[pp 1350-1373- from Cubbon - Bibliography, Vol 2, 1939]


[Class L 8. - continued ]

1824 - 1826.




The Rising Sun of February 24, 1824, had the announcement that on March 2 the first number of an independent newspaper, to be called the Manx Patriot, would be published. Subscriptions were payable to Robert Currin at the Printing Office, the Parade. On March 16 The Sun remarked deprecatingly, 'the New Thing of last week was merely contemptible. The old types with which it is printed seem to have the faculty of jumping into the sticks without the aid of editor or compositors.'

The Patriot, however, compares very favourably with either of its contemporaries The Sun or The Advertiser It was a four-page sheet measuring 500 x 350 mms., with four columns of 18 ems width to each page. For crest it had the Three Legs, rotating anti-clockwise, with the usual motto and a laurel surrounding the emblem. Beneath the title appeared the words: 'This is not the cause of faction, or of party, but the common interest of every man in the country.'

Robert Currin printed the paper from its inception to July 10, 1824. The following issue anonunced that John Sumner 'acts as printer and publisher for the new proprietors,' but Sumner's name did not begin to appear in the imprint until September 11. In the interim the name of T. Davies, who was also the printer of the last numbers of The Weekly Gazette, appeared. Sumner was 32 years of age when he took over The Patriot, as later transpired, under the employ of the chief proprietor, Thomas Gawne, of Ballachurry Kirk Christ Rushen (who afterwards became Deemster).

John Sumner.

There were many occasions during Sumner's editorship when publication was seriously delayed, and there were even some weeks when no issue appeared at all. Usually the explanation is to be found in the editor-publisher's absence-once in England, and several times in Castle Rushen gaol. He was sued for libel by William Roper acting as the next friend of Horatio Nelson Carrington, on October 30, 1824, but was acquitted.

Full reports of the case appeared in The Patriot for November 2 and The Advertiser for November 4. In a later libel action brought by the Rev. J. Gell (to whom Sumner had imputed drunken habits), he was not so fortunate.

The issues of March 30, 1825, et seq, give reports relating to this trial, at the end of which the printer was fined 5 and sentenced to three months' imprisonment. It was prior to this trial that he evaded the law by hiding in various parts of the Island, finally spending a few days at the Point of Ayre lighthouse.

In The Patriot of April 16, 1825, Sumner wrote of the paper's anniversary, 'We have at last, after wading through all the quagmires and sloughs of opposition and persecution, arrived at the conclusion of the first year of The Manx Patriot's progress-a fate to which The True Manxman was never destined.' [See p. 1348.]

The last issue in the Library collection (which is bound at the end of the 1824-26 volume of The Rising Sun ), is No. 61 for October 19, 1825. Publication probably continued until February of the following year, when this note (dated February 1) appeared in The Manx Advertiser:

'TheSubscribers to The Manx Patriot are respectfully informed that a delay of one week, will occur in the next publication, owing to unlooked-for circumstances. It has been proposed, for a length of time past, to unite The Patriot with The Sun, but which union the editor is determined to resist with the utmost of his power; and to this end, proceedings at law will be commenced by him in the course of a few days, unless the cause in dispute is speedily arranged, upon fair and honest principles.'

Before the Deemster's Court or. February 13, however, Thomas Gawne of Ballachurry brought an action against Sumner and his creditors in an attempt to prevent the sale of the press and types of The Patriot in order to cover Sumner's debts. (See Manks Advertiser, February 16, 1826).

The materials of the Patriot Office, it is believed, were originally obtained by James Grellier of The Sun from Thomas Gawne.

The Manx Sun of July 2, 1833, has a paragraph which is well worth quoting for its interest not only as an allusion to Sumner, but for the light it sheds on the early Insular newspapers' struggle for existence:

'In this Island, such is the state of the Press, that it cannot afford to defray the expense of either Editor or Reporter. . . , The united journals do not actually togethe: receive payment for more than about 400 copies weekly. The weekly sales of the two journals [at that date The Sun and Advertiser] amount to 6 or 7! for which two printing offices are engaged, and the copies delivered over the whole Island gratis. It is true that the advertisements amount to nearly as much more, but even with this addition the expenses of the Press are not covered, and it is only by the additional aid of other private printing that the office could be at all supported. Under these circumstances the public can scarcely demand more of the proprietor of an insular journal than a fair compilation of public events, from the London and provincial journals, and a report of passing public insular events. Reporters in England are paid 5 a week, which is much more than the profits of both the insular journals together; and the history of Sumner, a person by no means deficient of talent, who was furnished with press, types and office gratis, and for whom collections were frequently made besides, could never collect a sufficient return to defray the labour of his office. He made the attempt during a period of strong public excitement, and after trying both sides he failed and fled.

Typographical Changes.

No. 4, Tues., March 23, 1824: First, in the Library Collection. No. 6, Sat., April 3, 1824: Day of publication changed from Tuesday.
No. 12, Sat., May 15, 1824: Announced that the paper would be enlarged in three weeks to the full size of an English newspaper.
No. 15, Sat., June 15, 1824: 'Will positively be enlarged on the 19th, on a much larger and more liberal scale than The Advertiser of last Thursday.'
No. 17, Sat., June 19, 1824: 'We beg our readers . . . to excuse our non-performance of the promise to enlarge the paper-the three traders, the Duke, and Duchess of Atholl, and Douglas, having been chartered with troops bound to Ireland.' (Thus being unable to deliver the new types from the letter-foundry.)
No. 18, Sat., June 26, 1824: Delayed until July 1. The motto and sub-title were dispensed with, and a new title Manx Patriot and crest appeared. The crest comprised the Three Legs, rotating clockwise. with the usual motto and a scroll 'Unity is Strength.'
No. 20, Sat., July 17, 1824: Announced that John Sumner has replaced Currin as printer and publisher.
No. 21, Sat., July 24, 1824: Imprint is 'Printed and Published by T. Davies for the Proprietors at the Printing Office, Parade, Douglas.'
No. 27, Sat., September 4, 1924: Delayed through non-arrival of paper from the mill. John Sumner replaced T. Davies in the imprint.
No. 39, Sat., December 11, 1824: Title became Manx Patriot, Isle of Man Chronicle and General Law Reporter.
No. 59, June 13, 1825: Publication changed to Monday.
No. 61, October 19, 1825: Publication changed to Wednesday. This is the last copy in the Museum collection.



In all probability this newspaper was never published. It was adumbrated in The Manx Advertiser of February 23, 1826, when Sumner wrote, as 'the editor of the late publication, The Manx Patriot,' that he would soon issue a new paper agreeably to proposals which had been made to him, its policy based 'upon the firm and immovable principles of the British Constitution.'

A prospectus was published in the same newspaper- ,on June 8th, 1826. No. 1 was to appear on July 28, and subsequent issues each Wednesday evening. 'The principles upon 'which this paper will be conducted are strictly constitutional, diverted of those corrosive feelings that have too long em' bittered and disgraced the state of society in this Island. ' The Authorities in Church and State will be firmly supported, ' and the rights of the Inhabitants protected; the true Interests 'and Prosperity of the Country will be strenuously promoted ' in the columns of the Courier. . . '



prospectus was issued by the booksellers, Lane and Son, North Quay, in the Manx Sun of October 28, 1826. It was stated that No. 1 would be published on the first Wednesday in January, 1827, price 3d., but no issue appeared. The title is reminiscent of Trevor Ashe's Yorkshire Observer (see p. 1342), which had a lynx for its crest, and the prospectus did indeed originate in his restless brain. The new paper was 'designed to afford amusement and information to the Public, 'and advance the interests of the Isle of Man.' It was to be ' a genuine MANX paper . . . a TRUE TORY paper.'

The advertisement received the following sarcastic review in the Advertiser of November 2: 'This is the aera for newspapers, and the mania for scribbling seems to obtain to a wide extent. . . . Whosoever dares to gainsay the talent of our worthy editors, let him look at the Lynx ! We have had a number of weekly papers in this enlightened country:first sprung up, The Manx Mercury, then The Manks Advertiser, the Gazette, The Rising Sun or Mona's Herald, The True Manxman, The Patriot, and finally, as a climax, The Manx Sun itself, in all its insular effulgence. A few weeks ago a Courier was announced, then a Comet was about to appear. . . . It is quite proper that such illuminising vehicles should have names streaming with light and glowing with ardour, for what is intelligence without spirit? We shall expect to see both united in that wild beast, The Lynx ....

1833 -



MONA'S HERALD (1934- ).

The Mona's Herald is to-day the oldest Manx newspaper, and is the only Manx newspaper to have celebrated its centenary, which it did on August 1, 1933. In June, 1833, William Walls, of New Bond Street Lane (opposite the Old Coach and Horses) issued the prospectus of a ' Constitutional Free Paper' to be called The Mona's Herald and General Advertiser - a title obviously taken from the sub-title of the early editions of The Rising Sun. Walls stated ' with regard to politics, the proprietor plainly declares that he is liberal and that he will not confine himself to any party.' The first issue appeared on August 3.


The following note on the history of the Mona's Herald is taken from an article by Thomas Kneale which appeared in the Centenary Supplement of that paper, published on August 1, 1933:

' William Walls was joined in partnership by Robert Fargher, who had learned the printing trade with his uncle-in-law. George Jefferson, of The Advertiser, and on Saturday, August 3rd, the Herald made its first appearance, in opposition to the Manks Advertiser and the Manx Sun, Robert Fargher being its first editor.

'Its intrusion was bitterly resented by the Sun, and the Herald at once took up the challenge, and thereafter proceeded to smite its rival hip and thigh. Before its first number appeared, however, the Herald subscribers exceeded those of both the existing papers put together, and it found immediate public support.

'The partnership between Walls and Fargher was dissolved in June, 1839, when Robert Fargher took over the sole responsibility for the paper, and retained it until his death in 1863, when the Herald passed into the hands of his eldest son, John Christian Fargher.

'In February, 1865, John Christian Fargher handed over the control of the Herald to his youngest brother, Robert Bowring Fargher, who was not only a writer of graceful prose but a poet of considerable merit. He was editor until his death at a comparatively early age in 1868.' (He died on March 22, 1868, aged only 24).

'John C. Fargher again became the printer and publisher 1 of the newspaper until 1882, when he disposed of the business 1 to James Fredk. Clucas, who was the foreman printer in the Herald Office, and Thomas Ebenezer Mollard, who had been engaged as a compositor with the firm, and they carried on the k business for about three years under the style of Clucas and Mollard. On the retirement; of Mr. Mollard a new partner entered the firm in the person of Mr. Thomas Alexander Unsworth, who had been a printer in the Sun Office, and who was a cousin to John Christian Fargher. Later in the f same year, Mr. Robert Geo. Fargher, son of Robert Fargher's second son, joined the firm, which was then styled Clucas, Unsworth and Co. Mr. R.. G. Fargher had served his apprenticeship to the printing trade in the Herald Office. In 1885, when John C. Fargher decided to take up his residence in London, he induced his nephew to join him, to take charge of the publication of 'Jefferson's Almanack.' He returned to the Island later in the same year and became junior partner in the Herald.' On the death of Mr. Unsworth, about 1888, he acquired that partner's share, and the firm then took its present title of Clucas and Fargher. The partnership lasted until the death of Mr. Clucas in 1915. A year or so later Mr. Fargher acquired his late partner's interest and became sole proprietor and editor. He thus had the unique experience of being in turn apprentice, compositor, partner, proprietor and editor of the Herald. Mr. R. G. Fargher, in public life has displayed much of that fearless, uncompromising spirit which his grandfather possessed.

'In December, 1930, Mr. Fargher sold the newspaper and printing business at the Mona's Herald Office to Mr. Robt. G. Kneale and Mr. W. Thomas Kneale, the present proprietors, both of whom had been members of the editorial staff.'

The proprietors of the Mona's Herald during its career may be summarised as follows:

William Walls and Robert Fargher - 1833-39.
Robert Fargher - 1839-63.
John Christian Fargher - 7.863-82.
James Frederick Clucas and Thomas Ebenezer Mollard - 1882-85.
J. F. Clucas and Thomas Alexander Unsworth - 1885-86.
Clucas, Unsworth and Co. - 1886.
J. F. Clucas, T. A. Unsworth and R. G. Fargher - 1886-89.
J. F. Clucas and R. G. Fargher - 1890-1915.
Robert George Fargher - 1915-30.
Robert Gawne Kneale and William Thomas Kneale - 1931

Typographical Changes.

The title page of the first issue is a somewhat florid affair, showing a ploughman in the centre, flanked by a sailing vessel on the left and a steam-packet boat on the right. Beneath the ploughing scene is the motto 'Knowledge is Power.' This title-piece, and the first title, lasted until early 1841; the title was changed on January 12 to Mona's Herald and Central Advertiser for the British Empire,' and on March 23 an even onore elaborate crest was adopted, in which three major panels show, from left to right, a sailing ship, the figure of Justice, and an early steam packet, with the Royal Arms and the Three Legs over the centre, and Britannia and Truth at each side. The motto was ' Seeking Liberty we Uphold Justice and Publish Truth.' A different crest, the Royal and Manx Arms flanked by a lion and unicorn, and a modified title, Mona's Herald and Far.gher's Isle of Man Advertiser, appeared on March 8, 1848. This crest continued until December 3, 1930, but lapsed until April 21, 1931. The sub-title persisted until the end of 1933.

Vol. i, No. 1, Saturday, August 3, 1833: Price 3d. British; four pages, 510 x 380 mms, five columns 15_ pica ems. Imprint: Douglas; Printed by William Walls (New Bond Street) and Robert Fargher (Atholl Street), and published at the Herald Office and General Printing Establishment, New Bond Street Lane.
Vol. i, No. 43, Friday, May 23, 1834: Imprint: Instead of 'New Bond Street Lane' read 'top of Post Office Lane.'
Vol. ii, No. 79, January 30th, 1835: Size of page increased to 575 x 390 mms.
Vol. iii, No. 144, Saturday, April 30, 1836: Six columns, 15 pica ems; page 575 x 420 mms.
Vol. vi, No. 309, July 2, 1839: Imprint: 'Win. Walls, New Bond Street,' dropped.
Vol. vii, No. 364, July 22, 1840: Apparently no further issue until
Vol. viii, No. 365, December 22, 1840: Title altered to Mona's Herald / and Central Advertiser for the British Empire: A Political, Commercial, Agricultural, Foreign, Colonial and Domestic Register; and Literary, Philanthropic, and General Family newspaper; / Extensively circulated in the Isle of Man and throughout the United Kingdom, amongst the following classes:-The Nobility, Gentry, and Professions; Capitalists, Bankers, Merchants, Manufacturers, and Traders in general; Solicitors, Ministers of the Gospel, and distinguished members of Religious and Benevolent Societies; Fire, Life and Annuity Insurance Offices; Booksellers, Teachers and Auctioneers; Stock, Share and other Brokers; House, Land, Insurance and Newspaper Agents; Steam-Packet, Railway, Shipping, and Coach Offices; News- Rooms, Hotels, Taverns, Coffee-Houses, etc. Seven columns 15 ems, page 710 x 490 mms. Imprint: Douglas, Isle of Man: Printed and Published for the Proprietors by Robt. Fargher.
Vol. viii, No. 378, Tuesday, March 23rd, 1841: Crest changed. Most elaborate, composite panels, combining Royal Arms, Three Legs, Statue of Justice and two seascapes.
Vol. x, No. 471, January 4, 1843: Imprint: Printed and Published by Robert Fargher, Top of Post Office Lane.
Vol. xiii, No. 63, Feb. 18, 1846: Article 'Manx Sun in a Fog: its Law and Logic run mad.'
Vol. xiv, No. 676, Dec. 16, 1846: Imprint: Printed and Published by Robt. Fargher, of Number 27, Atholl Street, at the Mona's Herald and General Printing Office at the top of Post Office Lane.
Vol. xiv, No. 722, November 10, 1847: Imprint: Printed and Published by Robert Fargher, late of No, 27, Atholl Street, but now a prisoner in the gaol of Castle Rushen, at the Mona's Herald and General Printing Office at the top of Post Office Lane
Vol. xv, No. 738, March 8, 1848: Imprint: 'now a prisoner in the gaol of Castle Rushen ' is dropped. The previous issue, No. 737, was published on Feb. 9, 1848.
Vol. xv, No. 738, March 8, 1848: Elaborate title and Crest dropped for the simple title Mona's Herald, March 8, 1848. Price 1,'d. Obviously a special issue. Imprint as before.
Vol. xv, No. 740, March 22, 1848: Title M o n a ' s H e r a l d and Fargher's Isle of Man Advertiser. Crest: Lion and Unicorn with three panels, Royal Standard and Three Legs. Price 3d. Imprint as before.
Vol. xviii, No. 944, Feb. 25, 1852: Imprint: Douglas, 'top of Post Office Lane' becomes 'Wellington Buildings, 382' Duke Street.'
Vol. xix, No. 992, February 2, 1853: Imprint: '27, Atholl Street,' becomes 'No. 9, Mona Terrace, Finch Road.'
Vol. xxx, No. 1534, Wednesday, May 13, 1863: Imprint: 'No. 9, Mona Terrace, Finch Road,' becomes 'No. 2, West View Terrace.'
Vol. xxxi, No. 1550, Aug. 19, 1863: Imprint: Printed and Published by John Christian Fargher, of No. 7, Sydney Street, at the Mona's Herald, etc.'
Vol. xxxiii, No. 1632, March 22, 1865: Imprint: Printed and Published by Robert Bowring Fargher, of Number 2, West View Terrace, at the M o n a ' s H e r a l d, etc,'
Vol. xxxiv, No. 1699, July 4, 1866: Published twice weekly, price lzd.; six columns 15 ems; page 585 x 435 mms.; four pages. Imprint as before.
Vol. xxxiv, No. 1771, April 14, 1867: Reverts to weekly issue, price 2d.; 4pp, 7 columns, 15 ems; size of page 690 x 495 mms. Imprint as before.
Vol. xxxiv, No. 1776, May 29, 1867: Imprint: 'No. 2, West View Terrace,' becomes 'No. 4, Albert Street,' and '3821, Duke Street' becomes '8, Wellington Buildings, Duke Street.'
Vol. xxxvi, No. 1813, Feb. 19, 1868: 'Imprint: Printed and Published by John Christian Fargher, of No. 7, Sydney Street. Vol. xxxvii, No. 1859, Jan. 6, 1869: Size 680 x 490 mms. Vol. xxxviii, No. 1930, May 18th, 1870: Imprint: 'No. 7, Sydney Street' becomes 'No. 8, Victoria Terrace.' Size 565 x 425 mms.
Vol. xxxviii, No. 1937, July 6th, 1870: Published twice weekly, ld. Six columns, 15 ems, page 580 x 420 mms; 4 pp.
No. 1961, Sept. 28th, 1870: First endorsed 'Registered at the General Post Office as a newspaper.'
No. 2028, May 17, 1871: Imprint: 'No. 8, Victoria Terrace,' becomes No. 7, Rose Mount,' and '8, Wellington Buildings, Duke Street,' becomes ' Athol Steam Printing Works, opposite the Post and Telegraph Office, Athol Street.'
No. 2067, Oct. 4, 1871: One issue weekly, price 2d. 8 pp. No. 2099, May 15, 1872: Imprint: 'No. 7, Rose Mount,' becomes 'No. 7, Sydney Street.'
No. 2338, July 5, 1876: Size, 525 x 405 mms.
No. 2485, April 16th, 1879: Imprint: 'No. 7, Sydney Street,' becomes 'No. 1, East View.'
No. 2653, Wednesday, July 5, 1882: Imprint: Printed and published by James Frederick Clucas, of 3, Back Lawn, and Thomas Ebenezer Mollard, of 14, Athol Terrace, at the Mona's Herald and General Printing Office, Athol Street.'
No. 2832, Wednesday, July 28, 1886: Now eight columns of 15 ems. Size, 540 x 520 mms. 8 pp.
No. 2930, Saturday, June 23, 1888: Size increased to 690 x 530, but only 4 pp.
No. 2960, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 1888: Now 690x475, with 7 columns, but 8 pp.
No. 4517, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 1916: Size reduced to 650x475. No. 4830, Jan. 4, 1922: Price lid. Six columns, 15 ems. 8 pp. Size, 520 x 400,
No. 4480, April 21, 1915: Imprint: Printed and Published by Robert George Fargher, of 1, Queen's Avenue, Douglas, 26, Ridgeway Street, Douglas, Isle of Man.
No. 4856, July 5, 1922: Price from 1.1d. to 1d.
No. 5291, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 1930: Crest dropped.
No. 5294, January 7, 1931: Imprint: Printed and Published by Robert Gawne Kneale, of 9, Victoria Buildings, Ramsey, and William Thomas Kneale, of 4, Woodside Terrace, Douglas, at the Mona's Herald General Printing Offices, 26, Ridgeway Street, Douglas, Isle of Man.
No. 5309, April 21, 1931: Lion and Unicorn crest re-introduced. No. 5368, June 28, 1932: Robert Gawne Kneale's Ramsey address becomes '5, Westminster Terrace, Douglas.'
No. 5486, Oct. 16, 1934: Seven columns (extra column introduced). Size, 520 x 460.
No. 5445, Jan. 2, 1934: Sub-title Fargher's Isle of Man Advertiser dropped.

It will be seen that the Mona's Herald ceased to issue after July 22, 1840, for nearly six months, Robert Fargher having become insolvent. It reappeared in a new guise on December 22nd as the Central Advertiser for the British Empire. There are references to this lapse in contemporaries; the L i b e r a l of October 31 states that the Herald is about to spring into a new existence - having been ' in a state of hybernation for the last four months, its lethargy is going to be cast off, and with capabilities refreshed by rest, it is going to resume its pride of place once more among the denizens of the Manx Press.'

The Farghers.

Robert Fargher, says G. W. Wood, writing in Manx Notes and Queries, was 'the most striking figure who had appeared up to that time in the Manx Press. He was associated with all the various movements of the day which had for their object the amelioration of the lives of his fellow countrymen, whether in the domain of politics, reform, nonconformity, or temperance.' He published in 1836 The Temperance Guardian, which a few years later was merged with The Temperance Advocate, edited by the popular Dr. F. R. Lees.

James Cowin, in his 'Reminiscences of Notable Douglas Citizens' (1902), describes the work of Robert Fargher, whom he refers to as ' a political pioneer and patriot.' A very good account of his work is given also in the Mona 's Herald Centenary Supplement, and in addition there are notes on other members of the family. See also pp. 1150-1152 of the present work.

In 1847 George William Dumbell, the well-known Douglas banker, brought a successful suit for libel against Robert Fargher, who was sentenced to three months' imprisonment and a fine of 50. It was during this period that the words 'but now a prisoner in Castle Rushen ' appeared in the imprint. Fargher was again ordered to be committed to Castle Rushen at a Chancery Court held on February 15, 1849, for a contempt of court. The defendant said that upon reflection he deeply regretted the appearance of the article which had caused the contempt. The Governor, who presided, said the article was intended to impress the public mind with the belief that the decrees made in the Chancery Court were made for corrupt motives. The following day Fargher made a further apology, and was released on giving security in 50 for good conduct. The writer of the article, John Crawford, was committed to Castle Rushen, however, until May 4, 1849. (See pp. 296-7 for particulars of Crawford.)

In February, 1857 (see Manx Sun , February 28 et seq) G. W. Dumbell fought a second successful libel case against Robert Fargher. The libel arose from the publication in the M o n a ' s H e r a l d of November 12, 1856, of a letter signed ' North-Side Pen.' The jury of the Deemster's Court held on March 17, 1857, found the defendant guilty, and sentence of twenty-four hours' imprisonment and a fine of 50 was passed.

There is also a reference in the Manx Sun of April 11, 1857.

The Fargher's made a practise of inserting their home addresses in the imprints. They are:

1833 Robert Fargher, 27, Atholl Street.
1853 9, Mona Terrace, Finch Road.
1863 2, West View.
1868 John Christian Fargher, 7, Sydney Street. 1865 Robert Bowring Fargher, 2, West View. 1867 11 11 11 4, Albert Street. 1863 John Christian Fargher, 7, Sydney Street. 1870 8, Victoria Terrace,
1871 7, Rose Mount.
1872 7, Sydney Street.
1879 1, East View. 1886 R. G. Fargher, 17, Dalton Street.
1889 21, Berkeley Street.
1892 4, Fairleigh Terrace.
1904 1, Queen's Avenue.

The late Sir Hall Caine was for some years a leader-writer for the Mona's Herald. In the Herald of January 1, 1913, is the obituary of Mr. Moses Canning, the oldest Manx journalist, who was at one time apprenticed to John Christian Fargher. The death of Mr. James Frederick Clucas is recorded in the issue of April 21, 1915.

During the period of the Dumbells Bank Trial, November, 1900, a series of ten special daily editions of the Mona ' s H e r a 1 d was published, between Wednesday, November 7 and Saturday, November 17. Each was a 4 pp paper measuring 485 x 360 mms. On November 21 of the same year another special edition was issued giving an account of proceedings in the Douglas manslaughter trial. The price of these papers was 1d.

1836 - 1850.


The first Manx Liberal was published on September 3, 1836, by John Penrice and Joseph Ritson Wallace. It was a 4 pp. paper, size 570x450 mms., with six columns per page each of 16 ems width. The crest showed Britannia standing with raised shield beside the Horn of Plenty, against which was a shield with the Three Legs emblem. The motto beneath the sub-title ran 'This is not the cause of faction, or of party, or of any individual, but the common interest of every man-Junius,'-a motto which had been first adopted by the Manx Patriot.

In the first issue, on the first page of which a column prospectus appeared, the proprietors stated that ' ...their leading object shall be to avoid factious contention, and to render their journal a temperate vehicle of information and amusement, unmixed with those malevolent bickerings so productive of mischief in society, and subversive of public concord. . . . One single matter of fact, faithfully and honestly reported, is worth a thousand comments and flourishes for the purpose of ministering to any faction.'

There was no change in size of sheet or in the title, with the exception that no crest appears from No. 573 (August 28, 1847) onwards, and the alterations in the imprint are listed below. Publication was always on Saturday.

No. 1, Vol. i, September 3, 1836: 'Printed and Published by the Proprietors, John Penrice and Joseph Ritson Wallace, at their General Printing Establishment, Museum, Great George Street . . . .
No. 298, Vol. vi, May 21, 1842: The address changes to 'Parade, opposite the York Hotel.'
No. 403, Vol. viii, May 25, 1844: 'Parade' becomes 'ParadeStreet.'
No. 537, Vol. xi, December 19, 1846: After John Penrice read 'of No. 3, North Quay,' and after Wallace 'of Distington, Cumberland.'
No. 606, Vol. xii, April 15, 1848: ' Distington, Cumberland,' becomes 'No. 19, Nurth Quay.'
Note that Nos. 603 to 626 are erroneously marked Vol. xi, instead of Vol. xii.
No. 662, Vol. xiii, May 19, 1849: 'Printed and Published by the Proprietor, John Penrice, of No. 3, North Quay, at his General Printing Office, Parade Street, opposite York Hotel.'
No. 663, Vol. xiii, May 19, 1849: 'Parade Street . . . Hotel,' becomes 'North Quay, near the Saddle Inn.'

The Museum collection is as follows:

Reg. No. 1767, Nos. 1 to 52, Saturday, September 3, 1836, to September 2, 1837.
Reg. No. 1768, Nos. 53 to 104, Saturday, September 9, 1837, to September 1, 1838.
Reg. No. 1770, Nos. 157 to 208, Saturday, September 7, 1839, to August 29, 1840.
Reg. No. 613, Nos. 3 to 353, Saturday, September 17, 1836, to June 10, 1843.
Reg. No. 1769, Nos. 34 to 329, Saturday, April 29, 1837, to December 24, 1842.
Reg. No. 1771, Nos. 331 to 590, Saturday, January 7, 1843, to December 25, 1847.
Reg. No. 1772, Nos. 469 to 520, Saturday, August 30, 1845, to August 22, 1846.
Reg. No. 1773, Nos. 5'21 to 572, Saturday, August 29, 1846, to August 21, 1847.
Reg. No. 614, Nos. 460 to 653, Saturday, June 28, 1845, to March 10, 1849.
Reg. No. 1774, Nos. 573 to 624, Saturday, August 28, 1847, to August 19, 1848.
Reg. No. 1775, Nos. 591 to 694, Saturday, January 1, 1848, to December 22, 1849.
Reg. No. 1776, Nos. 696 to 739, Saturday, January 5, 1850, to November 2, 1850.

The Liberal of March 1, 1845, recorded the death of John Bedford, of Bedford, England, at his home in Atholl Street, aged 75. Bedford was at one time editor of the Advertiser (see p. 1331). He 'had been resident in Douglas for many years, during which period he had been connected with several of the Insular journals. His writing was clear, forcible and argumentative; and he was never so happy as when sarcastically lashing the vices and follies of his contemporaries.' He was buried in St, George's Churchyard.

Grellier, the editor of the Manx Sun, sued the joint proprietors of the Liberal for a libel which he alleged had appeared in a leading article on February 15, 1845. In that month he caused Wallace to be arrested, and to find bail for 1,000 pending the trial, which came up in May, 1846, and is reported fully in the Sun of May 16. It appeared from the evidence of Peter Curphey that Grellier's connection with the Sun had ceased in April, 1844. A verdict was given in Grellier's favour. The Grellier libel case was said to have involved the two Liberal proprietors in an expenditure of 478 10s., 52 15s. of which was subscribed by friends. The partnership between John Penrice and J. R. Wallace was dissolved on May 3, 1849, Penrice announcing that he would continue the newspaper on his own. For further particulars of the partnership see p. 1152.

There was an interesting paragraph of apology in the Liberal one Christmas, saying that the 'extraordinary delay' in the publication of the issue was 'solely occasioned by the unjustifiable conduct of our workmen who suddenly quitted their employment without previous notice. The most prompt and effectual means have been adopted to prevent a similar disappointment in future.' It is possible that lack of a Christmas holiday may have been the cause.

The last issue of the Liberal known at the Museum is No. 739, of November 2, 1850, but it seems likely that the Liberal may have continued for some little time afterwards. The following year, on March 25, the Coroner of Middle sold by public aution the printing materials of John Penrice. There were 70 cases of types, varying from minion to pica, a press by Hope and Co., rollers with tables, frames, etc. (See M a n x Sun, March 22, 1851. )

Some excellent articles concerning the Manx fishery and fishing boats appeared in the Liberal at the end of 1847 and beginning of 1848, and also the end of 1848 and during 1849. The articles were usually from two to three columns; the dates of the 1848-49 ones are as follow:

1848: November 25, December 23.
1849: January 6, 20, 27; February 10, 17; March 31; April 14; May 5.



This short-lived newspaper was printed and published by William Walls and Co., of Great Nelson Street, Douglas; it began in January, 1842, and continued for eleven months. Its prospectus said that whilst advocating the claim of the naturalised resident to a full participation in the existing privileges of the native Islanders, it would at the same time be essentially Manx in its devotion to the maintenance of our Insular independence. It, was William Walls who had with Robert Fargher started Mona's Herald in 1833. His connection with the Herald ceased in 1839.

The Manxman had 4 pp. of six columns per page, and was first published in February, 1842-on Wednesday, the 16th. In or before April the day of publication was changed to Thursday. The editor during most, if not all, of its short career, was John Bedford (see previous page). Walls, the proprietor, was sued by a man named Stephenson for wages and expenses in canvassing for subscribers for the Manxman . A calumny of the editor appeared in the Manks Advertiser of April 5, 1842, p. 3.

The Liberal of December 24, 1842, contains the following 'obituary notice':-'Seven days ago the Manxman was alive and exulting in his strength - to-day he is a stark, stiff and deformed corpse - a subject of loathing, jest, contempt, and sneer to civilised reformers, and a pity and sorrow to bigoted and narrow--minded Tory Conservatism. The death of the Manxman is the knell of Toryism in the Island.'

1846 - 47.


The Manx Press was printed and published thrice monthly at Dale Street, Ramsey, by R. Busteed. Very little is known either of the man or his newspaper. There are only two copies known to exist - one, No. 21, of Saturday, February 27, 1847, is in the Manx Museum; and the other, No. 27, of May 5, 1847, is in the British Museum. From these dates it would appear likely that the first issue was some time in August or September of 1846.

The imprint in the Manx Museum copy is ' Printed for R. Busteed, at his Office, Dale-st.;' and in that in the British Museum, 'Printed at the Office of the Manx Press, Dale-street, Ramsey, for R. Busteed.' There was no sub-title, and the crest was an old-fashioned hand-press. There was a motto 'Nil falsi audeat, nil veri non audeat, dicere ' beneath the title. It was stated in the issue of February 27th that the paper would in future be printed on every alternate Saturday. The price was Id.

There were 4 pp., measuring 350 x 260 mms., about foolscap folio size. There were three columns of 16 ems width per page, and the standard of printing was poorer than in any other insular journal.

The Manx Museum copy was the. gift of Canon R. D. Kermode in April, 1937, and its Reg. No. is 7534, L.8. See also page 1201.

1847 - 48.

THE MANX CAT (1847).


See pages 1202 to 1204 of the present work, where this weekly paper and its printers are dealt with in detail.



This newspaper (see page 1201) was issued once only, in order 'that a fair and correct statement of all that occurred in and about the good old town of Ramsey on the glorious and memorable twentieth of September, 1847, should be given to the public.' This special occasion was the visit of Queen Victoria to the bay and the landing of the Prince Consort, who climbed Lhergy Frissel, where now stands the Albert Tower.

The printer Leech died in Australia in 1885. A. H. Curphey, who later became a regular contributor of maritime news to the Ramsey Courier, served his apprenticeship with Leech, and later went with him to Manchester for a short time.

There is in the Museum, in addition to a specimen of the original, a copy set up by J. Craine, Bookseller and Stationer, Parliament Street, about 1890. Both are now extremely rare.



This publication was the work of Shirrefs and Russell (see p. 1159) and must not be confused with the T i m e s founded later by James Brown.

A prospectus of the earlier paper appeared in the Oddfellows Chronicle (which was published by Shirrefs and Russell) of January, 1847, and also the Sun of November 8, 1846, and subsequent issues. It was stated that the new paper would make its bow on Saturday, January 23, 1847. It was to be ' a weekly journal of Liberal principles and thorough independence . . . at once replete with varied and useful information, containing a full and complete Summary of the News of the Week - scrupulously avoiding all details, either in news or advertisements, offensive to general morals or good taste.' The price was to be 3d. At the bottom of the prospectus was the interesting note: 'If 500 subscribers can be obtained in England, &c., a Second Edition will be prepared and published expressly for the United Kingdom. Subscriptions 2s. 6d. per quarter of twelve weeks.

James Cowin, in his 'Reminiscences of Notable Douglas Citizens' (p. 42), gives some biographical particulars of Shirrefs, whom he knew personally.

In an article in the Liberal of May 5, 1849, Shirrefs is described as ' a gentleman well-known and highly esteemed by a select circle in the island.' He edited the Oddfellows Chronicle from 1844 to 1849, and printed that widelycirculated periodical at the office, 2 Lord Street, Douglas, from 1847 to 1849. Its large circulation of about 10,000 was due to the fact that there were at that time free postage facilities (see pp. 1195-6).

'He was for some time after his advent into this Island a dweller in Ramsey, to the inhabitants of which respectable town he endeared himself by many acts of credit and confidence.'


The paper, in common with the Mona's Herald, strenuously advocated political reform, and keenly supported the party associated with Sir John Bowring, the member of Parliament for Bootle, who took such a keen interest in Manx affairs.

There is a single copy only of the first Isle of Man Times in the Manx Museum; no other copy is known. This paper has over three pages of news, compactly set in bourgeois, minion and pearl, and less than one page of advertisements; it certainly could not have been a paying proposition. There were seven columns per page, 660 mms. long.

It ceased publication in the summer of 1849, and in October of that year the types and plant of the printing establishment were sold in order to meet debts amounting to about £4,000 owed by the Times . The insolvents left the Island shortly following the failure of their business, and their creditors recovered some 4s. or 5s. in the £1. Russell returned to the Isle on a visit in September, 1853, and was arrested on account of an unpaid debt of £15, but the arrest was quashed. It appeared that on his return to England in 1849 he had been imprisoned for some time, owing to debts there, in Lancaster gaol.



Yr Amserau was published prior to 1848 in Liverpool, where the head office was at 18 Tithebarn Street. It was published fortnightly, and the charge was 3½d. per copy, and the proprietors made no secret of the fact that they were transferring the publishing-office to the Isle of Man in order to avoid the heavy tax which burdened newspapers in England and Wales. The final Liverpool edition was No. 116, Thursday, June 29, 1848, and the first Manx copy is No. 117, Friday, July 28, 1848. The imprint of the Liverpool editions was:
'Printed and published by Michael James Whitty, of No. 2, Albion Street, Everton, and William Ellis, of Oxton, Parish of Woodchurch, Cheshire, at their Printing Establishment, No. 21, Castle Street, Liverpool.'

There was a statement in No. 116 that, owing to the increased demand for Yr Amserau, the Committee had decided to print and publish the paper in the Isle of Man (to which there were daily steamer services). In consequence publication would be weekly instead of fortnightly, and the price would be reduced to 2d., because there was no penny tax on pamphlets in the Isle of Man. The paper would also go through the post anywhere free of tax, and 'because there was no tax on announcements in the Isle of Man,' there would also be a reduction in the charge for advertisements. The Committee had decided to transfer the ownership of the paper to John Lloyd, who was emigrating to the Island.

With the change there occurred an alteration in the title from Yr Amserau (The Times) to Yr Amserau Wythnosol, a'r Hysbysydd Cyffredinol (The Weekly Times and General Informer). The motto beneath the title was ' Are you able to tell me signs of the times? '

The imprint of the Manx editions was 'Douglas, Isle of Man: Printed and Published by John Lloyd, of No. 27 Atholl Street, at the Mona's Herald and General Printing Office, top of Post Office Lane in the said town. From the machine of Robert Fargher.' Correspondence and accounts in connection with the paper were still to be forwarded to the General Manager, John Jones, of 18 Tithebarn Street, Liverpool.

In the issue of September 8, 1848, there is mention of the transfer of the newspaper to Liverpool once more should the Chancellor's Bill to impose a tax on all non-insular newspapers published in Man or the Channel Isles become law. A Welsh paper was also being published in Jersey at the time. The last issue of Y r A m s e r a u we have traced with a Douglas imprint is dated September 15, 1848, and may have been the last issued here.

There are in the Museum a number of copies of this newspaper, bound with The Manx Sun of 1842-43. They comprise both English and Manx printed editions, the latter being for the dates July 28, August 11, 18, 25, and September 1. 8. and 15. These were 8 pp., with four columns each of 15 pica ems, the size of the sheet being 450 x 315 mms. The Reg. No. is 580.

1848 - ?


An announcement of the first issue of this paper appeared in the Manx Sun of February, 19, 1848. See page 1204. The first number, 20 pp., price 2d. was to appear on March 1. The printer and publisher was M. P. Backwell, but later the publication was taken over by C. J. Cudd (p. 1162).

There are four pages only of one issue, about May, 1848, in the Museum. Each has three columns of 15 ems., and the size of the sheet is 283 x 225 mrns. Among the 'Notices to Correspondents' the following appears:-'The Is1e of Man News and Christian Record contains sixteen ' closely-printed pages; embracing a summary of parliamentary 'proceedings; combined with a large amount of religious, ' interesting and important local and general information, and 'miscellaneous, entertaining and instructive reading.'

The name of the publisher in Ireland is given as Mr. Matthew Orr, 26, Wellington Quay, Dublin, and G. J. Cudd's address in Douglas as 8, Thomas Street.



James Brown, when in 1848 he set up a printing-office of his own in Douglas, commenced the publication of a small newspaper entitled The Manx Lion. No copy of it is known, and it ran only for a very short time. It is mentioned in the 'Visitors' Handbook' of Kent and Richards, of London. See pp. 1164-65.

An article on the 'History of the Isle of Man Times,' in the weekly paper of that name for May 4, 1935, says of the Manx Lion:

'The little Times of 1861 had its forerunner in the Manx Lion . . . . About 1848, Mr. Brown, with 30 borrowed money, purchased a little wooden press which he installed in a room in Duke Lane, near Muckle's Gate, and published the Manx Lion. Owing to the dishonesty of the advertising canvasser, who decamped with all the paper's earnings, the Lion came to an end after a run of only six weeks.

In the article 'Journalism in the Isle of Man,' in the 'British and Colonial Printer and Stationer' for July 14, 1848, the career of the Manx Lion is given as three months. 'This Paper,' it is said, ' soon earned for itself a certain distinction throughout the Island for the daring criticisms of local politics, which were, sufficiently strong to justify the title . . . It was a small four-page demy-folio paper, and was printed on one of the ancient hand-presses,'

1849 - 1861.



The Isle of Man General Advertising Circular first appeared on February 1, 1849, price one penny. The proprietor was an estate agent, Peter Cranke Wood, whose style was the Isle of Man General Advertising Company.

His first printer was Robert Heywood Johnson, founder of a line of well-known and very able Douglas printers (see p. 1153); but in 1853 there came a break between Wood and Johnson, and in No. 208, dated February 17, the announcement is made that the journal is no longer to be had from Johnson, but only from Wood or the new printer, who was James Brown, later the founder of the Isle of Man Times.

Brown issued the Circular for Wood until 1855. Early in that year he took possession of the publication in settlement of certain debts owing to him by Wood. It has been claimed that the Circular formed the nucleus of what was to become the Isle of Man Times, it being Brown's desire that the free Circular should one day become a powerful journalistic organ in Man. One of the contributors to its columns was a Mr. Livesey, who later became editor of the Preston Guardian.

The only copy known is No, 152, dated December 1, 1857. It is in the possession of Messrs. Brown and Sons, Ltd.

1853 - 188(?).


On receiving his notice from Peter Cranke Wood in February, 1853, Robert Heywood Johnson decided to start an opposition sheet to that of Wood, entitled Isle of Man Weekly Advertising Circular. In the first issue of this paper, on Thursday, February 17, 1853, the following notice appeared:

' Copies of the Circular may be obtained at the shop of the printer, publisher and sole proprietor, who takes the opportunity, in consequence of a notice in the G e n e r a l A d v e r t i s i n g Circular of this day, of stating that he has no further interest in that paper - save that there is a heavy amount of cash still due him, not only by the former proprietor, but also by the Isle of Man General Advertising Society: payment of which will be gladly received - thus preventing unpleasant legal proceedings.'

In the issue of March 3, 1853, a reproduction of Johnson's 'notice,' received from the proprietors of the General Advertising Circular, is given:

'To Mr. Robert Heywood Johnson. Sir,-The Committee of 'the Isle of Man General Advertising Society, hereby give you 'notice, that you will not be required to print their Circular 'called The Isle of Man General Advertising 'Circular after next Thursday, February 3, 1853. On 'behalf of the Committee, P. E. Lycett, Henry Laurence, A. ' Duxbury, G. Raby.'

'Sir,-Mr. Wood should have served you with Notice on 'the 14th January last, but we suppose he forgot to do so.' In 1856 Johnson removed to Prospect Hill, immediately opposite Atholl Street. His widow, Isabella Johnson, carried on the business following his death in 1871 until their son, George Heywood Johnson, became the proprietor ten years later. He was joined by his brother in 1886; in 1900 Teresa Lucy Johnson joined her brother-in-law George, and this business continued until the year 1920 under the style of G. and L. Johnson, although George Heywood died in 1906.

Johnson's Advertising Circular is mentioned in Smith's Commercial Directory for 1883, but is not included in Porter's Directory of 1889.



A newspaper of this name was published in Ramsey in 1854, at the printing office of a 'Mr. Greatrex.' It ceased publication on August 22nd, 1854, and the only reference to the publication in the contemporary newspapers is the following, from the Manx Sun of September 23, 1854:

' A fire broke out in the Printing Office of Mr. Greatrex of 'this town, about one o'clock yesterday morning. The Office is situated in Parliament Street, close to the Saddle Inn. . , , 'The Press and a considerable portion of the type and printing 'materials were saved. The cause of the fire is a mystery, as no person has been working there for some time, the office having been closed. The last issue of the paper published there, viz., the Manx Star, was on the 22nd ult.'

There is no copy of the Manx Star in the Museum Library.

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