[From Brown's Directory, 1881/2]


Wesleyan Methodism was introduced into the Isle of Man in the year 1758, by the Rev. John Murlin, who visited it from Whitehaven. His own account is as follows :—" I embarked in July, 1758, for Liverpool, but the captain deceived us and carried us to the Isle of Man. Here we stayed a week. The second evening I preached in a large barn; but on Sunday it would not contain the congregation, so I was obliged to preach abroad. The people in general behaved well, and gave great attention. After I left some of them sent to Whitehaven desiring to have another preacher. But it was some years before another went, there being so little probability of doing any good while the whole Island was a nest of smugglers. " At length the case excited the attention of the Methodists in Liverpool, who concluded to employ in a mission to the Manx Islanders, John Crook, then a zealous local preacher, and afterwards a well-known itenerant, and frequently spoken of as the "Apostle of the Isle of Man." The Lord crowned his labours with great success, though for some time he met with much persecution. Societies were formed in Castletown and Peel Mr. Wesley visited the Island in 1777, and again in 1781. He was greatly pleased with the state of the societies, and wondered that so much had been done in five or six years. During his first visit he wrote in his journal :—" A more loving, simple-hearted people than this I never saw." On the second occasion, in 1781, having met the local preachers, two and twenty in all, he observed :— ‘ ‘ I never saw in England so many stout, well.looking preachers together. If their spirit be answerable to their look, I know not what can stand before them." When about to take his leave, he wrote—" Having now visited the Island round—east, south, north, and west—I was thoroughly convinced that we ha~e no such circuit as this either in England, Scotland, or Ireland." Corn-paring the numbers in society with the total population, he asks,"What has been seen like this, in any part, either of Great Britain or Ireland ?" The Isle of Man was constituted a separate district in the year 1805. At the Conference of 1862, Castletown was divided from Douglas. The year following, Peel was also separated from Ramsey ; so that there are now (1880) four circuits, with a staff of ten ministers. The local preachers number 154. There are nearly 3,000 mem. bers in society, and above 4,800 scholars in the Sabbath schools. There are 71 Wesleyan Chapels in the Island, besides three in course of erection, and a fourth projected in Douglas, for which an eligible site has been already secured. Many of the original chapels were very primitive structures, but they , have, in most cases, been superseded by larger and more commodious buildings, and during, the last few years several beautiful and costly country chapels have been built, whilst those in the towns will bear favourable comparison with the chapels in England.


The Douglas Circuit :—

Chapels—16 ; in which are sittings for 3,612 persons. The largest of these is Thomas-street Chapel, Douglas, which will seat 1,100 people. There is an average Sunday evening congregation of over 800.

Sunday Schools—15 ; number of scholars, 1,268. Officials and teachers, 275.

Day Schools—4 ; number of children on books, 590.

Wesleyan Foreign Missions—During the year (1880-1) the circuit raised towards these missions, £173 16s. 1d.

Ministers of the Circuit—-Rev. H. Douthwaite (chairman of the district), Revs, T. Hargreaves and J. A. B. Malvern. .

The Castletown Circuit :—

Chapels—15 ; number of sittings therein, 2,257.

Sunday Schools—12 ; number of scholars, 1,084. Officials and teachers, 208.

Wesleyan Foreign Missions—Amount raised towards, during the year (1878.9) £85 l0s. l0d.

Ministers of the Circuit —Revs. W. B. Saul, M.A., and F. R. Smith.

The Ramsey Circuit

Chapels—25 ; number of sittings therein, 4,260.

Sunday Schools—22 ; number of scholars, 1,281. Officials and teachers, 356.

Day Schools—1 ; number of children on books, 78.

Wesleyan Foreign Missions—During the year (1878-9) the circuit raised towards these missions, £231 16s. 5d.

Ministers of the Circuit—Revs. W. L. Wingell, T. Ayrton, and G. Stevenson.

The Peel Circuit

Chapels—12 ; number of sittings therein, 2427.

Sunday Schools---12 ; number of scholars, 1,182. Officials and teachers, 183.

Day Schools—1 ; number cf children on books, 146.

Wesleyan Foreign Missions—During the year (1878-9) the circuit raised towards these missions, £116 18s. 5d.

Ministers of the Circuit—Revs. G. Gibson and J. G. Mantle.


Douglas Circuit—Thomas-street ; Well-road ; Hanover-street (Meeting Room.) It is in contemplation to erect a chapel in the Gothic style of architecture, to cost not less than £5,000, on a site at Rosemount. The site has already been purchased, and plans of the edifice have been prepared and adopted. Crosby ; Baldwin West ; Baldwin East ; Abbey Lands ; Onchan ; Cooile; Union Mills ; Mount Rule ; Onchan ; Ballakilmartin ; Hilberry ; Laxey; Lonan ; Ballacowin ; Abbey Lands (Lonan).

Castletown Circuit.—Malew-street ; Colby ; Port St. Mary ; Kirk St. Ann’s (Memorial Chapel) ; Ballasalla ; Kerrowkiel ; Howe ; Ballafesson ; Ballabeg; Ballagary ; Ballamoda ; Ballakilpheric ; Ronague ; Strandhall ; Ery Stain; Surby ; Crossecaley ; Derbyhaven.

Ramsey Circuit.—Queen-street ; Ballakaneen ; Sulby ; Kerrowgarrow; Glascoe ; Kirk Bride ; Smeale ; Lhen Mooar ; Jurby East ; Jurby West; Ballaugh ; Ballaugh new Chapel ; Curragh (Ballaugh) ; Sulby Glen ; Glenoldin; Sandy Gate ; Regaby ; Dhoor ; Geary ; Port-a-Vullin ; Ballajora ; Cardle; Kirk Michael ; Barregarrow ; Little London.

Peel Circuit.—Athol-street ; Lambfell ; Ebenezer ; Kerrowglass ; St. John’s; Lhergydhoo ; Greeba ; Foxdale ; Foxdale Village ; Dalby ; Gordon ; Glen Rushen.


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