Open main menu

Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/96

This page has been validated.
74
Correspondence.

bandy, which is mentioned in an article describing the method of playing golf in the seventeenth century in the Gentleman's Magazine Library: Manners and Customs, p. 250.

In the January number of the Reliquary and Illustrated Archaeologist (vol. iii., p. 48), Mr. J. M. Mackinlay says, in commenting on an article on Churchyard Games in Wales, which appeared in the same publication last July, that at the hamlet of Tullich, near Ballater, is a ruined church standing in a circular graveyard. "Outside the ruin, but within an iron railing, is a collection of five or six ancient sculptured stones, some showing a cross incised on them, and one having the curious mirror-like symbol so puzzling to antiquaries. St. Nathalan, said to have been born in the district, was the patron saint of the church. His day was kept as a holiday in the parish till within the last twenty-five or thirty years. It fell on the 8th of January, and was held on or about the 19th, according to the old style of reckoning. Football was the favourite amusement on the occasion. The churchyard, which had then no wall round it, was the place selected for the game, and the ball was kicked about over the tombs, often amid snow."

In reference to ball-play on Scotch festivals, Mr. Mackinlay informs me that football is a common sport on New Year's Day, and that it is believed that most of the practices now in vogue in Scotland on the first day of the year were "transferred to that day from Christmas at a time when the Church set its face against Yule-tide observances at the end of the sixteenth century and later. Napier," he adds, "has worked out this point in his Folklore of the West of Scotland. Football used to be common also on Fastern's-E'en (Shrove Tuesday), notably at Scone, in Perthshire."

In the Glasgow Herald, January 2, 1897, football is mentioned as having been played in many parishes on the preceding day. At Kirkwall, we are informed, ball-playing "began on the streets" at half-past eight in the morning. "The first two balls were easily got by players from the harbour end of the town, but the adult ball at one o'clock went to the upper end."

At Kirkcaldy "the ruins of Ravenscraig Castle and adjacent grounds were, in accordance with an old custom, thrown open by the new proprietor of Dysart House, Mr. M. B. Nairn. There the ancient Scottish game of "She Kyles was played." "She Kyles," Mr. Mackinlay tells me, is nine-pins; and he notes a