Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/73

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Collectanea. 53

with the cadency mark of the mullet, and a wreath, the last relic of the effaced crest. "A famous antiquary in Cork" told my father that it was the ring of a Spanish knight, lost in the Armada, — none of whose ships were wrecked within very many miles of Kilkerin, — while the bows of the wreath were the sacred tetragrammaton, — such was local archaeology in 1840 ! The " raven " version was that most popular, but it was a cormorant that figured in the oldest version recovered by me.

Another highly valued gold ring is preserved by the Molony family of Kiltanon. It belonged to an ancestor's brother, a Roman Catholic Bishop of Kilaloe, about 1690, but no supersti- tion attached to it so far as I could learn from the last generations of the family, I have been told also of a "lucky" flint arrow head, or " thunderbolt," preserved by another family in the north of the county, ^ but know nothing of its qualities.

It was lately, and I believe is still, the custom at Scattery Island on the lower Shannon for each boat to bring a pebble from St. Senan's grave, or even from the beach. In 1816 a leaf from his "alder" (elder-tree) was equally effectual in pre- serving from wreck. A " slip " of the mountain ash or a forked hazel twig protects against fairies. A red string round the neck protects a child against fairies and a lamb against fairies and foxes.

Wishing. — Thomas Dineley, travelling in Clare in 1680, heard of a stone on Loop Head " whereon if any one turns on his heel and thinks of any one " of the other sex for a mate " he shall never fail of his thought." Many had cut their names, but dared not make the turns, for the stone was balanced at the edge of a fearful precipice. It seems to have disappeared, but was remembered as " Clough an umphy " even in the middle of the last century.* At Urlanmore Castle, between Kilmaleery and Newmarket-on-

^This was told to me in 18S5, and I did not note the name. I find a "thunderbolt or head of spear" named in a Ms. "Journey to Kerry" (1709) in Trinity College, Dublin, and the belief in the fairy origin of such objects is universal in Clare; stone spindle whorls are reputed "fairy querns."

^ Transactions of the Royal Historical and Archcsological Association of Ireland (now Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland), vol. viii. consec. (N.S. v.), p. 189.