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Papers of Ned Maddrell with additional biographical notes written by his elder son Stanley Maddrell.

Date(s): 1892-2007

Creator(s): Maddrell, Edward

Scope & Content: Contents include but are not limited to a handwritten list summarising vessels on which Ned Maddrell served 1892-1940 and his rank, certificates of discharge, postcards sent to family members by Ned whilst away at sea, transcribed poetry by Tom Dipper on the Brig Lily disaster and a newscutting 'Brig Lily Disaster. Unknown Poety's Account of the Tragedy'; also an illuminated address presented by Yn Cheshaght Gailkagh in March 1964 in recognition of 'your years of devoted service to the Manx Language revival'.and two pages of undated handwritten biographical notes in the hand of Ned's elder son, Stanley with an accompanying explanatory note by Stanley's son Ed, (J E Maddrell) dated April 2007.

Administration / Biographical History: Ned Maddrell was born in Glenchass, Rushen on 20 August 1877 to fisherman Thomas Maddrell and his wife Margaret Watterson. At a very early age he was taken to Cregneash to live with his great aunt and uncle, Mr and Mrs Taubman, his uncle being a Cregneash weaver. It was here that Ned learnt his Manx - his great aunt Margaret Taubman could not speak English. Maddrell recalled having to act as an interpreter for the older inhabitants of the village who could not speak English. Margaret Taubman had also brought up Ned's mother who was orphaned while still a child and whose father had been killed in the Brig Lily disaster on 26 December 1852, almost four months before his daughter was born.

Aged 14, Ned joined the crew of the 'Mona' as a cook and sailed with the Manx fishing fleet each year to Kinsale and the Shetlands for the herring. Later he joined the Merchant Navy servng as a AB cook and steward or occasional deckhand until the summer 1936; thereafter he was the Master of the 'Zephyr' from July 1936 until December 1940. Ned worked aboard the 'Cheshire Coast' c.1927-1935.

Ned married Mary Margaret Skelly of Croit-e-Caley on 3 January 1906. The couple lived at Riverside, Glenchass, Port St Mary in a home built in 1911 on the sidte of a tholtan which had formerly been occupied by annother family named Maddrell for several generations. They raised four children (two boys, two girls), their elder son being Stanley.

Following the death of Sage Kinvig (c. 1870–1962), Maddrell was the only remaining person who could claim to have spoken Manx Gaelic from childhood, although at the time some other people spoke it as a second language, having learned it later in life. When he died on 27 December 1974 (aged 97) he was known for being the last native speaker of Manx. Recordings of Ned speaking Manx survive. An annual memorial lecture on Celtic language survival hosted by Culture Vannin and Yn Çheshaght named in his honour. The lecture series was inaugurated in 1985 In his lifetime Maddrell was awarded the Mannanan Trophy in 1971

Language: English

Extent: 1 folder

Item name: illuminated address, merchant navy discharge certificates, letters, accounts etc

Collection: Manuscript Archive

Level: FONDS

ID number: MS 11548

Record class: Private

Access conditions: No regulations or restrictions are implemented on this material. Advance notification of a research visit is advisable by emailing


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