Tiddy Mun, Lincolnshire
It is said that long before the Dutch drained the marshland in Lincolnshire known as the Carrs, through which the River Ancholme flows, a race of pixy people lived in the wetlands around places like Brigg, Broughton and Hibaldstow. These creatures were called Tiddy, tiddy meaning either little – they were said to be no taller than a hand’s span – or tide-y, as they could control the waters.
The Tiddy people were neither good nor evil: help them in some way and they would reward you; cross them and beware.
Tiddy Mun (Little Man) was the king of these miniature folk, rather larger than his subjects. When in Stuart times Dutch engineers drained the land, angering the Tiddy, a curse fell on the children, cattle and old people thereabouts who died in droves. It took time to placate Tiddy Mun, with many vessels of water poured onto the land, but eventually his cry (just like a peewit’s), was heard and the curse was lifted.
This may be some throwback to pagan times, as the residents of that district believed that when floods threatened, as they frequently did, entreaties and offerings made at night to these supernatural beings would see the waters recede by morning. It is tempting also to see, as with much European folklore, the influence of hallucinogenic mushrooms, given their description: thin green body, big feet, and a broad and round yellow hat. It is also suggested that the tales were straight from the imagination of a Victorian folklorist, but perhaps with the germ of local legend at their heart. Whatever, the stories are still told in that misty county today.
1 Response to Tiddy Mun
From Michael Behrend on 7th May 2011
There don't seem to be any references to the Tiddy Mun article. The Victorian folklorist is presumably Marie C. Balfour, but who suggested the story was out of her imagination?
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