......
Wigan Dialect

A Collection of Lancashire Dialect Poems, Phrases & Sayings from around the Wigan Area.

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Story of Mab's Cross
Play MP3
The Story of Mab's Cross

Poem inspired by the account written by 
Frank Hird 1910
______________________
Sir William Bradshaw of Haigh.
A knight of some reneawn.
Wed a young wench fer Blackrod & Haigh.
On theawtskirts of owd Wiggin Teawn.

Sir William…He a't go away.
Fo't feight in some ere waar.
It met er bin Bakkle er Bannockburn.
Or it could er bin further afar.

Neaw, it's said he wuz tak'n pris'ner.
But what we don't know is, eaw lung.
Aw we know is he ney'er come wom.
Abeawt that thi cor'nt be far wrung.

Anyroad…Ten ear went past.
Un William, He ney'er come wom.
Un Mabel think'in him dee'ud.
Startid knock'in abeawt wi this mon.

Apparently. There'd bin a rebellion.
Agen Edward the second, no deawt.
Un this ere welsh mon cawed Osmund.
Wuz in his good books,for help'in him eawt.

He reakoned he'd bin granted possession.
Of Haigh Hall. Well that’s worr he said.
Un Mabel her at fot move eawt.
Unless her accepted fot wed.

Neaw… fot save her'sel and her childer.
From beggery un financial ruin.
Her at use her noggin un feminine whiles.
In short…just waatch worr hers doin.

Her wuz forced into marryin't Welshmon.
Lady Osmund Nevill, her title.
Her could'nt do nowt abeawt it.
Safety er't fam'ly were vital.

At theend er ten year or so.
Her were dolin eawt bread, one fine day.
When one mon approached for his shive of bread.
Un revealed, he was William of Haigh.

Neaw, Mabel her recognised William.
In shock, her lerr eawt a scream.
Un Osmund when he heard abeawt it.
He grabbed her and smacked her reawnd th'een.

Neaw, William, He bided his time.
His bite, wuz wuss than his bark.
Un then he waylaid Welshmon, Osmund.
Un kil't him eawtside Newton Park.

The troubles of William and Mabel.
Were nor ore, one as't for say.
For slay'in the welsh knight at Newton.
William was eawtlawed a year and a day.

Neaw, Mabel for unwitted bigamy.
Even in spite of her loss.
Aa't walk barefoot from Haigh Hall to Wiggin.
Each wik, to a place cawd Mab's Cross.

When his outlawry was ended.
William went back to his kin.
Un when he dee'd, Mabel ordered.
A chantry building for him.

Eventually, her dee'd an aw.
Un in that chantry, both lay.
Yo con see it, if yo go't Wiggin.
Cos theyre tombs are still thee'r today.

The Story of Mab's Cross (Translation)



Sir William Bradshaw of Haigh.
A knight of some renown.
Married a young girl from Blackrod and Haigh.
On the outskirts of old Wigan town.

Sir William, he had to go away.
To fight in some war.
It may have been Bannockburn.
Or it could have been further afar.

Now, it's said he was taken prisoner.
But what we don't know is, how long.
All that we know is, he never came home.
About that they can't be far wrong.

Anyway, ten years went past.
And William never came home.
And Mabel, thinking him dead.
Started seeing this other man.

Apparently, there had been a rebellion.
Against Edward the second, no doubt.
And this welshman called Osmund.
Was in his good books for helping him out.

He reakoned he'd been granted possession.
Of Haigh Hall, Well…that’s what he said.
And Mabel, she had to move out.
Unless she accepted to wed.

Now… to save herself and her children.
From beggery and financial ruin.
She had to use her head and feminine whiles.
In short… just watch what she's doing.

She was forced to marry the welshman.
Lady Osmund Nevill…her title.
She could'nt do anything about it.
Safety of the family was vital.

At the end of ten years or so.
She was giving out bread, one fine day.
When one man approached,for his piece of bread.
And revealed he was William of Haigh.

Now, Mabel she recognised William.
In shock, she let out a cry.
And Osmund, when he heard about it.
He grabbed her and smacked her in the eye.

Now William he bided his time.
His bite was worse than his bark.
And then he waylaid this Osmund.
And killed him outside Newton Park.

The troubles of William and Mabel.
Were not over, one has to say.
For slaying the welsh knight at Newton.
He was outlawed a year and a day.

Now, Mabel for unwitted bigamy.
Even in spite of her loss.
Had to walk barefoot from Haigh Hall to Wigan.
Each week to a place called Mab's Cross.

When his outlawry was ended.
William went back to his kin.
And when he died Mabel ordered.
A chantry building for him.

Eventually she died as well.
And in that chantry, both lay.
You can see it if you go to Wigan.
For theyre tombs are still there today

 

Copyright © 1998 Jeff Unsworth wigandialect.co.uk