Jackson, dept. of Celtic, University of Edinburgh. Aug. 1972. Recording by David Clement of the Linguistic Survey of Scotland. Prof. Carl J. S. Marstrander, Dept. of Celtic, Oslo, 1929-1933. (transcriptions and notes) Rudolf Trebitsh, 1909. Cylinder 1088, recitation of folksong Irish Folklore Commission 22nd April – 5th May 1948 Irish Folklore Commission 22nd April – 5th May 1948 Prof. Carl J. S. Marstrander, Dept. of Celtic, Oslo, 1929-1933. (transcriptions and notes) Prof. Carl J. S. Marstrander, Dept. of Celtic, Oslo, Jan-Feb 1933.

Braide, Mark Cain, John

1910-1996, Douglas. Manx Language Student. Photo in IFC publication b.c. 1860, of Ballamoar, Jurby

Cain, William Joseph

83yrs b. 1825/6 Glendhoo; d. 17.03.1911 Onchan. Retired goods dealer 1860/1-1952 of Little London, Kirk Michael b. c. 1850, Dalby. Residence Peel

Caine, Danny Cashen, Caesar

Christian, Ewan

Christian, Thomas

Peel, not a native speaker as he learned Manx from two old ladies in Patrick Street when he was about 5yrs. & later from fishermen and farmers 1851-1930 of Ramsey, b. Slieau Lewaigue, Maughold 66yrs. b. 1842/3 Lezayre. Shoemaker of Douglas 1911-1979 Ramsey. Manx Language Student. Photo in IFC publication (no dates), Port St. Mary. Described by the IFC as a “dialect speaker”. No photo. b. c. 1855, of Brada village, nr. Port Erin 1865-1955 Librarian, Manx Museum (not native speaker) Described by IFC

Cowley, William Craine, Charles (Chalse) Crebbin, John

Crebbin, Thomas Cubbon, William65

62 Radio 63

Telefís Éireann – Irish National Public Service Radio and Television Company – Recording Native Manx Speech by Shorys y Creayrie – “Towards a Celtic Future”, ed. Cathal Ó Luain, Dublin 1983 p. 308/9 64 Of the 48 cylinder recordings made only 23 are known to exist now. (Recording Native Manx Speech, by Shorys y Creayrie – “Towards a Celtic Future” ed. Cathal Ó Luain, Celtic League, Dublin, 1983 65 William Cubbon, (1865-1955) was a director of the Manx Museum and previously the Douglas Borough Librarian from 1912, son of James Cubbon (master mariner), of Port St. Mary, one of Cubbon family of the parish of Arbory. He was an ardent Manx patriot, and was one of the founders, along with the Speaker of the House of Keys, A. W. Moore, of the Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh (Manx Language Society).

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Dodd, Thomas Duggan, Lillie

Falye, Mr.

as “dialect speaker”. Photo in IFC publication. 1883-1963, Peel, Manx Language Student. Photo in IFC publication 1887-1959, Port St. Mary. Described by the IFC as “dialect speaker”. Photo in IFC publication b. c. 1860, of Staurard, Sulby

Irish Folklore Commission 22nd April – 5th May 1948 Irish Folklore Commission 22nd April – 5th May 1948 Irish Folklore Commission 22nd April – 5th May 1948 Prof. Carl J. S. Marstrander, Dept. of Celtic, Oslo, Jan-Feb 1933. (2 Cylinders) Irish Folklore Commission 22nd April – 5th May 1948 Irish Folklore Commission 22nd April – 5th May 1948 Folklife Survey of the Manx Museum, tapes 1949-1952 Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh 1951-3 Irish Folklore Commission 22nd April – 5th May 1948 Folklife Survey of the Manx Museum, tapes 1949-1952 Folklife Survey of the Manx Museum, tapes 1949-1952 Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh 1951-3 Prof. Carl J. S. Marstrander, Dept. of Celtic, Oslo, Jan-Feb 1933. (28 Cylinder nos. 2-29) Prof. Carl J. S. Marstrander, Dept. of Celtic, Oslo, 1929-1933. (transcriptions and notes) Irish Folklore Commission 22nd April – 5th May 1948 Irish Folklore Commission 22nd April – 5th May 1948 Irish Folklore Commission 22nd April – 5th May 1948 Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh 1951-3 Irish Folklore Commission 22nd April – 5th May 1948 Prof. Carl J. S. Marstrander, Dept. of Celtic, Oslo, Jan-Feb 1933. Irish Folklore Commission 22nd April – 5th May 1948 Folklife Survey of the Manx Museum, tapes 1949-1952 Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh 1951-3 Irish Folklore Commission 22nd April – 5th May 1948 Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh 1951-3 Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh (made by Mr. Gelling of Liverpool in 1947) Irish Folklore Commission 22nd April – 5th May 1948 Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh 1951-3 Prof. Kenneth Jackson, dept. of Celtic, University of Edinburgh. Aug. 1972. Recording by David Clement of the Linguistic Survey of Scotland. Rudolf Trebitsh, 1909. Cylinder 1089-1092, recitation about May Day;

Gell, Jack (Juan Y Geill)

Kaighin, John Tom

1899-1983, Port St. Mary. Manx Language Student. Photo in IFC publication 1862-1954 of Ballagarret, Bride. Farmer in Bride. Photo in IFC publication. (brother of Annie Kneale)

Karran, Mrs. Eleanor

C 1870-1953 of Cregneash Photo in IFC publication

Karran, Tom

1877-1959 of Cregneash. Brother of Mrs. Eleanor Karran 1853-1935 of Cregneash

Kelly, Harry

Kennah, Edward

b. 1859, Ballaclery, Arbory. Residence Ronague, Arbory 1876-n.k. , Peel Harbour Master in 1920s, Manx Language Student b. c. 1860-1953, Ronague. Fisherman, mason, Common Lands Inspector. Photo in IFC publication. (husband of Sage) 1870-1962 of Garey Hollin (The Holly Garden), Ronague. Photo in IFC publication c. 1863-1949 of Ballagarret, Bride. Farmer‟s wife. (sister of John Tom Kaighin) Photo in IFC publication. (not native speaker) (Yn Gaaue), b. 1852, Andreas or Lezayre. d. 1958 of Ballaugh. The nickname “Yn Gaaue” (the smith) – third generation blacksmiths. Photo in IFC publication. b. 1859, Ronaque. d. 1956 of Kerroomooar, Kerrookeil, Malew. Fisherman and former miner in South Africa. Photo in IFC publication 1869-1947, Kirkill, Rushen b. 1878 Corvalley, d. 1974 of Glenchass, Port St. Mary. Met Eamon de Valera in 1947. Reputedly the “last native speaker” of Manx. Photo in IFC publication. (a debt of gratitude is owed to Ned for without his meeting with de Valera, we may not have this IFC collection. MM) 73yrs. b. 1835/6 Ballaglonney, Lhag, Bradda. Landowner of Brookfield,

Kinley, Captain James Kinvig, John

Kinvig, Mrs. Sage

Kneale, Annie

Kneen, J.J. Kneen, John

Leece, Thomas

Lowey, Mrs. Emily Maddrell, Ned

Moore, Thomas

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Nelson, John

69yrs. b. 1839/40 Andreas. Hotel proprietor of Ramsey

Quane, William

83yrs. b. 1850, of Peel b. Ronague. Castletown “the Gardner” of

Quayle, Thomas

Quirk, Leslie

Sansbury, John Joseph

Radcliff, J. W. (Bill) Taggart, Thomas

1914-2004 Peel, Manx Language Student. Photo in IFC publication and on 1862-1952, Port St. Mary, described by the IFC as a “dialect speaker”. Photo in IFC publication. 1917-1984, Ramsey. Manx Language Student. Photo in IFC publication. b. 1846, Ballagilbet, Malew. Residence Grenaby, Malew c. 1860-1947 of Orrisdale, Michael 1870-c. 1950, Castletown. Described by IFC as “dialect speaker”. Photo in IFC publication. b. 1860 Glenchass d. 1951 of Colby

dividing year; 2 pieces on Port Erin and his own version of Manx Anthem Rudolf Trebitsh, 1909. Cylinder 1093-1096, short story; Manx song – Ny Kiree fo Niaghtey; reading of songs and A. W. Moore‟s ballads. Prof. Carl J. S. Marstrander, Dept. of Celtic, Oslo, Jan-Feb 1933. (28 Cylinder nos. 2-29) Prof. Carl J. S. Marstrander, Dept. of Celtic, Oslo, Jan-Feb 1933. (1 Cylinder) Irish Folklore Commission 22nd April – 5th May 1948 Irish Folklore Commission 22nd April – 5th May 1948 Irish Folklore Commission 22nd April – 5th May 1948 Prof. Carl J. S. Marstrander, Dept. of Celtic, Oslo, 1930. (transcriptions and notes) Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh (made by Mr. Gelling of Liverpool in 1947) Irish Folklore Commission 22nd April – 5th May 1948 Prof. Francis J. Carmody, University of California, Berkley July 1949 (Manx Museum) Irish Folklore Commission 22nd April – 5th May 1948 Prof. Carl J. S. Marstrander, Dept. of Celtic, Oslo, 1930. (transcriptions and notes)

Wade, Wilfred Watterson, Charles

Watterson, Mrs. Katherine

Watterson, Madge Woodworth, Joseph

(no dates) Colby. Described by the IFC as a “dialect speaker”. No photo. b. 1854, The Smelt, Gansey, nr. Port St. Mary. d. 1931

Many of these Manx surnames display their distinctive Gaelic elements in their current “English” forms, for example, Qualtrough, Corrin, Kennaugh, Clague, Quinney, Kelly, Clennell, Quayle, Corlett, Colquitt, Gelling, Looney, Taggart, Quilleash, Lowey, Quaggan, Leece, Lewin, Clucas, Maddrell, Moore, Corkhill, Sayer, Quine, Quillin, Quillam, Crookhall, Crowe, Cormode, Keggin, Kaneen and Crebbin. The C, K and Q initial letters, for example, usually indicate the contraction of the final sound of the word “Mac” into the second element of the surname which is a phenomenon known in Ireland and Scotland also. Some Manx surnames are present in the fishing ports of eastern Ireland, indeed, many of the stories recorded concern fishing off the coasts of Ireland. When considering that one of the most important collections in the table above was that undertaken by the Irish Folklore Commission during the months of April and May 1948, it‟s all the more remarkable because it was born out of a very lively conversation between An Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Eamon de Valera, TD and a native speaker of Manx, Ned Maddrell. Ned, a fisherman-crofter of the village of Cregneash, was introduced to Eamon de Valera during a visit to the Isle of Man in 1947 by An Taoiseach on board the Irish naval vessel L.E. Macha. This encounter between these two men, one speaking in Manx and the other in Irish, was a fateful milestone in the history of the Manx language as de Valera offered the services of the Irish Folklore Commission‟s newly acquired fully-equipped recording van to the Isle of Man to record the last native speakers of Manx Gaelic. Little did his hosts know, but the Folklore Commission had no such vehicle and An Taoiseach, on his return, had to facilitate the acquisition of such in order to fulfil his promise to the Manx. A political stroke maybe, but it‟s one that achieved its goal as the Folklore Commission‟s Dr. Caoimhín Ó Danachair left Dublin on April 22nd 1948 on a cattle-boat for Douglas. According to his account of his arrival in the Isle of Man his dark green van was covered in cattle effluent and had to be hosed down from a distance by his Manx hosts. Dr. Ó Danachair travelled around the island in the company of students of the Manx language recording the native speakers, Harry Boyde, Annie Kneale, John Kneen, Sage and John Kinvig, Tommy Leece, Eleanor Karran, John Tom Kaighin and, of course, Ned Maddrell himself. For genealogists and social historians these recordings taken by the Irish Folklore Commission of stories, life events and folk traditions of the Isle of Man are of immense importance as they are our window on a chapter of human history that came to an end with the death on December 27th 1974 of the last native speaker of Manx, Ned Maddrell, at 98 years of

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age. It is said that at his funeral in Rushen Parish church that not a word of Manx was uttered or sung.66 In Ó Danachair‟s recordings Ned tells of his life as a fisherman going each year with the Manx fishing fleet to Kinsale, Co. Cork, Balbriggan and Skerries, Co. Dublin and Clogherhead, Co. Louth. He mentions that in his fishing days he met many Scottish and Irish fishermen that understood his Manx and indeed, this was the experience recorded by a number of the native speakers who were involved in the fishing trade. It should be remembered that Irish speaking communities existed in Co. Louth up to the end of the 19th century and for a much later period along the coasts in the fishing villages of Counties Waterford and Cork67. The Irish language was still spoken in parts of Co. Down (Upper Iveagh) up to the middle of the 19th century and it is likely that Manx fishermen came in to contact with Irish speakers fishing off the east Ulster coast. This fishing connection between the island and the coasts of Ireland was also mentioned in the stories of Edward Faragher of Cregneash (1831-1908) when he said “I have been going to the herring and to the mackerel fishing at Kinsale, and Glandore, Castlehaven and Baltimore, Bearhaven and Crookhave for 54 years”. 68 (Ta mee er ve goll gys yn scaddan as gys eeastagh brick ec Kinsale etc…. rish kiare bleeney jeig as da’eed). The complete collection the Manx language archive recordings made by the Irish Folklore Commission in 1948 has been digitally re-mastered and published on five CDs with full transcriptions and translations in Manx and English. This gem of a publication was launched recently by the Folklore Department of University College Dublin and Manx National Heritage (Eiraght Ashoonagh Vannin) – “Skeealyn Vannin – Stories of Mann” ISBN 0-901106-47X – Price €54.00 – hardcover 232 pages with photographs of those recorded. Copies available from the Campus Bookshop at UCD or Manx National Heritage, Kingswood Grove, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 3LY – website In recent years the situation of the language has greatly improved mostly through the dedication of the members of Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh and a renewed interest in the language from the political establishment. Like Ireland in respect of Irish, from 1901 the decennial census (except 1981) sought to establish the actual number of Manx Gaelic speakers, but each census indicated a serious decline in the language, for example, 4,419 speakers in 1901; 896 in 1921, to 165 in 1961, two of whom were native speakers. A previous effort in 1946 to find genuine native speakers had found only twenty people left many of whom were recorded by the Irish Folklore Commission. However, by the time of the 2001 Census a total of 1,689 people indicated that they could “Speak, Read or Write Manx Gaelic”, the breakdown was as follows, Speak Manx 1,527; Write Manx 706 and Read Manx 910. Naturally we are dealing with personal perceptions of language use and ability, not unlike the same type of statistics in Ireland. Therefore, the trend altered in the decade from 1961 with only 165 speakers of Manx to 1971 with 284 speakers recorded. These people had learned the language in adulthood, usually through the efforts of a small group of enthusiasts attached to Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh who had the good fortune to have learned their Manx from native speakers from the 1930s onward. After World War II and especially, during the 1960s and 1970s the various campaigns to have the language properly recognised and included in the education system on the island started slowly to produce results. This was remarkable given that a sizeable minority of the island‟s population were “newcomers” and indeed, by 1981 this figure had reached 47% of the total population. During the 1980‟s a number of bilingual street nameplates were erected by local authorities across the island and in 1982 the Manx language was allowed in the „O‟ Level (secondary school) examinations for the first time with twelve pupils taking the language. In 1983 the first ever film in the Manx language had its premiere and it was entered in the 5th Celtic Film and Television Festival held in Cardiff, Wales in 1984.69 The film was directed by Shorys Y Creayrie for Foillan Films of Laxey and was entitled “Ny Kiree fo Niaghtey” (The Sheep Under the Snow). The original folksong of the same name is said to date from the early 18th century and tells of the loss of a flock of sheep during a terrible snow storm. In 1984 at a public meeting held in Ramsey on the theme “Manks Gaelic Today”70 a lively discussion ensued on this issue of the acquisition of the language by adults at classes and that once acquired, they assumed a responsibility to “pass it on to the next generation” and this respect, Dr. Brian Stowell, had proposed the establishment of nursery school education in Manx as an ideal development. The meeting also heard views on the “artificial manipulation of the language” which was described as “an irresponsible act” which included “the wholesale transliteration of foreign idioms” in to the language. This rather purist approach also included the suggestion that those acquiring the language through classes should be encouraged to “speak a more localized, colloquial form” of the language to reflect and preserve the northern and southern dialects of Manx as spoken by the last native speakers. Thankfully, this straight-jacketing of the language, once also so intractably prevalent in certain circles in Ireland, did not succeed in taking hold of the Manx revival movement in the later decades of the last century. But no doubt understanding that the language needed a structured development with a standardised spelling and vocabulary, Dr. Stowell, suggested that an advisory body on the lines of the Academe Française should be established for the Manx language.

According to Shorys y Creayrie (Recording Native Manx Speech), “Towards a Celtic Future” p. 319, on Dec. 27th 1974 “Ned Maddrell, the last native speaker of Manx (as it is believed) died and now lies buried in the graveyard of Rushen parish church. As with other members of Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh I attended the funeral, at which not a word of Manx was uttered or sung. This I understand was the wish of his immediate family, though I suspect not his. On Ned‟s death Manx Gaelic passed into history.” 67 Irish Dialects and Irish Speaking Districts, Brian Ó Cuív, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1980. 68 Skeealyn „sy Ghailck liorish Neddy Beg Hom Ruy, Cre‟neash, Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh, 1973 69 “The Celtic Revolution” by Peter Beresford Ellis ISBN 0 86243 096 8, Ceredigion, Wales, 1985 –p. 163 70 “Carn” No. 45, Spring 1984 –p. 20 Manks Gaelic Today by Robard Y Carsalagh (Celtic League magazine).

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Though, no laws enacted by the insular legislature or indeed, London, ever proscribed the use of Manx, it was only in 1985 that the first official recognition of Manx Gaelic was achieved when Tynwald declared that the preservation and promotion of Manx Gaelic should be an objective of Isle of Man Government. The government funded Manx Heritage Foundation set up a voluntary Coonceil ny Gaelgey (Manx Gaelic Advisory Council) in December 1985 with the very important purpose of standardizing the official use of Manx Gaelic for government and local authorities. The type of work undertaken by Coonceil ny Gaelgey is vitally important for revival of the language providing a source of new words, standardised spelling and especially, a resource of technical, administrative and specialised terminology for the expanding use of the language in various sectors of Manx life today. However, the choice of some of these neologisms would seem strangely colloquial by speakers of Scottish Gaelic or Irish71. This is unfortunately inevitable since a readily accessible database or electronic dictionary of the three Gaelic languages does not exist. Though, a Manxman, Rev. John Kelly72, was to the fore in this development in the latter part of the 18th century with production of a triglot dictionary of Manx, Scottish Gaelic and Irish, though sadly almost all of this valuable the manuscript was lost. However, nowadays with the advances in computer technology, an international collaborative project to produce an electronic triglot Gaelic dictionary should be considered by the educational authorities in Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man possibly under the auspices of the British-Irish Council or the European Union. During the 1990s much progress was made in the language revival, both through Government initiatives, particularly in education, and through voluntary organisations. Educational partnerships have been very successful, notably the preschool Manx Gaelic group Mooinjer Veggey, which has secured considerable support and funding from the Department of Education and the Manx Heritage Foundation. Mooinjer Veggey (MV) provides Manx Pre-school Playgroup for 2 to 5 year olds, comprising of 3 hour sessions. It founded in 1996 and is now a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity. MV is an associate member of the Scottish Gaelic Preschool Council (CNSA) and frequently receives training, support and advice from on preschool education and specific language learning techniques. MV groups offer children the opportunity to learn about the Manx language and culture through structured play, language games, songs, stories and craft activities. MV has over 60 children registered at its 4 groups situated in Ballasalla, Braddan, Jurby and Port Erin. The expansion of MV over the past 4 years demonstrates the growing parental support for the provision of education to preschool children through the Manx language. MV receives substantial funding from Manx Heritage Foundation (MHF) and DoE. MV has regular fund raising initiatives and has been successful in the past in attracting support from Manx businesses and independent charitable trusts.73 A natural development from the establishment of Mooinjer Veggey is the foundation of the first All-Manx Primary School – Bunscoill Ghaelgagh in 2003. The Bunscoill Ghaelgagh (BG) is a school where the children learn every subject through the medium of Manx. In the autumn of 1999 Sheshaght Ny Paarantyn (The Parents' Society) was established and approached the Manx Department of Education about establishing a Manx-medium unit or school. By the spring of 2001 the Department of Education confirmed that the first Brastyl Gaelgagh (Manx Class) would open in September 2001 in Ballacottier School in Douglas. The year started with a reception class of five children and a first year primary class of four. In September 2002 the number rose to fifteen children. In January 2003 the Brastyl Gaelgagh moved from Ballacottier to its own building in the old St John's School. In September 2003 ten other children came and another teacher allocated. In the past three years the Bunscoill has continued to grow and to experience the demand for such Gaelic medium education that exists in Ireland. In February 2006 two teachers from Gaelscoil Bharra in Dublin went to the Bunscoill and taught the Manx children how to play hurling in Irish and presented the Bunscoill with a gift of hurling sticks. In 2006 the Bunscoill Ghaelgagh won a prestigious award for services to Manx culture.74 The endeavours of both the Coonceil ny Gaelgey and Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh to broaden the appeal of the language for students at secondary level has been greatly assisted by the application of modern language teaching methods and courses such as “Yn Bun-Choorse Gaelgagh” developed by Dr. Brian Stowell especially for secondary school pupils. The Manx Department of Education has instituted Teisht Chadjin Ghaelgagh or the General Certificate in Manx (TCG) is a GCSE equivalent course and which first became available in September 1997. This modular course is now available to all pupils taking their GCSE's as well as adult learners. This has been augmented by the Advanced Certificate in Manx - Ard-Teisht Ghaelgagh by the Department. This is a new qualification in Manx (ATG), which is equivalent to an A-Level. Pupils can also gain credits for a smaller number of modules in order to attain a qualification in Manx equivalent to „A‟ Level. These modular courses are available to adult learners and to schools which is a significant boost to the language.


The word given for Bank is “Thie Argid” (“money house”) whilst banking is “bancaght” and the word for multilateral is given as “eddyrashoonagh” which is also the word for international – for example, Isle of Man International Business School or Scoill Dellal Eddyrashoonagh Vannin. See list on 72 Rev. John Kelly (1750-1809) was born at Algare, East Baldwin, Braddan. He was educated at the old Douglas Grammar School and graduated at Cambridge University. He was Vicar of Ardleigh and Rector of Copford. In addition to writing A Practical Grammar of the Ancient Gaelic or Language of the Isle of Man, usually called Manx, he compiled a Manx dictionary, a triglot dictionary of Manx, Gaelic and Irish and assisted Philip Moore in translating the Bible into Manx. His Manx Grammar was published in 1780. 73 Mooinjer Veggey – further details see: 74 Bunscoill Ghaelgagh – further details see:

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In addition to the various classes available both in schools and elsewhere, Manx Radio hosts three very interesting bilingual programmes each week which serve both the student of the language and the growing, yet still quite small, Manx speaking community. Claare ny Gael (Clár na nGael- Programme of the Gael) presented by Bob Carswell is a magazine programme with segments in Manx and English with local history and lore as the general themes. This programme is especially useful for those with Manx ancestors as the snippets provided by Bob give a flavour of the life and times of the island folk over the centuries. He frequently provides stories on maritime themes some dealing with the tragic loss of vessels around the island. Shiaght Laa (Seacht Lá – Seven Days) presented by Fiona McArdle is especially good for learners of the language as each segment is given in both languages and the content is generally newsy and with various reports on island affairs. On Sunday morning a music and cultural/heritage magazine programme Moghrey Jedoonee (Maidin Dé Domhnaigh – Sunday Morning) is presented by the Gaelic Broadcasting Committee, though, it‟s mostly in English with a few Manx segments. The Manx word “moghrey” for “morning” is the equivalent of the Irish “moch-thráth” or “early-time” whilst, speakers of Irish or Scots Gaelic should have no difficulty understanding the meaning of the names of the other programmes above. These programmes are available in the audio vault on the Manx Radio website which also hosts a Gaelic News service that is of considerable assistance to the student of the language by providing access to an important vocabulary dealing mainly with current affairs etc. In her first programme of February 2007, Fiona McArdle reported on Shiaght Laa of another milestone in the history of the Manx language with the publication by the Centre for Manx Studies of a new translation of the oldest text in the Manx language dating from between 1485 and 1520. The Manannan or Traditionary Ballad is the oldest surviving text in Manx Gaelic and covers some 62 stanzas however the music or tune that would have presumably accompanied this piece is lost to history. Dr. Kewley Draskau‟s new translation into English, launched in February 2007, aims to echo the distinctive voice of the original, and to recreate its rhythm and rhyme scheme in the new language. The translation is published under the name “Account of the Isle of Man in Song” and is available direct from the Centre for Manx Studies for the price of UK£8.50.75 On the international front, in April 2003 the Manx government signed the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, which includes certain requirements for regional or minority language provision particularly with regard to education and heritage, but the timing clearly indicated that the trend commenced in the 1960s continues to favour the language. With the establishment of language classes for adults and the provision of opportunities for learners to use the language in various spheres of Manx life maybe the future for Manx Gaelic is not as gloomy as many would have suggested only a few years ago. Recently, I was given a gift76 of two small brochures produced by the Manx Language Development Officer, Adrian Cain, which aim to provide learners and language enthusiasts with phrases for use in certain areas of life like sports etc. Each of the brochures or “pocket guides” provides the Manx phrases and words in a phonetic form alongside the Manx and English – maybe it‟s an idea the Irish authorities should copy!! For those with Manx roots, the Isle of Man Family History Society77 has exchanged journals with this Society for a number of years now and it provides a wealth of information for those with Manx ancestry. Their journal “Fraueyn as Banglaneyn” ISSN 1351-556X (Roots and Branches) publishes source material and articles on social history. For further information on the society contact: Priscilla Lewthwaite, Pear Tree Cottage, Lhergy Cripperty, Union Mills, IM4 4NF, Isle of Man In conclusion, the enthusiasm and vibrancy that the Manx are bringing to the protection and promotion of their national heritage and language is matched also by careful planning that should ensure that Yn Ghaelg will have to be removed from the list of the extinct and near extinct languages of Europe. When this happens it will certainly overturn the gloomy predictions and certainties expressed by many distinguished linguists here and around the world. Whilst, the Manx have certainly learned from our experiences here in Ireland and indeed, from those of our linguistic cousins in Scotland, none of the Gaelic languages can afford complacency and undoubtedly, it is time for effective and sustainable joint initiatives involving all three languages, language agencies and education authorities to be established possibly under the auspices of Iomairt Cholm Cille (Colmcille Initiative). This is a tripartite initiative established in 1997 involving the Government of Ireland and two devolved administrations of the United Kingdom, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The aim of the initiative is to provide grant funding to projects and to organise projects that raise awareness of the shared heritage of the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland whilst, promoting the use of the Gaelic languages, Irish and Scottish Gaelic, in and between Ireland and Scotland. It‟s time for Manx to be included in this important initiative and no doubt, the inclusion of the third Gaelic language will be mutually beneficial and indeed, strengthen and secure what has already been achieved by the Manx themselves for Yn Ghaelg. Michael Merrigan, FGSI

75 76

Laare-Studeyrys Manninagh, 6, Kingswood Grove, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 3LX Thanks to Stephanie Batt of the Dún Laoghaire Tidy Towns Committee 77 Isle of Man Family History Society – for further details see:

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Skeealyn Vannin – Stories of Mann “A Miscellany on the History, Culture and Language of the Isle of Man” 15

Description: A Miscellany on the History Culture and Language of the Isle of Man published in the Journal of the Genealogical Society of Ireland Vol 7 No 2 2006 ISSN 1393936X