[From 3rd Manx Scrapbook]



1. The Caesars — 2. The Bacons. — 3. Racial Sources. — 4. Some Early Names. — 5. Names of English Origin. — 6. The Skillicornes — 7. The Scarffes — 8. Flexney or Flaxney. — Addenda.

1. The Caesars.

SINCE our ancestors — our inherited qualities — are the dream-stuff of which we are made, continuing their lives in us, there is, for those who see the matter so, an interest in knowing what kind of a part their forerunners played on the stage of the world. It was the boast of the " typical Irishman " of the popular novel and drama that he was descended from the ould Kings of Ireland, and that if he had his rights he would be receiving rent instead of paying or owing it. But the blood of the Stanleys, and, farther back, that of the Scandinavian masters of the Island, must be circulating in modest quantity through the veins of the majority of living Manxmen ; and if those worthies are deemed too remote, the extinct Caesar family has passed on its ducal ichor not only through the Bacons (and the two names, at least, were intertwined by marriage and friendship long before either was established in the Isle of Man), but by means of the various other alliances it contracted during the couple of centuries of its insular existence.

Most of the accessible information concerning the English Cæsars has been taken from Lodge's Life of Sir Julius Caesar, of which only 20 copies were printed; but certain additional matter is to be found in local histories and Heralds' Visitations, and scattered through the volumes of Notes and Queries. On Sir Julius's tomb in the church of Great St. Helen's, London, it is stated that the family migrated from Frëjus in Provence to Italy, where, under the name of Adelmare, they held the title of Counts of Genoa in the 9th century. However that may be, there is no doubt that they had long been a noble Italian family when Caesar Adelmare came from Treviso near Venice to London in 1550, and was appointed Court Physician to Queen Mary and afterwards to Queen Elizabeth. His son Sir Julius, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Master of the Rolls, acquired land in Hertfordshire and changed his name to that of his grandmother, a daughter of the Duke de Cesarini. In 1615 he married Sir Nicholas Bacon's grand-daughter ; she was given away by her uncle the great Sir Francis, afterwards Viscount St. Alban. The latter and Caesar were close friends, and Bacon after his fall lived with and on Caesar and died in his arms (Lodge, pages 7, 10, etc.). Sir Julius, as Chancellor, kept Inigo Jones supplied with funds during the building of St. Paul's Cathedral. Izaak Walton characteristically relates of Julius that he lived to be so old that he was only kept alive by the prayers of the poor whom he daily relieved. The last descendant in the male line of the English Cæsars was a Mrs. Aberdeen, who died in Hammersmith in 1833 ; but families of the name are still to be found, chiefly in Surrey, and not infrequently they adopt the Christian name of their great ancestor Sir Julius. His direct and collateral descendants produced many distinguished men ; that the history of the Cæsars in England, though brilliant, was so brief, seems to have been due to their lavishness in money matters and neglect of their own material interests.

The arms granted to Sir Julius Caesar were " gules, a chief argent, six roses counterchanged." He married thrice, and died in 1636, leaving three sons. His second- wife was Alice Green (Lodge's pedigree has " Grant "), of Manchester, who perhaps provides the link with the Isle of Man. The first recorded Manx Caesar was John, of Ballahick, a member of the Keys in 1643, whose wife Jane was tried for witchcraft in 1659 but acquitted, with reservations. One of Sir Julius's sons by Alice Green was a John, but he appears to have lived and died in England. There are, however, other Johns in the pedigrees, one of whom may be the man required.

(see however N. Crowe's article for a better history)

2. The Bacons.

Some 80 years subsequent to the arrival of the Cæsars in the Island came the pioneer of the Bacon family, which intermarried with them later as well as with other leading insular stocks, and outlasted them as a family. The first of the name, Joseph Bacon, settled in the North in 1724, married Elizabeth; daughter of James Christian, died in 1728, and was buried at Lezayre Church. His family succeeded five generations of the Garratts at Ballabrooie, Sulby, and renamed the estate Staward after their former home in Northumberland. They afterwards removed to a house on the North Quay, Douglas, which terminated its later existence as the Royal Hotel by being converted into business premises for the Steam Packet Company in 1916. From there they migrated to Ballavilla, Santon, previously the property of the Moores, which they renamed Seafield and occupied until the family became virtually extinct. Their crest, a boar, remains sculptured above the entrance to the older of the two Ballavilla houses.

The Bacons were a family of distinction and importance in Northumberland from the 17th century onwards. About the date of the above-mentioned Joseph Bacon's birth, John Bacon of Staward Peel, who is named in the Lezayre monument as his father, was High Sheriff of the county, according to Burke's Landed Gentry. Hodgson, in his History of Northumberland, vol. iii., part i., page 312, and vol. iv., part ii., pages 75, 86 and 94, gives some particulars of the family, many of whom lie buried at the church of Allendale, near their first residence of Broadwood Hall, and their later estate of Staward Peel. Calton Lee in the same county also belonged to them. Their history before their arrival in Northumberland is naturally not Hodgson's affair, and he merely mentions (iv., ii., 75) that " the Bacons who subsequently attained name and position in the county also came from " Derbyshire,

This statement evidently relates in particular to George Bacon of Broadwood Hall, who was born at Clay Lane — now Clay Cross — in that shire, and died in 1760 (iv., ii., 86). The Derbyshire Bacons were obscure, but it might be possible to bring them into the light of day by delving among the records of their district. They do not figure in the Victoria History of that county or in other obvious sources, nor — which is more to the point — is there anything in the numerous pedigrees of the great Bacon family of Norfolk to show that it extended a branch into Derbyshire. The surname had sporadic origins ; some of its owners in various parts of the country were probably Norman incomers. Mr. Walter Rye, in his brochure The False Pedigree of the Bacons of Suffolk, which he kindly lent me, points to its association with the Danish " thorpe " in the place-name Baconsthorpe, Norfolk, as proof of its presence in pre-Norman days ; but that place is simply Thorp in Domesday Book, the distinguishing term having been prefixed in the 12th century by its possessor, who took the name of Bacon and whose father was said to have been a Norman. (See Blomefield's History of Norfolk, 1807, vi., 503.) There are, however, better grounds for believing Bacon to have been naturalised in England directly from Danish settlers as well as from the descendants of the same race in Normandy.

The Lord Keeper's family, who were of humble estate in Suffolk, attempted to prove their connexion with the Norfolk Bacons, and obtained a grant of their coat of arms by means of the false pedigree exposed by Walter Rye. He states that the earliest known arms pertaining to the name were " gules, three boars passant or," borne in 1249 by Sir Thomas Bacon, " no doubt of Baconsthorpe." Of the numerous coats used by Bacon families all or nearly all exhibit the boars in various styles and tinctures, as do all but three of the fourteen crests in Burke's Family Records ; but a crest is too easily assumed to be of much value as genealogical evidence.

It is impossible, therefore, so far as my data carry me, to show any connexion between the Manx Bacons and either the descendants of Roger Bacon of Somerset and Oxford or the family of Francis Bacon, Lord Verulam ; and we are denied the pleasure of associating their name, however mistakenly, with that of Shakespeare, or even of suggesting that the legend of the learned friar's Talking Brazen Head reached the Island by their agency in the form of a family tradition.* See "The Kione Prash," an anonymous narrative poem contributed from MS. to the Manx Quarterly, October, 1920, by the late G. W. Wood. Though not positively datable earlier than 1836, it appears to have been founded on an old local legend.

3. Racial Sources.

Before passing on to consider some of the many Manx surnames which are more typical than either Bacon or Caesar, a word on the historical side of the subject will help particular items to fall into their proper places. To local names — the place of birth or of ownership — a large number of English and Scottish surnames are ascribable; but though there has long been a Manx habit of calling a man by the name of his estate, it has never given rise to an inherited family name. No one therefore can say positively of any name that it took its origin within the Island, except in the sense of developing from a single name, through the patronymic form with mac, into its modern and approximately final mould. This interesting process can be watched in dozens of instances ; and to them, as native growths by any definition but the most severely exclusive, may be added without much fear of error some of the occupation-names, as Brew and Teare, and those having to do with racial origin, such as Cretney. The non-native materials from which Manx family names have been wrought into their present permanent shapes must, it is obvious, have entered the Island in the following sequence ; the earliest were the most plastic and the latest have since undergone little change : —

1. Gaelic : Scottish and North Irish.

2. Scandinavian : Norse, Icelandic, and possibly Danish, all with a strong Gaelic infusion added chiefly from the Hebrides and Dublin.

3. English : (a) Pre-Derby. (b) Derby, etc., up to the Revestment. (c) Recent.

The originals of many of the names shared, though in differing forms, by Man and the Hebrides travelled South during the Viking period ; they were single names or patronymics, not inherited beyond one generation. Others, equally Gaelic or Scandinavian, arrived later in a more or less crystallised form, and in contrast with the first comers, did not take shape or even alter much in the Island.

Though the surnames of the Manx people are, as Moore pointed out in his Manx Names, a partial guide to its racial composition, this rule only holds good, I think, within narrower limits than he supposed ; but within those limits they are at least as indicative as language or place-names. The language of a district affords little or no criterion of race, since an entire change of speech does not necessarily involve a corres ponding change in ethnic composition ; witness the continuous displacement in the British Isles of the Celtic tongues by English. On the other hand, a strong infusion of alien blood may leave no trace in a language, as is shown by the almost complete absence, generally acknowledged, I believe, of Scandinavian influences in Manx. Place-names, of course, only reflect the language in common use during the epoch when such names were being bestowed, and a people bringing its speech into a country at a later stage is not adequately represented in the local terminology. It is, as Moore said, chiefly in the corruption of native forms, in the tendency to translate them, and in the addition of English surnames to the prefix Balla, that the complete ascendancy of English as a means of communication has affected Manx place-names. The bulk of them remains Gaelic or Scandinavian, but their comparative frequency is no guide to the proportionate strength of these two strains in the people. It by no means follows that the population to-day consists mainly of a mixture of the two races, and it is quite possible that it never did. The Norse speakers, and the Danish, if any, who settled in the Island were probably far from being purely Scandinavian in blood, and the natives they subdued must have had more of the Ulster and Galloway Pict in their composition than of the Irish Gael, to say nothing of any infusion of British blood from Cumbria. Taking it altogether, the true Gaelic strain in the Manx must be fairly tenuous, whereas the place-names are predominantly Gaelic, and the old language wholly so.

Nor can it be claimed that the early personal names help us to discriminate between " Celt " and " Norseman," for as the two peoples (so far as either was sufficiently homogeneous to merit the title) settled down together they adopted each other's names freely, as they had been doing in the Hebrides and in Ireland. We read, for example, in the Chronicon Manniæ at A.D. 1237 of three brothers named Dufgald, Molmore and Thorquel ; two of these names are Celtic and the third Norse, while that of their father, Nel or Neil, was common in its various forms to both races. What value as a racial index can be placed upon surnames derived from these — Cowell, Cowle and probably Coole from Dufgald, Corkill from Thorquel, Kneale from Nel ? Similarly, in the same Chronicle at A.D. 1114 Somerled's four sons were Reginald (from which come Crennell and Crellin), Olave, (Callow), Engus (perhaps yielding Kennish), and Dufgal again ; two Norse and two Celtic names, without the slightest racial distinction among their owners. It is only the English names, mostly coming late and, as it were, ready-made and unmistakable, which afford some indication of their owners' nationality and even of what part of the country they came from.

Manx surnames, therefore, have a philological rather than an ethnological value, except for the fact that those which are recognisably English have always been strongest in the South-East, where Castletown was the seat of government and the principal port, and where the Abbey maintained relations with its parent monastery in Furness. Of the Scandio-Gaelic class it would be interesting to have a thorough treatment in respect of the language-elements distinguishable in them ; I wish now, chiefly, to offer some notes on those which are of English origin or are likely to be so, since the Gaelic and Norse aspects of the subject were emphasised by A. W. Moore, whose regrettably brief work, it is hardly necessary to say, no one interested in such matters can afford to neglect, especially as it has never been followed by any further enquiry of the kind.* (* All this material was in type before the appearance of Mr. J. J. Kneen's work on Manx surnames.) As it will be necessary to introduce non-English names by way of comparison, a word on the forms they have assumed may be useful. As in the Highlands and Ireland, Scandinavian names are found disguised by the prefixing of mac (now surviving in Man only as initial C, K and Q), and further transformed in some cases by Manx pronunciations and consequent spellings. Crennell and Crellin, e.g., both represent MacRanald (Rognwald). In the same way the Norsemen, partly prior to the Viking period, adopted a small number of Gaelic names, of which their Kormak and Dufan, and perhaps Njal and Finn, may be taken as specimens ; and non-hereditary names reaching Man thus indirectly from a Gaelic source may have furnished the bases of corresponding Manx surnames. It is theoretically possible that a few Celtic names took on a Scandinavian cast in the Island itself, though the vocabulary of modern Manx, and in a slightly lesser measure the place-names, argue to the contrary. In short, to separate the two classes, Gaelic and Scandinavian, by an inflexible line is clearly impossible, since the two races became so closely associated in the Hebrides, and perhaps to some extent in Ireland, before the settlement of the Island. It may well be that the greater portion of any Gaelic blood now flowing in the veins of the Manx people was introduced during the Norse ascendancy.

In Moore's list of 194 extant surnames about 74, or three-eighths, are to be found in England ; of his 110 names " obsolete since written records " about 36, or one-third of the total. Of the latter a dozen or so are in fact still living, some of them thinly disguised. Another and more representative list is furnished by the index of names added to the Revd. Theophilus Talbot's translation of the first surviving Manorial Roll, which was compiled between 1510 and 1513. The total number here, excluding obvious variants, is about 340 ; of these about 140, or two-fifths, are found in England. In the unindexed appendices relating to the succeeding hundred years the respective totals are approximately 140 and 55, English names being especially numerous among the tenants of the Abbey. Later Rent Rolls, lists of the Keys, of jurors and witnesses, Parish Registers and other sources up to the middle of the 17th century suggest in the average a similar ratio between native names and those which belonged to later incomers of the 14th and more especially the 15th and 16th centuries. It is necessary to put a time-limit to the use of the term " native," since — to state the case in its extremest form — every Manx pedigree, if it could be traced far enough back, would ultimately lead us out of the Island, just as every London pedigree would take us into the provinces.

In making these comparisons between English and non-English names, however, several considerations have to be borne in mind. (1) The figures stand for names as such, and not for the frequency of their occurrence. (2) In certain descriptions of official documents the names of the English dominating class have an undue preponderance. (3) The Roll does not by any means contain all the surnames or patronymics then in use in the Island, and most of the absentees, the non-landholders, would be Manxmen. That many of the English families did not strike a permanent root does not affect the comparison seriously, because many Manx families have died out likewise, as may be seen by Moore's list, which however omits a considerable number. (4) In a proportion of cases the resemblances between Manx and English names are accidental; there are Cains and Caines, Callows, Cowens, Cowleys, Cannells, and other pairs of duplicates on both sides of the channel which have no connexion with each other, though it must be observed that the identity of the forms makes it impossible to say positively that no Englishman with a name which was also Manx ever established himself in the Island and perpetuated his surname. Cases of the kind have certainly occurred. For example, Harrison is doubtless a rendering of MacHenry and its later form Kinry, but in the Malew Parish Register for 1669 is an entry of the burial of Ellin Harrison, born Bridson, " wife to William, an Englishman." (5) Names similar in sound have been confused on the lips of the people though originally unrelated ; Gale has tended to become Gell, which in its turn is being assimilated to Gill, all of them at one time distinct from each other. So too may an English name assume a form peculiar to the Island, as Maddrell has done ; or, conversely, a Manx name may reshape itself into an English one, as Hudgeon into Hudson, Moughtin into Morton. The two latter changes are recent and seemingly deliberate. A few names have been transformed from Manx into English by translating the prefix mac into " son " and making a suffix of it, of which the Harrison mentioned above is one example, and some at least of the Nelsons another. It is barely possible that, in contrast with the general set of the tide in such matters, one or two English names have been translated into what were considered to be their Manx equivalents. Moore asserts this of Careful and Caralagh, Cavendish and Corjeag. He dates his Carefuls to the end of the 16th century, but MacCarrolley, occurring in 1510, would seem to be the true prototype of Caralagh. None of these, except Corjeag, is extant, so far as I know, though Cavendish was surviving so recently as 1894. Translation also might possibly connect Teare (Mac-yn-tSeer, Son of the Artificer) with Wright.

That a large number of surnames entered the Island from England, and a few from the Scottish Lowlands, before the Revestment need not surprise us, since so far back as the 14th century British rulers and the representatives appointed by them were introducing officials, clergy, soldiers, servants and adventurers. Theirs were for the most part true surnames, for by the beginning of the 15th century, when the most enduring dynasty, the Stanleys of Lancashire, sent over their vanguard, inherited family names were fully established among the upper half of the English nation. Manx names were still in a transitional stage from simple patronymics to fixed surnames passing unchanged from generation to generation, and they had not yet begun, except in a very few cases, to drop the mac which as a rule denoted at that time the patronymcal usage ; but the example of the strangers may have accelerated the movement towards stability. The eldest son of an Englishman named after his birthplace or his estate was, for instance, Preston, like his father, sometimes with a different forename to distinguish him, though not so invariably as a genealogist might wish; whereas if a Manxman called William christened his son Lucas, the latter would be known as Lucas MacWilliam, but his son would be John MacLucas, and so on. This method of naming, with the omission of the mac, still survives colloquially in Man, as in Lancashire, in concurrence with regular surnames which are reserved for formal occasions ; there are still " Jim-Billy-Naps " in the one region and "Tom o' Bob's o' Jem's " in the other. This was in fact the usual and natural practice in all parts of the Kingdom in early times, and that it was followed in the Isle of Man in 1379 is suggested by the Latin form of the name of a Malew priest, Martinus Martini, " Martin (son) of Martin." Among names prefixed with mac in the 16th and even the 15th century some may nevertheless be recognised as genuine surnames by the absence of the main element used in its simple, unprefixed form as a forename and so available as a patronymic. Also, at a Tynwald Court of 1422 occurred the arraignment of " Donald MacCraine son of Patrick MacCraine " ; but it is not necessary to suppose that the surname was more than a temporary one, which might be abandoned for another patronymic by the first descendant of Donald who chose to do so. In fact, though Mills' Statutes has the first " MacCraine," the Sloane MS. used by Mackenzie (Mx. Soc., iii.) omits it.

To British and Anglo-Norman sources also must, strictly speaking, be attributed some of the simple patronymics adopted from early incomers and now metamorphosed into characteristic Manx surnames. Such were William (Quilliam), Henry (Kinry), Lucas (Clucas), and Scriptural names — Thomas (Comish), Philip (Killip), Mark (Quark). Anglo-Norman names appear to be resolvable into three principal classes those which were Norman-French and had undergone little change in England ; the Norman-English, which were often English place-names with the prefix " de " ; and mere forenames such as those just mentioned. All these varieties became Gaelicised in Ireland, and some or each found their way into the Isle of Man. As there is no reason to suppose a strong reflux of Normans from Ireland into the Island, most of the third class may be taken as parallel growths rather than immigrants. To them may be added Cubbon from MacGubbon or Gibbon, Crebbin from MacRobin or Robert, and possibly Qualtrough from MacWalter ; with the reservation in the case or Quilliam that unless the Manx pronunciation of William as " Illiam " has altered during the last four or five centuries — it was " Illiam " and not the Irish Uilliam in the time of Illiam " Dhone " Christian — we ought to have it as " Killiam." Quilliam may therefore have entered the Island from Scotland or Ireland in the form of MacWilliam. There is also, or course, the Scottish name McKillop to consider with regard to Killip.

When looking for the prototypes or less obvious cases than these, there are so many considerations to be taken into account that they can only be alluded to here. Besides their linguistic changes, the early forms which we have to rely on have been at the mercy of scribes and clerks, some or them Manx perhaps, but others English who were writing down the sounds or a foreign language. Mis-spellings could not be avoided by the latter, and even the former cannot be imagined as entirely trustworthy. A man may have used an official pronunciation for the Courts, etc., and a homelier form among his friends ; a number of surnames still retain a duality or this kind. (A list or them is given on pp. 150-153.) He may, if able to write, have unwittingly laid traps for us or the 20th century by spelling his name as variously as the clerks did. The age and condition or the MSS. has made them difficult to decipher in places — sometimes critical places. Surnames originally different have tended naturally to coalesce. The spelling of personal names in the first Manorial Roll, by the way, seems to have been partially standardised, in a way very unusual if not unique at that date, by someone with theories on the subject. It is impossible otherwise that MacWhaltragh, MacJoghen, MacTere, MacKerron, MacAulay, MacCorkell, MacCorleot, all the MacGil prefixes, and many other names, each from various parts or the Island, could have been spelt with such strict uniformity, in striking contrast with those in other documents or all dates previous to the 19th century, where the variations show that the orthography rested largely on the usual phonetic basis. In the course of transcribing a portion or the Liber Episcopi (so endorsed but written in English) I noticed an illuminating instance of the latter method at the year 1586, relating to the parish or Jurby ; " Mcleare " had at first been written, and the " leare " afterwards scored through and" Allure" written after it. It may be, therefore, that unrelated names have been assimilated in the Roll as we have it, and that it should not be relied on implicitly in this respect. An equally puzzling point is its spelling " Knele " — Ine Knele, Andreas — which seems to be well ahead of its time.

On the other hand, names which now appear quite distinct from each other have diverged from a single stirps through inconsistencies of spelling partly, but more through eccentricities of pronunciation. Further, and especially in the North of the Island, of the two divisions, English and non-English, the latter has derived some of its members from Scandinavian sources, so it is often difficult to decide whether a name primarily Scandinavian may have reached the Island by way of the Western Isles, of Dublin or of the North of England ; and it is equally doubtful, in some cases, whether a Gaelic name has crossed from the North-East of Ireland or from Galloway, or whether it is indigenous. Per contra, a few Scandio-Manx names must have migrated at an early period into the surrounding regions, especially into Cumbria and North Lancashire. Even when some degree of probability has been reached concerning the local source of a name, the amount of research required to ascertain the approximate date and the circumstances of its immigration would not be repaid by the results. In many cases there would be no result at all. One can only say that a number of Manx family names have their replicas in England, especially in Lancashire ; that there is evidence in some instances that their first recorded home was there ; and although the value of this evidence may be diminished by the scarcity of early Manx records, there is sometimes the certainty that a name could not have taken its present shape in the Island.

Some of the English names which occur in old Manx documents soon disappeared through the failure of their owners to strike root in the soil, and others have died out during the succeeding centuries. If the Lord's Rent Roll of 1510-13 did not comprise some absentee tenants, their early disappearance almost suggests that they followed the example of their fellow-countrymen in Ireland and assumed Insular surnames. Among the survivors are such familiar cognomina as Sansbury, Radcliffe and Norris, and the later comers Halsall, Heywood and Hampton. Many of this type are easily identifiable with the names of places in England, particularly in Lancashire. In studying a map of that county, one is constantly reminded of the Isle of Man of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

The following surnames occurring in the Isle of Man before the 17th century derive from the names of places in Lancashire, where some of them can be found at home so far back as the 13th century. Those italicised are still extant in the Island, though it is possible that some of them may have re-entered later.

Aghton, Alcar, Aystogh or Ayscough, Bradshagh, Byllinge, Burscough, Crosse, Assheton, Bootle, Coupe, Gremshawe, Heywood, Haliwell, Halsall, Holland, Hendull, Ince, Kenyon, Lathom, Litherland, Langtre, Marsden, Prescott, Preston, Parr, Radcliffe, Rushton, Samlesbury (now Sansbury), Shakerley or Shakelady, Standish, Ughtynton (Oughtrington is just over the Cheshire border), and Worthington. Other early family names which are also English place-names are Ballard, Birmingham, Breden, Bydcrosse, Colcat or Calcott, Coupeland, Cotynghin, Creetch, Hampton, Iveno, Kent, Lake, Lecke, Haworth, Huddlestone, Hartle, Higham, Moore, Fryssington, Sale (Sayle), Stanley, Twynham, Whetstones and Whinrowe. As Creetch may be of native growth it will be referred to again. Of the rest, many now extinct have left footprints in Manx soil as elements in land-names.

Not all Anglo-Manx surnames declare themselves so plainly ; the conflicting influences of the English and Manx tongues have made themselves felt in various anomalies. Mac was prefixed to some of the English names as it had been previously to some of the Scandinavian, and its presence is not to be taken as proof that a name is Celtic. On the other hand, " son " sometimes replaced mac in the general process of Anglicisation of the Island. Occasionally the same name may be seen, at the same period, in the three states — with mac, with " son," and in its simple form with neither, the last being the original English nucleus. For example, MacCaball, Abelson and Abel are all found in 1510. There are even a few instances of the use of both mac and " son " simultaneously, as in MacTomlinson and MacRainson in 1417, and again in 1429 ; the former appears as Homlyn in 1513, and in 1521 as a forename Thomline, and the latter in 1510 as MacCrayne, since when it has settled down into Craine. In 1417 it is Raynesson, and it may be that this and other names ending with " son " which are found in the first available Manx lists near the beginning of the 15th century are not due to English influence, but were vestiges of the Norse régime. The total disappearance of prefixes without their having been substituted by " son " gives the Celtic names of Brew and Lowey an English look ; in other cases it is not safe to assume that an English family of the same or a similar name did not settle in the Island in later times, as some of the Allens and Callows did. Even when the nationality of a name has not been obscured in any of the foregoing ways, it may have grown so familiar in the course of time that its alien origin has been forgotten, and it is accepted without question as genuine home-grown Manx ; some of these will be dealt with later in this chapter. Names which have filtered in since the end of the Stanley period have been mostly English and Lowland Scotch. As " recent " may be classed those arriving during the last century and a half, during which time the smuggling, mining, farming, and visiting industries have in turn attracted strangers in quest of wealth. From the names on the sculptured Norse crosses down to those over the shop-windows, from those borne by Vikings who found the Island a convenient centre for trading and raiding down to those of frugal souls enamoured of the slender proportions of Manx income tax,* the personal nomenclature presents a fairly complete though unequally proportioned epitome of that of the British Isles during the last thousand years.

Income Tax at 2s. in the £ was levied in the Isle of Man so long ago as 1291 but the proceeds went into the coffers of the spiritual, not the temporal, Government. To meet cases where it was impossible to collect a tithe in kind, " we decree that merchants, traders, workers (?), and others shall pay the tenth of all their profits. In like manner also persons in service who are hired by others shall pay the tenth of their wages. Workers in gold, smiths, artificers, iron-workers, mowers [falcarii, qu. scythe-makers ?], carpenters, and stone-workers shall pay the tenth of their earnings, the liquidation of which may be left to their individual oaths." Weavers were also liable, some for fourpence, some for fivepence ; when they became subject to super-tax, the sum was " left to their own conscience." (Synodal Ordinances of Bishop Mark, in Monumenta, vol. iii. Appendix).


4. Some Early Names.

The first substantial collection of Manx personal names occurs in the Declaration of the Bishop, Abbot, Clergy and Keys of the Island against a Claim of Lordship by Stephen Lestrop in 1408, published by Oliver in his Monumenta, ii. 247. The next batch consists of the signatures of a Deemster and the Keys only, to an Indenture of January, 1417-18, in which the names are mostly fresh ones; (Monumenta, iii. 10). To the same and the following year belongs a Sheading-Court Roll for Rushen, photographs of portions of which were exhibited to the Society of Antiquaries in 1877; (Proceedings, 2nd ser., vii. 255). In so much of it as was communicated about a dozen names are found, all of them of interest apart from their setting, and as the latter seems to have attracted no further attention I reproduce the extracts.

The lecturer, after quoting passages from Chaloner's account of the Isle of Man relating to the various descriptions of Insular Courts, which, having a purely legal bearing, need not be repeated here, goes on to remark of the document under discussion, that in the present instance the Courts are continued every three weeks, from the Monday after Michaelmas Day, 1417, to December 6th, with an intermission for the Christmas holidays ; the next Courts were held on 10th January and 14th February ; there was then another intermission until the second Monday in May (the Vacation thus being longer than in England), after which another Court was held at the regular interval of three weeks. " The Roll, as we have it, ends with the proceedings of Tuesday, 21st June, 1418."

" The first four entries apparently refer to the same transaction, a trespass with cattle on certain lands, which seems to have led to an affray between the alleged trespasser, one Brice Bullok, and the owner of the land, one John MacGray.

" The first entry appears to be a presentment against John MacGray proved (per Marum) by the More, or Bailiff, of the parish of Kirk Christ in Rushen (Parochia Sanctae Trinitatis) for blood-shedding committed on the person of Brice Bullok. For this offence John was amerced in the sum of 12 pence, the amount of misericordia or amercement being entered in the margin of the Roll, with the object no doubt of the subsequent estreat and levy on the party amerced."

He remarks here that the Roll gives an example of the ancient custom of calling a jury at a Sheading Court and the procedure, as described by Chaloner at page 32 of the Manx Society's edition.

" John MacGray, in the next entry, brings his action against Brice Bullok for an assault. Brice confesses the assault, and is fined 12/-."

" But the matter does not stop here, for Brice brings, in the third entry, a cross action against John. As a sample of the pleadings, which are throughout in the style of an English Court, I extract the passage. 'Idem Bris queritur de dicto Johanne de placito quare contra pacem Domini Regis ipsum Bricium violenter accepit per collum et eundem Bricium male tractavit, etc. Qui venit et dedicit et ponit se super Inquisitionem per quam inventus est culpabilis. Ideo in xiis in misericordia et pr ' (? ' praeterea adjudicates est satisfacere parti, etc. ; ' sense collected from other passages).

" Finally John sues Brice for depasturing, consuming and trampling his corn (blada) to the value of 12 bolls of oats with his, Brice's, cattle. Brice puts himself on an Inquisition, who find him guilty, and he is fined 6d.

" An Inquisition is taken at the Court concerning trespasses in the Calf of Man. Thomas de Ybenowe and Gibbon MacWady are found guilty of keeping four pigs there, contrary to a prohibition ; Michael Shylok of having four does (damas) there ; and John Shylok is found guilty of cutting wood in the same place. These appear to have been infringements of the Lord's rights, and all the parties are amerced.

" Twelve jurors sworn on another Inquisition find that Bris MacAlstyen stole at Knockhau (or Knockhan ?) one ram valued at 6d. of the goods and chattels of Gilbert MacWhanty and two blankets of the price of Zed at Scard' from Henri de Irland: and that Ibot, daughter of Brys Clarke, cut and illegally carried off one ` tether ' of the price of one penny of the goods of Patrick Taillour.

" The next two Courts offer nothing of interest. At the Court held at Rushen Castle on December 6th the litigious Brice Bullok brings an action of debt against John MacGilcallum for 3s. 4d. Being unskilled in Manx law I am unable to give the precise significance of the following procedure. The defendant appeared and traversed : the record proceeds thus : ` Et quia (Johannes) noluit ponere manum suam in manu judicis ad recipiendum legem prout curia inde considerare voluerit, sicut requisitus fuit per eundem Bris (prout ipse ibidem probavit per legales testes inde juratos,) ' judgment is given without further trial against the defendant, who is to satisfy the adverse party ` per judicium judicis,' and is amerced.

" The ale-conners (tastatores cervisie) of the parish of Kirk Malew . . . presented one Gibon MacCanan for brewing and selling ale contrary to the assize.

" The Court of January 10th, 1417-18, was held by Thurstan de Tyldesly and Roger Haysnape, Commissioners to the Lord of the Island. . . . At this Court a presentment was made against Friar John Poker for feloniously stealing cloth and wool, worth 14d., of the goods of a certain Irish leech not named, and as it would seem (for there is clearly some considerable omission in the record) for a highway robbery of a dish of honey from some woman. Friar Poker was arraigned, tried, and acquitted. The presentment appears to be made from the Franchise Court of the Lord Bishop, Richard Payle. I notice this because it appears to correct the list of Bishops given in the notes to Chaloner, page 76, which is as follows : Robert Waldby, 1380 ; John Sprotton, 1400 ; John Burgelin 1425 ; Richard Pulley, 1429. Nicolas, History of the Peerage (ed. Courthope), page 593, says that 'Robert Waldby was translated to Dublin in 1381 ; he is said by some writers to have been Bishop of this See in 1396, but Le Neve doubts it.' He then states that the See was vacant many years, and gives 1429 for the date of accession of Richard 'Pulley.' Our record shows that Richard Payle or Pulley was already in possession of the See in 1418.

" Luke MacQuyn was arraigned on an indictment for receiving and concealing to the prejudice of the King a ship's rudder and a barrel of pitch (vacellum de pyk) being wreck of the sea cast up 'in Parochia Sancti Sanctan. . . .

" The foregoing notes, I think, sufficiently illustrate the nature of the Roll. To abstract more of the pleadings in trespass and other personal suits and trials for petty larceny would be tedious and not very profitable. I am not informed whether the Roll under notice is a solitary example, or whether the other portions of the series have been preserved. If printed and published in the Island it might be found valuable by local antiquaries and genealogists on account of the large number of proper names which it contains, if for no better reason."

Mr. Perceval's closing remark is regrettably true, and how the document escaped the attention of the then active Society for the publication of such materials is not clear, The Clerk of the Rolls, John Quayle, informed a Commission of Enquiry in 1792 that after the Indenture of 1417, " the most ancient record in the isle of Man," the next oldest preserved in his office was dated 1422 (Constitution of the Isle of Man, part iii.). Thus the Roll in question had gone astray before 1792, and as such records were until 1580 kept on detached sheets the loss is not surprising. It reappeared only to vanish again, for having then been in private hands, and not the property of the Society of Antiquaries, it is now untraceable.

Of the eleven Manx personal names in the foregoing extracts two occur in the Declaration of 1408, two in the Indenture of 1417, and the remainder, with the exception of MacAlstyen, in the Manorial Roll of 1510-13. MacWandy appears in both the Indenture and the Manorial Roll. Friar Poker, if his name is correctly reproduced, was probably not a Manxman.

Bullok does not elsewhere occur in that form, but the name which is spelt " Bullor " in the printed translation of the Manorial Roll looks in the photographic facsimile as though it might possibly be read " Bullogh," which would agree with this Bullok of a hundred years earlier. But whether of long standing in the Island or an incomer from Scotland or England, it is only a slight variation of the Norse " Böllok."

Brice and Brys, together with their extension into the patronymic Bryson, are common names in the South of Scotland and the North of England, probably deriving from the Scandinavian " Bresi." Brice occurs in Malew Parish Register, 1694.

MacGray does not deeply disguise the English name Gray. It does not seem likely that it became the MacCray numerous in other parts of the Island in 1510-13, or the single Gragh of that date.

The Yvenhowe family numbered several leading men at the beginning of the 15th century. In 1404 " Robert Yvenhowe of Manne " was granted permission by Henry V. to convey corn from Dublin into the Island. William de Innow figures in the Declaration and the Indentures previously referred to, and as a member of the House of Keys (for Rushen) in 1429 and 1430. Thomas, of this Court-Roll, was evidently a less respectable member of the family. The name can only have originated at the place in Buckinghamshire still known as Ivingho. Ralph de Ivyngho was Chancellor of St. Paul's and parson of Ivingho in 1290. [fpc there is also Wivenhoo (Saxon's map 1576) in Essex; a Matthew Ynenhow is also mentioned in 1428 Garrison Roll]

MacWady should doubtless be read MacWandy, the same name as MacWhanty. It was found in the South of the Island so late as the 17th century, and is still numerous in the North as Vondy, formerly MacVandy, etc. Its original is the old Scandinavian term bondi, which at different epochs and in different countries varied in its application between the limits of " bond-man " and " tenant farmer," and was even used at one time, I think, of a paid soldier. In England it occurs in Domesday and Hundred Rolls, and has become Boundy and Bundy. It was also an Orkney name. The only possible objection which could be offered to this explanation will be mentioned later, in dealing with Manx surnames which are not of English origin.

Shylok is most likely Shirlok with the long-tailed " r " of the period. As Shirlok and Sherlok it occurs in the Roll of 1510, and as Sherlock it has only quite recently become extinct in the Island ; indeed, I should not be surprised if one of the name rose up to testify to the contrary. It is an ancient English surname going back at least to Radulfus Shirloc of London in the Pipe Rolls, 1159, and Robert Shirlok in the Lincolnshire Hundred Rolls. Sherlocks took root later in Leinster.

MacAlstyen. Unless this is an earlier form of the 16th century MacAusteyn and the present-day Costain, the only other example of it I can recall is Calsten in an Agreement of 1601 which was published in The Manx Note Book, No. 2, page 61. Possibly MacAlstyen gave rise to both names. It is still Alston in Scotland, though extinct in that form in Man. Its genesis there was the Norse " Alsten."

Clarke is one of the commonest of surnames in Man as in England, and partly for that reason may be suspected of having had a double origin — the English name and an English translation of MacChlerey, or, to be more accurate, the English term applied to a Manx scribe, who may have had a different surname or none at all. One can almost see a case of its coming into existence in this way, in the record of a Court held in 1429, where the Bishop's Commissary, whose writing of certain Articles is in question, is called indiscriminately " Gubon MacGubon Clearke " and " Gubon Clearke."

Taillour belongs to the same class of names as Clarke, with the distinction that the word as denoting a trade has been adopted into the Manx in the shape of thalleyr.

It is therefore probably the English surname here, which is similarly spelt in Lancashire records of a slightly later period. In the Manorial Roll it is numerous, North and South.* It is curiously attached to a rock in Castletown Bay — Creg Inneen Thalleyr, Miss Taylor's Rock. What she did there is unknown ; so far as analogies serve, she was probably drowned.

The MacGilcallums, whatever may have been their number in 1418, have only one representative in 1510, who shared land in Scard with John Tailor. It has long disappeared as a surname, but may possibly survive in the farm-name of Ballacolum, Andreas.

MacCanan is of fairly frequent occurrence to-day, especially in the North, as Cannan. Woulfe reports it as rare and scattered in Ireland ; in England Cannon is not at all an uncommon name, and it evidently influenced the spelling in the Roll of 1510, " MacCannon."

Ireland has no claim to be considered a Manx name, but the old South Lancashire family to which it belonged provided the Island with a Governor five times during the 16th and 17th centuries, every man of them a " John." The first took office in 1508, but the appearance of the name in this Roll shows that the family had a foot in the Island a century earlier.

* A Mandamus of Edward III. in 1334, extracted by Oliver from the Rolls of the Court of Common Seal, mentions the appointment of William le Taillour of Carlisle, Havard MacOter, and Gilbert MacStephan to take charge of the Isle of Man. The names suggest that Taillour's duties were those of a Lieutenant-Governor, with MacOter and MacStephan, local men, under him as Captains for the North and the South respectively.

The Irelands settled at Hale near Liverpool in the lifetime of the Conqueror and continued there until by lack of issue they were merged into the Blackburnes. They intermarried with the Stanleys as well as with people whose names were of lesser importance in the Isle of Man.

Luke MacQuyn or his namesake ad literam was appointed by Henry IV. in 1403 to the enjoyment of a certain charity called " particles " ; (Oliver, Monumenta, ii. 225). In return for this privilege he is to administer the schools, and so long as he does so " he shall not be promoted to an ecclesiastical benefice." If the Luke MacQuyn of this Roll is the same man it is clear that he was not so promoted, but on the contrary fell into evil ways. Possibly he was embittered by being deprived of the land and house comprised in the term " particles," since in 1429 it was complained in a Court held at Castle Rushen that " the particles . . . now are dealt into other Uses by the Fault of the Bishopp." (Statutes.) Exactly how this came about is unknown, but by 1510 the Earl of Derby was receiving rent from them. The land granted to MacQuyn is supposed to have been Thalloo Queen in Maughold.* * See end of chapter, As regards Luke's felony, one of the articles of what had until 1422 been Breast Law and was then expounded to Sir John Stanley by the Deemsters, was that " if any Vessell or Ship, or any other Goods, be imbayed within the Heads of Man above Water or under Water, it is the Lord's by his Prerogative." Infringement of this Prerogative is defined in the Deemsters' instructions to juries of the Grand Inquest, first committed to writing in 1577, (Statutes) : — " You shall enquire if there be any Person or Persons that take up my Lord his Wreck or Flotes further than from the Low-water Markes, till above the full Sea, without the Coroner or Lockman with two Witnesses with them to certify the Truth ; if there be any such, by virtue of your Oath you shall present them."

Of the only two place-names cited from the document, Scard is still Scard in the parish of Rushen. Knockhau I am unable to identify, unless it was the eminence now known as Cronk Howe Mooar, or the Fairy Hill, in the same parish.


5. Names of English Origin.

As pre-Stanley records containing personal names are few and scanty, we have little means of ascertaining when the earlier English settlers entered the Island, but it may safely be assumed that the Stanley lordship was responsible for the presence of most of them. For reasons basically geographical, the people of West Lancashire up to the 18th century formed a comparatively isolated community; on one side the sea, on the other side marshes and moors, were obstacles to travel; the great families tended to marry among themselves, and their pedigrees are more closely interwoven than those of most English districts. The focus of power was the Stanleys ; the nearer a family stood to the Stanleys the greater was its influence there, and the more accountable its presence in the Isle of Man from 1405 onward. A large number of such names have already been mentioned ; there are others which, though not duplicated in England in their present form and passing for native, may nevertheless be of extra-insular origin, both from Lancashire and elsewhere, and some examples of these may prove interesting.

The 13th and 14th century form of the Lancashire place-name Ince was Ines, Inis, and the personal name derived from it was at first the same, e.g. William de Ines, in reference to land in Pemberton, Final Concords, 1292. (An Inquisitio Post-mortem in 1429 upon the effects of John de Ines is witnessed, by the way, by Norris, Blundell, Crosse, Radcliffe and Bryge, all of them names which then or later were settled in Man.) Afterwards, both the place-name and the personal name were shortened to Ins and Ince. In the Manx Manorial Roll of 1510 we find both Ince and MacInesh. It seems quite possible that the latter, now Kennish, pronounced Kinnish, was merely the earlier arrival of the two from Lancashire, and not the equivalent of the Ulster McGuinness and the Scottish MacInnes, which it is said to be, or yet of the other and distinct name Innes which has spread widely from its birthplace of Innes in Elginshire.

Similarly, MacCunneree (1417), MacCundre, Cundra, Condra, Cunnery, Conder, and other variations on the same theme, a name which Moore classed as obsolete but which is still extant in different forms — it occurs as Condra on the Douglas and Braddan War Memorials — may represent MacAndrew or MacEndrid, or even the Munster Connery or the Connaught Conry, but it is at least as likely to be the Lancashire place-name Cunderhey. William de Cunderhey, for instance, appears in a Preston Inquisition of 1312, and its modern English derivatives seem to be Gundry and Goundry, and possibly Conder.

From the part of England nearest the Island comes Cleator (MacCletter in 1510), a Cumberland place-name (Cleterhe in 1201, Cleterghe 1294, Cletter 1490, etc., see Sedgfield, Place-names of Cumberland), which gave rise to the English surname de Cleitere in the Cumberland Pipe Rolls, 1236, and de Cleter in a Whitehaven Grant of 1351 (Moore Documents, No. 88). Like other Anglo-Manx families the Cleators settled also in Ireland ; in the 13th and 14th centuries Claters appear as grantors and as witnesses in the Cartulary of St. Mary's Abbey, Dublin.

Kerruish, so common in Maughold, can be taken back through, e.g., Kerush in 1610, and McKerrous, still in the same parish, in 1510, to McFergus in the Keys of 1422. The vanishing of the F and stressing of the last syllable are paralleled in Irish place-names containing " Fergus " : Attyreesh, Carrigareesh, Derryrush (Joyce, iii.), but the Irish surname, with both "O" and " Mac " formerly, has retained the initial. Woulfe says the family of McFergus entered Ireland from Scotland early in the 17th century.

In the name Maddrell the termination has varied , it was written Matherell in 1499, Maderel and Maderer in 1510, the last two appearing to refer to the same man. It is worth remarking that John Mathoren entered the Island in 1402 as servant of Percy, Earl of Northumberland ; (Oliver, Monumenta, ii., 192) ; but there is nothing to show that he settled there. In the King's Rental for Liverpool, 1533, William Matherer pays 2d. rent for land he bought of William Moore ; (Gregson's Fragments, fo. lxvi.). Randil and John Madderer of Leigh, near Wigan, deposed in a Pleading in the Duchy Court of Lancaster in 1522. A. W. Moore in his Manx Names says there is a Lancashire place-name Maddrell ; I have not met with it, but from the Devon manor of Metherell that surname and Meverell arose, and the latter was also a Staffordshire family name. Mathern, formerly Mathoren, in Monmouthshire, and Madron in Cornwall, both named from a saint, have given rise to surnames, and there is a Carnarvonshire family of Madrin. It is probable, however, that the Manx Maddrell is an occupation-name, see Bardsley, English Surnames, page 323, where he cites a Lawrence Maderer of York, 1415. Madder and indigo are the two parent dyes from which most others are obtained, and a madderer was a dyer in the former colour. It was an old English surname occurring from the 14th century onward.

Taubman does not appear in the Manorial Rolls of 1510-13 or in the Abbey Computus of 1541, unless a single " Thorman " in the latter is to be connected with it ; but Taubman is a comparatively modern spelling and pronunciation, except for an isolated specimen among the Keys in 1637, probably due to the printer of the Statutes. Among the Abbey tenants in Malew in 1611 are five Tubmans, and in German two, all significantly spelt alike, and three of them bearing the Christian names, distinctively English at that time, of Charles and Humphrey. There is also a Sylvester Tumman, tenant of Ballakilmurray in German in 1593 and part-tenant in 1598, as recorded in the Bishop's Book; and a Charles Tubman, signatory to an Agreement in 1601. Tunman was a 17th century variant. They were probably a family of English extraction who entered the Isle of Man during the 16th century. Tubman is found at various dates in the Ulverston Parish Registers, and it occurs in England so early as the Valor Ecclesiasticus ; it is a trade-name signifying a cooper.

Lace and Leece do not occur thus before the 17th century — John Lace was one of four Andreas men chosen to confer with the Keys in 1643, vide Statutes — and I have seen no spelling which suggests a transition from any older native name, except Mcyleese in 1746 and McLees in 1758. The date seems rather late for a survival of the Manx mac, and they were probably incomers, but as the latter name occurs on a tombstone in Kirk Patrick it may possibly be a forerunner of some of the modern Leeces in that parish. Lace, a name belonging to the Northern parishes, does not appear ever to have prefixed the mac ; a Thomas MacGilhast was a considerable landholder in that district about 1513 (Manorial Roll), but his name, however the final syllable was pronounced, does not appear likely to have produced Lace. A preferable Celtic source might appear to be one of the early forms of Quilleash, but this has always retained a trace of its original mac. It was MacFelis in 1510, MacFelys in 1541, MacColleys in 1611, and later Colleash, Cuilleash, Colace, and the like, mostly in North Lonan where Quilleashes are still plentiful. The accent must always have been on the last syllable, and the original form was evidently Mac-Mhaoil-Iosa, sounded " Mac-Veel-Eesa " and signifying " Son of the Devotee of Jesus." This type of name was, of course, common in Scotland and Ireland, and a number which were almost identical with one another grew out of Mac-Ghiolla-losa, " Son of the Servant of Jesus." In Scotland Malise or Maolisa was a favourite Christian name up to the 19th century, and Gillies and MacLeish are perhaps its commonest equivalents among surnames. If Lace and Leece are related to these, they must have taken their present forms — subject to the possible exception of the McLees mentioned above — before reaching the Island. The absence of mac or its "c" renders unlikely a derivation from laighis, a physician, and an English source for Lace, at any rate, is the most feasible.

* But see Addenda to Chap. iv.

Among the names ending in "son" there is one at least of which the English aspect may belie it. Brydson — spelt Brideson, as it is still pronounced — appears several times in the Malew Abbey Rent Roll or Computus of 1540-41 ; see Cumming's Rushen Castle, Appendix B. Brydson is a signature to an Agreement in 1601. It does not occur in the Manorial Roll at the beginning of the 16th century, but MacGilbrid (" Son of Brigid's Servant ") is found among the entries for Andreas. Bridson, however, belongs to the South side of the Island ; if, therefore, it was thus anglicised in the Isle of Man, as is most likely, either it replaced a previously obscure and non-landholding MacGilbrid in the Southern parishes, or the partial translation took place when a family of MacGilbrids came South and rented farms belonging to the Abbey. The date of the first appearance of Brydson is too early for it to have been an English version of McBride, which is a comparatively recent Irish form, and, moreover, is not found in the Isle of Man. The English name Breden occurs in the Manorial Roll for Rushen and Arbory, where Brydson is common, and as it has disappeared, it may have been assimilated to Brydson. The interpolation of the short " i " sound after the " d," which comes so kindly to the Manx tongue, would easily bring this about, and it would be assisted by the native pronunciation of the saint's name Bride, viz., " Breezha." " Vreezha " was, in fact, formerly used colloquially as an equivalent for Byidson. A signature to an Act of Tynwald in 1610, Bridgen, may be a link between Breden and Byidson. The rendering of MacGilbrid by Byidson has a parallel in the rendering of MacGilvorra (" Son of Mary's Servant ") by Morrison. Though the original form Brideson has lost its " e," the sound of the " i " has evidently never varied ; in 1722 the Earl of Derby, writing to the Governor, spelt the name " Brightson " ; see Moore, Manx Worthies, page 48.

As there is no trace of Breden having assumed the mac prefix, it cannot be taken as the source of Cregeen, which is probably a development of MacBhridein. Although this is not found in the Isle of Man, "at the South end of Arran, MacBhridein (McBride), may be heard as 'Ac Rideinn ; " (Celtic Review, iv., 181). The prefixing of mac has caused the disappearance of the " B " by aspiration, the usual short " i " sound has been inserted after the " d," and the stress, if not at first on the ultimate, has been shifted to it as in many other Manx names. A transitional form is Crideene in the Malew Parish Register, 1668.

MacGilbrid has not survived, unless its deliberate transformation into Bridson may be called a survival. The " McGybrayce " of the German Computus, 1541, looks like an attempt to render its sound, and it is certainly seen in the obsolete Molleyvridey which is popularly supposed to have been one of " the seven Molleys " of the Island — there were, in fact, many more than seven — and which occurs in the folk-tale of " The Lazy Wife," collected by the late Miss Sophia Morrison, and related in her Manx Fairy Tales (Nutt). In Perthshire it is still McIlvrede. With this as with other Celtic and Scandinavian names there is no absolute certainty that it did not reach Man from the North of England. Ghilebrid was a Domesday landholder, and names beginning with Gil and Thor are fairly frequent. Calybrid (" Handmaid of Bridget ") was a Manx female Christian name, though in the first Manorial Roll it is assigned to a young man [fpc ? female in pub version]. But Bredg, Brech, Brych, Brid and similar extinct surnames of the 16th and 17th centuries were common at the same period in Lancashire, and the vowel in each case may be taken as short.

Creetch, never numerous, but far from obsolete to-day, occurs in the Abbey Rent Rolls for Arbory as MacCreche in 1540 and in those for Braddan as Crytche in 1611. This is in all probability the name given by Woulfe, Irish Names and Surnames, as MacCreech, etc., and explained as a corruption of Mac Aonghuis via Mac Raois. (Mac Aonghuis is already thought to be represented in the Isle of Man by Kennish, by the way). But it may be remarked that a " William Chrech . . . of the city of Chester " figures in an Indenture of 1503 transcribed in Oliver's Monumenta and in Cumming's Rushen Castle. For the blank left by Oliver after the word "Chrech " Cumming has " Theykman," which may be a mis-reading of " The Yle Man " or " Thisleman," a type of contraction for " The Isle of Man " frequently found in the 16th century. I have not seen the original document, but if this conjecture is correct, the date is too early for mac to have fallen off and to be represented only by an initial " C," and Chrech, or Chreech as Cumming prints it, must be the Somerset name which is still extant in nearly the same form as the Manx one.

Casement, though it happens to have coincided with an English word, is generally agreed to be the Norse personal name Asmundr, to which Gaelic speakers prefixed mac. MacFirbis's Tract on the Norsemen and Fomorians has, in the pedigree of the clan McLeod, " Magnus of the Swift Ship " (Magnus Barefoot, King of Man circa 1100)," son of Aralt " (Harald Gille), " son of Asmant " (Asmundr). This pedigree is by no means gospel ; but the name was doubtless popular at an early period, and the objections to it as having fathered Casement are not serious. One is that, so far as I have seen, the antecedents of the modern Casement have an initial " C " from their first appearance. MacCasmonde occurs in 1429 ; (Mx. Soc. publications, vol. iii., page 78). In 1510 a MacCasmund who lived near Grenaby was fined for fighting with three other people, one a woman. Probably he was an unwelcome stranger from the North of the Island, where the name was then fairly common and has since had its home. Then there is a floating belief of a traditional nature among the Northern parishes that " the Casements came from France." This is alleged of one or two other Manx families also, which have certainly done nothing to deserve it; perhaps the notion has spread from the one authentic case, that of Lamothe. Burke, in his Landed Gentry of Ireland, 1912, makes the same statement. However that may be, it was from Ramsey, according to Burke, that a branch migrated to Ulster in the prior part of the 18th century, the first member of which was Hugh Casement, who married there in 1740. The family afterwards settled at Magherintemple, but intercourse was evidently maintained with the Isle of Man, since Roger, son of Hugh, married Catherine, the daughter of Julius Cosnahan of Peel. His grandson, of Magherintemple, is the last Roger mentioned by Burke. The name may be remembered by its prominence in different ways before and during the recent war [Roger Casement - executed by British for treason in 1917 though regarded by Irish as a patriot and pre-war a great reformer].

The old Somerset name of Stowell became domiciled in the Isle of Man at a period too remote for either the date or the circumstances of its arrival to be known, but the brief Montacute régime at the end of the 14th century may have been the means of introducing a West of England retainer or official. The name, which is equivalent to " stonewell," is derived from the original home of the family in South-East Somerset. The Herald's Visitation of the county in 1623 carries their pedigree back to a Sir Ralph Stowell who lived there before the Conquest, twenty generations prior to their removal to Cothelstone in West Somerset. Such long and unbroken descents are not always to be accepted as flawless, but there is no doubt about the origin of the surname or the early importance of the family. At the beginning of the 17th century, simultaneously with their own extension into the South of Ireland, the Stowells formed an alliance with the Audleys, Earls of Castletownhaven, Co. Cork, who were intimately connected with the Stanleys ; but as this came about long subsequent to the presence of Stowells in Man, it will suffice to refer the reader to Seacombe's House of Stanley, page 12, or any similar work. The arms of Stowell or Stowell were " gules, a cross lozengy argent " ; that the arms of Rushen Abbey were also a cross lozengy is no doubt an accidental coincidence — the Braddyls of Lancashire bore the same countercharged ; the inference is merely that the English Stowells had had ecclesiastical connexions of some kind prior to the granting of the arms. The crest was a bird with wings displayed, standing on a cap of maintenance. The late author of A Quantock Family was unable, with the aid of the late Canon Stowell's son, to prove positively the original identity of the English and Manx families, notwithstanding the latter's possession of a deed dated 1622, belonging to the Devon branch of the Somerset Stowells, or to trace the Manx Stowells farther back than 1730, for lack of ordered documents. Reference to the Manorial Roll shows the name as MacStoile and MacStole in 1510, chiefly in Lonan. In 1611 Stoell and Stoall were Monastery tenants in Malew. Former spellings of the name in England were Stoell and Stowee ; Thomas Stoyll was Master of Clare College, Cambridge, in 1466.

The family of Patten originated in Essex, whence the main stock removed to Wainfleet in Lincolnshire and began to make Lancashire and Cheshire alliances. In the 15th century it threw out a Bishop of Winchester and Lord Chancellor, William Patten alias Waynflete, and his brother John, a Dean of Chichester. A younger son, Humphrey, settled in Warrington in 1536, and a great grandson of his, Anthony, born in 1601, settled in the Isle of Man, where he died in 1641 leaving one son, Cæsar. Cæsar Patten, with another man, stood a surety for the legality of a marriage at Malew Church in 1674. Margaret Patten (presumably his daughter) married " Sir" John Parr, afterwards Vicar of Rushen and Rector of Ballaugh, in 1687 at the same church, where their daughter Ellen was baptised in 1689. The last three events are recorded in the Parish Register. In the purchase in 1666 from the Earl of Derby of the tithes, etc., of the Manor of Bispham and the farm of Methop in the Fylde, lands which had so long and curious a connexion with the Isle of Man, one of Bishop Barrow's assigns was Thomas Patten, probably the representative of the Warrington line whose grand-daughter married Bishop Wilson. From Bishop Wilson the family inherited when their son Thomas Wilson, Prebendary of Westminster and Chaplain to George II., married his cousin Mary Patten. The same line also provided a wife for John Murray, Esq., of the Isle of Man, whose son John was Ambassador to Constantinople circa 1768. They were also connected with the Drinkwaters. A pedigree specially compiled by the Somerset and Lancaster Heralds is given by Gregson in his Portfolio of Fragments, folios 190-3. Paton as a forename occurs twice in the Manorial Roll, but this is long prior to that spelling of Patten, and Thomas Paton in the Bursar's Rent Roll of Cockersand Abbey in 1451 was probably one of a local family of Peytons unrelated to the Pattens.

6. The Skillicornes.

A good example of those living names whose English origins have been forgotten is that selected by T. E. Brown in his prelude to " Betsy Lee " as being the most typically Manx of any. Whatever may be said of " Cain, Karran, Kewish supreme," "supremest Skillicorn " has its earliest representative, so far as I have followed it up, in William Skillingkorne or Skilinghorne, a tenant-at-will on the land of the Earl of Lancaster at Skerton, to whom he paid a tenth of 36s. 82d. in the year 1346, as recorded in an Extract of the Earl's Lands for that year. He had also a messuage or dwelling-house in the adjacent town of Lancaster in 1348, previously occupied by the owner of another familiar Anglo-Manx name, Robert de Radeclyve (Minister's Account of the Lands of the E. of L., 1348). Adam de Skilycorne, who was probably a son of William, since the Lancaster property descended through him, was for many years Coroner of the County of Lancaster. The office involved romantic adventures from which present-day Coronerships are happily free, for while passing through a place called Depedale Wood (now Deepdale, for the wood has disappeared), in Kirkham parish, in the year 136o, he was waylaid and shot at — with bow-and-arrow, of course — by John le Botiller of Merton. The. Butlers were a local Norman-English family of whom the great Irish Butlers were an offshoot; Henry Boteler was Constable of Peel Castle in 1379. In consequence of this attack (for which, however, the Butler influence was strong enough to obtain a free pardon), Adam was granted in the following year a licence to take an armed bodyguard with him while travelling in pursuance of his public duties. He was evidently a man of wealth and varied interests ; he owned a fishery in the Ribble at Penwortham, together with land there at a yearly rent of six marks, and leased an estate called Hoddesdon for which he paid the Duchy £2 6s. 8d. per annum.

Somewhere between 1350 and 1356 he was granted the stewardship of the property and marriage of John son and heir of William de Prees, then holder or the Manor or Prees near Kirkham in the Fylde ; and eventually he manoeuvred Prees into the hands or his own family. An Inquisitio post mortem taken at Wigan in 1535 on Richard Skillicorne states that Adam had enjoyed Prees during his lifetime and that it had descended through his posterity to Richard. Possibly " Adam " should read " Edmund," his son, whose sister Margery married a de Prees, whether John the ward is not stated ; but that the property was acquired by marriage appears to be attested by an Inquisition or 1401 on Margery de Prees (nëe Skillicorne), which names William Skillicorn as her heir. Adam figures in the deeds or the Moore family or Liverpool as a witness to a Lancaster grant in 1381, and in the same year he paid 20s. rent to the Duke of Lancaster. As a new Coroner was elected in 1384 this was probably the year of Adam's death, and Prees descended to his son Edmund.

At Prees the family was seated until the 17th century, and their name begins to appear more frequently in documents. For several generations they held the Coronership or the Hundred or Amounderness. The signature or John Skillicorne, variously spelt (son or the second William), occurs as that or a witness in five Inquisitions between 1447 and 1469. In 1456 Archdeacon Lawrence Bothe, afterwards Archbishop or York, renewed a licence for the custody of the Chapel of Singleton to John Skillicorne or Kirkham, Esq., during pleasure. An Inquisitio post mortem taken at Kirkham in 1479 upon John's estate shows that he died seized or the Manor or Prees and much land and houses in Preston, Newton and Warton, also or property in Lancaster and Skerton. In the Close Rolls this John appears thrice as a witness to grants, and is entitled " armiger," the equivalent or " Esq." In 1514 (his son ?) William Skelicorn and Agnes his wife surrendered land and houses in Maghull to Matthias Lount for £20. An Inquisition taken at Wigan in 1535 after the death of Richard Skillicorn, John's grandson, shows him possessed or l00 messuages or 600 acres, which included the Lancaster and Skerton property. Richard's heir was another Nicholas, and it is probably his son William who is alluded to in a copyist's note in the Kirkham Records or the Thirty Men as " Mr. Skillicorn . . . a powerful person in the town at this time ; " in 1587, that is to say. Among the Moore MSS. there are ten documents containing the name or Skillicorne. Besides that or 1381, previously mentioned, the will of Wm. Moore or Bankhouse, Kirkdale, 1537, contains the following clause :- "I will that myn executors shall take yerely the yssues Rents & pfetts of certen or my lands & ten'ts acordyng to a Lease to theym thereof made to pay all suche my dettes as I shall fortune to ough unto Nicholas my Son-in-Law for the maryage of my Doghter his wyfe at the tyme of my deceasse & other my legacyes." The reference appears to be to the marriage portion or Margaret Moore, wife or Nicholas. There is a grant or lands in Prees by Nicholas to the Moores of Liverpool in 1540, and another by him in 1545 to John Sowtheworthe and others, in which latter it appears that Nicholas had then contracted to marry Elizabeth Houghton, having evidently lost his first wife. The Southworths were successors of the Sammlesburys (modern Manx Sansbury), at Sammlesbury Hall, and had been in temporary possession of Prees in the 14th century during the lifetime of Adam Skillicorne. In 1549 an Inventory of the late Nicholas's effects, chiefly household goods and farm stock, valued them at £271 6s. 10d., a considerable sum in those days. In 1558 a Grant in Tarbock has Will. Scylicorn (son of Nicholas) as a. witness. In 1562 an Arbitration was held upon disputes over Nicholas's will, his brother-in-law Robert Moore having failed in his duty as executor ; John Moore of the Bankhouse, near Liverpool, Robert's brother, has to pay John Skelycorne, the. heir, £240, in instalments " upon the font stone of Prescot Church." In 1571 a Conveyance was made by John Moore of the Bankhouse of property in Walton, Kirkdale and elsewhere, to William Skyllicorne of Prees, Esq., and others.

William, the last noteworthy member of the family, married, like his father, a Houghton. Both. he and his wife Elizabeth, remained faithful to the Roman Catholic Church, and were accordingly accused of recusancy before the Lord of the Privy Council in February, 1575 ; yet in the previous year William had furnished material for the great Military Muster, and in 1586 his name appears as that of a Magistrate in a list of Lancashire gentlemen pledging themselves to defend Queen Elizabeth against her presumed popish enemies. His patriotism evidently prevailed over his theoretical views of the Papal Supremacy. Further, in 1588 he figured among the " gentlemen of the best calling [reputation], within the Countye of Lancaster " who were chosen to lend money upon privy seal to Her Majesty. William Skillicorne died in 1601, and was buried in the Clifton Chapel at Kirkham. Besides being Lord of the Manor of Prees he owned land in Weeton-cum-Prees, Newton-cum-Scales, Thistleton, Warton and other places in West Lancashire. His son and heir Nicholas, then aged 31, who had only a life interest in the Manor, married Alice, daughter of Thomas Hesketh of Rufford, Knight, and had issue seven sons and an unspecified number of daughters. " It is very probable that on his death the property was sold and the family ceased to hold the position which for centuries it had done. The name still lingers in the district, but after the early part of the 17th century all traces of the Skillicornes of Prees are lost." Thus Fishwick ; but the Manor must have been alienated before William's death, since his son had only a life interest. The reason is obscure, but it was to the Heskeths that Prees, after passing through various hands, eventually came.

In a MS. of 1662, copied in 1790 but now lost, relating to burials in the private chapel of the Clifton family at Kirkham, occurs the following passage : — ' In the Clifton Quyre . . . 1601, Mr. Skillicorn. When the ould man died and was to be buried, Seth Woods of Kirkham and another with him stood at Mr. Clifton's Quyre door to keep them from making a grave, and Wm. Hul of Singleton did run at the door with a piece of wood and break it open — how it ended is forgotten, but he was buried there . . . 1604, ould Dorothie Skillicorne, Mr. S's daughter. 1602, Mr. Skillicorne his wife, Mr. Skillicorne his son." So husband, wife, son and daughter all died within four years, and the estate passed away to strangers.

Thus we see the Skillicorne family first emerging into the light of written record — under that name, at least — in and about the town of Lancaster ; migrating in the next generation Southward to the Fylde, where the main stock possessed Prees for two and a half centuries, retaining their Lancaster property and gradually extending their interests as far as Liverpool; amassing land and houses and exerting an influence in county affairs; then, as though at a single stroke of fate, sudden and unexplained, losing their lands and disappearing from view. A reason is discoverable, however, and I shall advert to it farther on. They appear to have put forth no branches of whom any record exists except that in the Isle of Man, which I assume to have consisted of a single immigrant household or individual in the early days of the Stanley régime. [see name in 1428 Garrison Roll]

So much concerning this ancient and extinct Lancashire family may be pieced together from the following sources, in addition to those already named Records of the Duchy of Lancaster, Lancs. Inquests, Towneley's Abstracts, Close Rolls, Lay Subsidies, Patent Rolls, Fishwick's Kirkham, Baines's Lancashire, Gregson's Fragments. The name occurs in the parish registers of Wigan, Leigh and Standish in the 16th and early 17th centuries, and doubtless in other Lancashire registers. A stray member, whether of the Manx or English stock does not appear, figures in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Goodbegot, in Winchester, in 1537, when Johannes Skyllycorne, capmaker and citizen of Winchester, was with other tradesmen arraigned for assaulting and battering a fellow-citizen and putting him in prison for ten days. Moore's Manx Worthies contains an account of Capt. Henry Skillicorn of Bristol, born in Lonan, who was the pioneer of Cheltenham's development into a fashionable watering-place. As his son William died childless in 1803, the family is now represented there only by the descendants of William's sister Elizabeth, the eldest of whom took the name of Skillicorne on inheriting William's estate. Goding's History of Cheltenham contains two amusing woodcuts of the town before and after Capt. Skillicorne's improvements. King's History of the town also alludes to his enterprise. But the only true homes of the name have been Prees and Man.

A little further light is thrown on the subject by the various Heralds' Visitations of Lancashire. Flower, 1567, gives a fragmentary pedigree of four generations of " Skillicorne of Preece " ; from which he omits two intervening generations through confusing the two Nicholases. In Flower's Langton pedigree Richard Skillicorn of Skyllycorne (sic), marries Isabella, daughter of Rauf Langton, Baron of Newton and Lord of Walton, Co. Lancaster. This 15th century alliance connects the Skillicornes with Sir Edward Stanley, Lord Monteagle, recorded as father of Thomas Stanley, Bishop of Sodor and Man. In St. George's Visitation, 1613, Skillicornes appear in the pedigrees of Rogerley, Calverley, and Preston. The marriage of Wm. Skillicorne with Elizabeth Preston may furnish another link with the Stanleys, since her elder sister, unnamed, married in 1613, and Lord Monteagle married an Ellen Preston in that year. In Dugdale's Visitation (1665) a Skillicorne of Prees marries George Livesay of Sutton in the middle of the 16th century. In Foster's Grantees of Arms there is a confirmation in 1629 to Robert Jadewine, son and heir of Thos. J., of London, and Lucy, daughter of John Skillicorne " of Preshall, co. Lanes., armiger," which seems to show that some of the family continued to live in the locality after the Manor House had passed from their possession. This rather contradicts the assertion in a footnote in the Derby Household Book, relating to the Moore-Skillicorne marriage, that " William Skillicorne's family seems to have disappeared in 1613." Prees Hall still stands, I believe, but the Manor House was almost destroyed by fire in 1732. It is significant, however, of the family's decline, that neither of the two later visiting heralds, St. George and Dugdale, gives a pedigree.

The Skillicornes were entitled to bear arms. In Foster's Feudal Coats of Arms, taken from the Edward III. Roll, a Skillithorne or Shillithorne coat is given which differs from those in three other authorities. As the latter are approximately in agreement I quote their blazoning for Skillicorne of Prees : " Sable, a cross chequy (or compony) or and azure between four garbs or " ; in ordinary language; on a black field a cross of gold-and-blue checks, with a golden wheatsheaf in each angle. The wheatsheaves rather suggest that the family originally held land under the Earl of Chester , the cross that they had been associated with the Crusades, either actively or by a generous contribution, or else that they had ecclesiastical connexions. Berry's Heraldica Britannica mentions Yorkshire as well as Lancashire in connection with the name, but I think that is an error. His crest for Skillicorne, Lanes., is " a raven's head, erased proper."

The link between the English and the Manx Skillicorns may lie hidden in an old will or other personal document. Early immigrants from England to the Island were likely to be obscure younger sons in search of a livelihood who received little or no notice from genealogists and family historians. The first Manx Skillicorns seem to have been connected with the Church. I have a note of a priest in the Island in 1449 named Sir William Skillicorne, and a Sir Phillip is recorded as a Vicar and Commissioner in 1499. It was in 1456, as remarked above, that John Skillicorne, an eldest son, was granted the custody of Singleton Chapel. In 1510 there were three persons, presumably representing three families, of the name, in the parishes of Conchan and Arbory ; one a tenant of land, another of a cottage, and the third a woman fined for brawling. Since then the name has spread Northward without extending from the East side of the Island at which it must have entered. A Manx continuation of the Skillicorn pedigree should be feasible, when the subject of Insular genealogies receives the attention it deserves. Their collapse was probably due in a large measure to their staunch adherence to the Catholic faith. In the latter part of Elizabeth's reign such " recusancy," as it was called, was legally a crime punishable with imprisonment, and with forfeiture of possessions or with heavy fines which amounted to the same thing. If the offence could be construed as sedition the penalty was death. Lancashire, so conservative in many ways, was a stronghold of Catholicism then and for long afterwards ; great families set an example to the lower classes, and the Skillicorns were merely typical of many of their neighbours. The Standishes of both Standish and Duxbury, the Vaux, the Towneleys, the Radcliffes, the Molyneux, the Bryches, the Gerrards (which is Garrett), the Maghulls (Richard Maghull of Maghull, who died in 1547, was Forester of the Isle of Man), the Tyldesleys with their henchmen the Shakerleys or Shackladys who bore the same arms (Shakerley is a hamlet in Tyldesley township), and others, all once of more or less weight in Manx affairs, remained devout Catholics and figure on the Recusant Rolls of circa 1597. The Moores of Liverpool turned Protestant pretty early and were inclined towards Puritanism, a predilection which intensified the feud between them and the Catholic Norrises of Speke. The Skillicorns were specially singled out for persecution with a cross against their name in Lord Burghley's list of Catholic families which he prepared for the Queen in 1590. They had already been haled before the Privy Council ; six years later William Skillicorn, the head of the family, was reported for giving shelter to a priest, and in 1592 was heavily penalised for having employed a recusant schoolmaster in his house at Prees. That the misgivings of Elizabeth and her ministers were not groundless is supported by the fact that a landing from part of the Armada was looked for in Morecambe Bay, as well as in Man. Those interested in this phase of the Reformation, which had its repercussion in the Island, may consult an article in the Fourth Miscellany of the Catholic Record Society, from which some of the foregoing details are taken.

As for the Stanleys, the hub of the Lancashire wheel, the following extracts from the Calendar of Dominion Papers, Addenda, between the years 1571 and 1593, illustrate, so far as they are trustworthy, the attitude of the family in the current of events. Henry Simpson of Darlington, in his examination before Sir Thos. Gargrave and others, deposed that " he heard Richard — , the Earl of Derby's man, who came over as cook a year since to Lord Morley, say that the Earl cast great guns in the Isle of Man to help for the Religion, and had Mass said, and twelve beadmen in his house " ; headmen being dependants who prayed for the welfare of the family. If the Earl of Derby cast cannon in his Island, where did he do it ? Perhaps in Peel Castle. " One cut across the end of the Tilting Ground exposed the remains of a large furnace which had evidently been used for melting iron, and is of sufficient size to suggest that it was connected with a foundry for casting big cannon-balls, if not cannon." (Proc. of the Nat. Hist. and Antiq. Soc., 1., n.s., Feb., 1911 [also vol 4 p165].) In another Report, " there has been a design since last Easter to steal the Queen of Scots, as also to take her to the Isle of Man." That is, of course, to liberate her from captivity. Picton, in his History of Liverpool, i., 57, says : " In the same year (1571), the conspirators under the Duke of Norfolk, in their plans for the escape of Mary Queen of Scots, ` had a device to carie the Quene of Scots away to the seaside, and then to have a shippe redy about Lyrpole, or some such place in Lancashire.' " The presence of Mary would have added romance even to Castle Rushen's history ; but it is more likely that the intention was to take her to France. A letter among the Dominion Papers from Anthony Atkinson to Lord Cecil (Burghley) informs him of the doings of priests in the North of England: " . . . Richard Tailler of Lonsdale in Cartmel has a boat in which he conveys priests and bad persons to the Isle of Man or Scotland when any search is made." With these extracts may be compared pages 76 to 85, vol. iii., of Oliver's Monumenta.

7. The Scarffes.

The name Scarffe has never been a common one either in the Isle of Man or elsewhere, but in its history it is so typical of other Anglo-Manx surnames that a short account of it may perhaps be of interest. It is of ancient standing in the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire, in Lincolnshire and in Norfolk, where it seems to have been confused with Scarth, which occurs rather more frequently. Scarth, Scard, de Scarth, are found in Yorkshire in the 12th and 13th centuries as grantors of land to monasteries, and are, with Scurff and Scarf, topographical names in the North and East Ridings. Scarborough was formerly Scardeborough. Barber, in his British Family Names, equates Scarffe with the German, Danish and Dutch Scharf ; and Scharf certainly occurs once in the Lincolnshire portion of the Hundred Rolls.

Confining myself henceforward to Scarffe alone, I may mention a few sporadic occurrences of this extremely rare name. Hugh Scarf, fisherman, was a Freeman of York about 1300 ; in the Church Registry of Pocklington, between York and Hull, for 1602, John Scarf is credited with 6d. for repairing the ducking-stool; and a Thomas Scaff (which may, however, stand for Scaife) is named in Flower's Visitation of Yorkshire, 1563-4, no date or locality being given. Yorkshire Wills also yield a few instances of the name.

In the Isle of Man Scarffe has long been peculiar to Lonan, and even there is less common now than formerly. It would be difficult to find in the parish registers of a century ago a Scarffe who lived in a country district outside Garff Sheading — one might almost say outside Lonan parish. The earliest of the family on record are William Skerffe and Michael McSkerffe, members of the Keys in 1408 (Oliver, Mon., ii., 248). From the positions in which their names occur in the list it may be inferred that they both lived in the South of the Island. William or a name-sake is found again in the Legislatures of 1417, 1422 and 1429, and is described as one of " the eldest and worthiest of all the Lande of Man." The McSkerffes in 1511 held land amounting to one-ninth of the parish of Lonan. But at the same date a Donald McSkerff paid for a portion of Ronaldsway a rent considerably greater than that of any of the Skerff holdings in Lonan ; and the name survived in the South in the 17th century. It seems probable that the family, like so many other English families, first settled in the neighbourhood of Castletown, where they are found a century before the date of the Roll, and afterwards acquired land in the treen of Swarthawe, Lonan. Ballaskirroo, which is situated in this treen, evidently contains the surname, the final " ff " being aspirated just as in tarroo, a bull, for the Irish tarbh, familiar in " Clontarf," near Dublin. Ballaskirroo or Skerrow was spelt Ballaskerff so late as the Setting Quest of 1704, but was Ballyskiroo in 1747. Very likely there existed, as I believe to have been the case with certain surnames, an official and a popular form concurrently.

One would expect to find the surname follow the same phonetic law, and though I have never heard it thus pronounced, I find a James Skerrow in Lonan Parish Register for 1733 ; earlier dates of this Register than 1718 are unfortunately not extant. Oddly enough, Skerrow occurs with some frequency in the North of England ; e.g., in the Lancashire Military Muster of 1574, in the Forest of Pendle rental about 1662, and in the Parish Register of Bingley, Yorkshire, for 1602. It is also in the Oxford University Register for 1528.

While speaking of Oxford it seems worth while to mention a certain Johannes de Scurf, a medieval student there, in case he is the first Scarffe whose exploits have been handed down to us. One summer evening in the year 1297, after the hour of Curfew, he, with two companions, one a Welshman, rioted through the narrow thoroughfares of the city with swords and bows and arrows. After a wayfarer had been slain by an arrow (not de Skurf's), a hue and cry was raised. The three worthies thereupon took to their heels, and as the Coroner's Inquest could find neither them nor any goods of theirs to confiscate, they may be said to have enjoyed their rag and got away with it.

It was not until some of the English Scarffes became Welsh Scarffes that they attained the dignity of a recorded family tree. The branch which they, like so many other Northerners, stretched into South Wales, seems to have formed an advantageous association with the family of Devereux, Earls of Essex; and in the latter part of the 16th century Rhys ap Ffylip Scarffe, or Ysgarf in its Welsh shape, occupied — probably as steward or agent to Robert, the second Earl — Lamphey Palace in Pembrokeshire, which for 300 years had been the residence of the Bishops of St. David's, a magnificent building of which the ruins are still beautiful. The first recorded member of this particular branch, Sir Trystan, wedded a Thimbleby of Yernams (now Irnham) Hall and Thimbleby, both in Lincolnshire. After the next three representatives had allied themselves with Maning, Verne (Verney or Vernon ?) and Lyttleton respectively, comes the marriage of Sir Richard Scarffe to a daughter of Sir John Egerton of Egerton Hall, Cheshire. Their heir, entered, rather questionably I think, as in the direct line of descent, was " David Scarff o Vanaw, gent." —i.e., D.S. of the Isle of Man. He married Ann, daughter of Sir Richard Fletcher of Wirrall, founder of the Fletcher family of Bangor, in whose pedigree " Davydd Ysgarf o Vanaw " duly appears. No dates are given in either case, but David must have flourished towards the middle of the 16th century.

These Fletchers were a branch of the Lancashire and Cumberland family once influential in the Island, where they left their name on Ballafletcher , they failed eventually into the Cæsars, and they in the same way into the Bacons. The Bangor Fletchers intermarried with the Bithells, with " Chiaret " (Gerrard and Garrett), of Cheshire, and with the inevitable Stanleys, this time the Hooton stock, from which the Knowsley Stanleys were an offshoot. The Lancashire ap Ithells or Bithells came from North Wales ; Robert ap Ithell appears as Receiver for the Northern parishes in the first Manorial Roll. The Gerrards of Lancashire and Cheshire, who were related to the Standishes, Norrises, Radcliffes, etc., were also intimately connected with the Island, and members of the family filled the Governorship on five occasions in less than 50 years from 1592.

David Scarffe's son Philip (to adhere to English spellings) is described as " of Caermarthen," and it was Philip's youngest son Rhys Scarffe who occupied Lamphey. Rhys' son William married a Glamorgan woman, and their son John was living in 16o8. Rhys's daughter Anne married the eminent London publisher

Humphrey Toye of Caermarthen, and her name appeared on his monument recently removed from the Caermarthen church of St. Peter. From wills quoted in the Transactions of the Caermarthenshire Antiquarian Society it is evident that the family removed from Lamphey to the Caermarthen neighbourhood, where Rhys Philip Scarffe and his widow are traceable down to 1626. After this the name appears to have died out.

The Scarffe descent is given in Lewys Dwnn's 16th century collection of Welsh pedigrees, which do not require more than a smattering of the language to understand them. " He entered on his Roll of Honour the names of those he considered sufficiently well-born to claim attention from the Kings-at-Arms." With his Scarffe pedigree may be compared one from a different source in Laws' Little England, which omits the earlier entries but is fuller in the later ones. The two are inconsistent in details, and neither is more infallible than similar compilations of that era ; but Dwnn's information was received from and signed by Rhys Scarffe himself. A third draft, coeval with Dwnn's, is among the Additional MSS. in the British Museum, and a fourth is indexed in the Lansdowne MSS. there, but I know nothing further of it.

The Thimblebys settled in Harlech in 1576, and Sir Richard T., who removed thither " for the sake of the sport," like any modern golfer, is buried in the chapel of St. Mary Magdalen ; but the Scarffe-Thimbleby alliance must have been contracted in the second half of the 14th century, which probably implies that the Scarffes, like the Thimblebys, were then in Lincolnshire. The name of Philip, father of Rhys Scarffe of Lamphey, also turns up in the pedigree of Davies of Somerset, previously of Caermarthen, (Visitation of Somerset), in which his daughter marries Lewis Davies. Here he is curiously styled " alias Moore," but I think this should apply to his daughter, who appears to have been married before.

If David Scarffe were the next of kin, called in to supply the want of a male heir, it would imply that connexions had been maintained between the English and the Manx Scarffes after the latter had established themselves in the Island ; that is to say, for at least a century.

What became of the Caermarthen Scarffes is something of a mystery. They were prolific in sons, yet nothing further is heard of them after 1626. Indeed, the surviving MS. archives of the town do not mention any member of the family during their residence there. It survived for a while in Laugharne, but the name is now quite forgotten in South Wales.

For the Scarffe coat of arms Dwnn gives : " Azure, a swan proper, a border engrailed or and argent, two bars azure." The swan is presumably argent. A Chetham Library MS. (in Laws' " Little England "), has more plausibly: " Sable, an eagle displayed argent, armed and crowned or." In the North of England and the Isle of Man the shag or cormorant, properly the green cormorant, is called a scarf ; for example, the Manx name of the Shag Rock near Port St. Mary is Creg ny Scarroo ; and it is possible that the ambiguous bird of the Scarffe coat was, in its original form, an allusion to this sense of the word, without at all implying that such is the true meaning of the surname. A fishing mark at Scarlet called Thie Scarroo probably embodies the surname, and may serve to identify the intack called Scarffes Croft in the Lord's Composition Book, prior to 1703. Fishermen are a conservative clan.

8. Flexney or Flaxney.

The first bearer of this name in the Isle of Man that I have met with is " Will. fflaxen," a private soldier in Chaloner's small garrison at Castletown in 1659.* In the valuation of the goods of a William Flexney at his death in 1695 the amount was but £5 5s. od. (MS. in Registry of Deeds). William Flexney, as attorney for a Dr. Norris, entered a petition in 1699 concerning some stolen brandy (MS. in Registry of Deeds). A William Flexney had a seat in Douglas Chapel in 1735, and in 1743, as churchwarden, he presented a man to the Rev. John Cosnahan for repairing a ship in Douglas Harbour on a Sunday (Manx Museum Journal, Nos. 51, 49).

After dying out as a surname, Flexney survived, in the form of Flaxney, as a forename, just as Caesar did.

It has, however, been almost confined to a single family, the Stowells of Castletown, who inherited it by intermarriage.

This slender Manx offshoot of the Flexneys had a not much more substantial stem in England, where the name originated. For several centuries it was almost entirely limited to a small area West of Oxford, where it was borne by yeomen, and to Oxford City, where tradesmen of the name were prominent in civic life. At its place of origin the first recorded member was Stephen de Flexneta (which should probably read " Flexneia "), who held land in 1212 on the Oxfordshire bank of the Thames at a spot called Ramsey, just South of Bablockhithe (Feet of Fines, Oxford Rec. Soc.). In 1273 John de Flexneye held land and a share in a mill at Standlake not far away, and other land at Bablock (Hundred Rolls). In Oxford, Richard Flaxney witnessed a deed in 1349 Richard Flexney was a City tax-collector in 1513. A Richard Flexney, fish-monger, must have been a prosperous man, for he paid 9s. in the Lay Subsidy Rolls, 1524. He was an Alderman, and was buried in 1535 in St. Martin's, Carfax, which church benefited by his will (Wood's Oxford). Ralph Flaxeney was a City Councillor in 1531 ; Richard Flaxon was a bailiff in 1543, Ralph Flaxney was Mayor in 1552-53 ; Rauff Flexney, a gentleman of the City of Oxford, was granted arms and a crest in 1592. (Liber Albus Civitatis, ed. Ellis and Salter ; Selections from the Records of Oxford, ed. Turner). Wood's Oxford has a partial pedigree, and the arms: — Azure, a fess between two fleur-de-lys or. Crest, a hound sable sitting on a mount vert. Thomas Flaxen was a defendant in a claim for a tenement called the White Horse and another adjoining, in the parish of St. Mary Magdalen in the suburbs. (Proceedings in Chancery, temp. Eliz.). Edmund Flexney was a brewer in 1610, William was a barber to the University in 1653. About the time of the appearance of William fflaxen in the Isle of Man the hereditary name was evidently William. A William was baptised at St. Michael's in North Oxford in 1574 ; another in 1612 ; in 1672 a William was a member of Magdalen College. Judging by the Registers, the family lived in the parish of St. Michael. How came one of their members to stray so far as the Isle of Man ? If William fflaxen was not the first of his name in Castletown, possibly the earlier Stanleys of Eynsham, six miles West of Oxford, had something to do with it, since they were collateral with the Manx Stanleys.

In the country West of Oxford the name is recognizable as Flexne, Flexoll, Flackson, etc., in the Parish Registers, chiefly that of Stanton Harcourt, where Katharine in 1740 is about the last. There were then Flaxons in Charlbury also. Outside this narrow area, even in the surrounding Oxfordshire and Berkshire parishes, the name has always remained extremely rare. The London Post-Office Directory does not show it. The form Flexon appears in a recent Oxford Directory, but the name has not been continuous there in any form, and is very seldom noticeable anywhere else. The Stanton Harcourt and the Oxford Flexneys seem to have been no more than two or three families, and to have died out in the 18th century. To judge by the records, their end came about through excess of female issue, of whom two at least went away to be married in London, where there was an 18th-century printer of the name. At Stanton Harcourt the name is perpetuated in that of an old farmhouse called " Flexneys," and in the same village another house, partially Tudor, contains a table bearing an incised inscription, " T. Flexney, his frame, 1668."

* The Stanleys had kept up a larger establishment. According to a " List of all Soldiers and Munitions in Castle Rushen and Peel Castle " in 1586-88, plus the " other serviceable men in the Island," there were 41 horsemen, 18 calliver men, 286 bowmen, and 357 billmen ; total 702 (Lancs. Funeral Certificates, Chetham Soc.). Not a contemptible little army for the size of the Island, when the Territorials were called up.


The foregoing pages, originally intended for the first Scrapbook, have been in type since 1928. To avoid a considerable amount of resetting this note is placed here instead of where it belongs.

Page 33. A Petition by Luke Macquyn to Henry IV, which resulted in the Grant to MacQuyn cited by Oliver (Monuments, ii. 225), appears in the Catalogue of Documents relating to Scotland, vol. iv. (Record Office), where its source is given as the Chancery Files. The document itself, which is badly mutilated, is calendared as follows

26 December, 1403. Petition by Luce Macquyn of the Isle of Man, Scholar, that the King would grant him for life from 26th December . . . the . . . in said Isle of Man in his hands by forfeiture of Sir William le Scrope, chivaler, late lord of the island . . . payable by the lords or kings of the island.

The Latin text of the Grant follows. As Oliver's translation of it is not wholly satisfactory, a fresh one may be attempted : —

The King (etc.), greeting. Know that of our special grace we have granted to Luke MacQuyn of the Isle of Man, Scholar, a certain almoign called particles in the aforesaid Island, said to be vacant and appearing to be in our gift, which almoign was given and granted in perpetuity by our ancestors the former Kings of England for the support of certain poor scholars of the aforesaid Island (and) for the administration* of schools, (and) that we accept the same Luke as holding the almoign aforesaid for so long as he shall administer the schools and shall not be promoted to an ecclesiastical benefice . . . 26th day of December, (1403). By the King himself.

* Or possibly "upgrowth," reading excrescendo.


index next

Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2002