[from Memoirs of Bishop Hildesley]

[No. XI. continued]

musicAt this period, perhaps, the editor of bishop HILDESLEY’S Memoirs might properly have finished his account of the Manks version : But, imagining that the ingenuous reader may be equally solicitous, as himself once was, to know the result of so important a concern,—an Era, surely, in our insular history,—he flatters himself that a continuation of the Narrative to its close, will prove acceptable, and even interesting ; as a testimony of much good wrought out by peculiar exertions of labour and piety, in a business, which reflects high honour upon two most worthy Prelates ; on the excellent Society for promoting Christian Knowledge ; on every benefactor to the design ; on every sharer in the work itself ; and on the Protestant cause in particular 1.

On the 12th of January, 1773, Bishop Hildesley being then dead, the Society took into consideration the contents of a letter from Mr. Moore ; in which he mentions, that besides the incessant labour Mr. Kelly had for four years undergone, in forwarding the impression of the Manks Bible, the late good bishop had engaged him in forming a Vocabulary or Dictionary of the language, with a promise of ten guineas, when finished. It was therefore agreed, that in lieu of other recompense, a present should be made to Mr. Kelly of one hundred pounds, or guineas, as Mr. Moore should think proper : leaving it to that gentleman to draw immediately for the whole, or to leave such part as he might judge expedient, till the Manks Dictionary should be completed 2.

The secretary, in March, 1773, reported, that he had waited upon Dr. Richmond, the new bishop, in consequence of his lordship’s becoming a member of the Society. A letter from the Rev. Mr. Moore was then read, to acquaint the Society, that, " on consulting his brethren of the Manks clergy, he finds them of opinion, that 2000 copies of the New Testament, in 8vo, together with those formerly printed, would be more than sufficient to answer all the present demands of the island, and for many years to come." He likewise recommends that the Four Gospels and the Acts should undergo some revision, before they are again sent to the press, in as rnuch as they had been formerly printed from an unrevised copy, which was found amongst bishop Wilson’s papers 3. Mr. Moore also wished that an additional two or three thousand copies were printed of bishop Wilson’s excellent book on the Church Catechism : to which propositions the Society readily acceded.

In June, 1773, upon a respectful application from Mr. Moore, the Society, with their accustomed liberality, agreed to make him a present of fifty pounds ; both for his long and laborious attendance on the Manks Impression, and the better to enable him to use proper means for the recovery of his valuable health, which had been greatly impaired by too close and unwearied an application to the progress of that good work.

Their Annual Reports of July, in this year, and in 1774, state that the Society had printed and distributed 2000 copies of the first volume of the Old Testament, extending to the Book of Job ; and that all the remaining part, together with the two apocryphal Books of Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus, had been since printed, and were dispersing as expeditiously as they could be passed through the binder’s hands. The Society alto resolved to reprint 2000 copies of the New Testament : after which, so long as benefactions should continue to drop in, they would persevere in supplying the Isle of Mann with other good books and tracts ; or with new editions, at least of such, as had already been published for the use of the inhabitants.

Soon after this, upon a representation from Mr. Moore, their secretary was directed to acquaint him, that the Society would be very glad to give Mr. Kelly all the encouragement in their power ; but could not undertake the printing his Grammar, lately composed, until the state of their Manks fund should be examined, and it was seen what would be the expence of reprinting the New Testament, then in the press.

On the 10th of January, 1775, it was agreed to postpone the consideration of a letter received from Mr. Moore, till the Society should be ascertained of the situation of their finances, and know what gratuities had been received by the several gentlemen engaged in the Manks impressions. Dr. Finch, Dr. Markham , and Mr. Moore, were accordingly requested to act as a committee for that purpose ; and on the 7th of February reported, "

That they found the Society, at their last audit, in April, 1774, had advanced on the Manks account

573 17 9

And since that period had paid further sums, to the amount of

110 0 0


£683 17 9

So that, as no fresh benefactions had come in since the audit, there was, on the whole, a balance due from the Manks impressions to the Society.

" That to reimburse themselves, however, the Society were possessed of £1800 New South Sea Annuities, and £100 Bank Annuities reduced: on the former of which a year’s interest of £54 was due at Christmas, 1774, and on the latter £3 up to Michaelmas, 1774."

They likewise reported, " That the following persons had, at sundry times, received the sums set against their names in the list, as gratuities for their respective labours, in. conducting the Impressions.

£. s.. d.


For transcribing the Epistles

1 13 0


For superintending, in London, the impression of the Christian Monitor

21 0 0

For transcribing ditto

1 1 0

For transcribing the Liturgy

5 5 0

For superintending the impression of the Epistles, and second edition of the Common Prayer

23 2 0

For transcribing Lewis’s Catechism

3 3 0

53 11 0


For translating the Christian Monitor

4 4 0


For revising the Gospels and Acts

5 0 0

For translating part of the Liturgy

10 10 0

For revising the Epistles,

21 10 0

37 0 0

Rev. Mr. GILL.

For translating part of the Psalms

1 1 0


For transcribing the Old Testament, and superintending the impression

113 8 0

For composing a Manks Grammar, and Vocabulary

10 10 0

123 18 0

Rev. Mr. MOORE.

For translating part of the Psalms

1 1 0

For revising the Old Testament

50 0 0

51 1 0

Rev. Mr. QUAYLE.

For supplying Mr. Moore’s duty, during his absence

21 8 0


For translating part of the Liturgy

5 0 0

Rev. Mr. TEARE.

For translating part of the Psalms

1 1 0

Rev. Mr. WILKS.

For revising the Gospels and Acts ..

5 0 0

For revising the Liturgy

5 5 0

For translating the Epistles .

5 5 0

15 10 0

Post-master at Liverpool

1 1 0

printer’s men

1 2 6

£1317 10 6

At the same meeting, Feb. 7, 1775, the Society were informed by letter from the Rev. Messrs. Moore and Sewell, that they had begun printing 2000 copies in octavo, and about 40 in quarto, of a fresh edition of the New Testament; the former part of which, down to the end of the Acts, had been carefully revised by Mr. Moore; and they proposed, when that impression should be finished, to print a translation of bishop Wilson’s Treatise on the Lord’s Supper. They therefore wished to know whether the Society approved of the design ; and, if so, what number of copies in octavo they chose to have worked off; suggesting it also as expedient to print the Manks and English in opposite columns. Mr. Sewell likewise spoke highly of Mr. Kelly, as an ingenious man ; a good scholar ; and one, who, as he was intended for the church, would be a valuable acquisition to his native island. It was in consequence agreed, that so soon as the present edition of the New Testament should be completed, the Manks translation of bishop Wilson on the Sacrament should be put to the press, but without the original in the opposite column; which the Society thought would only swell the work, without answering any very essential purpose. They left it to the bishop of Mann, Mr. Sewell, and Mr. Moore, to determine the proper number of copies to he printed ; and returned hearty thanks to Mr. Sewell for his zealous attention to the good work.

That gentleman, in August following, informed the Society, from the Rev. Mr. Moore, that the manuscript translation of bishop Wilson’s Treatise would want revising ; and that Mr. Moore still retained his opinion, that the book would be more useful, if published both in Manks and English : in which idea, however, if the Society should not acquiesce, he could wish that a thousand or two might be printed separately in English ; and he thought it might be cheaper done at Whitehaven than in London. Mr. Sewell likewise observed, that a second edition of the Common Prayer was much wanted.

The Society about this period agreed to purchase the manuscript version of bishop Wilson’s Treatise, and requested Mr. Moore would have the goodness to revise it : wishing at the same time, that the bishop of Mann would obtain the sentiments of his clergy, as to the number of copies wanted ; and whether it would be at all expedient to print the English along with the Manks translation. They likewise begged Mr. Sewell to favour them with his opinion, whether a duo-decimo edition of the Common Prayer would not do for the younger inhabitants ; since by that means a larger impression might be reserved, for the accommodation of older eyes.

At a board held 9th January, 1776, a letter from the lord bishop of Mann referred to this meeting was read ; wherein his lordship acquaints the Society, that he had required his clergy to furnish him with an account of the number of Bibles they had received, and of the persons amongst whom they had been distributed. To which he had subjoined directions, that they should annually call for a production of the books so given out ; and signify to him, both whether they were accordingly produced, and in what condition they were found.

His lordship then informs the Society, that, having enquired what farther number of the New or Old Testament, or of either volume of the latter, was wanting, for the present use of the island ; he had found, that about 400 copies of the whole Old Testament, and 300 of the New, would amply furnish the inhabitants ;.— that to supply, however, this demand, and even future ones, until the end of the present century, at least, there yet remained a sufficient quantity in the hands of Mr. Moore, or of the printers at Whitehaven ; but that another edition of the Liturgy would soon be wanted, as being in constant use, and wearing out very fast. Some Common Prayer Books also, of the quarto size, for the use of churches, were earnestly called for by the clergy.

From what his lordship could gather upon enquiry, he supposed, that 2500 copies of bishop Wilson on the Sacrament might very well suffice, for present use at least : and, with regard to printing the English and Manks in opposite columns, he informed the Society, " That, out of twenty-two of his clergy, nineteen had agreed with him in thinking, that this two-fold impression would be attended with incomparably greater and more general utility ; since, exclusive of other reasons assigned, they all concurred in this,—that the two tongues would help those to understand both, who as yet were not over perfect in either."

In answer to a request from the Society, Mr. Sewell expressed himself clearly of opinion, that a fresh Manks impression, in duodecimo, of the Common Prayer, printed with the same character as the edition of 1769, would do exceedingly well, both for the old and young ; including several portions of David’s Psalms, together with the hymns and doxologies in Manks verse ; none of which were printed in the London octavo, of 1765. The same sort of paper with that used for the octavo Bibles would be very suitable ; as, without rendering the Common Prayer Books at all disproportionate, they would be somewhat longer and broader, and consequently require a rather less quantity of paper. In consequence of this clear and urgent representation, the Society kindly agreed to print 3500 copies of bishop Wilson on the Sacrament, with the Manks and English in opposite columns : to publish likewise a new edition of 3000 Common Prayer Books, in duodecimo, on the same type with those of 1769 At the same time postponing the consideration, whether or not to republish a few Bibles and Common Prayer Books in a larger size.

At their next meeting, Feb. 13, 1776, the lord bishop, by letter, acquainted the Society, that Mr. Moore, assisted by Mr. Kelly, had for some months been engaged in revising the Translation of bishop Wilson’s Treatise : and, after returning thanks for the extensive bounty conferred upon his diocese, his lordship adds, That those larger Common Prayer Books which had been suggested by his clergy, were proposed merely for their own use, in their respective churches ; and, although not indispensably necessary, must certainly prove very convenient and desirable.

The Society would gladly have obliged his lordship, and the clergy of Mann, in this point, had they thought themselves at liberty to venture on so large an expence, as must be incurred by the printing of such an edition. "They agreed, however, to strike off fifty copies of the Manks Common Prayer Book, in quarto, by breaking the forms of the octavo edition, at that time under the press, into a larger size ;—as had already been done in their former impression of the Manks Bible."

The Rev. Mr. Sewell, about the same time, requested the Society would apply to bishop Richmond, for his lordship’s direction to Mr. Moore at Douglas, and the clergyman at Ramsay, to send for the 308 Bibles then in the printer’s warehouse at Whitehaven ; and also to give orders for the distribution of such other copies, as were some time since deposited under the care of those two clergymen.

Mr. Moore, by letter, Aug. 15, 1776, acquainted the Society, that Mr. Kelly, his very able co-adjutor, and corrector of the press, had taken Holy Orders ; and, as his assiduous and essential services for the Society, during the space of eight years, were now closed, Mr. Moore took the liberty to remind them of what that gentleman had so amply done for the Manks impression.

By a subsequent letter, in 1777, he gives them the information they had desired on the above subject ; stating the proportion of labour and study which Mr. Kelly had employed on the good work, since he received their former compliment of one hundred guineas. Mr. Moore likewise hints, that he should be happy if the Society would so repeat their favours to himself, as to enable him to resort to some medicinal springs, for the recovery of his declining health. It was in consequence determined, at the next General Meeting, to pay due honour both to Mr. Moore and Mr. Kelly, for their very useful and important exertions.

In this year also their secretary, by direction of the board, wrote to the Rev. Mr. Bell, of Bride-Kirk, in Cumberland, requesting him to learn, if possible, the sentiments of the Rev. Mr. Sewell, whether he expected any, and what remuneration, for his long-continued and close attention to the business of the Manks impression. To which was returned for answer, that Mr. Sewell had never entertained a thought of pecuniary recompense : that the thanks of good bishop HILDESLEY, whilst he lived, and of the Society since his decease, together with the approbation of his own heart, were all the reward he wished for in this world. That he would therefore accept of no acknowledgment from the Society, unless it were in the book~way, which might be a permanent testimony of their sentiments towards him. And, in particular, he mentioned "Dr. Dodd’s Commentary on the Bible" as a work, which he had long had it in his intention to purchase.

The Society accordingly directed their secretary to write to Mr. Sewell, in their name "Returning him their hearty thanks for the great attention, which, for several years, he had been pleased to bestow upon the Manks impression: assuring him, in particular, that they entertain the highest sense of his uncommon generosity and disinterestedness ; not only in devoting so much of his time to the superintendence of that work, without a view to reward, but even in declining to receive any pecuniary satisfaction for his trouble : That they are happy, however, to find he will permit them to make him a small acknowledgment, by a present of books ; and therefore beg him to accept, as a permanent token of their regard and esteem,

" Dr DODD’S Commentary on the Bible ,"
" Bishop PEARCE’S Commentary on the New Testament;" and
" Dr HORNES Commentary on the Psalms"
" To which they are desirous of adding any other books, with which Mr. Sewell would with to be supplied."

Soon after this, orders were given by the Society, for sending to the Isle of Mann 183 copies the first volume of the Holy Bible, in octavo, with 124 copies. of the second volume : also fifty quarto Common Prayer Books, 2000 in duodecimo,. and: 2500 of bishop Wilson’s excellent treatise on the Sacrament. Their Annual Report adds; that 1500 copies of the small Common Prayer Book, and 500 of Bishop Wilson’s Tract, were already bound : the rest to be completed and sent over as soon as possible. After which distribution, lists were to be made out, of such books as should remain in the hands of the clergy ; to be delivered to bishop Richmond, who had undertaken the charge of any future disposal of them, as occasion should require.

In consequence of this arrangement, the Rev. Mr. Moore, by letter, tells the Society, " Our Manks impressions come in very fast, and are as fast distributed to the several parishes, according to the directions given by our late Diocesan, before he left the island 4 The books," continues he " are so joyfully and so thankfully received, that I have no small satisfaction at being employed in the distribution of them " The bishop also, about this period, wrote a letter to the Society, in very pointed terms , desiring to express his unfeigned and grateful sense of the piety and benevolence, which they had for several years past exerted, towards the clergy and people committed to his charge

In 1781, the Society, wishing to take the opinion of Dr Mason, then lord bishop of the diocese, respecting the distribution of such copies of Manks books, as remained at Whitehaven, directed Mr. Broughton, their secretary,’ to write to his lordship, to know what he would choose to have done with them. His lordship in answer said, he had consulted his clergy how they might be disposed of to the best advantage ; compliance with whose opinion, he had given directions for pursuing the plan laid down by his late predecessor, which to him appeared very convenient and proper. He would accordingly take care to have the scattered remains of the several copies collected together.

Mr. Moore, in 1782, informed the Society, that bishop Mason had ordered a very large remainder of the Manks publications to be sent from Whitehaven, the greatest part of which had arrived at Ramsay and Douglas : But, as the Society had received no particular information concerning the distribution of them, it was assumed that his lordship continued to dispose of them agreeably to the plan adopted by his predecessor.

In April, 1783, the bishop, being then in London, and present at a Committee of the Society, acquainted them, that he had given orders for distributing the books so sent over, throughout the island. :

The Rev. Henry Corlett, Vicar of St. German, in 1784, informed the Society, that a considerable number of New Testaments and Common Prayer Books had been lying a long time in the Island, undisposed of, though much wanted; owing to Bishop Mason’s ill state of health, during the last eight months of his life. As Dr Crigan, however, the present Bishop, had become a member of the Society, it was not doubted but his Lordship would take due care of that matter. Information was accordingly received in 1785, from the Rev. Mr. Christian, Vicar-General, that the Bishop had kindly undertaken the distribution ; and had written circular letters to his Clergy, directing them to send him an account of what books were wanted for their respective congregations.

Another letter, of the 12th of May, 1786, desired Dr. Galkin 5, then Secretary, to inform the Society, that almost all the Manks publications had been circulated amongst the Clergy, and by them regularly distributed 6. The remaining copies, which Mr. Christian observes were few, had. been properly taken care of; and would soon be dispersed, in proportion to to wants of the inhabitants.

ON THE WHOLE, therefore, it is highly pleasing to remark, that, since the year 1763, the Society have been, under Providence, the happy means of printing and disseminating gratis, amongst the Manks people, in their native tongue, the following excellent books, for their best instruction in true Religion and Morals:

2000 copies of the Old Testament.
3000 —— New Testament.
6500, or more, Books of Common Prayer.
2000 ——— Church Catechism.
2000 ——— Lewis’s Exposition.
1200 ——— Christian Monitor.
3500 ——— Wilson,: on the Sacraments

And they intend regularly to proceed in this most charitable. work, by supplying the Isle of Mann. with other good books and tracts ; or with fresh impressions, from time to time, of those which have thus already been published for the use of the people, as ability shall be given them, and occasion shall require.

From the foregoing Narrative, and from subsequent information; very obligingly communicated to the Editor, by the Rev Thomas Cubbon, Vicar of Kirk Maughold, in a letter of March 17, 1798, It now appears, that the worthy Clergymen of the Isle of Mann, concerned in translation of the Holy Scriptures, &c. were as follows.




1 Major Vallancey, in his Grammar, p. 119, speaks with praise of the version ; and in one or two instances observes, " Here the beautiful expression of the Manks, superior to the Erse translation, is visible to every Celtick scholar." Dr. Geddes, in his Syllabus, ranks it among the original translations of the Bible. For a letter on the subject, from Major Vallancey to the Rev. Philip Moore, Dec. 26, 1780, see Appendix, No. XVII.[sic XCIV]

2 This MS. two volumes, 4to, is now in the hands of his grace the duke of Athol. See MEMOIRS, p. 97. A Grammar also of the Manks language, by Dr. Kelly, is extant in manuscript ; and, had we room for so estimable an addition, would much have increased the value of this publication. The bishop’s suggestion, which produced the Dictionary, is highly laudable ; and we still hope it may not be frustrated, by the suppression of a work, so interesting to the learned, and so useful to the islanders in particular.

3 See the MEMOIRS, p. 43.

4 Never to return thither. He died in London; Feb. 4, 1780. See the " Enumeration of the bishops of Sodor and Mann," Appendix, No. XVI.

5 The Rev George Gaskin, D D Rector of St Bene't Gracechuch, in London ~ and also of Stoke Newington, in Middlesex who succeeded the Rev Michael Hallings, as Secretary, in the Spring of 1786; and continues to fill and to adorn so very respectable a situation.

6 The reader may feelingly apply to these happy Manks men, Matt xiv 19 20 [greek missing]


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