1811 – Extraordinary

The Manx Nostalgia group I’m a member of on Facebook is generally a succession of comments about “it’s a shame that [place] has been redeveloped now” or that “it’s a shame that [place] has fallen into such disrepair”.
The positive nostalgia is sadly lacking.

Still, it does, on occasion, come up with some interesting moments.
Here’s one now:

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First off, Pooilvaaish (to give it the correct spelling) is still a place: a small collection of dwellings on the eastern side of Bay Ny Carrickey, with beautiful views across towards Port St Mary, and the mouth of the harbour where John Comish perished. Interestingly, its name translates from Manx Gaelic as “Pool of Death”. Nice. 

And secondly, yes, there are newspapers from back then, although there’s no mention of what happened to John Comish. There is a lot about a tremendous and devastating storm which occurred “Tuesday last”, and which mentions PSM harbour, but that was the 24th September – the 22nd was a Sunday. So, (not having done a lot of further digging) I can’t see anything specific about his death.

However, that newspaper report is still worth a nice long read, as it does include some other really interesting stuff:

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Let’s get them documented:

  • Naval Longevity: It is a singular fact, that the united ages of the ten first admirals on the list of our naval heroes, amount to 814 years. This circumstance shows that fighting is not a very unhealthy employment.

Either that or pickling with rum is a very effective preservative.

  • Extraordinary Shot: Friday, Mr Levi Larkham, who holds the deputation of Radipole Farm, under I.H. Browne, Esq. killed a hare running and a brace of partridges, at one shot.

Eenhaasentweepatrysemeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein? That’s almost as good as Tweebuffelsmeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein.

But then there was this:

  • Extraordinary growth of a Potatoe: There was last week taken up in a field near Ely, Cambridgeshire, a potatoe, which was of such extraordinary size, the when whole, it would not go into a bushel measure, and when cut in pieces, of the bigness of middling-sized potatoes, it nearly filled the bushel measure.

It could be straight out of Blackadder. It could have been the inspiration for Baldrick and his turnips. It probably was the inspiration for Baldrick and his turnips. I’m just sad that it happened 80 years too early for photos to be taken.

The fact that these 3 pieces of “light-hearted”, trivial news made it into the one page of the newspaper suggests to me that either the editorial staff weren’t really that concerned about other, more serious news, or more likely, that there actually was very little going on in the Isle of Man. That latter fact hasn’t really changed much in the intervening 200 or so years, as this other post, including connections to both the Isle of Man and potatoes, demonstrated.

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