Isle of Man Family History Society Journal Vol 9 No 1 Jan 1987



The family records of my maternal grandmother, nee Edith Ann Mylchreest, commence in the late 17th century.

The first name on the chart is William, who died at Ballaharra, Kirk German in the year 1726. His first child, a daughter named Ellen, was born in the year 1695 and by 1720 she was the eldest of eleven brothers and sisters.

My forebear, Sylvester was born in the year 1709 and about 1730 he married Ann Kewley. Their eldest son, Thomas married Grace Woods in 1753 and from that date until he was widowed in 1768 there were seven daughters.

Thomas remained a widower for less than one year. He married Anna Murray. Their eldest William who is my four times great grandfather was born in the following year,and between that date and 1790 there were three more sons and six daughters.

Of William Mylchreest's family of thirteen daughters and four sons only seven or eight of his children outlived him.

I would be interested to learn of any details that may be to hand concerning Anne Murray.








TASKER, Edward

36 Aug 1882

6 days

Ballahot, Malew

COWELL, Margaret

13 Sep 1882

66 yrs

Battery Hill, Baldwin

TAUBMAN, Catherine, Jane

19 Sep 1882

59 yrs


KINNISH, Thomas Christopher

13 Sep 1947

70 yrs


CLAGUE, Mary Eliza

21 Nov 1943

26 yrs

Police Station, Andreas


29 Aug 1943

79 yrs

Colby, Arbory

BELL, William John

27 Aug 1942

60 yrs



25 Apr 1939

91 yrs

Balla Oates, Arbory

KINLEY, Catherine

14 Nov 1938

81 yrs


GALE, John

02 May 1936

83 yrs



11 May 1923

77 yrs

The Crofts, Castletown


06 Sep 1921

66 yrs



09 May 1919

9l yrs


COWELL, Robert

17 Dec 1913

76 yrs

West Baldwin

FARAGHER, Jane Angelina

05 Mar 1909

54 yrs

Northop, German

KISSACK, Richard

17 Dec 1907

85 yrs


McFEE, James

17 Oct 1904

67 yrs

Ballachrink, Arbory

QUINE, Thomas

07 Oct 1900

66 yrs




[ see under Santan Parish for photos etc
these pages are mostly reprinted from Rev Cotter's Guide of 1977
some scanning problems with tables are still to be fixed FPC]




The Christian faith was brought to Mann around 447 A.D. by Missionaries from the Celtic Church in Ireland, which differed in organisation and in the timing of the Christian Year from the Latin Church. The Latin Church was brought to Canterbury by St. Augustine and his forty Benedictine Monks in 597 A.D. In the same year St. Columba, the Celtic Monk, died. He was a follower of St. Bridget and St. Patrick. The bodies of all three of these Celtic Saints rest side by side in the Cathedral Church of Downpatrick in Ireland.

St. Sanctain's Church, Santon, stands on the site of an ancient Church or Keeill built about fifteen hundred years ago, which was well before St. Augustine came from Rome to Canterbury. It is strategically placed and commands a view of a large sweep of the sea looking towards the north-west coast of England and the mountains of North Wales. It can be seen by travellers sailing on the sea and flying by air as they come over the coastline towards Ronaldsway Airport. Thus for fifteen centuries the present Church, and its predecessors, have always been a landmark by sea, land and air. The present building was erected in 1774 and is a good example of an old Manx Church with its white walls and rectangular shape.

The original building was one of over a hundred Celtic Keeills or "treen"churches, which were scattered all over the Island.

A " treen" was made up of four farms, or quarterlands and became a convenient fiscal unit with annual tax proportionate to its size. It was the duty of the treen chief to make provision for the spiritual welfare of those who were resident on his land. Twenty six treens made up a Sheading or ship district. Each been was required by law to supply one oarsman for the twenty six seater Skeid, or warship, which was provided for defence purposes.

Keeill churches, usually about 20 feet by 12 feet were built of either rough stones, or boulder stones, and clay sod, which accounts for the complete disappearance of many of them. In the west gable or south wall was the doorway, and in the east or south wall, the only window. In bad weather a wooden shutter, or window-door, fitted on a swivel, closed this opening, thus excluding the elements. It formed the barest of shelters for the "culdee" or priest to consecrate bread and wine, the mystery of Christ's new and everlasting Covenant in His Body and Blood. The Eucharist is still today received by Christ's followers weekly both morning and evening in St. Sanctain's Church. Any family desecrating these hallowed places, reputedly ran the risk of having no more male heirs and the consequent dying out of the family.

The name Santon is of Irish derivation and has changed in spelling throughout its long history. Like other Manx ancient parishes, the Parish takes its name from its Parish Church, which is dedicated to St. Sanctain, who was an Irish saint and Bishop, and a disciple of St. Patrick. Records show how the word 'Sanctain' has gone through different stages of spelling, to arrive today at the more frequently used one of 'Santon'. 'Sanctain' appears as 'Sanctan', 'Santain', 'Santan', and 'Santon'. The latter two spellings are today recognised widely, but that of 'Santon' seems to have taken over and is the one which is more generally used.

There is a story told of when, last century, the Isle of Man railway line was built from Douglas to Port Erin, a signwriter left Douglas to paint the stationsign boards. He boldly wrote 'Santon' in this parish, and some say that was the commencement of the modern spelling of the old Saint's name.

St. Sanctain was Bishop of Cell da les (Church of two forts) in Ireland a place of importance in its day, but which, so far, has not, in modern times, been specifically identified. One day Irish archaeologists or historians may light upon the clue which will again disclose its exact location.

A very ancient Celtic manuscript states that the 'Hymn of Sanctain' is one of the oldest Irish manuscripts. In the Calendar of Aengus, the phrase 'Epscop Santain sochla' ( the famous Bishop Sanctain) is used. There were several Irish Keeills which were also dedicated to St. Sanctain.

Some time in the seventeenth century, in post-Reformation times, it would appear that St. Santain's connection with Santon had been forgotten, for at that time there took place an even further corruption, which was quite erroneous, when the dedication was mistakenly attributed to St. Ann. How this occurred is lost in antiquity, but it is not difficult to appreciate the easy way in which Santan could be mistaken for St. Ann, and vice versa. Blundell perpetuated this error in his account of the island in 1648. It is interesting to note that in addition to Santon Church, at least one Irish church had its name similarly altered in error, for Kell Easpoig Sanctain, near Dublin, was changed to St. Ann's Chapel.

Thus although the reason for the unauthorised alteration is unknown today, the name St. Ann was given circulation. The last reference to the Saint in the Church Registers is in 1822' when in a period of further uncertainty, another Saint, namely St. Anne, was duly recorded as the one to whom the Church was dedicated. This lasted until the year 1891, when the restoration of the dedication to its original Saint, St. Sanctain, seems to have occurred. The parish Church of St. John's contains a stained glass window to St. Sanctain, spelt 'St. Sanctan'.

The living of St. Sanctain's together with that of twelve other livings in the Isle of Man, is solely in the patronage of the Crown, in the person of Her Majesty the Queen, the Lord of Mann. Before the dissolution of the Monastries, it was in the hands of the Abbot of Rushen Abbey. When a new Vicar is appointed by the Queen, the Lieutenant Governor receives presentment documents signed by Her Majesty. At the Service of Institution and Induction of a new Vicar, these documents, together with the new Vicar, are presented by the Lieutenant Governor to the Lord Bishop of Sodor and Mann, with the request that the Bishop institute the nominee of the Crown. This duty is always carried out by the Governor in person.

In the 17th century Vicars' stipends were so small that in some cases as with one Vicar of Santon, the Vicars kept an ale house to augment their incomes. Eventually this anomaly was rectified by raising their stipends to a more realistic amount, for that period.

The records of the Spiritual Courts show that in the early part of the 17thcentury an irate Vicar of Santon pulled an offending parishioner by his beard. These courts also intervened in matrimonial difficulties, the Sumner having to be the equivalent of a modern Welfare Officer. In 1644 the Archdeacon and Vicar-General ordered that "N.M. of Santon shall fit and furnish his wife from Tagart - with a suit from top to tow, accordinge to his and her - eynce and callinge and this without fayle to be done before tuseday the 12th of December and thereof -neighbours (whereof the Sumner is to be one) to see that she be well used in foode and other necessaries ".

In 1761, N.T of Santon, was presented for 'entertaining Company and Music in his house on the Lord's Day, late at night', and S.C. of Santon, for 'neglecting to prepare himself for Confirmation and also for being greatly addicted to cursing ,swearing and being very rude, quarrelsome and of unbecoming behaviour'. He was committed to St. German's Prison.

In 1757, C.G. and J., his wife, both of Santon, were presented for 'travelling across the Country to the north side on the fast day, held on the 11th February'.C.G. was committed to St. German's Prison.

After the death of Bishop Mark Hildesley, in 1773, these diciplinary courts decreased and an increasing number of blank parish presentment sheets were handed in to the Registrars. In 1799, the Rev. P. Crebbin, Vicar of Santon, with a levity which would have shocked the Vicars-General of an earlier age, wrote across his return, 'Churchwardens in abundance, but no presentments'. To this day the seventeen ancient parishes, of which Santon is one, exercise their time-honoured privilege of electing four Churchwardens.

The land upon which St. Sanctain's Church is built, has been a sacred Christian site for fifteen centuries and various Keeills, or Churches have been erected thereon. Records show that in the decade of 1720-1730, the Church was rebuilt. Around 1774 something very serious must have happened to it (possibly it was destroyed by fire),for in that year it was again rebuilt and has remained standing to the present day. These rebuildings took place in part of the period when the Church's dedication had mistakenly been attributed to St. Ann, instead of St. Sanctain.

Observant visitors will notice a reference to St. Ann on the outside of the westwall of the church on a slate tablet above the west door, and also one to the parish. The dates thereon, in each case, are in line with the mistaken dedication of their periods.

The North and West Doors and Porch were skilfully restored by Mr. Howard Jackson of Croft House in 1976.




In 1932, when the late Rev. William Hornby, was Vicar, a new roof was put on and the pews, which extended right up to the east wall, were removed and the present Chancel and Sanctuary pavement was given in loving memory of Mrs. Joyce Tweedale, by her parents, G. F. & F. Wormald.

The late Rev. Frederick Woodhouse Gelling, Vicar, collected funds for the installation of electric light.

The late Rev. Edward Jones had the present Vestry constructed in 1951 by demolishing two pews by the staircase to the gallery. A friend of his, who wished to remain anonymous, saved money, although he was in humble circumstances, and for love of Mr. Jones, gave to the Church, in 1952, the beautiful East Window, made by Messrs. Shrigley and Hunt of Lancaster, depicting the Institution of our Lord's Supper. The roof and pavement of this window are complementary to the Church roof and pavement. A key to the figures in the window is to be found on the Notice Board outside the Vestry. Mr. Jones also had mains water installed at both the Church and the Vicarage. Formerly water from wells had been used.

The double-glazing of the Church windows was carried out by Mr. Donald J.Gelling of Glengrenaugh, Santon, in 1976 and 1977. In 1976 an anonymous donor gave the money for a further protection to be placed on the outside of the beautiful East Window, and the West doors and porch were repaired and restored.

Edward Moore, Vicar-General, made a Visitation on 20th July, 1748 and noted that "Seats in the Church were much out of order; a hest with a lock to it; a good bell; a pewter flagon, dish and two plates; a small silver chalice, shallow, with a long foot - very curious. Two boxes of wood for the offertory ".

At the western end of the inside of the northern wall of the Church, and opposite the Vestry, can be found three stone slabs of interest, which have received the endorsement of the Manx Museum Authorities, as being of historical significance and importance. Two depict forms of the Cross. The smaller is the more intricate in design and workmanship.

The third stone is, in the Island's history, a rarity. In fact, it is probably unique in that it is believed to be the only Roman remains of its kind ever to be found on the Island. Its origin and history are quite unknown. It was found amongst the foundations of what was once a former Church or Keeill, during the excavating which took place for the building of the present Church. It was once part of a gravestone and dates back to the seventh century. Old gravestones have been used to form part of the foundations of Church buildings in many parishes.

The Roman stone in Santon Church bears a brief Latin inscription as follows:

'AVITI MONOMENTI' (The Tomb of Avitus). Nothing is known about the Manx Avitus, but it was a fairly common Roman name in those early times and presumably had some connection with the Island, and with the parish of St. Sanctain, in particular. It is possible that he could have been a Christian priest, who had been sent to the Island by St. Augustine, and who lived and conducted worship on this site.

People of those times are part of our heritage. What a privilege it is to be today a very small section if that great throng, who have kept the Christian faith alive down the centuries especially on a site such as this, which is so steeped in history and Christian worship.

Those who stop to have a closer look at the Avitus stone, will note a peculiarity in the formation of the last letter 'I' in both words. Instead of it being vertical, it is horizontal in each case, viz: '-'. Furthermore, the end of the first letter acts also as the beginning of the second in the word 'AVIT '. Details such as these are always helpful in tracing the history and authenticity of an object.

There are two copper collecting pans, dated 1757, given by Hugh Cosnahan, Merchant, of Douglas. These have long handles and are not often used nowadays, but in time could become of value.

On 18th November, 1934, Mrs. Roberts, presented to the Church a pair of brass candlesticks which had been in her family over 100 years. They are in use every

During the late Rev. E.B. Gregory's time as Vicar he accepted gifts for the Church listed in this and the next four paragraphs. Mr. C. H. Kearley, former owner of the Arragon Farms and the former Arragon Hotel, at Seafield Manor House, gave the light oak Holy Communion Table and panelling in 1956 in memory of his mother. Mr. Gregory saw the electric heating installed; the lighting re-arranged; the blue carpet in the Chancel laid; the pew kneelers provided and the Bishop's Chair and Stool donated, these last two by the late Mr. Harold S. Cain, in memory of his mother.

The light oak carved Hymn and Psalm boards for the use of the Congregation, were presented to the Church by Miss Elsie Kelly of Newtown, in memory of her parents. The matching boxes, which contain the Hymn and Psalm number cards, were made and presented to the Church by a local craftsman, Mr. J. W. Collister, formerly of Seafield Cottage.

The purple pulpit fall was presented by Mr. and Mrs. W. Caley, of the Haven, Ballavale, in memory of Mrs. Caley's parents, Mr. and Mrs. G. A. Quayle, of Arragon Beg. The green pulpit fall was given by Mrs. Phillips of Port St. Mary, in memory of her brother, Rev. F.W. Gelling, a former Vicar of Santon. The white pulpit fall was given by the City of Birmingham Friendly Society. The red pulpit fall was presented by Mr. R. D. Haynes of Ballavar, in memory of his parents, Mr. and Mrs A. W. Haynes, formerly of Glentraugh.

The blue Altar cloth was presented by Mrs. Vera Challenor, of Port Erin in memory of her husband, Mr. Gordon Challenor and of her parents, Mr. and Mrs.G. A. Quayle, of Arragon Beg.

Early in 1973, during the interregnum when the Rev. T. B. Jenkins MBE was in charge of the Parish, the white hand crocheted lace which trims the white altar cloth and falls down the sides of the Table, was presented by Mrs. Zena Carus of Port Erin.

The beautiful light oak processional Cross was donated to the Church in October 1973, by Mrs. Eileen Teare and her son Mr. Peter Teare of Thorncroft ,Santon. Mr. Teare made the Cross himself, with some assistance from some of the boys of Castle Rushen High School, Castletown, who worked under his direction and supervision.

In November the same year the back of the Organ was renewed. The Hymn and Psalm boards on the organ for the use of the Choir and Organist were provided. Also seven rectangular containers to assist with floral decorations in the Church, particularly at Festival times, were obtained.

In 1974 two medium sized glass cruets, with stoppers for water and wine a tHoly Communion, and two wafer boxes were donated anonymously to the Church.

In 1975 the oak Choir bench was given by Mr. and Mrs. J. Orme of Mount Rule Farm, and the re-wiring of the electric lighting system took place. The four lovely light oak Churchwardens' staves made by Kelly Bros. of Kirk Michael, were anonymously donated to the Church in the middle of 1975 by a non parishioner friend of the Parish, who wrote " These Staves are offered as a thanksgiving for many blessing to the Glory of God for the use of the Wardens of Saint Sanctain's Church, SantonIsle of Man. A.D. 1975" They were dedicated by the Bishop on 18th January, 1976.

The following are to be found on the Notice Board outside the Vestry. Thecoloured photograph taken in candlelight by Mr. Bill Peters, Photographer of Douglas,at the 1973 Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on the Sunday after Christmas Day,was kindly presented by him to the Church. The flower rota designed, painted and framed by Mrs. Nan Pearce of Stockland, Devon, was donated by her to the Church. The list of Vicars was written, designed, framed and given to the Church by Mrs.Ruth Woolley of Santon. The Notice of visitors was inscribed and framed by Lady Allen of Stockland, Devon, and given by her to St. Sanctain's Church; It reads as follows:
" As you enjoy the peace and quiet of this Church will you please pray for the peace of the world and the work of God everywhere and for the Church in this Parish of Santon.
Please remember, too, those who come here, that their lives and witness may be enriched and that the unity which Jesus prayed for may prevade His Church where ever it is to be found and that man-made barriers be cast away.
We are delighted you have visited this Church, in which the sacred influences of the past linger on to minister peace and inspiration to the spiritual pilgrims of the present.
From this place of sacred and joyful recollection may you and all who come here go out in the spirit of Christian love and unity to consolidate and extend the Kingdom of Christ in this present age."

Music was originally provided by minstrels in the gallery, which now houses the Organ. They were aided and/or superseded by a quaint barrel Organ, which can now be seen in the Manx Museum in Douglas. The present Organ, by Hewitt of Leicester, was installed towards the end of the last century. It has two manuals, a tracker action and a straight pedal board. During the latter part of 1975 it was extensively overhauled, restored, renovated and re-voiced. At the same time a damp chaser was installed together with a tell tale light indicating that it is doing its job. Through the kind offices of the Board of Education and some of our parishioners, a piano, formerly used at Jurby School, was gratuitously installed in 1976 for use at Choir practices.

The first robed Choir was formed while the late Rev. E. B. Gregory, was Vicar .It performed very worthily and faithfully for a number of years and was a great help in leading worship. The girls and ladies wore purple gowns and hats, and the boys black cassocks and white surplices. Time, and the changing circumstances of life, found the Church in the 1960's without a regular Choir once more. However ,in 1973, a Choir was formed again and appeared in Church, in new red robes - alike for adults and children - for the first time on October 14th, for Harvest Thanksgiving. Both Choirs were indebted to the ladies of the Parish for making their robes. The present Choir is affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music. It leads the singing on Sundays, normally for the 6.30 p.m. evening service.

In 1719, Bishop Wilson presented to the Church a flagon, two plates and a cloth, but these regrettably have disappeared. Vicar-General, John Wilks, visited Santon officially in 1786, and described a pre-Reformation chalice 'with shallow cup and slender foot, very curious'. This would now be of considerable value but its present whereabouts are unknown. These losses of Church silver are most unfortunate and distressing. If anyone hears of their whereabouts please tell the Vicar or one of the Churchwardens. The oldest vessel is a chalice-beaker of silver, with curved body very unusual and probably unique. It was hand made in Douglas by Thomas Appleby, in 1758. It is inscribed "KK St. Ann 1758 Thos Appleby Fecit Duglis ".The letters "T.A." appear roughly stamped three times and on each occasion in a rectangular cartouche.

In 1832, on Christmas Day, Mrs. Ann Bacon, widow of John Joseph Bacon, of Ballavilley, presented to the Church, a very handsome set of silver sacramental vessels, which are used every week and bear the letters INS, the cross and three nails in glory. Mrs. Bacon was a daughter of the Rev. Joseph Cosnahan, Vicar of Braddan and a sister of the Rev. Julius Cosnahan, who followed his father as Vicar of Braddan. Her grandfather the Rev. John Cosnahan had also been Vicar of Braddan.

There are four Mural Tablets; one on the south wall, to the memory of F.B.Clucas M.H.K., Advocate, of Meary Voar, who gave £600, for charitable purposes to the Parish. Another on the same wall is in memory of John Shimmin, sexton for17 years, who died while a prisoner of war in Burma. On the north wall there is a tablet in memory of John Quayle, C.P., of Crogga and another to his wife, Emily who was a member of the Gawne family, of Kentraugh, Rushen, and sister-in-law of Mark Hildesley Quayle.

Normally, the Arms of the reigning Sovereign may not be publicly displayed without Royal permission, but such permission is not required for churches in the British Isles. In Santon Church the Arms on the face of the Gallery purport to be those of King William IV, who came to the throne in 1830. The letters, W.R., however, may have been put in consequent upon his succession. Thus they could be older, being the Arms of his father, George III or even George II. Extra from the accounts which follow mention Arms in 1801 and 1836. They could not be earlier than 1801 otherwise they would include the Arms of France. Incidentally in the Arms the Lion supporter should be painted gold and not tawny.

The French Monarchs were styled 'Most Christian', the Spanish, 'Catholic' and from 1521 (Henry VIII) the English, 'Defender of the Faith'. The title 'FID.DEF.' is on all British coins, except Manx coins. It would be interesting to know (a) when it was first omitted and (b) why. So far no one has been able to supply the author with the answers. Perhaps someone reading this booklet could give them.

In a gift of ecclesiastical benefices, by Edward I, AD.1291, occurs a reference to the Church. There may be as yet unrevealed reference to St. Sanctain's Churchgoing back into earlier centuries. The earliest Vicar of whom there is a traceable ,record was called Dofnold who died about 1291 (see Rotuli Scotiae). He was succeeded by Odo. A gap then appears in the records until 1571 apart from the name of Richard in 1408. Possibly either the details have been lost or destroyed, or the services of the Church could have been maintained by the monks of Rushen Abbey until the dissolution of that Monastery in 1540.

Then came:

Alexander Stevenson 1571

Thomas Kewley 1827

Edward Baguley 1581

Samuel Gelling 1835

Robert Moore 1597

Gilmour Harvey 1865

Robert Otter 1608

Henry G. White 1877

William Cosnahan 1614

Robert Airey 1878

Sir John Cosnahan 1618

John Kirkby 1889

Edward Crowe 1656

Richard Jones 1892

John Halstead ----

William Hornby 1931

Sir Hugh Coshahan 1667

Frederick Gelling 1938

John Cosnahan 1691

Edward Jones 1950

Paul Crebbin 1731

E. Bertie Gregory 1954

Thomas Cubbon 1765

David Lumgair 1970

Charles Crebbin 1769

James M. Cotter 1973

John Nelson 1818


The Rev. Paul Crebbin translated part of the Prayer Book into Manx. The Rev. Thomas Cubbon translated the Old Testament Books of Ezra and Neremiah into Manx, while Pauls son,The Rev. Charles Crebbin translated another Old Testament Book, Ecclesiastes into Manx.

At Christmas 1976 Mr. and Mrs. Howard Jackson made the beautiful chandeliers for use in the Chancel at Candlelight services.

In 1977 Mr. and Mrs. L. Woolley and their son Richard gave additional Communion linen and a white altar cloth trimmed with hand-crocheted white lace from a cotta of The Rev. Canon Tom Woolley of Lichfield.



No history of Santon Church would be complete without reference to the Cosnahan family, which included four Vicars of Santon and also three Vicars of Braddan, making a total of seven clergymen, of whom six and their wives are buried under what is called " The' Greet Stone". This stone covers the Cosnahan family grave in the churchyard, near the south-west end of the Church. The Cosnahan family were descendants of a Scottish immigrant who appears to have arrived at Peel about 1530.He had three sons. The Santon branch was derived from his son, John, whose son, William, was Vicar of Santon from 1614-1618. Little is known of this Vicar, but his son Sir John (Santon's Vicar from 1618-1656), was a merry old roisterer, who kept an ale house; pulled the beard of one Nicholas Moore and erected, (or possibly his father did), the Great Stone, a massive piece of schist, believed to weigh 30 cwt. His brother William, a man of similar mould and vicar of German, went through the siege of Peel Castle, had a daughter, Margery, to whom he entrusted his ale-house, was fined for brawling and bloodshed, and also for using foul language! His wife was sentenced to 'wear the bridle' in Peel Churchyard, for slander!

What happened during the Commonwealth period is difficult to unravel. Nominally Sir John was Vicar until his death in 1656 when he was succeeded by Edward Crowe. Then followed one John Halstead, who was deposed, and Sir Hugh Cosnahan, who was renowned for his horsemanship and was given the vicarage. He was the son of Sir John.

The following extracts from records are of interest.

1656: 'Sir John Cosnahan, late Vicar of KK St. Ann, being Minister in the said Parish, 38 years departed this life 24th of June, and was buried the next day following in ye yard under the great broad stone, for he left in his last will that he should be buried there.'

1657: 'And likewise, Sir Wm. Cosnahan, his Brother, late Vicar of KK German, departed this life the 23rd June, and was buried the day following in the Chancell in his father's Grave & Sir. Tho. Harrison preached his funeral Sermon and his text was out of the 25th of the first book of the Kings and the last verse. (There is no such chapter, he must have meant the 2nd Book of Kings - a plain Historical simple text enough, but if Sir Thomas's text was taken from the last Chapter and last verse of the 1st Book of the Kings, he did not, I fancy, preach much to the Honour of Brother Sir William. "Truly, Sir Thomas, your text would, in the preventage, appear very extraordinary at the head of a Funeral Sermon ".

1690: The Rev. John Cosnahan, whilst a Deacon, married Margaret Moore, on the 2nd December, 1690, in St. Patrick's Church in Peel Town. They had six sons and seven daughters. In 1691 he followed his father, Sir Hugh Cosnahan, who died 2½ months before John's marriage as Vicar of Santon. When Bishop Wilson came to the Island they became close friends. On the 15th February, 1693, 'being Wednesday about 12 o'clock at night one of their sons, John, was born and was baptised on Feb. 18th'. John, senior died on 14th April, 1724, aged 56 and was buried on 16th April, 1724 in his father's and grandfather's grave under the Great Stone in the Yard" at Santon.

In June 1717 John, Junior, married Anne Corrin on St. Peter's Day at Santon Church.He became Vicar of Braddan and Vicar-General. They had a son, Joseph, and a grandson, Julius, both Vicars of Braddan. Their granddaughter was Mrs. Ann Bacon of Seafield. They also had a son, John who was "born ye 14th July 1720 about 8 in ye morning, and baptised on the 17th after the ancient and primitive practise of dipping, as prescribed in ye Rubrick in public baptism".

Another son, Hugh, was 'baptised on 31st December, 1706, confirmed at KK Malew on25th March, 1721, and died in the Island of Jamaica, where he was buried on shore about ye latter end of January, 1728'.

Other Vicars buried in the Churchyard are
1. The Rev. Paul Crebbin, Vicar for 34 years. His widow Jane died in 1799 aged
100 years. He was one of the translators of the Prayer Book into Manx.
2. His son, Charles, Vicar for 48 years 9 months translated Ecclesiastes into Manx.
3. The Rev. Thomas Kewley, aged 39, Vicar for 7 years, whose gravestone was erected by Santon Parishioners.
4 The Rev. Samuel Gelling, Vicar for 30 years.
5. The Rev. Robert Airey, Vicar for 11 years.
6. The Rev. Richard Jones, Vicar for 39 years, and
7. The Rev. Edward Bertie Gregory, Vicar for 16 years and his wife Eveline Frederica Gregory, both of whom were well loved in the Parish, and remembered with much affection by Santon people.

Another gravestone of great interest in the Churchyard is that of Daniel Tear. Hewas a tinker and vagrant of Kirk Andreas, who died in 1787, at the age of 110 years. He is buried on the north side of the Church and was the oldest Manxman who ever lived. The headstone epitaph was composed by Sir Wadsworth Busk, Attorney General of the Island and it reads as follows:

"Here friend is Little Daniel's tomb.
To Joseph's age he did arrive;
Sloth killing thousands in their bloom,
While, labour kept poor Dan alive.
How strange, yet true, full seventy years
Was his wife happy in her Tears.

Daniel Tear, died 9th Dec., 1787, aged 110 years ".
In 1790 Daniel Tear's wife, Margaret, died aged 98 years.

Near the Cosnahan Great Stone, is the grave of Mrs. Jessica Cresswell, widow of the Rev. John Cresswell. She was a daughter of a former Lieutenant Governor of the Island, Cornelius Smelt, who, in 1830 laid the foundation stone of King Williams College. Near the east entrance gate is the large grave of the Clucas family, whose former home was Meary Voar. A later Speaker of the House of Keys, - Sir Frederic Clucas is buried there. Members of the family had been on the staff of Repton School and one was a founder master of the school.

Another former Member of the House of Keys buried in Santon Churchyard is Mr.Thomas Kinnish, Senior of Mullinaragher.

An interesting epitaph on the grave of a man named John Brew can be seen as one enters the Churchyard by the main gate. It bears the date 1806 and reads as follows:
"Al1 you travellers that pass by,
As you are now, so once was I;
And as I am, soon you shall be,
In time prepare for Eternity."

Of more recent years, among others buried in the Churchyard, are Thomas Arthur Bridson, the noted Manx artist, who died in 1966 at the age of 105. Every year up to and including his attaining the age of one hundred he climbed to the top of Snaefell mountain on his birthday.

A former Captain of the Parish, His Honour Deemster Bruce Whyte Macpherson C.P. whose home was at Crogga, was buried in the new Churchyard in November, 1971. He served the parish of Santon and the Island loyally, faithfully and well. He loved St. Sanctain's Church where, with his wife and family, he was a regular and faith]worshipper. His wife, Dorothy Clare Gwladys is buried with him. Both were well-;and highly respected in the Parish and beyond its bounds.

In 1969 a wealthy English businessman, James Kenneth Wilkie, was buried here. He was the generous benefactor to a large number of orphan boys, many of whom attends his funeral, and some still continue to visit his grave. All who were present at his funeral received a legacy from his estate.

A whole host of other lovable, loving and faithful people of various occupations, rich and poor, named and unnamed remembered and .forgotten have over the centuries found here their final earthly resting place. A noble throng, which no man can number, some of the saints of the Church of Christ in communion with whom succeeed generations are privileged to join. A faithful line who kept the Church alive in this parish and handed it on, so that today we are honoured to be part of so great and distinguished a heritage, going back 1500 years. May we, like them in past times preserve the faith of Jesus Christ and be honoured and privileged to belong to that host which no man can number, who are alive with our Lord, by ourselves handing it on with uplifted, joyful, loving and hopeful hearts to succeeding generations ina faithful, loyal and worthy manner.

The black marine plywood Notice Board on the wall on the north side of the east gate of the Churchyard was very kindly made for Santon Church by Mr. Stanley Turner of Village Hair Fashion of Ballasalla. His wife, Mary, also very kindly added her talents to her husband's by painting on it the inscription in white and the Celtic cross in red.


Various and widely differing items are recorded in the registers, some extracts from which follow. Would that more had been written down.'The north side of the Church was rebuilt anno 1703; the south side 1715; the Gable and Steeple 1725; so that the walls of this Church are all new. A new Bell was set up on April ye 9th 1720. The Steeple of the Church was finished and the Church enlarged July 29th 1727. The seats were then regulated by the Wardens with the assistance of 4 Sworn men, pursuant to the Vicar-General's order. The Steps about ye Font (were) for the poor people.'

'The watering Place of the Glebe is St. Ann's Well and other water in the waste ground in the road below and near said well. This Well in the street before the Vicarial house was sunk Anno 1775, being a remarkably dry summer. The depth thereof is about 16 feet, thirteen of which goes into a very hard quarry, so that the most squeamish Dame need not doubt the purity of the water.'

An estimate of 1785 reads:- 'John Cane proposals for making or fixing and compleating the Gallery of the Church in a neat and complete form - to winscoting the front and the back of the front seat, wincot as the seats below, and the remainder of the seats with a single back, with a firm and finnished stairs, together with the 4 side windows he gives in this proposal as his expence for work and all complete for the sum of £17.10 - or otherwise, if the Church to have all the back seats winscoted like the seats below. He offers to do the same in that fassion or form for the sum of £20.He also offers to seale the same if required for £2.'

October 3rd 1813, 'Mrs B. of Mill ne Quinne complained to me that J.M. keepeth riotous house giving drink to people and fighting in time of Divine Service this day, and this the Miller's wife also knoweth. T.B., Warden.'

'At a visitation holden at St. Anne, August, 27th, 1841 by the Venerable Archdeacon Hall,' he ordered that 'the Chancel Door be repaired and painted, wood removed from window sills and cemented. That Churchyard gate be painted and wall repaired. Roof be pointed & wall that lets in water to be cemented. Church(West) door mended & painted. That the pillars supporting Tombstone at West Entrance of Church be removed and the stone placed in the ground. The Archdeacon regrets to be obliged to report that the 4 Churchwardens were so neglectful of their duty as not to attend at his visitation. He ordered that a new surplice be provided; an English Prayer Book for Communion Service and the large English Prayer Book mended.' It is stated in two different places that 'one of the above 4 Churchwardens on the 17th October, 1841 placed a box with two locks in the Church to lock up the wine and from that day, as long as he was in office, (up to 24th May, 1842,) deprived the Vicar of the whole of the Sacramental wine. He had a man in Church to see that ye Vicar took no more than he (The Churchwarden concerned) allowed the Vicar to take. But the new Wardens removed the box as soon as they came into office and restored the wine as formerly. This he did in addition to depriving the Vicar of two-thirds of the tithe of Ballachrink and Ballakissage. The whole of his conduct has proved him to be diametrically the reverse of a truth telling or honourable dealingman, and yet this man professing pre-eminent holiness.'

There was a visitation 'by the Bishop and Archdeacon on 18th April, 1856, which directed that the Font be restored to the Church; the windows of the Church and School be painted; matting be laid down in the Aisle; West Door of the Church be repaired; Chancel Windows and Doors be painted; a drain on the South side be constructed to carry off the water.' At a Vestry meeting on 24th July, 1856, to consider these orders, 'Resolved that the Font be restored to the West end of the Church - namely into the two seats at the North - west side of the Church adjoining the West Gable'. Resolved that a new matting be purchased and laid down in the Aisle.' 'Re the proposed drain on the south side, the Vestry considered this order not practicable.' Why, is not recorded.

1867. 'Special Vestry Meeting to consider exchange of piece of land in lieu of the Clerk's Glebe - part of Collister's Croft. Above convened in case it should be thought adviseable to build the new Vicarage on the Clerk's Glebe. It was then decided to use part of Collister's Croft which was bought for the purpose.'

1869 'Committee of Tynwald Court commended this Parish for the way the Churchyard was kept, and also for the neat and clean appearance of the Church, saying it was one of the neatest and nicest kept in the Island.'

1869. 'The new Vicarage was taken possession of. The old Vicarage let to a respectable tenant at a nominal rent (£5) on condition that he does repairs. Outbuildings of old Vicarage in very bad repair.'

1872 'Visitation. Church and Vicarage are to be insured, the former at the costof the parishioners.'

From 1704 to 1838 deaths were recorded from Smallpox. The heaviest years being in 1704, 1713, and 1772, when 16, 22 and 16 respectively died from Smallpox alone. Other recorded causes of death include scarletina. shooting. cholera. burning by fire. drowning, shipwreck, 'chin-cough', fever, child-bed, kick from a horse and falling from the cliffe.'

Occupations and descriptions of people whose deaths are recorded in the parish registers include porter, pensioner, publican, member of H.M. Forces, sailor,Member of the House of Keys, sumner, mariner, Captain of the Parish, Speaker of the House of Keys, Deemster, schoolmaster, hatter, servant, tinker, clergy, tailor,pauper, beggar, idiot, lunatic, the unidentified and the illegitimate.

The age range stretches from one day, to the oldest Manxman who ever lived (Daniel Tear) and who died aged 110 years.

1728. 'Karther (Bridson) wife of Robt. Brew, of Ballaquackin, who was shot in her Bed by a Gun that accidentally hung over her where she lay, dy'd on Wednesday at night being ye 26 and was buried Feb. 28th.

1731. December 12. 'This day Mr. Joseph Fisher, John Rodgers and Patrick Quinn, from Drogheda, together with three other Irishmen were buried in this Churchyard who perished in a boat at Sossrick ye 9th inst. by unfortunately quitting their ship wh. rid out safely and was after 2 days brought to Douglass. The six men were lodged 2 nights at Balla-ny-how, had all of 'em Coffins according to order of Government and were decently interred ead dio ut supra.'

1759. 'Wm. Christian, junr. of Meary Veg, on Friday the 23rd November, coming home from Ballaquackin, in a dark rainy night, in company with John Quiney, junr. of Ballacrine, about 10 a clock, met Mr. Edw. Christian of Lewaige, of K.K. Maughold on horseback who had been at Castletown and said Christian and Quiney desiring sd.Mr. Christian to give them a cart over the River of Quiney's Miln, he first took behind him sd. Wm. Christian; But by the violence of the Current, there being great Flood in the River by the Rain, which fell that Evening, and ye Night being very dark,they were carried off Horseback, and both perished; Mr. Christian was not found till Sunday morning he being covered by a Quantity of Sea Wrack in the Burn foot of KK St. Ann; Wm Christian was found Saturday morning, near a Rock called the Cregg-wee, at sd. Burn foot and was bury'd Sunday Evening 25th.'

1787 'Dec. 11th Daniel Tear (aged 111) (N.B. Headstone says 110)
1790 'Dec. 5th Margt. Tear (aged 98) (she was wife of Danl. Tear)

1794 'Wm. Oates, buried Nov. 26th'

1795 'Eunice Anne Oates, alias Murray, widow of the above Wm. Oates, Esq., was married to Thos. Christian, Esq., by special Licence in her own house at Ronaldswa the second of February, in the night.'

1820 'Henry Quayle was returning from Quinney's Miln with some meal for his family on the evening of the 8th Sept. had put the meal into his own house at B. Howin and went out to put bye the horse, when finding the cart probably over turned and attempting to extricate the horse without assistance was killed on the spot and found a few minutes afterwards by his own son.'

1822 'Elizabeth Morrison 99 years 11 months buried May 14th.'

1837 Reveals a great tragedy 'Samuel Taggart aged 20 years buried Feb. 16th
Edward Taggart, aged 15 years, buried Feb. 17th
William Taggart, aged 23 years buried Feb 17th
Catherine Taggart aged 17 years buried Feb. 17th
Margaret Taggart, aged 13 years and Richard Taggart aged 20 months, buried Feb. 21st.
Jane Taggart aged 4 years buried Feb. 24th.
The above 7 children of Samuel Taggart, clerk of this parish, died of scarletina.'Also in 1837 Emma, Eliza and Mary Stewart, children of Major Stewart of the respective ages of 6 years, 41 years and 1 month, buried May 5th.

1846 'William Kinley, Esq., aged 48 years from Peel, of Balladoo and Ballahowin,in this parish, and a member of the House of Keys died the 13th and was interred the 17th January.

1850 'A student of King Wms. College of the name of Robert Woodhouse, son of an English Clergyman, in Nottingham, (aged 16 years) in company with two other collegians going in search of a jackdaw's nest in a cave, called "Gullet ny Chow"near Port Saltrick, in this parish, fell from the top of the rock and was killed,May 22nd - Interred May 29th.'

1937 'Sir George Frederick Clucas, of Cronkbourne, Braddan, Speaker of the House of Keys, aged 67, buried by the Bishop of Sodor and Man, Nov. 15th.'
(fpc - he had married A.W.Moore's widow, who herself died on hearing news of his death.although a double funeral was held she was buried in her first husband's grave in old Kirk Braddan even though they had ben married nearly 30 years)

In the years before the Royal National Lifeboat Institution was founded, there were fatalities from shipwreck along the coast of the parish. Sailors and passengers from ships in 1717; 1772; the great Storm of 1787; 1811; 1817; 1837 and 1838 were drowned and lie buried in the Churchyard.

In the Parish registers there are several instances of people being married -"from ye sheet to ye ring!!"

Among many other items the following are of interest, especially in these days of almost non-stop inflationary tendencies.


Funeral Charges: To Ale and Brandy 9/8; To Coffin 6/-; To making ye grave 1/-; To ye Parson of Kirk Malew 9d; To Kirk Santan Minister and Clerk 1/8; To carrying ye Bier 5d; To Makeing ye Will and payment fo rregistering it 1/-: Total £1 - 6d



To cash paid to Silvester Fargher, Masson, for painting ye Church



To washing at Esther (Easter) 1/2. To a cord for ye Bell 2/2½ To ye trouble for getting ye cord - 8d.



To making the seats for the Body of the Church all new.
To the whole of Peter Fargher's (Joiner) Bill £18/8/-;
To Corletts Bill for hinges and 500 nails
To the whole of Mr. Forbes' Bill for timber etc. £7.4.10;
To Mr. Leece's Bill £2/8/11; To
£1.2/2; To the whole of the Warden's disbursements £7/16/8.



To 3 noted fasts for the Cut of Arms 1/6; For putting up the Cut ofArms 1/6; for one of the Gleasers Diet, 7 days 7/-;To fire and room to work in 3/-; To bringing Sann 1/-;For attending at the Church 5 days 5/-; Paid for 3 barrals of lime 7/-.



To a Roap for the Bell 3/1½
To Captain John Clucas, towards repairing the Parrish pinfold dove and
erecting new pilfers £1/1/



To soldering the tanker 6d



To half a quire of paper 6d; To a new Chandelier £1



To a pair of snuffers 6d.



Paid Norris Clage for a new Key for the Church and Repair of lock



To Henry Karran for Glazing 11 squares of Glass at 2d per square 1/10


To Glazing the old windows at 4d



To Painting 11 Windows at 9d



To Painting Doors



To 1½ days each for Thos. Clage and Son for Church



To Lathes and Nails for Church



To 21b Putty at 6d



To 1 Book for Baptisms



To roughcasting the Church, whitewashing the Church inside and Churchyard fence and repairing the rendering



To cleaning the Church (for one year)



To dressing the same on Christmas



To 1 gallon of boiled oil and carriage



To 1 lb Lampblack 9d, 3 lb White paint 1/6



To a Bier



To the Kings Arms & putting up & carriage



To 4lb candles & carriage



To whitewashing the Church



To a new English Bible



To pillars to support gallery



To carriage of pillars



To Mr. Creer for setting pillars



To paint and oil for ditto



To new key for Bell door



For the sufferers from Quebec fires



For the sufferers by fire at Newfoundland



For the distressed Irish £2/12/=



The 24th March was a Fast Day for the failure of the potato crop



Bread 4/= and wine 16 bottles (@ 1/9 each) & Carriage 4/-


2 Advertisements in 2 of the Insular Newspapers for Schoolmaster


The 19th November was a Thanksgiving Day for abundant fishery.



To New Register of Burials



The 15th November was a Thanksgiving Day for the removal of Cholera.



To Coffin (inflation? see 1774)



The 26th April was a Fast Day on account of ye War with Russia



The 21st March was a General Fast Day because of ye War with Russia.


The 17th May - Ascension Day - 135 members marched


A clock purchased for School



A new bell for ye Church bought


Matting for Church laid down



New Font put up in Church


New door for inside of Church & frame etc. & New Lid for Font.Weight for Font lid, etc (£1.0.5) Repairing school seats. Painting School House windows and doors.



5 lb lawn grass seed for new Churchyard.



Insurance of Church for
an insurance premium)



_500 (First record of payment of

_1/7/6 11/2 1889 18941934


1936 1951 1952 1952 1952

Lighting and attending fire for warming Church
3rd December, Received from Mr. Bridson of Ballaquiggin for the Poor, being amount of Fine from Boys who had robbed his Orchard £/15/
20th October. To Indian Famine Fund £4/4/1
Robert Gelling of Douglas, for painting, gilding and lettering
4 scrolls for Church walls.
By Miss Airey - Railway expenses from and to Castletown and play the Organ in Church and to practice Choir for Sept.
A Creer, for ringing bell (12 Months)
9th July, The Church roof was taken off and a temporary roof put on.
30th Dec. Very large funeral in afternoon - as usual spoilt the Congregations!
6th January, Part of ceiling fell during Service.
14th January, The Church ceiling was dangerous and was taken out.
Church shut for one Sunday.
26th January - National Mourning for King George V - Very poor Congregations.

During August Church interior walls have been cleaned off and coloured.
Window casements painted, also sanctuary door and metal work. Moulding to East wall. Church floor scrubbed and all woodwork washed. Much unwanted litter removed. The whole done by voluntary labour.
16th December, 2.30p.m. Dedication of the Baptistry and Vestry by the Lord Bishop.
6th February. Tuesday, 11 am Proclamation of Accession of Queen Elizabeth II at Court of Tynwald.
1st April, Tuesday. East Window Removal. Old Window frame removed and new frame fitted. New Window completed. Photograph in colour to Her Majesty the Queen.
6th April, 3 p.m. Dedication Service of new East Window.




All the older citizens of the west side of La Porte country Indiana know William Lace, the honest, upright, good natured shoemaker, who settled in Westville, I think, the latter part of 1852. I knew him most intimately and spent many hours in his workshop listening to his many tales of the Isle of Man the land of his birth.

To commence at the beginning. Mr. Lace was born in the parish of Kirk Andreas on the Isle of Man on February 9th, 1801 and resided there until he reached man's estate. Among his early and life long friends was Mr. Fargher father of William and Thomas Fargher. Mr. Lace and Mr. Fargher were born about the same time in the same locality.

Mr. Fargher on coming to America with his family in 1843, passing through Liverpool on his way, called on Mr. Lace who had become located there and that visit induced Mr. Lace to cross the Atlantic to this western Elderado, a few years later.

It was in Liverpool that William Lace first met his wife Ann Christian and he married her in that city on 31st May, 1826. His growing family of two boys and four girls were constant reminders that the over crowded and over worked English continent did not offer as much inducement for him and those depending on him for support as did the United States and he made arrangements to transplant his interest to the west side of the Atlantic. His two sons Phillip and William who had now reached the age of manhood crossed over in the spring of 1848 while their father and oldest sister Kate, who was then fifteen came in the fall following. Mrs Lace and the three younger daughters Mary Ann, Susana, and Jane aged respectively thirteen, ten and eight, remained, the settlement of an estate causing them to delay.

William Lace, the two boys and daughter Kate came together that fall to Cleveland, Ohio, where they rented a house. It was hoped that the absent members of the family would be able to rejoin them early the following year but the law in England as well as the United States was inexorable and they were compelled to submi to its delays, the days came and went until months and even years passed and hope hi almost expired when early in 1850 the glad news was received that Mrs. Lace and the girls would arrive in the following June. They were to come to New York by steamer thence by canal to Buffalo and from there by boat to Cleveland.

As the time for arrival drew near, William Lace was an earnest visitor to the steamboat landing, and the sweep of his vision was far down Lake Erie to catch the coming boat.

William Lace was at the harbour one morning when he learned that a steamer was burned about 15 miles away sometime late in the night and between three and four hundred lives were lost. He at once obtained a carriage, and drove to the fated place. The boat named the G. P. Griffith from Buffalo with over four hundred passengers had accidentally caught fire and grounded in ten feet of water and less than one hundred had survived. From place to place William Lace travelled and looked in vain for any trace of his missing ones. It was nearly noon when he became satisfied that they were not there and he retraced his steps back to the city fondly hoping that his family had not taken this ill-fated vessel. As he reached Cleveland, he was informed that a number of bodies had been brought to town and were laid out in one of the large warehouses near Lake Erie, to that building heat once removed, and there lying in one group were his wife and three girls as tranquil and placid as they could have been in life.

The funeral of Ann Lace and her daughters took place in due time and the multitude that attended it was very large. The bodies were laid away in Woodland Avenue Cemetery.

The sad harrowing memories of that eventful tragedy so shattered William Lace's mind and affected his health that his sons and daughter thought it best that they should leave the city of Cleveland and come to La Porte County and find his old friend Mr. Fargher. Soon after reaching, William decided to establish himself in Westville. Kate married a Mr. Wheeler of that place. Her father while residing in Westville married Elizabeth Harrison who resided near Union Chapel, her father was a brother-in-law of William Lace's life long friend Mr. Fargher. All these families, the Farghers, the Laces and Harrisons were old friends on the Isle of Man previous to emigrating to America.

William Lace died in Denton County, Texas on February 4th 1890 near ninety years old. His widow and her only son are now living in Dallas, Texas. Phillip died in 1870 in Chenoa, Illinois of consumption supposed to have been contracted during the Civil War, he and his brother William jur. having served throughout that conflict. His widow and two sons still reside there. William jnr. married Lattie Parker. He moved to Texas in 1873 and is engaged in farming. He has five children one son and four daughters. His post office address is Egan, Johnson County'.


I hope this true story will be of some interest. William Lace was a distant relative of mine.



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