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lighted; and candles
otherwise a death in
mine for“ owd mon Castleton (Derbysh.).
in last“ corf” or basket
pit before the holidays - Northumberland.
clay on circular plat-
lighted candles in box or
and boys separately Cornwall (Penrith).
Manchester Cathedral. Cathedral a blaze of light,
Sunday before Christmas Ripon Cathedral.
W First Foot on Christmas Morning.
Christmas Day as well
Christmas Eve must
Woman must not enter
East Yorksh., Derbysh.,
North Riding, Sivaledale,
and General. Light or red hair unlucky North Derbysh., Shef
merry Christmas by fair
arranged ; if not, first
East and West Ridings.
coin (to ensure luck),
Pickering, Whitby, East
answered; "bread, salt,
and groat” given East Riding. First Foot enters by front door, leaves by back - North Derbysh., Shef
Oswestry, Herefordsh. No one may leave house
before First Foot enters Filey.
1 The authorities as to the “luck” of dark or light hair in the East and West Ridings are somewhat confused and contradictory. First-hand evidence from correspondents is greatly desired.
? Must enter every room in house.
When Christmas has been
ing Christmas greetings
and receive gifts - Whitby, Salop. They sing rhymes, for gifts Sheffield, Lancashire. Lucky to“ let in Christmas,”
i.e. to be the first to open
ERRATUM, p. 303, 1. 4. For Dorset, read Devon.
C. S. BURNE.
(To be continued.)
A STUDY IN THE LEGENDS OF THE CONNACHT COAST, IRELAND,
(Continued from Vol. XXVIII., p. 180 et sqq.)
Medieval and Later Events.
The Danes.—It is surprising and disappointing to find in so many places in Ireland, after so rich a mass of folk-tales relating to heroes and saints, a barren tract in which rarely a stunted version of some later historic event is found by careful seekers. Who that has read The Wars of the Gaedhil with the Gaill would fancy that the devastations of the Danes could hardly be found to have left a trace in modern stories ? The names of the Norse (Lochlannach) and Danes are widely known. The curious green tracks on the heathery flanks of Slievemore on Achill, between the carns and dolmens are “ Danes' tracks,” “Danes' Ditches,” “An cloidhe Lochlannach," and such-like
Souterrains in certain earthworks near Killala and sea caves, notably one on the Mullet at Broadhaven, are“ Danes' Cellars," or (as Otway gives it) "Cellair na Lochlannach."1 They were reputedly the places where the Danes hid their treasures, whence the name and legend of “ Victory" near Killala. The Danish origin of certain forts near the last was strongly asserted—“ the Danes were mighty strong in Ireland when they put together this place (rath) who else could do them ? " said one peasant to Otway, and the man went on to tell how a Danish ship came from Norway and he saw a man aboard (who said he was a Danish gentleman) come to the fort with an old parchment to look round and mark on the map all the places in the country that belonged to his forefathers and that by right the fort was his. I fear many jest-lovers have too often spread such uncomfortable shocks to tenant pur. chasers, often putting hindrance in the way of antiquarian workers. Even recently a tale of a grant by the Kaiser produced a
1 Sketches in Erris and Tyrawly, p. 71.
scare” in a certain district in Munster. At Downpatrick Head (as I have told already) 2 another man from a Danish ship is said to have flown a kite over the isolated fort of Dunbriste and by drawing a rope up secured all the treasure of Geodruisge the Dane.
On Inishturk the legend told of the Dún 3 (a long oval ring. wall of massive blocks over the cup-like little harbour) relates how the Danish pirates were the last persons in Ireland who had the secret of making the Bior Lochlannach, or Danes' Beer, the most delicious of all drinks, from the heather bloom. The foreigners lived in security on the steep knoll (mooring their galleys in the land-locked Portadoon, concealed from the sea), and from their loftier outlook they marked down the passing ship and darted out on it unexpectedly, leaving no one to betray its doom. At last the Irish discovered the fatal lair and surprised the Dún, slaying all, save an old Dane and his son. They offered them quarter if they told how to make the “ Beer," or (as I heard more recently) showed them the hiding place of their treasure, the vast accumulation of many years. The older warrior, fearing the boy's constancy might yield to torture, promised to tell if they killed the boy before he knew of his father's treachery. It was done, and the Dane, tearing himself from his unsuspecting guards, fled, hurling back insults on his captors, to the deep and precipitous chasm beyond Portadoon, and, hurling himself over the cliff, carried his secret
1 Sketches in Erris and Tyrawly, p. 189.
? Journal Roy. Soc. Antiqg. Ireland, vol. xlii. p. 106; Folk-Lore, vol. xxvii. p. 225.
3 “Clare Island Survey,” Proc. R.I. Acad. vol. xxxi. part 2, pp. 47-49. Dr. Browne heard of a more recent treasure find (Proc. R.I. Acad. vol. xxvii. p. 219.