[pp 1397-1429 from Cubbon - Bibliography, Vol 2, 1939]
The eighteenth century was nearly at its close when the first printing press was started in the Isle of Man. All the books, pamphlets, and broadsides written by Manx people had up to 176/ been printed at Dublin, Whitchaven, London or Liverpool.
Round about the middle of the eighteenth century the necessity for the establishment of a press must have been evident to the merchants, of which there were a good number. The shipping traffic at that time was considerable, and orders for printing must have gone to presses in England or Ireland.
About the year 1760 - the exact date unfortunately cannot be fixed - a Henry Pepyat, printer and stationer in business in Silver Court, Dublin, set out 'Proposals for Establishing a Printing-House in the Isle of Man.'
The 'Proposal' was made at a time when there existed no printing office in the Island; that seems certain. The first press in Man was that of Sheperd in Ramsey, whose earliest work as far as is known is dated 1767, namely, part of the New Testament in the Manx Language.
Pepyat's broadsheet (foolscap folio in size) is as follows PROPOSALS for establishing a PRINTING OFFICE' in the Isle of Man, by Henry Pepyat, Printer and Stationer.
As the great Advantage of having a Printing Business carried on in said Island must be evident to every Man of Business, Henry Pepyat of the City of Dublin, Printer and Stationer (having a great inclination to reside in that Island) proposes to remove his Printing Materials (most of which are entirely new) to one of the principal Towns there, on the following Conditions, viz.:
That a Sum not exceeding One Hundred Pounds, nor less than Fifty, shall be raised in small Sums, by the principal Merchants and Traders of the Island, and lodged in the Hands of an Agent to be by them appointed in Dublin.
That said Subscription! may be paid to said Pepyat to enable him to bring over his Printing Materials, on his giving proper Security to the Agent in Dublin, that he will in three Calendar
Months bring them all over, and reside there for three Years at least, and as much longer as his Business may enable him to continue there reserving only a Power of coming to Dublin as often as the nature of the Business may require, leaving a proper Person to do the Business in his Absence.
That said Pepyat will take an Apprentice, the Son of all Inhabitant of the Island, who can be well Recommended, on easy Terms, and hopes (as he is the first that ever attempted to establish the Printing Business in that Part) to meet with proper Encouragement.
That said Pepyat, in a short Time, will Publish a Newspaper as often as the Pacquet can be obtained, Entitled
and send it to all Parts of the Island, regularly, and will do all manner of Printing Work at reasonable Rates, but his more particular Attention shall always be to the Encouragers of this landable Undertaking.
That said Pepyat has a compleat Printing-House, and humbly apprehends himself capable of carrying on said Business to Perfection, and is determined to use his utmost Endeavours to perform to the Satisfaction of his Employers, and does not doubt but it will hereafter reflect Honour on the Island in general, as Nvell as Profit to the Undertaker in particular.
N. B. If the above Proposals are approved of, said Pepyat will come over speedily, and take a House fit for his Purpose; therefore it will be necessary that the Opinion of the Publick may be returned to him.
Printed by HENRY PEPYAT, in Silver-Court, Castle-street. The programme of the Dublin printer was an ambitious one, but, to judge from the absence of any record, the project was not seriously undertaken. It is quite certain that 'The Manks Journal' was never published.
As has been stated, there is no date attached to Pepyat's 'Proposal,' but the water-mark is one that was in use in. the time of George II, who died in 1760.
Enquiries have been made from a very high authority, Mr. F. O'Kelley, of Dublin, as to the printers in that city during the eighteenth century. He states that Henry Pepyat does not occur among the names of the members of the Guild of Stationers: but the names of Jeremiah and Sylvanus Pepyat, members of the same family however do occur. Jeremiah was Warden of the Guild in. 1768, and a city councillor in 1714. In 1724 he was removed from the Council of the Guild on account of his absence from Dublin. Sylvanus Pepyat was warden of the Guild in 1734.
Mr. O'Kelley believes that Henry Pepyat obviously succeeded to the printing-house of Mary Pepyat, Printer to the City of Dublin, who lived in Silver Court from at least 1743 until her death the 19th Oct., 1759, but he did not succeed to her employment by the City. As a printer he was sworn a free brother of the Guild of Cutlers, Painterstainers and Stationers on the 5th February, 1760. So far as the Guild records go, he might have been printing isa. Man from sometime in 1764 until 1768. He is not heard of after 1771.
If early references to a Henry Pepyat in Dublin all pertain to the same person, Henry was the son of the Rev. John Pepyat and was apprenticed in 1728, after his father's death, to a goldsmith. Not persevering in that trade, he eventually became a Freeman of Dublin in 1747 as a member of the Guild of Shearmen and Dyers, which Guild he represented in the City Assembly from 1753 to 1756.
The above information has been kindly provided by Mr. Francis O'Kelley, of 99, Stephen's Green, Dublin Mr. O'Kelley has gone to much pains to exhaust all the information about the printers and stationers in the Pepyat famine of Dublin, and we are grateful for the interesting details he leas supplied.
Mr. O'Kelley, in the course of his research, has made the interesting discovery that the Dublin Guild records include the enrolment of James Harrison, son of David Harrison, Isle of Man, gent., as apprentice to Samuel Price, stationer of Dublin, 14th Sept., 1753. Harrison did not take his freedom in Dublin, but he may have remained a journeyman. Mr. O'Kelley enquires if there is any record of him practising as a stationer, book-seller or book-binder in Ilfan. Unfortunately there is no record of that having taken place. He was apprenticed 39 years before the establishment of the ' Mercury,' our first newspaper, by which date he might have been dead.
There are, however, good reasons for believing that the Harrison family, which has given to the Manx Church at least six clerics, was the one from which the young Dublin apprentice came. The Rev. David Harrison was the first chapbain of St. Marks, and afterwards, in 1783, he was vicar of Kirk Malew, where the grandfather of the Rev. Mark W. Harrison, M.A., the vicar of South Ramsey, was born.
PEPYAT (Henry). Proposals / For establishing a Printing-House in the Isle of Man, / By Henry Pepyat, Printer and Stationer.
Dublin: Henry Pepyat, in SilverCourt, Castle Street. N.D. [c. 1760] Broadsheet. 306x195. 
This broadsheet is unique in that no other copy is known. Its date is about 1760. Sheperd's first book, 'Paul's Epistle to the Romans,' was printed at his office in Ramsey in 1767, so that Pepyat's circular must be of an earlier date. Gift of Mr. J. L. Cartwright.
SHEPERD , W., Ramsey.
The first piece of printing issued from a Manx press was, appropriately enough, a portion of the New Testament in the Manx Gaelic. Its full title is ' Screeuyn Paul yn Ostyl gys ny Romanee,' but it contains Romans-Revelations inclusive. The imprint says ' Prentyt ayns Mannyng liorish W. Slieperd, 1767.'
The book is not paged, and an ingenious method has been adopted by the printer in order to check the sequence of the pages in collating for binding. The number of pp. is 272. There were a thousand copies printed to the order of the S.P.C.K. Sheperd would have to make 67,000 impressions on his hand-press before the work, which must have taken near half a year, was completed.
Sheperd was a Whitehaven man, and according to Butler's ' Bishop Hildesley' he was engaged to do this job through the influence of the Bishop The Sheperd family resided in Douglas before 1766, and afterwards went to Ramsey. It is the only portion of the Manx Scriptures printed in the Island.
Apprenticed to Sheperd was a young Manxman named Daniel Cowley, of Kirk Michael, who had been educated by Bishop Hildesley and afterwards sent to Sheperd as ar. apprentice. He afterwards (1814) translated into Manx the summary of the Christian Religion entitled ' Aght ghaire dy heet gys tushtey jeh'n Chredjue Chreestee.'
SHEPERD, M., Ramsey.
This printer succeeded W. Sheperd in the latter's printing office at Ramsey. It is not known that he was a son; he certainly was a relative. M. Sheperd's chief work is The Book of Common Prayer in the Manx language. Its size is foolscap 8vo.; there is no pagination. It is a fine piece of typography, and is, now rare. This is the only edition of the Book of Common Prayer ever printed in Man.
Another important work undertaken by M. Sheperd in 1769 was 'Lewis's Catechism' in Manx, of which 2,000 copies were printed. [See p. 779.]
BRISCOE, JOSEPH Douglas (Market Street ?).
The Briscoe brothers are said to have come from Cumberland, in which county the family had a considerable estate. Joseph's name first appears in a collection of Acts of Tynwald printed in ' Douglass Isle of Man' in 1783.
Joseph Briscoe had also the credit (according to G. W. Wood) of having printed the first known Manx novel, entitled ' Literary Lovers.' This book is mentioned by Feltham in his 'Tour' (1798) in a list of Manx books given to him, but no copy has been met with.
Songs for Morning and Evening by Bishop Ken in Manx, a little 8vo. of 8pp., but without a printer's name, was probably printed by Joseph Briscoe. Its date is 1783. (p. 792.)
BRISCOE, CHRISTOPHER. Douglas.
After Joseph came Christopher, thought to be a brother. He styled his premises 'The Printing Office in Douglas,' from which it may be inferred that his was the only one in existence there at that time. Christopher's first recorded work is a little but neatly-produced job of historical interest, apparently to the order of no less a person than the Seneschal of the Duke of Athol, and dated 5th March, 1787. [See p. 879.] His best production was a collection of the Statutes and Ordinances made by the Clerk of the Rolls, Thomas Stowell, consisting of 170pp., and printed in 1792. Some large paper copies were printed on Manx-made paper. [p. 271.]
Christopher Briscoe printed in 1792 the second earliest Manx novel, entitled 'The Manks Monastery, or Loves of Belville and Julia' (p. 1101); and in 1792 published ' The Manks Almanack,' the first of a long series.
Briscoe also printed two or three of John Stowell's political skits from the year 1790 onwards. (See pp. 879885 and 957.)
Christopher was a private in the Stranger Volunteers in 1797. There is a record of the death in 1837 of his brother, Benjamin of Whitehaven.
The same printer produced a book of hymns in Manx, dated 1795, as well as the Manx translation (by the Rev. T. Christian, vicar of Kirk Marown) of a portion of Milton's ' Paradise Lost' in the year following. (p. 797.)
In 1797 Christopher Briscoe brought out a second collection of Acts of Tynwald, as he states 'without any professional or other assistance whatever.' The compiler of ' Lex Scripta' (1819) remarks that ' from its very imperfect and mutilated state, its inferior paper and type, and its want of sufficient document to stamp its accuracy ar.d authenticity, it failed to afford general satisfaction.' (p. 271.)
Christopher Briscoe has the Honour of having been the publisher of the first Manx newspaper, viz., 'The Manks Mercury and Briscoe's Douglas Advertiser.' No. 1 was published on the 27th November, 1792 - its price 2d. British. In those days the value of the Manx penny was different from that of the English: there were 14 to the shilling. The 'Mercury' is said to have lasted fifteen years, and was followed by the 'Marks Advertiser.'
WHITTAM, THOMAS, Douglas.
Thomas Whittam was an apprentice with the Briscoes and his parents lived in Douglas. There was a Thomas Whittam, Chief Constable of the town and district of Douglas in 1788, and he was probably the father of the printer. (See xxxi Mx. Soc., p. 262.) There appeared in 'The Manks Mercury' of 19 Nov., 1793, the following advertisement, signed by Christopher Briscoe
'Whereas Thomas Whittam, junr., indentured apprentice to me Christopher Briscoe, printer, after committing several misdemeanours, has eloped totally from my service. Whoever can give information of the said Apprentice so as he may be apprehended, shall be handsomely rewarded; and any person harbouring him after this notice will be prosecuted as the law directs. Douglas, 12 Nov., 1793.'
Whittam was a first-class craftsman, his. first recorded work being the third Manx Hymn Book of 184pp. printed in 1799.
There are on record articles of agreement between Whittam and a committee chosen to supervise the printing of the above-named book. He was to print 2,000 copies and to take no other work from the public ' except his custom work,' they to give him £20 and to find the paper. An interesting condition was that ' if the printer be under the necessity of Altering a word or syllable or line . . . after the copy has been committed to him he shall be paid according to the usage of his profession.' (p. 793.)
The specimens of Whittarn's typography that have come down to us are of uniformly good quality. His production of the Third Manx Hymn book in 1799 is worthy of praise as a piece of craftsmanship.
G. W. Wood states that Whittam printed the first ' 'Manks Almanack' for the year 1802, but the compiler has not come across a copy.
Thomas Whittam's wife, the mother of the printer, lies buried in Kirk Braddan churchyard, having died in June, 1793, in the 44th year of her age. The Armstrongs of Douglas were linked up with the Whittams by marriage. Thomas Whittam was only 38 years when he (lied on 10 Oct. 1811. He lies buried at Kirk Braddan.
JEFFERSON , GEORGE. Duke Street, Douglas.
Jefferson came from Liverpool. He started the ' Manks Advertiser,' the second Manx newspaper, the first number of which appeared on 8th August, 1801. He ran it until 1842. For some years Jefferson appears to have done nearly all the printing in the Island. His chief book was 'Lex Scripta,' consisting of 560 pp., and was published in 1819 (see p. 272). George Woods, the author of the 'Account of the Isle of Man,' 1811, probably alluded to Jefferson when he wrote: 'There is only one person there [in Douglas] or, I believe, in any part of the country who sells books, and he is by trade a bookbinder, and only two who sells stationery. I tried in vain to buy a sheet of blotting paper.
Mrs. Bullock, writing in 1816, states: 'There is only one printing press in the Island, from whence a newspaper issues weekly, but it is the vehicle mainly for advertisements..' She adds, however: 'Since Avriting this another has been established.'
Jefferson's paper, 'The Manks Advertiser,' was well set up and arranged. In 1801 he purchased a series of founts of Caslon type with an old-style face, a type which has not since been improved upon.
Jefferson published in December, 1801, a ' Sheet Almanack for 1802,' price 6d. This was Jefferson's first Amanack. From the sheet it developed into the book. It specialised in maritime information and ultimately became known as a reliable Almanack in all parts of the world. The copyright was owned by the Fargher family until 1908. It is still being published as Jefferson's Almanack by James Munro and Co. Ltd., nautical publishers, Glasgow.
In 1802 one of Jefferson's journeymen printers left his employment and went around the country asking for charity. The employer, in the 'Advertiser' of 29 May, explains that the man's wages had been 14/- per week for nine months, but that ' he was in the habit of intoxicating himself.' In the following August Jefferson advertised for an apprentice, stating that he would take one vioithout fee if he had a suitable education.
He printed and published in 1821 the earliest Manx periodical, 'The Douglas Reflector,' an incomplete cop), of which is in the Library (sec. L6).
It is interesting to note that Thomas Stowell, the second son of the foremost literary clergyman of the clay, the Rev. Hugh Stowell, Rector of Ballaugh, was a printer. He served his apprenticeship with Jefferson, and at the early age of 24, according to the 'Sun ' of 17 June, 1826, he died ' of a decline.' The poet T. E. Brown came from the same family of Stowell.
BEATSON, JOHN, and
BEATSON AND COPELAND, Custom House Quay, Douglas.
The first appearance of Beatson in an imprint is in 1812: a Selection of Hymns and Anthems for St. Mary's, Castletown. He was brother-in-law to James Harrop of the 'Manchester Mercury.' Beatson was a first-class craftsman, as can be seen at a glance from his examples and from his paper 'The Gazette.' In the year 1812 Beatson's name only appears on the imprints. In 1813 George Copeland's name was added to the imprints. They claimed to do letterpress printing in a style infinitely ' superior to what has been witnessed in the Island at any former period.' It is safe to say that the examples from his press are equal to those of his contemporaries in England, which is saying a good deal.
The issue of the ' Gazette' for 7 July, 1814, has a black border round each of the four pages, to mark the death, which occurred on the 4th July, of John Beatson, the original publisher of the paper. He was only 44 years old. Beatson had issued card money for 5/-, 2/6 and 1/-. Captain Harrison of Spring Valley and Henry Leigh of Summer Hill were the executors in trust for the widow.
Beatson was in partnership as a banker with George Copeland, also of Douglas, and they issued in 1811 what is known as the 'Atlas' blanks Bank Token, a penny and halfpenny, showing the Three Legs on the obv. and the figure of Atlas on the rev.
In 1813, according to Dr. Clay's 'Manx Currency ' (p. 137), they are said to have prepared a guinea note, but whether it was actually issued is not known. It is figured on the frontispiece of Dr. Clay's work. Card money (half a crown and five shillings) were also issued by them.
In 1813 they started ' l'he Isle of Man Weekly Gazette and General Advertiser,' relinquishing it in 1815 to Mark Anthony Mills, who continued it until 1821, when he was incarcerated in Castle Rusher, for debt. The firm of Beatson and Copeland failed in 1815. The types and machinery were sold by the Coroner of Middle Sheading, .John Collister, to Mills. Mills did not pay, and court proccedings went on until after 1821.
' The Gazette ' was printed upon a splendid hard-made paper made by Banks & Co., a firm which is believed to have preceded the Walkers and the Lewthwaites at Laxey.
On 25th February, 1813, John Beatson issued an 8-page prospectus (12in. x 9in.) of the works of Bishop Wilson, compiled by Clement Cruttwell, of Bath, in two vols. The prospectus in the Manx Museum is the only example known: it would appear that Beatson was not successful in his project, although it was dedicated to the Duke of Athol and patronised by Bishop Crigan. The publication date of the first number was 26 June, 1813. He had also an ambition to print the Holy Bible, and had purchased ' a large and elegant type founded expressly for the purpose.' It was to be sold in weekly numbers, price 6d. each, and to commence ' as soon as a competent subscription is obtained.' The great project was not carried out.
Beatson and Copeland were the printers, in 1814, of ' Crossman's Catechism,' translated into Manx by the Rev. John Clague, vicar of Rushen. They also compiled a 'New Manx Diary and Almanack for 1814' in continuation of Whittam's. This almanack passed successively into the hands of M. A. Mills, T. Davies, both of the Phoenix Press, Parade; John Sumner, True Manxman ' Office, Parade; John Penrice, 'Rising Sun,' North Quay; and was merged into Jefferson's, Duke Street, in 1825, by which name it is known until te present day.
It appears from St. George's Register that John Beatson was married in that church on 22nd December, 1807, to Isabella Brew, of Douglas.
It is interesting to learn that Beatson's chief clerk, J. S. Dalton, became the Librarian at the Liverpool Free Public Library, William Brown Street, and continued there until he died in 1868.
MILLS , MARK ANTHONY, Phoenix Press, Parade, Douglas.
Mills was not a practical printer; he, was a solicitor from Ireland, from where he came about 1807. He persisted in an endeavour to secure a licence to practise in the Island, but the Manx Bar stoutly and successfully opposed him, notwithstanding that the Duke of Athol as, Governor was not unfavourable. He wrote what he called ' A Full Report of the Trial and Honorable Aquittal of James McCrone upon an Information for Perjury preferred against him by Robert Cunninghame, Attorney-General ... the whole carefully arranged and corrected from Notes taken at the Trial by Mark Anthony Mills, Esq., member of the Hon. Soc. of King's Inn, Dublin, and Solicitor and Public Notary of the Isle of Man.' This was printed at the Phoenix Press in 1820, and created a sensation, as McCrone was, the agent of the Duke of Athol.
He persisted, soon after his arrival in Man, in practising as a solicitor; but the Bar would not recognise him, and for his, continued affronting of the Courts he was sentenced for a term in Castle Rushen. In the issue of the ' Gazette' of 4 June, 1812, Mills assures the public that ' notwithstanding his present incarceration the 'business of his office at Douglas will be continued. . . .
' Such of his clients as wish to consult him can have ' personal communication 'with him in Castle Rushen.' After coming out of Castle Rushen in July, 1812, Mills took up residence in Bigwell Street. He previously had his office on the 'New Quay,' and had advertised himself as a solicitor, open to do business for clients. In 1814 he removed to 'that house on the Parade, formerly the residence of Capt. Clarke, R.N.'
On 2001 December, 1813, Mills wrote a very long letter to the Secretary of State asking for his assistance in being permitted to follow his profession of the law in the Isle of Man. He states that in 1805, when there was
'the apprehension of invasion by a foreign enemy, as well as the intrigues of traitors at home, his services as a lawyer were given for nearly two years 'to assist the engineer department in the purchase of lands required 'for the public service.' . . . ' A change in his Majesty's confidential servants . . I was informed that the,business hitherto conducted by me must for the future be placed in other hands. . . . Remonstrance was unavailing, therefore submission became a duty. . . Upwards of £800 was deducted from my reasonable charges upon the alleged assumption that I was not a patentee officer of the Crown. . . To recover the business of ' my former friends could not easily be accomplished.
My family were increasing. Of course, retrenchment under those circumstances became necessary. . . And with a view to avoid the temptation of expenditur beyond my means I retired to this little island.'
Once in the Isle of Man Mills could not keep quiet.
'The peculiar laws' attracted his attention. 'The ignorance of those who practice here as lawyers induced a kind of comparison and my superiority excited their jealousy and opposition. . . . There is no just reason why I should not be called to the Manx Bar.'
He asks the Home Secretary to signify to Governor Strielt that he should be permitted to follow his profession.
The matter was referred by the Home Secretary to Governor Sinelt. The Governor on 4th February, 1814, wrote to the Home Secretary stating that Mills had previously applied to him but as he had before been refused by the Duke of Atholl he was unwilling to pursue a different course. 'There were also,' he said, ' some circumstances as to the character and conduct of Mr. Miills which had been questioned.'
There is a story told of Mills having had a difference in a court case with Deemster Heywood. The latter, meeting Mills on Prospect-hill, used his riding-whip upon him. The well-known cartoonist, 'Buck' Kewin, immediately exhibited a realistic-looking drawing entitled ' A New-Method of Threshing Mills.'
He was proprietor of 'The Isle of Man Gazette' from 1815 to 12th May, 1821, when his type and printing plant were seized for debt and sold at public auction by William Leece, the Coroner for Middle. Among the property disposed of was a quantity of unfinished copies of the Statute Laws.
Mills was very proud of the equipment and possibilities of his press, for in 1817 he made a request to the Secretary of State for Home Affairs to be appointed King's Printer for the Isle of Man. After some correspondence, a direct refusal to entertain the offer was received by him in 1818. In a letter to Lord Sidmouth on the 1st May, 1818, he said that 'it [the Lex Scripta] 'should 'be a book of evidence in Courts of Justice was and is 'very generally wished, and that the only means of 'rendering it so was by the appointment of a Compiler ' to the Office of King's Printer here.'
Mills. will always be remembered for his issue in 1821 of the ' Ancient Ordinances and Statute Laws.' It is perhaps the noblest piece of typographical work ever done by a Manx press. According to the prospectus it was printed from 'a new and beautiful pica type' on Manx hand-made paper from the mill of William Banks & Co. A portion of the finely bound folio edition has a water-mark of the Three Legs device with the letters W W 1821.
Soon after the publication of his fine volume of statutes he again sought entrance to the Manx Bar. The Duke of Atholl, according to the ' Manks Advertiser' of18 April, 1822, held a court at the Court House on the pier ' for the investigation of the qualifications of M. A. Mills for the Manks Bar.' Mills spoke to a considerable length in support, but his appeal was not granted.
Mills had a daughter, Catherine Anna Mills, who was on 16th September, 1822, married by special licence at St. George's Church, Douglas, to John Mennons, of Greenock. The register was signed by Mark An. Mills. His only son lies buried in St. George's Churchyard.
His wife was first cousin of the Earl of Arran, an Irish peer.
PENRICE, JOHN, North Quay, Douglas.
John Penrice was the printer of the ' Manks Rising Sun or Mona's Herald,' which first appeared on Tuesday, April 24th, 1821. His name in the imprint continued until 1827. He had many experiences in the Manx Press, for in 1836 to 1850 his imprint appears in 'The Manx Liberal.,' His first letter press job as far as is known was a form of permit issued by the Governor to persons about to depart the Isle, dated 1820.
A very charming booklet was published by John Penrice in 1825, entitled 'The Manx Sketch Book,' which was the first collection. of views of the Island scenery. The views were lithographed from original drawing's for the most part executed by Lady Sarah Murray. It is an oblong octavo, printed on Manx-made paper, and is now very scarce. The copies are all bound in leather, beautifully tooled in gilt.
The same printer was responsible for 'The Pier and Bay of Douglas,' a small book of poems. Both of these books were from the pen of Thomas Ashe, who must have been a sort of literary jack of all trades. It is said that he died in poverty.
A 12mo. booklet, Byron's 'The Corsair,' as printed by Penrice in 1825.
DAVIES, T.., Phoenix Press, Parade, Douglas.
To judge by the few details that we possess, it would appear that owing to the many financial difficulties in which Mark Anthony Mills had fallen, the Phoenix Press came into the ownership for a time of T. Davies, and sometimes entitled 'T. Davies & Co.' He must have been in business as a merchant, for there is a record that he issued a card note for 2/6 in 1815.
Davies' name is in the imprint attached to the 'Weekly Gazette' in 1822, and to that of the 'Manx Patriot' in 1824. In 1823 he is set down as the publisher of the Manx Almanack. It may be remarked that the type used by the Phoenix Press is invariably well chosen and the printing good.
SUMNER, JOHN Heywood Place, Douglas.
A good deal is known of John Sumner and his Manx connections. Claiming to be a Manxman by adoption, he advocated a policy in his short-lived paper, 'The True Manxman,' of more political independence for his compatriots. It is not known how long the paper lived.
Sumner is probably the first pressman who used the Manx. language in his newspaper. In his second issue, dated 20th January, 1823, he has the following announcement:
Ta Ean Sumner, Printer, Boayl Heywood, Doolish, lesh hane ammyss, dy hickyraghey, Cummaltee Ellan Vannip, dy bee dy chooilley vonney dy phrintal er ny yannoo ayes yn aght smoo aalin, as dy kiaralagh er ny yeeaghyn lurg, cc office yn ' Manninagh Firrinagh; raad ta ymmodee caghlaaghyn jell ny Typyn s'noa er ny chiaglym cooidjagh er son yn ymmid shen. Billyn postal, screeunyn cadjin, catalogueyn as obbyr liouragh, dy tappee er ny yannoo seose, er son leaght feer resoonagh.
Translation:-John Sumner, printer, Heywood Place, Douglas, with full respect assures the inhabitants of the Isle of Man that every kind of printing will be done in the best manner and carefully looked after, at the office of the ' True Manxman,' where every different kind of new type is gathered together for that use. Postal bills, common writings, catalogues, and bookwork quickly made up for the most reasonable prices.
Sumner came to Douglas as a journeyman printer. He was a clever writer, full of initiative, but apt to be vehement and bitter in his writings. Late in the year 1822 he started a printing office in Heywood-place, on the North-quay, and on the 21st January, 1823, published the first number of 'The "True Manxman.' He was often threatened with suits for libel, and on the 23rd December, 1823, he was for that offence convicted. The plaintiff was Deemster Christian who, Sumner declared, had taken a bribe of a salmon from a man engaged in a law-suit. The Duke of Atholl, president of the Court, passed upon him what seemed a brutal punishment, namely that he should pay £100 and be kept in Castle Rushen gaol for six months. This meant the closing down of his premises. He courageously wrote, however, from his prison that he would discharge all his legal debts. In the meantime his printing plant was sold by the Coroner for the sum of £141. The 'True Manxman' ceased before completing a year's life.
On the 2nd April, 1824, he wrote a long letter to the ' Manx Patriot' from his prison in Castle Rushen, where he had lain for over three months. When free he, on the 4th September of the same year, became the printer and publisher of the 'Manx Patriot,' which had been founded by Robert Currin the previous February. On 30th October, 1824, he was sued for libelling Horatio Nelson Carrington, 18 years of age, a clerk in a law office. The jury found hint not guilty.
On 29th April, 1825, Sumner was asecond time found guilty of libel. This time the plaintiff was the Rev. J. Gell, vicar of Kirk Bride The case, so said Roper, the counsel for the plaintiff, was initiated by Bishop Murray. He was sentenced to three months' imprisonment and a fine of £5. The case arose out of the Bishop's attempt to extract the 'green crop tithe' from the farmers. While he lay in prison he wrote several articles for his paper on the subject of the Manx Press.
It was stated by William Roper, advocate for the plaintiff, that Sumner's types were really the property of Thomas Gawne, the well-known lawyer. On the other hand Edward Moore Gawne [according to the 'Advertiser' of 28 Dec., 1826] declared that Grellier of the ' Sun' had got possession of the office equipment.
Early in June, 1825, Sumner was placed in the debtor's prison at Castle Rushen for not paying the rent of his office on the Parade to James Holmes, the banker.
This remarkable printer-journalist had issued in his paper of 5th May, 1825 - when a libel suit against him was pending - a lengthy prospectus of what he described as a Geographical, Statistical, Topographical and Agricultural View of the Isle of Man, compiled by John Sumner, editor of the " Manx Patriot," aided by ' respectable gentlemen and Farmers.' It was intended to be published in monthly numbers at 2/- each, containing 96 pp. . . . 'Each number will be embellished 'with a striking and natural view of the Island, drawn 'by an ingenious female artist. . . The work has no 'connection with or reference to the publication advertised by Captain Ashe.' The prospectus is dated 30th April, 1825, 'and the first number was announced to be issued in the following July. The publication never saw the light.
Summer was in Castle Rushen up to June 10, 1825, and continued his editorship from there. The paper ceased on Monday, June 13, which was No. 59 from its commencement early in 1824. The publisher, although the paper had ceased, must have had his plant in good order, for as soon as possible after his release he, on Saturday, 8th October, 1825, started once again (No. 60). Only one number (No. 61), issued eleven days after, is in the Manx Museum. There must have been further issues, to judge from, the notices in No. 61. One of these was for an apprentice to the printing business, and Sumner himself announced that he was setting up his Almanack for 1826.
Sumner appears to have been working as a journeyman printer in Douglas in 1826, for he is a witness in a case in which William Roper (Vicar-General) charges Deemster Christian with uttering a libel. One of Roper's charges was that the Deemster had attempted to foment a quarrel between himself and Captain Colquitt, the proprietor of the ' Rising Sun,' in order that one of them might be killed in the duel which was anticipated. Walls and Penrice, described as 'printers to the Rising Sun,' were witnesses in the case. At the close of the evidence, which took two days, the Deemster was acquitted.
According to an affidavit of McCrone (the Duke's agent), Sumner was employed by the 'Rising Sun,' and was discharged some little time after the foundation of that paper in 1821. Friends of the Duke and Bishop advanced money for a paper to express the Atholl views and Sumner was made editor. McCrone wrote articles and some were corrected by the Bishop.
Sumner was extravagant and dissipated, and failed for five shillings in the pound. His plant was purchased by Deemster Gawne.
CURRIN, ROBERT , Parade, Douglas.
Very little is known of Currin and his connection with Man. There is in the Museum only an incomplete run of his paper ' The Manx Patriot.' The first number was published early in March, 1824, price 4d. British. He advertises on 1st March that he can do all descriptions of printing, including bookwork, pamphlets, and circulars. He asks also for orders for copper-plate printing and bookbinding in its various branches. Currin, whose name is sometimes wrongly spelled Curwin, was followed in his printing office by Sumner.
WRIGHT, J. P., Manx Sun Office, North Quay, Douglas.
Wright's name appears in the imprints to the 'Manx Sun' from 12th August, 1826, to 13th February, 1827. His name was probably set down in order to fill a gap in the change over from John Penrice to J. Quiggin. 1828.
QUIGGIN, JOHN, and
QUIGGIN, MARY ANNA (GAWNE), Custom House, Quay, Douglas
John Quiggin was a citizen of Douglas, and probably served his apprenticeship with Jefferson. He appears to have commenced business on the Custom House Quay, two doors to the north of the Douglas Hotel. It is likely he occupied Beatson's old office. He printed many notable books. The finest typographical example is Train's History of the Isle of Man, printed in four parts in 1842 - 1845. To judge from the imprints to these parts, John Quiggin died in 1843, after the two first parts had been printed. His wife's name, Mary Anna Quiggin, appears in the imprint of the two following parts.
John Quiggin was married at Kirk Braddan on the 14th September, 1823, to his wife, Mary Anna, whose maiden name was Gawne. They both belonged to Douglas.
The Quiggins were the printers of the 'Manx Sun ' from 6th May, 1828, to 23rd April, 1841. In June, 1828, John Quiggin advertised that as he had become joint proprietor of the ' Manx Sun ' establishment he ' is enabled to execute all sorts of letterpress and copperplate printing.'
In the ' Manx Liberal ' of 19 June, 1841, he gives notice that, having separated from the ' Manx Sun ' establishment he had removed to Mr. Harris's shop, which was on the Custom House Quay.
The 'Liberal ' of 7 August, 1841, contains a report of the Chancery Court on 5 August, 1841, in which appears the case of James Grellier v. J. Quiggin. The petitioner and defendant formerly carried on as printers and publishers of the ' Manx Sun' under the firm of Quiggin and Co. Some time before they dissolved partnership. By mutual consent Wm. Powell was chosen to wind up the concern, but was prevented by defendant Quiggin from acting. The prayer of the petitioner was to compel Quiggin to give up the books and documents. The prayer of the petitioner was granted.
About 1845 a series of temperance tracts in the Manx language was printed by Mrs. Mary Anna Quiggin, and the fifth and last ed. of ' Lioar dy Hymnyn (the Hymn Book) was done by her in 1846. She continued at 52, North Quay, until after 1850.
An Almanack, based on the lines of Jefferson's, was issued by Quiggin. The first edition of his 'Illustrated Guide and Visitors' Companion' was issued in 1836. The sixth and last edn. was dated 1862. A feature of Quiggin's Guide are the engravings on steel by the celebrated engraver Lizars of Edinburgh.
WALLS, WILLIAM, and
FARGHER, ROBERT, Top of Post Office Lane, Douglas.
The first record of William Walls is that he was a journeyman printer in the office of the 'Manx Rising Sun' while it was under the management of John Penrice in 1821. He was then quite a young man. In June, 1833, he started a printing office in New Bond Street Lane, and issued a prospectus of a new 'constitutional free newspaper to be called Mona's Herald.'
Walls was joined in the project by Robert Fargher, who became the editor at the age of 30. Fargher served his apprenticeship with George Jefferson, who was his uncle by marriage. Fargher's maternal aunt, a Miss Christian, of Ballure, had married Jefferson. The partnership between Walls and Fargher was dissolved in June, 1839, when the latter took over the printing office and supervised it until his death in 1863.
Walls for a while became a journeyman in one of the printing offices, and in 1842 he printed and published in Great Nelson Street under the name of William Walls & Co. the weekly newspaper with the title ' The Manxman.' It ran only for eleven months. Specimen copies: are in the Museum Library.
Robert Fargher was, as a young man, very industrious. In 1834 he printed the Mona Diary and Manx Almanack, and in 1836 he printed the ' Temperance Guardian,' which after five years became the ' Temperance Advocate,' both edited by Dr. F. R. Lees.
It is interesting to note that in August, 1841, an apprentice named Norris sued Robert Fargher to maintain him while he (Fargher) was insolvent. He set the amount at £4 10s., being balance of wages due to him in accordance with the terms of the indenture. The Deemster gave judgment for plaintiff, less 34s. When the sale of Fargher's types and plant had been sold by auction by the Coroner, Norris was put up to purchase them in his name on behalf of persons named Kelly and Christian.
Robert Fargher was a true patriot, and many of the political and social reforms enjoyed by the people of Man grew out of his eager and self-sacrificing endeavours. He is without doubt the most striking and worthy figure in the history of the Manx Press. (See Manx Worthies, by A. W. Moore, p. 186.)
In 1847 he took such a spirited line of action against the then policy of the Keys that he was sentenced for a period in Castle Rushen gaol.
His eldest son, John Christian Fargher, followed, and but for a space of three years under the directorship of his youngest brother, Robert Bowring Fargher, he conducted the business until 1882.
A number of changes in the ownership of the ' Herald ' printing office came about in a short space of time. James Frederick Clucas, the foreman printer, and Thomas Ebenezer Mollard, a compositor, purchased the goodwill in 1882, and for a space of three years carried on under the style of Clucas and Mollard. On the retirement of the latter, Thomas Alexander Unsworth, a cousin of J. C. Fargher, came into the firm. Unsworth had been a compositor in the 'Sun ' Office. In the same year another of the Fargher family, Robert George, son of Robert Fargher's second son Jonadab, also a letterpress printer in the same office, joined the firm, which was then styled Clucas, Unsworth and Co., and later in 1888 Clucas and Fargher. Clucas died in 1915. In December, 1930, Robert George Fargher, J.P., sold the business, including the ' Herald' newspaper, to the present proprietors, Robert G. Kneale and W. Thomas Kneale.
During its long career the ' Mona's Herald' printing office occupied many sites. They were in -
1833 New Bond Street Lane.
1834 Top of Post Office Lane,
1852 Wellington Buildings, 38, Duke Street.
1867 8, Wellington Buildings, Duke Street.
1871 Athol Steam Printing Works, opposite the Post and Telegraph Office, Athol Street.
1886 15, Athol Street.
1897 Ridgeway Street.
PENRICE, JOHN, and WALLACE, JOSEPH RITSON , Parade (opposite York Hotel), Douglas.
Penrice, who had been the printer of the ' Manx Rising Sun ' from its commencement in 1821, was joined in 1836 by Joseph Ritson Wallace, and they founded the 'Manx Liberal.' Penrice was the practical man and Wallace the editor of the paper.
The printing office was at 'first on the Parade, opposite the York Hotel, and in 1849 it moved to the North Quay, near the Saddle Hotel. Their premises afterwards became the Seamen's Bethel.
In an advertisement in the first issue of the ' Manx Liberal,' 3rd September, 1836, they describe themselves as Letterpress and Copperplate Printers and Bookbinders. The office was at the Museum in Great George Street, Douglas.
An exquisite little book, now very rare, was printed by Penrice in 1825, entitled, 'A Legend of Mona: a tale in two cantos.' It was by that charming poet Eliza S. Craven, who became Eliza Craven Green, and as such is known as the author of the words of the ever-popular song ' Ellan Vannin.' The paper on which this booklet was printed was made at Walker's Laxey Mill.
A runaway apprentice from the ' Liberal ' office named Anthony Berm Little, who had been working for eight months at the office, unexpectedly absconded m January, 1837. He is described as 20 years old and speaks the Cumberland dialect.'
Wallace was an antiquary as well as a journalist, and formed a collection of curiosities at his house in Great Nelson Street, opposite the present Westminster Bank in Douglas. He afterwards removed the collection to Distington in Cumberland, whither he went to reside. He died at a ripe old age, possessed of an extensive museum, which was disposed of by auction about 1896.
The Manx relics in the museum included two portions of sculptured Crosses (Nos. 116 (90) and 138 (110) in Kermode's ' Manx Crosses ') ; these were purchased by the Manx Museum Trustees long before the Manx Museum was established in 1922, .Penrice is reported to have died in poverty.
On the 3rd May, 1849, a notice was printed in the press announcing that the partnership between John Penrice and Joseph Ritson Wallace was dissolved. Wallace was to be responsible for the debts of the firm. Penrice at the same time stated that he would ' continue to publish the 'Manx Liberal' as heretofore on his own account.'
According to the ' Manx Liberal ' of 10th February, 1838, there was being prepared for publication at that date ' by an inhabitant of the Isle of Man, a Description of a ' Philosophic Island hitherto undescribed, with the singular ' Manners and Customs of the People. Extracted principally from the MSS of a travelled lady. Dated at ' Laxey; 1st January, 1838.' This was never printed.
DILLON, W., North Quay, Douglas.
Dillon's name first appears on a title page in 1839, namely, on that of the Visitors' Guide, which was issued by him and written by Brotherston Laughton. He printed the official Deed of Association of the I.M.S.P. Co. in 1844.
How long Dillon ran his printing office is not known. According to an advertisement in the ' Manx Advertiser ' of 16th November, 1842, it is, stated that W. Dillon and Co. had made arrangements with George Jefferson ' for ' the purchase of his paper. . . The first impression of ' the ' Manks Advertiser and Farmers' Journal' will be ' printed under the new management. . . . The type and 'paper will be the best that can be procured.' Unfortunately we have not seen any copies of the ' Advertiser' after this date, and therefore are unable to quote the imprints. According to a diary kept by William Robinson, the printer, who served his time with Jefferson, it was sold on 1st October, 1842, to Dalton and Rogerson, of whom we know little. The ' Advertiser' ceased on 26th February, 1845.
He printed ' The Manks Farmers' Magazine and Monthly Historical Newspaper.' It was started 8 April, 1844, and ed. by S. S. Rogers.
According to G. W. Wood, Dillon printed ' The Church Chronicle,' which commenced on 24 April, 1845. He published a fine set of the eight views of the Manx Churches by Captain Wallace.
JOHNSON, ROBERT HEYWOOD, and his successors
Robert Heywood Johnson had served his apprenticeship with George Jefferson. His most important work was in 1847, when he
published Bluett's ' Advocate's Note Book,' which ran to 580 pages. (See p. 246.) Later, about 1856, he removed his plant
from 2, Great Nelson Street, to Prospect Hill, immediately opposite Athol Street.
Isabella Johnson, the widow of Robert Heywood, followed in 1871.
George Heywood, son of Robert Heywood Johnson, in 1881; and
George Heywood Johnson and Robert Henry Johnson his brother (trading as G. & R.Johnson) succeeded in 1886.
George Heywood Johnson died in 1909 and his sisterin-law, Teresa Lucy Johnson, continued under the style of G. & L. Johnson until the year 1920, \lien the business ceased.
The Johnsons here all fine craftsmen. No better examples of typography came from any press in the eighties than the ' Manx Note Book,' printed by George Heywood Johnson.
The founder of the firm, R. H. Johnson, in 1843 printed for a syndicate a weekly publication entitled ' The General Advertising Circular.' A difference occurred in 1853 between the syndicate and the printer, and the latter, in opposition, started ' The Weekly Advertising Circular,' the first issue being dated 10 February, 1853.
CANNELL, W., Duke Street, Douglas.
Cannell in all probability was not a letterpress printer. He was, like Mylrea, a publisher and bookseller. He published a charming Illustrated Guide in 1841 and a Manx Almanack in 1844. For a while he also had a place at Parliament Street, Ramsey. He published the first number of the King William's College Monthly Magazine on 16th September, 1843.
POWELL , WILLIAM, North Quay, Douglas.
The name of Powell as a printer does not appear in any imprint, but only on the occasion -when he is set down as printer and publisher of the 'Manx Sun,' namely from 4th June, 1841, to January 1st, 1842. When John Quiggin and James Grellier dissolved partnership in June, 1841, Powell was engaged to wind up the concern. He was originally a clerk in the employ of Grellier, the editor and proprietor of the 'Manx Sun,' and while being in that employment he married a Peel girl.
CURPHEY, PETER, the elder.
CURPHEY, HARRIET, and CURPHEY, PETER, the younger. The Curphey family followed James Brotherston Laughton in the ownership of the 'Manx Sun' printing office, and continued until 29th October, 1887, a period of nearly half a century.
The imprints of the 'Manx Sun' show that the first Peter's period ran to 1858, when his widow Harriet Curphey took over the responsibility. She appears to have been an industrious woinan with business leanings. Her son Peter, who was trained in the office, took over in 1881. He had not the keen business instincts of his parents, and, being a man of means and a bachelor, he disposed of his, business in 1887.
The Curpheys saw printing develop in Douglas from the period of the hand-press to that of the cylinder press propelled by steam. One of the first newspaper cylinder machines worked in the Island was brought from England by Harriet Curphey. She was the regular printer of the important works of the Manx Society, the first volume of which appeared in 1859. She also printed volumes 11 to XIV and volume XX in 1872; all of them being done in first-class style. She did most of the Government printing during the period while Sir H. B. Loch was Governor.
When Victoria Street was formed in 1874, the back of the King Street premises was so treated as to face the new street, and a handsome and commodious, building was erected, which still stands.
The 'Manx Sun' Office was moved in April, 1849, from 6, North Quay, to 31, North Quay (Lawrence's corner), and afterwards to King Street.
LIVESEY, JOHN , Athol Street, Douglas.
John Livesey was a well-known temperance reformer, who, with Dr. F. R. Lees, was active in the temperance mission in Man in the middle of last century. He was not a printer, but his name appears, in the imprints of several publications, all of which -,were associated with temperance activities.
Livesey appears to have, in 1844, used the press, of William Robinson and Co., whose printing office was at 66, Athol Street.
It is believed that the drinking fountain which stood on the old Red Pier was placed there at the cost of Livesey; also that he was one of the ' Seven Wise Men of Preston.'
CHRISTIAN, ELIZABETH, Ballasalla.
The Ballasalla Press was known as. 'The Millenial Office, Isle of Man, otherwise Woman,' whence numerous pamphlets and broadsheets made their appearance in furtherance of the peculiar views of this religious enthusiast. She is said to have been a ' shaker.'* She issued several broadsheets of a religious character. Only one of these is in the Museum Library. One, which is not in the Museum, is advertised in the 'Manx Sun' of 2nd July, 1842, as follows:
'Just published, Price 6d., 12mo. A Pamphlet; being 'part of the Millenial Book; the Bright Morning Star; ' which is the interpretation of the Scripture; written by 'the persecuted woman in the Isle of Man, well known ' by the name of Elizabeth Christian, but now Elij., which ' contains her conversion to God, with secrets that have 'been revealed to her which have remained unknown from ' the Foundation of the World; together with the Hidden ' Things of Darkness that have been made known to her. ' Ballasalla: Published and sold at the Millenial Office, 'June 18th, 1842.'
Another, a small octavo of eight pages, mentioned in Harrison, p. 164, is entitled ' A Light to Lighten the Gentiles,' and printed in 1844.
A. W. Moore, in his 'Manx Worthies,' states:
' Elizabeth Christian first became notorious in 1843, when she, in company with a man named Garrett, set ups what ' she called a " Garden of Eden " at the foot of Snaefell. ' She declared that she was the Virgin Mary, and that ' her partner was Elias; that they were the first fruits ' of the Millenium, and that their office was to try all flesh as to its eligibility for the millenial state. All, ' however, who could not pass the naked ordeal were to ' be excluded. She stated that she and her partner would ' appear weekly on the top of Snaefell in a state of nature ' till the harvest was ready, when the wheat would be ' separated from the tares, by the whole of the rest of ' the Island being submerged, but she does not seem to have carried out her intention. In the following year ' she, with her two sisters, one of whom was called Jane ' (b. 1801, d. 1871), took up her residence at Laburnam ' Cottage, Castletown Road, and she assumed the name of ' Elijah. Here they began to print a number of small 'pamphlets and broadsides, which were issued from what they called the " Millenial Office, Ballasalla." They were their own compositors. Elizabeth died about 1847, when the mantle of the prophet fell on lane, who carried 'on these publications until April, 1863.'
If, as A. W. Moore points out, Elizabeth and her sister Jane were their own compositors, their work is highly creditable.
In the broadsheet. printed at Ballasalla in April, 1863, entitled 'Out of prison He cometh to reign' (Eccles. iv., 14), the author writes: 'I have often thought of my false ' imprisonment for nearly three months in Castle Rushen ' in the year 1840, that it had some connection with that ' part of the scripture which says out of prison He ' cometh to reign.'
The author had occupied a little cottage at Ballasalla for eight years from 1855, and had regularly paid the rent. In 1863, according to the broadsheet, she failed to pay the half-year's rent due, and was prosecuted by the landlord. The rent was ultimately paid by the wife of the Vicar of Kirk Malew and others, and the author concludes: 'I, Elijah Christian, thank the ladies and ' gentlemen of Castletown and neighbourhood, as well as 'all who gave towards paying the debt above-mentioned, 'hoping that they will hold themselves in readiness for
' the great battle of Armagadon. As for the seven clergymen which I wrote to, and the Wesleyan preacher and ' teetoller, as well as Spurgeon of London, whom I felt galled to prove his charity in my time of strait, these 'nine men whom I have proved cannot stand in battle, as they have only faith and not works, read James ii, 17.'
The Ven. Archdeacon, writing 7th April, 1937, gives some information about this strange character: ' I reinem' ber Elizabeth Christian of Ballasalla very well, about 72 'years ago. She had changed her name to Elijah ' Christian. I, as a small boy, wondered how a woman 'could have a man's name. I asked my father to give 'me the reason for this, and he told me that she had 'adopted the name because she had come to the people 'in the spirit of Elijah. She was taking her pamphlets 'and leaflets round. I remember only one of these-a
' leaflet. It had the words and also the music of a hymn, of which the refrain was "Come to Jesus just now."' * One of an American religious sect (calling itself 'The Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing'), which exists in the form of mixed communities of men and women living- in celibacy, founded 1784.-Oxford Dic.
Walls, the printer who had been in partnership with Robert Fargher of the 'herald,' started a printing office in connection with his short-lived paper, 'The Manxman.' He had formerly been in the employ of Jefferson,
WILLIAM ROBINSON, PRINTER AND REFORMER.
The best equpped printer of his time in Douglas. He printed, in 1849, 10,000 copies monthly of his Temperance Advocate and sent them across the water post free. ' [To face p. 115.
ROBINSON, WILLIAM, 66 Athol Street, Douglas. William Robinson, the printer, belonged to a well-known Douglas family. His brothers John and Henry were successful architects and had built, about 1840, the Oddfellows Hall in Athol Street, which later became the Douglas Court House. Soon after it was built it was, in 1842, offered for sale by the Coroner of Middle,
His father was John Robinson, of Douglas (1765-1839), and his mother Jane Cannell (1772-1854). William (1814-1902) was twice married, first to Helen Cashen of Peel and later to Fanny, the sister of the first wife. A son of the latter, Henry John, ,vas alive at the age of 86 when these notes were written in 1937.
William Robinson was apprenticed to George Jefferson of the 'Manks Advertiser,' and he was in that printing office as boy, journeyman, and manager, a total of fourteen years. He was a very methodical man and kept a diary. According to this record, the ' Manks Advertiser' was sold on Ist October, 1842, to W. Dillon and S. S. Rogers, and Robinson continued to work for the new proprietors until 29th January, 1844, when the paper was sold to John Livesey. On 17th July, 1844, William Robinson and Dr. F. R. Lees, the eminent medical man and author-lecturer of Liverpool, bought the business from John Livesey. This combination of writer and practical printer was for several years very successful. They had the best printing machinery at their office at 66 Athol Street, and printed many thousands of copies of such monthly papers as the 'Temperance Advocate,' the 'Long Pledge Teetotaler,' the 'Truth Tester,' 'Vegetarian Advocate,' and 'Youth's Journal.' He records in his diary that owing to the free postage which prevailed from the Isle of Man, the circulation of the 'Temperance Advocate' at one time reached 10,000 a month; and he claimed that this was splendid missionary work.
William Robinson wrote many articles to the 'Manx Sun' and other papers on the subject of temperance. It is interesting to note that the well-known Tillotson, of Bolton, served his apprenticeship with him.
His strenuous labours in the Island as a reformer were, however, soon to cease, for, according to his diary, on 18th April, 1849, the free postage which had continued for many years was suddenly stopped by the English Government. This compelled the removal of the business with the printing plant from Douglas to Bolton, which was the headquarters of the 'Temperance Advocate.' Robinson, who was most enterprising, in April, 1854, bought the 'Bolton Advertiser,' a monthly paper. The business was continued by his two sons, Charles and George. The latter being the survivor, died in 1934, and the business with him. William Robinson when living in Douglas was with his family associated with the Independent Chapel in Athol Street, the precursor of Finch Hill Congregational Church.
O'BRIEN, JAMES BRONTIERE, 40, Duke Street, Douglas.
O'Brien has left little behind him to show he was a printer. In advertisements in the press around 1844 he describes himself as printer and stationer, of 40 Duke Street, a shop which was taken later by Kerruish, the bookseller. He printed and published the 'National Reformer,' which commenced on 16 November, 1844, and was issued every Saturday. It was wound up 20 May, 1848. He is mentioned in Train's list, vol. ii, p. 382, and in Harrison's Bibli. Mon., pp, 166, 176. He is stated by Harrison to have printed a ' Travellers' Guide ' in 1847, 12mo., 32pp., but the compiler has not seen a copy.
SHIRREFS, WILLIAM, and RUSSELL, ANDREW, the Mona Steam Press, 2, Lord Street, Douglas.
Shirrefs and Russell came to Douglas, along with others, to take advantage of the exemption from stamp duty on newspapers published in the Isle of Man. The firm printed and published in January, 1847, a weekly newspaper, 'The Isle of Man Times.' It is very rare. A single copy is in the Manx Museum. There is none in the British Museum. It ceased in 1849, twelve years before James Brown adopted the same title for his paper in 1861. There is good evidence in the columns of the 'Manx Sun' and 'Manx Liberal' that James Brown was on the staff of Shirrefs and Russell. Their plant must have excelled that of all their contemporaries. They claimed to possess 'the newest and most approved printing machinery propelled by steam power, Columbian and other presses. . founts of useful and ornamental type from Pearl to 30 line pica. They employ careful and experienced tworkmen in addition to their own unremitting personal superintendance.'
Among the periodicals printed and published by Shirrefs and Russell were 'The Oddfellows' Chronicle' and 'The People's Press, 'The League,' ' The Cause of the People,' and other papers.
Shirrefs was an able writer, and while here was useful in the social life of the town. He was Provincial Secretary of the Isle of Man District of Oddfellows, and in 1847 he described himself as a ' Fellow of the Statistical Society of London, editor of the ' Isle of Man Times,' the ' People's Press,' etc. He must have spent some of his early days in Ramsey, for he is advertised as a bookbinder, bookseller and stationer, and connected with a. newsroom there on 7th November, 1834.
In June, 1849, soon after the series of publications brought out by the 'adventurers' ceased to be published, suits for amounts owing by the 'Times' aggregating to about £4,000, were brought into the Deemster's Court. In October of 1849 the types, plant and machinery belonging to the firm of Shirrefs and Russell, including a cylinder machine and a Columbian handpress, were sold by tender. An Edinburgh man named William Hill, who had been employed as a ' reader ' at a wage of 30s. per week, sited the firm for the balance of his wages due.
BACKWELL, MATTHEW PRICE, Athol Street, Douglas.
In February, 1845, M. P. Backwell commenced business in Duke Street, Douglas, in a shop next door to the Wellington Market. He had been the practical manager of Cannell's bookbinding department. He also claimed to be a paper ruler and copperplate printer. He had a few literary ventures and there was printed in the 'Manx Sun ' in 1848 at least one poem from his pen. He published an excellent Handbook for Visitors in 1849 which went through several editions; and it is very likely that many of the wood engravings in the handbook were cut by himself. His Athol Street premises were on the site of the Isle of Man Bank. Before coming to Man he was editor of the ' Port of Tyne Pilot.' A relative, F. Backwell, had a dye-house in Fort Street.
In an advertisement in 'The Manx Cat' of 2nd March, 1848, M. P. Backwell was announced to publish the first number of the 'Isle of Man News and Christian Record,' 20pp., 2d. (afterwards reduced to 1½d.). No complete copy of this publication is known; only a fragment of it is in the Museum. This fragment was discovered by sharp eyes when a lady donor brought into the Museum a parcel of books wrapped up in an old newspaper which proved to be an 8pp. section of the ' Isle of Man News and Christian Record.'
M. 1P, Backwell advertises in 1850 the possession of a lithographic printing press, a bookbinding, printing and paper ruling plant. His place was then at 3, Strand Street.
BACKWELL, MATTHEW JAMES, Malew Street, Castletown.
When only 22 years of age, Matthew James, son of Matthew Price Backwell, in 1851, commenced business in Castletown. Two sons, Alfred Corlett Backwell and Frederick Corlett Backwell, following the profession, were in the same premises in Malew Street. The Backwells were excellent printers for a long period, and did teost of the printing for King William's College. Thomas Heywood Taubman Cowell, who served his time with the firm, now conducts the business.
Mr. A. C. Backwcll, of Castletown, writes: 'My grandfather retired before my time and my first remembrance of him was when he lived in one of his homes near Liverpool. He wrote a number of things for English magazines, and one short poem of his, "Speak not 'harshly," was published in "The Thousand Best Poems 'in the World " in Melbourne as Anonymous. I think he wrote things for Shirrefs and Russell's " Isle of Man 'Times." My grandfather engraved his own and other wooden blocks and also did copperplate engraving. I have a copy of Bishop Wilson's "Prayers for Fishermen printed on linen by my grandfather.'
Frederick Corlett Backwell and Alfred Corlett Backwell followed Matthew James Backwell.
TUPPER, CARRE COOK , 13, South Quay, Douglas. Tupper was associated with the 'Manx Sun' as a freelance journalist. He was not a letterpress printer, but during the years 1845-1848 his imprint appears in several pamphlets. His name appears in various law, court proceedings, not always to his credit. He resided for a while in Fort Street, the landlord of the house having to sue him for the rent. At an earlier date he lived at the Hague, Kirk Conchan. One of the pamphlets printed by him was written by John Crawford, a writer whose libellous effusions on one occasion got Robert Fargher, the editor of ' Mona's Herald,' a night in Castle Rushen gaol in the year 1847.
According to the 'Sun' he was attached to the Duke of Atholl party in the tithe riots of 1825.
LEECH, FREDERIC, 26, Parliament Street, Ramsey. Leech, for his day, was an enterprising nand ingenious printer. He did a good deal of work, the best of which was his 'Illustrated Guide to the Island.' This was rernarkably well printed and embellished with numerous engravings oil steel. He is perhaps best known for his having printed 'The Ramsey Times,' a newspaper which was published by him for one issue only, namely, on the occasion of the ever-memorable visit of Queen Victoria and Prince Consort to Ramsey on 20th September, 1847. It was to mark this occasion that the Albert Tower was erected on Lhergy Frissell a year after.
The descriptive text of the famous 'Ramsey Times' was graphically written by Leech, and considering that it was done in a hurry and with only the resources of a small jobbing office, the results are very creditable, Leech's office was in Church Street.
Leech, according to T. C. Radcliffe, who was born in 1850, afterwards went to Lever Street, Manchester, in the printing business. His type and machinery were in the basement of 216, Parliament Street, opposite the ' Courier' office. His business appears to have been taken over by John Hampton, of the Post Office. Ramsey.
It has been stated that Leech started a paper called the ' Ramsey Telegraph,' but no copy has been seen by the compiler.
CUDD , GEORGE JOHN , 8, Thomas Street, Douglas. The earliest record of Cudd's printing office is in 1847, when his name appears in the imprint of a 12mo. pamphlet of 12pp. entitled, ' The Queen's Visit to Mona, or The Little Orator.' On the 16th September, 1847, he printed 'The Manx Cat' for Alfred Ormonde, a sporting journalist from Ireland,. It had previously been printed on the press of Mary Anna Quiggin.
In the columns of the 'Manx Cat' Cudd advertises that he has ' recently made very extensive additions to ' his assortment of type, which now embrace all the various ' improvements in connection with the Art of Typography, ' and he possesses every facility for the production of ' superior workmanship.' He printed, also, ' The Church of England Journal.' For having on one occasion made a reference in his ' Manx Cat,' a man named Corkill gave Cudd a black eye and also horse-whipped him. Corkill was fined £4 by the Deemster, a punishment which, according to the evidence, was inadequate. It will interest printers to know that in Ormonde's ' Manx Cat' are shown several woodcuts by George A. Dean, engraver. His son, also George A., became a lithographer and photographer.
BUSTEED, R. , Dale Street, Ramsey.
The only record of the existence of this printer is in the so-called newspaper entitled ' The Manx Press.' To judge from the only copy which we have been privileged to see (belonging to the Rev. Canon Kermode, M.A.), Busteed was the least skilled craftsman within our knowledge. The setting-up of the type appears to have been done by amateurs, and the machining is very ineffective. The only other copy of this paper known is in the British, Museum.
Ormonde was a free-lance journalist who came here during the period when newspapers were sent free by post from the Island to the British isles and the dependencies. He was not a printer. His quizzical journal, 'The Manx Cat,' was printed and published by Mary Anna Quiggin and later on by George John Cudd. It was claimed that the circulation was two thousand copies per issue. Ormonde, who was a facetious writer, lived first at 14, North Quay, then at No. 1, South Quay, 2, Woodhouse Terrace, and Minerva Cottage, Prospect Hill. Ormonde, like more than one local editor, spent some nights in Castle Rushen gaol for the offence of libel. A well-known reformer-politician, Johnny Duggan, of Douglas, successfully brought a case against him. Ormonde while here, and later on in England, gave dramatic entertainments. He was so successful that lie was prevailed on to go to the U.S A. to perform.
Harrison, in Bib. Mon., p. 180, states that Ormonde was the proprietor of a new publication said to have been started about 1848 (exact date unknown), entitled ' The Clown,' and printed by Cudd. The title had a woodcut of a clown cutting open a pie, out of which comes a young clown.
MyLREA , JOHN, Duke Street, Douglas.
Mylrea was not a letterpress printer, but he published several books and pamphlets. He also published prints, the most notable being the series of six by Burkill in 1857.
HENRY, THOMAS, 4, Thomas Street, Douglas. Henry was a skilled letterpress printer. His wife was Elizabeth Caroline Cudd, of Castletowii, a relative of George John Cudd, the printer, whose office in 1847 was in the same street, close by Thomas Street Wesleyan Chapel, where now stands a part of Victoria Street. He probably succeeded G. Cudd in his business.
The only record in the Museum of Henry's work is a booklet (probably unique) of poems written by himself, entitled, ' The Isle of Man Poetically Illustrated.' The author describes his rhymes as 'illustrative of the topographical and legendary history of the Island.' There are some quaint woodcuts, probably made by M. P. Backwell, a local engraver. The author makes the unexpected announcement that 'any literary lady or gentleman . 'desirous of obtaining a knowledge of the Art of Printing in order to issue or superintend the execution of 'their own works, may be instructed at their own ' residences,'
BROWN , JAMES , King Street, corner of Thomas Street,
BROWN, JOHN ARCHIBALD, and
BROWN & SONS, LIMITED, Athol Street, Douglas.
In a biographical sketch written by John Archibald Brown, which appeared in the 'Isle of Man Times' of 19th 'March, 1881, James Brown is said to have come to Douglas as a letterpress printer in the year 1846. He had been born in Liverpool, had served his time in the jobbing office of Geo. Wood in Price Street, and afterwards worked as a compositor in the offices of the 'Liverpool Mercury,' the ' Albion,' 'Liverpool Mail,' and 'Liverpool Journal.' It is evident that he came with the object of joining the staff of a publication founded by one of the adventurous band of English printers who about that time came to Man in order to take advantage of the prevailing free postal facilities. This publication, according to his son's account, was ' The National Reformer,' which was commenced on 16th November. 1844, by James Brontiere O'Brien. This is very likely. It is not known when the ' Reformer' ceased to be published, but O'Brien's estate was wound up on 20th May, 1848.
John A. Brown, in one of his accounts, attributes the 'National Reformer' to 'an Irishman named O'Connell,' but this is probably a confusion with the great Irish agitator, Daniel O'Connell. John A. was only four or five years old when that paper started, and therefore would have no personal knowledge of it.
The Reformer' was not in any way associated with Chartism or the Irish parties. It described itself as ' the only journal in the world which advocates thorough reform of all our institutions, political and social, on true Conservative principles.'
John A. Brown states that when, in 1848, the ' National Reformer failed, his father, partly with borrowed capital, 'opened a small printing office in one of the narrow streets still known as Duke-lane. . . . He soon after issued 'a little newspaper which he appropriately (having regard 'to the matter in it) called "The Manx Lion "
After a stormy career of a few months it was brought 'to a premature end' - in one account three months and in another six weeks.
No copy of 'The Manx Lion' has come down to its, and no description of it is given in print by any other authority. It is not in the British Museum. There is, however, a definite reference to the publication made in a Handbook for Visitors published in 1848 by Kent and Richards, of London. On p. 108 there is a list of newspapers and periodicals published at that time ending with the words 'And the last is the "Manx Lion," established in 1848, published by Brown and Matthews, Liberal, Tuesday.'
Through the kindness of the Chief Librarian of the Liverpool Free Public Library vve have found that a periodical with the title "The Liverpool Lion' was published and edited in that city by two brothers named William and Robert Brough. Its first issue is dated 10th April, 1847, and it continued to No. 40, dated 12th February, 1848.
It would appear, according to the articles in the ' Manx Sun' and 'Manx Liberal,' that James Brown was at one time on the staff of the ' Isle of Man Tienes,' a newspaper started in 1847 by William Shirrefs and Andrew Russell. This was a most enterprising firm, which published half a dozen monthly periodicals intended for circulation outside of the Isle of Man.
When free postage from the Isle of Man to England and the Colonies came to an end for these adventure publications the firm of Shirrefs and Russell became insolvent in 1848.
It is interesting to note that the first piece of printing on record containing the imprint of James Brown is a curious crown octavo pamphlet, printed in 1850, at the printing office in Duke Street, corner of Thomas Street. Its title is ' A Manks Historical and Geographical Dictionary of Places mentioned in the Bible.' There is no indication as to who the compiler was. The copy in the Museum appears to be unique.
In February, 1849, there was first published 'The Isle of Man General Advertising Circular.' I.t was printed by Robert Heywood Johnson for 'The Isle of Man General Advertising Company,' which appears to be a trading name for Peter Cranke Wood estate agent. In the 208th issue, dated 17th February, 1853, a copy of which is preserved in Brown & Sons offices, the announcement is made that henceforth the Circular is not to be had from Johnson, but from Wood or James Brown, at his general printing offices, Parade Street and 56, North Quay. Johnson had established a Circular of his own in 1853.
Early in 1855, as Brown had been unable to obtain payment from Wood for his work as a printer, he took the Circular over in satisfaction of the debt. This account is contained in reminiscences of John A. Brown published on 2nd May, 1931, and the firm preserves a copy of Brown's Advertising Circular' dated 1st December, 1857, and numbered 152.- This was the nucleus of James Brown's ' Isle of Man Times,' the first issue of which appeared on 4th May, 1861. It will be noticed that he took over the title of the Shirrefs and Russell paper which had closed twelve years before John Archibald Brown, the eldest son of James, was born in Liverpool in November, 1840. 'Before I was in my teens' (he once told the compiler of this bibliography) ' I was able to set type, and not many years after that I could set out of my head without copy a leading article.' As a young man he was very industrious and took many burdens of management from the shoulders of his father. He learnt shorthand and became the first reporter. At 23 years of age he was editor, and from that date to his death he was the active head of the establishment.
The first alteration in the imprint of the 'Times' was on 17th July, 1869. It read: 'Printed and published at the Isle of Man Times and General Advertiser Printing Office, Wellington Street, by James Browrn, of No. 9, Prospect Terrace, and John Archibald Brown, of No. 1, Stephen Terrace, Douglas, in the parish of Conchan.'
On 11 May, 1872, No. 9, Athol Street, was inserted instead of Wellington Street, and on 17th February, 1877, James Brown's name disappears from the imprint, which then reads: 'Printed and published every Saturday at tire Isle of Man Times Printing Office, No. 9, Athol Street, by John Archibald Brown, of No. 10, Prospect Terrace. On 17th March, 1888, the private address was 14, Victoria Road; on 15th October, 1890, it was Woodlands; on 13th lune, 1903, 6, Windsor Terrace; Hill May, 1907, 17, Woodbourne Square; 23rd April, 1910, Northville, Laureston Road; 24th May, 1919, Cranford, Laureston Road, where he died on 2nd April, 1925, the place of interment being the Borough Cemetery.
The business was formed into a limited liability company called Brown and Sons Limited, which was incorporated on 11th December, 1896.
After the death of John Archibald Brown his son, George John Archibald Brown, of 39, York Road, was appointed by the directors of the Company to be editor of the newspaper and managing director of the printing and allied business.
Janes D. Fell, the overseer of the 'Times' printing office, has received the unique honour for a working printer to become a J.P.
KERRUISH, J., 38, Duke Street, Douglas.
Kerruish was not a letterpress printer. He was for a long while a bookseller, and he published some important prints. His Visitors' Guide Book was issued in 1849.
KNEALE , WILLIAM , Duke Street, Douglas
Kneile was without doubt one of the best literary figures of his period. He was not a printer, but he published several works of a scholarly character, the most outstanding one being Cumming's Description of the Manx Crosses, with lithographed plates, in 1857. He is best known by his 'Guide for the Use of Visitors,' the first edition of which was published about 1860. The author was a sound antiquary, and his contributions from tilue to time on the runes carved on our crosses were looked upon by his contemporaries with respect.
WHITE, WALTER , 1, Christian Road, Douglas.
White's imprint seldom appears on other than theatre bills and programmes. Connected wiTH the Theatre Royal, which property was built in 1858 by his sister's husband, John Mosley. Later, in 1861, his printing office was at Wellington Street.
GLOVER , MATTHEW , Custom Mouse Quay, Douglas. Glover's family came from Yorkshire. He served his apprenticeship with Mary A. Quiggin, and soon after married Isabella Kaye, sister of Joseph Kaye, who became Mayor of Douglas, and a relative of Mary A. Quiggin. John Caesar Kaye, who served his apprenticeship with Glover, was a son of Caesar, brother of Joseph Kaye. Glover's 'Gnide for the Use of Visitors' was first published about 1862.
HAMPTON, JOHN , 19, Parliament Street, Post Office, Ramsey.
The first job on record printed by John Hampton is dated 1861. He printed two little books of poems written by the Rev. W. M. Hutton, Vicar of Lezayre, in the seventies. He printed the ' Ramsey and District Magazine ' and ' Hampton's Family Almanack.' He was the Ramsey Postmaster. He died on 3rd August, 1878, but his widow carried on the business until the plant and type were purchased by John Craine, who for a while carried on the business of printer and stationer and later on, in 1884, founded ' The Ramsey Courier.'
Hampton's foreman printer was named Kennish, a relative of Kennish the poet, and he continued to act as such for John Craine.
FARGHER, JOHN CHRISTIAN, 1863-1891, 7, Sidney Street, Douglas.
[See under Walls and Fargher, 1833, p. 1150.]
JOHNSON, ISABELLA, 12, Prospect Hill, Douglas. [See under Johnson, 1840, p. 1153.]
SUMMERS , HARDY J., Market Hill, Ramser.
T. C. Radcliffe, an old Ramsey townsman, says Summers printed and published a weekly newspaper called ' The Isle of Man Telegraph and Ramsey Advertiser.'
Summers had married a local lady. His office was on the Market Hill, between Parliament Square and the Market Place. His father, M. Summers - a chemist, occupying premises in Parliament Street near the Court House - was well known in Methodist circles, and in 1857 wrote and printed a short biography of Thomas Crennell, H.K, father of William Crennell, H.K. The father and mother are buried at Kirk Maughold. After leaving Ramsey Summers is said to have been in business in Birmingham and later in London, wherc he continued his journalistic activities.
BROADBENT, SAMUEL KEOWN , Victoria Street, Douglas.
He was. born in Peel in 1852, being the grandson of a Wesleyan Methodist minister. His, mother belonged to the well-known Peel family of Keown. Soon after his apprenticeship with Matthew Glover was completed, and having gained experience in Liverpool, he, in 1876, started a printing and allied business in Duke Street, two doors north of King Street, and next to Emett's then corner shop. In 1880 he moved to Victoria Street, adjoining the premises of Archer and Evans, drapers, the latter now occupied by Boots, chemists.. Ou 10th July of that year he started the ' Isle of Man Esaminer.' The business was formed into a limited company in 1897, the first directors being S. K. Broadbent, Dr. W. Cregeen Faraker, William Cubbon and Arthur Cannan Lewthwaite. Cubbon was the foreman and acting editor and Lewthwaite the secretary. In the year 1900 the office was moved to the top of Victoria Street, then known as ' Coole's Corner.' A flat-bed web machine was installed to print the newspaper, but was abandoned in favour of a ' Wharfedale' cylinder machine.
Branches were started in Peel, Ramsey, and Port St. Mary, the last-named contiuuirrg to the present. J. Alfred Quayle was the manager at Port St. Mary until he retired in 1936.
In 1923 the shares in the Company were purchased by Thomas R. Radcliffe, formerly business manager and secretary of 'The Oldham Chronicle.' New premises were built in Hill Street and new type-setting and printing plant of the latest type were installed in 1924. The firm was the first to instal process engraving plant.
S. K. Broadbent died on 2nd December, 1924. Subsequently the title of the firm was changed to ' Isle of Man Examiner Ltd.'
Alex Corran, one of the hands in the printing office of the ' Isle of Man Examiner ' in its earlier years, became the owner and editor of the ' Torres Straits Daily Pilot,' and was on several occasions the Mayor of the chief town.
COWIN, WILLIAM HENRY, 46, North Quay, Douglas.
This printer, who was the overseer in the ' Manx Sun ' works, commenced business on the North Quay, and later on moved to 27, Strand Street. He published the " Manx Fun " and "Manx Tit Bits." Not being in good health, he discontinued about 1888.
DAWSON , G. W., Union Mills, Braddan.
This printer, who had, it is, believed, been a foreman in the ' Manx Sun ' office, started in business for himself about the year 1880. He printed a demy 16mo. book of 192pp. with the title: 'Money: how to get it! A Book for those who wish to rise in the world.' There is no date given; the imprint simply states: 'G. W. Dawson, The Manx Echo Office, Union Mills, Braddan.' The date would probably be about 1880.
From the Union Mills, Dawson moved his printing office to Hills Gardens, Douglas, close to the site of what is noly Noble's Hall (Porter's Direc., 1889). He printed and published 'The Manx Punch and Scrap Book' at his printing office, Hills Gardens, Douglas, in 1885 and 1886. It was an 8pp. demy quarto paper and sold at a halfpenny. An interesting feature about it was the title page, which was from a drawing by J. M. Nicholson (see illus, p. 1170). 1880.
McGREG0R, JAMES, Ramsey.
McGregor followed Summers and took over his business. His works were at the rear of the premises now (1937) occupied by Holmes, draper, Parliament Street, near the Saddle Hotel. According to T. C. Radcliffe he stayed in Ramsey but a year or two.
Facsimile of the Cover of the ' Manx Punch' published by
G. W. Dawson in 1885-1886, designed by John M, Nicholson,
PALMER, WILLIAM KNOWLES , Michael Street, Peel.
W. K. Palmer served his apprenticeship in the office of Matthew Glover, North Quay, Douglas. Apprentices with him were Robert H. Corteen and Samuel Keown Broadment. When the latter started business on his own account in Douglas in 1876, Palmer became his foreman. In 1880 Broadbent started a branch business in Peel and Palmer became manager. William Cubbon was his first apprentice in 1880. In 1885 Palmer took over the Peel business from Broadbent, and on March 7th, 1891, he issued the first number of the ' Peel Chronicle,' a weekly paper with religious equality for Nonconformists as its aim. On 26th January, 1895, he incorporated the 'Chronicle' with the ' Peel City Guardian,' founded in 1882 by a number of Peel men headed by Richard Thomas Cowley. The title is now 'The Peel City Guardian and Chronicle.' At his death on December 31st, 1923, the business was carried on by his widow, Jane Anne Palmer, until her death on January 22nd, 1930, when the business was taken over by two sons, Charles W. and Samuel T. Palmer, under the name of W. K. Palmer and Sons.
A notable apprentice of W. K. Palmer was Henry A. Corris, a Peel boy. After serving his time he moved to Liverpool and started with C. Tinling & Co., general printers. He became ' clicker' or charge-hand, later deputy-overseer, and for 20 years until 1936 was overseer with a staff of round about one hundred., He informs me that he has 'cast off' at least 400 books during his overseership.
FITZSIMMONS , WILLIAM, Queen Street, Douglas.
Fitzsimmons served his apprenticeship with Glover. Later he worked for Hardy Summers in Ramsey. In 1880 he commenced in Queen Street, Douglas, the 'Isle of Man Standard.' He had a small staff, and had to write the articles and put them into type himself. He was thus much handicapped, especially as he was unable to give any time to canvassing for advertisements. The paper had a short existence, and no copy of it has survived. He was in his young days an excellent athlete and sprinter.
Fitzsimmons was the son of a Foxdale miner and was educated in the little school in the village by Thomas Hudson. He was a clever journalist and claimed to have developed a shorthand entirely his own. He was in the early eighties the chief reporter on the ' Isle of Man Examiner.'
PARKINSON, MARK, Duke Street, Douglas.
Parkinson's name first occurs in a receipted account paid by the Peel Castle Restoration Fund to Harriet Curphey, then proprietor of the 'Manx Sun' in 1877. He became the chief reporter during Peter Curphey's period. In 1882 he started a printing office in Duke Street, opposite to Kewley's (later Cannell's) cafe, his foreman being J. H. Vick. He printed the Douglas Grammar School magazine, ' Aulĉan,' in 1881-82.
COWLEY, RICHARD THOMAS, Mount Morrison, Peel.
Richard Thomas Cowley printed and published the first issue of the ' Peel City Guardian ' on 2nd December, 1882, at the City Guardian and General Printing Works, Michael Street, Peel, on behalf of proprietors whose names are not given. The paper was published by this syndicate for the promotion of the interests of Peel, and was published weekly under this control until 30th November, 1883, when Cowley became sole proprietor. He retired through ill-health on June 30th, 1886. He was a son of William Cowley, a well-known headmaster of the Clothworkers' School, Peel.
CRAIN E, JOHN , 19, Parliament Street, Ramsey.
John Craine, who was born in Ramsey in 1850, while still a young man, bought the printing and stationery business from Mrs. Hampton, and started the ' Ramsey Courier.' He was a promising member of the Manx Bar, but his patriotism led him to use all his influence in the promotion of Ramsey's best interests through the medium of the Press.
Craine was a facile worker and a good amateur artist; he was, too, an excellent musician and composer. He brought out the first number of the ' Courier' on 21st June, 1884. The printing office was under the superintendence of a foreman named Kenuish, a relative of the poet of Cornaa. The last number of the ' Courier' with Craine's imprint was 9th November, 1889. Ramsey owes a good deal to John Craine, who died on 8th July, 1937, aged 86.
In September, 1889, John Craine unsuccessfully sought to form a company called The Ramsey Printing Company to take over the goodwill and copyright of the ' Courier' and the printing plant.
CLUCAS, JAMES FREDERICK, and UNSWORTH, THOMAS A.
[See under Walls and Fargher, 1833, p. 1150.]
FARGHER, ROBERT GEORGE.
[See under Walls and Fargher, 1833, p. 1150.]
CALLISTER , Mrs. ELIZABETH , The Schoolhouse, Patrick.
When Richard Thomas Cowley retired from the 'Peel City Guardian' the business was carried on by Mrs. L. Collister, who published the 'Peel City Guardian' from 3rd, ,July 1886. until 9th July, 1887, when the business was taken over by William Henty Collister.
C0LLISTER,WILLIAM HENRY, 17,Michael Street, Peel.
Having served some years of his apprenticeship with Richard Thomas Cowley, W. H. Collister took over the business and the publication of the ' Peel City Guardian ' from Mlrs. Elizabeth Collister. The first issue made by him was on July 9th, 1887. He suffered from ill-health and had for a time the help of his brother, Ambrose Collister, a schoolmaster. He died in 1889, being followed by Stanley Kay Bawden, and later by W. K. Palmer.
SPENCER, FRANK WILLIAM , Manx Sun Office, Douglas.
Spencer came from Manchester as chief reporter for the ' Manx Sun,' and when Peter Curphey the younger relinquished the business he took it over. His foreman was Alfred Robinson, and later William Newby. In the year 1894 he took into partnership Loius George Hannay, the business being carried on to June, 1900, when it failed.
LOONEY, JAMES , Victoria Buildiugs, Parliament Street, Ramsey.
He was a jobbing printer and came, it is stated, from Frizington, Cumberland. He was in business only a few years and afterwards emigrated to South Africa.
CLUCAS AND FARGHER.
[See under Walls and Fargher, 1833, p. 1150.]
HEYES , CHARLES BERNARD, 19, Parliament Street, Ramsey.
On 3rd September, 1890, the goodwill, copyright, plant and machinery of the 'Ramsey Courier' came under the auctioneer's hammer and the property was knocked down to Charles Bernard Heyes, who then was the chief reporter of the ' Isle of Man Times,' and his wife, Kate Brown, was a sister of John Archibald Brown. He had previously been a reporter on the 'Manx Sun ' and also on the staff of the 'Manchester Evening News.' After his failure Heyes went to London, where he continued in newspaper work until his death.
BAWDEN, STANLEY KAY , Michael Street, Peel.
S. K. Bawden, a journalist on the ' Isle of Man Times,' purchased the printing business and the weekly newspaper ' Peel City Guardian ' from the estate of W. H. Collister, and his first issue was on the 4th of January, 1990. He failed in business and left the Island in December, 1894, and the 'Guardian' was taken over by W. K. Palmer and incorporated with the ' Chronicle.' Bawden went to London, where he was a reporter on the ' Morning Post.' He became chief reporter of the ' Kentish Mercury' published at Greenwich, and eventually became editor, holding that position until his death about four or five years ago. He married Miss Jessie Kinley, a sister of Wm. Clucas Kinley. The latter was also on the staff of the ' Kentish Mercury.'
ROBINSON BROTHERS, Printers and Photographers, 19, Athol Street, Douglas.
Was founded in 1890 by Alfred William Robinson and George Harris Robinson, sons of Henry Robinson, architect and builder, and nephews of William Robinson, of 66, Athol Street, a brief account of whom is given on page 1157.
Alfred had served his apprenticeship in the 'Manx Sun ' office, where he later became foreman. Harris had served his apprenticeship with Abel Lewis, photographer, of Douglas. Their intention was to develop the photomechanical part of the business, which was then in its infancy, but after many interesting and expensive experiments failed to make it a commercial success.
They published in 1892 a Seasonal News and Sports paper at a halfpenny - 'Robinson's Sporting Tissue'; printed 'The Manxman ' from its start until its removal to Regent Street, and also, in 1896, the 'Isle of Man Sporting News and Manx Tissue' for a Brmingham syndicate. Alfred W. Robinson died 20th February, 1927.
The business is still being carried on at,19, Athol Street, by two sons of Alfred - Edgar and John Christian Robinson - under the title of Robinson Brothers Ltd.
HANNAY, LOUIS GEORGE, Manx Sun Office, Victoria Street, Douglas.
[See under Spencer, 1887-1900.]
HARTLEY, JAMES, ' Manxman ' Printing Office, Regent Street, Douglas.
The first number of what is known as Hartley's ' Manxman' appeared on 30th May, 1895. The initial four numbers, were printed by L. E, Newnham and Co., 12, Finsbury Street, London. From 29th June to 16th Nov., 1897, it was printed by Robinson Bros., 19, Athol Street, Douglas, and from that date to 10th March, 1900, the imprint reads Printed and published by James Hartley, proprietor, at Regent Street, Douglas. It was understood that the busmess was financed by John Philip Callow, who was for a while manager of Derby Castle Company and late, of Garwick Glen. Hartley was not a practical printer. His foreman was A Holmes, and one of his apprentices was k. H. Devereau, who is at present one of the directors of the Victoria Press.
NEWBY, WILLIAM, 58-60, Buck's Road, Douglas..
Newby came to Douglas from Manchester in 1888 as reader on the ' Manx Star,' a daily newspaper issued from the 'Manx Sun' printing-office, He started on his own account in 1897, and was responsible for the printing of the ' Cushag,' the magazine of the Douglas High School, and also 'The Manx Reformer,' The firm is now known as William Newby and Sons.
LYNN, SAMUEL WILLIAM, 18, Parliament Street, Ramsey.
This printer had served his early appreticeship in Northern Ireland, and became for a short time foreman in the 'Examiner' Office, Douglas. He was a Wesleyan Methodist local preacher. His employer, Samuel Keown Broadbent, set him up in business in Ramsey in 1898. For a time he acted as branch manager for Broadbent, and later became proprietor of the business, which was ultimately bought by A. H. Teare, of the 'Ramsey Courier.' For some years Lynn ran 'The Ramsey Weekly News,' borrowing several columns of ready-set type each week from the ' Examiner' office. He died on 10th May, 1928.
CUBBON AND LIGHTFOOT, Victoria Street, Douglas.
Following the sale by auction of the goods and effects of Louis G. Hannay, William Cubbon, Horace Lightfoot, and William Maltby Kerruish, under the style of Cubbon and Lightfoot, purchased and carried on the old-established business of the 'Manx Sun' printing works. The business was turned into a limited liability company in 1904, and in 1908 the newspaper and jobbing business was purchased by Brown and Sons, printers, of Athol Street. Cubbon had been an active worker with S. K. Broadbent from 1880 to 1900, having served his apprenticeship in the I..O.M. Examiner office.
TEARE, ALBERT HUGH , Parliament Street, Ramsey.
One of the results of the Dumbell's Bank crash was the closing down of the printing works of Charles Bernard Heyes. The Bank failure took place on the 3rd February, 1900, and on 19th November, 1900, the property was purchased from the receiver of the bank by Albert Hugh Teare, who had a short time before entered into the service of Heyes. Teare was then only 23 years old. He was an indefatigable worker, and in an incredibly short time put the business on a sound foundation. He was very popular, and in three successive elections his townsmen placed him in the Keys to represent them. He gave much of his time to public affairs and was a director of the Steam Packet, Railway and other companies. He died in 1931, being succeeded by his brother Cecil.
CHRISTIAN, WILLIAM HENRY, 35, Michael Street, Peel.
W. H. Christian served his apprenticeship in the office of 'The Peel City Guardian, and when this paper was incorporated with ' The Chronicle ' he stayed on the staff of ' The Peel City Guardian and Chronicle.' He commenced business on his own account in 1903. He printed the five numbers of ' The Peel City Star' which was issued in 1903 during the Laughton- Cormode election for the Keys. He also printed the ' Peel Sentinel,' the first issue of which was dated 3rd December, 1904. There were only three or four issues.
NORRIS-MEYER, 7 and 8, Walpole Avenue. Douglas.
Founded in 1904 by Samuel Norris and Louis George Meyer. Both had been employed in the ' Manx Sun Office, the former as a journalist and the latter as a letterpress printer. They published the Manx Year Book in 1906, and the 'Manx Patriot,' an octavo monthly magazine, from October 1906 to December 1909. The partnership was dissolved at the end of 1912, Norris carrying on under the name of Norris Modern Press. The firm was enterprising and printed several noteworthy publications such as the ' Amusement Gazette,' a 4pp. demy folio, in summer; a series of view postcards in hallftone and three-colour.
CLARKE, WILLIAM JAMES, Michael Street, Peel.
W. T. Clarke served his apprenticeship in the office of ' The Peel Chronicle,' and later served on ' The Peel City Guardian and Chronicle' as foreman. He commenced business on his own account in 1905, taking over the business and premises previously occupied by W. H. Christian. The title of the firm is Clarke and Son (W. J. Clarke and H. C. Clarke).
STRICKETI', JOHN WILLIAM, 69, Parliament Street, Ramsey.
Born in Glen Aldyn, J. W. Strickett served his apprenticeship with Samuel William Lynn, of Parliament Street, Ramsey, finishing his training in a Liverpool office. He started his business at his present address, 69, Parliament Street, Ramsey, in 1905, as a bookseller and stationer, and put in the printing plant in 1910. He printed and published the Ramsey Chronicle' from 12 October, 1923, to its cessation, 12th August, 1927,
VICK, J. H., Duke Street, Douglas.
Vick served his apprenticeship in the office of Mark Parkinson. Ile in 1893 was the foreman in the office of Mark Parkinson, and in 1911, upon the retirement of the latter, took over the printing business, which he relinquished in 1915, owing to the failure of the visiting industry during the Great War.
MEYER, LOUIS GEORGE. , North Quay, Douglas.
At the dissolution of the partnership between Samuel Horris and Louis George Meyer at the end of 1912, the latter started for himself as a printer on the North Quay. He moved to Duke Street in 1920, and was there until 1931, when the business went into voluntary liquidation. Meyer was born at Lanjaghyn, Braddan, in 1878, and after serving part of his apprenticeship in the 'Manx Sun' works finished with William Newby, where he worked till 1903. From August, 1914, to January, 1919, his business was closed down whilst he was on military service in Salonica. His work leas been characterised as of good taste; among his best examples are Kneen's Manx Place-Names for the Manx Society; the History of the Isle of Man Bank, and Leach's Sketches. A catalogue of the printing plant for sale, 4th November, 1931 (6383. H.398).
NORRIS MODERN PRESS. , 6, Victoria Street, Douglas.
In January, 1913, Samuel Norris, who had for eight years been in partnership with Louis George Meyer, commenced on his own account under the style of the Norris Modern Press, at 7 and 8, Walpole Avenue, afterwards in 1924 moving to 6, Victoria Street.
For four years he was on the journalistic staff of the ' Manx Sun,' and in 1898 joined the staff as local representative of the 'Liverpool Mercury,' and seven years afterwards the 'Manchester Guardian ' and ' Liverpool Daily Post.' He has written voluminously on Manx affairs in the Manx and English Press. He was the chief organiser of the Manx Reform League in 1903, the War Rights Union in 1915; the Redress, Retrenchment and Reform Campaign in 1916. Was committed to gaol by Governor Raglan for contempt of court. Has fought five contests in North Douglas for membership of the Keys since 1914, and four times was returned at the head of the poll. He is now an established figure in the Manx political world. He edited the Manx Year Book from 1906; 'The Manx Patriot' (1906-9); 'Isle of Man Visitors' Enquire Within' (from 1923); 'The Douglas Weekly Diary' (from 1928). He also wrote the following pamphlets: 'Manxland's Home Rule Parliament' (1903); ' Douglas Past and Present' (1904); and ' Woman's Position in the Isle of Man' (1919).
TEARE , ALFRED CECIL, 19, Parliament Street, Ramsey.
He on the 4th February, 1921, followed his brother, Albert Hugh, who then was actively engaged in public work.
[See under Teare, Albert Hugh, p. 1176.]
FLEMING , W. R. LTD . , 58, North Quay. Douglas.
Fleming had been a compositor and served his apprenticeship in Liverpool, and later a commercial traveller, dealing chiefly with printing and wrapping paper, and frequently visited the Island oil business. Previous to opening in the printing department, he published and distributed free a weekly news and advertising sheet with the title 'The Manx Free Press. It ran from 21st December, 1923, to December 8th, 1924. He altered the title on December 15th, 1924, to ' Manx Sales and Wants.' This ceased in December, 1930. The business failed and the type and plant was sold in April, 1931.
VICTORIA PRESS, 45, Victoria Street, Douglas.
The partners originally were Charles Carroll, W. E. Flanagan, Arthur Cannan Lewthwaite, and Richard H. Devereau. In 1935 the firm registered as a limited liability concern, the first directors being A. C. Lewthwaite, C. Carroll, and R. H. Devereau. The Museum journal has been printed in this office from the first number, also volumes of the Revised Maux Statutes and other book and pamphlet work.
RAMSBOTTOM, WILLIAM JAMES, Market Street, Douglas.
W. J. Ramsbottom came from Manchester and joined the 'Examiner' advertising staff in 1921.
He started a printing office in Market Street at the Drumgold Street end in 1927, and soon afterwards, early in 1928, he started 'The Manx Star' newspaper. The last number was issued in December, 1929.
FLANAGAN , WILLIAM E . , 16, Drumgold Street, Douglas.
He served his apprentieeship under W. Cubbon in the 'Manx Sun' Office. He was mobilised with the Manx Volunteers in August, 1914, and served overseas with the 1st Manx Service Company as sergeant 1915-19. He was one of the founders of the Victoria Press. Started on his own account in1929.
QUINE (DOUGLAS TAGGART) and CUBBON, (ALFRED) , Church Road, Port Erin.
This business commenced in March, 1933. Quine was an apprentice in the ' Manx Star' and 'Isle of Man Examiner' offices, and Cubbon got his experience in the 'Manx Sun ' and the Norris-Meyer Press. This is the first printing office established in Port Erin.
CRELLIN, WILLIAM& Co., 6, Church Street. Douglas.
The partners in this jobbing firm are William Crellin and John Frederick Cain, the last-named having served his apprenticeship in the ' I. M. Examiner' office. Crellin was a sergeant in the Field Artillery 1914-1919.
BRIDSON, MARSHALL and HORROX H. REDFORD, Market Street, Douglas.
This firm commenced when Louis George Meyerr ceased business in Duke Street. They took over the premises vacated by Ramsbottom. Bridson and Horrox, both served their apprenticeship with Meyer,
KNEALE, ROBERT GAWNE, and
KNEALE, WILLIAM THOMAS, Herald Office.
[See under Fargher, 1833, p. 1150.]
COWELL, THOMAS HEYWOOD, Castletown.
[see under Backwell, M. J., p. 1160.]
MYLREA, GOLDIE. , Demesne Road, Douglas.
He served his apprenticeship with Newby and Son and started for himself in 1933 as a jobbing printer.
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