Isle of Man Family History Society Journal Vol 11 No 3 Aug 1989



Now the beauty of the thing when childher plays is
The terrible wonderful length the days is
Up you jumps, and out in the Sun,
And you fancy the day will never be done;
And you're chasin' the bum-bees hummin' so cross
In the hot sweet air among the goss
Or gath'rin' blue-bells, or lookin' for eggs,
Or peltin' the ducks, with their yalla legs,
Or a climbin', and nearly breakin' your skulls,
Or a shoutin' for divilment after the gulls,
Or a thinkin' of nothin', but down at the tide,
Singin' out for the happy you feel inside.
That was all - just baby play,
Knockin' about the boats all day,
And sometimes a lot of us takin' hands
And racin' like mad things over the sands.
Ahl it wouldn' be bad for some of us
If we'd never gone furder, and never fared wuss;
If we'd never grown up, and never got big,
If we'd never took the brandy swig,
If we were skippin' and scamptrin' and cap'rin' still
On the sand that lies below the hill,
Crunchin' its grey ribs with the beat
Of our little patterin' naked feet:
If we'd ust kept childher upon the shore
For ever and ever and ever more!
That's the way with the kids, you know,
And the years do come and the years do go,
And when you look back it's all like a puff,
Happy and over and short enough!
By T.E. Brown [from "Betsy Lee"]

Thomas E. Brown 1830-97

In Braddan Vicarage was reared one of the Island's most lovable and famous sons, Thomas Edward Brown, the Manx poet.
He was born in Douglas, his father then being chaplain of Old St. Mathews Church, and headmaster of the Douglas Grammar School.
In 1832, his father was appointed Vicar of Braddan. He went first to the village school, but was mostly taught in his early years by his father. He entered King Williams College in 1846. By 1855 he was made Vice Principal.
In 1861 'Brown' went on to be headmaster of a school in Gloucester, after serving 3 years he moved onto Clifton College where he remained for the rest of his teaching years, finally returning to the Isle of Man



I have recently been lent a bound volume of the Manx Church magazine for the years 1890 to 1891. These contain baptisms, marriages and burials and also details of obituaries of members of various Churches. I am including a typical one below

On the 11th August 1891

Mr. Robert Gilmour was well known and highly respected both in Douglas and in the south of the Island generally. In early life he was a schoolmaster at Grenaby, Malew and afterward a at Santon. On his marriage he removed to Canada, where he was a most successful and valued teacher for many years. On account of Mrs. Gilmour's health he returned to the Island and again took charge of the school at Santon, where he remained until he became Superintendent of the House of Industry, and afterwards officer of the Poor Relief Committee, in both of these positions his strict integrity, and the considerate and kind manner in which he discharged his difficult duties, gained for him an universal respect and esteem. Some years ago he retired to the Union Mills, where he continued to reside until the day of his death. He was a regular attendant at Braddan Church where his familiar figure will be much missed. Also given are names of scholars gaining prizes etc. and passing exams at the Church schools.

The museum library has a collection of these which can make interesting reading and give an insight into the many activities that were held at the churches and Church halls.

If anyone comes across any of these when clearing a house or in a junk shop, please remember that our library at Peel would be only too glad to receive them for members to browse through.

with thanks to Mr. Brian Quayle of Peel for the loan of his book.



In the 1860's the Empress Eugenie wore a silk dress dyed with a newly invented aniline dye to the Paris Opera for the first time. This dye was the first green which did not go blue in gaslight and marked the high point of the new artificial dyes, produced by Perkins and put on sale by him in 1857 in London. It was also to mean a dramatic decline in the demand for natural dyes and to a lesser extent the demand for mineral pigments.

Umber, a mineral pigment, a hydrated ferric and manganese oxide, had been mined in the Isle of Man for many years and crushed at the Umber Mill at Ballasalla, then stored in the Umber House on the Irish Quay prior to shipment to England. Umber, however, could be imported more cheaply, particularly from Cyprus and as a consequence of this competition and the declining demand the mining of the ore on the Island became uneconomic.

The Umber House used in my childhood as a store for both coal and general goods, was a fine, sizeable stone building and was removed by the Harbour Board, in the interests of harbour improvements, some thirty odd years ago.

The Umber Mill, or quite a good proportion of it, still remains. It stood on land in the lower Silverdale Glen and was owned by the Quine family. On his retirement to the Island in the early 1930's Doctor Quine had the Mill converted into a lovely dwelling house and carried out major landscaping in the surrounding Glen.
The Doctor, who lived to over 100 years of age, was a man of many parts and carried out much of the landscaping himself. It was not uncommon to see him, even in his late eighties, wading through the Silverburn in thigh boots clearing debris and tidying the banks. Right to the end of his days he had a strong vigorous mind and not long before his 100th birthday wrote me a personal letter detailing major improvements which he thought should be carried out in Castletown to relieve the congestion in the narrow streets without spoiling the ancient appearance of the town.

He had been a County Medical Officer and being of an inventive turn of mind had devised a system whereby refuse vehicles by moving tilt bars set to actuate refuse bins could collect household refuse without having to stop.
The alterations to the Mill were carried out by Harold Callow, a relative of ours who at that time lived with us and I remember Harold recounting to my father details of an ingenious gate latch which the Doctor had had made by Oates' the Ballasalla blacksmiths. When the Doctor produced his drawings to the Oates brothers they were at a loss to understand how the latch was to work. 'Make it first and when its complete I will explain it', he promised. On its completion the brothers were amazed at the ingenuity of the locking latch.
I have wandered a bit from the old Umber House but suffice it to say that with the demise of the umber mining the Isle of Man lost an ancient industry which by now has been forgotten by almost everyone and with the removal of the old Umber House even the name link with the past has been irretrievably lost.
Teddy Blackburn of Castletown.



Amongst the Lewthwaite family papers are two lists of Sunday School pupils for the years 1857/8 and 1882, which are printed opposite and on page 73.
The Lewthwaite family all belonged to the Abbeylands Methodist Chapel, they started as scholars at the Sunday School, became Sunday School teachers and several of the young men became local preachers.
Abbeylands is situated in the parish of Onchan and the area in the 19th century consisted mostly of farms, a blacksmith, the Chapel and a few cottages.
Although Abbeylands hasn't changed much over the years, the Blacksmith has gone and there are one or two new bungalows and a few new farmhouses although the old farm buildings still stand. Manx people believe it is unlucky to pull down the old houses and usually leave them to just fall down.

Some of the children that attended the Chapel would walk from East Baldwin, through the short cut and over a little wooden bridge, lovely on a beautiful day, but treacherous in winter when the weather had been bad for a few days.
The children's ages varied from 3 years to 14 years, some walked three to four miles, attendance on the whole was very good even in the winter months.

The Quine children - Thomas and Ann had to walk from Lanaghar Farm, which is situated at the far end of the cul-de-sac, their father William was employed on the farm as an agricultural labourer.

Most of the scholars who are on the register were children of farmers and agricultural labourers, the only exceptions being the Lewthwaite children whose parents were Paper makers, and John Faragher's father who was a tailor who lived nearer the Strang, than Abbeylands.

Although most of the children were born in Onchan parish, the; were baptised at nearby St. Luke's Church, Baldwin, which is in the parish of Braddan. Onchan Parish Church is over 5 miles from Abbeylands and a long way to walk to baptise a new baby.

Abbeylands Church has never been licenced for marriages and there are no records of baptisms there.

The Chapel today is still in use with a good congregation, 2 teachers and 16 children attend the Sunday School.

I have more information on the scholars listed, including census records also photographs of most of their homes, copies available.



Scholars attending Nov. to Feb. 1857-8

Elizabeth Kelly

David Kelly

Catherine Kelly

Robt. Joseph Clague

Jane Christian

Robt. Payle

Elizabeth Christian

Henry Taggart

Sarah Taggart

John L. Gawne

Eliza Commaish

John Faragher

Elizabeth Shimmin

Mathew Clague

Margaret Gelling

Wm. Fayle

Mary Ann Kelly

John Archer

Ann Kewley

Thomas Quine

Eliza Clague

William Christian

Margaret Clague

William Quine

Sarah Lewthwaite

Charles Kelly

Elizabeth Lewthwaite

Robert Kelly

Elizabeth Conwell

John Kelly

Elizabeth Clague

James Conwell

Ann Quine

John Shimmin

Esther Kelly

Henry Clark

Francis Clague

James Archer

Emma Cowin


Scholars attending morning March - July 1883
Albert Creer Christian Cretney
Thiophilus Henry Sarah A. Creer
Arthur C. Lewthwaite Annie Kaneen
William Cretney Adelaide A.J. Keig
Martin Lewthwaite Emma Archer
William Archer Nina Archer
John Leece Agnes McCormick
Robert Leece Elizabeth J. Hughes
Charles Kewin Francis J. Clague
John Creer Netta Cretney
Robert Creer Elizabeth Kaneen
Charles Archer Elizabeth Watterson
Ambrose Lewthwaite Emily Kewley
Arthur Hughes Lillie Kewin
Robert Coroon Lydia Lewthwaite
Herbert Leece Annie Kelly
Charles Killey Alice M. Archer
John J. Hughes Esther Archer
William W. Gillmour Margaret J. Little
Robert G. Shimmin
Walter Gilmour



Sunday School Anniversary's Services are also very popular demonstrations here. In the country, the services are usually held in the open air. If you visit the country in June and July, you will be able to attend anniversaries held in two of the loveliest dells imaginable ... at West Baldwin and at Abbeylands, Onchan. Both these beauty spots are situated on tributaries of the River Glass ... our river, as we call it. At these services, the Sunday School children and the choir are arranged or' a stage platform behind the preacher, facing the people. There is generally a good display of dress on such occasions. The people gather in hundreds from the neighbourhoods for miles around. A country Sunday School Anniversary is about as much a social fete as a religious service.
Above account written in 1895 by Ambrose Lewthwaite in a letter to his relative in Canada.
Sunday School is held in the morning from 10.00 to 11.00 and in the afternoon
from 2.00 to 3.30.



As a result of my letter appearing in the journal for May last year, I received 8 replies from all over the world, including U.K., U.S.A., Australia and New Zealand. All have been answered.
I was very thrilled to receive a letter from a member in Australia - Mrs. Lee Bower, enclosing her family tree, which showed that we both stem from the same ancestors. Not only that, but she knew of another person in Canada who does too.
Am I wrong in thinking that it is rather unusual to have three members going back to the same family in the 18th century? We all come from the union of JOHN COWIN (b.1750) and CATHERINE SAYLE (b.1754) m 1776 in Ballaugh Old Church.
Over the next three pages are 3 family trees - (1) From Mrs. Lee Bower,(2) From Mr. George Callow - U.S.A. and (3) my own tree, all showing descent from John Cowin and Catherine Sayle.



In 1422 Hawley McKissacke (and 20 others including a Donald McKissacke) was sentenced to be drawn with horse, hung and headed. The relevant passage from the Acts of Sir John Stanley reads: " In the same Courte, Howlac Mackissacke is arrayned that he felloniouslie rose upon John Walton, Livetenant of Man, sittinge in the Court at Kirk Michell, upon the Tusdaye next afte the Feaste of Corpus Christie, in the yeare of our Lord God, 1422. And men there being wth him, did beate and misused the Livetenant's men in the Churchyearde; and there Hawley came and entirlie withsaied all his deeds,and put him to the country." For this treason "the Lawe deemeth that the said Hawley ought to be drawn wth horses and then hanged, and headed, and after that doom given, he put him into the Kynges handes."
In his magnificent book "Seed of Isaac", Rev Kissack referred to Hawle as "a Manx Che Guevara." He certainly was a hero, but regarding the execution he states (page 227) - "Certainly we do not hear of him (Hawley) or Donald after 1422. But equally we do not hear of any executions. A softly-softly approach was characteristic of the 15th century Stanleys."

Reading the "Acts of Sir John Stanley" (page 82) I came across the details of an inquest of 24 men called in 1429, and one of the men was Auley McKissacke.
This Auley of 1429, is most likely the treasonous Hawley of 1422. The Hawley of 1422 must have been of high standing, or else he would not have been in a position to lead the revolt. Similarly the Auley of 1429 must have been of high standing to be on the inquest, as the 24 who were called to serve in a judicial capacity were chosen from the 36 in the House of Commons. I therefore think it is reasonable to believe that they were the same man;and that Hawley not only escaped execution but it seems was later to be installed as a member of "the Court of all the Commons of Man, the Eldest and Worthiest of all the land of Man".
This would indicate that Rev. Kissack was correct in assuming that Hawley(Auley) most likely escaped execution; benefiting from the Stanley's "softly softly approach".
Alan Terrett

Rev. Rex Kissack tells me he has a few copies left of his book the "Seed of Isaac", the title of the book is the literal translation of the surname Kissack. The book covers all bearers of this surname in Manx records. It contains many family trees which are linked by cross reference to indicate the line of descent, some documented, some probable, from the 14th century when the name first appears, to the present day. Books can be obtained from the Rev. R. Kissack, Borodail, Glen Moar, Kirk Michael, Isle of Man cost £10.00 in the Isle of Man. £11.45 for England and overseas inclusive of postage.

[FPC - NOTE Rev R Kissack died 1998; the book is Out of Print]


SCHOOL REGISTER November 1864 Ballasalla

Standard V Date Started Age in 1864
b.1850 John Bridson 1857 14 yrs
b.1849 John Preston 1857 15 yrs
b. 1851 James Bell 1859 13 yrs
b.1851 Daniel Gelling 1861 13 yrs
b.1852 Edward Clucas 1860 12 Yrs
b.1852 Robert Mylechreest 1858 12 yrs
b.1853 Henry Devonshire 1861 11 yrs
b.1851 Joseph Lowey 1859 13 yrs
b.1852 James Lowey 1859 12 yrs
Henry Curry 1860
Standard IV
b.1848 Edward Kelly 1857 16 yrs
b.1852 Robert Cubbon 1860 12 yrs
b.1853 John Kermode 1861 11 yrs
b.1854 Albert Bell 1862 10 yrs
b.1853 William Bridson 1859 11 yrs
b.1851 Joseph Kelly 1857 13 yrs
b.1853 William G. Cain 1862 11 yrs
b.1854 Thomas Bridson 1862 10 yrs
b.1852 Thomas Morrison 1863 12 yrs
b.1852 William McLaughlen 1859 12 yrs
Thomas F. Quayle
Robert Shimmin
Standard III
John Clucas
John Bridson
b.1852 Robert Clark 1862 12 yrs
b.1853 William Oates 1861 11 yrs
b.1854 William Cain 1862 10 yrs
b.1854 Arthur Gelling 1862 10 yrs
b.1854 Henry Shimmin 1862 10 yrs
b.1853 Robert Morrison 1863 11 yrs
b. 1851 James Hudson 1861 13 yrs (186'
b.1856 Thomas Fell 1863 8 yrs
John Crellin Attended school 1 week Dec. 1864
John Reid Attended school Nov, Dec '64
Jan '65
John Boyde Attended school Nov, Dec '64
Jan '65
John Wallace Attended school Nov, Dec '64
Jan '65
Other Names Mentioned
b.1854 Thomas Bridson 1862 10 yrs
b.1853 Henry Lowey 1860 11 yrs
Thomas H. Quayle
John Collister
My thanks to Mrs. Sargent of Port Erin for the loan of this Register.



A scheme of training was announced in 1846 for pupil school teachers and this formed the basis of their training for many years to come.
Schools which received a favourable report from the Inspector were recognised as suitable for training of pupil-teachers.
The young person entered upon a five year apprenticeship at the age of thirteen. Their stipend was £10 per annum rising by annual increments of £2.10s to £20 per annum.

Only one pupil teacher was allowed for every 25 scholars and head teachers were required to give them one and a half hours instruction each schoolday.
For this work the head teachers received an addition to their salary of £5. It is interesting to note that the pupil teacher should be of the same sex as the principal teacher of the school in which they were engaged. Where a female pupil teacher was engaged in a school under a master and received instruction from him after hours, some respectable woman would have to be present for the whole time!

By 1876 the age had been raised to 14 years to start their apprenticeship and the training could be completed in 4 years. By 1900 the minimum age was raised to 16 years (fifteen in rural districts) and the apprenticeship reduced to 3 years.

The examinations of pupil teachers were held in April and October, at the end of their training the pupil teachers had to present themselves for the Queens examination.

Results of examinations appeared in the local newspapers each year.



WESLEYAN SCHOOL Pupil Teachers have been successful in their religious knowledge exam. held annually in March in connection with the training college: West Thomas St., Junior, ALEX CUTHBERTSON Good,
Well Road
E. CAIN fair,
EMILY A. CAIN Excellent.
May 1875 Mona's Herald
The School Committee of Douglas require a PUPIL TEACHER for the Douglas Wellington Board School - Applications will be received by the Clerk, from male and female candidates, up to Monday May 1st. Further particulars maybe had upon application to the MASTER or to JOHN BLAIR Clerk.
May 1876 Mona's Herald



Names were added to this photograph some years ago by an old lady who knew many of the faces. The names are not strictly in order.
Boy from Baldhoon 2nd from left front row. Elizabeth Corkhill (Mrs. E.Meyer) her brother Robert Corkill 3rd from left back row.
Nellie Henry (Francis Mother) is 4th second row on right. Frank and Harry Gelling. Gertie, Emily and Lily Kinrade. Florrie Hogg - boy named Hoggn ext to Nellie Henry.
Ethel Hogg. Fred and David Skillicorn.
Mr. Preston Schoolmaster and his daughter Minna. Mary, Fred and Tom Faragher, Claude Clague and Lydia Quayle.
My thanks to Mrs. Quaggin for this photograph, her grandmother was Nellie Henry. She also adds Gertie Kinrade is 3rd from left front row and Emily Kinrade 4th on front row from left.
Mary Faragher on front row and one Faragher boy is at the end of the front row. Nellle Walton on 2nd row.



Mr. Eric Quirk, Headmaster of Marown School has kindly let me copy a few of the entries from the log book which is still kept at the school. The
earliest entry is dated January 15th 1877.
Jan 15th School opened with 7 children
Feb 23rd Two new scholars on Monday. W. Brew and S. Karran played truant all week.
March 9th A former scholar W. Kelly left for work at the Kinsale fishing.
March 20th A scholar John Walkington died today
May 11th School quiet, many of the scholars have been vaccinated.
June 8th Average attendance 40
July 20th Attendance very irregular and progress much hindered.
Many of the scholars absent weeding and thinning turnips.
Aug 10th Attendance very bad many of the children out in the fields.
The older scholars in the hay and turnip fields. Wet weather.
Nov 2nd New scholar C. Costain, came from W. Clucas' school.
Nov 10th Small pox broke out in the village and two of the scholars kept at home from a foolish fear.
Jan 7th New School - Miss Grindlay Sewing Mistress
Feb 1st R.E. Cain away on 3 mornings. Punished twice. Mother waylaid me the first time and blamed me for punishing him. She allows him to make himself late and then lets him stay away because he is late. She did the same before and took him away from school because I would not allow it.
March 8th Parents made complaints at children having to light school fires and sweep the room.
April 5th Re admitted E. Shimmin
June 14th One failure in reading John Corkill
June 13th Written by the Inspector
The tone, order and discipline are very good and the results at the Examination decidedly creditable considering that the school is a new one in a hitherto neglected district.
TEACHER Thomas Grindley - Certificated Teacher of the II class.
Annie Esther Grindley - Teacher of Sewing
August 9th Several of those at farm work have returned to school, but there are still a number away especially those whose parents are employed by Mr. Smith at Ellerslie and Mr. Cowin at Ballaquinnea. R.W. Donald 1st standard removed
because he had 8 suitable spellings for a night lesson.
September 27th Punishment one stroke on the hand with the cane J.W. McGrath
and Paul McGrath for persistently coming late. The 1st punishment for 8 weeks.
September 30th One stroke (a light one) to J. Costain for blotting his copy book.
October 4th J. and P. McGrath and J.E Kelly - Two strokes for truanting.
Ellen Costain for drawing figures on the desk no play for a month.
October 11th Punishment - E. Corkish for fighting. T. Crellin and A. Kelly for encouraging it. M. Corkish, C. Cottier, R. Kaye for watching lt.
November 8th James Gelling admitted.
November 29th Admitted E. and I. Corlett and re-admitted E. Kinnish and W. Kelly. J. Gelling present 1 day last week.
March 8th Mr. Kelly, Miner complained of his son Allen being punished.
1879 He was caned for idleness and misbehaviour.
July 4th One of our boys very ill, John McGrath strayed from dinner and went bathing with other boys and got a chill which seems to have turned into a fever. Father met me on Wednesday and said that it was my fault, because I had on one or two occasions kept him in a few minutes at dinner time for idleness, and that if anything happened to the boy he would always blame me.



The following deserve special mention Groups 1 and 2
William Grindley
John McGrath
Thomas Grindley
Peter McGrath
Group 2 Jane Shimmin
Amy Teare
Anna Nugent
John Brew
Robert Kaye
JULY 22nd 1880 School 75 Present 54
A picture of the school can be supplied cost £1.00. It was in use from 1878 until 1985.



Copy of a certificate given to JAMES CAIN Parochial Schoolmaster of K.K.Marown, March 16th 1831, in accordance to the Right Rev'd Ordinary's Circular of March 7th.
William Duggan Vicar of Marown my Lord,
I do hereby certify that I have frequently visited this Petty School of Marown James Cain licensed Master.
That the children under his care have been carefully taught to say their Prayers and Catechism and do Improve in learning and good manners and so far as I know or upon enquiry can learn is a person of sober life and good behaviour, and do duly attend the Public Service of the Church As Witness



In the book that was recently republished on the life of NELLIE BRENNAN, there is a mention of 3 children who were orphans and were taken by Nellie to the Muller Hone for orphans in Bristol in 1849. Dr. Pantin and Mary McHardy have now been able to add some information on the children who were of Manx birth.

George Curphey and Catherine Kelly were married at Santon Church on the 5th November 1826, they had several children the youngest being Robert, Frank Harvey and Catherine Agnes. Unfortunately George died in January 1847 and was buried in Kirk Arbory. His wife Catherine died just 18 months later on August 12th 1848 and was buried in Braddan.

The 3 children were left orphans, Frank and Catherine were just aged 4 years and it was these children who were admitted to the Home in Bristol on the 8th August 1849. Frank died on August 24th 1850 aged 6 years after suffering with strong epileptic fits. Catherine was at the home for 12 years and 10 months, when on June 3rd 1862 she was expelled from the Institution on account of stubborn and insubordinate behaviour towards the Matron. Mr. Hall returned her to the Isle of Man to Mr. Cannell a clergyman, who gave a note of admission into the House of Industry for her. Robert was at the Home for 5 years and on Feb. 19th 1855 he was dismissed and apprenticed to Mr. Nicolls, hatter and hosier of 19 Union Street, Bath on August 15th 1855 he changed to Mr. William Harks, Baker of Portishead.
It would be interesting if anyone in Bristol has come across Robert Curphey or does anyone here knows what happened to Catherine Curphey?

Many thanks to the Muller Homes for the above information from their records.



The business of the School is conducted in the handsome and commodious Building near Dalton Terrace, Windsor Road.

Pupils receive either a Classical or Commercial education according to the desire of the parents. In the Classical Department the Boys are instructed in those branches of study which will either fit them for the learned Professions,or entrance at the Universities. The Commercial Course includes all the usual subjects - every effort being made to render the boys quick at mental arithmetic, careful and ready accountants and apt letter writers. Their moral and religious training is particularly attended to, and a tone of manly self dependence is inculcated which shall make them in after life useful members of society in any position to which God may call them.

At the end of each Quarter, Examinations are held, and a report of each Pupil's general conduct and work is sent home and at the close of the midsummer quarter prizes are distributed after a public examination conducted by gentlemen of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

The school is well supplied with Maps, Models, Diagrams and all the requisites for a well ordered Scholastic establishment.

A Library of upwards of three hundred volumes to which additions are constantly made and regularly supplied with periodicals suitable for boys is open to the pupils free of charge.



John Courtney Bluett was not a Manxman but made the Isle of Man his home from 1820 until his death in 1855. During these years he raised a family by two wives, Sophia White and Mary Wilson, practised as a barrister in Atholl Street, Douglas and, at various times, held the offices of Vicar General, High Bailiff of Douglas and Seneschal or Keeper of the Manorial Records .

Interest in his life story was aroused by the finding on a bookstall in Rye, Sussex, of a hand-written journal describing various events in his life from 1840 to 1855. Research into further material at the Public Record Office, Kew, Somerset Record Office, Taunton and the Record Office, Isle of Man has helped to fill in detail of this talented, ambitious and highly religious man whose standing in the Isle of Man was in great contrast to his early life in England.

Born of parents of theatrical interests and talents, he appears to have led a somewhat extravagant, unsettled youth until the age of about 30. Unsuited to a naval career, he was slow to discover a profession in which his attributes of clear thinking, precise reasoning, forceful oratory and ability with words could be utilised.

There can be no doubt that when once he had settled as a barrister in the Isle of Man, no mean task in view of the adverse publicity he had received, he lived a life of great happiness with both Sophia and Mary, and was the kindest and most considerate husband and father. In addition he kept in touch with Bluett, White and Wilson relatives and very many friends in London,Taunton, Bristol, Liverpool and elsewhere.

It would seem that, despite his large family, no person bearing his name now lives in the Isle of Man, though there may well be descendants of the Newham, Lomas, Simpson, Thomson and Dixon families into which his daughters married.

A copy of his journal and of the biography drawn from the research have been given to the Manx Museum.

My thanks to Miss P. Drake,

[see also The Advocate's Notebook, 1847]


Ministering Angels.

Taken from material on display at the National Museums the Merseyside Dept. Of Labour History, Islington Liverpools exhibition Ministering Angels.
Liverpools role in Nursing History (Feb. 15th to ? June 1989).
Liverpool Royal Hospital taken from the list of probationers starting in
the training school for nurses.
Emma Crellin age 21 yrs. C of E, started training March 24th 1884, In Oct.
22 1884 working P.N. staff.
Completed training March 1887. Her training certificate is on display.
Margaret Kneale. Age not recorded. C of E started training May 17th 1884
left June 9th. Not willing to work.
Amy Dod (ibd) age 23 yrs. C of E started training July 1st 1884. Left July
31st 1884. Was not strong enough.
The above three girls were from the Isle of Man.

Thanks to Mary McHardy


Sights and Sounds of Childhood still remembered

I remember the acrid, earthy, smell which reached out from the gloomy interiors of thatched cottages, the moment the door was opened to you. Starkly redolent of the old days of horses and traps and stiff carts, filled with the pungent smell of bridle and harness, and echoing picture a of a real world with real people so very different to our modern world filled with sophistication and artificiality. And yet when one entered 'beneath the thatch' the first impression of gloom proved false and here was a world of warm domestication and comfort, of brasses and china dogs, of grandfather clocks, ticking contentedly away, of feather beds and patchwork quilts. And what of the cottage dwellers. I remember in particular the old women; many dressed still in the fashions of Victoria. I remember the smell of violets and lavender which emanated from them; their buttermilk complexions which would have shamed many a modern young woman in her twenties; the bright pink to their cheeks and the constant twinkle of humour in many a lovely blue eye. I remember too that peculiar somewhat intoxicating smell which always enfolded young women fresh from the diary. A smell which spoke of newly milked cows, of fresh cream, of milk, hot from the pail, of Manx butter and Manx cheese. I was a blue eyed child, with golden curls, and the young dairy maids always fell in love with me and would pick me up and hold me tight to their ample bosoms, and what with the pleasure of this attention and this lovely smell which always clung to them I would promptly fall in love with them.

I remember Peg Leg Caley, tip-tapping down through the streets of Keoney-Valla; his one sound leg fighting to control his old-fashioned wooden turned leg. He had the most evil, twisted visage, one could imagine and lacked only a parrot to complete the picture of an ancient pirate. His ordinary domicile was in Douglas but from time to time he would get in trouble with the police and would seek exile and refuge at St. Marks. For his entertainment he would make his tortuous and no doubt painful way down the Ballamodha straight to the Castletown pubs and when inebriated would lie against a bar counter, lashing out at all and sundry with his wooden leg which he would have removed to use as a very effective and dangerous weapon. We children knew of his fearsome reputation and would scatter to hide once we heard that he had entered Keone-y-Valla.

I remember the sweet pastural smell of cattle being led or driven along the streets of the town to the annual cattle show, at that time held at Westhill, now the home of a girls private school. Nowadays the show is held at the Great Meadow, outside of town, but in my childhood the animals would come in cattle trucks to the Railway Station, then to be driven or led through the streets to the show; cows, bulls, sheep, horses, washed, cleaned and be-ribboned; all stepping out in high spirits for the show, the horses in particular prancing and cavorting as though they had already won the prize for the best exhibit in the show. In some instances farmers were still bringing in animals on foot from farms many miles away from town.

I remember warm days in spring and early summer when hives would swarm and the devices father would use in an endeavour to get them to settle in or close to Hazelcroft garden. Bees when they swarm will settle temporarily in order to permit scouts to be sent out to find their new home; once the scouts have reported and a decision being made the whole swarm will literally make a 'bee-line' direct to the selected home; maybe under the eaves of an old barn or in a convenient hole in a stone hedge. Sometimes father would use a fine spray of water to try and convince the swarm it was going to rain in which case they would, or at least that was the theory, return to their hive. Needless to say it seldom worked; the problem was the amount of 'rain' required. If you used too heavy a spray you could kill the bees, but if you used only a very light spray the bees would take little notice. Another theory he tested but with little success rested on the belief that bees responded to music and if you could play them their favourite piece they would stay at home. Father tried his experiment with the favourite music maker at that time, the gramophone, but either he could not find the right tune or our bees were not musically inclined. It always ended up with father having to wait until someone who knew of Bob Blackburn and his bees would turn up to tell of having found a swarm of bees. It might be a farmer from many miles away and the bees could have made a new home in some difficult position from which it would be impossible to remove them. I remember father being called upon to remove a swarm which had made a home for itself in one of the wooden horses of the Silverburn water-roundabout. This swarm turned out to be one of wild bees and father used sulphur candles which he normally used to destroy colonies of wasps to dispose of the intruders.

I remember Christmases with Hazelcroft bedecked with evergreens. Mother believed in the old fashioned Christmas and did not countenance paper streamers but used instead holly and ivy and whatever other evergreens she could acquire. It is against this background of an old-fashioned Christmas I think back with nostalgia to being awakened early on Boxing Day mornings to the singing of the old Manx roundelay 'Hunt the Wren'. Mr. George Braide, who later became Custodian of the Castle, lived at Milner Terrace and two of his children, the two eldest Malcolm and Edith, had beautiful singing voices and carried on the old tradition at Christmas of going around the town with their decorated pole, bearing an imitation wren, and 'hunting the wren'.

I remember the smell of paraffin which would pervade the house in early springtime, from incubators in the cellar of Hazelcroft, and the sticky little bundles of feathers which would emerge from the eggs and which almost within seconds would transform themselves into golden balls of what looked like fur than feather, later to be transferred to chicken runs where it would be our youthful delight to feed them whole live worms over which they would fight and squabble like full grown fowls. I remember helping mother to cut turves which she would place in convenient places in the barns to form nests in which 'brooding' hens could rear clutches of ducks. Hens always made better mothers for ducks than their own kind.

I remember the old fan-tailed gas-lights in the 'infants' at Victoria Road School and Mrs. Myers and Miss Sayle. Mr. Percy Qualtrough was Headmaster of the School and Mrs. Myers was in charge of the infants. There was still an open coal-fire in the main classroom and on a very cold winter's morning we would be allowed to leave our desks and huddle around the welcome fire where instead of our usual lessons Mrs. Myers would read to us or give us very simple homely lessons. At that time the old fashioned slate was being replaced by composition boards and coloured crayons and we used both. We learned our tables in the old fashioned way and some of us could get as far as our fourteen and fifteen times. Mr. Richard Qualtrough, a retired draper, known as "Dick the Bumbee" was the local Board of Education representative. Dick invariable wore a bow tie and spats and was exceedingly well turned out. Every so often, accompanied by his pet dog, he would visit school and give us a short address. Upon the conclusion of which, to our great delight, he would present everyone with a brand new penny.

Sunday School and the inevitable anniversary, parties and picnics formed one of the most important parts of our young social lives. Nearly every child in town attended Sunday School; Anglican, Methodist (Wesleyan or Primitive), or Roman Catholic and there was always rivalry as to which was the better Sunday School, judged largely by the quality of the annual outing. I attended the Wesleyan Methodists and when I first started Miss Bella Gale taught the infants and throughout her life gave much service to both Sunday School and Church. Willy Karran, then a young man, was the Sunday School Secretary; he eventually became Secretary and Administrator of the Isle of Man Local Government Board a post he held for many years. Mr. Johnny Wilkinson, a postman, was the Superintendent and he had many willing helpers amongst who I remember in particular Miss Cissie Quayle who organised the Band of Hope and gave the Temperance Lectures. These were illustrated by a slide projector, operated by my father, and which machine was lit by a calcium carbide reflector lamp and which lamp gave off a most peculiar smell which I can still recall. In later years when we were older we would, quite unknown to father, gain possession of pieces of carbide with which by the use of a mineral water bottle, a good stout cork, and a little added water we could generate quite a good explosion. Needless to say we could have damaged ourselves with flying glass but boys will be boys.

The annual Sunday School outing was something one looked forward to for weeks and looked back to with fond memories throughout the remainder of the year. The char-a-banc was still a small, open, vehicle seating anything from eighteen to twenty four people and according to the popularity of the particular Sunday School a caravan consisting of, perhaps, up to twelve vehicles would set out from the Market Square, filled with happy children and their parents. Very often one would start out in bright sunshine to run into a shower of rain and your chara would have to 'heave to' to permit the driver, assisted by some of the adults, to draw the canvas hood over the chara. Engines were not as efficient in those days and it was common for one or more of the charas to break down, usually on the way home, and if you were in such a vehicle there might be a wait of up to an hour for a relief vehicle. However, the majority of people went to Church and as a consequence were excellent singers and the waiting period would be filled with happy tuneful voices. Glen Maye, then a stop at Ramsey Mooragh, and finally on to the most popular place of all Laxey Glen Gardens that was the normal itinerary.

I remember journeys over the rough, unmade, mountain roads in my Father's Motorcycle Combination, as A.J.S. My elder brother would be sitting pillion on the motorcycle whilst my mother, sister and myself would be crammed together in the sidecar. The roads over the mountain were still unsuitable for motor cars and it was only with care that a motorcycle and combination could do the journey. Water splashes were many and my brother, who at that time was about twelve years of age, would have to dismount just before we reached one of the many mountain gates to unlatch the gate and let us through. I remember my Father's first motor car, purchased when I would be about nine. It was a German car, an Albatross, and had an aluminium body. It was a two seater with a 'rumble seat' at the back which opened up to seat a further two passengers. We would have picnics on Barrule Mountain, as many as thirty people, and they would all be transported in relays in this little car from Castletown to Barrule. The adults would start out walking and we children would be crammed together into the car and the adults would then be picked up, in various relays, on their way to the picnic; needless to say when the last of the adults were picked up they would almost have reached their destination. At that time cars were so few in Castletown that apart from the Wrigleys who occupied what is now Ellerslie Nurseries, we were the only people in Keone-y-Valla who owned a car.

I remember the early days of Ronaldsway Airfield when the visit of an aeroplane to the Island was such a novelty half of the population of the Island would be present to witness the astonishing spectacle. I remember Captain Olly flying in to Ronaldsway what was at that time the largest bomber in service with the R.A.F. I remember the visits of Sir Alan Cobham and Amy Johnson and remember in particular the hundreds of autographs which people had written all over Amy's plane. Those were exciting days and marked the end of the day of the horse and cart.

I remember Feldmans Hall in Douglas, crammed to the doors, with happy visitors; 'raising the roof' with the latest song from the latest 'sheet music' to be published. I remember throngs of happy young visitors stretched arm in arm across Douglas Promenade singing the latest 'hit' to the accompaniment of 'Ukes' and 'Uke Banjos'. I remember 'Onchan Head' filled with happy visitors in what we would now call 'the old days' before the 'blue stockings' got their way and regulated the visitors happy, carefree, enjoyment out of existence.

We tend, in our older years, to remember the good and forget the bad, but when I look back to my childhood I cannot help but wonder if in the excitement of our new inventions and wonders we have not lost our way. Yesterday was not as sophisticated and modern but in many ways it was a gentler, simpler, happier way of life.

by Teddy Blackburn



Found in a Manx Bible the following details.
Richard Kelly, Ballacomish, Arbory Richard Kelly's reward from the Ballabeg Methodist Sunday School for having repeated in Manks several scripture pieces on the preceding Anniversary 24th September 1871
Chaterine Watterson born 1804
Richard Watterson born 1806
Ann Watterson born 1829
Richard Kelly born 1862
Willie Kelly born 1864



Owned by Rev. Norman Kelly. Details as follows June 1846
WILLIAM KILLEY to MISS MARGARET COUGHLEN just after nine o'clock on the 14th day of June at St. Patrick's Chapel, Park Rd., Liverpool. Witnesses
John Kelly, Thomas Gell, Elizabeth Jones.
PHILIP KILLEY born in Liverpool 10 mins after 3 o'clock in the afternoon on the 17th day of July 1847.
PHILIP KILLEY died in Peel 15th December 1847 buried at Kirk Patrick.
MARGARET ANN KILLEY born in Peel 15 mins past 12 o'clock 26th Dec. 1849
baptised at K. Patrick
CATHERINE KILLEY Peel 21st Sept. 1851 at 2.00 o'clock
MARGARET KILLEY died Dec. 21st 1878 aged 58 years and is interred at Peel Cemetery on 24th Dec.
WILLIAM KILLEY d. Oct 28th 1892 aged 68 yrs.
My thank" to Mrs. Murphy for sending this in.



When the Red Pier was built at Douglas Harbour in 1793 the workmen were paid one penny per day or given the option of taking a "barrel" of wheat instead. Flour was then worth a shilling a stone.

The Castle Mona Hotel on Douglas sea-front was originally built as a residence for the last Lord of Man. It cost a fortune - £40,000 - mainly because the stone was shipped from the Isle of Arran.

One schoolboy at Arbory aged 6-7 years old at the time reckoned he took 10,560 steps from his home to school, he climbed over 8 stiles, opened and closed 5 gates and forded a stream - a remarkable performance - if he was late for school he was awarded a severe stroke of the cane!

At Kirk Christ Rushen on Thursday last, (after a tedious courtship of three weeks), Mr. Thomas Kinnish, a sporting widower of 58, to Miss Margaret Gales blooming damsel of 21. The procession to and from church was followed by an old forsaken sweetheart of the bride's gaily decorated with laurels of green boughs, to the no small amusement of a numerous concourse of spectators.

A wife by a young gentleman of good expectations. She must be graceful in her person and amiable in her manners. Property is no object, but she must be very affectionate and kind in her disposition, all of which, with every care and attention must be confined to him alone. To be petted faithfully and permanently through life is the principal requisite that will be insisted on.
Any lady willing to undertake so awful a task, is requested to address a letter to G.E., Post Office, Douglas, to be left till called for, after which a meeting will be proposed.
The gentleman is light, active, and amiable. To balance innumerable good qualities that he possesses, there is only one drawback, which candour obliges him to confess Jealousy. This strong feeling will subject the Lady to a most Inquisitorial security and risk of reproach, if, unfortunately, any of the offspring have eyes that did not in colour correspond with his own.
January 1st 1828


As well as the Ballasalla School Register for 1854, I have copies of Manx school registers, plus old school photographs. If anyone would like copies or for me to check the lists for their ancestors names I can do so.

Photograph of the school circa early 1900 s. Admission Register 1872-80. Details given include pupils name, their date of birth, fathers name and address.
Photograph of the school can be obtained.
Admission Register 1875-1890. Information given as above.
List of pupils for 1888, name and age given.
I have also researched a lot of the private schools that were in Douglas in the 19th century and have lists of pupils, details of their parents and careers followed by pupils.
Lists of pupils mostly sons of Gentleman 1850 s and 1860's.
Again lists of pupils and teachers. A private school which took day pupils as well as boarders. Some Manx boys attended this school but the majority were born in England, Scotland, Ireland and overseas whose parents were resident on the Island for sometime.
A private school 1852-66. Over 100 names of pupils, details of their education and their families. Many of the children were sons of military men who had retired to the Island. Day pupils and boarders ages ranging from 11 to 16 years.
See advertisement on page 89 . Photocopy of photograph of this school available.
I have copies of K.W.C. Registers 1833-1927 and 1886-1953, these give pupils names, fathers name, date of birth and date of entry to school. University attended and career followed.
There are many school photographs of MAROWN SCHOOL in the 19th century with pupils named.

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